Weekday mornings for a working mom are tough. Let’s be honest, they’re tough for everyone. But, for mamas who work out of the home, there are multiple juggling acts that must take place to get out of the house on time. Get yourself ready, get the kids ready, make breakfast, prep lunches, make coffee, let the dog out, and feed the baby and prep bottles all in an hours’ time. I have three kids under 6 – all three are in different schools. I live in permanent chaos. I thrive on three things: routine, convenience, and caffeine. These three things help me get through the crazy weekday mornings while I’m on my own in the mornings. With kids going back to school, you may want to overhaul your AM routine. Less juggling, more convenience.
Here are 5 back-to-school mom hacks for the working mom
1. Prep food & coffee the evening before.
We thaw and prep our lunch and dinners before the sun rises. We brown/grill the meat, get lunches all packed up, and turn delay timer on the coffee pot so that a fresh cup is there to greet me at 6AM. We grocery shop on Sunday and menu plan for the week so we know exactly what’s for lunch and dinner every day. Hubby and I also take turns preparing dinner every other day to avoid burn out (because the last thing you want to do after a busy workday is come home and be glued to the stove). Here are a few of our favorite 30-minte or less meals.
2. Pick out clothes for the week on Sunday.
The kids and I go through their closets/drawers and we pick out an outfit for each day of the week. It includes shirt, pants, underwear, socks, and shoes. That way there is no arguing, looking for matches, or running late because of clothing drama. We use these cubbies to hang in the closet for each kid, so they know exactly which outfit is for which day. Do you battle with getting the kids to wear what you picked out? Try having a themed day (beach day, superhero day, red/white/blue day, school spirit day, etc.) to make each day something to look forward to. Or, try fun new underwear or socks with the days of the week!
3. Snack corner in the pantry.
We keep a small organizational tote for easy-to-grab kids snacks in the pantry. That way, if the older kids get up before me, they can grab a snack for themselves without delaying me getting ready or waking me up at 5 AM. These snacks include applesauce pouches, granola bars, fruit strips, PopTarts, cereal bags, freeze dried yogurt, and dried fruit. I also have a shelf of drinkable yogurts, sliced fruit, and cheese sticks in an easy-to-reach shelf in the refrigerator.
4. Everyone has a job.
I delegate tasks for the kids in the morning. One lets the dog out & watches the baby while I get dressed and one gets lunches out of the fridge & gets backpacks ready for the day. The kids get up around 5:30. They get their jobs done, have a snack, and then play or watch cartoons until I get ready.
5. Organizational hooks by the door.
We installed these hooks by the door with each kids’ names. Every day after school, they hang up their backpack, coats, and hats so that they’re ready to go for the morning. No rushing around the house trying to find what we need – it’s almost always on their hooks.
Of course, mornings aren’t always butterflies and rainbows; sometimes we have hiccups or rough days. But, sticking to this routine and scheduled has saved time and sanity! I hope it helps another fellow working mom as well!
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