With five kids, my mornings need to be as streamlined and as “easy” as possible. With all of my sons in school together, if I don’t take some sort of control, the morning in my house is chaotic and just, truly… WILD. I’ll never forget my mother once telling me a few years ago, “If your morning starts out crazy, your day continues to be crazy.” That was something I didn’t want, especially as a full-time working mother.
As with every school morning, there’s just true and set morning rituals that need to be done: teeth brushed, clothes on, homework to be packed/checked, breakfast to be served, lunches to be made and bus stop timelines to be met – I knew I needed to find strategies that worked well for all of us, not just me. I needed to make sure my sons were involved in the morning strategies, too. For me, it’s been easier taking the approach that that we’re all in this together.
There’s one BIG secret to our morning routine – it all starts – the night before.
I have five “night before” strategies that streamline back-to-school mornings:
1. Bath time and shower time before bedtime. We never do this in the morning on school days. There’s no way I could have everyone bath and shower in the morning, it would be way too crazy and I’d need to get everyone up a good hour earlier than normal. With the JOHNSON’S® NO MORE TANGLES® 3-step routine, we have everyone ready, smelling clean and hair neatly combed the night before which saves SO much time in the morning.
2. Backpacks packed before bed. My mother used to do this with me and my siblings and it worked perfect. Before bedtime, everything is put away neatly in the backpacks. Homework has been looked over, agendas have been signed, and gym clothes have been packed. There’s nothing left to do in the morning except add their lunches to their bags. This way nobody is running around looking for homework, books and binders with three minutes until the bus comes!
3. Hooks/cubbies for each child. Last year my husband hung hooks for each of my boys. William has a hook for his backpack/coat/lunch bag. Alex has one, Ben has one, Henry has one and before long, Victoria will have one! This way it’s easy in the morning because each child has their own “area” where everything is organized and set for the day! This has been amazing for our family.
4. Clothing out and ready for the morning. With multiple children, it’s easier to just have all clothing laid out the night before. This way in the morning I don’t have to listen to, “He’s wearing my tee shirt!” or “I don’t want to wear that to school today!” Everything is right there in neat piles next to their beds and ready to be put on.
5. Snacks prepped for the week. Our kids are busy after school too with swimming/baseball/CCD (depending upon the time of year). On Sunday evenings, we take the time to prep out snacks for them to easily just grab in the morning and help with lunch prep. Everything is pre-packaged by them and everything is convenient for them to grab and go. I love getting them involved, too – especially as they’re getting older and can absolutely help out!
Audrey McClelland is a contributor for JOHNSON’S®, the sponsor of this community, and compensated for travel and attendance at events. Every idea and word written is her own.