Thursday, September 23, 2010

Morning Routine

I have seen more and more on the internet about having a morning routine with kids. That certainly makes me feel like I am not alone. My wife and I struggle to get the girls out the door in the morning and have recently changed our day care options to buy an extra 30 minutes in the morning and evenings.

The morning tasks are pretty universal:
(1) Get out of bed
(2) Use restroom/change diaper
(3) Get dressed
(4) Brush teeth/comb hair
(5) Have breakfast
(6) Put on shoes
(7) Collect backpacks and leave

We don’t have to pack lunches and baths are taken in the evenings. If we started 15 minutes earlier each day we could have the kids eat breakfast at school. This routine takes about 30 minutes +/- 10 minutes. The plus or minus is usually due to whining and/or not being cooperative. When it takes 40 minutes, it just sets a tone for a rough day. When it takes 20 minutes, you feel like sacrificing something for the blessing bestowed upon you.

A large contributor is the quality/amount of sleep that the kids get. I cannot put my kids to bed. That has unfortunately become exclusively my wife’s domain. When she is out of town, nobody is happy. When the kids are asleep by 9:00 PM and up before 7:00 AM, it is a surreal aligning of the stars.

We have tried tricks like having clothes laid out and do steps 4-7 downstairs in order to multi-task while one or the other is eating breakfast. Our 3 year old is becoming somewhat independent, however she has more opinions on the sense of urgency and method to each of the morning tasks. Our 1 year old is obviously very dependent, but doesn’t prefer one pair of shoes over another.

My own morning routine is pretty much the same except for a shower in the morning and breakfast at work. I usually pack food the night before, but this occasionally adds 5 minutes to the morning.

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