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Tranquility7

Tricks for being *on time* when you have littles?

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Not where I live. It's just a given that you will wait for your dr as long as it takes.

 

That would drive me insane.  

 

The doctor I took my kids to at first, had, by the time Link was getting to be school age, an insane waiting time.  

 

We have a new pediatrician now.  Moved to her when Pink was 6 months old.  Yes, there were other factors, but you better believe that having to wait 30 minutes after my appointment time was one of them.  

 

 

 

 

 

One thing I didn't mention - my kids aren't little anymore.  So they're much easier to get out the door - self sufficient, don't need extra 'stuff', etc.  But the same things were in play when that was the case - the bag was always packed, we allowed plenty of time to help with shoes/clothes/etc.

 

It's just getting it in your head and getting used to it.

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OP, all I would have to do is focus on the wasted money!

 

5 minutes late to a 30-minute lesson means you lose almost 17% of that lesson. If the lesson costs $20, that's $3.40 wasted, just for that one time.

 

Figure this out for each type of lesson, then add up how much money you lose in a typical year.

This is great advice!

 

I moved from a small town where it always took exactly the same amount of time to get anywhere (rush hour was virtually non-existent) to a huge city, then had our third child. I was a tardy mess. Being late caused so much anxiety because I hate to inconvenience others, but I could not get a handle on it because the methods that worked in the small town with two kids did not work in the city with three.

 

With three kids, I had to learn to account for twice as many last minute issues than I accounted for with two kids (why does 2+1=4, I do not know). A diaper blow out, two trips to the potty, three pairs of missing shoes, at least two spats between the siblings, and the fact that I get very anxious when the kids get too loud/cry, which also impacts my ability to get us out the door. So, I learned to add at least fifteen minutes just to get out the door. No extra chores during that fifteen minutes. And I've already packed our bags before that fifteen minutes begins.

 

That worked, but it took me even longer to learn how to adjust to big city travel and parking. Traffic jams happen everywhere, unpredictably. Parking lots are huge. I finally learned to plan to arrive twenty minutes early, which usually results in arriving at the actual door about five minutes early. That twenty minutes does not include the extra fifteen just to get out the door. so, I'm "leaving" 35 minutes early for everything. If I need to arrive someplace that is ten minutes away at 10am, I start packing the van at 9:15 while encouraging the kids to start moving. I would aim to have them all strapped in by 9:25 so that I can think for a moment about what I forgot, then we leave at 9:30. If we leave at 9:40 instead because someone hid my shoes, we still have 20 minutes to drive 10 minutes, unload, and walk in. That gives me a buffer I need when I get stuck in traffic.

 

I also have books and music in the car so we have something to do if we really do arrive early. It's just better for me to keep my lively crew strapped in the car than to go into a waiting room or someone's house more than a few minutes early.

 

My husband is chronically late. I try to compensate for his lateness (of the 15-30 minute variety, usually, but it can be worse because he still hang adjusted to city traffic times) by telling him an earlier start time (be home at 5 instead of 5:30). If we are swapping kids, I make sure I run out the door as soon as he walks in regardless of whether the buffer I gave him was more than I needed. I can't give him my indication that he can be a bit later next time. So, if I told him to arrive at 5 because I need to leave at 5:30 and he walks in at 5:20, I sprint out the door even though I have ten more minutes. If I don't, he'll show 40 minutes late the next time. :-( The positive here is that I gain 10 minutes to read in peace.

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I know this topic is kind of fallow but I wanted to apologize for my last post. I was rude and I shouldn't have been posting in about my pet peeve when I was already upset about other things. I deleted it 11/25 but it's been weighing on my mind since then.

 

Please accept my apologies. 

 

:blush:

 

 

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Prior Planning...  

 

Anything that can be done ahead of time is done (for example, refill the diaper bag when you get home, so that it is always ready to take -- same with swim gear, sports gear, anything that is needed to take regularly -- but not really needed at home).  Have a "go bag" of other needed items (book, small toys), which can be rotated out each week.  These items are always by the front door (or with coats).  

