We all dream of those Pinterest inspired mornings of waking up with two+ little ones jumping on your perfectly white bedspread. You spend the morning with your partner and children making pancakes and sipping coffee while the kids play nicely together. And then you all just walk out of the house when it is time to leave for work, daycare and school.
Well…. If you are like our family, that is not the case. My husband leaves for work before the Sun is up and personally I am not a morning person so getting up at 5:30 when he does is out of the question. I wake up to an alarm at 6:45 and get myself ready. By this time my singleton has stumbled to my room because I am making noise. When I am ready, we head to the Twins room and get everyone ready. Breakfast is always chaotic because someone is screaming that they are STARVING and they can’t wait another minute for their milk. Or you have one that decided it was a convenient time to use the bathroom, but needs assistance while you are mid-milk pour. And the singleton is shuffling through the pantry, because the breakfast you have chosen wasn’t what they wanted. If you can picture this scene, we can relate on a lot of levels.
While we are fortunate to have a late starting school day, we still have to get the 3 children and 1 adult out the door to the bus stop. So here are some tips that I have found to be beneficial for our family, so we don’t have the morning meltdowns. Yes, they still happen. But there has been less crying and direction giving, because everyone knows the routine.
Set everything out the night before
Set out all school bags, diaper bag, your purse/wallet the night before. This will help prevent running around the house looking for everyone’s belongings before heading out the door. If you have preschoolers and elementary age children, you know that they like to just drop their things when they walk in the door. But they aren’t always in the entry way, my children are notorious for bringing them in the bathroom, the mudroom or the kitchen.
Pack the night before
Make sure all items that the children will need for school or daycare are packed the night before. We live in Minnesota and now that it is Winter, snow pants, boots, mittens and hats need to be brought to school. But they also need to bring regular shoes too, so decide if they are wearing boots or shoes to school the night before if you know what the forecast is.
Line everything up
Set out and line up all outdoor gear they will be wearing in the car or to the bus stop. We live in Minnesota and for 8+months of the year we have to wear some type of jacket. Now that it is Winter, we have carseat safe jackets that they wear. But if they temperature is low, we have to grab their puffer jackets for when they go our for recess at school, so those go in the backpacks as well.
Pick out clothes the night before
Have your children help pick out their clothes before they go to bed. For the longest time, I chose their clothes, but since starting school all three of my children like to decide what they are wearing. Having their clothes either laying out on the floor or folded on their dresser helps with the morning routine. If they are independently dressing themselves this will make your life easier. If they are still young and need assistance, you won’t be frantically looking for coordinating clothes while wrangling children.
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Pre-make a nutritional breakfast. So you can either pop it in the oven, microwave or eat them right away. Fan favorites at our house are blue berry muffins, eggs and English muffins and always side of fruit. While meal prepping might not be for everyone, having fruit and vegetables ready to eat is always a good idea for a quick grab and go snack.
Routine is key
Keep the routine consistent. I am sure at this point you are saying yes, we do have the same schedule every day. But even the littlest things make a difference in morning routine. Try to start your children’s day at the same time everyday if possible. Have the same parent or caregiver do the same activities of morning routine during the school/work week. We all know weekends and holidays are hit or miss. But try to plan similar routines for those days.
Children are creatures of habit and no matter if they are 3 weeks old, 3 years old or 13 years old. They desire routine and consistency. As their parents and caregivers, we can start their days off great! I hope these tips give you some ideas on how to create consistency and ease in your morning routine.
About the author
Krista Vanderveren, TLC’s Minnesota associate, is a mother to three, she has a 6 year old singleton boy and 3 year old fraternal twin girls. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise Science and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education. She is on the board for the Minnesota Valley Mother’s of Multiples organization and is active in the mother’s of multiples community in the twin cities. Krista is excited to share her experience and knowledge as a mother of multiples and making connections with expecting families of multiples. We are blessed to all be on this journey of raising multiples. You can reach Krista at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on our Twin Cities services.