Thursday, November 29, 2012

This Works For Me: Getting Out The Door

In place of sharing things I'd like to do with my girls, and then falling short on my plans and looking stupid, (here's one)  I thought I'd share some little mom tricks that actually work for me, because I actually do them. Not just plan to do them from ideas I found on Pinterest.

Getting out the door on time with a two year old and a four year old is tricky. Doable, but tricky. Sometimes when I show up at an event, I kind of expect an award to be handed to me as I walk through the door just for getting us all there alive. And dressed in more than Rapunzel panties.

Here's how I do it. I get the girls ready first. Clothes on, hair brushed, shoes and socks ON, extra clothes packed in my purse, faces wiped clean. Then I let them play or watch tv while I get myself ready. You see, I've been getting myself ready for thirty years. I know how long it will take me. I can manage that time well. Even when I'm short on time, I know what make up item to skip so I'm in the car on time, and if I need a pony tail instead of finished hair. My girls, on the other hand, are all kinds of unpredictable. I may think I can get them ready in 20 minutes or less. Some days that works. But other days, I can't find their shoes. Or Squiggle needs her hair brushed and that curly mess was rattier than I thought. Or Squeeze has an opinion on what shirt she wants to wear, and I have picked NONE of them. Or the book they are looking at is WAY more interesting than obeying their mother and coming to the bathroom. Or someone trips on carpet and smacks their nose on the little pink stool. Things happen.

If I am all ready to go out the door and am just waiting on them, things get frustrating. There are usually tears. I don't always use kind words. I get annoyed at them when they're just being kids. It's not pretty. A two year old and a four year old can not be trusted to be ready in ten minutes. Unless you're overly prepared, which I never am. Getting the girls ready first allows me to go more at their pace, and not freak out when something comes up. They still have to obey, but I am much more reasonable with them. Less yelling, and more peace. Always a mother's goal, right?

Heads up, this didn't work when the girls were babies. If I got them ready first, they inevitably pooped or puked on their cute outfit before we got out the door. But it works for my toddler and preschooler. How do you get out the door?


  1. Brilliant! Now that we have an empty nest, the pokiness problem isn't children. We take separate cars :)

  2. My children get themselves ready. Breakfast and all. And then we're late, because I am more unpredictable than your children when it comes to choosing my clothes and tripping over little pink stools. I love this post though. You should get an award. We should all get more awards.

  3. I tell my five-year-old and eight-year-old "Get ready to go -- we're leaving in 30 minutes." Then I tell them at 20 and 10 and 5 minutes. Then when I start walking out the door, they start wondering where their shoes are. And when we get where we are going, I look at them and say, "You know those clothes don't match, right? Oops! It looks like you forget to comb your hair this morning too."

    I guess I haven't figured this one out yet ...