 

First thing (while kids are eating breakfast), prep/pack any snacks/drinks items you'll need for the road.  Prep any other items (scout books, awana, co-op stuff...), and put them by the door.  Make sure kids are dressed and ready.  Then go to the normal part of your day.  

 

Prepare to leave 15 minutes before you need to go. Nothing else except make sure kids have coats, shoes, items are in the car, bathrooms used, lights out, and then walk out the door.  You need some time to make sure kids are settled and buckled.

 

Go.

 

This is a normal "going somewhere" day.  For days that require more, I may actually spend 15 minutes the night before writing out a schedule -- because it is so easy to underestimate how long it takes to get things done.

 

We have 5am swim practices 2-3x a week.  This requires leaving the house at 0430.  I make sure *everything* is done by 9pm (back-packs, swim gear, clothes for the day, personal care items to get ready at the locker room, lunches, snacks, even breakfast is ready to grab & go).  Everything is by the door, gym clothes, socks, shoes by the bed.  All anyone has to do is roll out of bed, wash their face, brush their teeth, grab their stuff and head out the door.  It's the only way these things happen effectively.

 

I'm chronically early...rarely late.  Usually late means there was something I couldn't have prepared for (accident, road closure/detour).  And, even though I really only have two "little" kids now, I find even my older kids need this kind of structure.  They are the ones who are always forgetting stuff.  

 

 

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Scream. Force every little limb through a sweater one by one, use a blanket to prevent spit-up from causing multiple changes, and let a child sit in a dirty diaper if they only poop when first put in the car.

 

For me, the real problem was that no matter how early I started, I could never get them to want to transition. I have a list of books the methods of which I tried. The fact is, my kids take exquisite pleasure in making me wish I had never become a parent, and therefore, I had to let go of the idea that this would not be a miserable exercise.

 

Eventually, when the littlest was six, we have been able to use love and logic. Before that, being on time meant screaming, five-point-harnesses, and sometimes forcing a four-year-old to walk barefoot in snow because "I SAID PUT YOUR BOOTS ON FOR AN ENTIRE HOUR AND YOU REFUSED AND THIS IS THE CONSEQUENCE!!!!" This may happen upwards of 50 times.

 

Because some children actually don't care about hurting others.

 

 

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I have a largish family. I always try and usually succeed in getting to appointments 15 -20 minutes early(even when my older ones were all infants). One trick I do is have my watch and the kitchen clock 5 minutes fast.

 

I also allow 20 minutes just to get twins out the door and loaded into the car.

 

Sometimes we get to appointments way early - especially ones I have to travel hours to arrive at. We can always do some small activity/ tell a story / read a book/ find another toilet while we wait for the appointment time

 

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So, after reading this thread and the other one about the forgetful husband, then having a fight with DH, I seriously think I have ADHD...

I'm one of those annoying always late people. I'm sorry.

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Build in a margin of no less than 10 minutes. Even just getting shoes and coats on everybody can easily consume five minutes, so if you cut it down to the actual amount of time it takes to get there, you will probably be late. I thought of my leaving time with a ten to fifteen minute margin, especially when my kids were little. (Although I still aim for this.) So if for example my driving directions for something said "16 minutes," I would mentally just calculate 25-30.

 

If this does result in arriving a couple minutes early (and it metters), we just wait in the car and check emails or something. :)

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If you are consistently 5 minutes late, you are not a fairly punctual person. You are a chronically late person. If you have the ability to arrive at 9:05, you possess all the skills necessary to arrive at 8:55. If something 'always comes up' than that isn't an unexpected delay. It's the thing that predictably happens and must be accounted for when you plan your departure. It simply takes you 10-15 minutes longer to get out the door than you believe it does/should.

