20 WAYS TO MAKE SCHOOL RUN MORNINGS LESS STRESSFUL
I think most parents find school run mornings very stressful. It can take army-like precision to make sure everyone leaves on time with everything they need but to do that you need a strategy! So, here are 20 ways to make school run mornings less stressful.
JUST WHY ARE SCHOOL RUN MORNINGS SO STRESSFUL!?
To move a small army of little ones from A to B takes planning. Even more so, when you have to be there at a certain time, and maybe have to get to work yourself – calm, composed and without breakfast down your top.
There’s a lot of things to think about, all in quite a short space of time. So, it’s not surprising that many of us find school run mornings more than a bit stressful. But…
Here are some tactics that I’ve found work for our family to make school run mornings less stressful.
20 WAYS TO MAKE SCHOOL RUN MORNINGS LESS STRESSFUL
1. Create a solid evening routine for yourself so you do as much as possible the evening before. If you need help or ideas for this, check out my post on developing an evening routine that works for you.
2. Lay out their uniform and your clothes the night before so it’s quick and easy to find and put on.
3. Make sure all homework is done the evening before and put it all back into school bags.
4. Pack the school bags completely and include whatever is needed for that day (e.g. PE kit, swimming stuff).
5. Prep the packed lunches the evening before – meal planning at the weekend can really help so you already know what’s for lunch on each day and you’ve got all the ingredients to make it. Have a read of my meal planning made simple post for inspiration.
6. Plan for snacks. If your kids take snacks into school with them, plan for these like you plan for meals. This way you know what you need to shop for and you can try to find healthy options than reaching for the nearest bag of crisps.
7. Get organised with the papers. Make sure all school permission slips, letters from school etc are read and signed if needed and put into bags the evening before so they’re not forgotten about. Being organised with your paper filing can really help here.
8. Bath time and hair washing etc could be done the night before to save time in the morning.
9. Keep on top of the laundry so there’s always clean uniform to hand in case of emergencies e.g. breakfast spills! I’ve written a whole post and downloadable freebie on how to set up routines for keeping your home running smoothly which might be helpful for you.
10. Establish a morning routine for yourself and get up before the kids – get yourself ready and do as much of everything else as possible before they wake up. Check out my post on setting up a morning routine to see how it’s done!
11. Use a chart or some kind of visual list with pictures for little ones, which everyone can see, that shows your kids everything they need to do that morning to be ready to leave the house.
12. Establish a routine – make sure everyone knows the order in which to do things e.g do you want them to eat breakfast/do teeth before they get dressed so they don’t get breakfast/toothpaste down their clean uniform? Do the same thing every day so everyone knows what’s happening.
13. Foster independence in your kids. Encourage and teach your kids to dress themselves from as early age as possible so they can get dressed by themselves rather than needing your help and time.
14. Limit breakfast choices to a couple of options to save time on decisions – you can rotate different options throughout the week for variety.
15. Timings – make sure everyone knows what time you need to leave the house and give plenty of reminders – for example we’re leaving the house in 30 minutes, 20 minutes, 15 minutes, 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 2 minutes etc. There’s no excuses that your kids didn’t know the time or how long they’ve got!
16. Don’t forget to finish the lunches and put them out ready to take with the school bags. No good prepping the night before if you leave them in the fridge (yes, this one’s for me!)
17. Same for water bottles. Fill them with fresh water and don’t forget to put them in the school bags!
18. Put together a grab bag. If you’ve got little ones, put together a bag of stuff that you might need when you’re out doing the school run and keep this ready to take with you whenever you go out, including school run mornings. You never know when you’ll need a baby wipe or a spare nappy and it’ll save you much less stress, hassle and time knowing that you’ve got an emergency bag with you (either on the buggy if you’re walking, or in the car if you’re driving).
19. No screen time, technology or other games until they’re ready and they have time to spare.
20. Keep calm! I’ve found that how I am in the mornings kind of sets the tone for everyone else’s mood. So, if I’m shouty and stressed out then my kids tend to react accordingly!
AND NOW IT’S YOUR TURN!
Give these ideas a go for a couple of weeks and they’ll hopefully make a big difference to your school run mornings.
It will probably take a little time for everyone, including you, to get into the swing of things but even putting in place half the list should really help you get more organised and manage your time a bit better.
Be persistent, learn from anything that goes wrong and find a routine that works for you and stick to it!
You’ll be calmer and not feel like you’ve done a full day’s work before the day has even begun, your kids will benefit from the structure and you’ll save yourself a whole load of hassle and stress!