For working mothers, trying to get yourself and your kids ready, and get out the door on time takes a lot of juggling and planning. It’s essential to keep an organized morning routine to avoid surprises, but sometimes you also need a little luck.
Your toddler might be moody and just won’t cooperate in doing the simple task of dressing, or you can’t seem to find your keys.
Here are some time-saving tips to handle the morning rush madness.
Wake up early enough and make your bed
Making the bed automatically sets the tone for a productive day. It will be the first task of the day which you’ll finish successfully, so it will give you extra motivation to see it nice and tidy. It builds the momentum to move on with the other tasks of the morning.
Make sure you feel more awake with a cup of coffee
This step is quite important for a good start of the day! It’s even scientifically proven that caffeine helps with the feeling of grogginess you feel in the morning. Plus it makes you feel less tired, which can often happen to a new mom that wakes up multiple times at night with her baby OR to a mom that had extra work to do from home and stayed up late.
Once you drink your coffee and the caffeine is absorbed into the bloodstream in the brain, various aspects of brain function like memory, mood, energy levels, & vigilance are improved. And all of us could use an energy boost to start the day!
If you’re not a coffee person, you can still have your beverage of choice. Lemon water is also filled with antioxidants.
Maintain a consistent routine
Make every step of the morning predictable to yourself and your kids. Consistency is key when trying to make habits, especially when it comes to kids.
Pre-preparation is crucial
Always prepare lunch boxes for you and the kids the night before. This way you only pick them up before leaving the house.
The weekend is your friend
The preparations that you do on your days off work are lifesaving for the busy week that comes ahead in the life of a working mother. Use it to plan outfits for the whole week. This way you don’t lose time every morning figuring out what to wear, or looking for those black tights, OR the worst: for ironing.
Also, use the weekend to go grocery shopping in order to make sure you have all the basic food items for lunchboxes and breakfast you usually use every morning.
Know where everything is
Place everything in the same place every day. Keep the lunch boxes close to the refrigerator and your diaper bag to give to the nanny somewhere in sight. As for jackets, backpacks, and shoes, keep them near the front door. And don’t forget about your purse, phone, and keys. Take special care in especially knowing where your keys are! One misplacement and there go 5 minutes of precious time looking for them.
Assign responsibilities to spouse and kids
All of you are in a rush to go to work/school/kindergarten, so all of you should help out in making the process easier. One can help with breakfast, one can help with setting the table, and so on. But don’t hesitate in asking for help.
Keep breakfast light with as few used dishes to clean as possible. Also, don’t let your kids use electronics in the breakfast table. It’ll slow them down. Watching cartoons in their iPads will cozy them up too much that they’ll eat slower. Plus they’ll want to finish the episode, which is out of the question because time is limited.
Apart from your kids, you need to go tech-free too. Try to keep your phone on sleep mode until after 8 when you leave the house for work. If you work from home or have a part-time job that starts later, then the better for you; you are more flexible in making your own tech rules.
Try to make mornings playful for kids
Talk with them about their daily agenda, but also try to make morning as fun as they can be for them. If you put too much pressure on them, they become even more sluggish and unmotivated. Having to convince them that they have to get dressed in other clothes besides pajamas makes it harder for us to handle the morning rush madness. Instead, make games like “Who’s getting dressed faster?” Losing in this game works perfectly for us!
Learn to do a staple under-10-minutes hairstyle and light make up
Keep a routine that works for you; the simpler, the better. Besides, only looking well put together is enough for going to work. Keep the dark eyeshadows that take long to blend for evening occasions.
Also, make sure to keep the products you’re taking with separately in a small bag. Don’t forget the hair ties; having to look for one when in time pressure is frustrating.
Make a DIY kitchen command center
You can use a large calendar where everyone writes their plans for the month so that there are no surprises. This way if they have afterschool activities that you have to drive them to, you know. You can put To-Do list stickers on the side too.
Take the time on a weekend to also arrange a couple of organizers under the calendar board as space where you sort out everything and know where they are when you need them. This way you have all your necessities handy before leaving the door.
Make a “mind” list and double check it before leaving the house
The final tip for when there is enough time left is double checking if you did everything and have everything picked up. Nothing worse than having to drive back home when you’re already short on time because you forgot to pick up something, is there?
Mornings aren’t supposed to be torture. They should be something you look forward to and enjoy, which you will once you create a morning routine that works for you as a mother and for your kids. As soon as you do, be consistent with it, and it will become a habit; mornings won’t be madness anymore, although they alliterate.
Ujëbardha Bekolli is a writer for MotherWorks – a job portal designed to bring together stay at home moms and recruiters. The platform also brings helpful articles in the Blog section regarding mothers who want to return to the workforce.