My family’s morning routine is stressful.
Our morning routine includes so many necessary things that our family is always running late. It’s so stressful! I hate hustling my kids out the door, but they also hate being late for school. My goal for my family is to have a relaxed morning where we can still get to work and school in plenty of time with no yelling, crying, or nagging. It won’t happen with the morning routine rut in which I’m stuck now. It’s time for a change!
First, find your problem spots.
As it turned out, I am the weak link in our routine. My biggest problem is my shower. I have a hard time predicting exactly how long my shower will take, so I usually end up looking at the clock and panicking because it’s time to leave the house by the time I’m finished. When I thought about it more, I realized that I was usually getting into the shower late because I was caught up on my computer checking my email and Facebook. The computer problem was leading to the shower problem. Also, my kids won’t start putting on their outdoor gear until I am downstairs getting ready with them, so my lateness was leading to theirs.
Move as many tasks as possible to the night before.
I hate packing lunches! At least if I pack them the night before, I’m not in a huge rush and I don’t forget items. I keep lunch boxes in the same spot in the refrigerator and now my kids know where to grab them on their way out the door. I tried planning outfits the night before, but it didn’t work well for my family. My kids don’t care about matching, so as long as I tell them the day’s temperature, they only need a couple minutes to dress themselves. I like to plan my outfits while I’m in the shower, after I have heard the weather forecast on television.
If my kids have something special happening at school, I definitely pack their bags the night before. For example, the day before library books are due, I have the kids hunt down their books and place them in their backpacks. This often takes some time so it would make us late to school if we left it to the last minute. I also have my children shower at night so there’s not a long line waiting for the shower in the morning. I’m the mom, and the shower is mine in the morning.
Cut out everything that isn’t necessary.
The computer was my big problem. I had several websites that I checked every single morning. It took way too much time. I made a rule for myself that I could only check my top three websites on weekday mornings. On the weekends, I can catch up on other websites. I actually stopped looking at some websites altogether because I discovered I didn’t miss looking at them. They weren’t so necessary after all. I also stopped cleaning the kitchen on mornings I work. I was the only person in the family who worried about it anyway. Any mess will still be there for me to clean up after school.
Switch up the order of your morning routine.
This is the best decision I made. I still get up in the morning and exercise right away. However, now I immediately get in the shower after working out instead of hopping on the computer. Now I am clean and fully dressed by the time I sit down to check my email and eat breakfast. I know what time I need to turn off the computer and brush my teeth in order to leave the house on time. I can control when I turn off the computer much better than I can control the length of my showers.
Ever since I implemented these changes to my family’s morning routine, we have been on time to school every day. We usually get there early enough to allow the kids some time to play with their friends before the bell rings. More importantly, we are much calmer. We have enough time that I don’t have to hustle my kids to get their boots on. We still run into a few snags, such as the day my son could only find right-handed mittens, but they are now few and far between.