Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Help me!

Chickie will be four years old in less than two months. Zoodle is 19 months old. There are a lot of things that aren't fun about taking care of kids this age. I mean, I have to deal with snot and poop and sleep deprivation.

But you know what? I can handle all that. What I can't seem to get a hang of is how to get out of the house.

I get so frustrated trying to get myself and two kids out of the house--whether we're going to the grocery store, a playdate, or church. I thought of saying "or the library," but we haven't been there for months. Maybe if I didn't get so stressed out getting them out of the house, we'd go back!

There's just so much to do. I have to make sure sippy cups are found and full and in the diaper bag. I need to check the stock of diapers in the diaper bag. Between the three of us, we have to put on six socks and six shoes. Chickie should go potty whether she wants to or not, and Zoodle loves to confront me with a poopy diaper just as we're about to head out the door. On a good day, I have coffee or water for myself, and on a really good day I've straightened my hair and put on makeup. I've got to get two kids in their carseats, and make sure I have forgotten the diaper bag and my purse. After the kids are strapped in, I run back in the house, turn the burglar alarm off, grab whatever I've forgotten (shopping list, coffee, etc.), turn the alarm back on, and get in the car to back out. Sometimes I'm able to use our garage door opener to close the door; often lately it hasn't worked and I have to back out of the car to pull the manual release cord, and close the door.

So I end up leaving 15 minutes (or 30 minutes, or an hour) later than I expected, and by the time we're on the road I've often worked myself into an anxious mess.

So, super moms (or normal moms who have just figured out this part of parenting)--how do you do it? How do you get out of the house in an efficient, timely fashion, without going nuts? You may save my sanity with your advice, so thank you in advance.

22 comments:

Melody said...

Your post brings back memories but I have to say it STILL is difficult to get out of the house! Just different items and issues that have to be dealt with. For me the key is taking care of any items that you possibly can the day before. For instance, when you return from somewhere, the diaper bag gets emptied, refilled and placed back in the car. The night before clothes are laid out, sippy cups filled and either placed in the refrigerator or even the car if that is practical, library books loaded, shopping lists tucked in my purse, etc. Then I leave a ridiculous amount of time allotted for that last minute rush-the poopy diaper, coffee spill, temper tantrum, someone took their shoes off AGAIN, etc. Most days this saves my sanity and my mood.:)

nopinkhere said...

I feel your pain! I went somewhere with the just baby a couple of days ago and had to go back in the house THREE times for things I forgot. Thankfully K tells me when I've forgotten his stuff. ("Mama, where is my water?") I've cut out most of the "visit the bathroom before we go's" because I figured out when I was pregnant that K can hold it for much longer than I can. Other than that I leave my diaper bag in the car and only bring out the wet bag when I've changed a diaper while away. That reminds me to add more diapers. It makes one less thing I need to grab. Deep breathing helps too!

Anna said...

as the previous posters said, get as much ready before and into the car ahead of time. The two little ones are not that bad, my problem is getting the 11 year old off the computer and out of the house without throwing a fit.

Melinda said...

I totally feel your pain. I have only one child so my getting out the door is a little easier. My main secret is to keep wipes and diapers in the car at all times. That way if I forget the diaper bag I am at least covered for an unexpected messy diaper. As for the rest of it I still haven't figured that part out yet.

MarjnHomer said...

I just have the baby bag ready with clothes and diapers always and add the bottles, formula and water later on. A check list might help and I usually need an hour to get all 3 kids ready and out the door.

Faith said...

As someone who regularly goes out with 4 kids - none of whom are in diapers anymore, but that is a recent development. Bullet pointing my strategies:

- Pack your diaper bag when you get home from a trip, not when you're getting ready to leave.
- When you pack your diaper bag, put in a bottle of water (unopened) for yourself - it won't be COLD, but you'll have a drink even if you forget yours.
- Get a tool box or other bag or really any container for your car to put extra clothes, diapers, wipes, kleenex, non-perishable snacks in. It can live in your trunk untouched for eons, but if you walk out of the house w/out your diaper bag one day, you're not destitute.
- Find a place by your exit door for a clipboard. Things that need to go with you in the morning go there the night before (grocery lists, etc). If you have room, keep a basket of some sort below this & deposit any larger items you need to take with you. (Library books, purse, diaper bag)
- On your way out the door, grab the clipboard, chunk it in the basket full of everything else & you're off.
- most important: When you get home - replace the basket, the clipboard & re-pack your diaper bag for your next outing.

