While my parents were staying with us in January, we practiced and tweaked our morning routine, so I would be comfortable getting three kids up, dressed, fed, and out the door in time to make it to campus for my 9:30 class. Honestly, one of my biggest sources of anxiety before Sid was born was figuring out how I was going to handle mornings on my own. Shawn gets to miss the craziness altogether because he has to be at work so early. But I am happy to report that we’ve been on our own for two weeks, and already mornings are a lot less crazy and a lot more fun. Oddly enough, the kids have been much happier at drop-off, too, even though I have to wake them up earlier. They are full of energy and cheerful!
Here is our step-by-step guide to our mornings along with some tips to get out the door fast:
The Night Before:
1. Pick clothes out for all three kids. Put in a basket in the playroom.
Note: The playroom is like our staging area. I have found it a lot easier to get the kids ready if Dragon Tales can be on in the background for one episode.
2. Pack bags, including my back pack, pump, Sidney’s school bag, and one for the big kids if necessary. Shawn makes our sandwiches in the morning, and then I usually just grab some fruit and snacks for my lunch in the morning.
3. Prepare baggies of cereal. This was a tip from my mom, and I have to say it is genius. Shawn made about ten bags two weeks ago, and we are still working on those. The point of cereal baggies is to prevent stalling in the kitchen. Riley would get to the kitchen, complain of lingering hunger, and then lose it. Completely. Now, she knows to grab a cereal baggie if she is still hungry. And one for Adrian!
In the Morning:
1. Washed, dressed, make-upped, and hair. Most mornings, I only have time to brush and then up it goes.
2. Take care of Sidney as much as possible. If I can, I try to nurse, diaper, and change her before the big kids get up!
1. Wake big kids and usher them into playroom. Turn on Dragon Tales.
2. Get breakfast: toaster waffles, cereal, mini-muffins, or fruit.
3. Allow about ten minutes for them to wake up a little.
4. Tackle children one at a time for diapers (as applicable), clothing change, hair, face, and shoes. When my dad was in town, we came up with a list of critical tasks to help eliminate time lost to extra activities. For me, this list was really useful, and now both kids know what we need to do to be ready to go.
5. Nurse Sidney one more time.
6. Start boiling water on stove for my hot tea.
7. Start car and load bags.
8. Move kids from playroom to kitchen. Make sure we have jackets, blankets, and shoes. My kids don’t go anywhere without their blankets.
9. Get big kids into the car.
10. Lock up and fix cup of tea to go.
11. Take Sidney and tea to the car.
12. Sing songs all the way to school.
13. Drop off big kids at their day care center.
14. Take baby to hers. Yes, we have our kids at two different locations. Sidney’s center takes kids part-time and on the university schedule, so either Tuesday/Thursday or Monday/Wednesday/Friday. She goes TTH and stays with me the rest of the week.
15. Enjoy Pop Tarts for breakfast at the office.