Having 2 kids under the age of 5 years, my biggest challenge lately is to be on-time.
Doctor’s appointments, lunches, school drop-offs, everything. Thought I manage to keep all my appointments, I find myself huffing, puffing, and rushing to make it out the door.
When I didn’t have kids, I would pride myself for being very punctual. Infact, I am always ahead of the time because I would rather be early than late. Traffic has been my only reason to be late for something, otherwise never.
But now with 2 kids under 5, getting them ready and out the door on-time is a challenge for this mom!
[Related: 33 Reasons Moms Are Late]
After one too many speeding sessions to make it on-time, I decided to test out some changes to my routine.
How to be on-time with 2 kids under 5
Wake Up Earlier
This sounds very simple but if you are like me with a baby who wakes up frequently, sleep is a rare gift. However, if I have any morning appointments, I set an early alarm (if I am not already awake after breastfeeding) to ensure I am up before everyone else.
Waking up earlier will give you time to prepare, have a nice shower, get breakfast ready, chug some coffee, and even get some chores done before the kids wake up.
Make a List
I am an organizer and planner by nature. I use post-it notes, note pads, calendars, and planners to stay organized and accountable.
However, I have become a little forgetful. I guess the lack of sleep, and kiddos demanding my attention could be some contributors to that.
For this reason, I carry a tiny notebook in my bag. I write notes on post-its and put them on mirrors and I set alarms on my phone to remind me of my to-do lists, and important appointments.
I even jot down everything – things I need to carry with me for the kids, grocery list, or even things I need to get done on given day.
Most of us use our cell phones, but if you enjoy writing like I do, there are some cool note pads by Knock Knock I came across on Amazon. These help me stay organized and they are fun to use than plain paper.
Keep Diaper Bag Packed
I always keep the baby’s diaper bag packed. Even if I am not going anywhere, it is always ready with clothes, diapers, wipes, and everything I could need for the baby.
After I return from my day out, I refill the diaper bag with things I used and get it set for the next outing.
This way, I do not have to worry about forgetting to pack something, and I can always just grab it and go.
Pack Snacks and Activities
For my preschooler, I pack a quartz zip-lock bag with snacks, and another with things to keep her busy. Snacks I pack in the morning before leaving the house, but an activities go-pack, I keep ready from the night before.
Some of the snacks she enjoys are Hello Panda, Cheerios, Banana, and string cheese.
Some things I pack to keep her busy are stickers, crayons, alphabet cards, and 1 toy of her choice. (Thank you, Jen, for your suggestions! @piecesofemerald)
I always get ready first! I wear very light make up so getting ready is a snap. After that I get my preschooler ready. I give her something to keep her busy, such as snacks, or some screen time. While she is engaged, I get the baby ready and put everything I am taking by the door-way.
Take Clothes out Ahead of Time
My preschooler is in the I-got-it phase, where she wants to do everything by herself. She wants to pick out her clothes and shoes, which usually takes her a while.
For this reason, I let her pick them out the night before. This way I am not rushing her in the morning and am not getting frustrated when she is taking too much time.
I also take the baby’s and my clothes out as well. This saves me time, even if it’s a little, but just knowing that everything is prepared gives me peace of mind!
Breastfeed one last time
This is for new moms who are breastfeeding.
The one thing I have noticed is that as soon as I start the car, the baby gets hungry. Even though I may have fed her 30 minutes prior, she still starts crying from hunger.
Therefore, I made it a habit that before I am about to leave the house, I feed the baby one last time. Once she is fed/burped, I know that she will fall asleep when the car gets moving.
Keys and Cell Phones
Last minute keys and cell phone hunts are not fun!
Even though you usually keep them in one place, they always seem to go missing the day you are running late.
For this reason, I put them both in my purse and my purse goes next to the diaper bag and anything else I am bringing out.
That way, when I grab everything and head out, I know that the only place I need to look for my keys and cell phone is my purse.
What are some of your tips for being an on-time mama?