Getting the kids – and yourself – ready to face the day can be a stressful experience but these mums have got their routines down to a ‘T’! Here’s how they do it.
Keep everything structured
Dharini Patel is a full-time mum to her two boys, Ethan, 4 and Ayan, 19 months. To avoid stress she follows a structured routine.
“Our alarm clock is our youngest son, Ayan, who wakes at 7am. He has been a fantastic sleeper since he was a small baby and I think that’s because of a tightly regulated daytime routine.
“From Monday to Friday both boys have Weetabix, toast and orange juice. To keep up the 5-a-day, I make smoothies, such as banana with strawberry, papaya or mango. The boys then play or watch breakfast TV while I tidy the kitchen, then we brush teeth and clean faces. Then it’s shoes on and away we go!”
Why it works
“I think children respond to structure and thrive on the sense of security it gives them. I found it helpful to use a routine – it certainly works for me!”
Help from a brilliant childminder
Nicky Edwards is mum to Olivia, 19 months and Aimee, 14. Olivia has been going to childminder Kim since Nicky returned to work.
“I used to get up two hours before we needed to leave the house and would still get to work in a heap. Nowadays, instead of me trying to dress a (sometimes!) very sleepy and uncooperative Olivia, which was stressful for all of us, we take Olivia to my brilliant childminder Kim in her pyjamas on the odd occasion when she sleeps in, and Kim will get her dressed. Likewise, instead of me attempting to give her some breakfast before she’s really hungry, Kim will give it to her after the school run, when she’s ready for it.”
Why it works
“Taking Olivia to her childminder in her pyjamas sometimes, and arranging for her to have breakfast there has definitely made my life less stressful in the morning. My other stress-reducing trick is to pack her lunchbox and baby bag the night before!”
Lots of time works for us
Jennie Flatman is mum to Ronnie, 2 and Grace, 10 months. Husband Tony is a police officer, and Jennie is a part-time music teacher, so mornings tend to be busy.
“Things can get a little hectic in the mornings, especially if I’m heading off to work and need to get the children ready – I take them to their grandparents’ who look after them while I’m at work.“
Why it works
“I think the key for us is to leave plenty of time and to keep the basic routine the same, and that keeps everything relaxed and stress-free. I’ve also found that giving Ronnie simple jobs, like putting the plastic plates and cups in the sink, helps us to get out of the house on time. Having some responsibility has boosted his confidence, too.”