 

You have to recalibrate yourself. Plan to arrive at appointments 15 minutes ahead of time. If you don't want to change HOW you get ready, you need to adjust your start time by thirty minutes. If you have a 9 a.m. appointment, PLAN to arrive at 8:30. This means with your current level of organizational skill, you have a fair shot of making it by 8:45. That's IN the building signing in at 8:45, not screeching into the parking lot then juggling with multiple car seats at 8:45.

 

It's not the kids, or the chores. It's YOU. People with more children and neater homes are more punctual than you because they make arriving on time a priority. It gets tedious to hear the excuse-du-jour from the chronically late person. You HAVE to be realistic about how long it takes YOU to get everyone ready and leave much sooner. It feels much better to twiddle your thumbs in an office for an extra ten minutes than it does to drive while feeling frantic. If extra time in the waiting room feels like a waste, then bring portable work and arrive even earlier. A book for the kids, paperwork, that button you never got around to sewing, your menu-planning stuff . . . anything that gets you there and settled with at least 15 minutes to spare.

 

Just DO it. It really IS a choice and not a hard wired personality setting.

 

 

This is so great.  I really wish I could paint the whole thing on a 2x4 and just have the kids whack me with it as necessary.

 

I have to truly have someone tell me, "Mom, not ONE more thing.  Out the door, right now."  We have done great being on time (mostly) for years because my two oldest are director personalities.  My third, God bless her heart, is me.... And we will get one more cup of coffee, grab one more thing, wipe off one more counter, etc.

 

The truth?  Personal choice.  You know the "leave or be late" time.  If you prioritize wrong, you will be late.

 

Things that help:

 

1. Mom gets dressed first and about two hours earlier than necessary.  Do not get dressed last.  Fatal mistake.

2. No, it shouldn't NEED to take you two hours of getting ready to leave your house.  But it does.  Just own it.

3. If matching is important, lay it out the night before.

4. I GUARANTEE a shoe will be missing.  Get these lined up in front of the door before #1.

5. Do not try to time eating a meal perfectly before leaving in the AM.  Feed them early so you can deal with clean-up, spills, etc.  Then just toss apples and carrrots in a ziplock bag or something.

6. Don't do everything yourself - direct.

 

 

 

Leaving is actually a lot like cleaning for company.  If you choose badly, you won't get it all in before your deadline (or you'd be late.)  If we're having someone over I'm notorious for having a lovely clean bedroom because I prioritized wrong.  No one is going to go through my bedroom closet... That's just silliness and ALLOWING myself to get sidetracked.  First things first.  Clean up the bathrooms, the kitchen, the dining room table.  This is the exact same thing.  Your nails don't need painted, you didn't need to email so and so, and who cares if Little Miss is wearing the pink shoes?  Get dressed.  Get out.  ;)

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I've even worked in medical offices and never heard of this! I've also never once been called back less than 15 minutes post-appointment despite the fact that I am always early. Always.  Delays happen and some professionals are just completely inconsiderate of patient time.  

 

I have shopped around for doctors and dentists that run on time.  

 

Our pediatrician and dentist offices always call us back within 5 minutes of our appointment time.  My GP's office runs like clockwork...sometimes the nurse will actually call me back before my scheduled appointment time if I am there early.  At first I was annoyed that speech therapy was always running 5 minutes late, but then I realized that when they said your appointment was at 11am, they actually meant 11:05 because they schedule sessions to run from 5 minutes after the hour to 5 minutes til the hour in order to give the therapists time to prep.

 

The only activity that runs a bit late are sports classes at our YMCA, and that doesn't bug me too much because the instructors make good use of the time.  If a swimming lesson is schedule at 6:30, the instructors are in the water at that time and they will hold a treading water contest or throw dive sticks for the kids that are there on time.  They start the official lesson about 10 minutes late to accommodate all the kids that didn't get to the pool until 6:30ish.

