Make Dry Shampoo Your BFF

And Other Tips To Improve Your Morning Routine

Me most mornings. (Courtesy of ClipArtKid)

If you are a full-time working parent like me, it seems like getting out of the house every weekday morning is a struggle. Here are 5 tips that have helped me get out the door at a reasonable time since kids came into the equation:

1. Wake Up Before They Do

When I first returned to work after maternity leave, I found that the only way I could get a shower in (let alone, get ready!) was to wake up at least an hour before my kids. That means waking up every day at 5 a.m. YES, 5! I’d much rather have an extra hour of sleep, but being able to get ready for work without a toddler tugging at my leg keeps me much more relaxed and allows me the opportunity to give the kids my full attention when they wake up. (And bonus points if I actually get a workout in, as well!). Pro tip: For those with really early risers, a colleague of mine created a “breakfast basket” for her twin daughters in the mornings. She leaves a basket full of goodies (e.g. snack bars, mini muffins, etc.) by the TV, and if they wake up before 6 a.m., they can pick one item from the basket and watch a cartoon until her and her husband wake up. Genius! She started it when her girls were 4 years old, and credits the basket with getting her and her hubby back some much-needed Zzzs!

Cereal and gummy vitamins ready to go!

2. Prep the Kids’ Stuff the Night Before

It’s a given, right? Try to take at least 30 minutes at the end of your day to prep for the morning. That means leaving out the kids’ clothes, putting the T-ball gear in the car for practice, packing lunches — we even leave out the cereal boxes and bowls for breakfast. Every minute counts when you’re racing to get out the door!

3. Plan Clothes for the Week on Sunday

Speaking of clothes, once I became a working parent I found that it saved me a lot of time in the morning by prepping my outfits for the week on Sunday. B.C. (before children) I would try on several outfits in the morning, before I’d settle on one that I felt good in that day. These days I don’t have that luxury! So, I’ll look at the weather and consult my schedule, see what important meetings I have, and iron and hang my clothes for the following five days. Pro tip: I’ve also started buying less clothes you need to iron — thankfully, there’s many more options in that department these days!

4. Make Dry Shampoo Your BFF

I only became a true believer in dry shampoo over the last year, at the urging of my hairstylist. Man, I’d been missing out! It makes your hair smell nice and saves so much time in the morning. My current favorite is Amika’s Perk Up Dry Shampoo (pictured at left), which I received as a Sephora freebie recently. They also have a dry conditioner and blow-out spray that’s pretty fabulous. Speaking of fabulous, if you want volume, instead of dry shampoo, try a texturizing spray. My fave is ORIBE. It isn’t cheap, but it lasts a long time and gives you the volume you need if you plan to style your hair on the days you’re not shampooing.

5. Have a Consistent Schedule

Last — but most important — try and stick to a consistent schedule. On weekday mornings, my kids need to be up and getting dressed by 6:30 a.m., and we all leave the house at 7:40 a.m. — NO MATTER WHAT. When Russ and I had longer commutes, we all used to leave at different times and go in separate directions, but now we make sure to eat breakfast together around 7:10 a.m. and leave by 7:40 a.m. for drop-off. Now, in truth, it does slip on days I’m doing the morning routine alone, but if we always try to keep it as consistent as we can. And the kids benefit from it too — we all know our littles love routine!

There’s a few of my helpful hints from 5+ years of parenting. What are your tips for a successful morning routine? Hit me up in the comments!