5 Tips for Getting Out the Door in the Morning

Mornings are my hardest time of day. I’m more of a nightowl and just don’t feel like jumping out of bed in the morning. Anyone else?

Even for those who relish the morningtime, getting kids up, dressed, fed and out the door can be a struggle.

Because I know how hard mornings are for me I’ve employed several “tricks” for getting up, motivated and out the door each morning. If you have any more, I’d love to hear about them!

1) Get up before the kids do. I could also call this ‘get up early’ but I like to trick myself into thinking that I’ve slept in a little. If I get up even just 15 minutes before the kids I feel ahead of the game all day. Pyschologically it sets us up to feel like we’re conquering our day instead of being conquered by it.

My kids feel the difference too! When I can be up and showered -and in turn feel less harried- the kids really pick up on my calm vibe. There’s less arguing; less “just let me sleep 5 more minutes.”

If you can manage to get up even earlier -say an hour or more before the kids do- I give you an extra gold star. When you can do this you’re able to set a morning ritual up for yourself…um, besides the showering part. You could take this time to check emails, have a cup of coffee or tea, read a little, exercise or just get your head ready for the day.

2) Give Yourself a Reward. In order to get up early I like to plan the night before a little something that I’ll look forward to. This is as simple as that cup of coffee we were talking about before, a tasty breakfast or something else that gets you up and motivated.

Think about it. When you have an early flight for a vacation, getting up is no problem! These little rewards work in the same way. So tricky!

3) Set a Timer. Kids need all kinds of reminders to stay on task when there’s a timeline involved. A timer sets a visual and auditory reminder for everyone!

I set a timer at breakfast (usually 30 minutes gives us enough time to chat and eat…you know, on a good day) and another one after breakfast for all those little tasks like brushing teeth, grabbing coats, shoes and backpacks and heading out the door.

I like the wake up time before breakfast to be as unrushed as possible so that doesn’t need a timer for us. Your family might be different!

4) Charts! Seriously, charts can help even the youngest child navigate all that there is to do in the morning. Picture charts help guide kids through each step without you having to constantly remind (read: nag) them. Older kids can write there own morning schedules and use a clipboard to check off as they go.

My 10 year old enjoys order so the check-off list works well for him. Hang the clipboard where it’s easy to see and use a string to attach a pen or pencil to the board. Run off several copies of the chart (or laminate and use a wipe-off marker) and you’re good to go!

5) Shoot for good; not perfect. Is your little one’s hair only sort of brushed? Outfit not what was laid out….um, or really matching at all? That’s okay! Sometimes we have to shoot for good enough, or acceptable, and forget about perfect in order to get out the door on time and happily.

I have a short list in mind when we do our morning routine. Everyone has to be dressed. Everyone needs a decent breakfast -one that will fill them up and give them enough energy to get to lunchtime. Everyone needs to brush their teeth and wear socks (it’s a constant battle in my house). Everyone needs to grab their school stuff and a coat.  And that’s pretty much it. Anything above and beyond that -pretty hairdo for daughter, books to read in the car, etc- is frosting on the cake.

Bonus: Have everything ready the night before…oldest trick in the book. Did you know you can even crockpot breakfast to be ready for that a.m. rush? I always sign school papers, have the kids pack their lunches and have everything by the door the night before. This doesn’t always happen since I’ve yet to figure out how to clone myself and I’m busy but most of the time we can get these things taken care of.

Your turn – what do you do to get out of the house in the morning?


Photo credit jaygooby

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