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this week's (late) tricks o' the trade

so the fact that this week's tricks of the trade post is coming to you late has everything to do with its topic: TIME! now that i have two girls under the age of three, i'm finding myself slipping back into that habit i hate most--being LATE! i was finally getting the swing of it with one kid, and now i'm back at the bottom of the hill again. HELP!

to be more specific, i could especially use ideas for quick transition times--getting out the door, coming home and needing dinner to be ready, and the worst of all--getting to church on time! my husband has meetings before church each week so it's just me with the girls (i know, boo-hoo, TWO whole kids...right!?) well it feels like a lot to me. i just doubled the number of children in the house! :)

ok, experienced ladies: fire away! i anxiously await your pearls of wisdom...


molly and geoff archibald said...

ok it's stupid to comment on your own question but the second i hit "post" i realized the perfect name for my post--who all loves that old david bowie song "modern love"? remember the verse that goes "gets me to the church on time". ok i'm a dork.

Bridget said...

You crack me up, Molly! I have very little insight in this area because we're perpetually 5 minutes late no matter what I do. But, for church it would be a ton later if I didn't get our bags ready either Saturday or early Sunday morning (our church is in the afternoon). It always seems like things go crazy right before we need to go, so trying to have this done ahead of time help a little bit. Other than that I'm excited to hear everyone else's advice on this one too, because it is definitely needed around here.

Janalee said...

I can tell you how NOT to be on time!!! We are the family that is usually more than 20 minutes late to EVERYTHING!!! I would love to put the blame on my husband (who was late to our own wedding!) but iver the years I have gotten used to waiting around for him and now his kids pick up on it too. Our clocks are 20 minutes fast, we set our morning alarms for at least 20 minutes early, and I write all of our appointments in the calendar 20 minutes before they really are. AND WE ARE STILL LATE!!!
So why am I commenting? My mother has always been excrutiatingly prompt! More like early to everything! Growing up it was a bad Sunday morning if we were not in our pew at church 15 minutes early. We were dragged to Dr's offices and waited in the waiting room for at least 20 minutes before our appt was scheduled. Her trick? Starting 20 minutes before the time of departure she would make time announcements every 5 minutes. We all new that when there was 5 minutes left we should start scrambling for our shoes/scriptures/jackets and get in the car otherwise we would be left behind, or worse, drug out to the car half dressed without shoes. The only one she ever waited for was my dad, and even then ocassionaly he missed out on dinner because he wouldn't make it home when she had dinner ready-he'd get stuck doing the dishes!
My mom was always very organized and I think that was her trick. She was very methodical in the way she did everything and I think that her gift was keeping a family with 7 kids on a very prompt schedule.

As for the transition/"Time to leave now" tip, I tell my girls (ages 2 and 4) when they have 5 minutes left and now they can predict when I'm going to leave and they can eaither be ready or they leave something behind because I'll pick them up and leave after the 5 minutes.

hope it helps, can't wait to see what everyone else can share to help get us on time (besides leave daddy behind).

Cassi said...

I have to get my 3 kids ready for church myself too!!! And I HATE it!!! It makes Sunday so hard and we are late a lot.
I found what's helped me anytime is just plain starting early. If I think it will take us about 20 min to go potty, get all our shoes and jackets on and get out the door, then instead of starting 20 min before we leave we start 40 min before we leave and if we are in the car early... great! But usually it always takes longer than I thought it would and so 40 minutes ends up being just right.
I also keep things like diapers and wet wipes (the essentials) in my car. So if I don't have time to pack the diaper bag I know I have backup in the car already.
And with church... I get myself completely ready first while the kids eat breakfast. I know I can stay put together whereas if I get them ready first they are likely to spill something or take something off while waiting to leave. So I get myself ready and then get them ready one by one. It helps to have one completely done so you're not feeling like you're getting 3 kids ready at one time.
And as far as getting home and getting dinner ready quickly... well I'm still trying to figure that one out! My answer to that if we are ever coming home close to dinner is to stop and get food! Not the best solution but definitely the easiest!!
Although crock pot meals are awesome when you know you'll be gone most of the day!!

The Mortensens said...

Like the comment above, I come from a family that was painfully early, ALWAYS. It was embarrassing most of the time actually. However, I've inherited that habit, and it is just the way I am, I can't change it, I've tried. So, with us being on time, like Cassi, I think it comes down to being prepared. I always plan longer than it will take, because inevitably, something unplanned on happens, right as you are walking out the door. In order to try to help my child understand that we are going to leave, I tell him what our plans are for the morning when he wakes up. On Sundays, for our lovely 9 o'clock church, I rush him down stairs to breakfast, and I tell him "We are eating breakfast because today is Sunday, so after we eat breakfast, we need to put our clothes on and go meet Daddy at church." (I know you don't need it all spelled out, sorry) So, that way, he's prepared for what is coming and he understand why we are getting ready to go. Other mornings, I try to give him a brief run-down, something he'll understand, as to what we are doing and if we need to go somewhere.

Another thing that I LOVE.... shoes that kids can put on themselves! I don't think I'll ever buy shoelace shoes until my child can tie! It makes things smoother when I say "Let's get our shoes!" and while I'm putting on my shoes, my child is putting his on too.

As far as dinner.... crockpot, I agree are wonderful, but again, you have to PREPARE! I give myself a "meal plan" for the week, and during naptime, I do all I can for dinner ahead of time. For example, if we are having salad, I make it. If we having some sort of veggie that needs preparation, I wash and cut them, if we are having something that goes in the oven, I make it and stick it in the fridge until it's time to cook it. If we are having "toppings" I get those all ready. And during nap time, I always wash the dishes so that when it is time to do dinner, I have a clean and empty sink, and space to fix dinner. It makes it seem much for simple and less chaotic.

Shalee said...

Great question! What I hate more than being late is the guilt associated with it...and the angry/stressed feeling that goes along too.

It's actually the only 2008 New Year's resolution that I had...BE ON TIME TO EVERYTHING! I've found that if I'm on time I'm so much happier...I'm not the mean driver trying to speed somewhere and I don't get angry if the light turns red...because I have plenty of time to get there. And I don't yell at my kids if there aren't doing something as "fast" as I want them to.

The only way that it has worked for me is to give me more than enough time. Church is only 15 minutes away but we leave 30 minutes early. That way if we are running 5 minutes behind (due to a bathroom run or a bad hair day) then we are still early. Now I'm usually the first one to arrive somewhere. This has blessed my life with much more sanity and peace!! It definitely makes it easier if my daughter puts on her own shoes too!!

Having a new baby and no husband at home to help is a whole different situation though!! Hang in there you Super Moms!!