When I was a single woman living in New York City, I would wake up to my alarm clock, throw on an all-black outfit, curl or straighten my hair, apply makeup, and head out the door. The whole process could take 15-20 minutes if I hustled – I was super efficient. I walked 3 kilometers to work every day and would grab a coffee and a snack from a coffeeshop and take a leisurely walk through a couple of Manhattan´s beautiful flowery parks on the way.
Fast-forward five years. I am now a mom to four kids, ages 1, 7, 9, and 11. (My husband had three kids from his previous marriage and is a widower, so we have all the kids full-time.) Between changing diapers, preparing and cleaning up breakfast, brushing kids´ teeth (“Are you sure you used mouthwash, Martin? Let me smell your breath!”) and making sure the kids are dressed for the Norwegian weather (“klær etter vær,” as the Norwegians say), the morning has not always been a relaxing time of the day.
On top of that, I am a perfectionist who hates the house being disorganized or arriving anywhere late. In the past, I wondered, Am I doomed to a life of late child drop-offs? Why do we have 23 single gloves and each pair has lost its partner? Will I ever have time to change out of my pajamas before throwing on a coat and driving our baby at the daycare?
Parents, does any of this sound familiar? (Can I get a “Heck yeah!?”) If so, over the years, I´ve developed several tips and tricks I will share with you to help make the mornings less chaotic and less stressful. Here are a few of them!
Establish a get-home routine with the kids. When our kids walk in the door after school, they hang up their jackets and gear and take out their lunchboxes and put them in the dishwasher. This is an important time to make sure their shoes and gloves are dry and stay together.