The Tipping List
Tips to make your mornings a breeze
-Michelle Kemper Brownlow
As school approaches, I dream of Carol Brady moments. The children are all smiling while quietly moving in a single-file line, one-by-one taking their brown bag lunch from the loving grip of their calm, smiling mother. Or in the Brady’s case, Alice’s loving grip.
Weekdays in my house my children are fighting, trying on outfits, scrambling for shoes, swallowing their breakfast whole and running out the door. No sooner does the sigh escape my lips and I hear, “Mom, we wanted to pack lunch today. Can you bring them to school?!” I wipe the sweat from my brow, pack lunches and drive to school in my PJs.
Here are some tips for keeping your sanity before the bus takes your children:
Lay Clothes out the Night Before
Having this large piece of the puzzle in place before their heads hit the pillow will add precious time to your morning schedule. But chances are, the Jonas Brothers tee that was perfect the night before is less than “burnin’ up” the next day. For those finicky dressers, have them lay out two options each night.
Keep packing lunch mindless by having loads of easy options on hand. Single-serving containers with healthy choices are a must-have. Applesauce, carrots and dip, small bags of pretzels, etc. allow you the freedom to pack lunch before your coffee perks.
Get the BEAST (paperwork) under Control
Adopt my husband’s mantra, “Give everything a home.” Last year we started a filing system right in the kitchen. School folders, homework that needs to be checked and papers to be signed all have a home that sits in plain sight reminding me of the attention it deserves.
Quick and Easy Breakfasts
It’s actually easy to feed your kids a healthy meal quickly in the morning. Let’s face it – they can’t last until lunch on three Fruit Loops, a marshmallow and the toothpaste from the corners of their mouths. Yogurt, OJ, a dash of cinnamon, a banana and a blender makes for a delicious smoothie. Throw some scrambled eggs in a folded flour tortilla and they can chomp a breakfast taco on their way to the bus stop.
Getting them off in the morning will not always be simple, and at times may require nerve pills, but these no-fail tips will help you keep your sanity as you prepare for the school-day craze.
Michelle Kemper Brownlow lives, blogs and cleans peanut butter off her ceiling fan in southeastern Penn. She writes for regional parenting magazines and has a weekly inspirational/humor column called the Gift of Gab. For more information, contact Michelle at firstname.lastname@example.org.