How to Make Mornings With Kids Less Hectic

Mornings with children are often equivalent to attempting to herd cats, am I right? There's always one wandering off to do something else, someone is missing or has lost something, and you can never quite be sure that you've covered all the bases until you've caught them all! Without a solid game plan, mornings are a battle and no-one emerges victorious! Here's how to make mornings with kids less hectic.

Good organization is key to reducing the pressure and stress on you as a parent to get everyone out the door mostly clothed and with minimal tears - for everyone involved! My hope is that these 5 tips will help you to do exactly that.

1. Lay Out Clothes Ahead of Time

It may not seem like it, but trying to decide what each of your children is going to wear in the morning, plus finding clothes for yourself, takes precious minutes out of your morning routine. And if anyone fusses about their outfits or refuses to wear something it can turn into a full-blown meltdown. So instead, prepare outfits for the week on Sunday.

For many families, laundry day coincides with the weekend, so a perfect time to plan outfits could be as you’re sorting everyone’s clothing to put away. Put together underwear, socks, and each child’s outfit for five days and place each child’s stack on their respective dresser or chest of drawers. That way, everyone can just grab and go.

Even easier if it's uniform, as you can just lay out the skirt, shorts or trousers on a couple of days and then a top and underwear for each day. Job done!

2. Meal Prep

Whenever possible, batch prep breakfasts and lunches for several days or even the entire week. I also recommend doing this on a Sunday, so everything is as fresh as possible. Items like grapes and cherry tomatoes can be portioned out in advance and any pre-prepared foods like mini malt loaf rolls etc can be added to each box in advance.

Then prepare lunch boxes the night before and store them in the fridge until the next morning. Blend smoothies and pour them into individual servings for several mornings of ready-made breakfasts. You can also freeze foods like this sweet potato frittata by the slice for a quick, microwaveable meal.

3. Wake Up Before the Kids

Creating time to focus on yourself in the morning is essential for everyone’s sanity. You can’t provide for everyone else's needs if you don’t allow any space for self-care and preparation for the day.

Try waking up at least an hour before the children do. This may not always go to plan, but even half an hour or less to yourself will make a difference. Give yourself time to shower, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in peace, and enjoy those few precious moments of silence before the pitter patter of little feet reaches your ears.

More self care tips:

4. Have a Central Location for Items

I strongly recommend having a place for all of the essential items you need each morning so that when it’s time to head out the door, you’re not scrambling to find juice bottles, shoes, and backpacks. I would be lost without my Back to School Command Center, and my mornings would be much more disorganized and stressful.

5. Leave 5-10 Minutes Early

If your goal is to pull out of the drive at 7.30am, then aim for 7.20 or 7.25am instead. More than likely, some delay will occur (your child can’t find her favorite toy to take to nursery or someone left their PE kit upstairs) or you’ll have to make an emergency pit stop on the way.

Having a few extra minutes can do wonders for reducing related anxiety and stress, as well as the chances of being late for school and work.

Finding that perfect morning routine is a fluid process as children grow and life changes, but it is achievable. And once you have a routine in place you can add to it or alter it to suit your changing needs. Not every day will be perfect, but if you apply these tips for making mornings with kids less hectic, you’ll be well on your way to smiling more and shouting and stressing less.

More tips to make your mornings easier:

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