Okay, I admit that I still run slightly late sometimes, because sometimes it just can’t be helped. You know, those days when your child loses his shoes even though he had them on five minutes ago?! But most days, I make it out the door and to work meetings on time with six kids in tow. And here’s how I do it.
Step #1 – Give yourself plenty of time
I get up about thirty minutes earlier than the kids. Truth is, I like to start my day by applying my makeup and watching the news in peace. When the kids wake, they make their own beds and get dressed straight away. Same goes for me – I get up and get dressed, shoes and all.
Step #2 – Prepare what you can in advance
I know I’ve harped on about this before but being organised ahead of time is imperative. Everyone’s clothes are folded and placed on the end of their bed the night before. This avoids any last minute nagging from me, ‘Do you have your socks on?’ Lunches, snacks and drink bottles are pre-prepared and placed in the fridge ready to toss into bags. Bags are waiting in our hall stand, cleaned out and packed the night before with spare clothes and books and hats always ready for the next day.
Step #3 – Stick together
While the kids are young, we get ready together. If we didn’t, there would be chaos. After we get dressed and tidy our bedrooms, we move to the kitchen, eat breakfast together, tidy up together, pack our bags together, and then brush our teeth together (me included).
If everyone were to run off in different directions, I’d lose track of what’s next on our schedule and we’d lose shirts and someone would get hurt because someone pushed someone and we’re ten minutes late and at least one child is still not ready… ugh! As I said, total chaos! Stick together people!
Step #4 – Prioritise
Only once bags are packed and by the door, and everyone’s dressed and ready to go, do we take time out. I sit and have a coffee while the kids watch a little TV. Honestly, most of the time there is only ten minutes to spare before we need to be out the door. Imagine if we sat down first – we wouldn’t get anywhere!
Step #5 – Assign responsibilities and stick to the plan
I always leave a tidy house. I love that I can be out all day and walk back into a clean home. I’ll do some washing and the dishes before we leave. The kids tidy their rooms.
We now have allocated seating in our car because I got sick of the fighting over who would sit where! Every child knows what’s expected of them. They put their bags in the front of the car, get into their seat, buckle up and we’re ready to go.
So, the trick to getting out of the house on time each morning is staying organised and focused, and keeping things simple. No double standards – what goes for the kids, goes for me. Prepare as much as you can ahead of time. Teach your children from a young age to take responsibility for getting ready and tidying up after themselves – this has made life much easier for us, especially now my kids are getting older.
We’re pretty much always out the door on time and that’s a really good feeling. If I can nail the start of my day, I feel equipped to nail my work day too! I hope that, by taking a peek into our morning routine you can take away some tips which will help you nail your day. You’ve totally got this!
Written by Krechelle Carter. Mum of six children, six and under; freelance writer for publications such as Kidspot and Woman’s Day; blogger; and creator of the Eight at Home community. Strong believer in following your dreams and balancing it all… most of the time! Find her @eightathome on Instagram or Facebook.