I started a new job this week!
It’s at ArtsHub, three days a week. Out of the house! With lunch breaks! And a regular paycheck! And colleagues I’m not married too! God, I love working. I love my kids, but jeepers, I am a better mother when I’m working. Also a better human and wife and friend and daughter.
That said, because we now live in the bush, my commute is about an hour each way. Annoying? Oh hell no. That’s six hours a week of bus time where I can read, listen to podcasts, crochet like a boss, stare out the window and not speak to anybody. Bliss. The next step is to see if I can somehow turn part of the commute into exercise time, but doing Kegels on the bus probably doesn’t count, right?
Because of the long commute, I need to get outta the house by 7am, drop the kids at childcare, then get to the bus stop at 7.30am. Our house at 6.45am is slightly hectic, to say the least. Luckily, my very excellent and helpful mother picks the boys up from childcare on Thursday afternoons and TAKES THEM TO HER HOUSE FOR A SLEEPOVER then brings them home on Friday when Lee gets home. That means we have one night a week kid-free. Hello date night.
Anyhow, here are my hot tips on getting yourself and your kids dressed and out of the house early and relatively sane. Lee leaves before 7am so obviously if your partner is home to help then WELL DONE YOU. But for the sake of these tips I’m assuming you’re flying solo.
Get up before your kids. Even just 10 minutes earlier gives you time to brush your teeth and slap on some makeup without little people trying to ‘help’.
Make time to play and acknowledge them. If I jump out of bed and am already in ‘work mode’ and hardly look at the kids while dressing them, packing bags and mentally calculating the latest bus I can take that will still get me to work on time, they are sure to start acting out. If I take 30 seconds to give them a big cuddle, ask how which undies they’d like, make a joke and talk about our day, then things seem to go way more smoothly.
Get ready beforehand. This is pretty obvious, but unless you naturally enjoy making lunches at 5.30am, then do that shite the night before. Same goes for getting your own lunch, finding your phone charger or whatever, and choosing your outfit. Speaking of outfits…
Put the kids to bed in their clothes. This was a game changer for me. Our house is freezing at night, so the kids are usually wearing a couple of layers anyway. Make one of the layers a t-shirt or trackies and BAM ten minutes saved in the AM.
Good luck, sister.