It can be hard to be on time when you are going somewhere with kids, especially if they are at the ages where they are dependent on you to get them dressed, put on their shoes, and buckle them in their carseats. I try my best to be on time although we definitely do have our moments of being late. I have found there are a few specific things that really help me be more prepared so that we are more likely to be on time.
First off, I make sure to get myself ready before the kids. If we have a morning appointment, I will get dressed and ready before the kids get up to give us a bit of a head start.
Another thing I do is make sure I get the diaper bag packed and ready well in advance. I pack snacks in our Munchkin snack catchers, sippy cups for both kids, and make sure the diaper bag has enough diapers and a change of clothes for both kids. If we have a morning appointment, I will get everything packed and ready the night before.
Start going potty, getting shoes on, and heading out to the car at least 20 minutes before you actually have to leave. You will probably need to increase this preparation time the more kids you have. If you only give yourself five minutes to get the kids out to the car, don’t be surprised if you are always late. It seems that something always goes wrong–either our youngest needs a diaper change or one of the kids spills something on their shirt–as we are trying to walk out the door which is one reason I give myself extra time to get ready. I’d rather be a little early than late.
Another tip is to have a quick and easy breakfast ready to eat as soon as the kids get up if you have somewhere to be in the morning. Or even better, have a breakfast that they can eat on the drive. My favorite for this is dry Honey Nut Cheerios in their Munchkin snack catchers.
Have everything you’ll need by the door to make it easier and quicker to get ready to leave. I keep the kids’ and my shoes, our jackets, the diaper bag, and my purse all in the mudroom. I also am teaching the kids when we get home to take off their shoes and jackets and put them back so that everything stays in its place. That way we can just grab and go instead of having to run around the house searching for shoes or jackets.
Try to plan things based on your kids’ normal schedules. For example, I don’t like to plan things over lunch or nap times when possible because I know it just won’t go as well. The kids will be tired and cranky or hangry when we’re trying to leave if they have skipped naps or are having a later lunch. So for us personally, I try to plan things either in the morning or after naps. This is what works best for us. Find what works best for you and your family.
It may seem simple but these few small changes have greatly increased the likelihood that we will be on time.