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Getting the kids ready and out the door every morning usually involves a lot of drama—especially since after quitting my full-time job as a weather anchor six months ago, my family and I are still adjusting to the changes. Plus, with our daughter starting kindergarten this year, there are some extra challenges we've had to contend with.
As winter break rolls in and we prepare for the next phase of the school year, I know that some tried-and-true tips can really help a mama out! Here are 5 easy changes we've all heard but dismissed. They're worth a try to get through those school mornings smoothly, trust me!
Once the kids are in bed, I'll make breakfast and lunch for the following morning. I also lay their outfits out ahead of time to avoid running the risk of being late.
2. Come up with a routine and stick with it.
Being a mom to kids with curls, prepping their hair before bedtime is extremely important. I like to condition and braid my daughter's hair the night before and have her sleep with a satin cap to prevent knots. This process prevents her hair from drying out and allows for faster styling in the morning.
3. Wake up earlier.
The kids are normally up between 6:15 and 6:30 a.m. because they want to say bye to Daddy before he heads off to work, which works out in our favor. The earlier we all wake up, the more time we have to get ready, and the less frantic everything feels. If the kids are having trouble waking up, consider shifting bedtime.
4. Pick your battles wisely.
As parents we like to think we have it all under control. But in reality, we don't always have it all together. There are moments when a child will refuse to do something and there is nothing we can do about it. Take my son for example.
Every morning I chase him around the house because he refuses to get dressed and brush his teeth. Sending him to school in pajamas and bad breath is out of the question, so I fight tooth and nail until he finally surrenders.
However, getting him to leave his toys behind is a no-win situation. So rather than have him disrupt the entire neighborhood with his loud cries, I allow him to bring one toy to daycare. Thankfully, his teacher understands.
5. Get enough sleep.
I know it's easier said than done. By the time all the prepping is done, it's midnight, which leaves me very little time to unwind and hit the sack. But if I don't get enough rest, I'm usually a walking zombie the following day. It's important to make sleep a priority (even if you have to try the chip system).
6. Have fun with it.
Let's face it; getting up in the morning is never easy. But, having a good time will make it enjoyable for the whole family. Sometimes we'll fun music on, dance and play the "who can get ready the fastest" game. The kids get into it, especially if they know there is a prize involved.
Getting through school morning completely smoothly is still a work in progress for us. But so far, these tips have saved us a lot of tears and drama. It also sets a positive tone for the rest of the day.