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Mommy’s 10 Little Tricks for Getting Out of The House On Time
Unless you are blessed with a house full of morning people, getting small children out of the house on time can be the most stressful time of the day. Unfortunately a stressful morning can stick with you and your kids for hours. An unpleasant forty forty five minutes in the morning can hang over your head well into lunch. Luckily which side of the bed everyone gets out of, is to some degree, controllable. And a smooth morning routine will decrees stress if not iliminate it all together. Over the years I’ve developed a few little tricks to help us leave on time and enjoy a more peaceful morning.
Wake Up Little Susie
1. Wake Up Soon
If your children aren’t morning people you might try this little trick I do with my daughter. About five minutes before I have to get her up, I go into her room. I’ll squeeze her foot or stroke her arm and say, “I’m gonna wake you up in a little bit, enjoy a few more minutes.” I usually get a smile as she snuggles down in her blankets. In contrast, when I wake her up cold turkey, I usually get a whiny, “Its still night,” or an angry, “ Its not fair.” Sometimes I have to go back and say the five minutes are up, but with the “wake up soon” method , she usually she gets up on her own.
2. Face the Music
Fill your house with music. Unlike light which can assault the senses, music stimulates them. Its a gentle way to coax your kids out of bed and into the land of the living. I like to play Reggae in the morning, but anything happy and upbeat will do the trick. Try different types out on your family to see what they respond to. This is the perfect opportunity to start your day on the right foot. Pick the tunes that produce the biggest smiles.
Michael Franti and Spearhead: Say Hey
3. Ban The Boob Tube
No tv. It is so easy for little ones to get side tracked, and tv is an irresistible, brain sucking, black hole that they easily fall prey to. It doesn’t have to be cartoons to be distracting to a six year old. So, much to Dad’s irritation, this means no news either. Its amazing to me that my daughter can stare, eyes glazed over, at a deodorant commercial or the stock report.
4. Breakfast Isn’t Fast Enough
When our time line gets derailed, I cancel breakfast. Breakfast can eat up a good fifteen minutes, and my chubby little sprites can afford to skip a meal now and then. Just kidding! We just take breakfast to go. Obviously bowls of cereal and milk would be a disaster. Dry cereal in a baggy and milk on the side works great. We have travel cups with straws, just for this sort of thing. I also like to keep breakfast bars and dried fruit at the ready. Waffles with cinnamon and sugar instead of butter and syrup travel well. I make them on the weekends with pumpkin or sweet potatoes snuck in, and then freeze the extras, (but that’s another hub.) There are also healthy, multigrain waffles available in the frozen section now a days. Bananas, apples and BP & J sandwiches are all easy to eat on the go.
5. Hair Today Done Tomorrow
One of our biggest time eaters can be my daughters beautiful long hair. I have to admit, I’m living vicariously through her as I could never grow my baby fine hair long like that. So, since cutting it all off is not an option, I pre-do her do at night. We brush and braid, or make pony tails or whatever strikes our fancy the night before. In the morning I just take out the rubber bands then rebrush and reband it. Without tangles and parts to deal with her hair takes only a minute. If we keep her barrettes clipped together in pairs, finding matching ones takes seconds. Its easy to waste five minutes or so wading through buckets of unorganized hair pretties.
6. Tomorrows Clothes Today
Dressing a floppy toddler, who is half asleep, is akin to dressing a freshly caught salmon. Finding arm holes can become a monumentous feat. So at night, I dress my two year old in tomorrows t-shirt, instead of pajamas. Since bed time is the only time he stays clean, he awakes with his top half ready to go. And I’ve just saved three or four minutes.
The a.m. is no time to play Project Runway! Picking out clothes the night before can save oodles of time in the morning, but I have another strategy as well. I like to group my daughters clothes into outfits in her closet. I hook the hangers together and go so far as to add tights or hats or any accessories needed for the “ensemble.” Not only is this a time saver, but its great for fashion challenged fathers that like to help.
Aladdin Cook 'N Go Food Jar
8. Bowl Appétit
I try to have lunches made the night before. One of my tricks for a quick simple lunch is last night's leftovers, like pasta, casserole or just about any main dish, is an Aladdin lunch bowl. These thermos bowls are completely plastic so you can go from refrigerator to microwave and straight into the lunch box. They even have a spoon built in so you won’t forget it. The only thing that doesn’t seem to hold up is mashed potatoes with gravy. It seems to transform itself into an unappetizing soup. Speaking of soup, a half a can of soup can be heated in one of these bowls in a couple of minutes. Which is great for those, “Oh crap, I forgot to make a lunch” type mornings. “Yes, Mommy said a potty word, and no you shouldn’t say it.” I also like to keep credit at the school for hot lunches, in case the above quote is uttered twenty minutes after we’ve left the house!
9. Tempting Your Tots
I am not above bribing my children. In fact, I think its a great tool to light a fire under would be morning slow pokes. My routine bribe is “the muffin store,” aka the nearest drive through coffee shop. If we get out of the house on time, its scones all around. An effective motivator doesn’t need to cost you any money though. My daughter clears her plate and brushes her teeth without prompting all to get a star on her chore chart. Its quite surprising what a six year old will do for a shiny piece of foil!
10. Ladies Last
When our schedule goes awry, my beauty regime is one of the first things to get cut. Although my hair and makeup only takes about five to ten minutes, some mornings I just don't have it! My rule of thumb is always get the bangs under control and leave the rest for later. I keep makeup, hair clips and few pieces of jewelry in a travel pouch. Finding a few minutes for my face and hair later in the morning is easy for me. I have a two hour window between dropping my daughter off at school and opening my store. If your schedule is tighter, don't be tempted to do your makeup while driving. You'll need both hands on the wheel to avoid the other mom who crosses the double yellow while curling her eye lashes!
Well there it is. My laundry list of short cuts and tricks to get my family out of the house on time. I'd love to hear what techniques you might have to keep your morning schedule on track.
5-Minute Breakfast Link
Link to Amy Jane's Hub: The Perfect Mom Next Door
- The Perfect Mom Next Door
Trying to be a perfect mom, while a noble idea is impossible to accomplish. This is a look at all the different ideas of perfection we have and why not to compare ourselves to each other.