When I was pregnant with our twins, and caring for our two older kids as best I could with a massive belly in the way, I would think about every logistical complication that could possibly come with having four kids, and make plans.
I made plans for solo tandem feeding our twins at night, (you can watch my tutorial here.) I made plans for where I would place our babies during the day so our big kids wouldn’t trample them, (I utilized bouncy chairs, high chairs and swings all over our house). I also made plans for how I would safely get everyone out the door in the morning.
Everyone has their own way of doing things, but I think that most parents would agree that getting your kids out of the house in the morning is particularly tricky and chaotic. Sometimes just hearing what another mom has found worked can be extremely helpful. Here is our family’s evolution of getting out the door and buckled into our car each day safely…
When our twins were babies, it was pretty easy. I would use their portable bucket car seats, which they couldn’t escape from, and escort everyone out to our car together. Once they grew out of their bucket car seats, I would roll our active twins to the door each safely buckled in their highchairs, and then escort my big kids, and finally each twin out to our car, which was parked closely within view.
Today, as I get our four kids out the door to school and daycare each day, ages 3 – 8, I have a new system. Everyone gets ready in our mudroom, which is sandwiched between our kitchen and our garage. Our big kids get ready first, and to free up some space in our mudroom, I send them out to our garage, which I like to call “our holding room.”
Once all four kids are ready and in our garage, I grab all of the bags, (I prefer to be in charge of the bags), and open the big garage door. This is the part that our large family has become a bit of neighborhood spectacle. But do you see me caring? Not one bit. Some days we are a spectacle because my neighbors might hear me yelling, “get off the parked bike, you are not wearing a helmet,” or “can whoever threw the basketballs all over the garage put them away?”
But most days we are a spectacle because as that garage door loudly rises, my kids automatically know to line up at the threshold of our driveway and wait. That’s right, I have totally taught my kids to line up Von Trapp style, just call me Maria.
All right, some days one kid is climbing our basketball net while another is looking for worms in puddles on a rainy day, but you get the gist.
I then announce that whoever is waiting patiently will get their name called first to get into the car. Although this system isn’t always perfect, it sets a standard for what I expect of my kids, and makes the morning a little less chaotic.
Before driving off to school and our twins’ Kids & Company daycare, I often take a minute (or few) while everyone is buckled and sit in the parked car in our driveway. I do this to collect myself and praise my kids on what a great job they did getting out the door. It is a practical way to set a positive tone for the rest of the day.
I’d love to know, what does your morning routine look like? What are your tips and tricks to get out the door safely?
This post was created in partnership with Kids & Company.
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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Kids & Company. While compensation was provided, all opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily indicative of the opinions of Kids & Company.