In Part 1, I threw out some ideas on how to have less morning crazy and capture the elusive “stress free mornings” dream from your hair-sprayed, Vaseline-edged, pre-computer-generated-wobbly-edged-80’s-fantasy scene.
If you didn’t get a chance to read that post, I’d start there.
Or you could go out of order. Whatever.
Hey, am I the only one who answered questions randomly instead of consecutively when taking elementary school math quizzes? Those quizzes were so monotonous.
Not so great for my grade, the random thing. More often than not, I’d get distracted and miss questions. Still…less boring …yeah, worth it.
So go ahead, read this one first with my blessing. Just don’t get distracted and forget Part 1.
Don’t worry, I’ll remind you.
But if you did come here from Part 1 (such a good doobie), you’re probably ready to kick school morning butt.
The kids are up, you’re up (might I say, looking gorgeous), shoes are on, Oreos and happiness abound, and your car doesn’t reek of stinky breath.
So how do you take it to the next level?
I Could Probably Live In My Car. Wait, Would I Be Alone? Could I?!
Set up your house and car for success. Even if it’s unconventional.
- If your son won’t brush his teeth without you standing over him or won’t do it at all until after breakfast, then put an extra toothbrush and toothpaste in the powder room or kitchen.
- If you do hair last thing, keep a hairbrush by the back door. We stash a hairbrush (and sunscreen and nail clippers) right in the kitchen closet.
- If Johnny takes meds,* keep them in the kitchen near the breakfast stuff.
- And stock the car, too. I keep…
- a lint roller,
- nail clippers,
- water bottles,
- toothbrush wisps,
- an extra set of my son’s meds,** and the
- aforementioned breakfast items***
…in my car.
- Speaking of cars, store your second car key near the exit door. It seems logical, with two car keys, for each parent to put one on his or her ring. But, instead, keep the extra handy in the house.
Then when it’s go time and you realize your teen never returned the key he borrowed, or you know it’s in your coat pocket but you just can’t remember which coat, grab the extra and deal with finding key #1 later.
- If necessities are habitually forgotten, a note on the dashboard that says “backpack, phone, lunch, class hamster” or whatever can limit trips back to the school for Mom. If the kids ride the bus, move the checklist to just inside the exit door.
In other words, when something isn’t working, fix it.
- If the kids keep shoes in their bedrooms, and it takes them 5 minutes to go up and dig them out and then come back down (10 if they have a cat in their room who requires extended good-byes), then put a shoe holder by the exit door.
- When my sons were first in glasses and could still see well enough without them to forget them until they got to school (and couldn’t see the board), we put the eyeglasses next to their toothbrushes each night so they’d put them on first thing.
- And because my persnickety one who worried about the slightest mark on this shirt**** would call from school and beg for a new shirt, I sent an extra shirt to keep in his locker at school.
If conventional doesn’t work, be unconventional. I mean, you’re weird anyway, might as well use it for good.
HONEY BADGER DON’T CARE
And, finally, now for the least popular tip that I purposely saved for last in case it makes you bounce off this post right now. It’s up there in unpopularity with “do a bunch of stuff the night before.”
Wake up earlier.
I said I know!
This is so hard for me. But somehow, when I do it, mornings are miraculously just…better.
I’m talking 15 minutes.
Not 4:00 AM. 15 minutes.
Just enough time to splash cold water on your face and get human(ish) before you wake up the kids.
I totally get how hard this is, especially with kids who won’t sleep. The snooze button is an invention right up there with Chocolate Fudge Magic Shell.*****
I’m a die-hard night person who despises getting up earlier than necessary. 15 minutes can feel like a lot. But if mornings are rough at your house, this could be the magic pill (not the same kind of magic as magic shell – that is just sheer wizardry).
For me, 15 minutes is the difference between Zen mom calmly waking a zombie-fied adolescent and Honey Badger mom not calmly waking same adolescent.
Get out of the bed RIGHT STINKIN’ NOW,****** or you’re grounded until you’re 40!
And 15 undistracted minutes allows me to get ready in one fell swoop instead of in fits and starts between badger sessions, losing my place and restarting the humanization process each time.
Net gain – more than 15 minutes.
And bonus – not glimpsing myself in the rearview mirror on the way to the school and realizing I forgot to address my entire facial area.
One warning – the 15 minutes are to get ahead, not check social media. More than once, I’ve ended up behind because I thought I was ahead.
Avoid the Facebook trap.
Plenty of time to view everyone else’s perfect lives and hate yourself later.
SAY IT WITH ME, BOYS AND GIRLS
In conclusion, school mornings suck.
They just do. For everyone involved.
It’s impossible to anticipate and prevent every morning atrocity. But try to:
- Establish a routine that keeps everyone moving with decisions pre-made,
- Minimize distractions, so your zoned out 11-year-old doesn’t make you bananas (and late),
- Get rid of any cuckoo-makers over which you have control, and
- Do a little pre-gaming the night before to eliminate unwelcome surprises.
- A catfight about clothing erupts,
- Your youngest spills juice down his only purple shirt on purple day, or
- The baby flushes your keys down the toilet…
…you’re more likely to handle each situation without it escalating into catastrophic levels.
After all, now you’re not:
- Already running late,
- Dealing with a kid high on Mountain Dew because of an empty milk carton,
- Tearing up couch cushions looking for Sally’s gym shoes, and
- Finger-smushing your hair into an acceptable style, all while
- Attempting to forcefully drag Herbert away from video games for dental hygiene.
I’m not gonna lie here. In the end, you still may not be basking in sunlight while sipping premium coffee.
But won’t your McD’s car pastry be that much more enjoyable****** when you don’t need to call Dr. Laura yourself to admit your 7-year-old thinks he was listed on adoption.org and his new parents will be waiting for him after school?
Rough morning or not, that may have been a bit harsh.
Instead, with a little effort, you can enjoy that nasty but delicious confection guilt-free (except for the, you know, guilt of eating it in the first place).
P.S. Don’t forget Part 1 on how to have stress free mornings!
*And you don’t have concerns about younger children getting into them.
**Be careful if you have a high schooler who borrows your car – this could be a major problem if he has meds in the car!
***From Part 1. Told you not to read them out of order.
****Still waiting on results from that maternity test.
*****What is that stuff? It’s liquid. Then it’s a shell. It’s like, magic.
******It’s cute how you think I used the word “stinkin’.”
******Car pastry? No, I’m not off my meds. I’m talking about something I said in Part 1. Go ahead, read it. You know you want to!
Want to remember these tips? Pin this post to your favorite Pinterest board!