20 morning wreckers and how to deal
Where are my keys?
One way to avoid this common but frustrating problem is to put your keys in the same spot every day—either back in your purse, on a key hook in the hall or in a special drawer. And for those rare times when an unexpected event disturbs your routine, keep a spare set in your designated location so you can leave on time. The hunt for your regular set can resume when you’re not rushing out the door.
-- Sharon O’Brien
School project was not done
To avoid last-minute panics about incomplete assignments, check with your kids when they get home from school, or during dinner at the very latest, to find out if there’s something more complicated than homework due the following day. Then right after dinner, sit down with them to determine their plan for getting the project done, and check in during the evening to make sure it’s completed before bedtime.
The car won’t start
Even with regular maintenance, things can, and will, go wrong with your car. To prepare for the rare occasion when Old Faithful won’t start, have several backup plans in place. Keep a current public transportation schedule handy in case you need to take the bus or train to the office. Another option is arranging with a nearby friend, family member, neighbor or coworker to give you a ride, and offer to return the favor. If that fails, keep emergency cab fare on hand.
Two sandwiches, one slice of bread
To avoid the sinking feeling that comes when you run out of lunch supplies, keep emergency items in the fridge or pantry. In a pinch, tasty crackers make a nice substitute for bread, and crackers go well with popular lunchtime foods including cheese, deli meats, and good old peanut butter and jelly.
You’re at work but your phone is at home
When you run out the door without your phone, don’t panic. Some of the tasks you perform on your phone can be easily handled with a computer, like checking email via webmail and keeping up on the latest news and weather. If you’re afraid to miss a call, dial your phone number remotely and record a temporary voicemail message asking people to call your work number. Unfortunately there’s no cure for the anxiety you might feel when your trusty phone isn’t with you; you’ll just have to wait until you get back home.
Where’s the blouse that goes with this suit?
The simplest way to solve the problem of an incomplete outfit is to plan ahead. When you come home from work and change into comfortable clothes, take a few minutes to choose your outfit for the next day, from underwear through accessories. If an important item is soiled, wrinkled or missing you’ll have plenty of time to make sure it’s ready. And you can look forward to a more relaxed morning.
Your child refuses to eat
Isn’t it interesting how, for apparently no good reason, kids can suddenly turn their noses up at foods they used to love? And how often does this happen on mornings when there’s no time for discussion? With kids who tend to be picky, don’t ask them what they want to eat—that’s a recipe for disaster. Instead, give them a choice of A or B—scrambled eggs or cereal, for example. This is a win-win for both of you: either item is easy for you to fix, and the child gets to make his own decision about what he wants, which will make that choice much more appealing.
You’re out of milk or eggs
Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but there’s no rule that says breakfast should be limited to traditional breakfast foods like eggs and oatmeal. It’s better to feed yourself and your family something nutritious than nothing at all, so on those rare days when the breakfast supplies run low, get creative. Reheat last night’s leftovers, make sandwiches or heat a can of soup. If you make breakfast fun and delicious, your family won’t know what they’re missing.
You’re out of soap or shampoo
It’s so frustrating to be soaking wet in the shower, with water in your eyes, and to reach for an empty shampoo bottle or a tiny sliver of soap that dissolves in your hand. Of course, your first line of defense is to keep extra supplies on hand, but when you need to get clean and your supplies have run low, get creative. You may have no shampoo or no soap, but it’s unlikely you’re out of both at the same time, and one will substitute nicely for the other in a pinch.
Oops! That unexpected stain
You’re dressed for work and you look pretty good. Then the unthinkable happens: you spill cereal, toothpaste or hand lotion on your shirt. To avoid this hassle, you have a few options. Put on your clothes last, after you eat and brush your teeth. Wear an apron or shirt over your work outfit to protect it. Or plan an alternate outfit when you decide what you’re going to wear. For accidents at work and while traveling, experiment with one of the travel stain removers—they often work wonders when you’re unable to do laundry.