Family Life

Streamlining Our School Morning Routine

August 11, 2017

This post is sponsored by Kohl’s. I received the included Carter’s clothes as compensation.

We’ve got a few weeks of school under our belts, and although it’s been good, it’s definitely been a bit of an adjustment for our whole family. The mornings, of course, are the busiest time, as Ella gets ready for school and Bart gets ready for work and the rest of us get ready for our morning at home.

ELLA’S DRESS • ANI’S DRESS (similar) • ANI’S BUNNY SHOES

STAR’S WHITE LACE DRESS • STAR’S GLITTER SNEAKERS

  And as a morning person, those first couple hours of the day are vital for me to set the tone for a good rest of the day. These five tricks have helped immensely to get the morning started on the right foot and hopefully one or two of them will help you too.

  1. Lay out clothing the night before. It kind of feels like nothing else can happen until everyone is dressed, so it’s really helpful if we pick out the girls’ clothing the night before so that as soon as they wake up they can get dressed and move on to the next steps (I skipped this the other day and Ani stayed in her pajamas until almost noon and then it was a crazy rush to get her dressed before taking her to preschool). It’s also really helpful because then I know that what they are going to wear matches (I love Carter’s dresses and outfit sets for this because there’s no thinking about whether or not it matches – it just all looks perfect!). We hit up Kohl’s to pick up a few new things for back-to-school a couple of weeks ago, and got several new outfits for each of them from the Carter’s line. I’m a long-time Carter’s fan and I love that their clothing is well-made, comes in a huge range of styles, and holds up really well (I went through all our children’s clothing a few weeks ago and 90% of the clothing that has survived through all my children is from Carter’s). It’s so nice for the girls to easily get themselves dressed each morning and that they look cute and put-together with minimal effort. Plus, the prices at Kohl’s are hard to beat – from 8/4 t0 8/20, all of Carter’s playwear is 40% – 50% off and you can use the promo code BTS10 to get $10 off $50 on back-to-school categories (which includes Carter’s clothing). It just makes those early mornings just that much easier, and I love that Carter’s has not only cute clothing, but darling shoes and accessories so they can be ready from head to toe.
  2. Pack lunches the night before. I’m not perfect about doing this and I regret it whenever I don’t. Having those in the fridge, ready to grab and go, makes such a huge difference in how busy the morning feels. I also pack all three girls lunches even though Ella’s the only one who eats lunch at school because it makes lunch at home so much quicker and easier, plus they love feeling like big kids eating from a lunch box.
  3. Get up before your kids. I love sleeping in as much as the next person, and we’ve enjoyed much more relaxed mornings the past 18 months since Ella stopped going to kindergarten, but now with her back in school, it makes a world of difference for me to wake up about an hour before the girls do so I can get a run in (I wrote “fun” by accident, but it’s definitely not that fun) and be at least mostly ready before they wake up and then I can concentrate on getting them dressed and out the door and when I come home from dropping Ella off, I’m all ready for the day. If only Carter’s made adult clothing with complete outfits to make dressing myself as easy as it is to dress the girls (and for the record, I would absolutely wear any of the dresses my girls are wearing in these photos myself).
  4. Make a to-do list before bed. I notice a massive difference in the days that I do this and the days that I don’t. If I write down all the things I need to do the next day, I feel way more focused in the morning instead of distracted, flustered, and wasting time. I also try to write my to-do list in the general order of the day (so the things that need to happen first thing, after breakfast, before lunch, when the girls get home, and after they’re in bed) so it’s easier for me to scan and see what tasks I need to accomplish, plus make me more realistic about what I can actually get done in a day.
  5. Give warm greetings. This is something I learned from Gretchen Rubin. In the mornings, when the girls come in, whether I’m making breakfast, doing my hair, or cooling down from my run, I try to be extra enthusiastic and delighted to see them, giving them some attention and focus so that they know they’re more important to me than filling up water bottles or putting on mascara. It doesn’t have to be long, but even 15 seconds of looking them in the eye, giving them a hug, asking how they slept, or complimenting them on getting dressed on their own, makes a huge difference in the tone of our morning. This doesn’t come naturally to my go-go-go personality, but it’s the kind of mom I want to be.

What are your secrets for a smooth morning on school days?

And if you’re looking for new clothing for back-to-school, definitely check out the Carter’s line at Kohl’s for the cutest outfits and accessories and take advantage of their sale on Carter’s playwear through August 20th! (And, side note to Carter’s, if you make those glitter sneakers in my size, I’ll definitely buy those too).

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5 Comments

  • Reply brianna August 11, 2017 at 6:55 am

    Someone really should design a line of adult clothing that all mixes and matches. It could be a capsule wardrobe of sorts – you buy a set number of pants/skirts, tops, shoes, accessories and everything goes together and is seasonally appropriate. Everything goes together and so there’s no question about getting dressed in the morning. A person doesn’t have to worry about finding the right color shirt to go with the yellow pants because there’s already a shirt that does, but that shirt also goes with denim, gray, and black pants.

  • Reply Jodi August 11, 2017 at 7:21 am

    Oh gosh I’m so dreading this. We’ve got one more week until things get crazy. I think I mentioned atticus going to a new school for Spanish immersion and so we won’t have the bus, I’m going to have to have everyone ready and load up to take him and then evelyn to preschool right after. I’m not a morning person. Your tis are great, I try doing some of those already. We’ll see what I come up with when we’re there!

  • Reply Linda Abegg August 11, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    We just started this week and I’ve been making myself get up; it definitely helps. We pack lunches at night too. I like your reminder to greet them warmly in the midst of the to do list I’m cruising through. Each year I try different incentives to get them to get ready quickly on their own without me standing next to them. This week I bought mini Oreos that are on sale and if they are ready by 645, they get some in their lunch. I’m hoping if I switch the snack every week, it will work. Another thing that has really helped our mornings is scheduling our departure time early enough that when we have our inevitable late days, we still aren’t tardy. We aim for the beginning of the drop off window. Oh, and fun songs like Move by Saint Motel help get them up and going.

  • Reply Katherine August 11, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    I love carters too… so many of their things I wish I could have for myself! In face I do buy shoes from time to time in girls size 4 which fits my women’s 6 foot! Hah

  • Reply Diana August 14, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    I am SO dreading school mornings (even though they are still a year off for us) and know I need to start putting some of these (all of these…) into better practice now! Good things to think about!

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