Also - if none of this works for you, remember, they'll grow up soon & remember to go potty all on their own. They'll tie their own shoes & help brother tie his. They'll say "mom, can I carry something for you?" and life will be much simpler (at least in the "getting out the door" area).

Call Me Cate said...

No kiddos here and I have enough trouble getting ME out of the door. My sister has two diaper bags and keeps the spare, ready-to-go bag always ready with what's necessary. Other than that, no real ideas. I can understand why it's not so easy to just throw them in the car and go at this stage.

Buffie said...

I try to keep a fully stocked, ready to go diaper bag by the door. Plus I keep a few diapers and wipes in the car along with some snacks. Dispite that I still refer to us trying to get out of the house as getting the crazy train moving.

theybelongtous said...

I second Melody and Faith. Do as much as you can the night before.

~ Make a sticky note list of what you need to take out of the house with you and put it on your computer.
~ Get up 2-3 hours before you have to leave your house. This gives you time to get yourself ready, the kids ready, and some time at the computer.
~ Check your list, start taking things out to the car, get the kids and go.

Some days will just be chaotic. Other days will just feel like they are. :)

peace...

Kristen said...

It can be SO frustrating, I know. I agree with the previous people that you have to get as much ready in advance as possible. I always keep a spare box/toolbox/small something or other in the truck (or car lol) with a spare sippy/bottle, a few diapers, wipes, crystal light packets, etc...that way if I forget I'm not turning around 10 minutes into my trip. I keep the diaper bag packed and replenish when I get home. I also set my clocks about 5-10 minutes ahead (after a while you forget they are set ahead) and if I need to be somewhere at like 11:00 a.m. (doc appt., etc) I write 10:45 on the calendar so I tend to start getting ready earlier. I used to put a post-it note on the back of the front door that said "Diaper Bag, cell phone, bottles, purse..etc" because I knew I would only forget the important stuff lol.

2 Toddlers and Me said...

It is tough getting out with two little ones. Can your oldest put on her own socks, shoes, or coat? That might help you out some. I agree with the previous posters about leaving a packed diaper bag in the car. That really helps us get moving.

Janell said...

Ha ha ha, good questions! :) And ah yes, it seems there's always a poopy diaper happening right when you're trying to get out the door. With three I find myself AVOIDING going out with all three of them whenever possible.

I like the idea of keeping extra essentials - spare diapers, wipes, etc. in the car. I need to do that more. Also, flip flops are our friends. (Luckily it's practically warm enough to wear them year round here.) At any rate, maybe you have some shoes that Chickie can put on herself (two less feet to worry about)?

Honestly? I think having something scheduled is the key for me. If I have an appointment/class/play date - something that I either paid money for or where people are expecting me - then I just have to make it happen. Otherwise, it's much easier to just stay home. Good luck and let me know if you find something that helps!

Dan & Hillary said...

I finally got to Trader Joe's this morning after finally getting tired of eating random food out of the pantry... two is a lot harder than I thought:-(

TesoriTrovati said...

All I can give you is perspective...and the reminder that this too shall pass. My kids are 8 and 11. There are still harried mornings and forgotten items and rushing out the door but it is different now. Only the scale changes. They have backpacks and dance bags and saxophones and basketball shoes. I have mail to post and car keys lost and my cell phone left behind. I wouldn't change it, wouldn't wish it away. Because I know that all too soon they will grow up and be driving themselves (scary, scary thought) and then they will be gone. Don't rush it and don't stress about it. You will get to where you are going even if it takes you an hour longer to get there, with cheerios in your hair and coffee stain on your blouse. Just cherish. every. day.
Enjoy the day, Beth!
Erin

Laurie said...

