Mornings with Kids: Like Evenings, Only Worse?

At our house, there are two times of day you’re likely to see me break a sweat: Bedtime and Mornings!

Bedtime (what parent LOVES bedtime? Not the actual sleeping part; the carrying a kid to bed for the fifth time part) and the morning scramble to get out the door to work.

Mornings usually look something like this at our house:

  • Beg husband to take baby when she wakes up. Make any number of promises in exchange for for “just ten more minutes” of sleep. Usually, he concedes.
  • Begrudgingly wake up as husband feeds daughter breakfast and hop in the shower.
  • Get out of shower and holler at husband about why our slower-than-molasses son isn’t up yet, usually to be met with “Because he takes after his mother!”
  • Tag team effort to drag our three year old out of bed and, if we’re lucky, get him to eat three bites of yogurt over the course of fifteen minutes.
  • Pretend like “I’m in charge” when I’m really doing my best to think of any possible way to quickly get my son to get dressed in one of the three shirts (all featuring Lightning McQueen) he’ll actually wear, and demand he change his dirty socks even though they’re his “favorite Cars socks.” My husband is usually on toddler duty, trying to get himself ready, while making sure she doesn’t stuff her face with dog food, electrical cords, or random bits of paper she pulls out of goodness-knows-where.
  • Finish getting ready while at least one kid is crying or whining. At least every other day, throw in the toddler taking a spill on the hardwood floor.
  • Wonder what in the world is wrong that it takes my son a good ten minutes to put his velcro shoes on and zip up his jacket.
  • Load up two kids, my work bag, along with the world’s heaviest bag of daycare crap (sheets, blankets, lunches, any cold weather accessories for two kids, etc), and finally get moving!

IMG_3660Nothing like leaving the house 30 minutes later than you hoped!

Are your mornings this awful? I have found few solutions! Here are my ONLY tips:

  • Lower your beauty standards or find a way to get ready faster. A cute headband makes a messy ponytail seem a teensy bit less sloppy, and wearing a nicer top instead of a sloppy sweatshirt (assuming you have flexibility to wear what you want!) helps me feel at least a little bit more put together.
  • Simplify breakfast. In an ideal world, I’d cook a hot breakfast with eggs, fruit, and some kind of healthy whole grain for my kids every day. In reality, it looks like frozen waffles or yogurt (not both!). I don’t love this, but I’ve come to terms with it. I buy brands that I feel are healthy enough (low in sugar, and include protein or fiber) and that my son will actually eat (my daughter will eat just about anything). And sometimes, it’s a doughnut from Tim Horton’s en route to daycare. I know, not great, but I’m trying to keep it real.
  • Try to anticipate wardrobe meltdowns. I’ve researched enough to learn that some kids are just picky, picky dressers and it’s not a battle I really care to fight. There are plenty of areas where I think I need to toughen up as a parent, but for the most part, I try to understand that my son has his own idea about what looks and feels good, and love that he actually takes pride in how he looks when he gets to choose what he wears. This means he doesn’t wear a lot of the hand me downs he has, or that have been bought from relatives that I would far prefer to the handful of character inspired t-shirts (and even socks!) he likes. It’s a bummer, but I’d rather skip the drama.
  • Pack lunches entirely the night before. The exception to this is that I have to heat some leftovers and throw in a thermos for my kids, but otherwise, there is ZERO chance I can pack lunches and make it out the door on time.
  • Keep daycare/work bags by the door and packed in advance. This one is pretty self explanatory!

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 8.18.47 PMHow do I know this picture wasn’t taken on a work day? Easy: everyone is happy! Smiles like this are a rarity during weekday mornings!

Are mornings crazy at your house? What are your tips? We certainly haven’t perfected the art of the morning rush at our house, so I’d love to hear them!



  1. Great article Erin. I only have one to get out the door and the struggle is real! I started putting him in footless pajamas so I can just put shoes on him the next morning and get him out the door 😉


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