Looking for tips for you experienced Moms

Ashanta - posted on 10/06/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )

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How do you manage to get your kids fed, dressed, teeth brushed, out the door AND TO SCHOOL ON TIME? I have 5 year old twins daughters who started kindergarden last month and a 2 ½ year old who is now in daycare. Mornings in our house are busy to say the least! I am looking for any suggestions you experienced mom’s may have that will help us pick up the pace in the morning and get to our destinations on time.

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Summer - posted on 10/09/2009

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Our routine is kids are up at least an hour before we leave to go anywhere. I am up at least 30 minutes prior to them depending upon what I decide to make for breakfast (hot or cold), and whether I want to wear makeup or fix my hair (lol). I use that time to get myself a cup of coffee to help wakeup, to get dressed, and get breakfast set on the table. When I wake my 7 year old up I turn on the light and pull the blankets off, but leave the sheet on. If he doesn't get up, then I tell him the longer he stays in bed the less time he will have to watch cartoons before school. That always gets him moving. It may not be the best thing to do, but it works for us. However, they are not allowed to watch television at all until they are fully dressed and ready to go. For my 7 year old, after bed it's first to the bathroom for a morning potty, then breakfast (still in pj's just in case of messes), then to the bathroom for teeth brushed, face washed, clothes on, hair combed, and then socks and shoes on. My 7 year old is pretty sefl sufficient, so I can spend my time with the twins (2 yo). All I have to do is turn the light on for them and they are ready to go for the day. I change their pull-up (potty training) while they are still in their cribs so I don't have to chase them down for that. They think it's funny to make mommy chase after them. Then they go straight to the table (still in pj's) for breakfast with their older brother - sometimes we make pitstops at the potty (some mornings they will and some mornings they wont). After they eat I take them to the bathroom (close the door, again to prevent chasing...lol) for teeth brushing, face washing, pottying (if I'm lucky), clothes, socks, shoes, and hair brushing. Once they are dressed they go to the living room to watch television with their brother, and I finish any other things that I need to and have time for before heading out the door. Before my oldest could tie his shoes I had him just put them on, and that was the last thing I did before we all walked out the door so I didn't have to stop in the middle of anything I was doing to do it. We always do baths/showers at night and lay out clothes and shoes in the bathroom, and bags by the door. If there is anything I am in fear of forgetting like luches that are in the fridge, I write it on a sticky note and leave it taped to the door. We use this same routine for every single day that we have somewhere to go in the morning. Occasionally on a weekend we won't have anything to do in the morning, and I will let them all wake up on their own (within reason) and eat breakfast while watching cartoons. It took a long time for me to figure out a routine that worked for me and for them. Just think about the little things that slow you down in the morning and try to find a way to do it the night before or a way to make it easier. I liked the suggestion about breakfast in the car. When we are in a real time crunch we do cereal and fruit bars or dry cereal in a ziploc bag with a juice box for the oldest and a sippee cup for the twins in the car. It only works on non-school days though because we only live a few blocks from the school, and it doesn't give them enough time to eat. Also, I try to avoid messy breakfasts simply because it's more time consuming to clean up after them on days where you have to be somewhere early. You can still do hot breakfasts without the mess...scrambled eggs are good.

Jamie - posted on 10/08/2009

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Our mornings are just as crazy! My twins are the oldest and act like the youngest some mornings. They hate to get up, my son is 4 and loves to surprise me already dressed so does my 2yo daughter. It helps to have their clothes set out. I stick cartoons on while i'm in the shower in case the little ones get up before i'm out (it keeps them out of the kitchen!) I do try to have a hot breakfast, I make pancakes/waffles/french toast on the weekends and freeze, but breakfast bars and bananas have been consumed in the car on the way to school. Like everyone else, backpacks/soccer/dance/lunch are prepped the night before and we make sure all shoes/coats/glasses are where they need to be for the rush outside in the am! Not sure how much help I've added but know that you're not alone in the AM shuffle! :) It does get easier as they get older!

Heather - posted on 10/08/2009

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Bed at a good time, then I always get up an hour earlier then my kids and get showered, dressed, breakfast on the table, clothes laid out for them, and even read for a bit. Then I am fully awake and in a good mood to wake them up and get them directed in the right way. All they have to do is put their clothes on, make their beds, and eat. Then we are out the door. Overall it usually takes 45 minutes from when I get them up for all four of my kids to be in the van. (1st grader, preschooler, and twins are almost two...)



Make sure that baths are done at night, home work is done and backpacks are ready before bed time. That way you can just grab and go!

Evelyn - posted on 10/07/2009

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get as much ready the night before as possible! That means backpacks, clothes laid out, and lunches made, etc... One thing I never allow in the AM is TV. Kids get stuck in front of that and forget it not to mention it is a bad habit before school. Breakfasts on the go happened quite a lot too. My kids grew to love breakfast burritos in the morning as we sometimes had it in the car on the way to school. Rolling the eggs in a tortilla is tasty and not nearly as messy as toast or bread and they can hold it with one hand.

Michelle - posted on 10/07/2009

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it gets easier as they get older well my eldest still bolted out the boor amzingly he didnt miss the bus but the other 4 do pretty good yer you just have to keep on them mine arnt aloud near the tv untill beacky and there dressed and bags packed i make them do this them selfs as i think its important for there development and i give them 2hours to get ready .

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Ashanta - posted on 10/12/2009

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I appreciate all of your wonderful suggestions Moms! Leaving a reminder sticky note on the door, breakfast in pj’s in case of messes, and pre frozen breakfasts are all new ideas to me and sound like definite must tries! Thanks for responding!

Jessica - posted on 10/06/2009

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Main thing I think is to make sure they go to bed at a reasonable time. Pick out, or have them pick out, their next day outfits and prep for breakfast before bedtime. Getting as much done as possible the evening before can really help in the morning when everyone is groggy/grumpy! In the morning, you may want to put on upbeat music to help keep eveyone moving. If they still can't be ready in time in the mornings, warn them that you're going to set their alarm earlier. Just the threat of that may help keep dawdling to a minimum.

Good luck!!

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