7 Busy-Mom Shortcuts to Make Mornings Easier

By Leah Maxwell

Fun. Easy. Smooth. Relaxed. Enjoyable.  Those are the words we moms use to describe mornings with our kids . . . in Opposite Land.

If you’re shaking your head, you know that getting everyone ready for the day is more often described as hectic, hurried, and downright crazy, and although I can assure you you’re not alone in feeling like mornings are a perfect storm of too many things to accomplish in too little time and on too little sleep, I’m also here to share the good news that it’s not the only way to live. Short of staying in bed until the clock says it’s afternoon, here are seven quick tips to streamline your morning routine:


1. If the biggest problem in the morning is getting your kids dressed, give them time the night before to pick out their clothes for the next day. Get everything together, including socks, shoes, and jackets, so you never have to scramble. (Take my word for it: Running late is even harder if you’re trying to do it barefoot. Har har.)

2. If you like that idea, level up by choosing the entire week’s worth of outfits on Sunday night. Use a hanging organizer to prep a full outfit for each day so there’s never any fussing over clothes in the morning. (This will also help you stay on top of laundry, fellow moms whose kids are always running out of clean underwear.)

3. If the problem isn’t so much the picking of outfits but the glacial pace with which your kids put their clothes on their bodies, brace yourself, because this next shortcut will blow your mind. Ready? Have your kids shower before bed and sleep in their next-day clothes so all they have to do in the morning is get up and put on their shoes. Genius.

4. Now that your kids are dressed, it’s time for breakfast. The name of the game here is serving something fun, fast, and delicious that everyone loves and will eat without nagging. Jimmy Dean’s Pancakes and Sausage on a Stick fit the bill, and provide protein to help keep your kids going.

5. And speaking of lunch, packing it the night before is another great way to cut down on morning responsibilities (not to mention that doing it in the evenings means I’m more likely to prepare a balanced, thoughtful meal rather than find myself shaking random boxes of snack food into my kids’ lunch bags because I’m still half-asleep).

6. This sounds counterintuitive, but putting your kids in charge might be the secret to a streamlined morning routine. Make a reusable chart of required tasks (getting dressed, eating breakfast, brushing teeth) and have your kids check off each step as they complete them. It might take a while to catch on, but once it does, you may find you’re actually enjoying your cup of coffee rather than just slamming it for mental fortitude.

7. Last but not least: When in doubt, lower your standards. It’s so much easier to get everyone out the door if you’re not worried about tiny details like, oh, combed hair and matching socks. Pick your battles and let the rest goooooo. Have we all eaten breakfast? Do we all have pants on? Sometimes that’s truly all you can ask.

What tricks help improve your mornings with kids?

Leah Maxwell is a book editor, freelance writer, cereal addict, wife, and mom to two young boys. She has been blogging at A Girl and a Boy since 2003.

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