For most mothers, the morning rush to get children ready and packed for school is a stressful time. However with sensible time management and chores planning, you can cut down morning stress significantly -K.P. Malini
Uniforms lie in a crumpled pile. Socks cease to exist in pairs. Lunch box is half-done, breakfast nowhere near done. Child #2 suddenly runs into the kitchen screaming she has a project to submit that very day — a 3D model of the pyramids. You turn to the clock, exhausted, only to realise the day has just begun. And your children are likely to be late for school… again.
For most mothers, the morning rush to get children ready and packed for school is a stressful time. However with sensible time management and chores planning, you can cut down morning stress significantly. Comments Dr. Sagar Mundada, a Mumbai-based consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist: “In India, women tend to believe that getting children ready for school without any hitches is the model of a perfect mother. They are very harsh on themselves and make sure even the smallest things are in perfect order. Stress levels among mothers are very high during the morning rush.”
To reduce the morning stress, Dr. Mundada advises parents to “stop seeking perfection” in every chore. “Parents must be less stringent and learn to regard chores as enjoyable activities. Also instead of doing everything themselves, women need to divide morning chores with husbands and children. Assign tasks such as laying out the uniforms, packing lunch, dropping children to school and more to your husband. It will help him bond with your children,” he says.
Dr. Mundada also advises parents to assign small chores such as making the bed or filling the water bottle and packing their school bags/books the previous night to children. “Division of labour has short and long-term benefits. The short-term benefit is that it teaches cooperation and bonds families. When children wake up their body responds gradually. But if they do small chores they are fully awake by the time they reach school and ready to face the day. The long term benefit is that they become self-reliant which helps in the long run when they leave home for college,” he says.
Preparing for the morning rush
• To avoid the morning stress it’s important that parents move as many chores as possible to the night before.
This includes ensuring that children complete their homework and sleep early, school forms and notices are signed, uniforms are ironed and pocket money is disbursed.
• Wake up 30 minutes sooner than usual. You will be surprised by the amount of work that can be done when 30 minutes are added to the day. For this you need to get a good previous night’s rest.
• Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. It wakes up the body and calms you.
• Exercise for ten-15 minutes. This will get the blood flowing and activate the body.
• Maintain a tidy decluttered home. When you organise things, you save yourself the last minute scramble. Keep things in order, especially school-related stationery.