Man, is there any time more hectic in the day than getting yourself and your kids out the door on time? Between waking up around 6:00..I mean 6:10... Ok, fine 6:20ish... and leaving the house around 7:45, a lot happens, and even though my husband helps get our older daughter ready, there's always something-- toddler tantrum, outfit rejection, or last minute poopy diaper-- that throws us off and sets us back. 

Especially when I have an 8:00 am meeting, I need to be ready to roll so we can get out the door on time and with minimal stress. Here are 9 things you can do to prepare for the morning.

  • Pack lunches the night before. I eat breakfast and lunch at work, so I get these things all packed and stacked in the fridge the night before, ready to go for the next day. This is even easier if you've prepped food ahead of time and utilize leftovers! 
  • Lay out the kids' clothes (or yours) ahead of time. My toddler won't let me pick out her clothes, but if your kid lets you, do it the night before to save some time in the morning. I really need to work on this for myself because I usually change my outfit a few times every morning, which ultimately makes us run late! 
  • Shower at night. If you can swing a shower at night, you might be able to sneak a few more zzzs, but still get up a few minutes earlier than normal and not be so rushed. 
  • Program your coffee. If you have a programmable coffee maker, use it! Save yourself 2 minutes in the morning and have a nice, fresh cup of joe waiting for you.
  • Pack your bags. Get your work bag, the diaper bag, laptop, workout bag, etc. all ready the night before and set them by the door so all you have to do is grab them on the way out.
  • Snack break. If your kids eat breakfast at daycare like mine, but are hungry when they wake up, plan ahead and set it out the night before. 
  • Tag team. Obviously, if your partner is home in the morning, make them help! Once our second baby came around, we worked it out that my husband would get our oldest dressed, while I tended to the baby (since I was still nursing). Then I get dressed while he gets the girls in their shoes, coats, etc.
  • Have a routine. Having a consistent routine in the morning helps everyone know what's coming next and limits the surprises. Kids especially thrive on routine, and even my 16-month old knows when it's time to get her shoes on, which makes it easier to get things done. 
  • Put down the phone. With most of us using our phones as alarms, it's easy to start scrolling through social media, check emails, etc. first thing in the morning. Once I start doing that, I usually end up wasting 10-15 minutes and have to rush through the rest of my routine. 

And hey, if you plan ahead but you're still running out of the house like a hot mess? Cut your losses, and treat yourself with your favorite coffee drink and pastry from the coffee shop. You deserve it. 

What are your tips for making your mornings run a little smoother?