Before I met my husband I was always late. It was bad and I realize now very rude and inconsiderate. I didn’t really know any better, I grew up with my mother who was always late too….so I just thought it was the norm. I never really had an excuse for being super late, I just was late. Fast forward many years later and 3 kids…I am always on time and sometimes even early! Friends laugh and are shocked when I arrive on time with my girls in tow. How do we do it?
If we have to be somewhere at 10:00am and it will take 30 minutes to get there, I plan to leave my house at 9…9:15 the latest. I give myself the “kid buffer”. Allow for something to go wrong while you are trying to leave, because chances are it will! Someone will have a poopy diaper, someone will need to run back for their favorite stuffed animal, and someone will probably have to pee! If you plan to leave at 9:30am…chances are you will not get out of the house and in the car until 9:45am…and now, you are late!
It takes 30 minutes for me to get all 3 girls dressed, hair done, and teeth brushed. I know this, so I allow for it. Figure out how long it will take to get everyone “leaving ready”. In other words, how long will it take to get your child(ren) to the point where they are ready to leave the house? Be realistic and allow for that amount of time.
Once you start the process to leave, do not stop! When I announce to the girls it is time to get ready to leave, we swing into full getting ready mode. Play time stops, the tv is turned off, and we are getting ready. I don’t allow them to stop the process of getting ready to do anything that isn’t a part of getting ready. No one is allowed to get a drink, get a snack, or color…no silly business.
When we are getting ready, the first thing I tell the older girls to do is to go potty first! This way I can get them dressed without them telling me they have to go.
Prep yourself first
If we are going somewhere that my hair and make up need to be done, I do that first before getting the girls ready. I throw a robe on while I am getting them ready and then once they are done, I get dressed! Take it from a seasoned mommy, if you get all ready and dressed someone will get something yucky on your outfit! When my oldest was about 3 months old, I was nursing her and she pooped EVERYWHERE! I was completely dressed and ready to go to work. Needless to say I had to go get changed! Lesson learned!
Put things by the door
If we need a certain bag or item to come with us, I start putting things by the door while we are getting ready to leave. Coats, hats, gloves, etc all end up by the door. This way when it is time to go, everything is right there and you aren’t scrambling to find everything.
Prep the night before
Do whatever you can the night before! You won’t have time in the morning…trust me. And if it is something that requires being remembered, put a note on the door. “Potato salad in fridge” or “Baby’s bottles in fridge”.
Good luck! It is not easy and it definitely takes some practice. Give yourself extra time until you get it down to a good rhythm…even then, allow for extra time. Let’s face it, kids are unpredictable and things will happen. If you are prepared and have extra time allotted, you won’t be late!