Our morning routine is making me crazy. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 01-10-2008, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I need help. No matter how early I get up, the last 5-10 minutes before leaving the house involves me shouting, the kids dodging around doing everything *except* shoes/hair/teeth/etc. and just more rushing than I care for.

Our basic routine is: kids up by 7:30, breakfast over by 8, out of the house by 8:30 (a must if we're to make it to school drop-off during the magic 10 minute window between when kids are allowed on the playground and when they all line up to go in.)

I'm virtually always showered and dressed by 7:30. The kids are rarely interested in getting up at 7:30, but typically are eating by 7:45. The problem seems to be the 30 minute window between 8 and 8:30, when dd (7) has to put her clothes on and brush her teeth and hair; I have to do whatever hair combing and makeup applying I wish (2-3 minutes worth) and ds (3) needs my help with clothes and teethbrushing. Oh, and I make dd's lunch (which takes about 5 minutes.)

Dd is not motivated by the goal of being on time for school. Letting her be late would drive me crazy and not matter to her at all. I can't tell if the problem is distraction, reluctance to get on with the day, or issues with choosing her clothes - sometimes it's all three.

Usually ds is pretty easy to get out the door, except when he wants to be silly instead of putting his shoes or coat on.

We're almost always on time, but almost always frazzled by 8:30. Help!

Can't give up actin' tough, it's all that I'm made of. Can't scrape together quite enough to ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love. ~ Neko Case

 
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#2 of 14 Old 01-10-2008, 02:37 PM
 
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We have the same problem here almost every day, the mornings are just so chaotic. DD (6yo) doesnt want to get up, she has a hard time finding clothes ("I have no clothes to wear" as she stares at a closet full of clothing), I dont want to go to school comes up often (?? because she likes school but I dont think she likes having to get up and out the door). I literally want to cry sometimes in the morning because it seems to be such a struggle. We have tried picking clothes out the night before but it didnt help because she changes her mind in the morning. I have tried waking her up earlier but that just makes it worse because she is still tired. I have tried getting her to bed earlier but she usually wont actually fall asleep any earlier she just lays in bed awake. Im curious to know how others get through it and what suggestions they have. I was so happy over winter break to not have to do it everyday.
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#3 of 14 Old 01-10-2008, 02:54 PM
 
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Oh we did this ALL last year - it's a nightmare!! I really can sympathise. So dd chooses clothes the night before and lays them out herself, I wake her up gently at about 7.05/7.10 and give her 5-10 minutes to wake, I help her get dressed and prepare breakfast for the two of them, then get ds out of bed and dress, breakfast, clean teeth, shoes, coats etc, shouting at the two of them only made them worse and dd even slower if that was at all possible!!! But goodness me, sometimes I just didn't know what else to do. I've even been known to let them eat breakfast on the walk to school, we're hoping to change schools next year and it'll be at least a 15-20 minute walk with them - I have no idea how that'll work out!! School starts at 8.30 here so it's going to be interesting - I can sympathise it really makes me so sometimes though!! Good luck!
PS I suppose that would be another plus for homeschooling!

ewe + dh = our little lambs + we and have many just : and : life .
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#4 of 14 Old 01-10-2008, 03:22 PM
 
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Well, my kids are older, but when we have to be some where next day, my kids:

1. choose clothes down to shoes the night before
2. get dressed all the way down to shoes before eating breakfast.
3. start breakfast 45 min. before leaving.
4. Have to be completely ready to go minus jackets before they can read or play.

My four year old has started same routine. My baby gets dressed when I change her diaper. But she likes clothes and would change 5 time a day if we let her.
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#5 of 14 Old 01-10-2008, 03:24 PM
 
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We go through that same 5 minute rush every morning. What we've done to kind of help is get everything out the night before. My 5 year old has a hard time deciding what to wear so I have him do that after we home in the evenings. That way he can take all the time he wants. We go through the school lunch menu then too and he decides if he wants to eat that or have me make his lunch. Everything is by the door waiting. I get completely ready before waking either kid so I can focus on them.

And still we have the rush right before we leave. My son hates hates being late so that motivates him. Now if I could just solve the "but I can't get my shoes on!" when I have my arms loaded down with toddler and everything else we all need.
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#6 of 14 Old 01-10-2008, 03:36 PM
 
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I know what you mean. It really stinks when the last ten minutes or so before you bid your child goodbye at the school bus stop or the school door is filled with tension. My otherwise delightful daughter is really slow at getting her act together, so being ready on time for things can become a major issue without planning!

It's far from perfect, but here's what helps us:

She wakes up at 7:00 a.m. in order to leave at 8:30. That leaves a decent amount of wiggle room for things to go wrong or for her to just dawdle.

Clothes are selected the night before and laid out on her chair, and she's expected to be fully dressed before coming downstairs.

I always tell her it's time to go at least five minutes before it's really time to go, so if she moves slowly I don't have to say anything naggy!
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#7 of 14 Old 01-10-2008, 05:14 PM
 
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Our morning routine was/is the same as yours. It totally drives me bananas. I am the type of person who is early for everything so being late for school is very uncomfortable for me...not for the kids.

This week is the first week back to school since christmas holidays and I dare say we have been doing well. 'knock on wood'

However, the best thing that I have done differently that has taken the stress out of it is simply not getting stressed. I absolutely refuse to nag them about doing their things. We do not move any more quickly or slowly but I seem to stay calmer now which puts a whole new spin on the situation.

I may calmly say, well guys I am ready my coat is on, my boots are on I will just wait out here until you are ready to go. And believe it or not we are no later than before just without all the nagging and misery. I think they may be taking longer to get ready but they just dont have to engage with me on all the arguments of how fast they are moving. KWIM.

