It’s back to school and that means back to the school run! Oh no I hear you cry!
Whether it’s brand new to you or you’ve been doing it for years, getting everyone up, dressed and out in time for school can be a stressful and challenging job in the morning, especially when you have more than one child or when you have work to get to as well.
If you have read any of my other articles, your likely to know I believe that preparation is so important and this is definitely true in the morning for the school run. Here are a few of my top tips to help you keep cool and have a stress-free school run-
Try to sort out the children’s school bags and uniform the night before. I lay out all their clothes they will need for the next day before I go to bed myself. Make up any packed lunches that are needed and sort out any extra things like swimming bags and PE kits beforehand. This takes the pressure of first thing in a morning and helps for a smooth school run. Each night I try to put my son’s school uniform and shoes out for him ready for him to put on himself, that way no one is running around in the morning searching for things and stressing out. Keeping shoes in the same place each day will help know where they are each morning, try to get your children in the habit of putting them in one place.
Don’t forget to sort your stuff out the night before also! You don’t want everyone sat in the car waiting for you, but you’re running around looking for your work shoes or your purse. Before you get in bed, plan your outfit for the morning, restock the baby’s change bag and make sure your keys and purse are handy.
Encourage Your Children To Get Themselves Ready
Obviously, help your child with what you need to for example my son usually needs help with his top button on his shirt. Praise and encourage your children to dress themselves to save you valuable time, but also they will feel a sense of accomplishment! Maybe use sticker charts or reward charts to encourage your children to put their own shoes or jumpers on. Being organised will help with this.
We have a rule in our house that the television doesn’t go on until breakfast is finished and everyone is dressed and ready for school. This definitely helps with my eldest as he likes to watch a bit of telly before going to school.
Try To Be On Time (Easier Said Than Done)
Being late can make the situation more stressful for everyone. I know my five year old would get stressed in a morning if we were running late to get to school. For a smoother morning, I try to get up, shower and get myself ready before the kids get up. Setting my alarm to before they get up at least ensures I’m ready to help them get dressed, change nappies and sort breakfast. If your having timing issues in the morning, why not try setting your alarm a little earlier or pack your own bag for work the night before, it might help!
Now I am terrible for trying to fit way too much into one day! That can be stressful, making sure you have left the house with the correct bags and enough nappies as well as three dressed children and a school bag. If you have a young baby, maybe you could leave them in their sleep-suit for the school run rather than rush to change them. Once your back home or at a baby group, you could dress your baby then. I’ve now come to realise it’s just too much of a rush to do my makeup at home before getting the kids in the car and my eldest to school. So now I take my makeup with me and apply in the car outside school while we wait for the school bell.
Keep breakfast time simple!
On a school morning, we stick to cereal and toast. At the weekend my children love porridge, pancakes and eggs! Don’t feel guilty about it either, as long as your children go to school with a nutritious breakfast that’s all that matters.
Have A Good Bedtime Routine
My three children have had quite a strict bedtime routine from being very young. My eldest is six year old and is still in bed each night around 7pm. I find if we stick to our bedtime routine of bath, a cup of milk with a story and bed by 7pm, he sleeps well and isn’t grumpy in the morning. This make’s for a smoother morning, a happier child that slept well is more likely to dress himself, eat their breakfast nicely and generally listen better. You can read more about my strict bedtime routine here.