The Morning Rush - time management with kids!

I wish there was a way to invent “extra time”.  Instead of a day being 24 hours long, the “extra time” would allow you to have something like 27 hours in day - I’m not asking for much am I?! haha

I learned very early on as a mother of two that time is precious and you have to be super organized to make the most of every second.  Yes, it is sometimes exhausting to be “on” all the time, but that’s why they produce shows like The Bachelor (this mama needs to unwind with some good relationship drama).

I recently performed an exercise to just go about my day and see if I could share some best practices and also personally improve on some of my processes.  As someone who is trained in Lean Six Sigma, I am VERY lean and process driven - so it comes in handy when I go about my chores, parenting and training.

For today, I’m sharing my morning routine (there’s a lot of detail so I’ll save the rest of the day for additional posts lol).

Now, I am very aware that we all live different lives, but hopefully there are some tips in here that could be of use to you:)

The Morning Rush

I thought mornings were crazy with 1 kid, but now with 2 it’s another level!  I can only imagine how crazy it would be with 3 or more kids!!  My husband has a long commute into work so he leave at 7am or before to get to his office.  That means I am solo for the morning routine.  Here’s how it plays out and what chores I squeeze in to keep things clean and organized:

  • Both of my girls are up consistently between 7-7:30am, and since my baby is still breastfeeding, I have to make sure I make time to feed her again around 8am (smack in the middle of morning routine). 

  • Once we are all up, I go from room to room making beds, opening curtains and gathering laundry (I aim to put it all into one bin) - Mia and Baby A come along and we sing songs to make it more fun for them.  Also, I don’t dress my eldest until AFTER breakfast because otherwise she risks getting her clothes dirty before the day even begins (and she wears a uniform to school).  I also wear as much of my workout clothes as possible under either regular or work clothes so that I can more quickly get to my workout when time allows.

    • With respect to laundry, you can also do it night before.  Gather everything before dinner so that it goes into the wash.  Then either before or after kids are in bed, you can move the laundry to the dryer.

  • If you need to get ready for work, then I suggest you wake up before your kids so that you can shower and get ready for the day in advance.  Since I’m on maternity leave, I can take my shower later in the day (usually after a workout), but when I have taken it in the morning, I usually do it when both girls are awake: I put Baby A in the baby bathtub so that she’s upright and happy with a chew toy in her hand, and Mia just hangs around and uses her imagination to play with things in the bathroom.  It’s a small bathroom so I can keep a good eye on them.

  • Once we are downstairs, I make sure each kid is occupied before I tackle breakfast and chores.  With each kid occupied I can then run downstairs with the laundry and get it started, run back up to the kitchen to get breakfast going (if I choose to make it fresh for that day rather than eating overnight oats), and use cooking time to empty the dishwasher from dishes used the night before.

    Some Notes:

    • Mia right now wants to be with my 24/7, so she usually just follows me as I run around.  But some days she’ll be good to do her own thing: dance to music in the living room, draw in the kitchen, or watch some Paw Patrol if she’s had a rough night and needs to mellow out.  While I run around and cook, Baby A is either sitting in the Bumbo or exersaucer keeping herself entertained with chew toys and shiny objects lol.

    • If breakfast isn’t overnight oats, I often like to make banana/oatmeal pancakes (I use frying time to empty the dishwasher and clean up), or eat boiled or poached eggs (made the night before) with toast, avocado or cheese, tomatoes, and a berry/yogurt smoothie.  Yum yum yum.

  • I try to time it perfectly so that Mia and I are sitting to eat breakfast while I breastfeed Baby A.  That way I don’t have to feel rushed and we can all “calmly” enjoy our breakfast.

  • It’s usually after breakfast when $hit hits the fan with something - could be anything lol.  Mia is 3 and so she isn’t always the most rational or logical.  That’s common with this age and stage of development;). While we have had no issues or tantrums this week (thank you!!), we’ve had to manage through them before when time is tight and we need to get to school on time!  Putting on her uniform is sometimes exhausting because she wants to so badly wear something different.  A few different things have worked for me, with the first one listed here working the best in recent weeks:

    • Keep my voice calm and below her level (it’s easy to get loud and upset, trust me), and after saying she can’t use “______” to school, give her an option to wear it to school but on top of her uniform.  That alone can just help get your kid changed and out the door.  Then later in the car you can say something like you spoke with the teacher and although she can’t wear “______” in the class today, she can keep it in her cubby and then put it on again right after school.  Usually this is an acceptable option because the teacher said so (rather than it coming from you lol).

    • I was a mean mama and put her in timeout in the bathroom (door was still open) and said she couldn’t come out until she calmed down to talk rather than whine or yell.  I said that whining and yelling hurts my ears and so I couldn’t listen to it - that if she wants to release her frustration she could do it in the bathroom until she was ready to talk.  I did this consistently for every tantrum she had back-to-back for no more than 3 times, and now when I ask if she wants to go to time out, she says no right away, calms down and then talks with me.

  • Usually by the time we are done eating and are all changed, the laundry is ready to be moved to the dryer - so I do just that before heading out.

  • Once school clothes are on Mia and Baby has her diaper changed, we are ready to head out.

    • Beds are made

    • Laundry is in the dryer (or if you did it the night before then it’ ready to go and you can carry it upstairs to the room for an easy fold-and-place action ;) )

    • Dishes are put away with new ones put into the dishwasher

Whoa, so there you go!  AND no doubt there is still more efficiencies to be found;)

Any tips you can share back?:)

Until next time,

Laura