I hate being late. I would rather be 30 minutes early than 5 minutes late. Having kids has humbled me in that area. When you have a baby, there are a million things (or it seems so) you need to pack and then at the last minute, they may demand to be fed or changed. Then you have toddlers. There are fewer things to pack but last minute bathroom trips become an issue, as well as missing shoes. For a while, it seemed like we were always running late but it happens far less frequently these days because I’ve set up some systems that help tremendously. It can be done. Let me share with you how to leave the house on time when you have kids.
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Having A Set Wake Up Time
I wrote all about this last week and you can read more about why it is so important and how to implement it HERE. In this scenario though, having a set wake up time for everyone makes it easier to get out the door on time. You have a general idea of when the baby will need to be fed and exactly how much time you have to get everyone ready.
Handy Hint: We used THIS clock to teach our son when wake up time is in the morning. 🙂
Now, this point is more to do with getting on the door in the morning. Afternoon and evening trips don’t lean quite so heavily on this but it can help all the same.
Having A Morning Routine
This sets my day up for success no. matter. what.
It doesn’t matter what time of day you’re planning on going out, having a morning routine for everyone will make a big impact on how successful you are at leaving on time. You can read more about morning routines HERE and download my Ultimate Guide To Establishing A Morning Routine for free below! 🙂
Make A List (the night before)
I don’t know how people survive without lists. Even before motherhood, I was always one to have a list or two on the go. Now that baby brain has truly taken its toll, list writing is essential for me to keep on top of things.
If you’re heading somewhere in the morning then make a list the night before of the things that need to be ready before you leave. You can even break it down and have different family members be responsible for different items. (depending on your children’s ages of course)
This will make life much less stressful as you prepare to leave and it will also mean that it is far less likely that you will forget something important.
Get Things Ready The Night Before (or earlier in the day)
If you need to be somewhere in the morning then do this the night before. Otherwise, just be sure to do it earlier in the day, well before you need to go anywhere.
For instance, on a Sunday we often travel over an hour to attend church. We leave early in the morning, which means there isn’t much time to get things organised. So, the night before I made sure both kids have everything they will need packed in their respective bags. I also lay out their clothes for the next day. It has helped hugely in cutting down on the chaos and getting us out the door on time. 🙂
Head To The Car Early
This is a biggie, especially if your children are young like mine. We have a rule that we start heading to the car 20 minutes before we need to get somewhere. This has meant that we almost always are on time. It allows for packing all the kid gear in the car, last minute potty time, strapping the kids in their seats, and most common of all…running back into the house to grab at least one thing that I always seem to forget.
Figure out what your sweet spot is and set it as your time. Ours was 10-15 minutes with one kid and now that we have two it is definitely a good 20 minutes.
I hope these tips help you to get rid of the chaos that often comes with getting everyone out the door on time. I remember telling a friend once that getting ready to go somewhere in the morning was like watching the moments before a renovation reveal on a tv series. Everyone is running around madly trying to get things sorted, someone yells, “Ten minutes to go!”, and you know in your heart that there’s no way it is all going to get done in time. Ha!
Thankfully, most days don’t look like that for us anymore, thanks to using the above strategies.
Until next time!