Tuesday, 10 June 2014


The start of this year has been a big time for my family and I. Pat started school in February and only a few weeks after that, we welcomed his little sister Vinnie into our family. We had the school morning drop off running pretty smoothy prior to Vinnie's entry into the world and sometimes we were that organised that we had time to share a hot chocolate at one of our favourite cafes on the way.
Now that we have another little addition to our clan, we have had some pretty frazzled mornings. Sleep deprivation and breast feeding can really upset the normal school morning routine.

Below is how I have managed a smooth school morning drop off with the addition of a newborn.

1. Aim to be up at least thirty minutes prior to the time that you would usually wake up. For me, if Vinnie has a feed at 4:30am, I find it easier to put her back to sleep and to stay awake and have breaky with Matty. Most of my crazy hectic mornings have been when I have gone back to sleep after that early morning feed and then slept in. So rule of thumb, if I put Vinnie back to bed and it's closer to 5am I stay awake (as much as it pains me).

2. Write down the contents of the school lunchbag on a whiteboard or piece of paper and have it in the kitchen/food prep area. It sounds silly, but when you are half asleep and trying to function, having this check list can make life a little bit easier. I also get Pat to empty his lunch bag and containers as soon as we get home from school so that they are ready for the next day. His school has a 'no litter' policy, so that means no pre-packaged foods, so we use little lunch box containers to hold his biscuits, fruit and sandwiches, which we place into his lunch bag. After I have breakfast and lunch sorted out it's usually around 7am, I will wake Vinnie up and give her a top up feed and get her ready for the day.

3. Upon waking, Pat has his morning jobs which we established from the first day of school, by using a 'tick chart' on a whiteboard in his bedroom. He has his kitchen jobs, which is to enjoy breakfast and clear up after himself. His bathroom jobs involve brushing teeth, washing face, moisturising and brushing hair. His bedroom jobs are making his bed and putting on his uniform. I help with his neck tie and shoelaces. If he gets all of his jobs done with time to spare, then he can watch television or play on the ipad. Otherwise, the T.V. and ipad are out of bounds.

4. It is approximately 10 meters from our house to our car, but for some reason it takes about ten minutes to get from the front door and into the car seats. We aim to leave by 7:50am, but I factor in another ten minutes to actually get to the car, so we start to leave the house at about 7:40am.This gets us ahead of the traffic and Pat gets to have a good play before school starts, which I think is very important for children.

That's it. Some mornings it goes awry, and it could be easier for Paddy  if I tried to do everything for him, but I have found it to be more stressful for both of us as I seem to be nagging him. Having the mornings set out like this allow for Paddy to develop his independence and work at his own pace, knowing the timeframe that it all needs to be done. And besides, no one really likes a nagged.

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