Mastering the Morning Rush

As we enter into Back-to-School season, you might be feeling overwhelmed already! Whether you work outside of the home or not, Back-to-School means a change in routine! Maybe you and your kiddos are getting up earlier, managing multiple drop-offs, or maybe you just have more to remember to gather now that school is back in session. Maybe all of the above!

This is my thirteenth Back-to-School season as a mom, and I am still finding myself overwhelmed this year. Sure, there are some glaring reasons for this (a new job for me, and 3 different schools for my kids), but the reality is that any change can be overwhelming at first. If you’ve spent the last three months sleeping in and lounging by the pool, getting up early and packing lunches is a harsh change. Especially if you have a child like mine, who will swear to you on Wednesday morning that he absolutely hates the lunch you’re packing, which he also ate every crumb of on Monday.

So I find myself relying on my previous years of experience – even more than usual – this fall. And I want to share what I’ve learned with you, too! Here are my Top 5 tips for mastering the morning rush!

1. Delegate everything you can! I have a dear friend who asks her kids to pack their own lunches. I’m not that brave yet (I’m pretty sure they’d just throw cheese in a bag!), but I really try to let my kids do everything else. And if your kids can pack their own lunches, more power to you, mama! But, each of my children is responsible for packing their own snacks and water bottles, which are expected in their classrooms. Each child is responsible for either picking out their clothes, or making sure they have the right uniform pieces. And each child is responsible for making sure their homework folders are in their backpacks. Anything that takes some of the mental load off of you – do that!


Little Girl Looking in Her Closet

2. Prepare the night before. Whatever tasks you have delegated to your kids, make sure they do those things the night before. Anything that you’re responsible for? Do that the night before, too! Doing this really cuts down on morning exasperation that you can’t find the right tie, the worksheet that needs to be turned in, or that you are completely out of foods that fit in a lunch box.


Mom and Daughter Playing Before Bed

3. Build in plenty of margin! I, too, would rather hit snooze 4 times before getting up. That said, if I want to have enough time to get ready, I can’t do that. Wake up your kids (and yourself!) with plenty of time to get ready without rushing. I have one kid that will just pop out of bed and start getting ready. The other two get real grumpy when they’re feeling rushed. I have learned that those two really need to get up first. You know your kids best – consider how much time each one needs to get up, get ready, and be in a decent mood by the time you leave the house.


Little Girl Brushing Her Teeth

4. Make a note on your family calendar or planner about special days or events happening at school. We have a family whiteboard calendar next to our garage door, which is the door we go out of most often. It’s literally impossible to miss (unless, of course, you’re my husband). I like to have our calendar color-coded; each child has their own whiteboard marker color. It’s really easy to see when something additional might be needed for a school, for example, a birthday treat, Valentine cards, show and tell items, a 100th day of school outfit, or spirit dress-up days. Having this visual reminder really helps keep me organized!


Mom Looking at Calendar on Computer

5. Have easy breakfast foods on hand! Again, sometimes this means preparing ahead! On our more low-key weekends, I like to do some cooking ahead of the week. Sometimes I will bake muffins and freeze them, portion out smoothies and refrigerate them, or make little egg bites in a muffin tin. I want my kids to eat a good breakfast, but no one has time to make pancakes and bacon on Monday morning. Having options prepared ahead of time makes our mornings go more smoothly!


Little Boy in Easy Diner at Table Eating Breakfast

There you have it! This is how I master the morning rush – what would you add to this list?!

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