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(253 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 24-Dec-12 10:07:21

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trikken Mon 24-Dec-12 11:00:06

Good organisation the night before is always key to smooth mornings. Lunch boxes and clothes ready and bags by the door ready to go so minimal fuss in the morning.

BlatherskitedaboutChristmas Mon 24-Dec-12 11:17:31

Do as much prep as you can the night before and for schools days - feed them what they will eat. Porridge etc might be very filling and worthy but it's much better if they go to school with a tummy full of something, even if it's toast and coco pops rather than spending half an hour fighting over getting something, anything eaten.

mrscrimbobash Mon 24-Dec-12 11:20:51

I'm not really qualified to talk about organised mornings!

We tend to sit DD down with some cereal/fruit while we whizz around getting dressed and sorted for the day.

We aren't too bothered about what she eats in the morning so long as it has SOME nutritional value and keeps her happy.

Make packed lunches the night before. Dh makes them because he's making one for himself as well and used to insist that it was fine doing them in the morning, usually resulting in him dashing out the door just in time to catch his train and leaving me with all the clearing up. He's finally conceded I'm right about this! Also check you have enough milk for the morning before the corner shop closes.

The kids have cereal every morning. Breakfast is the one meal they eat without much fuss.

NowBringUsSomeFriggyPudding Mon 24-Dec-12 11:36:18

Top tip is to be organised the night before. Make lunch boxes after tea the night before, have uniforms ready to go, shoes polished (once in a blue moon), bag and PE kit packed, homework done. Shoes,coats,hats etc in their place ready to grab.Then there is much less to do in the morning. Just offer cereal and/or toast on weekdays, no need for mass menu planning. Fruit and yoghurts on offer too. Save cooked breakfasts for a weekend treat. I'm a bit boring but its stress free! Now the children are older, I often make the evening meal,while they're milling around, just to keep on top of things.

ouryve Mon 24-Dec-12 11:42:59

I always prepare and chill packed lunches the night before so that I don't have to do that at the same time as getting the boys fed and ready. DH often wakes up early with DS2, so he sorts out DS2's breakfast so I can concentrate on myself and DS1 when we get up at a more sociable hour.

janglebells2013 Mon 24-Dec-12 11:45:28

yes to being organised the night before with clothes out at least. dd is 15 months. i find it quicker to dress the top of her after her breakfast when she is still in her highchair, as it saves lots of tantrums and me trying to do it while running after her.
for breakfast she has muesli, mixed with flaxseed, vitamin drops, hot milk and yoghurt. i then give her some dry cereal or toast to munch while i put my make up on, this saves time as she is easier to watch while she is eating instead of while she is running about trashing the house while im trying to get ready.

My biggest tip for a smooth-running ;(and quick) breakfast is to turn the TV off! DS always takes longer if he's sat in front of the telly.

Willemdefoeismine Mon 24-Dec-12 12:11:00

Well I'd like to say we have organised breakfast times but sometimes they don't entirely turn out like that, mainly down to prima-donna issues over cold clothes, seams in tights etc...(and that's DD!). I would say that with a family you can never ever be assured that morning times do go according to plan!

Always do as much organising at possible the night before: a) do lunch-boxes and put in fridge b) ensure clean uniforms/work clothes are out and on radiators (for DD) so ready to put on in the mornings... c) ensure school bags are packed and all signed school admin is done and put back in school bags! d) chivvy children to do home-work in the evening e) make sure children go to bed at term-time bedtimes otherwise any thought of organised next mornings will go out of the window! f) check diary to see if there's any special things going on at school/out of school appts that require money/mufti/donations or alternative time-tabling arrangements.

But perhaps most importantly ensure that he or she who is at the helm of sorting out the mayhem of breakfast-times has totally organised themselves the night before, hasn't drunk too much alcohol (!), has had shower/bath so just ready to roll, gets a good night's sleep and wakes up a good 15 minutes before everyone else to set the ball rolling!

I find it's vital to ensure that there is a rolling programme of getting up so that not everyone is trying to get into the bathroom at the same time (for those of us unlucky enough to only have one!). This also works well when everyone has different leaving times as happens in our house.

It's worthwhile checking that there is variety for breakfast in the way of cereals/toasting products etc....and fruit of course. Find that if everyone has a good mix of filling carbs, fluids (milk or water) and fruit they have the energy and vitality to concentrate properly and don't get too hungry by lunchtime. I find that as long as there are options, the whole family can happily be accommodated with combinations of breakfast food that they will eat.

The other thing that's really important is to ensure that you build into the morning routine extra time (particularly important with primary school age children). We have quite a long walk to school (half an hour) and I'm very proud to say that in all the ten years of doing the school run, the children have never once been late. This is only possible because I ensure that there's extra time built into the schedule to cope with a tantrum/blip/emergency loo visit just as we are about to leave the house. Believe me it happens often in this household with DD so I've had to adapt to factor in this behaviour!

It's a difficult one though because I am quite perky and wide awake and therfore disciplined at getting out of bed in the mornings and ensuring that I don't have to rush (that freaks me out!). But if you're not naturally like that and love your duvet it must make it all a lot more difficult.

MegBusset Mon 24-Dec-12 12:48:35

Packed lunches done the night before, and clothes laid out
I get up 20 mins before DC so I can have a shower and feel human before dealing with the kids
Split tasks for maximum efficiency - eg DH makes the DC's toast (and my cup of tea!) while I'm getting dressed and dragging the DC out of bed
No TV before school
DC eat breakfast in their PJs to prevent unnecessary uniform changes!

I do a meal planner for mornings, usually on a saturday night we decide breakfasts for the week, if I don't do one then everyone tends to want different things in the mornings which is a pain.

I also have set times for tasks so they get 15 minutes for breakfast, 5 minutes to get their clothes on etc, that way they are all doing the same things at the same time which makes life much easier.

turnipvontrapp Mon 24-Dec-12 13:02:13

No tv before school.
No sugary cereals.
Eat at the kitchen table with manners.
Tidy up after yourself.

Getting the children up - a task that flows smoothly on the weekend, but is impossible on a school day - dressed, with teeth and hair brushed and ready for breakfast is always an interesting way to start the day.

I get away without having to do the packed lunch preparation by signing both children up for school / nursery dinners. Clothes are picked up off the floor from the night before, given a cursory glance to make sure they're not too grubby and the child stuffed into them with words of encouragement like; "get a move on" and "you can play with your lego once you're dressed." or "Put the Lego down NOW".

DS likes porridge made in a specific way for breakfast. DD likes toast. DS can't bare the smell of toast so sits at the table with one hand gripping his nostrils while trying to eat the porridge. Occasionally, DD will have cereal instead. Phew.

As DH drops the children off at school, I either have toast for breakfast once they've left, or wait until I get into work and get a coffee and pastry from the local cafe.

Surprisingly, this rather lax way of doing things works remarkably well.

LaTrucha Mon 24-Dec-12 13:55:24

We are completely slack about breakfast in my house, mainly because my children eat it with no problem at all. The children have porridge with brown sugar, occaisionally followed by toast. I have eggs on toast as I have to have some protein in the morning or I am ravenous all day. DS sometimes has something different, like melon as he can eat his own body weight in fruit per day. Occaisionally he will have Weetabix or Sugar Puffs, but doesn't prefer this to anything else really.

Totally slack about TV too. It doesn't cause us any problems. Sometimes they want it; sometimes they don't. They know that when I say it's time to get ready, they have to do it. There's never much argy bargy.

All very unimpressive!

Lomaamina Mon 24-Dec-12 14:13:35

Sandwiches made in five batches on the weekend and frozen;
Breakfast laid the night before;
Clothes laid out the night before;
Bags packed the night before (if I seem smug, rest assured that mine is always ready; DS's sometimes smile;
Division of labour (DH does beds, I do washing up, each of us to the task we're most efficient at)

WhoKnowsWhereTheMistletoes Mon 24-Dec-12 14:55:45

Packed lunches made the night before
Clothes out the night before
Bags ready the night before
Allow enough time and stick to the same routine, then everyone knows what happens when
TV is allowed after the children are ready for school if there's time
Breakfast is always at the same time on weekdays and is eaten at the kitchen table.

Works like clockwork on weekdays but tends to go a bit pear shaped at weekends as the normal routine goes out the window. It doesn't usually matter though.

LittleLolly Mon 24-Dec-12 14:57:17

We prepare as much as possible the night before; make lunches, pack bags, lay out clothes. I try to make sure nothing needs to be done in the morning so it runs as smoothly as possible. Since baby DS was born our morning routine now includes one of us feeding him while the other is in the shower.

Cereal for breakfast most days. Sometimes I will make Irish soda bread which DH loves with butter.

HairyPoppins Mon 24-Dec-12 15:09:59

Make sure everyone knows what they have to do and by when. Try to get people to focus on priorities and not get distracted by visible but not urgent activities. Do as much as possible the night before, e.g. Packed lunches made and in fridge, bags packed, shoes in the right place and so on.

Katz Mon 24-Dec-12 15:14:03

No big secret to how our mornings go. It's a well oiled machine. As DH makes the lunches the DDs eat their breaky. Whilst he's eating his I finish lunches.

Variety seems to help with getting the DDs to eat breakfast, fruit bread cereals, fruit and yogurt, porridge and crumpets all feature in our breakfasts.

I think no telly before school helps too

aimingtobeaperfectionist Mon 24-Dec-12 15:20:07

Make a list the night before- things to remember, what needs doing etc.
Get up when the alarm goes off! Not always easy but makes things run more smoothly.
Aim to be ready 15 minutes before you really need to leave, that way there's always a bit of a 'buffer'.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Mon 24-Dec-12 16:18:31

I also agree that preparing everything the night before makes mornings run smoothly.

Clothes laid out
shoes and coats left by front door
Bowls, plates, spoons laid on table
Book bags ready and by front door

I don't nag about eating breakfast anymore, I find saying breakfast is over by 8.15am then at 8.15 tidying away whether they have finished or not means they soon learn to eat in the given time.

Tv/computer/playtime isn't allowed until everyone is dressed, brushed teeth and hair and had breakfast.

I provide a small selection for breakfast so they don't waste ages choosing between lots of different things.

androbbob Mon 24-Dec-12 16:31:10

Similar to others - prepare lunches the night before, put bags and instruments and sports kit in car the night before, make sure the cars are correct on the drive- so no car shuffling in the morning!

thewhistler Mon 24-Dec-12 16:35:46

Ds gets own breakfast if cereal. Has done since he was about 8. School bag packed night before so no last minute rush. DH makes tea and lets dog out.

If Ds sleeps through alarm dog let into his room . Magic waking technique, groans accompanied by love licks.

If stressful day ahead for Ds, DH makes bacon sandwiches, with best bacon and best bread.everyone de stresses.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Mon 24-Dec-12 17:24:04

always get dressed before coming downstairs = less stress, more time, no nagging, no faffing & means once i have tidied upstairs and made the beds etc, it stays tidy.

leave for school a but early so can patk without having to be on the near verticle hill & gives us time to read school books again & gets them out if the house before they get too restless (we are up at 530!).

i love mornings. not sure what all the fuss is about but then it's just me and ds and we are both early risers. i don't eat breakfast just drink lots of coffee and ds has cereal which he grazes at whilst watching telly.

my top tip is get up early and assign time for drinking coffee, being on lap top, generally coming gently into the day.

i wake up at about 6 and leave the house at 8.30 to walk ds to school then travel to work - that is tons of time to have a really chilled steady easing into the day. couldn't stand to rush around in the morning.

other tip is don't be on top of each other - give each other space to wake up.

mornings are kind of luxurious here. i'm guessing that's mostly because we get up early and slow boil the preparations for the day.

FrillyMilly Mon 24-Dec-12 18:12:24

On weekday mornings I am up before everyone else so have my breakfast first. The children have their breakfast at the childminders house so that's very easy for me. So my tip would be send your children to someone else in the morning. grin

Wolfcub Mon 24-Dec-12 18:21:33

My top breakfast recipes would be american pancakes with crisp streaky bacon (cooked in the oven for reduced stress, extra crispiness and less stinky kitchen) and maple syrup or substitute the pancakes for brioche french toast

BornToFolk Mon 24-Dec-12 18:33:48

My top tip would be to have only one child, it's really not that much faff to get him ready in the morning!

