Back to school: Mums reveal their top tips for stress-free mornings

Headshot of Jessie Stoelwinder
Jessie StoelwinderThe West Australian
Blair Litterick with children Reed and Koa.
Camera IconBlair Litterick with children Reed and Koa. Credit: Supplied

With the new school year about to kick off, we ask busy Perth parents their top tips for ensuring stress-free mornings

Blair Litterick, content creator

Mum to Reed, 8, and Koa, 7

Litterick shares her parenting hacks with more than 10,000 Instagram followers, and has plenty of tricks up her sleeve when it comes to managing the weekly juggle.

Now her children are getting older, she is encouraging independence as they prepare for the day ahead.

“They are at the age where they like to make breakfast on their own so while they do that I unpack the dishwasher and hang washing,” Litterick says.

“Now the kids can read the clock I actually have it set forward; I always aim to leave early so we aren’t late for school.”

Rather than watching TV, Litterick’s children gain access to a special morning box once they have finished getting ready.

“Coming from kindy and pre-primary which is very play-based (and) moving to more structured learning, Reed was finding it hard to just sit at a desk,” she explains.

“The morning box changes daily but it’s just fun things for them to play with and create.

“Now I’m not nagging them as they know they need to be fully ready for school before they can ask me for it.”

Tara Simich with husband Steve and sons Jagger and Boston.
Camera IconTara Simich with husband Steve and sons Jagger and Boston. Credit: Supplied

Tara Simich, founder of Jungle Body and Mermade

Mum to Jagger, 5, and Boston, 3

This entrepreneur uses a mix of new and old-school methods to streamline her mornings with two little ones.

Apps Airtasker, Laundromap and UberEats are heaven-sent when Simich needs a spare pair of hands.

“Whether it’s spring cleaning a cupboard or organising the kids’ room — sometimes we just need that little bit of extra outsourced help,” she says.

“I never find the time to get my work clothes dry cleaned so I use the app Laundromap. They pick up your clothing and drop it off at your door 48 hours later. Life saving.

“And UberEats groceries is my new saviour for those mornings when I am all out of bread or I forget to buy something healthy for crunch and sip.”

But nothing beats a classic diary when it comes to keeping track of crucial dates.

“We rely on our phone so much these days but I love an old fashion pen and paper to manage the birthday parties, school assemblies and important meetings,” Simich says.

Brendan Wenck, Samantha Jolly & Harrison Wenck - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Opening Night
Picture by Matt Jelonek The West Australian 4 Nov, 2021
Camera IconBrendan Wenck, Samantha Jolly & Harrison Wenck. Credit: Matt Jelonek/The West Australian

Samantha Jolly, Seven News presenter

Mum to Harrison, 9, and Brendan, 6

As an experienced journalist, Jolly knows a thing or two about deadlines.

Her key to keeping organised with two school-aged children is to prep as much as possible the night before.

“I try to make their lunches before I go to bed at night,” Jolly says.

“And if I know it’s going to be particularly busy morning, I pop some overnight oats in the fridge, so breakfast is ready to go as soon as we wake.“

Jolly notices a big difference to the pace of their mornings when they don’t have to rush.

“But life with two boys is chaotic no matter how much I prepare,” she laughs.

“Now that the boys are getting older I get them to help me prepare their lunches and lay out their uniforms.

“Most school parents are part of class group chats these days. We remind each other about excursions, assemblies, etcetera, so that’s a big help as well.”

Jasmin and Luke with children Lola and Sonny
Camera IconJasmin and Luke with children Lola and Sonny Credit: Supplied

Jasmin and Luke Neuwen, former The Block contestants

Parents to Lola, 6, and Sonny, 3

With Sonny still at daycare, Jasmin has to battle traffic in the morning to make two drop-offs.

Her secret to leaving the house on time is setting alarms so everyone has a 10-minute warning before they need to be in the car.

“The alarm goes off and I press the snooze and we all have one last push to get out the door,” Jasmin says.

“We try to beat the second alarm so it’s going off when we are buckling up. It’s a good game for the kids.”

Jasmin also endeavours to wake up before the children so she can get dressed in peace, and then gets them ready one by one.

“I’ve now taught my daughter to do her own hair so that’s one less thing to do,” she says.

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