Thursday, August 30, 2012

How I do it - The morning rush.....

Two phrases I hear all the time…1. ”Oh you really have your hands full” {glad you noticed why don’t you use one of your FREE hands to help me instead of just standing there looking??!} and 2. “I don’t see how you do it with three kids by yourself” {Well if I didn’t then who would??}
I never know how to take those comments…do people mean them as compliments or as pity…who knows? But let me address one of those phrases….”I don’t see how you do it with three kids by yourself”…I usually joke and tell people that alcohol helps….okay okay…it’s a little bit more truth than joke but hey…I think I deserve a drink every now and then right?? But really “how I do it” is to be organized…now let me be the FIRST to tell you…organization is NOT my speciality by far and don't think you will come over and find my house all neat and organized….but with three kids under the age of 6 it is a necessity whether I like it or not. So let’s just take the busiest time for me which is that morning rush…ugggh!
1.       Prep/pack the night before – iron clothes and get everything you will need together…including socks, shoes, hair bows, belts, bottles…whatever {You have NO idea how much missing socks can hold up my morning!! } Pack diaperbags/bookbags/lunches and have everything you’ll need to walk out the door in one place for easy pick up in the morning. Depending on the age of your children, try to plan for the unexpected as much as possible…for example…a certain little boy who is notorious for spilling something on his clothes before we make it out the door…I always have a back up shirt/outfit ready to go…
2.       Checklist / Calendar – I’m notorious for lists…I have them everywhere….but it helps me keep a focus on what I need to do because in the rush of the morning I’m more than likely to forget something…especially if it’s not part of our normal routine…like special permission slips that need to be returned…       
3.       Wake up before everyone – ugggh!! Use this time to get yourself dressed and ready for the day…I really hate this but I have to admit it helps..not only to help me organize what I may have missed the night before…but also just to have those precious moments of golden silence before the chaos begins {And to watch something other than Nick Jr. for a few minutes} If you must, use this time to check emails/FB/Twitter/Pinterest…wait…stay OFF Pinterest! That can throw away the whole morning!!
4.       Have everything ready to go BEFORE you wake the kids up – Have breakfast on the table, juice/milk poured…whatever it is..have it ready…if your kids wait until after they are dressed to eat…have breakfast ready to pull out the microwave/fridge…have clothes laid out for children who can dressed themselves (tip: my 5 yr old goes a little overboard with the lotion so I squeeze out a small amount and put it on a little drink coaster for her) If you have everything ready before the kids wakeup you can just delegate…you go there…you bathroom…you get dressed..etc
5.       Now the fun part…actually getting the kids up – for now my toddlers wake up with no problem…the 5 yr old on the other hand is a different story {already asking for 10 extra minutes??} So I’ve developed a few techniques for her…some days I make it a contest/challenge…her against the clock…if she beats the clock she gets a prize after school;or bribe her with a special breakfast treat….maybe a smoothie or cookie with breakfast…hey it works! Also, I give warnings all morning....Hey we have 30 minutes to be out the door....15 minutes and we're leaving...etc. It seems to help rather than just saying come on now! Now, let me say establishing a set bedtime is VERY helpful to getting the kids up in themorning…I have mommy friends whose kids stay up all night…or way past hours that I think kids should be up…the weekends I let me 5 yr old stay up later but Monday – Friday….”heads in bed” is at 8:30!!
6.       Make note of the morning challenges and eliminate them – yes we want our kids to be able to self sufficient…but if you notice it takes your child FOREVER to tie their shoes in the morning…YOU tie them! You can work on their technique later when time is not of the essence. Sure your toddler likes to dress themselves…save that for bedtime….help them in the morning..
Now these are just a few tips that work for me…of course there is always that morning when nothing goes right…or something extra is added (like that last minute diaper blowout right before we walk out the door or breathing treatments in the morning..uggh!) Just plan plan plan to the best of your ability and if the unexpected happens….just take a deep breath and look at those little faces…before you blow up and lose your temper just think about what memory you want to create for them….do you want them to remember mommy being stressed and out of control….or cool, calm, and collected J {My children will have memories of BOTH!! Lol!}

What are your morning tips? I'd love to hear them....

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