| Feb 2016
Family Room

It’s so hard. Every. Single. Day.

Screenshot 2016-02-16 20.06.27

Cue up the Boyz II Men. It’s time to talk about our morning routine.

Most of our songs just write themselves. For those who follow us, you know that it’s a simple formula: 

  1. Look at what’s going on in our family.
  2.  Make it rhyme.
  3. Set up a camera.

From conception to completion, this video took 72 hours.  Sixty-six of those hours were spent with Penn sitting in the attic like a nerd learning how to use autotune properly.  The rest could not have been any easier.

“Hey Lola, can you look tired, and grumpy, and indifferent, and fuss? Yep, exactly like that.  Cut. Print.

“Hey Penn Charles I know it’s 2:30, but can you get back in your pajam…  oh, you’re still in them? Perfect.”

“Hey, we should turn the kitchen into a mess like it is in the morn… wait, look, it’s already like that!”

Bottom line, our kids are not good at the morning routine, and it’s probably because WE aren’t very good at the morning routine.  We shout every morning, we panic every morning, and inevitably we bend to their will every morning.

Check out the video and please, HELP!!! Any advice on how to break the cycle and get them out the ^%$ing door in time?

  • GiGi

    Braid her hair before bed. Won’t be as many tangles in the morning, thus less time brushing.

  • Holly Harrington

    I feel your pain. At the beginning of this school year, I was at my wit’s end with the same issue and decided I was no longer going to be a victim. My husband was no help because he goes to CrossFit every morning and he never witnessed the crazy train that our mornings had become. So, I had a family meeting where I presented the problem to my kids (10 and 6) and asked for their ideas on how to get out of the door on time with less fuss and less stress. We decided to do several things differently including getting their clothing, shoes, socks, and backpacks ready the night before. We also partially pack their lunch boxes (the cold stuff has to wait, of course). Then, the next morning, I give them a 15 minute warning. That’s their cue to get their hair and teeth brushed and to gather any extra items they need for the day. 5 minutes before we need to leave, I give them a final warning. If either isn’t ready by then, they get a “strike.” Like baseball, they get 3 strikes for the week before they are “out.” If they manage to avoid this, I reward them with an activity of their choice which we decide on together at the beginning of every week. We have a chalkboard by our back door that we pass on the way in and out and that’s where our family schedule is posted and where I post the Reward-of-the-Week. Some weeks, it’s a trip to the library or to some other fun place. Other weeks, it’s a food item like homemade chocolate chip cookies. Being the sneaky parents that we are, we also try to leverage movies and things that we know we are already going to do. By the way, both kids like to write the reward on the board themselves and make fun pictures around it. I don’t know if it’s the colored chalk or what, but I think it helps.

    Well, It’s been 5 months since we started and it’s still working. There have been a few times where one of my kids ended up going to school with crazy hair or they forgot something for school but we haven’t been late yet and our mornings are so less stressful. I hesitate to call them relaxed but at least I can no longer feel my hair turning gray. 😉 Anyway, I hope sharing my story helps you and others in the same position. Best of luck!!

  • Holly Harrington

    I feel your pain. At the beginning of this school year, I was at my wit’s end with the same issue and decided I was no longer going to be a victim. My husband was no help because he goes to CrossFit every morning and he never witnessed the crazy train that our mornings had become. So, I had a family meeting where I presented the problem to my kids (10 and 6) and asked for their ideas on how to get out of the door on time with less fuss and less stress. We decided to do several things differently including getting their clothing, shoes, socks, and backpacks ready the night before. We also partially pack their lunch boxes (the cold stuff has to wait, of course). Then, the next morning, I give them a 15 minute warning. That’s their cue to get their hair and teeth brushed and to gather any extra items they need for the day. 5 minutes before we need to leave, I give them a final warning. If either isn’t ready by then, they get a “strike.” Like baseball, they get 3 strikes for the week before they are “out.” If they manage to avoid this, I reward them with an activity of their choice which we decide on together at the beginning of every week. We have a chalkboard by our back door that we pass on the way in and out and that’s where our family schedule is posted and where I post the Reward-of-the-Week. Some weeks, it’s a trip to the library or to some other fun place. Other weeks, it’s a food item like homemade chocolate chip cookies. Being the sneaky parents that we are, we also try to leverage movies and things that we know we are already going to do. By the way, both kids like to write the reward on the board themselves and make fun pictures around it. I don’t know if it’s the colored chalk or what, but I think it helps.

    Well, It’s been 5 months since we started and it’s still working. There have been a few times where one of my kids ended up going to school with crazy hair or they forgot something for school but we haven’t been late yet and our mornings are so less stressful. I hesitate to call them relaxed but at least I can no longer feel my hair turning gray. 😉 Anyway, I hope sharing my story helps you and others in the same position. Best of luck!!

  • JKS

    Maraschino cherry, any child ready to go at the pre-determined set time gets to have one out of the jar in the fridge. The morning routine with a cherry on top.

  • Carolyn Larrabee

    As we get ready to head back to school this is one thing I’m dreading. While my husband has is own routine which usually results in him sitting leisurely sitting, drinking a cup of coffee and eating his breakfast because “he has to have his coffee” I’ve already been up for about 90 minutes to get myself ready before tackling the task of getting two kiddos ready and out the door. While my older daughter wears a uniform (score one for Catholic schoo) so getting dressed is fairly streamlined, we tend to get sucked into a black hole of ennui when it’s time to brush hair and teeth to be followed by my yelling that there’s a rat’s nest in the back of her head from the night before and if her teeth turn black and fall out (we’re not big on brushing) it’s not my fault, then the inevitable screaming because “you’re brushing it too hard.” But somehow we manage to get everyone out the door and dropped off on time.

Most Popular
| Dec 2013
Mommyness
first Xmasjammies spoof – sort of
| Jul 2014
Man Cave
MY WIFE COMES HOME IN AN HOUR – A True Story
| Dec 2013
Mommyness
Why everyone should try a triathlon, and why Raleigh is the perfect place to do it
| Dec 2013
Mommyness
Oh, hi everyone… didnt see you there.
| Jan 2015
Mommyness
Resolutions will have to wait.
Search By Category
Family Room
All is fair in love and the remote control war. Be a fly on the wall in our living room. It’s a family affair.
Kids Corner
The little ones running wild. After school warriors. Where imagination runs wild.
Kitchen
When making things in the kitchen goes horribly wrong.
Man Cave
Football, using your hands… you know, man stuff! A man’s weekend vacation spot.
Mommyness
What’s on mom’s brain? Motherhood at its finest. Being a mom is a full-time job.
Subscribe to the family
About Us
The Holderness family has been dancing in pajamas and singing during snow days for years — but last year they hit the record button on the camera and published their goofy video on YouTube. Penn, Kim, Lola, and Penn Charles continue to make hilarious videos around tent-pole events and circumstances most families face.