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The school year is looming not too far ahead of us. I can’t be the only parent out there excited, right? While the endless “I’m bored!” chanting of summer will not be missed, I can say I’m averse to trading it in for the rushing, yelling, frantic chaos that is getting my children out the door in time for school.
Sound like your house?
I firmly believe that children hear language completely differently than their parents. For example, and version of “Put that away please” translates into “Drop that anywhere you like.” When the school year rolls around (or frankly, whenever we need to be anywhere by a certain time), the most loathsome phrases in our house include:
“Put your shoes on.” and “Hurry up.”
These simple requests seems to transform themselves inside the youthful brain, telling them to immediately begin to take . . . as . . . long . . . as . . . possible. Then the “red mist” starts to cloud my eyes while I pray for patience. I endured the red mist all last year and vowed this year I would not go through that again.
Every family is unique, of course, and I’m sure some of you have much older kids you’re shuffling into cars or onto buses. Currently I have one in preschool and one starting first grade. These are the tips I developed to work with our family, but I think they are fairly adaptable to any household. Tweak as needed! 🙂
You will find that most of these “morning tips” actually begin at night!
1. Wake Up to a Clean Kitchen
This has to be one of the best tips I have ever adopted for myself. Having a sparkling clean kitchen first thing in the morning reduces so much of the stress of the morning, simply by not having to immediately tackle clutter or dirty dishes. I get to enjoy my coffee (most of the time) and wake up fully.
2. Pick Out and Lay Out Clothes the Night Before
This tip I am excited to adopt this year. Last year, J was constantly working my last nerve, whining frequently about not knowing what to wear, or defiantly stubborn that he simply would NOT wear ANYTHING besides his black jersey shorts – no, not THOSE shorts, MOM! The OTHER black jersey shorts!
This year, I will be diligent in making sure he selects his outfits the night before and lays them out for easy access for even the most bleary-eyed sleepyhead.
3. Make Breakfast the Most Important and Also LEAST TAXING Meal of the Day!
During the school year, breakfast became the BANE of my existence. My kids eat every meal like it’s their last on earth, taking what feels like hours between bites. Added to that is the rush of trying to get myself ready to greet the world while timing their routine so we aren’t frantically racing out the door at the last (or past the last) minute. The latter was more often, I ruefully admit. NOT THIS YEAR!!
My youngest is notorious for demanding pancakes for breakfast, ever since his Nana showed him how she makes them from scratch. Well, no offense to Nana, but Mommy just doesn’t have time to whip up pancakes on a busy school morning. I hate to disappoint him, so I was ecstatic to find this brand new Jimmy Dean® product from in the frozen breakfast aisle at Walmart this week! Jimmy Dean® Pancakes & Sausage Bites!
Now you can enjoy your breakfast favorites anytime with these yummy pancake and sausage bites.
The added benefit to these little beauties is that if all my other tips are failing me that day and we ARE rushing out the door – these are easily portable! Perfect for on the way to school, I just toss them in the microwave for a minute, throw them in a snack cup, and we’re out the door! There’s also that added benefit that kids chewing in the car can’t be talking non-stop, lol!
4. Create a Checklist of What is Needed for the Day and Leave It By the Door
Unless you are much, much, MUCH better than me – and that isn’t a high bar, ha! – you have those days where you would forget your head if it wasn’t attached. It just happens. You get halfway down the road and have to turn around. You run in and out of the house six times for various forgotten necessities. IT HAPPENS. But if you have a checklist ready to go, preferably hung by the door so you will see it, you may not have those issues as often! (Hint: I made a freebie printable for you, so look for it at the bottom of the post!)
5. Pre-pack All Bags
As soon as the homework or craft project is done/dry, pack it into the appropriate back pack so there are no last minute scrambles in the morning. Pre-pack lunch bags and store in the fridge. Fill water bottles, pack gym bags, anything that will be leaving the house in the morning – pack it up and shave minutes off the morning hustle!
6. Breathe Deeply and Carry a Big Stress Ball
Honestly, no matter what you do, some mornings are just going to be chaotic. The idea is to lessen those occurrences, but we all know life with kids is never easy. When I found myself constantly frustrated with the snail-like pace of my boys, I forced myself to really look at them and see that they weren’t intentionally trying to turn Mom into a half-crazed lunatic. They were just enjoying themselves, enjoying their morning, enjoying being with ME. So whatever you need to do to keep calm in these moments, do it. Some people need their morning coffee, others head to the gym or meditate. For me, I like to carry a little roller of essential oils that works like magic to bring me down from Red Mist Mountain. Find what works for you – your kids may make you crazy in a hurry, but you’ll miss this someday. I know I will.
Hopefully these simple tips will add a little extra function and speed to your morning routine this school year! If not, add a few extra dollars to your wallet – those Jimmy Dean® Pancakes & Sausage Bites and others are included in a new Shopkick offer!! Next time you’re at Walmart, toss a few of these in your cart and rack up some kicks!
Earn up to 600 kicks when you buy three (3) participating Tyson® products.*
*Chicken nuggets, chicken strips, Any’tizers® Snacks, Grilled and Ready® items, Hillshire Farm® Lunchmeats, and Jimmy Dean® frozen breakfast items.
Don’t forget your printable checklist! Just right click and save!
More Back to School Ideas:
Parent’s Back to School Binder by My Pinterventures