Anyways, try that out, just stay cool, its not worth the nagging or stress...what a way to start the day.
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#8 of 14 Old 01-10-2008, 06:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekka View Post
Well, my kids are older, but when we have to be some where next day, my kids:

1. choose clothes down to shoes the night before
2. get dressed all the way down to shoes before eating breakfast.
3. start breakfast 45 min. before leaving.
4. Have to be completely ready to go minus jackets before they can read or play.

My four year old has started same routine. My baby gets dressed when I change her diaper. But she likes clothes and would change 5 time a day if we let her.
We do something similar, though my daughter chooses her clothes in the a.m. (she's actually quicker than I am about it). The biggest thing that makes a difference to us is that she gets dressed before eating breakfast. She eats very very slowly, so there's no doing anything *after* breakfast and before we need to be out the door. If she's running late, she eats breakfast in the car (which she hates to do, so it's a big incentive).
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#9 of 14 Old 01-10-2008, 06:46 PM
 
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After years of being a single mom and relying on public transportation, we have mornings down to a science and are almost never late. The important part is the night before. Lunch for dd is made the night before. Back pack has everything it needs and is set by the door. Clothes, including socks and underwear are laid out in her room. My clothes are selected and my bag is ready as well.

We usually rise about an hour before we leave. I get up, take a shower, gently wake dd and put her clothes on her bed. I get her lunch out of the fridge and in to her backpack and make her breakfast. DD comes out of her room dressed, goes to the bathroom, brushes teeth, comes and eats breakfast. After breakfast, she'll watch a little of a DVD (we don't have any TV channels) but only after her shoes are on and her coat, hat, gloves, etc are lying on the couch next to her and she's gathered anything extra she wants to take to school (like chapstick). She knows that once we are walking out the door she cannot go back for anything.

WHile she's eating breakfast and/or watching the DVD, I get dressed and get myself put together. I give her a two minute head's up to get her coat on and we are out the door.

It took many years to get it all down, but I think having a really specific routine laid out works really well.

For a year or so we did have a problem with dd changing her mind about the clothes she had chose the night before. All of her school clothes are nice, soft comfy stuff, so she started wearing her clothes for the next day to bed. So she didn't have to deal with getting dressed or making any choices about what to wear in the morning.
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#10 of 14 Old 01-10-2008, 10:31 PM
 
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In our family we do everything short of putting on our coats and sitting in our car the night before. Still we are "never early" as my kids say or "late" as I say (!).
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#11 of 14 Old 01-11-2008, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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These are all such great suggestions! We had tried choosing clothes the night before a few years ago but dd then didn't want to wear them in the morning - but she's bigger now and I bet it would go over well. She likes PB&J for lunch which IMO gets soggy and nasty if you make it too far ahead, but I could assemble the other parts of her lunch and make sure I have her lunchbox cleaned out and ready.

I like the idea of "if you're ready by X, you can play" - we did that for a while but it took a lot of my energy for some reason. Again, I should try that now that she's older. I bet it would be easier.

Having a tidier house would probably help my general level of stress in the mornings, but baby steps, baby steps.

Can't give up actin' tough, it's all that I'm made of. Can't scrape together quite enough to ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love. ~ Neko Case

 
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#12 of 14 Old 01-15-2008, 04:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Penelope View Post
We're almost always on time, but almost always frazzled by 8:30. Help!

Yeah, this is a crap way to start the day. I teach in the classroom right next door to my son's, so we go together. If he's late for school, I'm late for work. So we're never late, but we're always scrambling.

The best help I've found, other than getting everything ready the night before, is eating in the car on the way to school. He's never ready to eat the second he opens his eyes, so we spend the half hour that used to be spent trying to force down breakfast doing all the other stuff. A 10 minute ride is plenty of time to get a poptart or PBJ down.
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#13 of 14 Old 01-15-2008, 05:25 PM
 
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Everything gets done before breakfast - completely dressed except for shoes. Here is our morning routine (it took me over a year to perfect this because our mornings were just like yours until I just couldn't take it anymore):

I get up at 6:45 and get completely ready except for blowdrying my hair. I lay down in bed with DS at 7:15 and start gently waking him up - rub his head, hug him, etc. We cuddle for about 10 minutes and then talk about what we need to do. I get his clothes out and put them in the bathroom and get his toothbrush ready. Then I say "Do you think you can get ready before I have finished my hair and preparing breakfast?" He LOVES this and gets his sister and says "You want me to win right?" and they both go in the bathroom and within 5 minutes he is dressed and has his teeth brushed and his hair fixed. Of course, I never finish before he does so that makes him all the more excited and then he does a victory lap around the island in the kitchen.

He then eats and plays for a few minutes. I finish getting ready while he is playing, get the car loaded up and warmed up and then get jackets and boots on and we are out the door.

On the days when he has lunch at preschool, I pack the lunch the night before so all I have to do in the morning is the sandwich.
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#14 of 14 Old 01-16-2008, 04:07 PM
 
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For us getting everyone dressed before breakfast makes all the difference in the world.

And doing some of the work the night before helps wonders. We lay out our clothes the night before. I even get breakfast semi-ready the night before (bowls, plates, cups, utensils, etc.) If we're having eggs I scramble them up in the bowl the night before so I can just pour them in the pan in the am. If it's cereal I fill the bowls the night before and keep them covered overnight. It it's oatmeal I have it all measured out the night before. It's amazing how much time little things like that save! I line up everyone's coats, hats, backpacks, etc by the door each night so that there's no lost time in the morning looking for a mitten or a boot.

As for ds not caring about being late, it might not hurt to let her be late once or twice and experience the consequences. She may find that she doesn't like missing out on something or getting a note sent home or whatever...
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