I'm sure mornings are a struggle for all of us at least part of the time, and definitely in the first days back-to-school. Which is why I have been mentally going through the checklist of everything I'd like to see happen come September 7th and beyond, all the little things that could make the whole AM thing go a bit smoother:
One thing I have done the past couple of years is to do a complete dry run the day before school. We'll rise, dress and eat as if it was the day of. I find this works especially well as it relieves me of any stress associated with "are we gonna get this done in time", gets any bugs out of the schedule, and allows me to figure out when I'll be snapping those oh-so-important photos!
Once school begins and the kids have their calendars, I'll keep a copy on the fridge and have another copy posted in their rooms. That way, they'll be able to check if they have gym as they are getting dressed, and dress accordingly. We tried this last year and it was quite successful - at least until I started forgetting to post a copy of the calendars in the boys' room! Better luck next time ;-)
This year I am going to try that old pick-out-all-your-outfits-for-the-week-on-Sunday trick, just like our Mama's used to tell us to do! The idea is to lay out 5 outfits (with the right amount of gym clothes thrown in) and then once they check their calendar, they can decide which outfit they want to wear. I think this will cut down on the "I don't have any underwear in my drawer" and "have you seen my gym pants" glitches which can cause my kids to freeze in the AM.
As for the morning routine, I have the boys up about 1hr15min before they need to be on the bus stop - around 7AM. They are to use, wash and dress, then meet me downstairs by 7:10. They get their own breakfast (well sorta - I lay out the choices and bowls for them on the table) and we aim to finish that by 7:30. Then they brush teeth and hair, pack their lunches, and ensure they know where their book-bags and shoes are. If they are on - or ahead of - schedule, all this is done by 7:40, allowing for a half hour of free time before they have to get out on the front step to wait for the bus, which , lucky us, stops right outside the front door.
This year, I am hoping I can improve on the routine by:
- getting book-bags packed and by the front door before bed
- having the boys make their lunches the night before so that all they have to do is throw it in the book-bag in the AM.
Now, in my case, I don't have to worry about getting myself out the door most days, but when I do, I get up in time to shower before we call the boys, I still join them for breakfast and then I dress and put on my face while they are brushing teeth/packing book-bags, etc. It usually works out well, especially with that extra 20-30 min we have built in to the schedule.
So, that's the plan.... I guess I'll have to let you know next Tuesday if it goes as smoothly as I think it should! Fingers crossed!
EDIT: Looking for quick breakfast ideas - try this link for 17 Breakfast-on-the-go ideas from Canadian Family.