40 Mom-Tested Tips for Balancing Work and Family


Tips for Making Your Mornings Run More Smoothly


Keep It Simple
Have a schedule and stick to it. Get yourself up early, get your exercise in, get your coffee on, then go wake up the kids. If your children are young, get yourself totally ready before waking them up. If your children are older, make them get themselves ready. Have them pick out their clothes, make their beds, brush their hair, etc. Let them get breakfast ready if they can do it unsupervised, or stick to very simple breakfasts like fruit and yogurt or oatmeal. The trick is to keep it simple. --iVillager Dori

Keep It Routine
I have a four- and two-year-old, so mornings can be nuts. But over the past few years I have gotten it down to a science. The night before I lay out everyone's clothes -- mine and my boys'. I also pack their backpacks with whatever they need for the next day, except for their lunches. In the mornings, I do not make any beds. No one will be home all day, so who cares? Then I get my two-year-old dressed and help my older son if he needs it. We go downstairs and I get their cereal for breakfast, and I shower while they eat. Our routine works very well. We get up at 6am and are out the door by 7:15 every day!

--iVillager Amy

Keep It Moving
We have a routine, and it works. I'm up by 6:30 and showered and dressed (mostly) before the kids are awake. At seven, I wake up my two sons and my daughter. Clothes are laid out the night before -- that way there is no arguing about what to wear. The boys share a room and have a TV in their room (I know, I know), and they use the TV as their timer: They know that they must be ready to leave before their favorite program is over. During that time all I have to do is worry about getting myself ready, keeping the boys on track and getting my daughter dressed.

Breakfast is simple and something portable -- usually granola bars or waffles. The kids eat in their room while finishing getting dressed. Backpacks and lunches are packed the night before. Once they grab those we're out the door. I have to make three drop-offs before I head to work, so keeping everyone moving and happy is critical. It all comes down to the kids knowing the routine and expectations and not varying it. --iVillager Gigi

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