Parenthood

The words 'morning' and 'brilliant' do not usually go hand in hand when you are a parent.

The hour between 7am and 8am is basically more exhausting than a high intensity training sesh. By the time breakfasts are eaten, the car is loaded up, forgotten items are retrieved, and we're on our way to work, school and creche respectively – it's time for a little lie down in my book.

Of course, it doesn't have to be like this; we could be a shade more organised and dodge all the faff and the stress. After all, we don't want the littlies to grow up remembering mornings as a time of irritated parents and shouting and tension. Here's how to inject a little fun into the morning routine while still getting out the door on time.

8 Solid Ways To Have A Brilliant Morning With Your Kids:

1. Get up fully half an hour before the kids

Okay, it's painful, but the head start gives you a major jump on the morning mania, and you can then spend the rest of the day in a state of well-deserved smug mode.

2. Get the nappy negotiations out of the way IMMEDIATELY

My toddler HATES having his nappy changed and I find if I don't deal with the the nappy the second he's out of bed (and still a little sleepy and compliant) then I could spend up to half an hour literally chasing him around the house trying to get it off him. You'd think he'd welcome being released from being encased in sodden plastic?

3. Turn getting dressed into a game

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My little one hates getting dressed, so I do Pants Puppets. The pants are always really hungry for baby legs and like to munch on little boy's legs when getting dressed. This is a brilliant way to distract him from the fact that he is being dressed and he also usually forgets to complain about the outfit (he's VERY particular).

4. Turn getting dressed into a race

This works well for older children, set the stopwatch on the phone to count down from one minute and tell them it's a race against time!

5. Preparation, preparation, preparation

Spending an hour or two on Sunday night getting everything from school/office lunches, P.E. bags and even your own work clothes ready for the week can make a huge difference to weekday mornings.

6. Streamline your morning routine

Sometimes I'm sorely tempted to put on the makeup the night before and just lie perfectly still in the bed – anything to make mornings easier. Applying the face a full 10 hours in advance might be overkill but showering the night before or trying out one of these handy hair hacks will definitely make for a smoother exit from the house and ease the pressure somewhat.

7. Grab breakfast to go

Once the kids are fed and watered, often it's just handier for mum and dad to grab and go. A piece of fruit, a portion of dairy (perhaps a yummy yoghurt) and a drink (tea/coffee) will set you up for the all important car karaoke (see below!).

8. Car Karaoke

Playing fun music and singing along in the car is a great way for everyone to get off to a positive start before the rigors of senior infants and the office. After all, we want our kids to remember childhood as fun, not all traffic and arguments. Squabbles over what song to sing next is much more fun!

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family time, parenting hacks