Destress Your Morning School Routine


Let’s talk about the morning crush. It’s that time between wake up and leaving for school when someone ends up yelling, someone ends up crying and some forgets something essential (sometimes it’s all the same person). But as soon as you see the back of their head and backpack in your rear view mirror, the guilt sets in. I didn’t figure out how to destress our before school morning routine until this school year. 

I am not a morning person. One of my kids is not a morning person. The other kid is not at the age of full self sufficiency or comprehension. This is the worst combo ever. 

I know there are adults out there who slay at time management. I’m talking, they have things down to the second! I am also, not this adult. I, much like my daughter, have a very vague concept of time. It is with all the consciousness of my being that I get out of the door. When I worked, my outlook calendar was wrought with alarms and reminders and using those tools, I functioned and thrived as a typical adult. But now, being the sole person responsible for getting 3 humans and their belongings out the door…biggest challenge of my life! And also a very strong argument that two children is plenty for me. 

We have made some changes that have changed our mornings. We are not ALWAYS on time but we are also, not always late…and that my friends, is a win in this household!

Simplify Breakfast

My kids have been on a hunger strike at breakfast for weeks. I tried to fight it. No one won. In a moment of desperation, I relented and asked them, “What do you want to eat for breakfast then?” The answer was toast or bagel, fruit and cheese. Done! My daughter chose a small croissant, bagel or toast, a small serving of berries and a couple slices of cheese. My son is a little better about breakfast but he will not eat fruit of any kind. His breakfast is either waffles, toast or oatmeal with peanut butter and a glass of milk. Yes, he eats peanut butter as a topping on all of those things and nothing else. No butter or cream cheese, nothing. And we now have a less stressful breakfast. 

Prep Whenever Possible

Get the kids involved in this one. Before bedtime, backpacks are packed 100% for the next day. If you have a library book to return, a project to turn in, homework due, get it in that bag before the morning. If it’s their job, it becomes a habit and they will do it automatically. Prep all your lunch and dry snacks ahead of time. My youngest loves filling baggies with pretzels and goldfish. Have your kids help with the prep so they know that lunches and snacks don’t just appear out of thin air. This will also save you a few extra minutes in the morning. 

Let Them Lead (sometimes)

I wish I had an app that would just repeat “where are your shoes?” in my voice over and over. We have made it all the way to school to discover someones shoes were not even in the vehicle. (Honestly, how did the concrete on bare feet not feel odd???) My kids are totally different and last year I tried, desperately, to make things the same for them and all that got me was extra stress. Finally, I took Elsa’s advice and let it go. My daughter has to be dressed head to toe before coming to breakfast or the world implodes as we are trying to get out the door. I’m not exaggerating. I don’t even think she would be able to recall her own name, let alone where her pants are in the last 15 minutes before leaving the house. My son, he needs to be dressed last minute and shoes put on as we are walking out the door or he will be covered in food and his shoes end up in the back yard. I swear that has happened. I still pick out my kids clothes. That’s where I draw the line and that’s just how it works for us. I grab their clothes as I go in to wake them up. I know I can put one set at the foot of my daughters bed and take my son’s clothes to the living room with me. 

And they left the house happily ever after. 

On most days. 

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A Florida native, Chenoa is originally from Miami but has been living in Maitland for 22 years with a short 2-year break where she lived in (and fell in love with) Raleigh, NC. She's part "adopted Southern charm" with a streak of feisty Miami girl! She's Mom to two strong-willed, preemie babies, a 25 weeker and a 35 weeker, who now are thriving big kids (6yr old girl and 3yr old boy). They have led to a hot mess parenting style that's fueled by coffee to get through the day and wine to try and soothe the nerves at night. She's married to her college sweetheart who she met at the University of Central Florida (GO KNIGHTS) while studying English-Creative Writing and the fine art of Greek life. She's a DIY junkie who loves Fixer Upper (of course), loves reading, cooking and writing. When out and about with her husband, sans kids, she loves eating at new local places around Winter Park, enjoying coffee from a favorite local coffee shop or enjoying a date night at Eden Bar in Maitland. Her adventures through motherhood have included recently transitioning from full-time working Mom to stay-at-home Mom, raising a sassy, hilarious little girl and helping her silly little guy navigate some developmental delays that have challenged her to slow down and let him guide her way. She hasn't lost hope that she can control all the things that parenting brings and her kids haven't given up trying to prove her wrong. Her husband is the Helicopter Parent to her Free Range which is the perfect topping to the chaos of everyday life! She frequents social media and uses her Instagram to document the fleeting moments of "put-togetherness" that occasionally happen by accident...sometimes.


  1. Planning ahead has been a lifesaver for my mornings. I do as much prep as possible the night prior, and it literally has saved our mornings. All great points here!

  2. We wear a uniform otherwise would pick out clothes the night before.Prep work on lunches. If possible, get up 30 minutes early to have some quiet time to yourself before it gets too hectic! For me, reading something positive or a morning devotion has also been wonderful. Small and steady progress!


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