Do you get that sinking feeling in your stomach every morning when your alarm clock goes off on a work day? This normally means the start of the mad rush to get out the front door which is even worse if you've got kids to deal with. Well I think I have become a bit of an expert at this and sorting out my daughter within half an hour of getting up! With a bit of organising the night before, you too can make mornings a lot less stressful and start the day in a more positive way.
Firstly, prepare your lunches the night before, this will save you quite a bit of time and will allow you to think carefully what you want rather then just grabbing something in a rush. I actually get my 6 year old daughter to make her own lunches now. Luckily she's always been a good eater but this can really encourage faddy eaters to actually eat their lunches as most kids enjoy eating what they've made. When you've done that, place them in the front of a shelf in the fridge so you can easily grab them in the morning.
Next you need to get all your clothes ready for the morning and the kidsí school bags and sports, swimming or dance kits ready. Also make sure your shoes are clean Ė Iíve been caught out a few times just as weíre walking out the door and my daughter asks me to clean her shoes! Put the bags and shoes by the front door and place your clothes on a chair in your bedroom. So when you get up in the morning you can get dressed half asleep and not have to worry about putting on odd socks or your top on inside out - believe me, I've seen this happen a few times. I've even known someone to put on a pair of trousers they wore the previous day and when they got to work they could feel something around one of their ankles. Would you believe that they were yesterday's knickers?! Best try to avoid that.
Having a bath or shower and washing/straightening your hair in the evening is always a good idea. Personally I have a shower in the mornings as well but always make sure my daughter is bathed before bedtime. Kids get so grubby during the day plus bath time is a nice time for them to unwind and relax before going to bed.
I always make sure my daughterís alarm goes off around 10 minutes before mine and she knows to get up and get dressed straight away. This means that when I get up she is dressed. My normal routine then is to put the kettle on to make a cup of tea or coffee then make her breakfast, at the moment it's porridge with honey which only takes 2 minutes in the microwave. You need to give them a breakfast that they enjoy and will eat fairly quickly otherwise you'll be screaming at them to hurry up and you'll be losing some precious minutes. Whilst breakfast is cooking Iíll grab the lunches and put them in our cool bags. I generally donít bother with breakfast for myself as itís just too much of a rush. So I normally have a cereal/breakfast bar either on my way to work or when I get to the office or I might even have a bowl of cereal.
Whilst she is having her breakfast I jump in the shower and by the time I'm done she's finished her breakfast and washed up after herself, then we'll both brush our teeth. While I'm getting dressed she'll get her bags, coat and shoes and be ready by the front door. Then I'll put my shoes on, grab my bags and coat and we'll both jump in the car.
So there you go, mornings needn't be stressful any more.