Organization: tips for a good morning routine with the kids!

Before becoming a parent, we prepare ourselves for difficult nights. But one thing we're never prepared for are the mornings. Especially once we've gone back to work. Leaving the house on time, having fed, washed and prepared everyone, without losing our patience or our keys, is a miracle. So what can we do to make our mornings more serene and avoid feeling like we've got a whole day on our hands before we've even set foot in the door? Here are a few tips for a good morning routine with the kids:

Mom sitting on a sofa with her daughter on her lap, styling her hair.

Step 1 - Be realistic
We always underestimate the time things take. If everything we do takes 5 minutes longer than planned, it's no wonder we're running out of time. 

The solution: for 7 days, write down what you do in the morning, task by task, and how long it takes you. Write down everything, even "look for my keys" - you'll be amazed. This will enable you to develop the ultimate routine. Don't skip this step!

Now that you have a more realistic view of your mornings, we can rationalize.

Step 2 - Save time
If you find that you're always running out of time, there are plenty of solutions. Get up earlier, get others involved or remove certain things from your routine and re-schedule them at another time.

The best solution is to create an evening routine so you have less to do in the morning. Here's what it can include:

  • Preparing the changing bag/bags in general
  • Prepare clothes/shoes/coats so you don't have to look for them again
  • Showering in the evening
  • Gather keys/bags/glasses/wallet in a visible place
  • Preparing the breakfast table
  • Check your calendar to avoid being caught unprepared
  • Putting the stroller in the trunk

Look at the list of things you do in the morning, and put off anything you can until the evening, when there's no time pressure. Of course, if you're a couple and your children are old enough, it's not up to you to do everything on your own.

Step 3 - Change the approach
You may not be running out of time, but you spend your time rehearsing, pressing, waiting or settling arguments. Here again there are tips:

  • Make sure the kids have enough time to get ready: if it takes them 20 minutes to eat breakfast, you won't be able to get them to eat it in 10 without irritation. It's better to get them up earlier than try to fit a square into a circle every morning.
  • Encourage their independence: make sure they have access to everything (breakfast, toothbrush, clothes, shoes) so they can do things for themselves. The more they do, the less you have to do. Yes, even if it's a mess, we'll tidy up together when we have time.
  • Make it fun: race to see which of you or your child gets dressed first - it works! You can train him to go faster as a game at the weekend.
  • Staggered wake-up calls: it's life-changing. If they're not in the kitchen or bathroom together, it reduces arguments.
  • The to-do list: a list with drawings, visible to the children so they can see what they need to do, in what order, without having to ask you.
  • A timer: it changed my life. A programmed alarm clock that beeps at certain times. The one for brushing your teeth, or putting on your shoes. They choose the ringtone, know what it means, and you don't have to shout.

And above all, don't do everything on your own if your partner is there in the morning (yes, I've said it before, but it's so important).

Step 4 - Enjoy!
Stressful mornings are not inevitable. Put the problem on the table and you'll find solutions.

Bonus: if, like me, you look for your cell phone 10 times in the morning, put some music or the radio on it. That way, you'll always know where it is before you leave!

Hélène Girard
Mom of three boys aged 10, 12 and 14

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