Get Your Family Out the Door on Time
By Jennifer Kelly Geddes
The dog needs walking, the kids are hungry and you can’t find your car keys. Sound familiar? Well, you’re very much not alone. But take heart: The a.m. rush does not have to send you over the edge. You can definitely make a speedy departure — and save your sanity — by planning ahead. Read on for some smart tips that’ll reduce your family’s morning rush.
Missing out on those precious zzz’s is a recipe for disaster in the morning (and don’t get us started on tired and cranky kids at the breakfast table!). Everyone needs a good night’s rest in order to achieve a successful early exit. Making bedtimes a priority is the first step.
Prepare for Takeoff
When it comes to leaving on time, think “grab-and-go.” You want to be able to quickly lay your hands on exactly what you need, so be super organized the night before. Ideally you’ll have placed loaded and ready backpacks by the front door, stored packed lunches in the fridge, laid out the kids’ clothes (and your own!) and planned — at least mentally — what you’ll serve for breakfast.
You don’t have to be a short order cook during the week. Save Saturdays and Sundays for your special blueberry-buttermilk pancakes and omelets to order. During the week, a set menu can work well (cereal on Monday, bagels on Tuesday, eggs on Wednesday). Or whip up something portable like peanut butter and banana on toast or dry cereal and blueberries in a plastic bag.
Teach a Lesson
You shouldn’t always step in and “save the day,” especially if your kids are older. Missing the bus, forgetting an assignment or losing the lunch money are bound to happen, but if they become regular occurrences that tend to trip you up during the morning exit, you might consider letting your child face the music. The next time he could decide to wake up earlier or create a checklist of things he needs for school — and your days of rushing out the door will (almost!) be over.
Jennifer Kelly Geddesis a New York-based writer and editor who has written for Parenting, iVillage.com and Time Out New York Kids. She frequently contributes to Go Vibrant.