A Map to Morning Routine Chaos

There are two certainties when it comes to a morning routine with kids: They’re always a little chaotic, and they’re always changing.

You might find your rhythm with getting things ready, dropping the kids off, and working through your day. The next thing you know … snow day, parent-teacher conference for one and not the other, or at some point one of your kids changing schools. All of this and more throws a new twist into the equation.

Riding the dynamics of your morning routine is an art, and usually requires a lot of teamwork. Our dads have experimented with many different methods and tips, and here is what they’ve found:

Establish Your Routine: Consistency is key when it comes to getting yourself ready for work, and the kids ready for school. Create a structured routine that accommodates the needs of each family member. Set specific times for waking up, getting dressed, having breakfast, and leaving for school and work. Ensure everyone knows their responsibilities and sticks to the schedule.

Individualized Preparation for Each Child: Every child is unique, with their own preferences and requirements. Take into account the age, school schedule, and extracurricular activities of each child. For example:

Kid 1: A high school senior with a busy schedule of classes and after-school clubs. She needs ample time to get ready and organize her materials for the day ahead.

Kid 2: A middle schooler who enjoys sports and needs extra time to pack his gym bag and snacks for the day.

Kid 3: A first-grader who requires assistance with dressing up, packing her school bag, and preparing a nutritious lunch.

Divide and Conquer: With both parents having distinct work arrangements, it’s essential to divide tasks efficiently.

– *Dad (Working from Home)*: While Dad works remotely, he can oversee the morning routine and provide assistance as needed. He can also handle tasks such as making breakfast, preparing lunches, and ensuring the kids have all their school materials.

– *Mom (Working at an Office)*: Mom needs to leave the house early for work. Her role may involve waking the kids up, helping them get dressed, and possibly dropping one of the kids off on her commute. Communication between parents is crucial to ensure a seamless transition of responsibilities.

Utilize Technology: Leverage technology to streamline the morning routine. Set alarms or reminders on smartphones for various tasks, such as wake-up time, breakfast, and departure for school and work. Utilizing apps like MAPLE to keep track of everyone’s schedules, school events, meetings, and deadlines. Apps like this can relieve the mental load, while also keeping everyone connected and on the same page.

Prepare the Night Before: Reduce morning stress by preparing as much as possible the night before. Encourage the kids to pack their school bags, lay out their clothes, and decide on breakfast options in advance. This minimizes last-minute scrambling and ensures a smoother start to the day.

Encourage Independence: Promote independence in children by assigning age-appropriate tasks and allowing them to take ownership of their own morning routine. Teach them how to set their alarms, pack their bags, and prepare simple breakfasts. Empowering kids to handle tasks on their own instills a sense of responsibility and builds confidence.

Flexibility and Patience: Despite meticulous planning, mornings may not always go according to plan. Be prepared to adapt to unexpected challenges or delays with patience and a positive attitude. Remember to prioritize open communication and support within the family unit.

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Contributors: @mckeitherson, @elguerra, @palbuddy1234, @John_Wilkes_Huth, @peloquindmidian, @DeterioratedEra, @BreadGarlicmouth, @Silent_Village2695, @westernblot88