Time Wasting

You know I’m an expert at wasting time but recently as part of a “Life Well Lived” series for Blogher, we were asked the following question:

What is the biggest time waster/issue you have when getting you and your family ready in the morning?  What tips do you have to save time in the morning to get everyone out and ready on time?

My answer was this:  When Chad was young, in late elementary or middle school, getting him up in the morning was a nightmare.  I dreaded getting up because I knew the next thing I had to do was get Chad up.  I’d go upstairs, wake him up, come back downstairs to fix breakfast, go back and wake him up again and make him promise he was actually getting into the shower the minute I left the room, go back downstairs, turn the bacon, go back upstairs to find that he had gone back to bed.  You’ve probably been there.

Someone told me to get him his own alarm clock, have him set it and check it each night and get up on his own each morning.  We did and we discussed with him what time he had to get up in order to shower and get dressed and be downstairs for breakfast by 7 a.m.  There was probably some reward for doing it but the punishment for not doing it was that his bed time got moved up 30 minutes for each morning he didn’t get up, get dressed and get downstairs to eat breakfast on time.  We explained to him that the only reason he should have for not getting up was that he needed more sleep so he would go to bed earlier and earlier til he got up on time.  I remember us arguing at one point and I told him that if he had to get off the bus and go to bed, that was fine with me because he WAS going to get up on time. He hated going to bed early so having to go to bed 30  minutes early a few times worked for him.

It worked and it made my mornings so much easier.

Do you have any tips to share that help get your family (or just yourself) going in the morning?  Take a moment and go over to the BlogHer Life Well Lived Series and see what others are saying on this topic.  And, while you’re there, be sure to answer their question by leaving a comment about a Life Well Lived Moment and you will be entered to win a $250 Visa Card.


  1. 1

    Bonnie says

    I should consider myself VERY blessed; my 7th grade boy has always been easy to get to bed and easy to get up. He is starting to drag his heals just a little, but no where near the point of having to add punishments of any sort.

  2. 2


    This is a FANTASTIC idea!! My kids are only small – the 3 yr old actually told me this morning he was staying in bed until Daddy cam home but I coaxed him downstairs with the lure of banana and honey porridge 🙂
    I will definitely be writing this down to use when they’re older!
    Thanks x

  3. 3


    This is a FANTASTIC idea!! My kids are only small – the 3 yr old actually told me this morning he was staying in bed until Daddy came home but I coaxed him downstairs with the lure of banana and honey porridge 🙂
    I will definitely be writing this down to use when they’re older!
    Thanks x

  4. 4


    I don’t have the problem of getting all 5 of my kids up, fed and out the door…we homeschooled…so honey, you could do your school work in your pj’s for all I cared! And if you slept all day, well then that just ran into your free time…hmmm..bummer huh?! LOL NOT for me! They all learned quickly….now I have 3 graduates and 2 left to graduate….life is good and retirement is only 2 years away…..one person asked me recently, “so what are you going to do with all your time once you graduate the last one?” I gave her a strange look, and all the others that were standing around said, “she’s gonna quilt!!” and we all laughed!!!!

  5. 5


    Omg, I just had a big laugh at the thought of Chad going to bed straight off the bus!! What a great line. Thanks.

  6. 6

    Sandy says

    I remember that, when I was a kid, my mother would come in and wake me up by giving me a shake. That scared me out of a sound sleep and I was very grumpy! It wasn’t a good way to start the day. Finally I told her to just stop waking me up! She got huffy about it and told me that from then on I would have to wake up by myself. Did she give me an alarm clock? NO. But I discovered I had my own inner alarm clock and I always got up at the time I needed to. It still works, to this day!

  7. 7


    When my middle kid was in high school, I would wake him once…then twice…if there was no movement, I would wash my hands well.. Dry them well. I would stick my hand in the ice, stir my hand around , making LOTS of icy noise and come out with ONE piece. If I got to Connor’s room and he was not up, I would find a nice warm spot to put that ice on. I only had to do that once. He knew what that sound meant. He had only the time from the closing of the freezer till I walked calmly into his room. He is now an adult and gets himself up and out the door to school or work. hehehehehe

  8. 8

    mogden says

    To help with truancy issues in our local high school district, the District Attorney’s office shared one parent’s idea – which many other parents have aggreed, WORKS!

    Buy some marbles, not just a 100, but more, A LOT! Keep them in the freezer until morning . . .just think about this – a couple of large plastic cups of frozen marbles put into bed with you really wakes you up. You won’t be going back to bed after that shock!

  9. 9


    The day before school started, we were at Target and Nora spotted one of those ole time “Bell Ringer” alarm clocks (only her’s doesn’t require winding, it takes 1 AA Battery) and suprisingly enough we are in our 3rd full week and she’s set that thing and gotten up at 6am (BEFORE THE SUN) every morning and has been dressed, with socks and shoes on and then comes to my bedside every morning by 6:10-6:15 ready for breakfast and her hair to be fixed!!!

    She got a new digital counter piggy bank over the summer and loves to earn coins… nickel for each book read… and so thanks to her alarm clock and getting up and ready – I give her a QUARTER each day for getting up and ready on her own. With the twins going to preK every MWF it really helps me that I don’t have to get her ready as well! It’s the best $1.25/week I’ve ever spent!! PT doesn’t wake up on his own yet, but after I get him up he’s pretty efficient on his own and gets hisself dressed so he’s earning a quarter each day too! Now… only 1 more to go… 🙂

    Love from Indiana! ~bonnie