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Avoiding the Morning Rush - tips from a Real Mom

You've got to get yourself off to work, and you've got the kids (and sometimes husband) to deal with as well. This can be quite a challenge. You're not alone. Most working Mums face the same challenges. As a 'Real Mum', you can avoid complete breakdown in your morning schedule by putting some plans into place, and starting your morning the night before.

Before you go to bed:

Take the stress and rush out of mornings by doing as much as you can the night before. This could include things like:

  • Set the coffee machine to brew your coffee 5 mins before you get up (if you don't have an automatic coffee machine - get one now! ).
  • Lay out clothes for yourself and your kids the night before.
  • Your husband or partner (if applicable) is an adult and should surely by now be able to fend for him or herself.
  • In fact, forget the laying the clothes out, put the kids to bed in the clothes they're going to wear the following day.
  • In which case, we'd recommend the nighttime routine is dinner first, then bath & bed, not bath before dinner.
  • Scream at the kids to get all their crap together in one pile for school, preschool, whatever the next day.Continue to scream at them until they do so. Confiscate a DVD, gameboy or other item of value if necessary.
  • Check out the weather forecast for the following day. There is a vague chance it could actually be correct and you can be prepared for it, including the traffic conditions (like with heavy rain and the like). Get the breakky stuff organised. Put it back, because whatever you get out will be wrong anyway. At the very least, decide what you want, organise that and then you can do the "I told you so" bit when you're organised and no-one else is.
  • Work out what time you have to leave. Then set the alarm about and hour and a half before that time.
  • Go to bed in your clothes for the next day. The crushed look is in! When it's out, you can just say you're rebelliing against the conformist nature of the fashion industry and refused be be sucked into commercialism. Go shoe shopping.
Give yourself more time in the morning:
  • Work out what time you need to leave, at the latest. Then add half an hour. Then another hour. And another half an hour again. You might just be able to get out the door, ooh, 10 minutes later than you'd actually like.
  • Wake everyone else in the house.
  • Yell at them to get off their bottoms and get organised. NOW.
  • Disappear for a quick power kip. If you're not around to do stuff for them, they'll have to do it themselves.
  • They will learn quickly that hunger can be a pain in the bum when they haven't got their lunch that day.
  • Pack all the kids into the car, then go back inside and get ready for your day. This way, you don't have to fight for the bathroom or have anyone hanging off your leg.

Listen to the Radio:

  • Dancing and singing while preparing for work can help you and the kids get motivated into action.It also helps to remove grumpiness.
  • This is even better if you have teenagers, because you can sing really loudly to the songs that they think are cool, and are, in fact, re-releases of your fave songs from the 80's
  • You may also find out if there are any traffic problems that are likely to get in your way.

Get the Kids Involved:

  • We've said it before and we'll say it again; if you keep doing stuff for your kids, they won't learn to do it for themselves and will continue to expect you to do it for them.
  • They will soon learn to get involved when they've had to do school swimming in their undies three weeks running, or miss out on really cool lunches. Oh, and when they consistently go to school with bed hair.

Get Out the Door Early:

  • Singing remakes of your favourite 80's songs goes a long way to getting the kids moving.
  • Otherwise, because you were the only one that listened to you, you'll be organised and they won't. So, grab your stuff, announce to the household you are leaving now , count to three then walk out the door and start the car up
  • You won't believe how quickly kids can get dressed, get their essentials together and be sitting in the car, seatbelts on and ready to go. 

Written by Mad Cow, founder and editor of fluff-free, reality parenting website , wife and mother of three boys. Based on the very sensible article written by Coleen Rivas, Career Trainer and Coach at

What tips do you have?

5 Comments so far:
vicky on 11 March 2011
Try bribing your kids, it works. I did the taking away of dvds and fav toys and screaming,shouting and trethening but bribibg is the one that works for me.
Emma on 11 March 2011
My kids are not allowed pudding until their school bags, PE bags etc are packed for the next day! Works like a bomb! One less thing for me to have to worry about in the morning - yes please!
naomi on 11 March 2011
dont't bribe them just dont give them an option. you the boss you know whats best for them. you'll see they will thank you for not screeming at them in the morning because they done most of there packing and chores the night before.
Mita on 12 March 2011
Start the grooming at an early soon a they can walk and talk they need to take responsibilty for their things. My 23 mnth boy is already getting his bag when we r wanting to go out-I have packed it already, he just needs to bring it from his room. I hate the bribing thing as I hate feeding them more sweets esp in the mornings! Night readiness works even better - no TV if things are not sorted out!
helene on 15 March 2011
My husband and I set up a to do list with pictures for my son age 4.9 activities to be done before leaving for open curtains, brush teeth, get dressed.after a week we rewarded we dont but he keeps doing his little tasks no complaints every morning!!happy family!
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