However, I do find that doing the same thing in the same order every day helps to keep things running smoothly as DS knows what to expect and I can keep track of time, i.e. dressed and downstairs by 7.30, breakfast done by 7.45 etc.

Oh and avoid potential flashpoints. DS likes to get dressed in my room and generally get underfoot while I'm trying to get ready. It drove me mad, I was constantly tripping over him, nagging him to hurry up etc etc so I've made a new rule that he's not allowed in until he's fully dressed. He takes longer than me so it gives me plenty of time to dress and do my make up in peace.

The best way to get DD to eat a good breakfast is to sit down and eat with her. It doesn't have to be the same thing, but at least one other person needs to sit down and have breakfast. It's been great for me and DH too.

Visadiva Mon 24-Dec-12 19:37:21

Get everything organised the night before. Clothes all out ready, for me and the children, including undies and socks.
Book bags ready, school letters signed, pe kit sorted etc. so it's grab and go!!
Chuck a banana in book bag for break incase children don't eat enough breakfast.

upinthehills Mon 24-Dec-12 20:10:03

Not dressed for school = no breakfast

Means we can have pretty leisurely midweek breakfasts in our house as all that is needed after is teeth, shoes and coats.

As a result they are often 2 course affairs, cereal then quick french toast on the griddle or quick scrambled eggs - basically scrambled omelettes in a small frying pan made in a mn

We have breakfast first thing, in pjs.
Normally porridge, occasionally toast.
Then once that's done then we can all get dressed.
Bowls go into water to be washed later, easier to get the cement porridge off.
That's it really, quite calm and relaxed.

flamingtoaster Mon 24-Dec-12 22:02:14

Everything organized the night before - clothes, bags, anything extra that's needed (check their bags the night before for new notes with vital information!). Establish a routine and stick to it. Have a large clock in the kitchen and make sure everyone knows what they are expected to have done by what time (but ensure there's always some spare time to allow for unexpected delays).

smokinaces Mon 24-Dec-12 23:06:52

My secret? Breakfast club. I just can't get my kids eating in the mornings. The school breakfast club is essential for me as a working parent, but also alleviates that one stress in the morning. Now ifonly they would get them dressed for me!!!!

we dont prepare the night before- aspergers ds will not allow it. we have a very strict routine running. get up, toilet, choose lunch items (ds has 5 small tupperware boxes which will each have 5 pieces of each food item he chooses one of which must be red grin), breakfast (nutella on toast-one slice + half a glass of milk, at this point i am preparing his lunch), do homework, brush teeth, wash face, get dressed (clothes must be picked from pile of identical school uniform by ds in order of how he puts it on- this is when i am changing dd2 and getting her cosy to go outside), shoes then hat/gloves then cardi then jacket, pick snack for break, look in the mirror then we can leave. Dd1 just goes along with this- she is in nursery and has lunch at home so she just has to get dressed etc. Dd2 is only a few weeks old so she is bundled in the sling and i feed her with one hand while i do breakfast. I get dressed as i get out of bed. All of the things that are listed above are done with a timer that ds sets and has to "beat" so i pretty much dont have to stress about getting out on time. He is vv organised for a 5 yr old grin

Welovecouscous Tue 25-Dec-12 08:35:41

Our ap helps with breakfast which is a life saver!

SetPhasersTaeMalkie Tue 25-Dec-12 08:43:08

I get up at least half an hour before DS so that helps a lot. He has to be showered and dressed before he comes downstairs. We do eat breakfast together and there is absolutely no TV!
After that he goes upstairs to make his bed, clean teeth and I make our lunches.
Any letters/money/kit for school is already in the bag as it's been dealt with as soon as I come in from work the day before so we're good to go.
Takes one hour from beginning to end but we're both morning people.

stephgr Wed 26-Dec-12 07:16:58

Their clothes are laid out the night before, schoolbags packed, lunchbox contents agreed and kept in the fridge overnight so they are ready to go, heating is set to come on 2 hours before they get up in winter so getting up isn't so bad, keep the bathroom free so they don't have to wait. It sounds o too rganised but for us it's the only way....

Hopezibah Wed 26-Dec-12 23:29:25

It's great if the kids get involved with getting breakfast ready (but they are not always keen to help!).

I don't mind letting them have a choice if it helps them eat a good breakfast.

My own fave breakfast 'recipe' is using plain yoghurt with cereal. tastes good with cornflakes and also with musli and especially granola.

Hubby is most easily pleased with toast and jam for brekkie and another top tip is when he makes his toast I ask him to do a spare one and cut into pieces so each of the 3 kids can start to eat something (stops them getting so grumpy), whilst I get their breakfast ready (as they usually each chose something different it takes longer to prepare). That bit of toast really helps make a good start to the day.

ClaraOswinOswald Wed 26-Dec-12 23:44:08

Be as organised as possible. All clothes and bags are ready the night before, as are packed lunches.

Give children set times to complete tasks, for example 2 minutes to make beds. The words "Go, go, go!" are a big part of our morning routine.

Praise the children and thank them for doing well on the good days, it helps if they understand the importance of being timely and know that their efforts are appreciated.

Fillybuster Thu 27-Dec-12 10:14:52

I organise everything around midnight before I go to bed. It takes about 30 minutes to sort it all out, but its easy to do when the house is quiet and pays off in the mornings smile smile

DCs schoolbags all packed, checked and fully 'snacked'. Any additional items (special projects etc) checked and in place.

Hats, gloves, coats etc in 3 piles in hallway.

School uniforms all laid out in each room.

Load all ingredients into bread=maker and set the timer.

Breakfast bowls/plates/cutlery etc all out on table.

Breakfast is cereal (choice of about 6) followed by home-made bread/toast with a choice of cream cheese, butter, peanut butter or hoummous on top. No variation outside of those choices which keeps things simple. Water to drink for dcs, tea for adults.

Obviously there are days when timings can go a bit wrong - we're just finishing toilet training dc3 and that can cause a bit of a delay now and again - but on the whole, everyone knows exactly what they're supposed to be doing and the dcs all know that we are happy to drop them at school with no breakfast, in their pyjamas, if they don't get going quickly in the mornings.... smile smile smile

JakeBullet Thu 27-Dec-12 10:17:09

Everything ready the previous evening.
Check school bag
School uniform ready
Homework done
Knowing what breakfast will be
No surprises in the morning when everyone is sleepy eyed.... All organised, arranged and sorted.
Get up before child, washed and dressed and ready for the day and then that way you can keep everyone on task.

Doogle2 Thu 27-Dec-12 10:20:33

Have a set routine so the children know what is expected. I try and vary what they have for breakfast so they look forward to it and don't see it as a chore.
I also vary how we get to school, walk, bike or scooter so it becomes a bit more fun.

Rottenluck Thu 27-Dec-12 10:37:26

I have to get up and dressed before the children are up. It takes a least twice as long to do it when they are around.

nextphase Thu 27-Dec-12 11:47:01

Well, we get 4 of us out of the house for 7.30, me with lunch, and 2 days a week, DS1 needs lunch.

Bags are packed the night before, and lunch boxes left out, but I don't make them the night before, as I hate old sandwiches.

Everyone down stairs in their PJ's (seems different to most above), so that if (when) a mess is made, it doesn't matter. If the kids sleep in, I get showered, and put underwear on, but then put PJ's on.

Everyone has breakfast. Toast. Can choose topping tho. While the kids finish their breakfast, I can make lunch and fill the dishwasher.

Then upstairs, kids covered in cream (which if I get dressed first, ends up all over my work trousers), and dressed. Everyone brushes teeth, and then kids downstairs and TV goes on, while I get ready (or finish getting ready) for work.

Kids get a second breakfast at nursery of cereal.

This seems very different to many, so I guess my tip would be, find what works for you, even if it is counter intuitive, or different to many. If it works for you, go for it.

imdreamingofaskyebluechristmas Thu 27-Dec-12 11:50:44

I lay out the school uniform the night before. i give DD her breakfast in her pyjamas while I shower.

Packed lunch is made the night before, so its all ready and book bag also sorted out the night before.

We are usually ready by 8.30 to leave the house at 9am to walk to school. That means that DD can watch tv or play on her Nintendo once she is all dressed and ready for school

Elkieb Thu 27-Dec-12 12:19:51

We always get up 15 minutes earlier than we think we need, and eat a quick breakfast as we think it's important. Breakfast cereal for the toddler, toast for my husband and a cereal bar for me. Then we are ready for the day.

No coming downstairs until dressed.
Bags and packed lunches the night before.
No TV in the morning on a school day ever.
Breakfast at the table - fun (ie chocolate sugary stuff) at the weekend, serious cereal (weetabix/ shreddies/ cheerios) in the week.

Piggychunk Thu 27-Dec-12 14:38:40

Offer what they like for breakfast , who wants a battle of wills at 7.30 in the morning!

Piggychunk Thu 27-Dec-12 14:39:42

disclaimer I mean within the breakast category not suggesting a mars bar and chips!

I get my daughters (4 & 8) up a little earlier than I used to. They are both up at 6:45am so that they are properly awake. Breakfast is usually cereal (weetabix/cheerios) followed by toast or pancake. They both eat breakfast at the kitchen table every day

ln1981 Thu 27-Dec-12 14:45:46

We try to do as much as possible the night before-bags sorted, clothes out, lunches made if any needed, water bottles filled and put in the fridge etc. Even the breakfast bowls and cereals are put on the table! In the morning, anything that isn't essential to us getting out the door, is left until I come back from the school run, though if by some miracle we get through the essentials then I will do some of these but it hardly ever happens!

MerylStrop Thu 27-Dec-12 14:48:43

NEVER assume anything

We3bunniesOfOrientAre Thu 27-Dec-12 14:49:43

Sandwiches, jellies, cakes all frozen in batches so lunch bags assembled with min time/ fuss. Have taught dd1 to use microwave, so she makes hot chocolate for ds and herself. Clothes all sorted before they are up so they just have to dress themselves from a pile. And walk to schoool. It is more in your control if you walk - rather than discovering a new set of roadworks at 8:44am. Also gives you all a chance to put any hectic morning behind you to face the day.

missorinoco Thu 27-Dec-12 14:50:42

Do as much as possible the night before.
Clothes out, pack school bag, plan packed lunch/tea.
Locate gloves/scarf/hat in the winter, it's irritating trying to find these as you leave the house.

Two of mine are preschool, so it may be I'm about to change one lot of challenges for another in three years.

Following one of the parenting guides I reminded my children of the morning routine: breakfast/dressed/bed/teeth and that made it less stressful.

Breakfast at the table. If they are faffing about with breakfast I remind them the time breakfast will be over. I've only needed to remove it once.

Toys to be taken to school should be chosen the night before. If ready early, I will allow them to pick one in the morning. They are not allowed to try to find one as they leave the house.

Lots of praise for good behaviour. When it's going wrong I try to remember to big up the good behavious on subsequent days.

Five minute warnings for everything - time to finish breakfast, time to leave, time to turn of TV if allowed.

TV only if completely ready and there is time. Any whining or stalling when it is turned off and you won't get it the next day if you are ready early.

helenthemadex Thu 27-Dec-12 14:51:18

have a routine and make sure everyone knows it, organise clothes, breakfast stuff and school bags the night before it all helps to keep the mornings less stressful

Bogeyface Thu 27-Dec-12 14:51:34

Focus on the essentials only.

Everyone needs to leave the house fed, clean and dressed. This does not include gourmet food, ironing, a la carte packed lunches or elaborate hair do's! If a child hasnt finished their homework in time, tough. They need to understand the consquences of their actions and if the parent finishes it off for them then they will never appreciate that they must do these things for themselves.

sophonthemove Thu 27-Dec-12 14:53:44

Divide chores between family members (son lays table, husband supervises teeth and makes own sarnies, I get school bag ready, in theory!). Incentive for son to get dressed and ready quickly helps too.

sophonthemove Thu 27-Dec-12 14:54:39

Oh and no TV in the mornings!

