I’m a doer…I like to get things done. Kick butt and take names, yep…that’s me. But when it comes to mornings I’ll admit I totally suck…that is, unless I prepare! With 7 kids, 3 dogs, 2 cats, a husband and about 95 gazillion things going on at once, this girl has got to bring her A-game, especially if the family needs to be somewhere at a certain time. I pride myself in the fact that I simply cannot remember a time in our almost 17 year history of having children when we showed up late for something. It just doesn’t happen. I despise being late. It’s disrespectful. I follow the old adage: “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late.” Words to live by, people. Memorize that shit.
So today I am going to share with you my personal top 5 secrets to getting 9 people out of the house and to our destination early…so as to be on time of course.
Tip #1: Prepare The Night Before
This tip has proven time and time again to be my absolute life-saving tip of all-time! I have my kids lay out their clothes the night before school, church or even a Saturday family 5K. And they have to lay out absolutely everything…socks, shoes, undies…the works. If it goes on their bodies it gets laid out the night before. Back packs get packed up and set out the night before a school day. Lunches get packed the night before…with the exception of sandwiches. Those I make fresh in the morning, otherwise they get hard and nasty. Why do I go through the trouble of doing this? Because if someone is missing something or needs something washed then I have more than 5 minutes to react. Planning ahead lessens the stress in my life. I can go to bed and get a good night’s rest knowing everything is laid out and accounted for the night before. If for some reason someone “forgets” to lay their stuff out, they get the “Not my circus, not my monkeys” line and I walk away. They know the rules and their failure to prepare does not constitute an emergency on my part.
Tip#2: Get Up Early
Let’s face it, the snooze button was created by Satan himself. Do you really think the difference between a fabulous day and a blahzay day is that extra 9 minutes of sleep you get when you snooze? Nope, it’s not. Sorry to break the news to you but all you are really doing is setting yourself up for failure, so stop hitting the snooze button! As a matter of fact, I suggest you get up early…at least 30 minutes early. Getting up a little early may seem like a sucky idea at the time but trust me, it gives you a few quiet moments in the morning to make your tea, maybe do some meditation or stretching, and get your head on straight and your mind focused on the day you are about to experience. Give yourself the gift of silence…it will work wonders!
Tip #3: Do Kid’s Showers The Night Before
I don’t know about y’all, but I am a morning shower kinda gal. And with 9 people vying for 2 bathrooms I am not about to concede my shower to a 9 year old. No way! The best, most effective way to alleviate this problem is simply to have the kids shower the night before. They don’t mind…I mean come on think about it. If they don’t have to shower that gives them more time to play Legos or watch Spongebob after they are dressed and ready to go. It’s a win-win!
Tip #4: Have Easy Breakfast Foods On Hand
People used to think I was loopy when I told them that our 2 year old had chores. Oh yes, they all have chores and they have had chores since yeah, about the age of 2. The chores the kids have are age appropriate of course, but they have all had to learn from an early age that we are part of a team and members of a team contribute. When we all contribute we all win, right? Same goes for breakfast. I keep nutritious cereals and fresh fruit in the house at all times. Sometimes I make pancakes or french toast the night before and keep it in the fridge for the kids to warm up. Quick breads and muffins are also staples in our home. The kids also know how to make toast..thank goodness I wrote down the recipe for them! The older kids are starting to cook now, so the big kids help the smaller kids and by golly everyone has eaten a nutritious breakfast and I didn’t have to do a ding-dang thing but prepare! Kids are more capable of doing for themselves than a lot of parents give them credit for. Try it out…see what your little one can do!
Tip #5: Choose Your Battles
I also call this one “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” If Suzie doesn’t have matching hair bows to go with her dress you know what, the world will not stop turning! She won’t be naked and chances are no one will even know she’s missing them! You’ve got to know when to say “Uncle”. It’s not worth it to stress yourself out over something menial and end up ruining your entire day. If things get stressful take a moment to breathe deeply, close your eyes for a second and tell yourself it’s all going to be just fine. Because you know it will be…it always is, it’s just stressful at that particular moment. Choose your battles wisely!
I hope these tips work as well for you as they have for me over the years. With age comes experience and wisdom…I am more than happy to share the wealth! Feel free to give me a shout out in the comments below and let me know what tips and tricks you use in your home to make your mornings run smoothly.
- Let’s Talk About the A-Word
- Here’s to You…Robin Williams