These 5 Mom Hacks Make School Mornings with My Young Kids (a Little) Easier
So our 18-month-old is doing this thing lately that’s got me, let’s just say, on edge. I turned my back for literally one minute (1 minute!) the other day while she and the other two kids were in the kitchen, and I kid you not, when I came back in she was walking across the kitchen island.
I don’t mean like, a tentative step to see how it felt, I mean full-on Electric Sliding across the quartz. After nearly choking from surprise, I ran over and grabbed her (of course), but not before sister realized how fun it apparently is to walk barefoot across a countertop… because since then she has attempted this very same move at least a half dozen times.
I don’t mean like, a tentative step to see how it felt, I mean full-on Electric Sliding across the quartz.
(This is the part where you please remind me that toddlers are surprisingly agile and that I shouldn’t worry too much that my child is attempting to become the youngest member of Cirque du Soleil because, I don’t know, something like “they all scale kitchen countertops at some time or another, promise!” (Even if this is not true, please just lie and pacify me.)
So, take ’em or leave ’em, but these five simple mom hacks make my mornings with my three rambunctious little mountain climbers just a bit easier!
Just a bit.
1 – Bundle Up that Clothing!
By far, this is the simplest thing that makes the biggest difference in my mornings. This one will buy you not only time, but also sanity!
As the mom of any young kid knows, kids can have serious, capital-T Thoughts when it comes to what they want to wear. So instead of having that battle in the morning, when we’re already stressed and short on time, I make it part of the nighttime routine with the kids and let them weigh in on what they’ll wear the next day. As a bonus, it gets my daughter more excited for school because she knows she’s has had some say in what she’s wearing.
Don’t forget to grab socks, too! I always keep a stash of kids’ socks near their shoes in the mudroom so we can do their footwear all in one place and then get out the door.
Bring the bundled outfits downstairs, or near the area where you congregate in the morning, so you don’t have to run back and forth to get the kiddos dressed. Bonus points (aka sanity) if you pick out outfits for the whole week!
2 – Pre-Portion Dry Lunch Snacks for the Week
Is it even a “mom hack” article if it doesn’t include this tip?! I mean, this is the mother of all lunch-making time savers.
If your kids like snacks like pretzels, Goldfish or something else that doesn’t need to be sliced fresh daily (like fruit), portioning and bagging up these snacks at the beginning of the week saves so much time. Just grab them and throw them in the lunch box and go!
3 – Set Out Your Outfit Too
I know, I know what you’re thinking, Duh, Sonni. But it truly didn’t occur to me (I blame Mom Brain) until recently that I should just go ahead and set aside my own clothes for the next day too while I’m grabbing the kids’ stuff.
I’ll go right into my closet as soon as I wake up and just get dressed immediately, because if I wait until right before we leave to get dressed, that means I’ll have to leave the kids alone in the kitchen, and we all know what happens when I do that. (See story above about the baby treating our kitchen island like Mt. Everest.)
4 – Rise Before the Monsters
Let me just shoot ya straight and say I don’t do this one all the time.
In fact, with the baby’s wonky sleep schedule lately, I rarely do this lately. But every single time I do? The morning goes BAJILLION times better.
Getting up before the kids might not be an option for you if you have early risers–I know my son went through a period where he woke up at 5am daily and there is no way any human should want to wake up before that–but if you do have the option to get up even fifteen minutes before the kids start stirring, DO IT. Use that time to breathe, dress, pee ALONE (hallelujah), or anything else that starts your day off right. It will make a difference. Promise.
5 – Set Up a System for Screen Time
Let’s just get it out there now on the record: I am NOT sanctimonious when it comes to my kids using iPads, watching TV or otherwise glazing over for periods of time in front of screens. I mean, why not enjoy the fruits of the technological revolution?
So go ahead and join me on the Dark Side… I mean… embrace the quiet that screen time can bring to your household! Just make sure you have a system for how long you permit it.
Here’s how we do it: I set a timer to make sure they’re only “iPadding” for a short while. Either on my iPhone or on our Home Pod, I set a timer that they can hear go off, and when it does, they know it’s time to put down the screens. Having cues they can hear and understand helps them to understand what their boundaries are, and what is expected of them when the alarm dings.
Have any tips for getting kids out the door sans nervous breakdown? Holla! I’m all ears!