Getting Out The Door: Creating Your Family Routine Chart

robyn September 4, 2012

When we have to be somewhere first thing in the morning it can get a bit hectic – no, a lot hectic!  Does everyone have their stuff?  Are your shoes on?  No, you may not bring that bag of toys!  Can you relate?

The Situation

As of this post, my little girl is back at her first day of school and my boy starts preschool tomorrow.  That means getting this late night mama, my grumpy morning 6-year-old girl, a bright and early – and VERY loud – 3-year-old little brother and our precious little 5-month-old boy out the door at least a few minutes before eight o’clock.

I am not a morning person.  I love my bed.  Luckily I have a very cute alarm clock.  Only last week I was awoken with  something being shoved in my mouth.  “It’s a raisin, it’s yummy mama!”  I have tried to repeat the words of a wise friend, “up in the morning, feet on the floor, feet on the floor!”

Amazingly enough, and not surprisingly, my day goes so much better when I start it off as soon as I wake up.  I keep telling myself that extra half hour in bed is not worth jeopardizing a productive day.  Yet I still have the mornings I fail to overcome the fatigue of being up all night with baby.  Having to be at school before 8:15am fixes the lounging in the morning.

The Solution

Well, in an effort to start this year as a success I’ve been mapping out a whole lot of stuff.  Taking stock of what I want to get done.

My morning ideal would be, of course getting kids dressed and fed, but I am also wanting to get all the animals and garden taken care of as well.  That way when I return home I can get on with everything else my day holds.

Lists have definitely become my friend.  They are great for getting little ones just learning to read to be a little more independent and allow the younger one to pretend.   I love watching my boy check off their bedtime list!

Starting backwards, I wrote down what needed to get done.  And of course, allowed for some wiggle room.  You never know when sissy will decide she’s going to refuse to get dressed or brother will spill his bowl of cereal or baby needs one more feeding.

 The Sign

Kids need a little interaction, rather than just words.  And I need a little pretty, instead of a lined piece of paper pinned to the wall.  A list and a few pictures is all you need.

If you are computer savvy you can make your own list.  Or used good old paper and stickers.  A little bit of scrapbook supplies would do wonders.  Or, have your kiddos join in  and take some ownership of their day as well.

My daughter is really excited to work on the “House Rules” together next.  “Don’t sneeze on other people!” is one of her top requests.  We are spending the week before school starts practicing our list so as to be ready.

Do you make lists?  How do you get your family out of the house without loosing your mind?

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  1. Great chart! I find it amusing that “feed and dress baby” is on the list twice. But completely understand it considering that I used to work in a baby classroom at a daycare.


  2. The chart has been up for a couple weeks. It created quite a buzz amongst the kids so this morning went WONDERFULLY! Despite the worst bedtime in a week.


  3. […] me at Modern Alternative Mama, I am so happy with how well our morning went . . […]


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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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