Hurry, We’re Late for School!

No, it's not time to play dress up right now!

Last month my daughter began going to preschool two mornings a week, and she loves it. I love it too- I love the fact that she’s having such a great time playing and interacting, and I’m also loving the hour of quiet time that I get each morning while my baby naps. However, one thing that I’m not really loving at all is the rush to get out of the house on time each morning. I know that school mornings have a reputation for stress and craziness, but somehow I thought that since we already had a fairly well-established morning routine, it wouldn’t be too difficult to just speed it up a little bit. Those of you with older children, who have been doing this for years, are probably snickering at me right now, knowing that speeding up children in the morning is something close to impossible. And it’s true- if my plan says that it should take 5 minutes to get Madeleine dressed, she will somehow sense this (with some sort of child radar) and decide that it’s the time to play hide and seek or pretend to be an elephant.  If it ends up taking 10 minutes to get her dressed, then that puts everything else behind schedule, from making breakfast, to packing lunches, feeding everyone, and getting myself ready to go.
As we hurried out the door on Wednesday, five minutes late again, I found myself realizing that I don’t want to spend the rest of the year with stress-filled mornings where I end up shouting at Madeleine, “Hurry up! Put down the book! Put on your shoes!”. As with so many other things, things aren’t going to get better unless I, as the mom, make some changes. We moms, whether we like it or not, are usually going to be the main engine of our family’s routines and rhythms. So this month, I’m making a better attempt to plan out our morning routine in such a way as to make it a pleasant start to the day, rather than a harried one.


Here are a few of the goals I’m setting for myself: 1) to get up 15 minutes early and get myself dressed and ready before the kids need my attention; 2) to get Madeleine dressed as soon as I go in to wake her up, and make it a snuggle/ get-dressed time where we can start the day with smiles and fun; and 3) to have lunches and snacks pre-packed and ready to be loaded. These are obvious things to do, but I think that was part of my problem; they’re so obvious that I wasn’t giving them the priority they needed. Hopefully now I’ll approach mornings a bit more deliberately! I’d also love your help: what are your tried and true secrets and tips for making mornings go smoothly when there’s a deadline to be met? If you’re a veteran of the school morning, what are some things to add in as your children get older? Please share in the comments so we can all have more relaxed and happy mornings!


  1. Sounds like we are having similar mornings! We have almost an hour and a half every morning to get ready for school, and yet I still am telling Sophi repeatedly to get ready!
    I really like your idea of getting yourself ready first. I need to try that because that is half my stress! I don’t want to drop her off in my pjs!!
    Thanks for such a relatable post! 🙂

  2. This post makes me smile and not just because I’m Madeleine’s grandma. I remember the days of getting everyone ready for school and work and the frustration/panic/I’m a terrible mom feeling. Some suggestions that I found helpful for me were things to do the night before. 1-Have everyone pick out their clothes to wear and lay them out. 2-Set the breakfast table. 3-Have a “things I need to take with me” staging spot as in backpack (with homework in it), errand list, keys, items to return….. I still do #1 and #3. You will find your own routines in time.

  3. This is such a struggle for us! Some things that work for us (not that we do them consistently) are 1) ALWAYS packing lunches and backpacks the night before and 2) trying to find breakfast that everyone likes that is quick to make (oatmeal, yogurt, bananas, cereal, bagels, microwaved scrambled eggs). We’re still working out the kinks- good to know other people struggle with this too! 🙂


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