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5 tips for making the morning rush easier...

5 tips for making the morning rush easier

I remember back in the day, when I used to wake up leisurely at a comfortable time. I could take a shower, make some breakfast, and have a breezy morning on my way to work. Now, my morning starts something like this...

    At 6:45am Ruby yells, "Mama! I'm awake! Come and get me!" Ruby wakes up Coco from her yelling and     Coco babbles in her crib, "MaMaMaMaMumMum".

My alarm clock (aka my kids) has rang, and I shoot out of bed, stumble into the bathroom, and as soon as I walk into the kid's room, it's GO time. If it's a normal weekday, I have exactly one hour from the time I wake up to get all of us fed, dressed, and out the door by 7:45am to get Ruby at school by 8am and me to work by 8:30am. Because the morning can be so hectic, the folks at Quaker Oats Company asked me to share my tips for making the morning rush easier. Each tip shaves off at least 5 minutes so if you do them all, you're saving a lot of valuable time that can help you have a great start to your day...

5 tips for making the morning rush easier

1. Set clothes out the night before. You might think it doesn't take long to pick out what you or your kids will wear in the morning, but it takes longer than you think (especially if you let kids in on the decision-making process of what they get to wear). Set everything out (both kids clothes and your clothes) the night before. And for the kids clothes, place them in the general order that they will be put on (ie. undies, short, pants, etc.). Also, make sure to pick out shoes, any hair accessories/jewelry and any other item of clothing that will be worn the following day so there are no new decisions to make in the morning.

5 tips for making the morning rush easier

2. Set up the breakfast table. After the kids have gone to bed, set up the morning's table with plates, utensils, napkins, salt/pepper, and anything else you'd need for breakfast that isn't perishable. You can even pre-fill cups and glasses in advance with juice, water, or milk and keep them in the fridge ready to pull out and place on the table in the morning.

5 tips for making the morning rush easier

3. Prep breakfast in advance. Get a head start on breakfast by making anything you can in advance. For example, if everyone loves your famous homemade oatmeal pancakes, you can make a big batch on Sunday and freeze them to make within the next few days for easy reheating during those hectic weekday mornings. Or, you can simply make your batter the night before and bring it out in the morning so you can get them right onto the grill. The same thing goes for waffles, frittatas, or smoothies. You can pre-cut fruit for a smoothie and then keep in a bag (or store in a container) all the items you'd need for a morning smoothie. That way, all you have to do in the morning is throw it in the blender and add some yogurt or juice. 

5 tips for making the morning rush easier

4. Pre-pack a full lunch. Most people already know to pack their lunch the night before. But to save some time, fully pack it into the bag you'll carry it in (whether it's a lunch pail, insulated bag, or a brown paper bag). Include your drinks, then leave the full bag in fridge ready to go. And if your kids lunch needs ice packs, that should be the only thing you need to add in the morning.

5 tips for making the morning rush easier

5. Play music! We keep a portable speaker in the kids' rooms that connects to my phone so I can give them a little pick-me-up when we all need it. Music helps get everyone moving and motivated to wake up and start the day. You can also use it as a way to keep track time with kids by saying something like,"By the time this song ends, I want you to finish brushing your teeth!"

What do you think? Are there any other things that you do to help the morning run smoothly?

This post is brought to you in collaboration with the Quaker Oats CompanyAll content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that make Oh Joy possible.

{Photos by Casey Brodley, styling by Ariel Fulmer}