HDYDI: Get out the Door on Time

People always ask me, “How do you get everybody ready for school and out the door by 7:30am?”


When we just had Will in school, it was (say it with me): “Soooo hard.”  HA!  I think it felt hard because we had so many littles running around.  John Paul was 2 and Anna-Laura had just turned one.  A few months later, I found out we were expecting Clare.  So, yeah, the exhaustion thing is what it made it so hard.

Now, we’re just as exhausted but our bodies have finally acclimated.  They’ve given up on the dream that we will “sleep ’til we wake up” for the next 15 years and they’re leaning into it.  Seasoned parents don’t know all the tricks, we just know which causes are lost and which ones are worth fighting.

Back to the morning routine.  Or should I say evening.  It really begins the night before.


1.  The kids lay out their clothes and this is when a uniform completely saves your life.  As long as the clothes are mildly clean or I can run them through the dryer with a Bounce sheet, we are good.

2.  Water bottles are filled up and stashed in the fridge.

3.  Along with water bottles, we also make lunches the night before.  Occasionally it doesn’t happen and we definitely pay for it the next morning.  It is crazy how much time 10 minutes at night will save you the next morning.  The lunches go into the fridge next to the water bottles.  This year, we bought these amazing bento boxes from Pottery Barn Kids.  I busted out the dymo labeler and personalized them.  That label has made it all year, through the dishwasher and sink washing, without coming off.  In case you’re wondering, of COURSE our lunches are that fancy.  Oh, I kid.  You might think $16.50 is a little pricey to pay for the box, so I ask you this:  How much $$$ do you spend on plastic bags in a year?  We have completely gotten rid of every plastic bag in the house.  IT. IS. LIBERATING.  And, extremely easy on the environment.  That just might be next week’s HDYDI.

4.  I’ve shown off the kids’ hooks, but why not do it again?  When the kids come home from school, they take out their folders for me to sign/empty and then everything goes back on the hook.  Any papers that need to be signed or reviewed are done right after school and we put them back in the backpacks.  Otherwise, they end up in the black hole!  During the “Texas winters” we hang our jackets there, but that season never lasts long.  Below the hooks, the kids stash their shoes, for easy access the next morning.

5. Breakfast is typically hot three days a week and cold (aka cereal) two mornings, usually Tuesday/Thursday.  Sometimes I make bread or muffins the night before, Scott whips up some breakfast tacos or we bake biscuits.  We’re working to do a better job of this, but for the most part, the kids have a pretty balanced breakfast every morning.  Since Will is my early bird, he’s usually in the kitchen before I’m done getting ready and Scott is home from the gym.

6.  Most days, Scott is the school drop-off man.  It’s on his way to work and he gets to spend some quality time with the kids every morning.  They usually pray together, a Hail Mary or special prayer requests, which is a pretty nice way to start the day.  I’ve been known to do it just to keep them from yelling at each other.  Hey, whatever works.

7.  There are a few mornings throughout the month when Will needs to be at school by 7am.  Eeek.  Scott usually takes him after he gets home from the gym, while I corral the rest.  Thankfully, he’s the one kid who doesn’t need waking up around here.

And, that, is how we roll.


  1. Michelle F. on February 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Awesome post and very timely as we wait to hear if we make it off the waiting list this year for some of our kiddos to get into Catholic school. Meanwhile, just wanted to drop a quick note to let you know your family/Luke is on my mind today. It’s not much, but I just wanted you to know there’s been plenty of offering up for all of you in regards to the little inconveniences in comparison we experience here. Hugs to an awesome Mom and virtual encouragement to you that you can keep going!

  2. Cathy on February 14, 2012 at 8:51 am

    very impressed by the hot breakfast! And that your husband helps with the morning routine and driving 🙂

  3. Karianna @CaffeinatedCatholicMama on June 5, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Love these tips! My DD1 starts Kindergarten in the fall and the idea of getting out of the house on time is daunting. We are within walking distance, but it’s about mile away, so this mama needs to leave enough time to hoof it, with kiddos in the stroller, rather than hop into the van. Her school will have a dress code, rather than uniforms, but if you ask me… I’d rather just have the uniforms.

    I’ve bought the PB bento box already, but need to invest in a label maker… should have bought that one on clearance at Staples a few weeks ago!

    • Kathryn on June 5, 2012 at 11:06 am

      Thanks! The key is getting your act in gear the night before. You’ll do great!

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