It’s a universal mom truth that getting out the door in the morning is the worst. The faster you need to go, the more your niños drag their feet until, suddenly, you look up and realize you are engaged in a full-on power struggle over whether flip flops are appropriate footwear for a foot of snow (they are not). Everyone is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and it’s not even 8 AM.
I’m not going to blow smoke and tell you there’s a way to make it all better. But, there are a few things you can do to minimize the pain of getting out the door—tricks to keep things moving, lessen your morning load, and, hopefully, keep your kids on track.
Never lose your keys again (WHAT?!!).
There’s nothing quite like finally getting everyone ready to walk out the door and realizing you have no idea where your keys or phone are. Yes, an organized person would put them in the same place every time instead of leaving them hanging in the door, but for the rest of us, there are Tiles, only the greatest invention for mamas of all time. Attach a Tile to your phone, keys, and child and when you can’t find something, press “find” to locate by sound or GPS. You’ll never be late again. (A mom can dream, all right?)
Make your makeup mulit-task.
It’s hard enough to remember whether you put on mascara when you have a morning to-do list running through your head, much less sunscreen. Save your skin with a built-in SPF product like Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer with SPF. It goes on light, covers up flaws, and frees up your brain to worry about really important things, like where you last saw the lunch boxes.
Get breakfast set up the night before.
We’ll be doing pretty well getting out the door, and then I’ll remember the niños need to eat. Argh! Every. Single. Morning. Then it’s a big hustle to throw something together that’s halfway healthy when, duh, I could have just gotten it ready the night before. So instead of racing around in the morning, lay out the entire set-up before you hit the hay. (My sister will even pour the kids’ cereal!) Even better, get your kids to do it. (This awesome personalized Batman placemat would be an excellent incentive to get them on board.)
Make your own breakfast the night before.
The first thing to go when we’re busy is my breakfast, which is a terrible idea because then I’m grumpy and tend to eat whatever sugar lands in front of me for the rest of the day. Instead, I’ve been trying to plan ahead and give myself healthy, ready-to-go breakfasts. Throw a smoothie in the fridge the night before and give it a shake to wake it up, or try out these overnight berry parfaits, which look delicious.
Put your kids in charge.
image: My Name is Snickerdoodle
Staying on your kids to make sure they get dressed, eat breakfast, put on their shoes, and don’t get distracted by the cat is enough to make any mom crazy. Instead, put the responsibility in their hands. Create an easy chart like this one from My Name Is Snickerdoodle, which lays out each task they need to accomplish, and then let them go.
Go with second (or third) day hair.
You are most likely washing your hair way too much. At least that’s what every moda mag tells me, and I choose to believe it because washing and blow-drying my hair takes up a whole lotta time. Instead, invest in a dry shampoo like Big Sexy Hair Dry Shampoo, which minimizes the grease and gives your roots an extra boost.
Wear a hat.
There are days when you are just not going to be able to do it all—shower and feed the kids and put on makeup and find the jackets. For those days, when something has to go, may I recommend skipping the shower and wearing a hat? (I love this straw one that is also perfect for trips.) It covers a multitude of sins and, ironically, makes everyone think you tried really hard.
Figure out everyone’s “look.”
image: Joy Folie
Deciding what you want to wear in the morning is a trial, whether you’re five and deciding between Thomas or Batman or thirty-five and deciding between leggings or jeans (go with the leggings). Take the decisions out of your mornings with a set “look.” My daughter, for example, wears a dress almost every day because that’s what she is into and that’s what I started buying her, and now that’s what is in her drawers to wear. (We need to add this sparkly gold shift dress to her collection.) I wear jeans with a cool sweatshirt and boots most days because it’s comfy and I don’t have to think about it. Sure, the kids can change it up, but only when papá is in charge.
Invest in a Shamwow.
You guys are going to think I’m crazy, but invest in a Shamwow. We received one at a white elephant gift party, and it’s one of the most used items in our kitchen because it seriously works. I mean, you know someone is going to spill, and it’s going to be ill timed, and it’s going to be everywhere. A Shamwow will get you back on track fast. Infomercial done.
Sometimes taking the extra time to get organized beforehand makes all the difference when you’re in a hurry. Every morning I spend precious seconds hunting for some makeup that has hidden itself within the bowels of our hall closet, and I curse my disorganization because, lord knows, I really need that under-eye concealer. I mean, why haven’t I invested in a makeup organizer like this? Everything is easy to see, it’s right there, and my under-eye bags will certainly thank me.