Two weeks ago, after a terrible outing with my children, I wrote Why Did I Leave the House?!
Since then I have been challenging myself to be more confident and more prepared when I leave the house with my children. I have learned a lot about myself in the past few weeks and wanted to share my tips with all of you mothers who have less hands than kids and who hide inside the house because the thought of leaving it fills you with panic and dread. Becoming a prepared mother takes just a little more effort and could save you a lot of stress in the long run.
I was one of those moms who would make up excuses to not attend play dates or who would not answer the phone because I didn’t want to feel guilty about saying no, again. I still am to some extent. But I have had a lot of really fun outings with my kids these past few weeks. And here’s what I have learned.
You cannot possibly prepare enough. Example: I knew that one of my potty training children had already pooped in their swimsuit at a previous play date. And even knowing this and thinking about it before I left for another swim play date, I did not pack an extra swimsuit. I calculated in my head the probability of it happening again and forgot to carry the 5. It happened. And it came out of the swim diaper up the back when I picked her up to change her. So now both of us had poop on our swimsuits. I was left to ask a friend to watch my older son while the twins and I went to the bathroom and washed a swimsuit out in the sink. It pretty much ruined my fun time thinking she and I likely smelled like the only thing I had to wipe her down with, which was Purell. So a combo of Purell and poop – not exactly the fragrance of the year.
Since the pooping happened twice in one month I have been convinced that there is nothing that you can do to prepare too much. Next time we go to a water park (which is tomorrow, by the way) I’m taking 2 extra swimsuits per child.
Accept That it Could All End Badly:
This one has been really hard for me. I can’t get the image of perfection out of my head. For any mom, just going to the grocery store with a child can be challenging. Multiply that by 3 under the age of 4, that you just picked up from daycare, and you have a bomb in the making. Giving them a snack and a drink prior to going in can make it easier, but it’s not fail proof.
I do not know a single mother who wants to shop with 3 kids at the same time. Avoid it if you can. But if you can’t, stay focused, keep seat belts on for those still in the cart, and hold your head high as your kids wail down the aisle that you are unfair for not buying every little thing they ask for. Knowing that it could go bad and that most people have enough sense to not stare, you are giving yourself license to relax a little.
There’s a Lot of Good with a Little Bad:
Seriously. Look at these adorable photos of my kids having fun. They made memories and I did too. And by preparing, I remembered to take a decent camera!