Leaving the house promptly with young children is never easy. Read on for some tips to help you master a swift exit.
Once upon a time it was all about you you do remember don't you? Back then your legs were always shaved, your hair styled and leaving the house wouldn't happen until you'd checked some mandatory boxes: fabulous outfit, perfect make up and a chic (slim) handbag.
Oh, how things change.
When children come along, your leaving home routine changes dramatically. First, there's the 'poo or puke' check (if there's none on you, you're good to go), then there's the 'has everyone eaten, toileted and brushed hair and teeth' check (never mind you, I'm talking about the kids), followed quickly by the bag packing exercise something akin to a highly orchestrated military operation, where any slip up comes with severe consequences.
For new mums, the challenge is even greater. Given time, experienced mums will master the 'pack and go' routine and liberate themselves for spontaneity and fun, but in the sleepless haze of new-mumdom, it's nearly impossible to act on a whim. A friendly suggestion to meet at the park in ten minutes is likely to be met with maniacal laughter (or tears).
It's good to know, though, that many mums before you have tried and tested a multitude of home exit strategies. The result is the following fail-safe list of tips to help you exit the house more quickly than you can say "the movie starts soon".
1. Keep a lightweight pram handy
For ease, buy two prams. Keep one at home for local outings and one in the car (you don't need two expensive prams, a cheap second-hand pram will do the job as a back-up option and save you from eternally packing and unpacking your bub-mobile. For best results, your second pram should be lightweight and easy to fold/unfold, making it perfect for bus and ferry trips.
2. Keep your keys, wallet and phone in a set place for easy access
For busy mums, memory can often fail us. That's why it's helpful to make a habit of keeping essentials like your phone, keys and wallet in the same place (a bowl on the kitchen bench for example).
3. Buy a coat stand for by the door
Though it may seem obvious, being properly prepared for the elements will have a huge impact on the success of your outing. And since a chaotic dash around the house is probably best avoided when looking after young children, knowing where things are is of huge benefit. Consider keeping a hat stand near the front door and regularly check to see if it's stocked.
4. Freeze meals to eliminate tasks
Keep your freezer stocked with meals (lasagne or family pies freeze well). Getting out of the house quickly will be easier if you're not multitasking your dinner preparation.
5. Maintain a pre-packed day bag
Ensure your day bag is always packed and ready to go including nappies, wipes, pacifers, snacks, ssunhat and sunblock to name a few important pices. Check your bag often to make sure it's complete in case you need to dash out in a hurry.
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