Is there really and answer? I mean our Monday morning went like this...
6:46 I travel downstairs to wake up the older monster. She's decent at waking up. I poke her, tickle her, kiss her awake...she can lie on the couch until 7am. Then its go go go time.
7:02 she gets her cereal. I am cleaning out the dishwasher that ran overnight. And the dishes on the counter left to dry overnight. I start making her lunch for the day.
7:22 she is finished breakfast and heads back downstairs to get ready for her day up. I start to wake up the younger monster. Lots of kisses and tickles. I stroke her hair and tell her I love her.
7:30 the alarm goes off. A reminder to keep on the younger monster. She's slower to wake up. I kiss her and leave her until the older monster is gone.
7:42 'Hey *older* Monster what time is it?' - '7:42, uh, okay...'
7:44 'HEY! you have 30 seconds!' - 'Why what time is it?' - 'You're late!' - SERIOUSLY!!! This is her dead late minute to leave the house an make it to her school bus on time.
7:46 ...I'm now driving the older Monster to her bus stop and the younger one is slowly making her way to get her bowl of cereal.
7:51 I am back home while the younger monster gets going. We have less than 1 hour to get this one out the door
8:00 am I swoosh her back to get dressed. This one is slow as a sloth! I set an alarm for 5 minutes for her to get dressed.
8:05 'Hey, are you dressed?' - ' umm....I have my underwear on....' - FACE PALM - 'GET DRESSED!!!' I set the alarm for 2 minutes
8:20 After more ack and forth and yelling and constant check ins she is dressed. 'Brush your teeth!' - i set another alarm for 5 minutes.
8:25 'Did you brush you teeth?' - 'ya...' - 'Good, now brush your hair!' - i set another alarm for her
8:30 and she is finally dressed and groomed!
Each morning I spend 2 hours rousing, coaxing, pushing, pleading 2 monsters to get ready and prepare breakfast and lunches. They are 9 and 12...we have tried it many ways and this is the most successful we have been yet. We have tried the they are in charge of themselves completely. That meant a lot of 5 minutes to get ready and a lot of yelling and frustration for all of us. We have tried the alarms set for every 5 minutes to keep them time aware while they are still in charge of getting themselves ready. Which created a lot of anxiety and screaming in response to the alarms. We have settled on the I am in charge and poke and prod them along the way with the help of alarms.
I don't have a magic solution for you. What I do have is ideas and solutions that have worked for us:
1. Be Time Aware:
This is a big deal in our house. Both the little ladies have a very poor sense of time. We have clocks in nearly every room of the house, including their bathroom. We know what time they need to leave to be on time. And we know what MINUTE they are considered late.
2. Alarm Yourself:
Alarms go off for everything in our house. There is an alarm for each of us to wake up, for the time they each need to leave the house for school, for each activity an alarm of when we need to leave the house, an alarm for when register for activities. BEST tool we have found to keep us on time and less stressed about the process of getting to activity or school.
3. Assign Who is in Charge of What:
I am in charge of waking the kids up. They are in charge of dressing and grooming. I am in charge of the main part of their meal box for school and activity, they are in charge of the rest of the meal box. You get the idea. We have a very set routine around each activity, school routine, and even our weekends! Of course some weekends call for a Big Greasy Breakfast and so we also allow for spontaneity.
4. Be Organized:
I stress this one! Each activity has their own box in the front hall closet. With the bags, gear, and outfit they need. The water bottles are in the kitchen where they can reach them. Gear is put in the wash the last day it is used during the week, washed on the weekend, and returned to the box. no searching their room for it come Monday when the race begins again!
This has been years in the making. But once we find what works, we apply it consistently. We also review what is going wrong in the process when things are not going well. We discuss it for 'process flaw', or if it is a 'person not following through' flaw - that can be them or me. This review has also become a consistent part of the routine.
Life is ever evolving, and changing, and let's be honest, you don't have to schedule every moment. What we have found is that having a consistent routine around each type of activity reduced all our stress and made a happier family. We also communicate a lot about what works in our family and what doesn't! Its a win-win for our family!
Message me if you want to talk about solutions for your family! I am a solutions seeker and love to help.
P.S. We felt so good about our own lives we have invited other kids in our home now too. With international exchange students and other temporary students coming through our home.
Ready to find out more?
Send me a message for solutions to your challenges!