Nailing down the morning routine
Was anyone else’s morning a big, hot mess?
Every day I strive to do better but still end up yelling “SHOES” and “TEETH” at my dilly-dallying kids who think we’ve got two hours instead of two minutes.
There’s no advice like ‘mum advice’, and the friendly members of Mumbler have shared their top tips for nailing their morning routines.
Here’s what they said:
Get up an hour before everybody else:
“I always get up a hour before everyone else does to get in the shower and get myself ready, and I always leave their school shoes by the door because I’m sick of never being able to find a pair in the shoe cupboard on a morning”
Lay out everyone’s clothes the night before:
“I prep the next days clothes the night before. Even mine! Nothing worse than not knowing what to wear if you’re in a rush!”
Get everyone dressed as soon as they get up:
“Bribes bribes bribes! Get everyone dressed as soon as they’re up (saves time not having to go back upstairs to do it and a huge tick on the to-do list!). Then a very simple dry breakfast that can’t dirty clothes, can be eaten without supervision and possibly in transit if necessary – fruit and toast or rice cakes. Take all this with a pinch of salt though as we’re late for everything! getting out of the house is the worst bit of parent life!”
Tell the kids the plan the night before:
“If I have to get out early for work etc, then I make sure everything is packed and ready the night before. I get her preschool bag packed and by the door, clothes laid out, my clothes as well and shower the night before. I make sure I tell her the night before what is happening the next day so she knows why sometimes we need to move quickly. I always get up slightly earlier than I really need to to make sure I have time for anything I’ve forgotten in the morning.”
Give the kids tasks – and rewards!
“We have a hectic household where everybody needs to be at a different place by 9am Mon-Fri. I give my kids tasks, i.e. brush their teeth, hair, make their beds, get ready, etc. and once they’ve completed them, they are allowed to watch a bit of TV until I’m ready. They need to be 100% ready, shoes on and everything before the TV goes on. And they don’t get it if I have to say things more than once.”
Keep breakfast simple & take snacks with you:
“We only have 3 breakfasts options for weekdays . So we always have the same on a Monday, on a Tuesday, etc. No negotiations, that’s what everybody is having full stop. We take a little snack with us on the school run. It can be nuts, a little biscuit, a box of raisins, etc. It helps me getting my kids to walk nicely next to me/sit in the pram during the school run while they eat it. I make sure they are ready first and then get ready myself. Otherwise they’ll cover me on egg, butter, get me soaked, etc. So that’s it, I basically bribe them with food and TV.”
No TV until everyone is dressed:
“I have to insist on no TV or tablet until dressed, fed, teeth brushed and hair done otherwise I will never get out on time!”
“The only thing that I really insist on is no TV while eating breakfast. So it can go on while I make breakfast as it keeps them a little entertained. But as soon as it’s ready they eat and then TV doesn’t get un-paused until they are fully dressed and can be on while hair is getting brushed. But the longer all that takes the chances of watching the rest of what they started are slim.”
If they have a choice on clothing, let them choose the night before:
“I get everything ready the night before…uniform laid out, and get three-year-old to choose who she wants to wear, as she never wants to wear what I pick…so no arguments that way if she has already chosen. This morning the eldest was playing with her new toy, and I ended up screaming at her to get her shoes on…so a new rule is no toys until they are completely ready.”
Make a routine chart:
One mumbler made this fabulous routine chart for her kids and has shared it with us!
Brush their teeth before going downstairs:
“I find brushing their teeth first thing, before going downstairs helps in my house (Trying to get them from one space to another seems to take a lifetime!) I have a long car journey at the moment so breakfast is a car picnic. (Slice of toast and lots of fruit slices) So getting them into the car isn’t an issue.”
“Get dressed and teeth brushed before going downstairs….I find once you get downstairs there are far too many distractions! I might add I’m a skin of my teeth mum……I literally land in the playground when the bell is going.”
“If mine aren’t dressed and had their teeth brushed by the time we go downstairs we’ve lost, I started a new rule to put this in place at the beginning of term and we are more organised if we do this. If not, i’m chasing them around with a toothbrush, forcing them back in to the bathroom ten minutes before we leave the house.”
Use dry shampoo!
“My top tip is dry shampoo for me! If I can get away without washing and drying my hair it saves about 15 minutes in the morning . I also lay out cereal packets, bowls and spoons the night before so that my two girls can serve themselves breakfast (they are 9 & 7). They aren’t allowed to watch TV unless they are totally ready to go (coats and shoes on as well!). If they watch TV before that they become zombies and it’s extra hard to get them going!”
Iron at the weekend:
“I iron the uniform for the week on a Sunday night and get up an hour before the kids. So then I’m showered have hair, make up, pack ups done then when the kids are up the focus is purely on them getting sorted. No TV or kindles until they have had breakfast, dresses and brushed teeth”
So there you have it, the secret to an easy morning!
I hope it helps bring harmony to your houses. Do let me know if anything works, and thank you to all the lovely mamas who shared their top tips with me after a particularly stressful start to the day at Casa Mumbler.