10 Tips For Being On Time with Small Children
I think after you have had children it can make the most organised of people late. Small children are unpredictable, lose things and have very little grasp of time and why they actually need to be, well, on it. I have found as my children have got older, and particularly now my son is at school a few things have helped us get out the door on time. Whether it is for a day trip out, getting ready for school or just tips to being more organised in general I thought I would share a few things that have worked for me.
1. Always Keep a Running Change Bag Ready to Go
This was something I swore by when my children were little. I always used to have a changing bag made up and ready to go. It would contain essentials such as spare clothes, nappies, baby wipes, a muslin, snacks, nappy sacks, a couple of small toys. If I used something then as soon as I got home I would replenish the bag. That meant if I ever needed to go out quickly I could just grab it and go.
2. Make Lunches or Picnics the Day Before
The same goes for bags and anything you know you will need to take with you. I always make my daughter’s pre-school lunches or picnics up the day before, if I don’t we always end up late or I end up having to buy something pre-packaged. The best routine I have found is actually making them up when I have lunch the day before or when I am cooking dinner. I have everything out already, so it’s pretty easy just to make something else. Then everything is left in the fridge ready to put into the bag in the morning.
3. Put Clothes Out the Night Before
Again, school uniform, clothes for the next day for where ever we are going are always put out when I put the children to bed. My son dresses himself now, so it means he just gets up, gets changed and is ready for breakfast. But more importantly it’s just one less thing to faff with in the morning.
4. Make Sure You Know Where the Shoes Are
Shoes are totally pesky suckers. They have been the cause of us being late more than once. They hide under all sorts of places, even inside toy kitchens, under the sofas, in toy boxes. I try to encourage my son particularly with his school shoes to try and put them in the safe place every night. This is not always achieved, but then at bed time I always try and do a check and see where they are so I am not running around shouting about shoes in the morning.
5. Start Asking Your Children if They Need the Toilet Early
Another one that can regularly get me. You know the scene, your just about to walk about the door and then one of your children decides they are desperate for the toilet and you know if it’s a poo you’re doomed for lateness. So now about twenty minutes before we’re due to leave I start asking my children if they need to go, making sure to explain there will not be time to do the necessary on the journey or walk to school.
6. Have A Daily Time Routine Mapped Out
This for me particularly applies for school morning, but I also find it works for getting out the house in general. For our morning routine I have a time plan, so what time we should have everything done by. I allow 20 minutes for breakfast for example, ten minutes for toilet and teeth brushing, fifteen minutes for my shower and if we run over those times – say breakfast takes 25 minutes then I have to reduce the time on something else. Usually this is things for me, for example I always like to put make up on in the mornings and leave ten minutes for that, but if we’re running short on time that always goes out of the window. I keep a mental check on my watch as the morning goes by to make sure we’re running to plan. It’s also important to make sure you’re being practical with your timings, and make sure you leave enough time for things to happen without stressing everyone out. When my husband is away on business I also need to add extra time to my plan as I need to do things like feed the pets which he usually picks up. It all counts.
7. Buy Enough Uniform for the Week
If you can afford to, seriously do this. My son has enough uniform to last the entire week, it was bought for the reason that I didn’t want to be stressing about no getting it washed in the week. Each week it’s cleaned and then we’re ready to go.
8. If You Have a Timer on your Washing Machine Use It
Not long after my son was born, we needed a new washing machine and our new washing machine came with a timer function. I have found the best way to reduce the need for ironing is to get washing out of he machine as soon as it’s finished. So now I put the washing machine on timer to finish for times when I am due back in. Or in the summer when I hang most of my washing on the line to go on in the early hours of the morning, so that it’s ready to hang out as soon as I get up.
9. Set Reminders on your Phone
Birthdays, non uniform day at school, money needed for trips by a certain deadline, PE kits required they can easily catch me by surprise. While I would again reiterate my point of doing everything the night before. Setting reminders in your phone are great too. For things like birthdays send yourself an alert week before giving you time to get a gift or card if required. Set an alert to remind you the night before and the morning if permission slips are needed. I even have reminder on my phone to remind me to take my tablets!
10. Encourage your Children to do as Much as They Can for Themselves
Obviously this needs to be appropriate to their age. But my children are 5 and nearly 3. Both of them put their pull-ups in the bin in the morning and their own clothes in the wash. My son takes his own dishes to the sink after his meals and gets himself dressed, my daughter still needs a bit of guidance with this. Both of my children help to feed our pets in the morning with a little bit of supervision.
That’s it 10 things that help us be on time in the mornings,have you got anything to add?