6 Tips for Smoother Mornings with Your Children

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In my house, we have a running joke that we NEVER schedule play dates or doctor’s visits before noon. It’s just too much of a struggle to get 4 small children up and out the door.

Mornings can be stressful for families, no doubt! I’ll share my best tips for making sure things run a little smoother for everyone.

tips for mornings with children


1. Be Prepared

If I have an early morning event, there are a few tricks I have up my sleeve to make sure I’m not screaming at the children while we load up the van.

I TRY my best to get as many things as I can taken care of the day/evening before. Lack of preparation on my part almost always ends in disaster.

Think about these time savers:

  • Make sure your car or van has gas
  • Gather your purse, keys, sunglasses and fully charged cell phone
  • Have a programmable coffee pot? Set it up to be brewing when you wake.
  • Do a quick weather check, then lay out clothes for everyone
  • Backpacks, lunches and bags for the kids

2. Rise and Shine Early, Momma

If I have to be somewhere by 10 with the children, I need to be up and running by 6, or I will never make it on time.

I like to be able to get up, say my prayers, enjoy my coffee and have some time alone before the children start hopping out of bed. This sets the tone for my attitude and makes me much more pleasant.

making your mornings smoother


3. Simple Breakfasts

Since I’m Mother of the Year, I’ve been known to bribe my kids with doughnuts to get up and get out the door in a hurry.

Not the most nutritious plan in the world for children, but it works from time to time for us.

A better idea would be a simple, healthy breakfast that requires minimal prep from you in the morning. My kids love Pancake Muffins, while I’m a big fan of mini egg casseroles.

4. Enlist your husband’s help

I’ll be honest …. It’s difficult for me to get anywhere on time. Punctuality is not my strong point.

My husband, bless his heart, has stepped up and helped out over our years together, trying to help get out the door in one piece. He’ll help load the kids in the car, hoist bags into the trunk and is often my chef, making lunches for me and the children.


give yourself enough time


5. Allow yourself enough time

Remember when you were single? You knew exactly how long it would take you to leave the house, stop by Starbucks and cruise into the office with plenty of time to spare.

It’s a foreign feeling for me these days.

With children, many things can and do get you off your time table. Little ones have to pee, pick up rocks, or search for a treasured toy to take along.

My friend Angie suggested adding an extra 30 minute window to allow for these setbacks.

6. Be Realistic

I don’t sign up for anything in the early morning …. It’s just too hard for me to get there and it’s not worth the stress for me.

My friends and family know that we’ll show up closer to lunch time.

What about you? Please share your tips for smoother mornings, especially for those of us who struggle.

Need more tips for moms? Check out my friend Rebecca’s Ultimate Mom Resource list.


  1. I really need to invest in a programmable coffee pot. Then the aroma of coffee will lure me out of bed!

  2. Hi! I just found this post on Pinterest and can’t wait to dig into your blog! Thanks for all the great tips!! I look so forward to reading catholic Christian based blogs. May God bless you and your family.

    • Dianna Kennedy says

      Sorry for the very late reply, Nicole!

      I’m glad you found this! I’m hoping to write more tips and tricks about our life as a Catholic homeschooling family …. great to meet you!

  3. Carrie This Home says

    I have a real problem arriving to everything late…and I only have 2 kids! I notice that when I take the time the night before and get as much ready as I can, the next morning goes much smoother. I try to pick out clothes, pack the diaper bag, get my outfit set out all the night before and it makes such a difference!

    • Dianna Kennedy says

      You’re exactly right, Carrie. I have to force myself to do it most days, but it’s well worth it!

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

  4. I love this post! I have 5 kids ages 11, 9, 7, 5, and 1 yr. I learned all of these tips the hard trial-and-error way. When making an appointment and the receptionist suggest anything before 10 AM I just laugh. As for keeping things simple… we switched to paper plates full time when I was pregnant with #4. We’re STILL using paper plates because *I* am the dishwasher. I consider it a well spent $6 each month. 😉 Thanks for linking to Family Fun Friday. I see you already picked up the button. 🙂

  5. Jennifer (aka Hint Mama) says

    Love the programmable coffee pot idea and putting it next to your bed = brilliant. Found you at the HDYDI link party:)

  6. Charlee Anne says

    I used to be a pretty punctual person. Now with 2 really young children (24 months and 6 months) I have the hardest time even going outside so they can play and get some sunshine every day. I like your tips and I want to implement them so I have better success at making it to places on time. Thanks! #HDYDI

  7. Hi Dianna!! My biggest trick to happy mornings was to have my kids sleep in their school clothes. It’s not a traditional approach, but not having to fight that Anti-Clothes-Changing Monsters that hung around until 7:00 am was well worth it!

    Thanks for linking up at HDYDI.

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