5 Tips to Have a Successful, Stress-Free and on Time Morning


on time morningPerhaps it was the way I was raised or just the Type A personality traits in me, but being late drives me nuts. Even as a kid, my punctuality was on point. But when I became a mom I suddenly had a major learning curve in adjusting my schedule to still be on time. This sums up the mornings at my house perfectly…

Okay, children! Time to go!” ~ in my best Mary Poppins voice


15 minutes later…


I said let’s go!” ~ suddenly my voice changes into Batman


After many trials and tribulations, I’ve narrowed down my five fool proof ways to ensure a relatively stress-free and on time morning:

  1. Rise and Shine! I’m not an early bird or a night owl by nature. I hit the snooze button at least three times before getting out of bed and I’m usually asleep on the couch before we even watch five minutes of a show. However, once we became parents, I knew my days of slowly rolling out of bed in the mornings were over. It became clear that if I wanted to continue getting my “chores” done and be out of the house at a reasonable time I needed to be up before the kids. Trust me, I know that means getting up really early and not necessarily knowing what time the kids will wake up each day, but, eventually, kids get into a routine and you’ll have a general idea of when their internal alarm clock goes off. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I am dressed and ready for the day, with the dishwasher emptied and lunches packed before the first kid rolls out of bed.
  1. Wardrobe Ready! Trying on half a dozen shirts before finally going back to the first one is not out of the realm of reality for me, but if I know what I’m going to wear the night before it shaves a good 8-12 minutes off my morning routine.Plus, having my boys’ clothes picked out makes for a much smoother transition in the morning. There are hiccups when they start wanting to pick out their own clothes, but I generally know when the request will be and can accommodate quickly.
  1. Meal Prep! This may be my least favorite chore, but I pack the diaper bag with snacks and sippy cups and get at least the bulk of my older son’s lunch ready the night before so that it takes less than five minutes to complete the morning of.
  1. Bright Shiny Objects! Now, this may be the most critical component to a smooth departure in the morning. Generally, I round up the kids when they are right in the middle of building the “most amazing castle ever” or mid-Paw Patrol episode, so needless to say a meltdown is likely to follow as soon as the words “it’s time to go” come out of my mouth. I now start setting aside the popular toys of the week to bribe them into the car. Dangling it like a carrot generally lures them into the car without tears, which is really the ultimate success.
  1. Eye On Time!  I don’t know about you, but there must be little elves that come into my house and turn the clock ahead because I don’t understand where the time goes during the morning chaos. I now look at the clock obsessively, some might say, to make sure those pesky little elves haven’t changed the time on me and I know exactly how much time I have before we need to be out the door.

While these tips will definitely have a positive impact on your morning, there will still be days that are simply crazy and leave you running behind. Try not to sweat it. There’s only so much we can control.

Do you have any other keys to success for a stress-free and on time morning?  I’d love to hear them if so!


  1. Lesley, tips 2 and 3 are key in my house! I will even go as far as dressing my toddler in his clothes for the next day and sending him to bed in them if they are comfy enough (he seriously hates getting dressed in the morning).

    We also find that he will go through phases with certain toys he totally loves, and right now that’s his space shuttle. So the Space Shuttle stays in our bedroom and when he gets up and is changed he can come get it and use it until it’s time to leave. He knows it’s his special toy so he can’t bring it in the car or to daycare, so there are typically no fights to get him to put it down.


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