Are your mornings a mad rush to leave the house? With these practical tips, you’ll learn how to get out the door on time even with young kids in tow.
I’m not a morning person. Before kids, I would wake up at the earliest 8am to get to work by 9. Now that I have a child, waking up at 6:30am every day hasn’t been one of the perks of motherhood. Having to leave the house by a certain time only makes it worse.
These past few months, our toddler hasn’t been too difficult about leaving the house. Whether we drop him off before work or attend an event or play date, he has been obliging with leaving the house. We’ve relied on several tricks to ease the morning madness.
Here’s how to get out the door on time with your kids:
Get enough sleep in the evenings.
We can avoid morning madness by getting enough sleep the previous night. I notice that I’m crankier in the mornings when I stayed up a bit later than usual.
It’s difficult to wake up on time and more likely to feel rushed the rest of the morning. To avoid all that, sleep by a decent time so you won’t hate your alarm clock at 6:30 the next morning.
Allow plenty of time for everyone to wake up, play or get ready.
Even if you don’t leave the house until, say, 8:30, wake your child at 7am. He’ll feel like he has enough play time in the morning before leaving.
My son is a homebody and could stay home all day if he had a choice. Prying him away to leave is a challenge we avoid with lots of play time.
Pick a good time to leave, such as after a snack.
On days when we don’t drop him off, I tend to go with the flow and run our errands when I find a good opportunity to do so. This is usually after he’s had plenty of play time, a ton to eat and a clean diaper. He’s more willing to leave when the environment and situation are conducive for him.
Eat breakfast, preferably together.
I can’t imagine rushing out of the house on an empty stomach, so every day we all have something to eat. We also eat together as often as we can so that the day starts off positively.
Wake up earlier than the kids.
Like I said, I’m not a morning person, but even I heed this advice. To avoid feeling rushed, wake up a few minutes before you plan to rouse your kids.
Allow your kids a special toy or item to take with them out of the house.
For my toddler, this is often any toy he’s currently into: Legos, crayons, even acorns and nuts. He’ll then have something from home to take while he’s away.
Give enough of a head’s up.
We let our toddler know when we’re about to leave and say, “In twenty minutes, we’re going to…” and continue doing this at certain intervals, “In ten minutes, we’re going to…”
Keep optional outings to a minimum.
To keep your child from feeling overwhelmed, stick to one or two outings a day. You’ll have less tasks on your plate as you head out.
Break it down step-by-step.
Kids have an easier time transitioning when they know the next steps to take. Instead of saying, “Let’s go to the park,” break it down to the next step and say, “Let’s put on your shoes.” After putting on his shoes, say, “Now let’s go to the elevator,” and so forth.
Whether you’re off to work or running an errand, you can still get out the door on time with your kids. Start off with a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast. Offer enough downtime to play. And leave at optimal times, such as after they’re fed and well-rested. You can make your mornings a positive experience, even if you’re not a morning person.
Get more tips:
- Genius Ways to Make Bedtime Easier
- 6 Tips to Make Your Morning Routine for School Run Smoothly
- The Overscheduled Child: What You Should Really Watch Out For
- How to End Bedtime Battles and Get Your Child to Finally Sleep
- 9 Quick Actions You Can Do Today to Make More Time for Your Family
What are the worst days and times for you and your kids to get out the door on time? What factors make leaving the house more difficult? Easier?
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