MrsWeasley Thu 27-Dec-12 14:55:45

I have a copy of my teenagers school timetables on my notice board so even if they forget they have PE etc I don't. I also set all things like Music lessons, after school clubs cookery lessons set on my phone calendar so it pops up first thing in the morning to act as a reminder. The cookery lessons are set on a week ahead reminder to allow for buying any extras ingredients and again on a day before to remind child to get it all together. No gadget allowed (except my phone) and no tv on.

scripsi Thu 27-Dec-12 15:06:06

My lot are only really full if they have eggs and toast. If we have a busy week ahead I make a large frittata or two at a weekend, often using the oven when I am cooking other things. I generally make it with eggs, onions, peppers, tomatoes maybe some spinach or courgette, so they are getting some vegetables first thing too. Then I freeze or refrigerate it in slices and just heat up the slices in the microwave. I serve it with hot toast and it takes no time at all. I started doing this as a time-saving thing but now it is often requested during school holidays.

BertramBertram Thu 27-Dec-12 15:06:14

Routine, routine, routine! Have to be up & out if the door by 7.15 with 2 DS (4&6). Our routine usually runs like clockwork but it took hardwork to perfect it!!

maloofysmum Thu 27-Dec-12 15:06:54

I use my iPhone and computer to have alerts each day of the week to remind me when the dc have music lessons, p.e. or a trip event etc happening. Has saved lots of time as everyone knows what they need each day.

roguepixie Thu 27-Dec-12 15:10:21

Wake the DC up a few minutes early but leave them to doze - kind of brings them into wakefulness but without the stress of immediately getting up.

Do as much as possible the night before.

Get them into good habits as early as possible - as another poster said: routine!

Tistheseasontobedramatic Thu 27-Dec-12 15:10:45

DD has a checklist by the front door and checks it before bed every night. Then packs bags, kits etc. works wonders forums smile

poncyettia Thu 27-Dec-12 15:16:00

Weekly planner on wall with list of what is needed each day and where so nothing gets forgotten.

Dcs have school dinners so no packed lunches needed. Table set for brekkie night before and clothes laid out too.

My guys have to be out the door by 8 to catch the school bus and the rule is that all pets are fed before they go.

Generally works very well.

SandWitch Thu 27-Dec-12 15:21:11

Uniform laid out the night before.
No TV until everyone is ready!

I have a very set routine for us all in the mornings - up, dressed, breakfast, teeth, hair...

This should by now (dd is 8) be pretty straight forward - but there is no accounting for how long it takes my dd to get ready. It can sometimes take 45 minutes for her to get out of bed and dressed hmm. She is such a daydreamer, trying to keep her focused, even if I am in the room with her is a nightmare.
Her six year old brother is a breeze by comparison.

The advent season worked quite well as she could not open her calendar (and then get her chocolate) until she was ready for school. This helped motivate her. Ordinarily, making sure that she is ready for school is on a par, stress wise, with making sure that there is enough money in our accounts to pay the bills!

Once the DSs were in Secondary school it became their responsibility to sort themselves out in the morning, which definitely made my life less stressful but possibly added to theirs... grin

They get prompted (get up, have you got everything, you should have left by now) but ultimately it will be them that gets punished for being late/forgetting things so the earlier they learnt to organise themselves the better. Having said that, I still make all the packed lunches because it's a better use of time than three people trying to use our small kitchen at once, and if I'm making DD porridge I'll make DS1 some too for the same reasons.

Apart from that, making sure everything's organised as much as possible the night before, so you have the minimum to do in the morning.

fuzzywuzzy Thu 27-Dec-12 15:23:54

Get girls to prepare their lunchboxes the night before, ie fill it with yogurts, biscuit packs, fruit & juice & cutlery. I add a thermos of hot food in the morning.

Ensure book bags & gym kits are ready in their bags by the door. All homework has to be complete by the night before its due, we don't have time to do it in the morning. I ask if any homework is due, but each child is responsible for their own homework, I refuse to run around after them.

Ask both girls what they want for breakfast in the morning, they're more open to eating it that way.

Ensure all dishes are washed and put away and laundry is hung out so nothing to distract in the morning.

Make sure all uniform is laid out ready for the morning.

We have to be out of the house by 7:30 and at school by 8:00 otherwise we get locked out till 9am which means I'd be seriously late for work.

Teach the kids how to prepare their own breakfast from an early age.

butterflymum Thu 27-Dec-12 15:29:51

Encourage your children from an early age to help you prepare their breakfast/clothes/schoolbag and gradually, as they move through the school years, let them take on more responsibility for same, until eventually they are able to 'do their own' each day.

difficultpickle Thu 27-Dec-12 15:31:26

I tried to complete the survey but there is no provision for those of us that don't eat breakfast at home. Ds has breakfast at school and I have mine at work.

KristinaM Thu 27-Dec-12 15:31:41

I find my mornings go very smoothly if I go out for a run and let Dh sort out the kids wink

preety18 Thu 27-Dec-12 15:34:20

Prepare everything for the morning the night before such as sort packed lunches, iron uniforms and in the morning set a rule for the children to follow and get ready out of the house on time.

gemma4d Thu 27-Dec-12 15:34:51

Really obvious, but get as much done the night before as you can - and have "a place for everything and everything in its place". Which is a work in progress for me - in my house I'm most likely to loose DD1's glasses, and DD2's shoes - normally quite regularly!

CMOTDibbler Thu 27-Dec-12 15:37:17

We need to be out of the house by 7.40 at the latest, so things are a bit rushed in our house in the mornings. The week is written on the whiteboard in the kitchen, with what ds needs to take each day and anything else specific. If it is a week when I'm away for work, then we sort out a week of uniform at the weekend so it is ready to just grab.

I have no shame about breakfast though - ds frequently has choc chip brioche or bought waffles for breakfast which also have the advantage that they can be eaten in the car if time is tight. TBH, he would naturally rather get up, pootle round, then eat an hour after he gets up than eat straightaway, just like dh

dotcomlovenest Thu 27-Dec-12 15:43:57

No tv, playing in general till they are washed dressed had breakfast and ready to go.

quietbatperson Thu 27-Dec-12 16:02:32

The DCs like their routine, including what order of toppings they like on their toast. Getting DH's butt in to gear is the hardest thing for me as I skip out of the door at 7.30 and leave him to it blush.

Having a loaf of bread in the house is my only tip really - it's breakfast and lunchbox makings all in one.

m0nkeynuts Thu 27-Dec-12 16:14:06

Do as much the night before as possible - eg school bags packed, uniform laid out - so that morning is just about getting up, dressed, fed and out the door!

Liska Thu 27-Dec-12 16:17:48

My dd is only 5, so I find that breakfast is best before dressing, because you can bet she'll end up with milk down her front otherwise. Clothes are always laid out the night before: for some reason she is much more amenable to my rules on suitability for the weather/season that way. Her school doesn't have a uniform, and if the decision on what to wear is left for the morning, tantrums and chaos will ensue.

gilliancd Thu 27-Dec-12 16:23:53

I work quite a lot of early shifts so I can be home in time to pick the kids up. Also means I'm up and out the house before anyone else gets up. Makes my mornings a lot easier!

helcrai Thu 27-Dec-12 16:35:08

Against my better judgement I let the kids watch tv in the morning, only so they will hurry up and eat breakfast! They then have this twenty minutes or so to sit quietly and let their breakfast digest before they get washed/ dressed/hair done for school. Gives me & husband some time to dash round getting our stuff ready without them under our feet.

jennywren123 Thu 27-Dec-12 16:35:57

Make door hangers with a list of morning jobs for each child - cover them with sticky backed plastic. Hang them on bedroom doors so that children can get on with getting ready with less nagging.

TheProvincialLady Thu 27-Dec-12 16:41:33

It's not a very novel tip, but getting everything ready the night before so that there are no clothes to be found, book bags to be hunted down, sports kit to be packed, school trip money placed in envelopes etc makes the whole thing more bearable.

MothershipG Thu 27-Dec-12 16:56:08

Get up early!

I have a 14 year old who gets himself up, fed and off to school without my involvement.
The survey seems to assume chaos reigns everywhere, my answers would of course have been different when I had two under 3 to get up and drop off at childcare before work.
I don't miss that.

lisad123 Thu 27-Dec-12 17:02:37

Ensure you have right food in for lunch boxes and breakfast, nothing worst than dealing with shops at 8am.
Iron everything the night before.
Get kids involved, our eldest earns her pocket money from getting hers and sisters breakfast.
Buy a instant kettle, so nice to have a hot drink ASAP.

cather Thu 27-Dec-12 17:04:10

No TV in the morning and sort out school bags the night before.

SuzysZoo Thu 27-Dec-12 17:04:16

I do packed lunches the night before with pre-frozen sandwiches. School bags also packed the night before!

RockinAroundThePigeonsTreet Thu 27-Dec-12 17:05:32

I have been known to make breakfast for dd the night before as she can be very very slow at breakfast time if she is not keen on what she is eating. So I make up a 'lunchbox' of marmite sandwiches with a pot of cut up fruit. She tucks in really easily in the morning without any fuss, leaving me more time to organise toast or cereal for the rest of us.

Zavi Thu 27-Dec-12 17:07:38

Once out the door, if driving ensure car is...

Already pointing in direction of travel
Has sufficient fuel so no garage stops needed on way
Defrosted on icy mornings by starting car 5 mins before set off blush

Take "car breakfast" (eg banana sandwich) if really tight for time

YourHandInMyHand Thu 27-Dec-12 17:28:48

I have all the clocks and alarm clocks in my house set 5 minutes ahead. I'm aware of this but my son isn't. wink

I get as much ready as possible the night before (outifts hung out ready, school kit packed near front door, packed lunches made, etc).

ScienceRocks Thu 27-Dec-12 17:30:03

I do as much as possible the night before, including laying out the DCs clothes (sometimes making a decision takes both DDs literally hours, yet in the evening they are quick to decide and never argue the next morning over their choices), packing bags, making lunches (if needed, which is hardly ever).

IAmSheWhoMustBeObeyed Thu 27-Dec-12 17:34:37

Erm. This survey brings some interesting points into sharp focus for me.
My tips are:
Try and get up at least 45 minutes before leaving the house. This means that you should at the minimum, be able to have some tea to fortify you on the school run.
Have a bath in the evenings because on the 85% of times you don't get up until 25 minutes before you leave the house you will not have time to wash in the morning.
Tesco sell Just Ham sandwiches, crisps and basics cartons of juice for when you have forgotten to buy in packed lunch supplies.
Portable breakfasts like chocolate chip brioches are great for those mornings when you are running late.
At a minimum have at least one clean set of school clothes available for each child, in a place which is familiar and easy to access whether that is their wardrobe, the kitchen radiator or a box on their bedroom floor.
Hairbrushes, hairbands etc at the front door. Spare hairbands in your bag.
Try (I know it's actually impossible) to convert all of those parentmails, PTA newsletters and school bulletins into notes on a calendar and feverishly check them three or four times a day in an effort to remember to send in money/child in roman outfit/party food/reply to birthday invitation on the morning of the required day.
Above all, when your temper is fraying, your pulse racing, your head throbbing and you may scream or burst into tears, remember: it's not the end of the world. It's not that important. You will all live if a. b. or c. does not happen.

CarrieDon Thu 27-Dec-12 17:39:39

School bag packed the night before and double check about homework needed to be handed in.

I tend to decide what dd will eat (knowing what she likes) as she's not a breakfast person and needs "encouragement" to get something inside her. Twice I've let her go school on an empty tum and both times she's spontaneously said how tired she had been all day without me asking. So having something to eat is non-negotiable, and it has to be fairly healthy - eggs, cheese, whole meal bread - to keep her energy levels up till lunchtime.

BardOfBarking Thu 27-Dec-12 17:41:59

Cereal boxes and bowls, spoons, cups laid out the night before (by the children 4,8,9 yrs)

Sort through school bags whilst children in the bath the night before.

