Good morning! Wait, who am I kidding?! There’s no way that you are reading this in the morning because moms have serious morning duties. When I searched “getting kids ready in the morning,” I can across several memes that all mentioned this same quote:
There is nothing that sounds fun about that! We have certainly had our fair share of rough mornings in the Langdon household. From about the time Callie was 15 months until she was about 18 months I think I was in tears every day by the time I made it into work. I was sweating because I was wrestling to get her dressed, wrestling to get her teeth brushed, and my favorite – wrestling her into the rear-facing car seat (bonus points for doing this in the pouring down rain). It wasn’t fun. Starting the work day in tears and drenched in sweat just before greeting 20 students for the day was just no longer working for me. I had to figure out how to start our day more smoothly. Through trial and error, we found what worked best for us.
1. Figure out what help you have available. Chad leaves the house well before I have to get the girls up, so I can’t count on him for help. I knew our morning routine had to be doable by me, myself, and I.
2. Do EVERYTHING you can the night before. This was a huge game-changer for me. Before going to bed each night, the girls pick out their clothes: dress/shirt, shorts/pants, socks, and underwear. They do this knowing that this is what they will leave the house in the next morning. There is no mind changing in the morning. I also pack my lunch and Ella’s lunch before I go to bed. Anything refrigerated stays together in a stack in the refrigerator in our separate piles, and everything else is put in the lunch box and sat on the island. Even my travel mug is right next to the faucet and my tea bag is out. The dry ingredients I put in my shakes in the morning are already in the blender. We hung hooks at the girls’ level for their book bags and coats so we aren’t left hunting for those necessities any given morning. I literally do EVERY single thing possible before going to bed so that I don’t have to deal with it or think too hard in the morning.
3. Decide what time you need to leave your house and plan on leaving 15 minutes earlier. If everything runs smoothly, traffic isn’t slow, a train isn’t crossing when I am, I don’t forget anything when I walk out to the van, and the kids are totally compliant with every request, I know that I can make it to the sitters to drop Callie off and to work on time by leaving my house as late at 7:18am. I also know that the stars don’t often align that perfectly, so my goal time is to leave my house by 7:00am. I like the extra time in case Callie is being extra clingy at drop-off or we decide to grab breakfast on the way. I can’t imagine all of us having to start our days rushed and without having time for goodbye hugs, kisses, and I love you’s.
4. Work backward to figure out your alarm time. I know if I want to leave my house by 7:00, we should be downstairs by 6:50 to get shoes on, pack the lunch boxes all the way, get coats on, and grab breakfast. If I want to be downstairs by 6:50, that means I should wake the girls up at 6:30. I know that if I start waking them up at 6:30, this will give me enough time to gradually turn on the lights and snuggle with them for a minute or two. I hate having to jump right out of bed, and they don’t respond well to that, either. So instead, I allow several minutes to wake them up slowly.
5. Get completely ready before waking the bears….I mean, children. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy getting myself completely showered, fixed up, dressed, and accessorized before the girls even wake up. If they happen to wake up early, it only slows me down. Since I want to wake them up at 6:30, I know I have to be up between 5:45-5:50. This is how I arrived at my alarm clock time.
Like I stated above, we haven’t always had our morning routine down, but now we’re like a well-oiled machine. The girls know the routine and know what to expect next. My expectations for them have also been made very clear. Life will cause us to change this a bit every now and then. Our routine looked much different when Callie was being nursed every morning before work. It changed again when we moved into our current house. I was so worried what having two stories instead of a ranch would do to our morning routine, but we were so efficient already that it didn’t change much at all. Drop-offs will change drastically this next school year and I may need to allow for more commute time, or I might be able to push back the alarm clock time a few minutes. We will have to see what happens when we cross that bridge. For now, we will stick to what works for us.
Until next time…
“You’re off to great places, today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!”