So, we’re now 6 weeks into our new school morning routine. With a 4 year old, a 2.5 year old and a newborn, I’ve had to do as much as humanely possible to make sure our mornings go well.
Disclaimer – This doesn’t always happen. There will always be mornings where one child is having a meltdown about socks, whilst another insists of playing with all the toys they own instead of getting ready, plus a baby that needs a complete strip down after a dodgy nappy. But – these are the things I do to try and make sure we get to school on time, with full tummies, fully dressed, and happy.
Set an alarm
Sounds obvious, but since I stopped working, I stopped setting alarms. The kids were always up early, and if not, I’d get a cheeky lie in! I learnt this one the hard way, one morning neither of the children woke up until 8am. We leave at 8:30am. Not ideal! Since then I’ve made sure to set an alarm every day, so no more cheeky lie ins!
Prep like a boss
“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”. One of those annoying quotes my grandma would reel off, but in reality, it’s true. Good preparation is key to making sure your school morning runs smoothly.
In anticipation of the start of school, we were kindly sent some ACE stain remover, and it’s been so handy! I only bought R two school jumpers, and he doesn’t have that many polo shirts either. I certainly don’t have time to be washing uniform constantly, plus it’s not so great for the environment (or my pocket) to have the washing machine constantly running. The ACE spray means I can spot clean his clothes ready for the next day.
And then, if his school day has consisted of painting in the morning, spaghetti bolognese for lunch and playing in the mud in the afternoon, then the ACE cleaner gets used in the washing machine. The uniform comes out good as new and ready to go again.
ACE for Colours and ACE Stain Remover Spray gently removes stains and keeps colours bright. ACE Stain Remover Spray tackles grease and germs along with stubborn stains. It’s become the go-to in this house, it’s also been brilliant for dealing the stains that come along with exploding nappies from the baby.
Every Sunday night, I like to iron all of R’s uniform for the week, or at least make sure it’s clean, dry and folded up in his wardrobe. Then every night I get out everything he needs to wear the next day (including pants and socks!), so that he can get himself dressed on a morning.
I also make sure his book bag and water bottle are ready. There is nothing worse than trying to run around last minute looking for various items.
Another tip I’ve learnt along the way. At the start of the school year, I’d let my eldest get dressed whilst watching the tv. After too many instances of him just not bothering, and getting distracted by the screen, we brought in a ban! He is now allowed to watch it, only if he is fully dressed and ready (including shoes on, and bag by the door). It’s seems to be working, he now has something to aim for when getting dressed, and usually has a quick 5 minute sit down, watching tv, just before we leave.
Easier said than done, right? I’ve been guilty of becoming ‘shouty mum’, after asking R to get dressed for what feels like the millionth time. And when this happens, the morning seems to descend into more chaos. The older two start arguing, I get even crosser, and usually 3 out of 4 of us is crying before we’ve even set off. I’ve found that by staying calm, everyone else seems to pick up on this, and *normally* we end up with a fairly smooth morning. Doing all of the above really helps with this, as I’ve got a bit more time on my hands, so when the toddler decides she hates the breakfast she normally eats every day of the week, I can calmly deal with it instead of panicking that we don’t have time!