morning routine

Today’s post is a brief snapshot of our morning routine. I have spoken before about my morning routine, but as each year brings changes to who goes where and when, it is pretty dynamic and does look different now to what it did last year for me especially.

Feedback from the survey in December highlighted that you were interested in reading more about the day to day stuff not only from me but from other families. So while it is our morning routine today, Katie a mum to 8 kids is sharing her morning routine tomorrow. Katie, kindly shared some of her family story on the blog last year – Our Big Family Story. This post resonated so well with readers and I know her post tomorrow will too.

I will share more stories from other families through out the year as well. These stories are handed over to me in the spirit of sharing and they are not about saying any particular style of parenting is better than the other, nor any family set up is better than another. They are about appreciating diversity and it is up to us what we want to take away and act on. Personally these posts always make me reflect on what I am doing and how could I do better in my role as parent.

Our Morning Routine

As most of you will know, there really is no such thing as an “average day” as a parent, but this is what my morning routine looks like most often:

5.40am: Get up and head to the gym. I do this Monday to Friday.

7.00am: Home from gym, greet the kids. A couple usually meet me at the door for a kiss and hug. I have breakfast with those yet to have it. 95% of the time everyone is up by this time.

7.15am: Finish off the lunches. Our year 8 son is responsible for making his own lunch, so we chat together as we do the lunch box thing. Some parents have found this strange that I make the other lunches but not his. We made a family rule that once the kids get to Year 7 (secondary school in Victoria) the kids need to make their own lunches. Eventually the other kids will be in secondary school and so they will need to make their own too – it is a transition process from this being my responsibility.

7.30am: Point out to the younger kids that is 7.30am. This is the time they need to start getting dressed and doing their “morning jobs”. Each child has specific tasks they need to do in the morning. You can see an idea of what they are here – Kids Chores. I help anyone who needs assistance getting ready (tie shoelaces etc) and tidy up the kitchen and dining room area.

7.45am: I have a shower and get dressed myself. The kids pack their bags and finish off getting ready for school, making sure they have all the right things for their day. The kids have their own timetables to refer to help them get organised.

8.05am: A couple of mornings a week I will put on a load of washing before we leave for the walk to school. The kids will get the dog ready for the walk, making sure we have bags for the poop he does every time!

8.10am: We walk to school about 4 mornings a week. The other morning we have a regular appointment, so it doesn’t quite work out for us to walk. On mornings when we are running a little behind, our 11 year old will often walk to school ahead of us. He likes to get to school as early as possible and he has the job of looking after the chickens at school a couple of mornings a week too, so he likes to make sure he has plenty of time for that and playing. A bonus of him liking to be early, is that he is keen to help out however he can to make sure we leave at the right time.

He will come and ask me if there is anything he can do to help. I will often ask him to find the preschoolers shoes and socks. Our 3 year old detests wearing shoes and socks. Often I won’t even bother with the fight of putting them on at home. We take them in the pram and he knows when we get to kinder he has to put them on.

So yes, even when it is freezing you will often see him without shoes or socks on. He has a blanket on him in the pram, so he isn’t freezing though.

8.30am: It takes us about 20 minutes to walk to school. I really love the walks to school. It is such a great time to talk to the kids and I feel I can focus on them better, than when I am driving the car. We can use this time to practice spelling words or times tables, if we had a busy night the night before.

There are also little games that I can play with the preschooler on the way home too.

On mornings when the preschooler has 9.00am starts I will walk the kids to the school gate, kiss them goodbye (not the 11 year old who would be mortified by that!) and turn straight around and walk back to kinder.

9.15am: The kinder our littlest one attends is at the end of our street which is so handy! He has one 9am start, one 9.15am start and attends occasional care one morning a week also from 9am – 12pm at a different place. He is happy to go each time, so drop off is pretty quick and I head straight home.

10.00am: Work! The days the 3 year old is in kinder are my “work days”. I aim to do a couple of quick things around the house – hang out the washing, clean the toilets, or prepare a quick meal etc and then go upstairs to my office. I have a little routine for each day of the week, which I have talked about before here, but I really try to make sure I am working by 10am.

11.55am: I will work until the very last minute before I need to pick up the little one from kinder. On kinder days, this means I only need to leave 5 minutes before he finishes, so I can quite a bit of work done.

And that is pretty much what my mornings look like! Do you have a morning routine you follow?

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15 comments...read them below or add one

  • Susan May 10, 2012 at 8:06 am

    The list of chores you reference is from 2 years ago. I’m curious if the 11 year old has different chores than when he was 9 years old. I have a 12 year old daughter, we moved to Sydney in December from the States and I’m interested in what other kids her age have for chores.
    I SO LOVE your blog! It has been a comforting spot to relax amidst the chaos of a transatlantic move and a drama filled princess. :-) The new colour scheme is soothing and I am a proud owner of the Menu Planner on my iPhone.
    Your work makes a difference in many mums’ lives so keep on keeping on!

    • PlanningQueen May 10, 2012 at 10:34 am

      Thanks for the kind words about the blog Susan. The chores do change and develop as the kids get older. The older kids are expected to a bit more than their younger siblings. For example the now 11 year old also has to empty the rubbish bin as required, take the empty cereal boxes to the recycling.

      I also ask the older ones to do more adhoc tasks that are age appropriate as well.

      My 13 year old is responsible for emptying the compost bin and he is also “supposed” to vacuum his bedroom once a week as well. I also get him the kitchen about once a fortnight to either help cook a meal or cook a basic meal on his own.

