Tips to get you out of the house when you have children!
Posted on 5 Sep, 2017 by Sarah Hart
Often, when I photograph my newborn sessions, the parents are managing to get up, dressed and out the door with their brand new baby for the first time since they’ve arrived home from hospital and I often congratulate them on, as I know it’s no mean feat!! And truth be told, even when our children are older, getting out the house every morning on time seems like a challenge. I promise you that most mums feel like they’ve run a marathon by the time they’ve finished school drop off! So, how do you get out of the house with the kids and everything you need, without the mad rush or yelling and nagging voices, AND be on time?! I’m hoping that these few ideas below may just help you achieve less stressful mornings!
- Lay their clothes out the night before. This stops any fuss about what to wear and your child can choose their own outfit without you getting cross because you need to get going. Obviously, it’s even easier if it’s a school uniform 🙂 It also means that you’ll prevent that moment of juggling making breakfast and ironing little Tommy’s shirt that you hadn’t realised was still in the ironing pile!
- Pack the school or nursery bag the night before. Yes DO! There’s nothing worse than trying to find a pen a to sign reading journals or permission slips when you are in a hurry. If this is done the day before you also have the benefit of being able to write the school trip in a diary too so it’s not a total surprise 4 weeks later, that little Emma is off to her river trip and needs wellies and waterproofs!
- Make packed lunches the night before and put in the fridge or, if you are VERY organised, make all the sandwiches for the week on a Sunday evening and freeze them. They will defrost during the morning before you need to eat them.
- A morning routine chart — a simple list for older children or a chart with images for pre-readers — can keep easily distracted children focused. If you’re not arty enough to make a chart, you can buy one, like Kids Daily Routine Chart. Make the children aware they have a set amount of time to do each task in the morning. For example, 5 minutes to get washed, 5 minutes to get dressed, 10 minutes to eat breakfast, 5 minutes to brush hair and teeth. If they achieve each task in the allotted time they get a sticker on their reward chart. Before you know it, the kids will be getting up and out the house faster than you!
- Teachers are great at making jobs seem exciting and fun – a trick parents can steal. If you have more than one child, let them take turns being “The morning leader”. The morning leader is in charge of getting tasks done such as putting breakfast bowls in the dishwasher or sink, making sure everyone has cleaned their teeth etc. They can then also get some sort of bonus for being the leader, like picking the radio station that morning.
- If your children love music, create a couple of different playlists that lasts 20-30 minutes. It might give them some motivation and get up and go! And you can also use it as a timer – “When Pharrell William’s Happy comes on, you need to put your shoes on.”
- If you want children to get out the house for school easily do not put the TV on! Or at the very least, you can set a rule that they can only have the TV on once they have ticked off all their tasks. Then give them a 5 minute warning when the TV will be going off – this will hopefully mean that you can avoid a meltdown before they have to put shoes and coats on.