We’d all love a school morning where everyone gets out the door without Mom  yelling or feeling stressed. And by “all” we mean all mothers. Our children seem blithely indifferent to all the hollering and pleading and bargaining we do each morning in order to make the bus– which means each day we have to do a little more of it.  Good times.

Leigh Anderson puts it this way, for Lifehacker Offspring:

“Getting kids out the door in the morning can go one of two ways: They wake up early and then dawdle, forcing a last-minute scramble, or they wake up late, forcing a last-minute scramble.”

In this episode we talk about what works to get the kids moving and in charge of their own schedules. We love Leigh’s idea of creating a morning playlist: if “Yellow Submarine” is on, it’s time to be tying your shoes.

Our other favorite tip– keep another set of toothbrushes in the downstairs bathroom!– is from Carolyn Dalgliesh’s book The Sensory Child Gets Organized.

Here’s other tricks and tips we discuss in this episode:

Amy uses these  5- and 30-minute hourglasses  to make the dwindling time until the bus arrives more concrete. (Beware: the 30-minute one can sometimes have the paradoxical effect of making the time left seem endless, at least to an 8-year-old.)

The Time Timer is a less chic but equally effective visual reminder.

Margaret has her son use a smart speaker to set his own timer.

Margaret uses a dry erase board to remind her kids of what’s left on their morning checklists.

Amy’s friend Susan uses this gradual sunlight alarm clock for her exhausted high-schooler.

And if all else fails: put them to bed in their school clothes.

Here’s how to handle the dinnertime madness: HelloFresh, which delivers weekly recipes and fresh ingredients straight to your doorstep. What’s for dinner? Open fridge, pull out bag, get to it. No planning, no shopping, no complaining. Your kids might even *HELP* because the directions are so snazzy. We are huge fans!

Get $30 off your first HelloFresh delivery by going to  hellofresh.com and entering the code mother30.