There always seem to be a last minute emergencies when you are pressed for time. Someone needs to use the potty or someone used the potty all over themselves and before you know it you’re 15 minutes into a mess you never expected. The trick to getting out the door with young children is preparing ahead of time for unexpected detours. I use five strategies for leaving the house with four kids under the age of nine…
Keep your vehicle stocked.
When you’re in a hurry, you’re bound to forget something. So, stock your vehicle ahead of time with the supplies you need on a regular basis…
- A loaded backpack with diapers, wipes, diaper rash ointment, hand sanitizer, hairbrush, and a change of clothes
- A case of bottled water for thirsty passengers
- Two first aid kits, a larger one for your vehicle and a smaller one for your backpack
- A disposable bag for trash
- An umbrella
- A stroller or baby carrier
- A case with DVD’s and audio CD’s
- A phone charger
- Basic makeup set: mascara, lip gloss, concealer
Only own two pairs of shoes.
When you limit your children to only two pairs of shoes per season it eliminates a host of issues. Kids are much more likely to keep track of their footwear when they know they only have one backup and Mama is sticking to it! The entire family’s shoes can easily fit into a small basket near the exit door and the decision-making process is cut down dramatically. Go with a good, neutral leather shoe that will match with anything. You can’t go wrong with these or these.
Set up your appointments during happy hour.
If you can, use your children’s happiest hour to squeeze in errands, doctor’s appointments, and friend outings to eliminate dragging fussy, hungry children out the door. Consider keeping one day a week your “slow day” where you do not set up appointments and instead stay home to let the kids play indoors while you prep for the week and get your house cleaning done.
Make your family ride the joy ride.
Always keep special books, fun soundtracks, or children’s podcasts reserved for the family car so that kids are excited to load up and enjoy the ride. Upgrade to a Spotify membership and listen to these fun stories for kids.
The 15 minute rule of departure.
Always, always plan to leave 15 minutes earlier than you think you will need to. Keep a book in the car for you and your children for those times when you arrive early and have some minutes to spare. Let that sink in: minutes to spare.
You can do this, mama!
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