Lay out school uniform.

Our mornings are relatively calm - but I am a morning person and they are at an age where they wake up naturally at the crack of dawn, so no dragging reluctant children out of bed. Our morning routine is fairly clockwork.
(smug emoticon)

Homework, music practise, dinner, hearing 3 children read etc in the evening however.... that's another story. blush

Emandlu Thu 27-Dec-12 17:42:43

We home educate so mornings take as long as they need to take. On days that we need to be out by a certain time everyone is reminded before we go to bed what we will be doing and told to be up and ready to leave.
The kids sort themselves out and have for years. (They are now 9 and 12) I don't need to harangue them or shout at them. If we go out and they've forgotten something then they deal with the consequences.
Occasionally if it is really early I will wake them up, but once woken they sort themselves out.

choccyp1g Thu 27-Dec-12 17:44:05

DS is at secondary school now, and as soon as he got his timetable, I took several photocopies, put some aside as spares, and LAMINATED one. It sits on the fridge, right next to where he eats breakfast, and he has a look at it every morning to check he has all the right books, PE kits etc.

The spares have also come in handy, as the copy in his blazer pocket lasts about half a term before disintegrating.

Roses12s Thu 27-Dec-12 17:56:45

Yes go go go is a big part of our routine too. I do lay everything out the night before but find keeping them moving works best. We have tried getting up earlier and being more leisurely but ended up late.

ginbob Thu 27-Dec-12 18:04:14

i always find if you buy an extra loaf sometimes and pop pairs of slices in freezer bags in the freezer, it helps prevent those packed lunch or breakfast emergencies when you've run out of bread - a quick sandwich or plate of toast can be produced very quickly.

AmberLeaf Thu 27-Dec-12 18:10:08

Set up a bathroom rota [particularly if you have young teens]

Do packed lunches the night before.

Prepare porridge the night before by soaking a cup of dry oats in a cup and a half of cold water, then in the morning just add one cup of cold milk, bring to the boil and you will have perfect porridge!

Babsjansen Thu 27-Dec-12 18:27:23

My life changing moment and top tip was to acknowledge that I couldn't make breakfast time work for us and get to work on time without leaving a battle zone. I now take the children to the childminder 10 minutes earlier and they have breakfast there.
We are all less harassed and calmer.

Top tip: outsource breakfast if your job involves an early start

poopoopoo Thu 27-Dec-12 18:29:07

My top tip is to get the kids in bed by eight o'clock so they get a good nights sleep (I do not always manage this!) the next morning they are better at getting ready on time to get out of the door by 08:00.
I get the clothes ready the night before and put them in piles, with pants, socks, trousers and tops in the right order.
We do reading homework before bed and prepare the school bag and make sure homework is done and in the bag. Lunches prepared the night before and in the fridge and bags ready at the door for take off!
I like to have a stock of breakfast cereal bars and yoghurt tubes etc that are reasonably healthy and can be eaten on the go so at least I know they have eaten something when we are in a rush.
I always wake the kids up with hot milk, usually chocolate or strawberry. I think it is very important they are well hydrated ( we are about 70% water after all! )
On the days I am not working I will make boiled eggs, they are great kids love them and reasonable quick with bread to dip.
I have my drink and a breakfast bar when I arrive at work whilst checking my emails! brew

QODRestYeMerryGentlemen Thu 27-Dec-12 18:36:14

There are no top tips from me. I give up. We have some breakfast bars and a lot of attitude :O

IAmSheWhoMustBeObeyed Thu 27-Dec-12 18:40:10

Another tip which I am trying out next term- school dinners instead of packed lunches. It will be soooooo fabulous not to have those packed lunch blues.

LoonyRationalist Thu 27-Dec-12 19:11:20

Do as much as possible the night before, reading, homework, etc in the morning is madness!

Breakfast in pyjamas, nothing worse than cereal down clean uniform..
No Tv until washed, dressed and breakfasted.(in my house shoes must be on and coats and bags by the door)
This is a great motivator to my 2!!

Whatiswitnit Thu 27-Dec-12 19:15:06

My eldest son who is fussy and barely eats later in the day, always starts the day with scrambled egg or omelette so I know he had eaten one decent meal.

My others stick to Weetabix or other non-sugary cereal usually or occasionally croissants with cheese and ham.

I have 8am as a cut off for breakfast. If they haven't eaten at the table by then they can have a banana in the car, that's it.

I usually grab outfits and four toothbrushes for my kids and take them downstairs so there is no need for them to drift back upstairs to get ready.

Reggiee Thu 27-Dec-12 19:19:57

Sort out school bags the night before, and always complete school related paperwork as soon as it arrives home.
Early to bed on a school night.
No tv/playing until washed, dressed and breakfast eaten.
And note to self, try to avoid pressing snooze on the alarm too many times....

HilaryM Thu 27-Dec-12 19:44:07

Aim to leave 15 minutes before you ACTUALLY leave.

TV off until everyone's dressed.

Get self up before everyone else and have a shower ASAP. Dress self first.

Short cuts are OKAY. I'm looking at you, porridge in premade sachets....

stealthsquiggle Thu 27-Dec-12 19:50:33

Apart from the getting stuff ready the night before...

Always remember that 10 minutes per child will disappear between leaving and actually driving out of the drive.

If you have to be dressed for work, and have toddlers, put an old T shirt over work clothes until you have dropped DC off - nothing gets the working day off to a lousy start like scrubbing snot off your shoulder on the way to work.

mamamibbo Thu 27-Dec-12 19:57:43

while dh baths the children (aged 10 months,2 years 4 months and 3 years 9 months) i get their clothes ready,stuff nappies and refill my nappy bag) in themorning i concentrate on getting the children ready, the 11 year old dressesn himself but dh works so ive got to get the other 3 ready, i dress them last, one at a time, 2 year old first then strap him into the pram then the 3 year old and then the baby, strap her into the pram and ready to go. i have a whitboard in the kitchen where everything is written down, things to do every day, play groups, guitar lessons,library books etc so i cant forget

Bakingnovice Thu 27-Dec-12 20:17:08

Night before: clothes ironed, bags packed, letters signed etc. no tv in the morning and teaching the kids to stick to the schedule. No tv. No messing about. Also a quick nutritional breakfast is key.

Aranea Thu 27-Dec-12 20:19:42

Don't let the children go downstairs or anywhere near toys until they are dressed! Then straight to the breakfast table.

Kveta Thu 27-Dec-12 20:22:33

for a fussy, chocolate obsessed toddler, we have discovered that adding a teaspoon of drinking chocolate powder to his porridge gets him to eat the lot - previously he would go hungry rather than eat the lovingly prepared wholesome stuff with grated apple and cinammon, now he has a decent breakfast and I don't have to grate fruit. win-win!

DaisyFay Thu 27-Dec-12 20:22:56

Stick to the same routine every week day. I don't prepare the night before, and I do do the majority of the morning stuff, but we do follow the same pattern every day. We do have our moments - as mentioned by others, seams in tights can cause a major disaster! But I think the answer is to be a bit relaxed about it. When DP is home and stressing at her it all goes badly wrong!

prettybird Thu 27-Dec-12 20:26:38

Can't really offer much of a tip,except that as a not morning person, marry a lark! wink

Dh gets up before me, gets ds up (who is also a morning person), gets the breakfast table ready, puts the porridge in the microwave or the eggs on the boil (depending on what I'm wanting that day) and then sends ds through to tell me it's time to get up! grin

I suppose I should blush - but I do the packed lunches and most of the ironing!

ILoveAFullFridge Thu 27-Dec-12 20:27:04

Step back. Sometimes you need to let tthem be late/cold/unprepared and learn the consequences of their inaction. If you are forever reminding them of things, making their lunches, setting out their clothes, how will they learn to do it themselves? That way just makes sure you will always be doing these things.

Of course, you can't treat all ages the same: I make our 6yo's pack lunches, we keep our 10yo's school dinners account in credit and if she wants a pack lunch she has to make it herself the night before, and we put £5 every week in the dinner money tin - which is not enough for a week of school dinners - and he sorts himself out. Yes, twice this term he has gone hungry because he forgot.

ILoveAFullFridge Thu 27-Dec-12 20:29:18

"we put £5 every week in the dinner money tin " for our 12yo. Somehow missed that out.

mrspink27 Thu 27-Dec-12 20:44:37

We have 5 pegs in our utility room for the 5 days of the week. All school stuff and after school activity gumf is hung on the appropriate peg - e.g Swimming bag, brownie uniform, french book, recorder etc
That way it's just a grab and go.

Also ... absolutely no electronic devices before school e.g. tv, ds, phone etc.

Set routine of me up, unload dishwasher, feed animals, sort self out then DDs up and uniform on. Then breakfast, teeth, face and hair.
If there is time they make their bed, pull their curtains and clear up any crap stuff on their bedroom floors and bring their laundry downstairs.

AwkwardAnnie Thu 27-Dec-12 20:53:39

No TV until breakfast is done, at least not kids TV.
DD gets dressed downstairs so we can keep chivvying her on, (she's 5, this will have to change one day)
I take my breakfast into work and eat it at my desk in peace.

I start a new job in the New Year, so I plan to start work at 8:30, which means I'll be out of the house by 8 and DH (who is a SAHD) can have the school run all to himself and it will be wonderfully stress free (for me) smile

notnowbernard Thu 27-Dec-12 21:01:42

I try and do lunchboxes the night before but woefully underperform in this area

DD (6) makes a menu for breakfasts and can eat what she likes, as long as she eats. Often pasta; today it was cauliflower soup hmm. Obviously, these are leftovers, not cooked to order.
She prepares her lunch box the night before, choosing five items from a selection in the cupboard, following strict rules: one healthy item (fruit or vegetable), one drink, one protein (cheese, cold sausage, hard boiled egg if avaible, handful of nuts) and two other items of choice.
I get up 30 mins to 1 hour before the rest of the family, so that I can feed all the various animals, put them in outside cages if appropriate (rabbit, gps), make porridge for DH and my mother (89 and living with us) and shovel leftovers from last night into lunch boxes for DH and myself to microwave for lunch. DD's clothes presented wrapped around a hot water bottle in winter, to avoid fuss. I know I shouldn't, but it makes mornings so much easier. DD and DM are often left to encourage each other in the mornings.
My breakfast is usually a sandwich eaten in the car on the way to work.
Not sure how many of these tips are applicable to others, although very pleased with lunch box system.

OhyouMerryLittleKitten Thu 27-Dec-12 21:12:25

Get everything ready the night before. Try and eat breakfast with your dc, so it's just a normal part of everyday. The number of kids I see who don't eat breakfast at primary age is really sad and it often shows in their behaviour.

IwishyouaMerryChristmas Thu 27-Dec-12 21:14:47

The question about how long it took you after having your first child to get back on top of the breakfast routine was odd! For 12 months I was on maternity leave from work, so no routine needed. Then I worked for about 9 months before getting pregnant again and having morning sickness so badly that breakfast was a non event! Then ds2 arrived so another 12 months away from work but in the meantime ds1 started nursery, so our breakfast routine was always changing!

Only now that both ds's are in full time school and I work around school hours are things settled into a routine!

WhoKnowsWhereTheMistletoes Thu 27-Dec-12 21:19:02

I don't do quite a lot of these things, I never get up before the rest of the family, never shower the night before, the DCs come downstairs the minute they get up (bathroom is downstairs) and have breakfast before getting dressed, but they do put out their own uniform the night before and we sort bags etc together before bed too. We ALWAYS get up an hour before we need to leave and are ALWAYS ready with a good 5 mins to spare and I think that is the key thing, allowing enough time EVERY day. We have the odd tense moment when one of the DCs is faffing about instead of putting their shoes on but we have never been late for school (5th year now). We are lucky in that we don't drive to school so don't have to worry about car de-icing, traffic etc though and don't have any babies or toddlers to manage.

