Joining in With Those Who Scramble

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Categories Parenting Twins, Routines, ToddlersTags

Like most stay at home moms, we have a nice weekly routine that keeps my 2-year-olds, Tiny and Buba, and me busy and out there with other caregivers and similar aged kids. Most of our activities start mid-morning (9:30/10ish) and all are just minutes away. This means that there is plenty of time for everyone to get up, get ready, and get out the door on time.

Our current morning routine goes something like this: T and I get up at 6:30 (often Tiny and Buba are already awake, but if they aren’t they tend to wake once they hear us moving about). T begins getting ready while I get the kids up. Tiny and Buba each drink a sippy cup of milk while I read them four or five books, and then I work on getting them dressed. (Getting dressed has recently started to take a while, as Tiny feels she needs to be involved in choosing her clothing and both kiddos now insist on attempting to dress themselves.) By the time the kids are dressed, T is ready and he spends time with them while I get myself ready. Then we all say bye-bye to daddy and I make breakfast for Buba, Tiny, and myself. We’re usually finishing breakfast around 8:30, so there’s always plenty of time to clean up, play, and pack a bag before heading out for our mid-morning activity.

But starting Monday, I will be joining in with those who scramble to get themselves and their kids ready and out the door on time. Because starting Monday, Buba and Tiny will begin attending a drop-off playgroup (run by Early Intervention) that starts at 9am and is a good 25-35 minutes away (factoring in morning traffic). So obviously, our somewhat leisurely morning routine will have to be kicked into high gear and certain parts will need to get dropped.

There are some things that are no brainers- we will have to eat breakfast earlier, so dropping the milk and books first thing makes sense. And I’ll definitely be packing the bag (with the travel potty, extra clothes, and snacks) the night before. But what worries me are all the things I can’t control- and what I’m talking about here is uncooperative children. Tiny is especially insistent about doing things herself these days, and while she can do quite a bit by herself, it does take her FOR. EV.ER. And I know she will be most unhappy if/when it becomes necessary for me to step in and take over one of her getting ready tasks.

So what do you have in your bag of tricks that keeps your morning routine going smoothly enough so that everyone is ready and out the door on time for work/daycare/school/activities? And what do you do to prevent and/or defuse children who may melt down and jeopardize the chances of you arriving punctually?

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13 thoughts on “Joining in With Those Who Scramble”

  1. Hi. I am the mom to a 4 year old and 17 month old twin girls. I also work full time out of the house.

    Here is our schedule to give you an idea on what I do. The one thing that I don’t have to worry about it the kids eating breakfast. Daycare will feed them.

    5:55 – I get up and shower

    6:15 – I eat breakfast and skim the news

    6:30 – Wake up the girls (if they aren’t already up) and get them dressed. I set out all the clothes for the next day the night before. They also get a sippy of milk. (They aren’t into dressing themselves yet, thank goodness!)

    6:45 – Wake up DS and get him dressed and brush teeth. The fastest thing I do is help him get dressed. He also normally gets a cup of milk and some dry cereal to munch on.

    6:55 – Do my hair quickly and get my lunch ready.

    7:08 – My cell phone alarm rings. It is a warning for them that we need to get ready to leave. I then start putting on coats and shoes.

    7:13 – Start bringing kids to the car. The girls don’t walk yet, so I carry them out one by one.

    By 7:20 – We are on our way to daycare!

    The alarm clock on my cellphone has really helped the my son in the mornings. He knows when it rings that it is time to start moving towards the car.

    I hope that helps!

  2. Have her pick out her clothes the night before and put them in a space where she can’t go back to chose more (so we dress them in the playroom). My biggest issue is that my kids are REALLY SLOW EATERS – like almost an hour! So I get their breakfast ready before I get them out of their cribs and sometimes if they don’t eat fast enough it’s a breakfast bar for snack an hour or so later. Whenver we are doing activities I try to get out of the house by 8:30 am and they are up at 7:00 am so it is always a scramble. It’s worse when I also have to herd my husband.

    I’m AMAZED how much better my nanny is at getting them out the door efficiently so it will come to you more easily once you are doing it more often.
    .-= Mommy, Esq.´s last blog ..Second Time Not So Charming =-.

  3. Have yourself all ready to go before they get up. By the time mine are up, I am dressed, lunches/bags/purse is in the car, my coffee is ready. So when they wake up (or I wake them up) all we do is get dressed and go.

    It stinks waking up that early, but it is so less stressful. If they get up somewhere in the mix, milk sippies and Sesame St work for the 15 mins it takes me to catch up.

  4. Like the others, I’m up and ready well before the kiddos are up. When I first started this last September to get all three out at 8 am, I decided that breakfast had to be on the go until I had all the kinks worked out … so everyone gets milk in a sippy, cereal and raisins or fruit in a ziploc. They can eat while I help them dress and do hair.

    I agree with Mommy, Esq, I too pick clothes the night before and take them to a location where they can’t be tempted to want to change outfits.

    And, like Twinmama Teb, I pack as much in the car as possible the night before or before everyone gets up … so the morning is mostly about getting dressed and going.

    But my biggest piece of advice? Don’t ever let them know you’re in a hurry … that is the surest way for my kiddos to want to put on the brakes :))
    .-= Merri Ann´s last blog ..Fish Pants =-.

