A few months ago, a mom of several young children asked me how to prevent meltdowns (the kiddos, not hers) in the morning. One of her girls was frequently out of sorts as she tried to pick out her outfit in the morning–she didn’t like what Mom would choose, but she couldn’t make up her mind what to wear.
This caused regular and unnecessary frustration for them both.
My response was to simply have her daughter pick out 2 outfits the night before and lay them out–that way, she could choose whichever one fit her mood in the morning. Crisis averted.
Funny enough, she thought I was brilliant. Nope, we’ve just been there, done that.
As our children go to Catholic school and wear a uniform, our nightly routine consists of making sure everyone has clean clothes for the morning and actually visibly checking the unreliable younger ones. They need to bring down the full outfit, including socks, undies, shoes, etc. We no longer take for granted that the younger boys will actually know where their shoes are or that they won’t pick stinky socks up off the floor to wear the next day.
Saturdays, they can wear whatever they want (even if their style makes my eyeballs cross), but Saturday night, they get their church clothes out. Same routine. We’ve had too many times when we trusted that they actually had clean clothes, but they neglected to mention that their dress pants had been wadded up under a full laundry basket for a week.
Tomorrow, Paul and I are going out of town to a business convention and won’t be home until late Monday night. We’ve made sure uniforms are clean and are ready to go. Fingers crossed that no one will lose any shoes before Tuesday. And of course, there’s no guarantee that the girls will actually brush their hair…
But I prepared a couple of meals so I’ll rest assured that they won’t die of junk food poisoning before we get home, so hopefully things will go as smoothly as they can. (And yes, I did sneak veggies into them. Ha!)
Simple prep saves so much time and aggravation with both the parents and children.