ShrekTh3Halls Thu 27-Dec-12 21:20:07

We do everything the night before. Our eldest child has aspergers so it makes it even more essential to get everything "in place" the night before. All we do in the morning is the fastest of washes, dress,brush teeth and eat breakfast. The children have a listeach of what they need each day - their idea, they made their own. Well with football kits, musical instruments, three packed lunches (thamks to food allergies)and

WhoKnowsWhereTheMistletoes Thu 27-Dec-12 21:21:49

Our eldest has AS too, it really helps with the morning routines!

Make breakfast part of the family routine that the child fits into. My two Ds's know that we go downstairs and eat breakfast before anything else, and we have all fallen into this routine since Ds1 was weaned.

I offer a limited choice of cereal with banana and toast and crumpets. Sometimes ds2 only wants a banana and that is fine, his appetite isn't huge as he s only 2 but he always has something.

In terms of getting out of the house on time (this is going to sound sad) but I know how long most tasks take so I know how long I've got to shower, dry my hair, breakfast, get boys dressed and get out so I try to get up early enough to try and factor everything in.

BonzoDooDah Thu 27-Dec-12 21:26:12

How to cope:

Clothes laid out the night before.

A good night's sleep so I'm not ratty.

A box of Kalms for breakfast.

On frosty mornings I start the car and lock it with a second key so it is defrosted while the children get shoes on.

Agree the question how long before routine established being extremely odd (and not written by someone with children - they want a stupidly long answer).

0-6 months = Breastfeeding. 6-12 months = weaning 0-12 months on Maternity leave
1-4 years at nursery so flexible but need a routine
4-5 years - start the school run = completely different.

ShrekTh3Halls Thu 27-Dec-12 21:47:30

oops the last bit of my post got lost, cheers android tab grin
well you get the idea anyway.
Aspies are awesome for making you be organised - every house should have one grin

NowWhatIsit Thu 27-Dec-12 21:55:01

Ban cereal on weekdays. Now I give them porridge or bread/toast which seems to last them longer, less mid morning hungry grumpiness.

OldBagWantsNewBag Thu 27-Dec-12 22:04:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

directoroflegacy Thu 27-Dec-12 22:07:04

EVERYTHING is done the night before;
clothes laid out
Bags ready
Hwk/ pe kits/ money ready
Packed lunches done
Bread buttered(nutellad already!!)
No going back upstairs - always moving forwards so toothbrushes kept downstairs too!
No TV if dawdling
I find that this makes mornings as smooth as they're going to get
It just means I have a mini morning rush the evening before!!

Bogeyface Thu 27-Dec-12 22:15:37

I have another.

Have age appropriate expectations. A 5 year old can take their own bowl and spoon to the sink when they have done. An 8 year knows that they need their book bag every day and should be able to remember it. A 14 year is perfectly capable of making their own lunch.

I found myself doing everything for everyone and feeling like I had done a full day by 8:30! Then I realised that half of the stuff I was doing was stuff they could do for themselves and that I wasnt doing them or me any favours by doing it for them. The consequences of forgetting a book bag, or going hungry at lunchtime because "I forgot!" soon means that they dont forget again!

tethersjinglebellend Thu 27-Dec-12 22:23:37

Save time by having breakfast the night before.

GetKnitted Thu 27-Dec-12 22:30:48

Top tips, honey, sultanas, or bascially anything sprinkly

LiveItUp Thu 27-Dec-12 22:34:28

As much as poss done the night before - school and sports bags literally lined up by the door.

The kids actually get their own breakfast, unless it's porridge in which case I make it. They generally have weetabix.

It has taken years to get to the stage that mornings are calm. I do expect them to be independent in the morning, (and for older children to help younger ones) as I think this is a brilliant opportunity to help them prepare for RL. Like Bogeyface above, they need to think for themselves (age appropriate).

eteo Thu 27-Dec-12 22:51:27

Get ready plate and spoon on table. Make sure I put out their clothing the night before.

Annieuk75 Thu 27-Dec-12 23:09:19

I always make sure that before I go to bed that uniform and other clothes are all layed out ready for the morning. I make sure my sons school bag is ready and any thing else that needs to be taken into school is left in a bag, hanging from the front door.Any important messages are also put on the front door using a post-it

Loshad Fri 28-Dec-12 00:00:48

Really agree re getting organised the night before - with 4 dc and a full time job i find it essential.
We pack all school bags and sports kit the night before, i pack my briefcase and make my lunch, the dc get their uniform out. I lay the table for breakfast. allows for a totally stress free morning, i will have fed dog, cats, horses, set a load of washing of and leave house with the dcs by 7.15 am with them having had a decent meal.

ILoveAFullFridge Fri 28-Dec-12 00:03:50

We find that channeling aspie behaviour helps hugely in the mornings. For example, our dc know exactly what they have to do in the mornings, but our 9yo really struggled until we made her a chart showing everything (alarm, get up, dress, hair, etc) and time deadlines for each step. She puts a sticker for each step accomplished on time. OMG what a difference this has made!

Though when something happens to derail her timetable - OMG what fallout!

We also do the no screens on a schooldays morning and no going back upstairs.

lorka Fri 28-Dec-12 00:58:22

I always make sure I have school bags, lunchboxes and clothes ready the night before so we are not rushing about at the last minute.

Bogeyface Fri 28-Dec-12 01:08:32

Save time by having breakfast the night before.

grin I think we have a winner!

skullcandy Fri 28-Dec-12 01:43:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

insanityscratching Fri 28-Dec-12 07:00:50

My tip would be to get up a good thirty minutes before everyone else so as to shower and dress yourself first and get the first cup of tea then because you are organised and wide awake everything seems to follow much easier. I love mornings though because I wake early every day and get an hours peace and numerous tasks done without interruption.

Mornings are not a problem in my house, the DCs get up pre-6am so have been known to sort their breakfast, get ready for school and be an hour into a film before I even come downstairs!
My top tip is to keep breakfast stuff including bowls and side plates in a low cupboard once the DCs are school age, then they can do their own breakfast without waking everyone up. They will spill a lot of cereal at first, but after they've been made to clear it up a few times (and find that the cereal fairies don't replenish spilt cereal) they get adept at breakfast preparation fairly quickly and you get an extra half hour in bed!

I always do lunches the night before.

Do everything upstairs before coming down, which does mean teeth before breakfast (naughty mummy).

The kids chose their own cereal when I shop so I know it's something they'll eat, it's mostly about calories to keep them going until lunch and the rest of their nutrition comes from other meals. Plus most cereals have added vitamins and minerals so I don't stress too much about that side of it!

Leave plenty of time for everything and be prepared to say everything 500 times!! I have thought of recording my voice- get dressed, get dressed, eat your breakfast, eat your breakfast, EAT, get your shoes on,

poachedeggs Fri 28-Dec-12 10:54:58

Have children who class 5am as morning, then you'll have ages to get ready!

Also, make breakfast as healthy as possible to counteract the effects of whatever dubious 'healthy choice' they might have at school dinners. Porridge takes a couple of minutes in the microwave and they love choosing toppings like seeds, honey, fruit, or a sugary cereal like Frosties.

Have a 'no TV until you're dressed' rule, and a 'no getting dressed until you've eaten and brushed your teeth' rule.

Failing that, homeschool?! grin

BadMissM Fri 28-Dec-12 11:00:58

A variety of things available for breakfast...bread for toast, spreads for toast, from Marmite and Peanut Butter through to Nutella and Jam. Varying content- sometimes brioche, other times porridge, yogurt, according to the time of year.

If washing is not done and given by bedtime night before, no point in asking for it....

Showers/baths in the evenings. Everyone wants to use the bathroom in the mornings....

School bags packed the night before. School clothes sorted before bed. Has school dinners- less prep, and DC who has long bus journeys to school has hot food in middle of day, much less hassle.

Therefore DC/DH not having to confront grumpy half-awake Mum to ask for stupid things in morning...means less arguments!

NicknameHistory Fri 28-Dec-12 11:09:18

erm, just one question. Breakfast recipes - wtf???? cereal? porridge? toast? cooked breakfast? I have honestly never heard of a recipe being needed for breakfast. Weird.

lorisparkle Fri 28-Dec-12 11:10:49

Get as much done the night before as possible
Get up 10mins early
Have a written routine with pictures
Have a reward at end of routine that children get once in coats, shoes, bags ready - in our house it is tv - you don't then have to nag as they are more motivated and if you get up earlier you have more time for them to faff. I find the more I nag the longer they take.
Get dressed before going downstairs and put children in aprons for breakfast
Get children to do as much as they can themselves
Walk, or cycle or scoot to school - good for you, the children, the environment, your pocket, and saves the stress of where to park.

ClaraOswinOswald Fri 28-Dec-12 11:14:31

I do make a delicious version of eggs Benedict, but only manage it on birthdays and Christmas. The recipe is (serves 2) 2 savoury muffins, 4 free range eggs, lots of nice bacon, spinach, jar of hollandaise (lazy), salt and pepper.
Toast the muffins, wilt the spinach, fry or grill the bacon, poach the eggs, heat the hollandaise. Stack on the muffins with spinach, bacon, eggs then sauce, season with salt and pepper.

My other favourite recipe is cereal for the kids. Put in bowl and add milk. smile

TheMonster Fri 28-Dec-12 12:06:02

We don't have time. We all leave the house at 7.20 to drop ds off at child care and we go to work. No time for breakfast.

maybeyoushouldrivesantassleigh Fri 28-Dec-12 12:20:45

Teach your children to make their own breakfast - obviously age appropriate - much easier if they just go and help themselves!

Our breakfast routine is easy! I only really eat 3 things for breakfast, Weetabix (eaten 3 in one sitting since I was about 4!) Shreddies or occasionally Ready Brek, OH doesn't eat it and since the age of about 7 my daughter has just had toast which she has done herself from about that age with initial supervision. Can't remember the last time she had cereal. I have sometimes tried her with different things that I wouldn't eat to see if she likes it but she prefers toast with margerine on it

GoodKingWenSOLOslas Fri 28-Dec-12 13:39:00

Top breakfast/smooth(!) morning tips? hmmm...

I put uniforms out ready for the morning.
Ds gets his bag ready at midnight the night before and Dd's book bag is ready as soon as she's finished her reading the night before. If she reads on the way home in the car, it is left in the car.
I don't give too much choice of cereal. If Dd (6) can't decide, I give her no warning and start counting down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Right, you will have x to eat and it's what she usually chooses.
Ds is 14 and has taken to eating toast with Nutella for breakfast with a cup of milk (I insist for calcium if no cereal).
I have finally got Ds to shower sometimes and clean his teeth before he eats and if he's running late (99% of the time), he'll take his second slice with him <cringe>.

Currently, I have my breakfast once I get back from the school run, but in 3 weeks time, I'll be leaving the house 1.5 hours before the Dc's hopefully get up and it will probably be down to Ds to get Dd up, washed, dressed and fed before dropping her at a childminders and taking himself to school. That'll be fun ~ not! so, I will be leaving their breakfasts ready to be finished off and eaten. I will eat before I leave home.

If I win the voucher, I will be buying a new dishwasher to try to make life easier! <crosses everything!!!>

baahhumbug Fri 28-Dec-12 13:55:44

Definitely good organisation the night before - make sure school bags are packed ready for the next day, prepare packed lunch and place in fridge until the morning, hang school uniform on bedroom door ready for the morning.

Sometimes I make pancake mixture the night before so that I can quickly make pancakes in the morning as my daughter loves them for breakfast.

I try to stay as calm as possible in the morning as I hate sending my daughter off to school after an argument or any sort of stress and also find she gets ready quicker if we are all calm and happy!

StellaMarie Fri 28-Dec-12 15:15:36

Plan ahead and be organised - bags packed the night before, lunches prepared so only sandwiches to make.
I'm fortunate that I don't have fussy eaters in my house, mind you I've always run a 'take it or leave it' policy at meal times, I will not make different food for different family members. As a result of this the children eat whatever is put infront of them, however, now they are older they get their own cereal/toast.

Tobermory Fri 28-Dec-12 15:19:30

I try to get as many things prepared as possible the night before. I distinctly remember a conversation with a friend pre-children who described getting everything, including cereal bowls, out the night before. I Laughed... but now i follow her lead!