      Nic

  • snosie May 10, 2012 at 8:12 am

    I don’t have kids, so my routine isn’t as involved! It’s up at 5.45am (usually the light alarm and the phone alarm, so sometimes the light wakes me earlier and I ‘lay in’). Down to shower, taking my phone and anything else ‘needed’ downstairs (lately, tissues!!). About 15mins in the shower, then back up to bedroom, with any clothes I need that were from yesterday and were in bathroom/laundry. (this is where it breaksdown, I often forget deodorant, cause it’s in the bathroom, but it’s something I link to putting on clothes – perhaps I need it in my undie drawer!?). Once dressed, light alarm off, lights off upstairs, downstairs.

    By this stage it’s a little after 6am, I get my oats out, pills and other tablets. Mix my oats with water, and into the microwave (summer = unmicrowaved). Get milk and berries out of fridge onto kitchen table. Eat then rinse. Collect anything downstairs needed to take to work (food, papers etc). Lights off in that section, sit on stairs, put on socks, shoes. Then I’m about ready to go, but always have to turn off the bathroom’s fairy lights (less harsh than overhead light for the morning shower!).

    The only flexible bit is my hair drying – sometimes I do that right out of the shower, sometimes after dressing, before b’fast, or today, as b’fast was in the microwave, and sometimes after eating. IN any case, I can’t crack my hair drying routine since I started it in 2006 (when I lived in a place cold enough that it was best I did!)

    • PlanningQueen May 10, 2012 at 10:35 am

      You certainly have a routine for your mornings. Fairy lights in the bathroom sound very pretty!

  • Kate McLean May 10, 2012 at 8:45 am

    I think it’s great that your 11 yo makes his own lunch – I’m already trying to train my 5yo to make hers! When I was a kid my Mum worked nights so I was making my own lunch from Grade 4. My Dad was a teacher at my school so I would also have to make his lunch too! I loved it, made me so important!!

    Oh, and what is with 3yo’s not liking shoes and socks – my 3 yo is EXACTLY the same. it’s a battle everyday!

    • PlanningQueen May 10, 2012 at 10:36 am

      Thanks Kate. The 3 year old shoe thing can be our biggest issue for us before going out. It is the one thing I have to put thought into every time to work out how best to approach it to avoid meltdown!

  • Kathy May 10, 2012 at 11:22 am

    See, I love this, because I am so not organised to this level. For me, reading your blog is like reading food magazines or looking at Home Beautiful – I always think, wow, isn’t that awesome, maybe I could try X or Y, all the while knowing I won’t ever be quite to that level (but being OK with that!)

    But I love that I get ideas from things and people that are more advanced than I in various fields. That’s how we learn and grow, isn’t it?

    I posted about our mornings today, because you inspired me: http://playeatlearnlive.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/mornings-at-our-house.html

    • PlanningQueen May 10, 2012 at 1:59 pm

      Love it Kathy and am off to read your post! You will find Katie’s post interesting tomorrow then as she is different from me.

  • Susan May 10, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    We also have a similar routine, I freeze my sandwiches and place in lunch boxes. My 12 and 8 put in their own snacks etc and I do a quick check before it goes into school bag. My 12 and 8 make their own way to school and I use this time to sweep the floors swish and swash the toilets, check beds and leave for the morning.

    • PlanningQueen May 10, 2012 at 2:27 pm

      I do foresee a time in the future when all the kids can get themselves to school – just not for another 5 or 6 years yet!

  • Jacquie May 10, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    I love these sort of posts!! In our house my alarm goes off at 6am & I try & get up & my husband & I take the dog for a walk & run in the park directly across the road from our house. (if I don’t do that I lay in bed until 6:45 or nearly 7am!) then back from our walk at 6:30 ish, quick shower, get dressed, make our bed, start making kids’ lunches. By 7am start getting kids up if they aren’t already & get them all moving. They have a picture chart of what they have to do (dressed, breakfast, make beds, brush teeth, put lunches into bags) but they often muck around & get distracted so I spend a lot of time on some days redirecting them! After I’ve made the lunches I have breakfast & then do breakfast dishes & leave to dry on sink. Husband usually leaves by 7:30 & we are all out the door at 8am if we can make it in time!

  • Beet May 12, 2012 at 12:05 am

    This almost makes me wistful for simpler mornings when the kids were little and I was at home… lol

    Nowadays I pack my lunch and bags the night before and make sure everyone has clean clothes for the next day. In the morning I drag myself out of bed around 6:45, am in the car by 7:30, at the train station at 7:45, and don’t get home till almost 5pm. One high schooler leaves with me, the other gets makes his own lunch before catching a bus at 8:15.

    It’s surprising – I thought things were hectic when I had little ones underfoot, but I never imagined we’d be so busy still now they are all teens!

  • Erin May 14, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    The one thing i’ve found works best for me is to make sure i get up and shower before the kids get up (as they are only two and still sleep in cots, they can’t yet get themselves up) There is only 1 morning a week where we have to all be up and out of the house by 7:30 as i am lucky enough to have my mum and mother in law look after the girls on the other two days i work. and honestly, that morning we have to be out by a certain time, moves smoother than any other day. I generally have the girls up, nappy changed/dressed/hair done and eating breakfast before they really realise they are awake! But i do organise bags and clothes the night before otherwise i inevitably forget something!

  • Cath May 16, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I’ve only been a school mum for a term and a half, but my biggest tip so far is – don’t ever let the kids sleep in. Some mornings I was thinking “oh well, they must need the sleep, I’ll let them have another x minutes…” but I found that we were then so rushed and I had to nag and push the whole morning, that any benefit they got from sleeping in, was then negated by the rushing and shouting. So now they have to be up at 7 no matter if they have colds, or a bit of a late night, or a busy week. Otherwise it quickly goes pear shaped (as it did this morning…..)

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