If you are a parent who works full-time or, for any other reason, have to get your toddlers ready and out of the house early in the morning, you have probably experienced some problems with establishing morning routine. Getting kids and yourself ready in a short amount of time can be something that can ruin your complete day!
One thing that makes all the difference for us is that mommy has to get up at least half an hour before waking up kids. I need these half an hour to have my morning coffee and get myself awake enough to take care of everyone else.
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I learned quickly that we just needed to start early. Once I accepted that it was going to take twice as long to get out the door as it would take for just me – things seemed to go much smoother and I was less stressed out too!
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Get into your routine and don’t try to change it! Kids don’t like change. Think about what works best for you and what order you do things in. Get dressed then eat breakfast or the other way around. It’s amazing how little changes can make a big difference.
Pack your bags the night before. This was invaluable when both of the girls where lots younger and something I still do now to avoid those last minute panics.
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For us, it’s all about consistency. We do the same things, in the same order, at the same time of day.
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Being consistent and leaving enough time to spare for potential meltdowns are key for us. I prioritise tasks each morning doing what I really have to first e.g, getting everyone dressed and fed, then only if time allows I’ll tidy dishes and put a wash on, etc.
I find that it helps to have less chaos in the morning by preparing the night before. Toddlers cannot be rushed and they need their mommy. I wake them at least an hour early and after I am finished with my work. Of course, it means I am up earlier too. We start the morning singing, tickling and racing against each other
We set a routine, and at bedtime talk about what we are doing tomorrow. In the morning, I will remind my toddler what our plans for the day are, and give him reminders as needed (30 min until we leave…10 min, etc). I do my best to make sure we are on time, but if we are late, we talk about what we could have done to get out of the house sooner. If he doesn’t want to wear a coat or hat, that’s his choice…being cold will remind him to listen to my suggestion next time (we enacted that before preschool age…so trips outside were short and monitored by mom).
I guess because I had my child while I was still in high school I already had a routine established for myself and soon as my first child came I kept to my routine. I find that keeping to the routine keeps things easy. If I went out for the day I carried a few items like a big blanket to setup so that my child could take their nap. I encourage that when out you accommodate your child sleeping. That one good time can make a hellish night for you.
I prepare as much as I can the night before and leave more time than I think I will need because inevitably we will be delayed. I just stay as consistent as possible, doing pretty much the same things in the same order every morning.
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