There were things I didn’t anticipate when I visualized myself as a mom a year ago. Yes, I could clearly see the spit-up-stained clothes, and yes, I knew there might be nights I’d see the sun come up. But no, I was not prepared for The Rush. No, no—I am not speaking of one of my husband’s favorite bands or the high from endorphins that comes when I hear the sweet music of The Kid’s laugh. Nope, I am talking about The Rush to get out of this house on time. But after 10 months, I’ve got it down to a science. So, here are some tips.
How to be 10 minutes late for everything:
1. Give yourself a wide buffer
When telling your girlfriend you will meet her at 2 p.m., work backwards from that time. Go through the baby’s nap schedule, eating schedule, and dressing schedule. Don’t forget to add in an extra 20 seconds so that you are able to brush your own teeth, and choose your hat du jour. Then, wait for your baby to wake up. And wait some more. And maybe a little bit longer—because he has suddenly decided to take the LONGEST NAP HE HAS EVER TAKEN.
2. Packing the diaper bag
Make sure that you have packed food, wipes, sunscreen, a coat, a hat, socks, and some little toys to keep your kid amused in case of melt down emergency. Place your kid securely in his car seat and the packed diaper bag next to you. Pull out of the driveway with not a minute spare, and then, after a few long traffic light waits, realize you forgot to put one thing in your diaper bag—diapers.
3. Dressing yourself
When preparing to leave on an outing, carefully execute the plan you’ve envisioned all night to have your baby color-coordinated and looking as dapper as can be. Leave ample time for extra fussy squirms and spills that can derail the plan. (If extra-prepared, you can even work in some hair-dryer-to-spit-up-stain time.) Marvel at how cute The Kid is, and even take a moment to snap a few pictures to message to the grandparents. Pull out of the driveway with not a minute spare, and then, after a few long traffic light waits, realize you forgot to change out of your pajamas.
4. Make lists
There will be days when you and your spouse might go out together with the baby. This is an instance when your partner can help you pack for your adventure. Hand him a pre-made To-Do list so that he can help. This To-Do list will work wonders to keep you on schedule. Just when that schedule is in danger of being lost, realize the the quizzical look on your husband’s face is due to the fact that, though you were up for hours the night before working out the precise list and wording to get each point across most clearly, you forgot to actually put it on paper.
5. Prepare for the unexpected
Always leave a little extra time just in case. And, when I say, “just in case,” I of course mean pooping.* And, know that no matter how much time you leave, the Poop Clean-up Time Warp WILL make you 10 minutes late.
*In this case I am referring to your baby