(And then to work on time without feeling completely stressed out!)
So, what is the big secret to getting the children ready for school and out of the house looking slightly respectable and to the school gate on time so that you can get to work before the boss notices that you are late, again!?
We can all picture the scene, eldest child took 30 minutes to eat her breakfast and has been cleaning her teeth for AGES, then when she is finally ready to leave the house... her glasses have disappeared again!!!! ARRRRGH. Meanwhile, the younger two children have managed to lose their socks (which you have just put on their feet!), not eat the three different breakfasts that you have made for them and have a meltdown about which coat to wear and that the Lego Swamp Police Station has been broken again! During which time you have to get yourself ready for work and eat breakfast, one of which does not happen. Its probably best to skip breakfast rather than go to work in your PJs!
So, how do we avoid the inevitable meltdowns, temper tantrums, raised voices and having to skip breakfast in favour for a slightly more harmonious and stress free morning?...
Get as much as you can prepared the night before. Have lunchboxes ready in the fridge, uniforms hung up on the bedroom doors, shoes and book bags by the front door. (I put my child’s glasses in one of her shoes ready for her to avoid the 30 minuets of searching and stamping about the house!)
There is nothing better than a little bit of peace and quiet when you first wake up, especially when you know you have a busy day ahead of you. Even if it is just 15 minuets so that you can get dresses on your own or eat your breakfast by yourself and check your e-mails. That little bit of calm before the storm is priceless.
Try having the children’s breakfast ready for them on the table for when they come down in the morning. Once they get used to their breakfast being ready and waiting for them they will get started without you having to remind them. It also avoids the 20 minuet conversation about what they are going to eat.
The news and songs are a great way of time checking your morning, “The next time we hear the news we need to be getting our shoes on!” or “When this song finishes you need to have eaten your breakfast!”.
If they are busy getting on with something there are less opportunities for them to bicker and argue. I have my children’s spelling sheets set out for them. It means they practice them every day and it is one less thing to have to do when they get home from school.
It really is the most important meal of the day. If you eat a good breakfast you will be sustained for longer into the morning, which will stop you snacking. It also keeps your blood sugars more even, stopping you from getting ratty at the school gate. Even if it is just a banana have something to get you through the morning. Overnight oats are great, you can prepare them in advance and keep them in the fridge ready for when you need them.
Nobody wants to start the day with an argument, it just sets the wrong tone for the day. There is nothing worse than having to say goodbye to your children at the school gate having just shouted at them. It leaves you feeling bad all day. So give some of the tips a try and see how you get on.