Mornings Can Be Easier! Six (Non-Obvious) Tips From Real Moms

Mornings with kids will never be pretty — but there are ways to make it less stressful Read more

My mornings go something like this: I wake up with the sunlight, thumb through my phone to catch up on the news, take a long shower and enjoy my coffee before heading to work. HA! I have a kid, so I won’t bore you with the glamorous details of what my morning is actually like. (Chances are yours is similar.)

But there are always ways to make things a little closer to your pre-child life. So we gathered tips from real Philly moms (a.k.a. our kick-ass group of Wee Ambassadors) on how they get out of the house in the morning without needing a drink.

Plop your kid in front of a screen. Pretty much everyone does. Ignore what those holier-than-thou mommy bloggers say, do what you need to do, and take comfort that most of your friends are doing the exact same thing. TV, iPad, YouTube, Netflix … use the time to feed them breakfast, pack-up lunch, drink your coffee or run a brush through your hair.

Breakfast should be quick and portable, even if it isn’t the healthiest. Things that are grab-and-go are ideal, that way kids can finish up eating in the stroller/car/bus if they have to. Consider cutting fruit up the night before to add some nutrition to the pancakes and stuff you pull from the freezer or pantry. Or, if you’ve got time during the week, there are a bunch of healthier breakfast things you can make at home and freeze, like French toast sticks, wheat pancakes, little egg muffins. (There are also make ahead things that don’t go into the freezer like smoothies and overnight oats.) Great recipes here.

Reconsider your timing. What are the most challenging parts of your morning? Can you switch things up to make them better? One mom said that getting her kids dressed was the most difficult, so she decided to tackle it first thing right when they woke up instead of battling over it later. (This same smart mom of four also keeps a set of toothbrushes in her powder room so she doesn’t have to get them upstairs — again — before it’s time to walk out the door.) As much as we all love sleeping till the last possible moment, waking up before the kids (even if it’s only 10 minutes to make coffee or use the flatiron) can be a big help to your timing and to your stress level.

Be religious about the routine. Remember when you were sleeping training? Sticking to the schedule was everything. Waking the kids up at the same time, doing the same things at the same time will give them comfort and give you a fall-back excuse … we do this everyday, that’s why it’s time to pack your bag/you can only watch one show/you have to get dressed now. One mom suggested having a regular five-minute go-time reminder. So kids know that they need to stop whatever they are doing, because you are leaving in five minutes, whether they are ready or not. (It never exactly works like that, but eventually, they’ll get it.)

Do as much as you can the night before. This one is obvious, but is worth reiterating. Pack the next day’s lunch while you are cooking dinner; shower and blow dry your hair before bed; lay out clothes.

Teach the kids to take control of their own time. It starts simple: toddlers can pick out their clothes the night before and get dressed themselves. At first it will take even longer, but eventually they’ll relish in the independence. Every mom pretty much swears by the OK to Wake Clock, which can be set to go off at a certain time, so kids know they can’t get out of bed before that. This keep things consistent for them and you. As one smart mom said, “Knowing what time my day is going to start is most important. Sometimes I choose to get up and have coffee and unload the dishwasher, feed the dog, etc., other mornings I sleep right up until the bitter end. Just knowing keeps me a little more sane.”