Leaving the house with kids in tow can feel impossible. Leaving the house on time is even harder! If you’re struggling to be on time with your kiddos, this post is for you.
As a kid, my dad was late to everything.
It’s a family curse – so much so that my Grandma always told my dad and uncles to show up a half hour early. That way, they’re usually ‘on time’.
Years of waiting outside school well past when the other kids had been picked up has left me with a compulsive need to be on time or early to things.
Running Late with Kids
And then I had 3 children in 5 years who now laugh at any semblance of being on time.
More often than not, I’m running in circles trying to get everything together so that we can get where we need to go on time. There is nothing that stresses me out more than feeling like I’m in a rush to get ready.
And, of course, my being stressed inevitably makes everyone else stressed, building into a giant stress fest that eventually erupts in tears, meltdowns, and/or yelling. Fun, right?
Rules to Get Out of the House on Time
To help offset the craziness, I have set up some rules for myself to make it easier and to ensure I get out of the house on time.
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A place for everything.
The main culprit of being late is losing my keys. It’s a familial issue.
A few months ago we bought a cheap hook for our keys that we installed in a central place in our kitchen.
Now I put my keys there after I get home so I never have to go searching. It took a bit of time to build the habit, but it works now.
Alternately, try a tracker.
But if all else fails and you’re just one of those people who misplaces everything, I can’t recommend Tile more. It hooks to your phone’s bluetooth so you can go to the app and literally make your keys RING if they’re within 100 feet.
If they’re further, your phone can tell you where they last were. They even work with Alexa!
Bonus: it works in reverse, so if you tend to put your phone on silent and then misplace it (guilty, always) just press the button on your Tile and it will make your phone ring, even if it’s on silent.
Moms – take note! Pack whatever you will need ahead of time so that you’re not scrambling last minute trying to remember everything.
This means diaper bags, car bags, night bags – whatever. If possible, set out clothes for you and the kids as well.
This may seem like overkill, but when you’re calmly strolling out of your house exactly when you intended to, you’ll be thankful.
Know how much time you need.
My boys need at least 30 minutes from start to finish to get ready and leave. It typically takes me about that to feed and prep the baby to leave. This isn’t including getting myself ready or cleaning up the house before I leave.
Because of this, I build in an hour for getting ready to leave. That way I have more than enough time to get myself ready, clean up the house a bit, change diapers, dole out snacks, and get everyone dressed.
Adding that buffer removes so much anxiety!
Start getting ready 15 minutes early.
To go with the above tip, build in an extra 15 minutes. Inevitably, someone will have a diaper blow out or a tantrum or need a snack or the dog will have to go out.
It’s just a fact of life.
I used to give myself 45 minutes to get ready, but while about 70% of the time that was fine, the rest of the time I was 15 minutes late.
Giving yourself that extra 15 minutes, needed or not, allows for the inevitable mishaps. Worst case scenario, you’re sitting on your couch scrolling through TikTok for 15 minutes.
Be easy on yourself.
Look, you can prepare all you want, but life happens.
You stub your toe, your dog knocks over his water, your toddler rolls around in it, the cat starts coughing up fur balls, your infant decides she needs to eat thisveryminute – life happens.
You probably won’t bat 1000 on leaving the house on time –and that’s okay.
The world will not end. Your friend/mom/boss/teacher will understand – just don’t let it happen every day, will ya?
So tell me – are you always late? Does being late drive you nuts? Were your parents late when you were a kid? Let me know in the comments!
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