Controlling the Morning Mania

first day of school, student, backpack, porchI don’t know about your house, but school has started here and with three students leaving at three different times, and two working parents with their own schedules,  my house gets pretty crazy in the mornings.

Here are a few simple strategies for keeping the daily chaos to a minimum and getting everyone out the door without losing your mind.


  • Don’t use the snooze.  Get up the first time the alarm goes off.  Don’t set it a half-hour early and hit the snooze button 3 or 4 times. You aren’t getting any more rest and you’ll end up more stressed.  Set it for the time you need to get up and get up when it goes off.  Put it across the room if you need help getting out of bed.


  • Give each of your school-aged children alarm clocks and teach them how to use them.  By high school (or earlier) your children should develop the habit of getting up on their own.  Once they go away to college or move into their own place, this will be a critical skill.  Don’t make them learn it the hard way.


  • Have kids shower or bathe before bed at night instead of in the morning.


  • Leave the TV off in the morning.  Turn it on to check the morning weather if you live in a place where that is a planning factor, but then turn it off for a calmer, distraction-free environment.


  • Make breakfast easy.  Go with grab-and-go, especially with teens.  Bagels, muffins, fruit, breakfast bars—all things kids –and parents—can eat on the run.


  • time, clockMake your hot breakfasts ahead of time if you’re a hot-breakfast person.  I make waffles or pancakes on the weekends and triple or quadruple the batch.  All the leftovers get frozen on cookie sheets and then popped into plastic bags so everyone can grab them and heat them up in the toaster or microwave for a quick hot breakfast with no mess to clean up. Yes, you can also buy them pre-made and pre-frozen at the grocery store.  Are you an oatmeal lover? You can buy the instant packets or make it in the Crockpot overnight. I love Kashi. I make it and freeze serving-size portions in muffin tins sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Once frozen, I pop them all into a plastic bag and then pull them out one at a time to reheat in the microwave for a quick hot, healthy breakfast.


  • Buy gas on the way home from work. Don’t leave it until the next morning when you’ll invariably be running late and stressed out.
How do you control the morning mania at your house?  What do you struggle with?  Please let me know in the comments section below.
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  1. I love your bio! Chief Creative Genius! So true! I really like the Kashi idea and making the pancakes ahead of time, I’ll try that. Up until now we haven’t had to rush out in the mornings, but that is changing this year, so these are some very helpful tips. Thanks Marie! 🙂

    1. THanks, Tina. I used to have the standard line about being a photographer and a writer or owning a company but I finally decided one day that being the boss meant I got to pick my own job title–and being the Chief Creative Genius is just so much more fun!

      Off to make my weekly batch of pancakes!

  2. I have a morning list of duties the kids check off each morning. This saves me from having to nag them for the umpteenth time to brush their teeth or put homework by the front door. If they finish the list and are ready early without my help, they get time to play. Works great most days! Being prepared the night before is a big deal, too. Without it, mornings are a nightmare.

  3. Great tips! I have three teenage girls and morning can get VERY crazy! I now have them get as much done the night before as possible and I try to stagger their wake up times. I have also had to give up the morning news or they end up distracted.

  4. You made me smile… so remember those days & so grateful they`re gone now! LOL! Thank goodness for adult children… Love your post… Norma Doiron x0x

  5. Thanks for sharing these tips that will be helpful to many working parents..although we homeschool..we also work and understand having a working system we don’t lose our minds:) Great tips!

  6. Alexandra McAllister says:

    WOW! What wonderful tips Marie Leslie! I don’t have children but I do know a number of my friends who would benefit from your article. Will be sharing it with them. Thank you so much.

  7. Some great tips, Marie! Just leaving the TV off helps keep focus and moving forward in our house.

  8. Great, great tips! Though we have a more relaxed morning atmosphere due to homeschooling, we still need a good routine for those days when we have medical trips to make and for Sunday mornings.

  9. Awesome Tips Marie!! Our children are adults now however I enjoyed reflecting on those earlier days!!
    TV was banned in our home on school mornings and although the kids were responsible for getting themselves awake in the mornings… as they got older, I was the one dragging them out of bed lol
    Great stuff Marie, thanks for sharing, Deb