Tips for a smooth daily routine
Be realistic and don’t try to fit in too many tasks before you all go out, otherwise you’ll start the day frustrated and stressed. Have a look at our tips on how to get the kids to school on time too.
• Get everyone to sleep early enough the night before
Kids need sleep. So no TV in the last half hour before bedtime and make their bedrooms a device-free zone once the lights are out.• Prepare as much as you can, before morning
Before you go to bed, lay out clothes, get the breakfast table laid and pack any lunchbox items that don't need to be kept in the fridge. Check homework is done, sign any school forms and put PE kit bags by the front door.
• Make breakfast fast
Fill up the coffee machine the night before or put the teabags in the pot. Making smoothies? Get the blender out ready for action and put your fruit at the front of the fridge.
• Keep your make-up simple
Don’t waste time searching through your make up bag. Have your beauty basics for every day in a separate bag so you can get ready quickly.
Mum’s tip: ‘Keep emergency supplies in the glove compartment.’
Bridget, mum of two says: ‘In case we have one of those nightmare mornings, I keep a couple of cereal bars in the car, along with a hair brush!’
Ah, that dip at the end of the day when you’re all tired and hungry and summoning the energy to make dinner seems like the hardest task in the world!
• Let the kids ‘download’ after school
Instead of making your children get straight on with their homework, suggest they get changed from their uniforms while you cut up some fruit for a healthy snack ahead of teatime. Or let them go out on their bikes or watch TV for half an hour. This gives you a little space too, to sort yourself when you’ve just got home from work.
• Plan your dinners in advance
If you know what you’re going to eat for the week, you’ll be a lot less stressed when you get home each night. Check out our meal planning tips and how to make a week’s dinners in two hours.
• Organise bathtimes
If you only have one bathroom in your home, get into a rhythm so everyone in the household knows where they stand. Some prefer a morning shower, others an evening bath, so establish a routine to keep everyone happy.
• Be strict about TV time
Be fair but firm about who gets to watch their favourite TV programmes and set time limits on game play. Set ground rules so you don't have to settle arguments every night. See tips to stop fights over the remote control.
• Stick to your guns when it’s time for bed
Stick to reasonable bedtimes in the week and let the kids have an extra half hour at weekends. Check an hour before bedtime that homework has been done and school bags have been packed so there are no delays when it’s time for lights out.
Mum’s tip: ‘Write the week’s menu on the fridge.’
Ruth, mum of two teenage boys: ‘I work most days and I don’t want to have arguments about what food everyone wants when I get in, so I put up a list of what we’re eating for dinner each night. It helps keep me stay organised and they know what they’re getting.’