  5. My kids dress in their school clothes and sleep in them. Unorthodox, but it works for us, since Melody and Jessica are NOT morning people. A sippy of milk in bed helps them wake up, and on a really rough morning, I’ve been known to put the girls in the car, and deal with hair, shoes and socks once we arrive at daycare. Also, we eat breakfast in the car, and the girls finish it up at school.

    When they were younger, I took them to school still sleeping.
    .-= Sadia´s last blog ..Mother of Multiples groups =-.

  6. I’m just jealous you actually get help in the morning. If I want to get myself ready (meaning, involves more than ratty jeans, a t-shirt and a pony tail) I have to get up at 5:30 a.m.

    But aside from that, I can have my 19-months ready to get out the door by 8am by not doing any reading and giving them their milk with breakfast. I also have their clothes picked out ahead of time and dress them while I change their overnite diaper. I imagine I’ll face more resistance as they get into the “I do it!” phase, though I plan to not give them options as long as possible. :)

  7. I sometimes bring them to school in a diaper, on those days that they’re fighting the getting dressed part. (If it’s raining out I get them dressed in the car when we arrive at school). Otherwise, the preschool teachers don’t mind. 😉

  8. 3.5 year old opinionated twin girls + one blissfully cooperative 10 month old boy = mornings from hell. Daycare provides the food. If they won’t cooperate with the outfits I picked they go to school in panties. This usually freaks them out enough where they will give in and get dressed before we hit the door. When they were smaller I sent them to daycare in jammies. Sesame Street is on from 6-8 AM and is a gift from GOD. Any tantrums are ignored. It’s usually Baby B that’s pitching a fit about something. I will grab Jax and Baby A follows me to the door and I say “bye” that’s enough to freak baby B out so she’ll stop screaming and give in. Thankfully my husband just scored a job where I work so in about two weeks I won’t be solo in the AM anymore and we’ll be dropping the kids off together. OH – regarding outfits….I usually lay out two different outfit choices in the living room the night before – both of which I approve of. This gives them the illusion that they are actually making a choice but in reality they are wearing whatever I want them to wear LOL!
    .-= Marnie´s last blog ..the beauty that surrounds me… =-.

  9. I too have used the trick of dressing the child for bed in the clothes they will wear the next day. Such as a soft sweat suit or cotton shirt, that elimiates the “getting dressed/ picking an outfit” hassle or argument. We don’t do this with our twins, but I did it with my older son when he was in daycare and was throwing a fit about getting dressed in the morning (around age 3). And if your commute TO the preschool will be 20 mins or more, eating breakfast IN the car will probably work best, and may be “fun” for them. With the possible drawback of a dirty diaper soon thereafter (if they’re like my boys…)

  10. I found it helps to always keep moving towards the door. So I get the kids dressed before we go downstairs. Then we have breakfast and get outside clothes on. I don’t let them backtrack after we’re downstairs. It also helps to have some incentives. DS loved to eat in the car on the way to the babysitters, so I would let him hold the container with his breakfast while I got the girls ready to go. He knew that as soon as he was snapped in his car seat, I would open it for him.

  11. I have a 3 year old and twin 21 month olds. I work full-time and have to be to work at 8 a.m. Lucky for me, Grandma’s (daycare) is only 2 minutes away from home.

    6:15 I wake up and shower
    6:25 Twins wake up and I take them downstairs to watch Mickey Mouse/Special Agent Oso with sippys of milk…I begin getting ready in our 1/2 bath on the first floor (all makeup and supplies are there.)
    6:50 Get twins dressed in the clothes laid out the night before
    7:00 3 year old wakes up…park him in front of the tv
    7:05 start my coffee, get my clothes ready (still wearing pjs at this time…don’t put work clothes on until I’m walking out the door to avoid drama.)
    7:10 get 3 year old dressed and give him a granola bar to tide him over
    7:15 jackets and shoes on
    7:20 load boys into car seats (that they can’t get out of so I have 5 more minutes to get my coffee and put my work clothes on)
    7:25 go to grandma’s house. they eat breakfast there and I barely kiss them goodbye
    7:30 on my way to work

    Also at 7:30, my husband gets up and gets ready in peace. Annoying.

  12. Man, do I struggle with getting out of the house, too! My girls wake at 5:45ish, and my husband is already gone at that point. ROUGH! Though at least getting up that early gives us more time, I guess?

    Getting as much done the day before helps a lot (including any sort of breakfast/snack prep). Picking out clothes the night before works well too. My twins are just starting to want to do things “own self, own self!!!” but sometimes I just tell them not this time, and let them rage after its done. For us, at least, the tantrum is short lived and generally gone once the car is moving.

    Breakfast in the car can work if its a really early AM. Dry cereal, dried fruit, fresh fruit, granola bars (often in “snack traps”) all work well for us.

    I do also use TV/Sesame Street to keep them occupied and peaceful while I shower/dress/pack lunches, etc. This is hugely helpful, for sure!
    .-= Kristin @ Intrepid Murmurings´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday: New Favorite Playground =-.

  13. S”o what do you have in your bag of tricks…so that everyone is ready and out the door on time for work/daycare/school/activities?” – (1) pack their bags the night before, (2) get up earlier than everybody else and get myself dressed (and have doorknob covers on the INSIDE of their rooms so they can’t get out)

    “And what do you do to prevent and/or defuse children who may melt down and jeopardize the chances of you arriving punctually?” (1) leave with plenty of time, (2) take snacks. My car is now a refuse of one-off cheerios but it makes my 30 minute one-way commute manageable
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..Zen Of Baking Bread =-.

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