Lots of good suggestions but the problem is, there are STILL going to be those times when, for whatever reasons, you're not organized the night before or whatever! So on those days I recommend yoga breathing!! It's a last resort way to stay calm but it helps a lot!

Even though my two kids are teenagers now, I still employ it all the time. Actually, because they're teenagers, I probably yoga breathe more than ever!!

Just inhale very deeply s-l-o-w-l-y & exhale ALL the air out as s-l-o-w-l-y as possible. For like five minutes ...through your nose, not your mouth.

And when you have the occasional tough moment, remind yourself you're not alone...

Hang in there!

http://youmusttakeyourchance.blogspot.com/

*Monica said...

I agree with preparing the night before. That is the only thing that gets us out on time.

Laurie said...

Oh, just read about email thing. Here you go ...

Cathy said...

no comments on getting out the door - been too long and I don't even remember how I did it w/3!
BUT the garage door - now that's another issue - we JUST recently went through that for about 2 years. I tried everything - but I usually had to get out with the garage door opener and stand right in front of the garage door and push it - and one other thing we did was to tape 1/2 of a toilet paper roll (split lengthwise) over the "magic eyes" because 2x a year - for about a month each time, the sun was hitting it and it refused to close so the toilet paper roll helped the sun not hit it so directly. (The garage-door-opener repair man suggested this) Well, finally we ordered a kit and replaced the magic eyes - I think that's what your dad replaced - you'd have to check with him - but they had gotten old and didn't work as well as they originally had. Now it works great again! Don't know why we waited so long! I felt so stupid standing right in front of my garage door to get it to close!

Dani said...

I would keep most of the things I need on the go in the car already - and you know, once just went out of the house unprepared. I just WENT and you know what happened? I had a great time and came home with a child with a poopy diaper. Which is ok. All the fuss about preparations and whatnot really isn't that big of a deal as long as the majors are covered. Since it's cold weather now, the kids should be dressed warm. Beyond that - don't stress yourself too much. You can always go home if a disaster strikes. :)

By the way! I've got a giveaway going on at my blog! Need's more entries before the drawing this weekend! Come check it out! http://danisdailydrop.blogspot.com/2009/11/friendly-friday-beautiful-giveaway.html

Our Scoop said...

Wow! Lots and lots of advice. I don't think anything I say will add much :) But I only have one little one who is very easy. We don't usually bring drinks, I leave a diaper bag (without dipers anymore) with an outfit, wipes, socks, purell, and a jacket in the car. I have always left the shoes (tennis shoes and sandals) in the car and put them on right before we get out of the car. I always keep a couple snack bags in my boat-of-a-purse!!! I usually have to go to the potty more than he does! I'm probably harder to get ready than him. I don't think it will change though - like someone else said - like for the next 12 years or so! That felt sooooo cluttered and non-sense-making. It's been a long day today and I'm ready for sleepland :)

vixensden said...

It has been sooooo many years since I had to do this stuff I hardly remember. I do know I went out a lot and when I see my oldest struggling with her two (4 and 2), all I can think of is all THEIR STUFF. I was always running mine here and there and we just didn't have so much stuff. I don't remember even owning very many sippy cups, so maybe I just didn't go anywhere for very long?

I do remember that one of the first things I did was always tell myself I had to be where ever it was 1/2 an hour earlier than I did. I didn't just think about it, I mentally convinced myself in advance. If I had a Dr.'s appt at 10:30, I would spend the entire day before telling myself it was at 10am. I wrote them on the calender at the 1/2 hour earlier time. It seemed to help, as I recall.

tangi said...

Great responses. I only have one son who will soon be 4 and it is often a challenge for me. I echo the idea about your older child doing her own shoes, socks, coat and trying to minimize the things you take with you. In that regard, the only thing I have to add is that when my son was in diapers, I started using the diaper bag as my purse. I just dropped my wallet, cellphone and lip gloss into his bag. The bag even had a couple of small pockets that seemed to be made for phones. Minor thing, but it made my life a little easier.