While I still maintain that I love back-to-school time, I do have to admit that it’s a major transition and takes some patience and planning to get things running smoothly.
We’ve had a pretty good first two weeks, but there are a few things that have popped up that I know we need to address.
For instance, if I spend one. more. morning. watching O wander around the kitchen complaining loudly that he can’t find socks (HINT: they’re not in the kitchen), I will most likely go insane. So we’ve got to take a look at his sock situation and fix that so I don’t freak out. Side note: O can’t find things when they are literally sitting right in front of him, so I think part of the problem is that he is just not good at finding things. But really, I can’t take one more morning of the no-socks-routine from him, so we’re working on a solution this week.
Next, I MUST get back into the regular habit of making the kids’ lunches at night. I’m just not a morning person, and I’m fine with that. But since I know that to be true, I need to make sure I do as much as I can in the evenings to streamline the morning routine so I can sit at the kitchen table clutching my coffee cup for the first twenty minutes after I get out of bed. I do not want to be making four school lunches right then. Like, at all. On the days these last two weeks when lunches were made at night, mornings were MUCH nicer. I need to remember that at 8PM when I just want to sit on the couch and chat with Matt instead of making the lunches then.
Finally, we’ve got to re-think our chore situation. I’ve posted before about how we deal with morning responsibilities and chores here and here, but I think we need to review the plan–the kids have 90 minutes from the time I get up until they need to leave for school, and their chores take about 5 minutes total. I told B and G that I’d like them to work together each morning to unload the dishwasher for me–that makes a huge difference in how clean the kitchen is before they all head out the door–and it only takes them a few minutes. Plus I like to make them do cooperative chores; they can use the practice being nice to each other. So in addition to a morning chore from the list, I’m thinking each kid might need a regular, unchanging morning assignment too. I feel like 10-15 minutes of their mornings can be spent helping out, since pretty much every minute of my mornings revolves around helping them. So we’re looking at the chore situation this week and trying some new things. (Oh, how thrilled my children are.)
We’re slowly but surely adjusting to the new routine, and out of ten school days, we’ve had only one morning when we ran late and I had to drive them instead of letting them walk to school. Not too bad. Hopefully with a few tweaks, it will get better.
What do you do to make your mornings easier?