I get each of my DDs clothes out, a little pile each with everythign on, even down to bobbles or hair clips.
School bags are packed and sit by the front door waiting.
Packed lunch for me and DH made night before and in fridge.

Very much looking forward to when my DD's can be more self-sufficient and also when my DH learns to plait girls hair!

ISawSantaKissingThePortlyPinUp Fri 28-Dec-12 17:31:01

We have at least 3 variations of ceral on the go at any one time, plus toast (usually a seedy batch for dd1) and for a treat they have pancakes or variety boxes of cereal. As long as they eat something before school I'm not too fussed which variety it is, some days they'll want fruit and yogurts other days cereal or toast. I also won't turn the tv on until they are all ready for school/preschool.

newfashionedmum Fri 28-Dec-12 18:30:04

get up half an hour earlier and keep child 'company' whilst she's getting dressed and stop her getting distracted.. any fun stuff (reading, playing) only to be done once she's ready to go out of the door!

Himalaya Fri 28-Dec-12 19:34:44

Get an early night. Try to avoid getting distracted by MN in the morning.

Both bits of advice I fail to take!

MoppingMummy Fri 28-Dec-12 20:07:31

Lunches are made and bags are all packed and ready by the door.
Uniform laid out ready.

I always make sure my keys are where they should be, especially on a work day.
I wash my hair the night before so only need a quick shower, spray of dry shampoo & some make up in the morning.

We all like cereal for breakfast. The favourite is porridge with frozen raspberries added - the raspberries quickly defrost in the heat of the porridge & are delicious!

Varying breakfast seems to keep DS (2yo) interested - in fact breakfast is quite often his biggest meal of the day.

During the week we're on a schedule so he'll have something quick (cereal and fruit that he can manage himself while I get my own). At the weekends we'll also have toast/crumpets/tea cakes/pancakes about an hour after first breakfast (we eat like hobbits in our house).

Meglet Fri 28-Dec-12 21:37:38

I organise everything the night before. Sadly I can't organise my IBS so spend a lot of time in the bathroom, unless I don't eat then I'm just very shouty and bad tempered.

I know what I do have which is a bit organised. We have a 'morning basket'. One of those plastic cleaning baskets (it was from Poundland) and I chuck in the freshly rinsed warm, damp flannels, toothbrushes and toothpaste, hairbrushes and anti-nit spray and I can get the kids ready downstairs in front of the TV so I can keep the bathroom free for me. Keeps them in one place once they've had breakfast and got dressed.

FloozieTinsel Fri 28-Dec-12 21:47:24

Have a set of toothbrushes downstairs so children DO NOT have to go upstairs again after breakfast.

LizzieVereker Sat 29-Dec-12 00:08:43

Everything possible done the night before. Breakfast club for DS2 is a godsend.

mamof3boys Sat 29-Dec-12 11:11:59

I have 3 boys ages 2, 5 and 6 so my morning routine is like a regimental routine so that we manage to get out of the house in the morning. I expect my older boys to help as much as they can.

NettleTea Sat 29-Dec-12 13:17:54

No TV, computers or anything like that until EVERYONE is ready to leave.
Try not to get stressed about 12 year old DD refusing to eat.
Try to remember to give warnings of transition times to 6 year old DS
remember to give countdowns to 'I am walking out the door now' leaving times....

Anngeree Sat 29-Dec-12 16:51:32

Definitely being organised the night before, packing swimming kit etc in bag also having homework done on time so no last minute rush. I wake DS by tickling him it's so much nicer hearing him waking up giggling rather than having to shout although how long i'll get away with that I don't know as the teenage years are just around the corner hmm

marmitemad Sat 29-Dec-12 20:11:31

as many others have said, organise as much as possible the night before (clothes, school bag, packed lunch etc), offer simple but quick breakfasts and keep to a timetable as much as possible eg. teeth at 8am, dressed by 8:10, hair at 8:15am although I suspect the timetable is going to go a bit awol when dc2 arrives.....

DeGlitterBug Sat 29-Dec-12 22:16:19

My top breakfast recipes/tip is to make breakfast pancakes. Sounds a far, us actually really quick and easy, and with a large family it's easy to cater to a variety of tastes with different toppings. Fruit goes really well with them too and the ingredients are cheap. Just whisk it all up with an electric whisk:

2 eggs
225g plain flour
3tsp baking powder
25g melted butter
300ml milk

Dollop into a non stick frying pan with a tiny bit of oil. Flip over when bubbles appear across the top.

Good for families where everyone turns up for breakfast at slightly different times too.

VainViolet Sat 29-Dec-12 22:40:06

with 4 young children i just do as much as I can the night before and ironing, no, never!

VinoEsmeralda Sun 30-Dec-12 00:26:56

Our kids are involved in making breakfast menu. Sunday is always pancakes but rest they plan ( often shop for too) which tends to work well for both

No tv until breakfast is eaten, uniform on, teeth n hair brushed. Saves a lot of hassle and shouting.

HardKnottPass Sun 30-Dec-12 02:09:00

School things are kept next to the door - children deposit school bag, coats, scarves and hats on their own peg as soon as they arrive home each day. The following morning everything is waiting for them on their peg. Makes it quick to get ready and you can see at a glance they have everything they need do the day.

No TV in the mornings.

By doing this I can have two small children out of bed and out of the house in 30 minutes.

fuzzpig Sun 30-Dec-12 09:34:15

DD pretty much has a set order to get ready in. It just came about over time. So she knows that after breakfast she goes to get dressed, then has hair done, shoes on etc. She is 5 so does need the odd prompt, but she knows what is expected of her and can get on with it.

Absolutely agree on the no telly. We made this decision when she started reception last year. I'd noticed that whatever time she was going to nursery, she was reluctant to leave if she was enjoying a programme, and it just made things more difficult. We put Classic FM on the radio as it's nice but not too distracting.

We have alarms on our phone - 8.10 is the earliest we should leave, which gives us plenty of time (we could leave at 8.30 and just about arrive on time if we rushed). It's useful to have the alarm as it propels us along a bit and the DCs know what it means.

In terms of food, basically the DCs eat a limited range of cereals. Not ideal, but I am a believer of 'pick your battles' when it comes to food, and breakfast isn't one of them.

Witchesbrewandbiscuits Sun 30-Dec-12 12:41:06

i cant seem to open the link so will have to come back later.

my main breakfast tip is to always have something quick in such as croissants, fruit and cereal bars. they dont always fancy toast or cereal.

i also try to vary what we have in; diff fruits, crumpets, fruit loaf. also dont worry if they want something like ham or salami or cheese and crackers. we always think of these as non breakfast but a much healthier option than biscuits or sending them to school hungry.

HazeltheMcWitch Sun 30-Dec-12 14:27:15

I've never been a morning person, so I do as much as I can the night before - hence kids' clothes clean, ironed and hanging on wardrobe ready, underwear etc out. Homework done, bags repacked, lunches prepared.

And they eat breakfast whilst in PJs, after eating it's upstairs for a wash and teeth brushing, then dressing, so no chance of spilling on uniform...

DearOldWrinklyMum Sun 30-Dec-12 15:20:01

I don't do a lot of those things in the survey during the breakfast routine/before school run. Organising social events/hobbies/telephone banking etc can all wait until the children are at school.

I lay out clothes and breakfast the night before, children are old enough to get dressed/washed/teeth/get own breakfast with minimal help so I don't find it all too stressful. We are also lucky enough to live close to school so don't have to leave before 08.40.

LaurieBlueBell Sun 30-Dec-12 16:52:51

Get yourself up before dc. Give yourself time for shower, coffee etc.

Make sure all uniforms, homework, letters to school, lunch money are ready the night before.

Everyone needs to know what is expected of them in the mornings, eg make beds, get washed, dressed.

NEVER put the TV on.

ChristMouseTimeMistletoeNoWine Sun 30-Dec-12 17:31:21

I have to echo everyone who has said The Night Before Christmas School Prep is key!! grin

DS has Complex SN and is tube fed so his stuff has to be organised the night before, as does mine as I go to school (as his carer) for now so I need lunch made too. The night before organisation is key in this house, but if DH has interviews/meetings, and isn't here when the house wakes, then it's hard being on my own, especially when DS refuses to co-operate. We have a huge wolf dog, a cat, two gerbils, and a partridge in a pear tree grin

In short, routine and timing, plus everything ready in the right bags to go when the moment hits!

SomeoneInCam Sun 30-Dec-12 21:54:06

Get up with plenty of time to spare.
Make sure kids know when they have to be out of bed and dressed.
Have breakfast at the table.

Offred Sun 30-Dec-12 22:11:06

I do nothing the night before, I'm quite a morning person!

Our morning routine doesn't feel stressful, we have just divided our responsibilities evenly. The big dc dress themselves, dh dresses the two small ones. We feed them whatever there is and they all eat it and don't complain because they generally like food.

I make everyone's packed lunches (3 but will be 5 on 3 days a week from jan) and organise the school bags/go through the letters and RSVP to things, get out and check all the bikes. DH or I put the breakfast out depending on who is there, I put on the dishwasher and/or some clothes washing.

DH brushes all the children's teeth an often does a little bit of work in the morning and I brush hair, big children do their own coats/reflective jackets/waterproof or snow trousers and gloves, dh does the little one's coats and away we all go. We get up at 7.20 and leave at about 8 although we'll be able to leave later now dd1 has got a bigger, quicker bike.

I think my tip is don't do anything for someone that they can be reasonably expected to do for themselves.

RainyAfternoon Sun 30-Dec-12 22:28:21

Have a weekly diary meeting with the family to make sure everyone knows what is coming up that week (things to be taken to school), workers leaving early/late, playdates etc.

Write it all up on the wall and check every night before heading to bed...

MrsMaryCooper Mon 31-Dec-12 08:06:55

Do school bags the night before
Get as much of lunch together as possible - juice & yogurt & fruit & spoons in bag already in the fridge. Only need to make/add sandwich.
Put all extra requirements for school in my diary as they come in.

TV after DC is dressed so I can get myself ready without an audience. 5-10 minutes only.

tunise Mon 31-Dec-12 09:03:00

Think outside the box for breakfast idea's, cold meat, hard boiled egg and a piece of fruit is very quick to grab from fridge and can be eaten standing up/without using crockery and cutlery or on the school run if really pushed for time.
Set all clocks 10 minutes fast.
Have a mirror, hairbrush and babywipes near the front door so even in a desperate hurry everyone can leave looking half presentable!

CharlotteBronteSaurus Mon 31-Dec-12 09:09:15

get everything downstairs the night before - we even keep another set of toothbrushes in a mug by the kitchen sink
it always seems that it's when the DC "just pop upstairs to get......" that they never come back down again, and certainly not with the thing they disappeared to find.

and tell them that if you are all late for school, you will politely inform the teacher that you were ready to leave the house at 8.30, so they'll need to discuss the reason for lateness directly with your DC.

Its just good time management really. That's the advice given to me by my dsil when I told her I was frazzled and stressed.

I get the lunch boxes sorted the night before and we always have plenty of store cupboard options in for if dd goes off something.
I also have the clothes out and ironed and all homework/books/PE kit done and by the front door ready.
The mornings are literally have breakfast, dress, out the door. There is no running round frantic, I get to put my make up on and get ready with a cuppa while dp (who will have had a bath and got himself together) helps the dcs brush their teeth. They then get to watch Milkshake for however long we have left before school, but no TV on before they are ready. DD now helps DS get dressed so that's helpful.

ShatnersBassoon Mon 31-Dec-12 10:16:07

I don't find the morning routine stressful at all. We get up by 0730, there are no real options offered for breakfast ie "You can have Weetabix and/or toast" (always followed by some fruit), the lunchboxes take just a few minutes to prepare and the children have to take responsibility for their school bags and any extra things like swimming kit or instruments. Being a SAHM and living a 1 minute trot from the school helps though grin.

Breakfasts are always more interesting at weekends when I can be bothered to make something more involved. School day breakfast is simply nutritious fuel.

