I’m far from perfect as a mom… I can’t keep my van clean, stay on top of laundry, or get my youngest to love veggies. One thing I can do though? Get my kids to school early every day. I have had some moms in my mom’s groups ask for help and tips when it comes to this so I wanted to share some things that work for us. Keep in mind my boys are older (9 and 10) but many of these tips also worked when my boys were both in preschool. Plus, my 9 year old still needs a lot of assistance when it comes to getting ready in the morning so hopefully these tips are helpful to those with younger kids and for those who are raising little ones with special needs as well.
My biggest tip is to give yourself more time than you need in the mornings. Yes, you all can probably rush and get ready in just half an hour but wouldn’t it be better to give yourself an hour and have a calmer morning? I always think about the time it should take two kids and an adult to get ready and double that because I know things will always come up. Whether it’s a missing shoe, a child who takes *forever* to eat breakfast, an unexpected meltdown, or a last-minute reminder (as you are about to walk out the door) that they needed to wear the school colors for a spirit day, extra time is always helpful. I also make it my goal to be out of the house earlier in the mornings so I have enough time to get coffee. Most of the time I am at school dropoff with coffee in hand but even on mornings we are running a few minutes behind we still end up arriving to school early. It’s such a more relaxing way to start the day and even Luke’s teachers have commented that he seems calmer when he is one of the first kids at school (versus when their dad drops them off closer to the bell time and they have to rush to their lockers and class).
Another big help in getting out of the door easier in the morning is to do as much the night before as possible. Kids can pick out their outfits and set them out along with their shoes and socks. Homework should be done and in backpacks which can be put by the front door so they are ready to go. Lunches can be partially packed with non-perishable snacks so in the morning you (or the kids!) just have to grab the other items from the fridge to add to it. Don’t forget to do a quick check of your calendar and to-do list as well which can hopefully help you remember anything important you need to get together, like something your child needs to bring to school or the special aforementioned thing they need for spirit week!
When it comes to breakfast I’ve found easy options are best. My kids love when daddy makes pancakes but those are just not realistic for busy school mornings. For weekdays stick to easy breakfasts like cold cereal, fresh fruit, frozen waffles, healthy smoothies (I like to add oats in mine for a more filling breakfast), and eggs. Warm breakfast options that can be made ahead, frozen, and then reheated, like these easy breakfast muffins pictured above, are great as well. And we always have those mornings where we are walking out the door and one of the kids realizes that they never ate breakfast so it’s always a good idea to have some fresh cut fruit and cereal in containers that they can grab and eat in the car.
Once kids start getting older they can help more in the mornings. Whether it’s dressing themselves, brushing their own teeth, or combing their hair, the more kids are able to get themselves ready the less you have to do! If your kids are able to you can also have kids make their own lunches and get their own school snacks which is really helpful. Having all of the lunch making items together so they are accessible to kids helps the process go smoother. To make lunch-making easier for children I’d suggest making sure all snacks and other items are on low shelves and stored together. We have plastic containers in the fridge which house yogurt, string cheese, fruit, and sliced up veggies they can take for lunches. All other snacks, like chips and individual containers of applesauce, are in a small cart with drawers.
Once I have baby #3 I’ll probably have more tips to share on how I learned to get ready with a baby added in the mix, too, but in the meantime I’d love ideas on how to do that since it’s going to be an adjustment! Please come and chat with me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook and share all your knowledge with me!
Hope your kids all have a fabulous school year!!