Summer's nearly over, and it's that time for the kiddies to get back to school. Once again, schedules are out of whack, alarm clocks are going off or not going off to no avail. The questions raise, to pack a lunch or not to pack a lunch. Did I do the laundry, do the kids have underwear, did I save the meeting agenda that I was toiling over for 3 hours off the clock last night? Not to worry, I have a few obvious, but forgotten strategies to help make your mornings a little less hectic. It's all about simple pre-planning. Easy? Yes. But do we often forget to do it? YES!! Here is a simple hour-before-bed to do list. Jot these down in your smart phone and even set a reminder an hour or two before bed so that you don't forget.
1. Make sure that the clothes for the next day are out, ironed, and ready to be jumped into (if not, add another hour to this list and toss a load of laundry into the wash while we work on the balance).
2. Make sure that whatever can be packaged for lunch is already done. Make the sandwiches and put them in the 'fridge next to the juice-box that's gong to accompany it. This way you can grab them in the morning and toss them (lightly) into their lunch box or bag. Pack the box or bag now with non-perishable snacks, an apple, a bag of chips, that sweet snack...nothing to sweet though, we want the afternoon to be productive. We also don't want to bombard the teacher with sugar-wired kids. Have the lunch box or bag on the counter and waiting for the juice-box and sandwich. This alone will take 3 minutes off of the morning rush and and 15 minutes of stress off of your plate.
3. I like for my kids to take a bath or shower at night, so that in the morning, the only thing to do is brush their teeth and comb their hair after they wash their faces. My kids are small though, 3 and 7, so most of get-ready time is mommy's job. If you kids are older, have them shower at night. Girls will probably resist...so tell them got get up 15 minutes earlier for shower time. (Now you should be grabbing the laundry from #1 and tossing it into the dryer)
4. For little ones, you can even get breakfast going late at night. A low-sugar, high in fiber cereal is your best friend in the morning. Pour the bowls and place them in the fridge next to a small glass of milk and a small glass of juice. For 5 year olds and above, this will again save you about 5 minutes of breakfast making time because they can grab it themselves. This is that 5 minutes you need in the morning for mascara and lipstick so that you don't run over the crossing guard trying to do it while you are driving- bad mommy!
5. Now you should be hanging up the clothes from #1 so that you don't have to iron them in the morning. Put socks, and underwear out as well so that there is no confusion in the morning. If you have time on the weekend, you can do this for the entire week. Also make certain that respective book-bags are packed and by the door.
Finally, have yourself a relaxing cup of chamomile tea (or wine) before bed. This will help you relax and free your mind so that you are not as stressed out as the kids in the morning when you're yelling 5 more minutes...3 more minutes!!!
Trust me, these simple night time tips will save you time and stress in the morning. It may take a week or so for you to get it down to a 30 minute science, but it will be well worth it in the morning! Have an amazing week!!! Welcome back to the school year!