 

Wendy

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Use your phone - set the timer to go off 30 minutes before you need to leave for any appointment (not 30 minutes before the appointment itself), and include a list of tasks. For example, our co-op timer says "socks, shoes, brush hair, gather homework, pack snacks and water bottles, potty run, etc." The kids will get in the habit of responding to the timer if you immediately jump at the first ding and read them their list.

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Dh and  made a real effort to be early to things when the kids were little. It took some work to make it routine but as introverts, it really paid off. We don't like to be rushed or have attention drawn to us if we have to walk in late.  What almost always happened- and still does- is that we arrive somewhere 10-15 minutes early.  Our habit was to turn the car off and talk with each other or the kids, or listen to some music, (or when the kids were young, read aloud the next chapter in our book).  

 

It didn't take long for the kids to get used to being early for something and it just made our life more relaxed.  What it also did was teach the kids to be on time- whether it was for a class, performance, or now that they're adults, jobs.   What really impacted us was when we volunteered for the kids' theater program- we had to monitor kids' attendance and note which kids arrived late. What we saw was parents who were rushing to get kids there- and got there late consistently- had kids who often ran late themselves when they were old enough to drive to rehearsals/shows. Twice we fielded calls from kids who were reporting they'd be late because they'd had a traffic accident on the way.   

 

No real tricks to share to make getting out the door on time easier, but I did want to put a plug in for how worth it is in the long haul. When your kids are young you never seem to have enough time to do everything. But if you can turn it around and find a system that works, it'll be worth it. 

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I haven't read all the replies, but one thing I do is figure out my "stop everything and get in the car" time and operate with that in mind instead of the appointment time. The night (or days, even) before the appointment, I count backwards...

 

appointment at 10am

minus 10 minutes to park and get in the building --> 9:50am

drive time considering conditions, say 20 minutes (based on gps done not at the last minute) --> 9:30am

15 minutes to load the car --> 9:15am DROP EVERYTHING AND GET IN THE CAR!

 

If I am on an organized roll, I will even write this time on my calendar when I make the appointment.

 

Things that help - mapping routes ahead of time (not day-of), packing the car the night before, having all the kids lay out next day clothes the night before.

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These are good ideas.  I am almost always late, and I know the reason.  I hate, hate, hate being early. It feels so awkward to be the first at a gathering, and if you aren't the first, then it's awkward conversation, and just thinking about it makes my stomach hurt. 

 

Before I had kids, i could sit in the car and read, but my kids seem to lose their mind in that sort of situation.  Once we park the car, they want to be out and doing/going wherever.  So I've purposefully planned on being right on time, and with kids, we all know that that doesn't work.  Figuring out what to do if I'm accidentally early is going to help my stress about thigns a lot.

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These are good ideas.  I am almost always late, and I know the reason.  I hate, hate, hate being early. It feels so awkward to be the first at a gathering, and if you aren't the first, then it's awkward conversation, and just thinking about it makes my stomach hurt. 

 

Before I had kids, i could sit in the car and read, but my kids seem to lose their mind in that sort of situation.  Once we park the car, they want to be out and doing/going wherever.  So I've purposefully planned on being right on time, and with kids, we all know that that doesn't work.  Figuring out what to do if I'm accidentally early is going to help my stress about thigns a lot.

 

A captivating audiobook? 

Audio CD of memory work, composer study, foreign language practice, music performance practice?

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When mine were little, we always tried to leave 10-15 minutes earlier than we had to. And I always tried to plan something if we were early. During the "diaper bag" days, I always carried books or toys anyway.

 

I frequently pre-packed the van, and then focused just on getting the kids out the door. On Sunday mornings, I loaded the Bibles and lesson books in the van the night before, and had the diaper bag packed other than sippy cups. Same when we had Community Bible Study an hour away. Everything was nearly packed the night before.

 

It's nice to see my oldest still doing this. He leaves for his college classes and appointments well in advance, and takes schoolwork in case he has to wait.