BiscuitsandBaileys Mon 31-Dec-12 10:46:16

I do as much as I can the night before, usually at the same time as preparing dinner. So water bottles, drinks for packed lunches and fruit are all ready to be thrown in a lunch box in the morning!
Dds usually have cereal for breakfast and fruit or a favourite in our house is crumpets with nutella and banana.

With 3 children under 7 yrs old breakfast can be a little stressful!
I'm afraid there is no such thing as democracy on a weekday! They all eat the same thing as it's easier, however I have found that letting them do little things like setting the table and pouring their own cereal encourages them to eat up.

On very busy days (or when Mummy has slept in!), a Chocolate Chip Brioche, Banana and a glass of juice hits the spot and is quick and easy!!

We try to have bags and lunch boxes ready the night before. Also put anything by the front door (or in the car if driving) that needs to go to school - guitar, swimming kit etc. I also make the kids wear their uniform for 2-3 days to minimise washing.

Probably very similar to everyone else!

- prep as much as possible the night before. For me this includes filling the kettle and putting a tea bag and sugar in a mug as I don't function well without tea first thing! Ironing, lunch boxes, homework all done too. I put out the children's clothes too.
- I put together a small breakfasty snack box for DS (2) as he's a bit non plussed about eating as soon as he's up. He then can eat on school run.
- nobody goes downstairs until they are washed and dressed!
- no tv until breakfast is finished.

According to my friends I'm a bit hardcore about mornings but it works!

chrismse Mon 31-Dec-12 12:51:51

Orangization its the only way. Mornings are like a bootcamp in this house except for weekends when its chill time.

Oblomov Mon 31-Dec-12 13:17:31

Agree, you prep as much as possible, the night before. The night before I make pack lunches, make sure clothes laid out, that pe bag is by the door, that ds1 has put his homework and his reading book back in his school and that it is zipped up ready to go, by the door. The way to do stress free is everyone to get up early. the kids are done, ready to go, only then can they watch tv for 10 minutes. Only if I do this way can I cope. If not I'm dashing around at the last minute, trying to locate things, shouting.
You learn what you have to do, to make it 'doable'.

weegiemum Mon 31-Dec-12 13:22:26

I completed the survey but it has little to do with our morning routine.

Dd1 gets up at 6.50 gets ready, leaves for her (high) school at 7.40 having washed, dressed, texted all her mates and been force fed breakfast!

Ds gets up at 7.15, eats a huge breakfast (cereal, toast, fruit, yoghurt) and is ready for the bus at 8.

Dd2 also gets up at 7.15 but cacks around so much that I'm forcing her out the door with a banana in her hand!

Chickchickola Mon 31-Dec-12 15:22:14

Our daughter is only 3 months old. To make sure I get breakfast my DH has been getting up 15 mins earlier and bringing up a round of toast and marmalade with juice. He jumps back into bed and the three of us enjoy breakfast in bed.

We just buy a couple of sliced loaves each week and pop them right in the freezer and then the frozen slices go right in the freezer. Lunch is made in advance and normally something like vegetable soup or casserole which I make in a large batch and then freeze in small pots so he can grab one and go.

defineme Mon 31-Dec-12 15:24:42

My boys love breakfast and will eat whatever's there. Dd struggles-she's not that hungry/feels a bit queazy. I have to leave at 740 on 3 mornings so if we've lost the race against the clock (I have issues with getting pony tails straight-not a born hairdresser) I give her a harvest crunch bar and a piece of fruit/capri sun and she'll eat it in the car.
I have a friend with a very fussy thin dd and she cooks her pancakes every morning-I can't manage that until the weekend!

My top tip is to remember to smile: we have never got to school/work any quicker when I've been shouty so I've stopped raising the stress levels. I have always done bags/lunches/piles of uniform the night before. On the rare occasions I haven't then I have had no time for my own breakfast which is rubbish.

Chickchickola Mon 31-Dec-12 15:27:09

Right in the toaster I mean!

NewYearsEvelyn Mon 31-Dec-12 15:40:40

Done. I try not to iron anything in the mornings before work/school. Those days are always the worst. I like being prepared the night before.

just a quick note about the survey - it should ask if someone has a partner or not. weird to think that my answers (single parent) will read the same as the answers by someone who does everything because their husband is a lazy arse and she does everything.

AndiMac Mon 31-Dec-12 16:18:11

My top tip is if you want to make oatmeal for the kids but it takes too long to cool to and edible temperature for little ones is right when the oatmeal is finished cooking, throw in a handful of frozen blueberries. The heat of the oatmeal will quickly defrost the berries and conversely, the berries will cool down the oatmeal to warm rather than roof-of-the-mouth-scalding hot! Makes having a hot breakfast in the morning doable for us.

AndiMac Mon 31-Dec-12 16:19:10

Oops, "too long to cool to an edible temperature".

jackstini Mon 31-Dec-12 17:33:15

As much as possible the night before.
Breakfast bars are not the most evil thing in the world if you are running very late and spelling tests and morning prayers for help in the car are fine!

ClaraOswinOswald Mon 31-Dec-12 17:46:37

I have been known to throw a marmite sandwich and a smoothie at them in the car if we're running late. Any breakfast is better than no breakfast.

UniS Mon 31-Dec-12 20:05:24

Routine, and no conversation. DS and I are not good at conversation in the morning, we need to wake up while jogging along our usual routine. consequently breakfast is exactly the same every day.

majjsu Mon 31-Dec-12 20:29:24

My little girl would pick sweets for breakfast if she could, so I always give her a choice of 3 healthy breakfasts. She always picks toast with jam, I think its because she is copying mummy!

MrsDeVere Mon 31-Dec-12 21:55:08

I get up very early and shower, dress etc before waking kids up.
NO TV allowed in the mornings.
Teach the children to dress themselves as young as possible.
I do not lay out clothes but they are arranged in a very organised way in the wardrobe so children can find them easily.
Children's crockery is kept in a low cupboard so the children can get it out themselves and chose which bowls they want.
Everyone has the same breakfast which is a mix of cereals.

frizzyhaired Mon 31-Dec-12 22:04:45

I try and get up earlier but my son wakes up at the crack of dawn. It's a fairly smooth routine except for my daughter. She takes ages over milk. I've been waiting for the kids to turn 5 so I can quit the morning milk thing. Now that I have, all I need to get right is combing my daughter's hair.

ilikeyoursleeves Mon 31-Dec-12 22:11:47

I get up at 8am, wake the kids up for breakfast and they eat this before getting ready for school / nursery so they don't wipe the milk and cereal all over their clothes! Everything is prepared the night before ie lunch box, shoes etc. sometimes they eat toast on the way to school. I look up the weather forecast and if its raining I ask DH to walk them to school hee hee!

busymummy3 Mon 31-Dec-12 22:21:43

Always make sure uniform and schoolbags done night before
Always get up before them to prepare breakfasts
make pack lunches while kids eat breakfast
let older DC's sort themselves out even if it means they forget to take things /end up missing bus etc
Help youngest DC but only with hair the sooner they learn to be responsible for themselves the better!

lia66 Mon 31-Dec-12 22:48:09

By the time I have turned off my alarm 3 times the dc's have fed themselves , they have whichever cereal they want and help themselves. They will all be dressed as the rule is they get dressed before they come downstairs.

Myself and toddler come downstairs, I give toddler sml bowl of cereal then make up packed lunches moaning to myself the whole time that i should have done this last night grin .

that said, mornings run smoothly. my top tip is don't sweat it or try and rush young sleepy children.

Myself and toddler have a nice breakfast when we get back from school run, we have porridge with butter and fruit, i have coffee and we watch cbeebies.

(can't see any of that ending up in a tips boklet except to say, this is how not to do it. smile )

TrampyPants Tue 01-Jan-13 10:33:23

my toptip is, dont give breakfast options.

hurricanewyn Tue 01-Jan-13 13:43:46

I always make sure the DC's are dressed before eating - they can go to school witha piece of toast or an apple in their hands if needs be, but can't leave if they're not dressed.

YY to no TV in the morning & no options. Get as much ready the night before as possible.

fuzzpig Tue 01-Jan-13 13:47:44

I always do it the other way round - DS is a very messy eater so it'd be risky to put his clothes on before eating!

VivaLeBeaver Tue 01-Jan-13 14:31:36

Dd is a pita for breakfast. Hates cereal and not keen on toast. I find that varying toast toppings helps for a bit, jam, marmite, Nutella, even cheese.

Bell vita biscuits are fab for desperate days!

farmerswifey Tue 01-Jan-13 14:47:04

Try to get everything sorted the night before; have uniforms ironed and ready to go, school bags packed and PE kits located. Set the table ready for breakfast after dinner the previous evening and when that alarm goes in the morning, don't hit snooze however tempted you may be.

musthavecoffee Tue 01-Jan-13 16:22:59

Getting organised the night before with uniforms etc and getting up on time are my morning essentials!

jimblejambles Tue 01-Jan-13 16:56:46

I always try to get up before everyone else so I can have my coffee in peace. The day always seems to be better if I do that smile

EndoplasmicReticulum Tue 01-Jan-13 17:00:05

My tip for mornings - get a job that requires you to leave for work before everyone else needs to get up. Sort yourself out, go in early, let husband deal with the school run.

ProphetOfDoom Tue 01-Jan-13 17:06:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

runnyhabbit Tue 01-Jan-13 19:10:08

Routine and habit

As much prepared night before as possible. Little / no choice for brekkie, maybe they can choose a topping (eg what they can sprinkle on top of weetabix or porridge)

TV is used as a reward - once everything has been done (including shoes on) then they can watch x amount (and I set an alarm on the cooker)

And I agree with those who've mentioned the amount of time it can take to leave the house and then get off the drivegrin

MushroomSoup Tue 01-Jan-13 22:46:05

Daughter (8) has an alarm clock and I have sneakily set it so it looks to be 10 minutes later than it is! She turns it off and goes back to sleep but it means she's more awake when I go in after five minutes than she would've been without it! And she's still up five minutes early! This only works well because she hasn't thought to check the time

trice Tue 01-Jan-13 22:52:54

I put DDS toothbrush in the downstairs loo as otherwise the dcs fight over the sink. And we frequently brush her hair at school as she won't stay still at home.

CointreauVersial Tue 01-Jan-13 23:01:09

Odd survey - in this house the DCs prepare their own breakfast, but there's no option to state that. Also, who on earth has time to pay bills, make social arrangements or do laundry in the morning before school?!

And hands up who would rather have David Cameron on hand in the morning (as opposed to someone useful, like Supernanny).

My top tip is to get the DCs to make their own breakfast and lunch! We have been doing this since DD2 was 7.

And I always make my breakfast (fruit, yogurt and nuts) in a Tupperware and take it to work. That way I can eat in peace, as opposed to running round the house looking for lost PE Kit.

jojane Tue 01-Jan-13 23:03:51

Porridge in slow cooker helps hen everyone needs to have breakfast at different times,

TackyChristmastreedelivery Tue 01-Jan-13 23:27:58

My tip (which I am sure has been mentioned already)

Soak porridge in milk overnight, in the pan, on the hob, with wooden spoon in. Leave golden syrup/dried fruit/honey etc next to hob. Leave out bowls with spoons in.

Walk in kitchen, put the hob on, quick stir and you are zero to creamy porridge hero in 3 mins.

Fling the used bowls/cutlery in the saucepan and then fill with water before you hit the school run. Or it will be concrete and you will pay.

hk78 Wed 02-Jan-13 07:58:18

The most helpful thing to make mornings easier for me is to make sure I've got a stash of pound coins and/or other assorted smaller change.

If one of the dc's needs £1 for dressing-up day/lunch/20p for toast/50p for school disco ticket/whatever, it's guaranteed that I will only be asked for it as we are about to walk out of the door, and having a stash avoids the headless chicken impressions.

JulesJules Wed 02-Jan-13 08:34:37

Do as much as possible the night before:
Check they have clean ironed schooliform and get it out ready, socks and pants on the radiator.
Check homework is done and homework planner signed, any school letters/emails dealt with - info transferred to kitchen calendar and mine and DH's diaries.
Get sports kit ready and put bag in hall next to school shoes.

