The ADHD brain generally doesn’t do mornings. Getting up is hard!  I’m generally not very bright until I’ve had some coffee and taken my stimulant medication – I spend about an hour every morning sitting on the couch in flannel pajamas and wool socks, reading Twitter and checking my day’s schedule. I’m just not good for much else. Doubly so on Mondays.

Here in the Boston area, we have an additional helping of morning complication: most of the school-age kids have had two weeks off. TWO WEEKS OFF. That’s a lot of family togetherness time.

How do you shovel your late-rising kids out of bed at a school-appropriate hour and get them out the door, when they’ve had two weeks of vacation, holiday, playdates, and late rising? Good question. Here are 10 things that have worked for us – and I would absolutely love to hear what works for you.

1. A fire in the fireplace

I admit, this one mostly works because we have a fireplace and I enjoy waking up earlier than the rest of the house to get the wood burning.  But, a little comfort and warmth can go a long way.  Before we had a fireplace, setting the thermostat to warm up the house before the kids got up worked pretty similarly.

2. Hot cocoa

I’m sensing a theme here.  A theme of warmth and comfort.

3. An invigorating playlist

I like dubstep. My older daughter likes Australian hipster punk.  My younger daughter likes Iron & Wine.  We can’t really agree on very many things we all enjoy, but music does help us all get moving.

4. Laugh!

strawberry with googly eyesTell a terrible joke!  Put reindeer antlers on the dog!  Wear your socks on your hands!  Be the most ridiculous parent you can be!  If all else fails, put googly eyes on anything that doesn’t move.


5. Leave notes!

Tried and true!  My grandmother used to do something similar: when I was young, I used to go to her house before school.  When I arrived, I would find a note from her with a new word on it, for me to look up.  I absolutely loved it, and it made being up so early feel very exciting and special.  That’s how I learned the word “unique.”  I still remember it, 33 years later.

Love notes in the lunchbox, too – it’s a classic for a reason.

6. Warm breakfast

I particularly like pulling baked goods out of the freezer on hard mornings.  A steaming blueberry muffin never makes anyone’s mood worse, at least around my house.

7. Fuzzy slippers

You know how cats get all cuddly in the winter, and are hardly ever seen with all four paws on the floor at anything less than a dead run? Me too.  I hate cold paws.  Having a pair of slippers by the bedside is great for chilly mornings.

8. Pre-measured coffee

I realize that not everyone has a daily coffee habit, but if you do:  there’s something really nice about filling the pot before you go to bed, so it’s ready to be turned on when you wake up.  I’m much more apt to get out of bed if I know I can just paw at the stove knob to start my morning routine.

9. Medication in an unmissable spot

My older daughter keeps hers on her nightstand.  I keep mine on the mantelpiece (I…..might have a little fireplace problem) and my younger daughter’s is right next to it.  Now that we’ve found places that are unmissable, we pretty reliably remember to take our stimulants, which really helps everything else go better.

10.  Be willing to be late

Sometimes, you just need to resign yourself to lateness.  But that’s OK.  Hard mornings are the perfect time to practice self-compassion.

How about you?  What works to get you and your kids out of bed and out the door?