Getting ready in the morning can be challenging for anyone, let alone busy parents who have multiple kids in tow. To help our readers thrive in this busy time The Latch has teamed up with Yoplait to give you easy tips and tricks to be as efficient as possible in the morning, so you can have more quality time to spend with the kids.
Preparation is key for sailing through the morning with no hiccups. The more you can set yourself up for success the night before, the less you have to do in the morning and the lower the chances become of you cancelling plans or throwing in the towel and announcing to your kids that NO ONE IS GOING ANYWHERE ANYMORE.
All it takes is for one single shoe to be missing and your entire morning will turn upsidedown — it’s inevitable you’ll be late, and you’ll be throwing stuff around like an enraged bin chicken as you flip the house on its head trying to look for it. You’ll resent the owner of said missing shoe and in the 45 minutes you’ve spent looking for it, you’ll have missed Mum’s group.
So, with a plan to skip that whole ordeal, I’ve determined a few simple things that I like to do the night before a new day to ensure I’m always putting my best foot forward when my household wakes up.
1. Unpack the day
I’m not talking about their bags or lunch boxes. I’m talking about having a conversation with your husband. Your mum. A friend. Writing about it. Talking about the kids. Their behaviour. What happened. How the day went.
I like to use humour when reciting bits and pieces of my day (because a sense of humour is imperative with motherhood). If I’ve had a hard day, I’ll share my wild stories with Rhian and then write about it.
When you are in the belly of the beast, nothing is that funny. You are becoming balder by the day, the nervous twitch in your eye has become a permanent thing and you can feel extremely overwhelmed. But upon reflection, all you can do is laugh!
Toddlers are crazy. Their little emotions are like nothing you can prepare yourself for. Whilst also honouring their feelings, you can then have a giggle about how absurd some of their tantrums are. Last week, my two-year-old lay on the floor and cried for 20 minutes because I wouldn’t let him eat a dishwashing tablet. Even though I explained it was made up of chemicals to clean crockery and knives and forks, he was beside himself he couldn’t have one.
For me, unpacking the day is therapeutic. It means I don’t go to bed with any angst or stress. I can wipe the slate clean and start afresh each day.
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2. Lay their clothes out the night before
If you have children like mine, you’ll know dressing them is the biggest challenge most mornings. Just kidding; everything is a challenge, but I do seem to spend a lot of time negotiating with my four-year-old about what she wants to wear.
“No Charli, it’s the middle of winter and you are four, you can’t wear your singlet strap bridesmaid dress that’s a size one to daycare.”
Following the negotiations, I’ll end up chasing my two-year-old around the house in the nude because I spent too much time looking at options for outfits and he’s already removed all his clothes and is halfway dressed as Elsa.
And when Kobe isn’t vomiting up his curdled milk, he’s drooling like a Saint Bernard and needs approx 18 different outfits. So, you see now why it’s best to get all outfits out and ready the night before.
Putting their clothes on is A WHOLE OTHER debacle but at least if the clothes are laid out and ready to rock and roll the minute they get up, you’ve eliminated at least 20 minutes of chaos. Score.
3. Meal prep
Going to Mum’s Group? The beach? You are going to need at least 568 snacks, so get your ice bricks and Esky ready the night before. I’m talking about little zip-lock bags filled with cheese and crackers, tubs of Yoplait Yoghurt with muesli, fruit, sandwiches, and everything in between.
When you think you’ve made enough snacks, make more. Get it all done the night before while the kids are in bed because nothing weighs you down more than 18kgs of toddler around your ankles while you’re trying to make your way from the pantry to fridge and back again.
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4. Pack and place
Pack all the lunches, all the snacks you just made, all the toys, buckets, spades, sunscreen, hats and whatever else you need for the following day. Extra clothes if it’s daycare days.
Whatever you are going to need for the next day, pack it all the night before and then I like to leave it in the same place every night. Right next to the back door which opens out to our garage!
So even when you are batshit tired and trying to carry three kids out to the car, you physically will not miss it. And if you do, you’ll trip over it and realise pretty quickly that it’s there.