I get up before everyone else because I hate rushing in the morning and so I can get showered, dressed, have cup of tea, feed cats and put coffee on before everyone else gets up.

Set time limits - girls have to be up by 7.30 and downstairs for breakfast, and then upstairs by 8 to get washed and dressed, downstairs and ready to leave by 8.30.

Inevitably though, one of them will remember something vital at 8.32...

I don't see how David Cameron could be anything other than a major hindrance in the morning. Or indeed at any time. grin

Like everyone else says, the key is getting ready the night before. Homework completed, bags packed, clothes ready.
The question about who could entertain DS was a little odd. He doesn't need entertained, he needs to hurry up, stop daydreaming and get dressed!

Ninetyninepercent Wed 02-Jan-13 12:20:20

Get clothes organised and laid out the night before. Kids dressed in their rooms before they come downstairs. Build in 10 min grace period where you won't be cutting it too fine if you leave within that period.

Being organised is the key. Make sure kids have everything they need for the next day, nothing worse than having to hunt for PE kit/piece of tinsel when time is short.

Not too much choice for breakfast - cereal and fruit or egg on toast. Or whatever your child likes to eat and is healthy.

Routine - I have always had a morning routine from when working and have adjusted it as we have had babies/toddlers nursery school etc. Now that they are older they get their own breakfast showered, dressed etc but I get them up each morning and we get on with the day.

For kiddies who dither and struggle to remember to clean teeth etc I found a chart with their morning routine pinned somewhere for them easily to see helped and they ticked off when things were done. This in conjunction with a reward chart stopped me from being screechy, nagging Mum to gentle reminders to check their chart.

Get bags, packed lunches or dinner money sorted the night before.

Have good hallway storage/pegs for each child so there is somewhere clear for coats, hats, gloves, book bags etc (not yet sorted in our house) to go and so they can take responsibility for their own.

Get up and showered before children wake up if possible!

Get or make sure children get dressed before they have time to think about the day!

Definitely no TV.

Have a set breakfast menu for each day with a something different on Fridays so people know what is on offer. Ie porridge one day, choice of cereals second day, fresh fruit and yoghurt third day, different cereals then finish week with croissants or a voted for favourite.

Make sure children have a good drink at the beginning as dehydration is the primary cause of meltdown in our house, and in enough time that you don't get caught out halfway to school shock

Stay calm and encourage. Know what good things or good friends will be at school and keep focused on the good whilst making time later to deal with fears unless child terrified.

I found, as a SAHM of one child that holding a breakfast club for 3 in total results in children having a small, fun, manageable target to start the day, a wonderful sit at the table breakfast with great conversation and often singing and a responsibility for not making the others late. The only real challenge for me is stopping the fun at the table and getting them out the door, but then we have things to spot and run to on the way to school. Being responsible for others' children probably makes me in my best parenting behaviour and extra encouraging at a time of day that otherwise I'd be less self aware. Added bonus is that I get a financial reward and the other parents get to work on time. Win win! grin

BexieID Wed 02-Jan-13 12:50:01

Make lunches night before and ensure clothes are ready as well. One less headache in the morning. Unfortunately the kids can't have breakfast the night before as well!

poorbuthappy Wed 02-Jan-13 13:12:16

Me. I am the key to an organised morning. If I'm on the ball, up, awake, showered and dressed before the kids (8 and 4 year old twins) then the morning wI'll go smoothly. If I'm not then it's usually carnage.
I do mornings on my own because dh leaves the house at 6.50 so I always aim to be out of the shower by the time the front door slams loudly hmm

TV only once kids have eaten, are cleaned and dressed. Usually at that point the daily torture of hairbrushing commences.

All out the door at 8.45.

JS06 Wed 02-Jan-13 13:13:58

Happy to have tv on in the kitchen but the news programmes only. They can watch tv while eating breakfast but if I can subtly impart some knowledge about the world around them then so much the better.

Have finally discovered that rather than asking my 15 year old son (admittedly non fussy) what he'd like I just place items in front of him and he eats them one by one at breakfast - yoghurt, croissant, apple or banana, some toast or cereal/milk. Rarely does he leave anything, saves him grunting responses at me and saves my nerves for the 14 year old girl who barely eats a crumb.

shelley72 Wed 02-Jan-13 14:41:35

breakfast always runs smoothly (because usually DH does it unless he is on a really early start!). i always make sure that book bag is packed night before with everything DS needs, and uniform is ironed and hung up ready for him to put on. its the actual getting out of the house that i find difficult - you know trying to get them to put shoes/coats/hats etc on and get everything we need to the car and get to school on time. DS has only been at school since september so this may get easier - or worse when DD starts school and DC3 comes along shock

Littlechangeforthis Wed 02-Jan-13 15:17:03

Jam sandwiches made the night before make a great breakfast treat that can be eaten on the run.

It's no different to toast really but the kids think its an amazing treat!

SarahStratton Wed 02-Jan-13 15:37:19

We always do all the organising the night before. Bags are packed, uniform laid out, packed lunches made and put in the fridge. We have our routine, and stick with it.

Weekends, anything goes!

Beakfast usually runs smoothly except Tuesday for some reason. They seem to be very grumpy on a Tuesday so I try to be more organised on a Monday night.

glitch Wed 02-Jan-13 16:46:21

Getting my DS washed, teeth done and dressed if the priority before food. As long as that is done he can take ages eating if he wants (and he does) and I don't have to tell him to hurry up as I know we are ready to go as soon as we need to. He can leave food if he is too slow but we can't leave without his trousers on!

newyearnewattitude Wed 02-Jan-13 16:55:00

everything laid out the night before and downstairs ready to go. Dishes done the night before and the kitchen area clear and ready to use. Also, my DS (13) was given a waffle machine for his birthday and he loves waffles so I encourage him to make a batch of the mixture, pop it in the fridge and then in the morning he can make himself a nice hot waffle... alternatively he seems to like cold readybrek....

HopingForTheBest Wed 02-Jan-13 17:17:56

Prepare bag & uniform in advance.
Allow the child an extra 15 minutes to waste in the bathroom before coming for breakfast.
Put on the school uniform before having the breakfast and hope that it will not get dirty.

HappyTurquoise Wed 02-Jan-13 18:35:45

My top tips for making mornings run smoothly are to have your partner bring you a cup of tea/coffee in bed first thing and, by the time thy're teenagers, train your children to get their own breakfast and clean up after themselves! Obviously this can take years and years, but if you put in a few years of getting breakfast for the rest of the family, it doesn't seem such a great ask to be given a hot drink of a morning before your DP disappears off to work.

During the transition years, when your children can do some things for themselves but cannot manage everything, have routines for school days where you oversee it all, but children pitch in helping in small ways according to their age and ability. Don't be tempted to start letting them help themselves to whatever they want (from cupboards) before they can wipe up crumbs from the table or load/unload the dishwasher!
Introducing a new task to a child is best done at weekends and holidays, so that they don't have to be rushed, and if it results in a mess it isn't an issue as there's more time to clean up. It also means they can still be in their PJs, so if butter gets smeared on a sleeve or juice is spilled on a chair, there's no need for a quick change of school uniform.
You could have children eating breakfast in their PJs every day, but if they are slow eaters and slow at getting dressed as well, there's a risk of making yourselves late, unless you are all very early risers.
Put the choice of breakfast ready on the table, they just have to eat it, put their plate in the dishwasher, help put packets and jars away and wipe the table.
Have everything ready the night before, including uniform ironed, homework done, forms filled in and cheques written, and bags packed, but involve your child in getting these things done, and by year 5 or so have them assemble what they need themselves. For example, for infant school aged children, put all the things to go into a packed lunch ready. They just have to get one of each thing into a bag (main, fruit, savoury snack, drink, dessert). By year 6, they should normally be able to get their own packed lunch (make and wrap a sandwich the day before, or ask for some extra pasta cooked and put it in a box) and cereal or toast for breakfast, clean up after themselves and check they have all they need and do most of the preparation the night before, asking for help if needed.

Everyone in our family likes different things for breakfast, so we rotate what is available. There's almost always a standard selection of toast and jam, porridge and a basic cereal, but I try to provide a bit of variation at weekends and at least one week day. I might do boiled eggs and soldiers one day, fruit salad with yoghurt another day, sausage or bacon butties, croissants, crumpets, English muffins, mushrooms on toast, pains au chocolate and pastries, smoothies, or pancakes/drop scones with syrup which is our favourite. It's a good idea to let children try different foods to see what they like, and have them try foods they don't like every so often, in case their tastes change.

My top advice on how to get children eating breakfast is to provide a lot of variety, and set a good example while they are young and eat something for breakfast yourself, with them, even if it is just a small piece of toast or a yoghurt or some fruit. If you're having overnight visitors find out what they like for breakfast beforehand, so your children see others eating well and it's just a normal part of the daily routine.

duchesse Wed 02-Jan-13 18:51:31

I felt a bit of a fraud filling in that survey as I've taken very little role in the morning routine for years. DC learned to make their own packed lunches from age 8-10 onwards- I just needed to make sure we had the right ingredients in. Similarly with actual breakfast- I haven't had to make them breakfast for years- I only do the baby's breakfast now and make weekend "treat" breakfast such as pancakes or full English. So I guess my top tip would be making the children as independent as possible as early as possible.

fryingpanalley Wed 02-Jan-13 21:33:44

Definitely no TV (or Mnetting) before school. That's my best tip. And get them onto school dinners.

Silverlace Wed 02-Jan-13 21:34:18

As everyone else has said, get all the clothes ready and bags packed the night before. Even put socks and pants ready to put on. When I am super organised I put the breakfast bowls, spoons and cereal packets out ready.

Never do homework or reading as there isn't time and add in extra time to allow for delays either from children or traffic.

Parrish Wed 02-Jan-13 21:44:24

Eat in pj's. brush teeth in pj's. bribe them with a chewy vitamin to get their clothes on!

JugglingMeYorkiesAndNutRoast Wed 02-Jan-13 23:14:48

I'm not a routiney person normally, or never would have thought I was pre DC's, but our mornings are now run like clockwork - like the Father in Mary Poppins !
Keep things as simple as possible too.
Like in "Just a minute" there's to be no deviation

Get up same time, make cuppa for me and DH.
Wake DC's.

Breakfast for DC's in front of morning children's telly.
Cereal (not too sweet, so from a small range of options) or toast.
Possibly some fruit juice or smoothie is always popular.

Do DD's hair in a plait.

Pack bags, find shoes etc !

Like the tip up-thread to have a pot of pound coins and assorted change - we're nearly there but my pot of change is always running out ! Pens and pencils always seem to be in demand too. And cheques, hopefully from DH !

Top tip for New Year to myself is to have a laundry basket on the landing for DC's school uniforms etc. - hopefully get the laundry system working more smoothly with co-operation from DC's

Personally I like the children's TV in the morning as it helps keep us on schedule
and keeps the DC's helpfully passive whilst they wake up and eat breakfast
but I do wish they'd ban shouting and fighting on programmes < looks pointedly at Tracey Beaker team >

charlieandlola Wed 02-Jan-13 23:50:12

if Mr Tumble appeared at my house at 7am, I am sure none of us would want to leave the house at all !

My tip is never ever ever allow anyone to go upstairs for anything, once they come down for breakfast. Always come down dressed, never to return!

Also put all bags etc in the car boot the night before, not in the Hall, they get left behind !

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 03-Jan-13 16:12:46

Thanks for all the tips etc and for completing the survey - am pleased to say escape wins £150 of Love2Shop vouchers for completing the survey and KentuckyFriedChildren also wins £150 Love2Shop for adding her tip. Well done both!

Faunanflora Fri 04-Jan-13 15:46:31

My 3 year old eats more in the morning than at any other time of the day so I give him cereal (sometimes up to 3 bowls!), then toast with cheese and ham or peanut butter, or pancakes with bacon, to make sure that he has carbs and protein even if he eats nothing for the rest of the day other than yoghurts and fruit, something that he never says no too.

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