Ah the morning madness. Are there any other words that can conjure up such pure panic?
We've all been there. We're wearing one high heel, one runner; our children resent us because we’ve dared ask them to rise from their beds, and we can't find the car keys.
And while there’s not a whole lot we can do about the tired protestations and the kids chancing their arm at a sick day, there are some smart ways we can prepare the night before to minimise morning stress:
1. Prep uniforms the night before
Children searching in panic for ties, shirts and the like is one of the main ways your smooth morning routine can become derailed. Think ahead, and lay out uniforms, tracksuits, underwear and shoes the night before. Come morning so they’ll get dressed quickly, with shouts of “Mum where’s my school jumper?” a thing of the past.
2. Stay consistent
Consistency is key in getting kids used to an early morning routine, so stick at it even if it seems to be a struggle at first. After an initial period of continuous reinforcement, it should soon become second nature to them. Allocating times for wake-up, washing, dressing and breakfast will ensure they keep to time – well, more or less.
3. Lay out the breakfast things
It’s not a myth: breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, particularly for active, school-going kids. So laying out the brekkie things in advance will make it much more likely you’ll sit down to eat.
And to encourage you to sit down as a family, as part of Porridge Week (10-16 October) Irish favourites Flahavan’s and Keelings have teamed up with their Share A Breakfast Moment campaign – offering 50c off each other’s products with each purchase. What better reason to fill up with a creamy bowl of porridge topped with sweet and juicy blueberries, raspberries and strawberries?
4. Create a ‘school stuff’ hub
Prepare to have your life changed. A school stuff hub is basically a designated area where kids keep all their school things, from bags, to sports equipment, to coats. Again, this one is all about habit, so stick at and soon it will come naturally to the kids to drop their things in the hub when they come in after school.
5. Get yourself ready first
Getting up even 15 minutes before the littles will make a massive difference. If you’re up and dressed, it’ll be much easier to help your gang with their morning preparations. You don’t want to be in a situation where you’ve tended to everyone else and it’s time to go, but suddenly you remember you’re still in your dressing gown!
For more information on National Porridge Week, and the Flahavan’s and Keelings’ Share A Breakfast Moment campaign, as well as information, nutritious recipes and time saving tips, visit www.breakfastmoments.ie.