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morning routines

Getting the kids – and yourself – ready to face the day can be a stressful experience but these parents have got their routines down to a ‘T’! Here’s how they do it.

Keep everything structured

Dharini Patel is a full-time mum to her two boys, Ethan, 4 and Ayan, 19 months. To avoid stress she follows a structured routine.

“Our alarm clock is our youngest son, Ayan, who wakes at 7am. He has been a fantastic sleeper since he was a small baby and I think that’s because of a tightly regulated daytime routine.

“From Monday to Friday both boys have Weetabix, toast and orange juice. To keep up the 5-a-day, I make smoothies, such as banana with strawberry, papaya or mango. The boys then play or watch breakfast TV while I tidy the kitchen, then we brush teeth and clean faces. Then it’s shoes on and away we go!”

Why it works

“I think children respond to structure and thrive on the sense of security it gives them. I found it helpful to use a routine – it certainly works for me!”

Lots of time works for us

Jennie Flatman is mum to Ronnie, 2 and Grace, 10 months. Husband Tony is a police officer and Jennie is a part-time music teacher, so mornings tend to be busy.

“The key for us is to leave plenty of time to get the children ready and out of the house on time, and to keep the basic routine the same every day. I’ve also found that giving Ronnie simple jobs, like putting the plastic plates and cups in the sink, keeps him occupied and is actually helpful too.”

Why it works

The combination of extra time plus the same routine day after day keeps everything relaxed and stress-free, and means the children know what they should be doing.

Childminder help

Nicky Edwards is mum to Olivia, 19 months and Aimee, 14. Olivia has been going to childminder Kim since Nicky returned to work.

“I used to get up two hours before we needed to leave the house and would still get to work in a heap. Nowadays, instead of me trying to dress a (sometimes!) very sleepy and uncooperative Olivia, which was stressful for all of us, we take Olivia to my brilliant childminder Kim in her pyjamas on the odd occasion when wakes up late, and Kim will get her dressed. Likewise, instead of me attempting to give her some breakfast before she’s really hungry, Kim will give it to her after the school run, when she’s ready for it.”

Why it works

“It means life is less stressful as you know there is a back-up plan. My other stress-reducing trick is to pack Olivia’s

lunchbox and baby bag the night before!”

For more tips on getting organised, check out our time-saving tips for parents