New year, same morning rush! Here are our ten top tips for making sure your morning school run is as stress-free as can be.
Busy mornings don’t have to equal stressful mornings. With a little bit of planning, a few deep breaths and some handy top tips, you can make the school run a breeze!
Pack bags the night before
Time is precious, especially in the morning, so save it where you can. Do all the school admin the night before; sign permission slips, pack lunches, lay out uniforms and pack the bags. This way, you have a little more time in the morning when someone tells you it’s ‘show and tell day’ or that they forgot to tell you they have P.E. that afternoon!
Make sure your car is full of supplies
By keeping essentials in the car, you avoid any morning hold-ups. This includes everything from deicer in the boot for those icy starts to spare bobbles and brushes for those early morning bed heads and wet wipes, plasters, and tissues for everything else. It’s a good idea to do this the night before; you can pick loads of it up from supermarkets during the ‘big shop’ or from WHSmith on the way home from work!
Make sure you have fuel
As well as making the car is fully stocked, you also need to make sure the car is fully fuelled. Petrol stations are notoriously busy during morning rush hour, so avoid the queues by filling up the night before, or, if you can, do it once you’ve dropped them off.
Make sure everyone has breakfast
Stats show that kids that eat breakfast are twice as likely to perform well in tests and have better school attendance, so make sure your little ones are getting their brain food before leaving the house. It’s important you eat too, but if there’s no time for that at home, consider grabbing something en route (you can get it cheaper using the Moto Deals free app).
Plan your route before you leave the house
Before you even think about getting in the car, make sure you know where you’re going. Make sure you know which route you’re taking to school and to wherever you’re going afterwards. That way, you won’t have any temptations to mess around with a sat nav or mobile phone whilst your driving. Remember, it’s illegal to hold a mobile phone or sat nav while you’re driving, and if you’re caught doing so, you can get 6 penalty points and a £200 fine. If you’ve been driving for less than two years, that means you lose your licence.
Check the traffic before you leave the house
It’s well worth checking the traffic well before you set off – we’d recommend doing it whilst you make that all important first coffee of the day! You can make use of tools like Google Maps or Waze to check the traffic – it’s even easier if you have Alexa or Google Home to hand! To make sure you’re definitely leaving in good time, make sure you also check what traffic is like once you’ve dropped the kids off. If you’re heading straight to work or an appointment once the little ones are through the gates, make sure you leave enough time to make those, too!
Allow extra time for your journey
By now, you know roughly how long it takes to get from A to B, but it’s always worth adding 5 or 10 minutes on just in case. You never know when you might need to turn around for a forgotten packed lunch or take a detour because traffic is extra heavy. It’s these unforeseen circumstances that can make even the most perfectly planned mornings seem stressful, so don’t take any chances!
Plan your parking in advance
Car parking spaces outside schools are like gold dust, so avoid the endless search for somewhere to pull up by having a rough idea of where you’re going to go before you set off. This might mean parking a little further away and walking them in, but it’ll be worth if it means you don’t have to fight for your space, then rush whilst people wait for you to move.
Save some time for you
We know, sounds delusional. But we don’t mean, ‘save enough time for a manicure, pedicure, face mask, blow dry and massage’, we mean, allow yourself 5 minutes. 5 minutes to plan your morning, plan your day, enjoy a coffee or just enjoy your kids. This might mean getting up 5 minutes before the little ones to have a brew in peace, or it might mean treating yourself to a coffee once you’ve successfully got them to school on time. Either way, it’s the small wins like those that make the day run smoothly.
Most important of all; when you’re on the school run, keep calm. Studies show that 71% of drivers have lost concentration whilst driving due to stress or annoyance. With your most precious assets sitting in the back, it’s just not worth it.
Here’s to making our mornings a little bit let hectic, in 2019!