Those lazy mornings lolling around in pajamas are over. If your children haven't seen 7 a.m. for the past couple months, you're all in for a shock.
But getting to school on time doesn't have to be a manic battle against the clock with you constantly shrieking, "I said put your socks on!"
The key to a calm countdown is establishing a routine that works for all of you, and then sticking to it for just two weeks, before it becomes habit.
1) Do all your school admin the night before
Assemble lunch money, signed school-trip letters, sick notes, P.E. clothes, swimming bag, football gear, etc. and put everything in each child's schoolbag by the front door. Do it the night before.
Remember to check bags and backpacks for stray school letters and pockets for yet more school demands for money, so you're not made to feel like the worst parent in the world just as the school bell is ringing.
2) Lay out your clean clothes the night before
Who wants to be rummaging through unsorted laundry for three pairs of - hopefully - matching socks at 7 a.m.?
That goes for you, too. It might seem ridiculous, but it makes life so much easier not to have the, "Does my butt look big in this?" debate when you can't spare the time.
Steer clear of early-morning battles by pre-planning clothes and food. If your children kick up a fuss about wearing gray socks instead of white, long sleeves instead of short or finishing their breakfast, it's really not worth making an issue of it. Just have the clothes you know they'll wear and the food they like ready and waiting.
3) Allow time for yourself
Whatever you need to face the world fully functioning, whether it's a hot shower, a cup of coffee or five minutes' peace, leave yourself enough time.
This does not include "just five more minutes" in bed, which will invariably turn into oversleeping, followed by mayhem.
4) Know each child's schedule
Whether it's music lessons or after-school activities, note when your children need to be where.
If you want to be a super-mom, a laminated chart with each child's name and activities for each day is deeply impressive.
Be warned: this looks less super when covered in corrections because little Sammy's flute lesson has moved from Tuesdays to Thursdays.
5) Prepare for "show and tell"
If your children have "show and tell" - my personal hell - don't leave it until morning for them to decide what to take, unless you want them to ransack their bedrooms, or worse, the contents of your purse minutes before you're supposed to be on your way.
6) Do homework the night before
Make sure your children's homework is completed the previous night and, this is crucial - put into their school bags.
No child - or parent - wants to be doing math or Googling planets first thing in the morning, nor do you want to be doing the school run for a second time clutching their homework.
7) Stick to a routine
Make sure your children know what you expect from them every morning and stick to that routine, whether it's that they should be fully dressed before breakfast or that they should brush their teeth straight afterwards.
My personal top tip for the easiest way to a pain-free morning is no TV. That is, unless you want slow-motion children who can't answer a single question and spend 15 minutes putting their shoes on.
8) Prepare packed lunches
If your children have packed lunches, prepare as much as you can the night before.
Do you really want to be staring at the inside of a fridge looking for something, anything, to make a sandwich?
Again - and this is slightly absurd but it works - pin up a chart of what fillings each child likes. In a perfect world they're all meant to have the same, but in the real world they don't.
9) Set the breakfast table the night before
Make time to eat together, rather than allowing a smash-and-grab affair. According to the Office of National Statistics, one in five children skip breakfast, even though studies show that a morning meal is essential for good concentration levels.
Train your children to help before and after breakfast. There's no reason why you should be left with a bomb site of a kitchen, wiping cereal and jam smears off the table.
From the age of five, children can clear dishes into the dishwasher or sink. Their help also gives you more time for a cup of coffee.
10) Keep calm
It's nicer for everyone if you start the day jolly, rather than bad-tempered. Factor in a few minutes for the unexpected.
You don't want to be clenching your teeth because you're stuck behind a line of cars, the bus is late or you've forgotten where you put your keys.
Better still, walk. You get time to talk to the children and they'll be more likely to sit still at school.
If you are late, don't blame the children. Everyone has the occasional bad morning, but if your children are repeatedly late for school, it's up to you to start the morning routine.