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Streamline Your AM Routine: 9 Strategies for Getting Out the Door Smoothly


Streamline Your AM Routine: 9 Strategies for Getting Out the Door Smoothly

Breakfast messes, arguments over clothing, painstaking pokiness…sometimes simply getting out of the house is the toughest part of the day! Thankfully, Circle of Moms members have shared some great strategies for hassle-free morning routines.

1. Embrace PM Prep

Countless Circle of Moms members recommend prepping each evening for the following morning. This entails everything from laying out clothes for your child (and even yourself!) to preparing lunches and breakfast, packing diaper bags and backpacks, and even putting certain things in the car. Maggie V., a mother of three, is one of many moms who use this strategy: "We try to get everything ready the night before: kids' clothes, lunch bags, and everything the kids will need the next day."
Double-check Backpacks

If you have a child in school, do a thorough backpack check in the evening to avoid missing homework and forgotten permission slips. As Southern Californian mom Jennifer L. advises, "Sign those school papers and de-clutter the backpack, go over anything she may need to bring with her the next day (i.e., special book/toy for sharing, etc.) and have it in the backpack already."

2. Give Yourself a Head Start

"I myself get up early," shared Sue C., a mother of two children. "I have to be able to get ready before they get up." Waking up just a half hour before your children can make your own morning prep more efficient and less stressful.

3.Create a Child-Friendly Checklist

Angela W. is one of multiple Circle of Moms members who suggests posting a morning checklist: "A list (words or pictures) of all that needs to be done before you leave could be posted in the kids' rooms so they can see what they need to do, instead of you having to repeat it 50 times."

4. Play Getting-Ready Games

Making morning tasks into a game can motivate children to get through their tasks more quickly. "I do the counting game once breakfast is over," shares Kristi S., a mother of three children. "She tries to hurry and be ready by the time I get to 50." Lynn R. also uses a racing game: "In the mornings we have "blast off to the front door," where we get ready as fast as we can. First one there gets a rocket sticker...My kids have never gotten ready so fast...I have found that if you can make any routine fun then kids are more likely to do it."

5. Delay Dressing Your Child

If your child is prone to spills, delay dressing her until you're about to head out the door. Krista E. uses this tactic with her young son: "My toddler stays in his PJs while he eats breakfast…Once he's done, I wipe his face and hands while he's still captive in his booster seat...When I get him dressed, it's basically 10 minutes before we have to leave."

6. Use TV Strategically

Several moms, including mother of two Lucy W., completely avoid TV in the morning: "On no account does the TV get put on in the morning! That is the one thing that spells disaster." Other moms, like mother of two Sheila M., find TV can encourage children to get ready quickly: "If my daughter gets ready in time, she gets to watch a little TV before we have to leave."

Allow Yourself a Time Buffer

"I schedule myself to leave for work a half-hour earlier than I actually need to," shares Krista E. Giving yourself extra time can make the morning less stressful.

7. Have a Backup Plan

"I always have an extra $10 hid away in my vehicle to hit Tim Horton's for breakie," admits Kelly B. in Ontario. No matter how hard you try, occasional rough mornings are inevitable. With a small stash of cash in the car, you can treat yourself to a vanilla latte en-route to work. After one of those mornings, you deserve it!

Looking for more information on morning routines? Got a great tip we missed?

Circle of Moms is a perfect place to pick up parenting tips and tricks, whether you're a mom to an infant, toddler or school-aged child. Ask fellow moms for advice on everything from healthy recipes to tough parenting questions, and share your own experiences, too.

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