It’s a known fact that getting out the door with multiple small children or babies can take a ridiculous amount of time. It’s especially true in cold weather when so many items need to be put on before venturing outdoors. But, even in warm weather when all that’s needed is shoes and maybe a sun hat, it can end up being quite the ordeal by the time we’re all ready and in the car or stroller.
Why does this take so long? Well, for starters you need to find everything, then round up the minions (who may or may not be hiding from you on purpose!), wrestle them into their necessary items of clothing, get your own shoes on, and herd them all out the door before someone starts removing all the clothing you just got them into.
I’m usually sweating and in a tizzy by the time I get everyone loaded into the vehicle, because by then we’re probably late for whatever it is we are going to and I’ve most likely forgotten something important, like the key for the mail that we are going to pick up in the first place!
To keep myself as sane as possible, I’ve tried to stick to these helpful tips for getting out the door in under 15 minutes:
As I rushed to get out the door for our mom and toddler group, I couldn’t find my car keys anywhere. They were not in the basket by the door where they were supposed to be. I went on a key hunt, trying to remember where on earth I had put them (since I knew I’d had them last). Even though I have a designated place for keys to avoid situations just like this, it still happens every now and then (thank-you mom brain!). When everything is in its place though, it makes it much easier to find what we need when we have to go somewhere. Being organized has definitely been one of the best tools for keeping my sanity with twins!
Teach the kids where things go
Since everything has a place, it’s easier to teach little ones early on to put their stuff back where it goes once you get in from outside. When they are old enough to start putting on their own shoes and jackets, they can find what they need right away. I started teaching my girls when they were really young so they can now put their stuff away on their own.
Offer an incentive to the feet-draggers
Sometimes my little darlings just don’t want to go out and leave their games or projects that they are into that day. I offer an incentive to encourage some cooperation, such as offering them their bottle, a snack, or a special book or toy to look at once they’re buckled in. I have one child who needs a few minutes heads-up that we’re leaving the house and I try to give her some time to finish what she’s doing before running out the door.
Get yourself ready first
This is work-in-progress. I get everything packed up, the girls in their coats, and then realize that I’m in my socks and sweat pants. So, of course, by the time I get dressed and put my own coat and shoes on, the girls are back to where we started at the diaper stage. Sigh. I’m trying to remember to do this to avoid the extra time it takes to get them ready again, and/or chase them down because they’ve escaped out the front door while I’m getting my boots on!
What are your best tips for getting kids out the door efficiently?
This is a guest post by a fellow mom of multiples and has been syndicated with permission to Multiples Illuminated. If you wish to contribute and share your multiples story/ tips, please head to our Submissions page for more details.