Dear Working Mother,

Just like Martina, my first born has started school this week and I’m a school run virgin as well as a school gate virgin. It’s an exciting, emotional time and it’s also an added complication to an already busy morning.

My husband leaves for work every morning by 6.30am so it’s up to me to get my two kids up, dressed, fed and out the door to school and crèche before I get to work each morning. Some days it feels like I’ve done a day’s work by the time I get to my desk!

So I’ve been trying to rethink my morning routine to see if there are any ways to make it a little easier on us all… to reduce the stress and maybe even make time for a few laughs in the morning instead of the all too often crankiness.

Here’s a few tips I’ve put together, some of which I use, some of which I aspire to and some I know I’ll probably never embrace… but they just might work for you.

Shower at night, and, when necessary, embrace dry shampoo – I know, sometimes it’s the last thing you want to do at night but every time I try to shower and wash my hair in the morning, I end up running late, no matter how early I get up.

Have the whole family lay out clothes for the next day – this will have varying degrees of success depending on how old your kids are but it’s probably the number one time saving tip.

Sign any school notes or slips the night before – this makes a lot of sense and saves time rushing around in the morning.

Invest in a slow cooker and cook your porridge in it overnight – wake up to breakfast that’s ready and waiting and save some precious time in the morning. This one is definitely on my ‘aspire to’ list, I’ve even bought the slow cooker so I’ll be trying this soon!

Have breakfast first, then get the kids dressed – the benefit is that you don’t run the risk of getting stains on clothes or school uniforms.

Take advantage of your kids’ competitive nature and make getting ready a competition – use a stop watch, pit them against each other or offer a bribe/reward… whatever works best for you.

Buy socks that are all the same colour – I read this somewhere recently and I love it… no more trying to find lost partners to little socks.

Wear the same outfit to work everyday – the kids wear a uniform, men get away with the same suit day after day, so why not a uniform for you too! It’s a brave move but wouldn’t it make life so much easier…

Wear your dressing gown over your clothes – this might not work in the middle of summer but it’s a great idea if you have an especially big day and need to dress to impress. Baby spit on your shoulder at a board meeting is not a good look.

Hang a clock in your kitchen – I’ve been caught out many times with losing track of time in the mornings and I am planning to hang a clock soon so everyone can  quickly see what time it is and if we’re running late.

Create a Morning Schedule – this can hang beside your clock so you (and your kids) know if you’re on track to get out the door in time.

Get a Key Rack – we waste a lot of time hunting for keys in our house so a key rack that hangs in the hall is something I’m on the hunt for so we always know where our keys are…

I’m sure everyone has a different morning routine and many of you have some great tips that are worth sharing to help reduce the stress in the morning. Please share your tips below with our working mother here and let’s help each other get out the door with a smile…

Sincerely,

Elaine Lawless
The Working Mother