Mornings at our house can be brutal. On mornings that the dog goes to daycare (don’t judge), it usually takes me 1.5 hours between leaving our house and getting to work… on a good day! The morning brings so many unknowns.
Will the dog run away?
Will our foster child, Little Man (LM), decide he wants to color our white carpet with green marker?
Will Jude poop the second I get him into his car seat?
Usually, the answer is yes.
When it comes to the “kids”, there are many things I don’t have control over. However, our mornings are remarkably bearable when I take the time to plan ahead, and line up everything I can beforehand. Here is how we thrive in the morning…instead of just survive.
1. Lay EVERYTHING out.
After the kids are in bed, I take at least a half hour getting everything ready for the next day. We are fortunate enough to have a heated garage, so I am able to put Jude’s socks, shoes, jacket, and diaper bag in the car the night before. (Previously, I put his socks and shoes on in the house, but he just takes them off when I am driving.) Little Man’s backpack and jacket are also placed in the car. In addition, I place my own items like my workout bag and food in the car.
2. Make Little Adjustments
The first week we had LM at our house, I forgot to pack a snack almost every day. After talking with the teacher, I found out that I could bring a months worth of snacks to be stored in the classroom. Problem solved.
3. Ask For Help
My mom drives by our house on her way to work in the morning. I usually check with her to see if she can help by dropping off one kiddo. Although it isn’t a very practical option, it gives me a little bit of a breather.
On days when LM’s school is closed, he goes to a daycare that opens up before Jared needs to be at work. On those days, Jared is on daddy duty so once again, I can have a little break.
4. Morning Checklist
I am not a morning person. I am more of a “hit the snooze button 90328482 times” person. I could sleep until noon if my little
dictator Jude would let me. To make sure we are awake on time, I bought LM an alarm clock. I love that it teaches responsibility AND each morning, the alarm clock gets yelled at instead of Jared or myself.
Once the alarm goes off, LM has a checklist to complete. When he completes all six items with no reminders, there is the option to play with a toy on the way to school. This has been a game changer! One day this week, I actually arrived at LM’s school before the secretary! If you can’t tell, I am proud of that!
I am always looking for ways to thrive instead of just survive when it comes to our morning routine. Do you have any ideas for us?
Let me know if you would like a copy of the morning checklist we use!
I have another copy that has a sun instead of the pill bottle to show that waking up is the first task to complete.