|Me. Before coffee.|
I hate mornings. Ughhhhh. Really. I am not a morning person. But I am also incredibly stubborn and super determined to kick my enemies’ butts. Morning is my enemy. I will kick its butt. Grrr.
Before becoming a mom, I admit I was much less butt kicking and much more snooze hitting. There is something about being a mom that makes me fiercer. I am much more determined to get my kids to school on time than I ever was to get myself anywhere on time. It’s not like everyone else is always super punctual (except the annoying perfect people who I am sure secretly have basements full of dog poop which is the secret flaw I imagine for people who appear to be perfect because I hate dog poop). And parenthood really isn’t a competition. But it feels like it sometimes. And that challenge of I WILL Get Them to
TIME Today is powerful. Hey, whatever motivates, right? So I crank up the music
and we hustle. I found this great video of what trying to get out the door on
time feels like and it is totally accurate. Now that my girls are older, I don’t
get peed on or get the oatmeal thrown at me any more, but the chaotic feel can
be there still. School ON
Here are my top time savers that super help me get my kids out our door and in the school door before that tardy bell (warning: won't work for everyone):
- I don’t work any more. You have no idea how much time I save by not trying to also shower and make-up myself while also trying to wrangle the girls. I remember sticking the girls in the bathroom with me while I took the world’s fastest showers hoping one wasn’t toothpasting the other, then trying to brush my teeth and supervise toddler teeth brushing at the same time. It all got done, but I certainly never looked as pulled together as my coworkers who had no kids or the ones who admitted they dropped their kids at daycare then went home and got ready alone (I would have to drop my kids off at 5 am to do that!). Anyway, I know this is a b.s. time saver because who can really just quit their job to streamline their mornings, but honestly, every morning as I stick a hat on my dirty hair and throw jeans on without showering I am glad I am not working. I miss the paychecks and socializing with other grown-ups, but not the extra getting ready in the morning.
- I don’t own a dog. HUGE time saver. No offense to dog owners. I had a dog. I loved her, but when she died, we didn’t get another dog. Not needing to walk the dog in the morning is great. I just need to take care of my two humans who are enough to deal with most days. Again, streamlining and minimizing the to-do list. We have cats, but the litter box scooping goes way faster and can be done when I get back from dropping them off. Just as "quit your job" is a pretty b.s. time saver for a lot of moms, "get rid of your dog" will be, too. But not having one right now saves me time. (And, frankly, don't most time saving lists contain a lot of crazy, b.s. ideas? Some even have ideas that seem like they would take MORE time. But I am off on a time wasting tangent now . . .)
- I don’t do cute breakfasts.
- Clothes are already set out. Sure there are still occasional whines about outfits, and fall and spring get tricky with the temperature jumping around, but most mornings we don’t have to think about it. The girls have a hanging cubby system in their room. I stuff the cubbies with outfits including socks and underwear, so in the morning they just have to grab an outfit. They can pick any outfit from any cubby. This is probably the biggest time saver. I hate fighting about clothes. I think it is a ridiculous fight to have. I just want them dressed and moving on to the next thing, so this system works great. The girls preapprove the cubby outfits these days which greatly reduces the risk of morning “I don’t want to wear that” or “I don’t know what to wear” whining. I love it.
- Lunchboxes are also cubby systems. What can I say? I love a good cubby. We got these from Pottery Barn Kids, but similar ones are available all over the place. I don’t need to worry about running out of baggies (or feeling bad about killing sea turtles). I just put food in each cubby, close the lid, and move on. Super simple. Again, I don’t try to be cute. Sure, I’ve seen the Pinterest boards of people making their kids’ lunches works of art, but I just make it something they can eat. A sandwich and sides. Bing bang boom. Done.
As long as there are no major meltdowns about snarky girls or annoying people, everything runs smoothly and we go from bed to car in 40 minutes or less. We usually have time for a little playing or chatting or reading or dancing along the way, so the morning can start not super stressful. Of course, then I come back home after dropping them off and crash on the couch as if I’d just run a race. But I feel quite accomplished. And can check off that, yes, I did get up, kick ass.