Today I come here to write about my humble and unpretentious strategies on how NOT to explode with stress and anxiety when it comes time to leave the house with your kids children. It could be a simple thing, such as going to the doctor, or for example, a walk all day or even travel for more days, whatever the reason.
A dear friend who recently became a mother of three, told me about how hard it is to go out with children, when the number of kids goes above 1. Because yes, going out with 1 already takes work, but after having more than 1, the task multiplies and if we are not organized, we woud be leaving super late, leaving in pajamas (true case) or leaving at all.
I already notice that even with older children (mine are 8, 4 and 1), an not newborns, the task still needs prior organization and a lot, but a lot of patience.
Who has multiple children know well, someone is always in a bad mood, someone is hungry, tired, wanting some toy that was left at home, sick etc. The reasons for tantrums do not always make sense to us adults or need real reasons (right guys?!).
A lot of patience
I confess that patience is not my strongest quality, but I am working hard every day. Well, and I fail almost every day. It’s a unfair battle.
How to stay calm after repeating a simple task for the twentieth time?
Well, at that point, it’s mandatory to take a deep breath, to think that it’s not an emergency (hopefully!) and that doesn’t have the power to shook you off. It’s not easy!
Have a good amount of snacks packed is essential item in the success of leaving home with children. Of course, it depends a lot on their personalities, but mine here, need something to eat in the car on the way to somewhere and waiting / ride at a destination. Sometimes just the promise that they can sit in the car and eat such a thing already helps to focus on the process of putting on clothes, shoes, coats, brushing teeth, combing hair etc.
Our bag is usually filled with fruit pouches (fruit mix in the form of cream/puree), crackers, cheese and some more practical fruits (banana and apple type).
For longer journeys, a few candies are worth the sugar high. And my snack bag is really simple, usually make of fabric. I got my last one at Dollarama, but it can be really anything that works for you, such as an insulated lunchbox to keep things cool etc.
Pack everything up in advance
Of course, some appointments have flexible hours and others do not, and those with a set time usually take more work to organize everyone and leave in time to arrive within an acceptable delay. Always remember Murphy’s law on those situations. Anything that might interrupt your way with things, it WILL interrupt.
I usually try to organize things the day before or a few hours before, such as the diaper bag (diapers, wipes, extra change of clothes, bottle of water or bottle), my purse and their favorite snacks.
So when the time gets tight, at least the bag is something I can just pick up and leave without worrying about running around everything you need at the last minute.
By the way, I am using this time round (3rd time!) a diaper bag with backpack straps and love it! It leaves me hands free in several cases where I do need both hands (if not more!!). My diaper bag at the moment is very similar to this one.
Warn the children beforehand
That’s another thing that depends on the personalities of each family member, but here it helps a little when I’ve explain what it will happen and that everyone needs to collaborate. Arthur still doesn’t understand the sense of time or hurry, but he throws a tantrum when I rush him. So the conversation sometimes helps distract and encourage him to collaborate.
It is also worth telling in detail what will happen for them to prepare emotionally, since children tend not to deal well with news and unexpected things that escape their understanding (even if the “thing” is a visit at Disney, for example).
Every child has their stress points, like always take their time to put on shoes, brush their teeth, sit in the car seat, put on the coat etc. So you can also focus on those first, talk about it and give plenty of time (if possible).
Have a drink.
Gotcha! I bet you thought of a beer or a glass of wine or something, but I’m really talking about drinks for the little ones. It’s just that I’ve been noticing when the water helps in times of stress from them.
It sounds silly, but it seems to have helped a lot here. So reusable bottle always full is essential.
In addition to effectively drinking water, other activities with waters, such as those below, sometimes solve serious cases (most of them have been tested and approved!):
- Are you crying, bored with toys? Go take a shower and play a little in the water!
- Are you having a lot of energy on a hot day? Give me a bucket of water and some pebbles…
- Are you whining in the car? Give the bottle of water or a juice box…
- Are you bored in the house on a rainy day? Put on your waterproof boot and jacket and you’re going to jump into puddles.
Well, that’s it, good luck! I hope these simple strategies can help!
See you next time!