“I can’t find my shoes”, “my socks are missing”, ” Where’s my jumper?”. Does this sound familiar to you? I am sure it does and often these call outs from those little voices in the distance can just make you cringe or want to curl up in a ball and head straight back to bed. Previously almost every school morning at least one of my children could not find some part of their uniform. We all know most of this is due to, “can’t see past the end of my nose” syndrome or the “I can’t be bothered looking” disease. All the while I was fumbling through quickly preparing lunches and snacks for their day.
On top of this there is always the spilt milk or breakfast all over the floor that needs to be mopped up or just the arguments between siblings. Then there are the sudden tummy aches or runny noses which seem to require a day off from school. Where you suddenly take on the role of detective finding out whether they have a test or some other activity that day which they don’t want to participate in.
Then there is the stress of getting them all to school on time with out any one of them forgetting their lunch or school bag. Yes, all these things have happened to me. All these things added up can lead to a very busy and somewhat muddled up, high stress morning. Sometimes keeping calm in the face of all this can be quite difficult and overwhelming. It has taken me a while to find some ways that I can save time and stress in the morning rush.
I don’t even know how on earth I ever managed to prepare the kids lunches during the morning rush. Now I prepare their sandwiches the night before, leaving them in the fridge overnight. Having a teenager in the house now I have given him more responsibility to help me out by getting him to help with preparing the lunches the night before.
I also have the kids collect their lunch boxes from their bags when they get home from school and place them on the bench so I can clean them out and put their snacks for the next day in them. In the morning the kids are able to grab their sandwich and put it in their lunch box. So not only is this creating more time and less stress it is giving the children responsibility.
At first it took a while for the children to get used to bringing their lunch boxes out straight after school. So for a short time I offered them a little treat for anyone who brought me their lunch box, which would go into their lunch box for the next day. A bit like a surprise when they were at school. I know some of you may be thinking but once you start with a treat you kind of feel like you have to keep it up. I find that after they are in a routine of doing something I just slowly faze it out, the kids don’t notice and it just forms a part of their daily habit.
The next most stressful thing is the school uniforms. On the weekend when I am doing my loads of washing I usually wash all the uniforms together. I get the kids to collect all their school and sports uniforms and take them to the laundry on the Friday night after they have changed, before they can do anything else. I sometimes have to do a quick check of rooms to make sure nothing has been missed, like the odd sock or pair of stockings.
After they have been washed and dried I place them all in a basket and I get the older kids to sort them out. The kids seem to know who’s uniform is who’s more than I do. Then each child places their own uniform on the end of their bed ready for the Monday morning. I also have a chart on my fridge which tells me what each child has to wear that day, whether it is school uniform or sports uniform. A bit set out like a chore chart but it is specifically for uniforms. As there is no way I could ever remember for 6 kids what uniform they have to wear each day. Nothing worse than sending your child to school in the wrong uniform.
Besides these few things I do to help make my morning run smoother I make sure I am up at 6:30am, so I know I have plenty of time to get them all fed and ready. I also have my clocks running 5 minutes fast, so even if we are running a bit late we are still on time. As we all know no matter how much you try to organise your mornings to run smoothly there is almost certainly going to be something that still goes wrong or is forgotten.
Maybe you have some tips you would like to share of how you get your mornings running smoothly. I would really love to hear it and I am sure others who read this would love to hear it too. Feel free to leave a comment or suggestion below. I will try anything That will make my mornings less stressful and more calm.