My friends and I were saying the other day how easy Carol Brady had it on the TV show “The Brady Bunch.” She had Alice to grocery shop, make the kids lunches, do laundry and housework. If I had an Alice, my mornings would be calm, not the tornado-like, clock-watching, running around, losing-my-mind type that I face every morning.
On Friday as Ben was getting on the bus, I commented to the bus driver that I may have overdressed him because it is hot outside. The bus driver looked at me funny and said that it was very cold out. Then I realized I had run a mini-marathon inside my house digging up shoes, chewies, coats, breakfast dishes, homework and anything else that fell in my path.
With that being said, I do have a routine to help us have good mornings. And to my credit, we have never missed the bus yet, although we have come mighty close. Here are some simple tips I follow for a successful* morning at our house:
• Plan the clothes out the night before. I set everything up so that I am not scrambling in the morning.
• Take baths at night.
• Set the routine for the morning. My middle son who is four years old has a list of 5 things he must do every morning (get dressed, brush teeth, eat breakfast, make bed, put shoes on). The list has words with pictures, since he cannot read yet. If he does all 5 things, he gets a vitamin as a reward.
• Everyday of the week is a special breakfast day – Monday is waffles, Tuesday is Oatmeal, etc. No need to figure out what every one wants or go through a list of available foods each day.
• Mondays and Thursdays are “buy lunch at school” days. Mondays are always hectic and it means one less thing for me to think about in the morning and by Thursday, I may have run out of food.
• I try to get up 30 minutes before the kids so I can get dressed and have breakfast ready. This does not happen often, but when it does, the mornings are calmer.
• I put the shoes in one place every night.
*Successful in my world means that Ben is ready when the bus arrives and Logan gets walked to school on time.
I try to follow the routine, but I am a big believer in doing what you’ve got to do to get through it all. I’ve given candy to pacify, turned the TV on for longer than I should, fed Ben breakfast on the potty to save time, and brought the baby to Logan’s school in his pajamas. After so many years of being inflexible, I can bend like a pretzel.