While bedtime is normally my focus of conversation, when the time came for all three of my kids to be in school, the real stressor in my life wasn’t how I was going to make bedtime easy, but how I was going to make the mornings as simple as possible for all of us. My mission was to get them all out the door, fed, clothed, with backpacks in hands, with as little chaos as possible.
I’m not that mom who makes lunches at night. EVERY year I start off with that intention in mind, and I fail miserably by the night before the first day of school. Let’s face it: when dinner is done, cleaned up, and the kids are put to bed, the LAST thing I want to do is make lunches.
So I make it a point to wake up in the morning while the house is still quiet and get cracking on lunches before the kids wake up. If they do wake up while I’m still slapping together sandwiches, it was important for me to know that they can start getting themselves ready on their own. Even at 4 and 8 years of age.
Teaching them to brush their own teeth and get dressed themselves early on was high on my parenting list of things to do, but picking out three outfits every morning and getting everyone dressed was not. Right from the start I created, in my opinion, the BEST morning routine hack EVER.
I bought a bin for each day of the week and every Sunday I would pick out outfits for each day and place them in the bins - everything down to underwear and socks. Then they are able to just go and get their outfit for that day and change while I get breakfast on the table. No fights, no fuss, no searching for that sweater, and happy smiles on the way to school.
As my daughter gets older, she wants more say in her outfits, so this system also means less battles in the morning between her and I because she and I can pick them out together on Sunday. She gets to choose what she wants to wear, and I get to veto certain items based on practicality and weather when we are both calm and relaxed and not in the craziness of a school day morning. #WinWin
If you have multiple kids heading off to school this year, the sooner you can get them to start doing things themselves, the easier everyone’s mornings will become, and the better each of you will start your day.