Monday, November 2, 2009

The Morning Scramble

Hubby P. is in law enforcement and normally has a very regular daily work schedule.  Bless his heart, he usually gets the kids up and dressed in the morning and drops them both off on his way to work.  This permits me the daily luxury of getting ready for work at my leisure in peace and quiet.  However, his work schedule just changed so that he has to leave the house by shortly after 6:00 A.M., so that I need to get to the my morning workout at the gym, get myself dressed for work, get C. to the school bus by 7:00 A.M., take E. to preschool, and drive 45 minutes to my office. 

For someone like me who thrives on order and routine, this schedule change has caused an uproar.  I have to get myself showered, dressed, made up and coiffed within 30 minutes!!!  But dig we must! So we're adjusting.  I still get my workout in, although it's a bit abbreviated, and so far I have been able to scramble all three of us out of the door within the time allotted.  It takes 3 weeks to form a good habit so I am hoping that this will all seem like second nature soon.

This is a great time to talk about just how to get out of the house in the morning.

Your success will largely be determined by what you get done the night before.

  • Lay out everyone's clothes.  For a working mom, I recommend laying out your entire outfit from hose to jewelry.  Make sure everything is ironed and ready to wear.

  • Pre-assemble any lunches and snacks.

  • Check all homework and paperwork.  Do you have to send in any permission forms or checks?  Is tomorrow school picture day?

  • Place fully packed (except for perishable lunches) backpacks, musical instruments, purses, etc. by the door.  FlyLady calls this spot the "launch pad". Don't forget to put a note somewhere where you can see it (like on your exit door!) to remind you to place the perishable items in the lunch bags before you leave the house!

  • Especially if you have little kids, make sure that their shoes, coats and hats are located the night before, because for some reason they always disappear in the morning, even if you think you put them where they belonged the night before!

  • Plan the kids' breakfast. Cereal can be prepoured into covered bowls and milk can be pre-measured into covered plastic cups.  For a hot breakfast, regular or steel cut oatmeal can be prepared overnight in the crockpot (more on this tomorrow).  My kids are picky - some days they want oatmeal, some days they don't - so I do keep instant packets available.  Cut the sugar by combining a plain packet with a flavored variety.
In the morning:  Start by getting yourself ready first.  If Hubby P. isn't at home, I shower myself and do my makeup before waking the kids up. I get them dressed and settled for breakfast, then I dress myself.  If Hubby P. is at home, I leave the house for my workout, then come back to say goodbye to him and shower while the kids have breakfast.  Now I had become accustomed to a long leisurely shower, but now I have to keep a tight schedule.  I set a timer to keep me on my morning tasks.  5 minutes to shower, 5 minutes to brush and Waterpik/floss (I have braces), and 5-6 minutes to do the world's quickest makeup. 

Through this all I still have to remember to keep the kids on task.  Are they actually eating the breakfast on the table?  Are they fighting?  I usually give them a five minute warning to put their coats and shoes on when we have fifteen minutes to go before we have to leave the house.

Why fifteen minutes?  Because a. they don't hear me and b.  if they hear me they don't listen until I say it several times.  And even then I don't hear them start to move.  Ah, the joys of motherhood.  Once they start moving, this is when I typically start to hear how a shoe lace is too knotted to be untied or they just can't get their coat zipped. By this time I am downstairs and can assist.

Once I get downstairs, we pretty much have to go straight out of the door.  Yes, I know that I have not allotted any breakfast time for myself in here.  I usually prepare myself coffee and a protein shake to go (more on that in another post), which I will drink in the car, or have yogurt and cereal at my desk.

And do it all over again tomorrow!

Image courtesy Annie Mole.

1 comment:

Yakini said...

This is GREAT!!! You are so efficient, girl. I know your house is running like a well oiled machine. I sure hope I'm this "on it" when Chase is older. I'm pretty good now about getting his stuff organized for day care (have my little "launch pad" by the door with his bottles and things I need to take). The area i need work in is picking my own outfit/accessories out the night before. For some reason i just cant get that together. Maybe laziness, after i've done everything else...? I just wanna crash once i've cooked dinner, cleaned, prepped bottles, etc.

DH is invaluable in the morning. He gets Chase up and dressed and ready to be fed, so when Im showered/dressed I just scoop him up and feed him, then we're ready to roll. Omg, dont know how i'd manage if his schedule suddenly changed and i had to do it all. Well, i mean, i guess i would manage but it wouldnt be fun!


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