When I returned to work full time following the birth of my daughter I needed my morning routine to be easy! I enjoyed our evenings so much that we probably stayed up too late and as a result I wasn’t exactly springing out of bed in the morning.
Lots of time has passed since then. I had a second child and stopped working full-time but many of those time savers I used then still work or have evolved and we are usually able to get out of the house in 30 minutes if we need to.
This is what I do when I put my glasses on, look at the clock and say, “Oh shoot!”
- I take a deep breath, calmly remind myself that it is okay to be late sometimes, and spring into action.
- I quietly get myself dressed and put my hair up.
- Then I go make the lunches and snacks and pack them in their respective backpacks (ideally they are already made and in the fridge but I’m not that good!)
- Also I prepare breakfast items for the car. Milk or juice in a sippy cup, baggies with pretzels, cheese, apples, bananas (something easy to make and eat in the car)
- Then I load the car (note that the kids are still sleeping!)
- Grab outfits, socks, shoes, jackets, and a hairbrush, and bring them to the dressing station aka the couch.
- Here is where I take another deep breath and calmly wake ONE child and walk him or her to the bathroom; I do not leave their side to avoid distractions
- Then to the couch where I get them fully dresses, jacket and all. After COMPLETING one child, I move on to the next. If they complain, I promise rewards for their cooperation like the park or a treat after school.
*I try to move through these steps efficiently but without rushing to avoid getting upset or forgetting something.
I really prefer when we get up early and the kids have time to eat here and play or watch a show. They really like that but it is not always the reality for us.
Additional tips for new working moms…
- I started showering in the evenings and adopted a low maintenance hair style, at least for that first year.
- To save a little time, I would take the baby into the shower with me! It helps to have another adult to pass the baby in and out.
- I also mastered the art of nursing while laying down. This way I could get much needed rest during those night-time feedings.
- Check out my online shopping post which helped me save time and money and rely less on take-out.
Planning on returning to work after maternity leave or are you a working mother looking for more tips? Definitely check out this book. It is written by Linda Mason who is one of the cofounders of Bright Horizons (a really awesome daycare that I used for my infant daughter). It is full of useful tips on how to make it work from the experts… real working mothers! Truthfully, this book made the idea of returning to work full-time seem possible for me! By the way, there is a whole chapter devoted to the morning routine!
After you’ve made the decision to return to work following the birth of a child, you may still wonder, “Am I doing the right thing for my family?” and “How on earth do I make this work?” Now, The Working Mother’s Guide to Life sets out to offer you hundreds of answers to these types of questions, from nuts-and-bolts advice, such as finding top-notch child care and stress-free ways to manage your household, to more complex issues like separating from your child without feeling guilty and creating a rich, strong family culture that will thrive regardless of whether or not you are working.
Author Linda Mason—herself a working mom and founder of an award-winning company that cares for the children of working parents across the country—provides a reassuring, practical, and comprehensive guide based on interviews with more than 100 successful working mothers from diverse backgrounds. Here are countless strategies and tips from these experts on everything from household chores and returning to work with a newborn to finding communities of support (Amazon Description).
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How about you? What are your morning routine time saving secrets? Please share!
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