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Scream. Force every little limb through a sweater one by one, use a blanket to prevent spit-up from causing multiple changes, and let a child sit in a dirty diaper if they only poop when first put in the car.

 

For me, the real problem was that no matter how early I started, I could never get them to want to transition. I have a list of books the methods of which I tried. The fact is, my kids take exquisite pleasure in making me wish I had never become a parent, and therefore, I had to let go of the idea that this would not be a miserable exercise.

 

Eventually, when the littlest was six, we have been able to use love and logic. Before that, being on time meant screaming, five-point-harnesses, and sometimes forcing a four-year-old to walk barefoot in snow because "I SAID PUT YOUR BOOTS ON FOR AN ENTIRE HOUR AND YOU REFUSED AND THIS IS THE CONSEQUENCE!!!!" This may happen upwards of 50 times.

 

Because some children actually don't care about hurting others.

This is abusive...forcing limbs in sweaters, making them sit in poop, forcing them to walk barefoot in the snow.

 

Please, no one listen to these ideas.

 

If you find yourself doing this in order to go somewhere with your kids, please get help.

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I am perpetually late.  I hate it but since having kids I am always a minimum of 5 minutes late for everything, even work.  I feel like to be on time I have to start leaving 3 days in advance lol

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Scream. Force every little limb through a sweater one by one, use a blanket to prevent spit-up from causing multiple changes, and let a child sit in a dirty diaper if they only poop when first put in the car.

 

For me, the real problem was that no matter how early I started, I could never get them to want to transition. I have a list of books the methods of which I tried. The fact is, my kids take exquisite pleasure in making me wish I had never become a parent, and therefore, I had to let go of the idea that this would not be a miserable exercise.

 

Eventually, when the littlest was six, we have been able to use love and logic. Before that, being on time meant screaming, five-point-harnesses, and sometimes forcing a four-year-old to walk barefoot in snow because "I SAID PUT YOUR BOOTS ON FOR AN ENTIRE HOUR AND YOU REFUSED AND THIS IS THE CONSEQUENCE!!!!" This may happen upwards of 50 times.

 

Because some children actually don't care about hurting others.

 

Tsuga, it sounds like things are very stressful for you on your parenting journey. I hope things are better and that you have a lot of support. I truly hope that you aren't having to do it all on your own b/c from your description it sounds miserable for everyone. It doesn't have to be miserable.

 

I am sorry you regret becoming a parent, but your kids didn't chose to come into this world to make you unhappy. Again, I hope you are getting some help.

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  Figuring out what to do if I'm accidentally early is going to help my stress about thigns a lot.

 

Maybe add on an optional errand...returning library books, picking up a few groceries, stopping into a business to pick up info/brochures?

 

You need to make it close to your destination so you don't end up late. 

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I understand the urge to use every minute when the kids are little.

 

I agree with all the above advice about leaving at the set time no matter what, not doing any extra jobs within a half hour of leaving etc. There will still be times when someone falls in a mud puddle as you walk out the front door or the baby throws up all over you but they will be less.

 

That said I think the pressure on mums to be always on time is a bit harsh. Kids swimming lessons mostly run five minutes behind, tradespeople turn up an hour late, doctors and dentists run 20 minutes or half an hour late, but mums get crucified for not being on time. Because you know... We've got nothing better to do than make sure our kids get to everything on the second and it's so fun to sit in the car with four impatient kids when you get there early.

 

I don't have a problem with the "people should be punctual" thing but I hate how some professions aren't expected to run to time but mums with babies who have crazy lives are. If a mum can leave a buffer with time so can a doctor or dentist, but they don't because they can get paid more by squeezing an extra couple of patients in. And no one judges them for being chronically late.

I absolutely expect the professionals that I hire to be punctual. If my dentist was chronically overbooked, I'd find a new dentist. I've also left an ob/gun practice after eight years when they began to overbook, and the doc was always late. I totally understand medical emergencies causing lateness, but always running behind isn't acceptable to me. Edited by Artichoke
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