Designing Your Morning Exit Strategy

How a Working Mom can audaciously start her day.

Designing Your Morning Exit Strategy
Craft a morning exit strategy so everyone feels ready to go!. JGI/Tom Grill/Getty Images

In the morning, do you often yell, “Hurry up!” to your children and yourself?  Getting yelled at or listening to negative self-talk is a lousy way to start the day!  You feel rushed, anxious, stressed and you haven’t even sat in the car yet.  If you accidentally oversleep then forget about it!

What you need is a well thought out morning exit strategy that leaves you content and energized

Examine what your morning exit strategy is like now and decide what you like and disklike about itt.

 Now you know what working and what isn't. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are the things you are tolerating with in the morning?  
  • Is there a point when your stress level starts to rise? 
  • Is there something that you feel always happens that just drives you crazy? 
  • What would a good morning exit look and feel like? 
  • What are the things the kids can help you with in the morning?  
  • What makes you smile when you buckle your seat belt and leave for work? 

With these answer you are now ready to create your morning exit strategy.

Know What You Need to do to Feel Ready for the Day

Wake up every day at the same time, regardless if it’s a weekday or the weekend.  Your body craves consistency. 

To start the day off right, grab a paper and pen and write about things like what you want to do that day, what kind of dreams you had, or what you are worrying about.  This brain dump results in you feeling a bit lighter, energized, and clearer about your life.

  Also, note what kind of mood you are in and why.  Your mood can affect your exit strategy! Lastly, make a list of the things you need to do to get ready for your work day.

Find Out What the Kids Need to do To Feel Ready for the Day  

Do not assume that you know everything your kid needs for the day.

 Ask them.  They’ll feel special to be included in the planning of your new morning exit strategy.  Prepare them for any changes that may occur.  Let them know you're making a plan you'd like them to follow.  

If you have young children you could draw pictures of the things they need to do, or take pictures of their jackets, clothes, toothbrush, etc, and make their own list. Put it up somewhere so that they can see it and follow it.

Estimate How Much Time Your Morning Exit Will Take

Roughly estimate how much time you need to complete your list and then the kids list and then add an extra fifteen minutes for emergencies.  Create an "Plan B” in case you oversleep.  What items could you exclude to help save time.  

Write out this time table and place it where you can easily see it in the morning, like the kitchen fridge.  Then get to bed early so you can wake up before the kids (like your plan says).

Run Through Your Strategy and Decide If You Need to Change It

Commit to your morning exit strategy for one week.  Find a way to track changes by either editing the copy on the fridge, or making a voice memo on your phone on your ride into work.  You could journal about how your first morning went and why things played out the way it did.

  Yes, it’ll be a work in progress because children’s needs change over time so be easy on yourself.

Set an alarm for your departure time five minutes before you actually need to leave.  This alerts everyone to get out the door with jackets, shoes, backpacks on.  Make your timer your new best friend!  I use my phone’s alarm and have the kids select the ring tone to make it fun.

Lastly, before the kids begin their exit strategy take note of their mood.  Just like your mood will affect the strategy, so will there’s.  Take time to sit, eat breakfast together, or hug if needed, and check in on how they are feeling before starting the exit plan.  Your goal isn’t to make them happy because that may or may not be possible.  Your intention is to listen so they feel understood.  We all love to be heard.

Best of luck with your morning exit strategy!  Having a plan like this will make you feel in control and confident.  Having this kind of audacious attitude is a great way to start the day!