There’s a reason why people ask you if you woke up on the wrong side of the bed when you’re grumpy. That’s because waking up and having a horrible morning is one of the surest ways to have a horrible rest of the day! This is especially true if you are a busy parent trying to get your kids up, dressed and ready to leave by 5.30am – the time that most Singapore school buses typically arrange to pick your children up for school.

However, if you start getting ready the night before, there are ways to have a calm, happy and stress free morning even if you need to get your kids ready before the sun rises.  

The Night Before

Having a great start to tomorrow often lies in moving as many preparations as possible to the night before.

Go to Bed Early

Get your kids to go to sleep before 10pm each night. The earlier they can sleep, the easier it will be to wake them up the next day. Don’t forget about your own bed time whilst you’re at it.

Most of us are quite good at getting our kids into bed early, but what about our own sleep schedules? Whilst a primary school child needs between 10 to 12 hours of sleep a night, we adults are not far behind them. An adult should typically try to get about 8 hours of sleep each night. If however, you are going to be at or after midnight, then you are probably not getting the rest you need. Sleeping earlier will give you the energy and ability to wake up early the next day too!

Lay Out School Clothes 

Few things are more stressful than hunting down the right pinafore or the other half of a pair of socks at 5am in the morning. There is however, nothing to prevent you from getting all of tomorrow’s school clothes ready and laid out the night before. Get your children to help you do this as part of their nightly routine too!

Make Your Kids Finish Their Homework

Trying to do homework early in the morning is not a good idea. The added stress and difficulty to concentrate right after waking up will make any efforts to do so unproductive. It is much better to make sure that your kids finish their homework the day before. 

Do Your Own Paperwork

If there are any school forms to sign, papers to complete, pocket money to be distributed, plan also to do these the night before in order to reduce the number of things you need to do and keep track of the next morning.

Prepare School Lunches

If your children’s school does not arrange for lunches, or if your children need to bring a snack for recess, you can shorten your morning routine by preparing lunches ahead of time. Cook extra the night before and pack the food in re-heatable bento boxes. Then either steam them warm or pop them into the microwave before keeping them in a thermal carrying case. Alternatively, you can make simple foods like sandwiches the night before and wash and pack fresh and dried fruits for them. 
for them. 

In the Morning

If you completed most of your preparations the night before, then there are just 3 things to remember to do in the morning. 

1. Wake Up Early

Try and wake up about 30 minutes before your children do. This will give you a little bit of uninterrupted time to wake up fully, take care of any last minute details and have a simple and peaceful breakfast on your own. 

2. Make an Easy Breakfast

Don’t try to do anything elaborate for breakfast. Something simple like toast, cereal, or even treats such as glutinous rice chicken and pau which can be reheated quickly in the microwave or steamed are best. Organise your kitchen so that all the most frequently used breakfast utensils and foods are kept together in the same place.

3. Stick to a Routine

Start a morning routine with your children. Get everyone used to completing each morning task such as: wake up, brush teeth, get dressed, eat breakfast, check school bags and put on shoes by a specific time. This will get them to get ready within a certain timeframe. When it becomes routine, it won’t feel as though they need to rush in order to get ready.