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Women need to be independent and prepared for whatever life throws at them.
Who knew that after birthing a Small Human we would need to carry half of our house’s contents everywhere we go like a frazzled Sherpa.
And “living dangerously” means we leave one of four gear bags at home for a “quick dash to the grocery store.”
Spoiler Alert: It’s never a “quick” dash, and you will miss something you left behind in said bag.
The reality is that all moms need to be prepared for everything and anything once they leave the safety and sanity of their humble adobe.
Whether you are packing for a road trip for your family of four or making the voyage to the pediatrician’s office for a two-year check-up, it all can feel a little Raiders of the Lost Ark-ish at times.
The struggle is real, folks.
The bonus of being a veteran mom is you figure out stuff, like our secret formula for success when leaving the house.
And it works whether your kids are 2 or 12.
How to Leave the House With Kids – The Three C’s
In my opinion, the three things that are most crucial to navigating an excursion with kids without losing your everlovin’ mind are the “three C’s.”
Courage: As parents, we are charged with introducing this Big, Beautiful World to our Mini Me’s in the form of adventure, excursions, and just everyday experiences.
Confidence: You know more than you think you do, and you can fake it ’til you make it if you don’t. Trust yourself a little bit, and you might just be surprised.
CASH: When I say “cash,” I mean pocket money or what my mom used to call, “Walking around money.” Small bills are best and whatever you do; don’t forget to keep at least four quarters in your purse. You never know when a twenty-five cent vending machine bouncy ball or fairy tattoo can make the difference between a happy kid and one who is wailing like a tornado siren.
Other “Don’t Leave Home Without It” Items
Hand Sanitizer: The world is a gooey, gloppy, germy place and even if hand sanitizer doesn’t work (according to experts who DON’T have kids), at least it will help you feel like you are doing your part to keep dreaded germs from attacking your little darlings.
Oh, I would suggest stocking up on hand & face wipes too. Nothing is more terrifying a sticky sucker and a toddler who has free range of the universe.
Snacks: Adults are not the only ones who experience having moments of being Hangry (angry-hungry), and if your kids are like mine, they always seem to be hungry. To avoid having Paul Blart: Mall Cop moments of catching your child licking abandoned candy off the sidewalk, keep a stash of finger foods like crackers, raisins, granola bars, or other kid snacktime favorites handy at all times.
Distraction Materials: These “materials” are also commonly known as “books and toys,” but let’s face reality here. These items are necessary and significant, but your child will likely be more entertained with an age-appropriate iPhone app or tablet that plays the Disney channel. I am totally an advocate of screen-free time, but I also think moms prefer to be able to survive a waiting room experience with a toddler with minimal collateral damage. Your best bet is to be prepared and take several forms of entertainment along on your family journeys.
An Extra Change of Clothes: I am here to tell you that blow-outs and massive spit-ups happen at the most inopportune times. And the kids are hella messy too.
I will never forget the time at the park when a toddler (not mine, thankfully!) had one such incident and her unprepared parents let her run free in her spoiled pants. Basically, she left a “mark” on everything her butt touched (use your imagination-it was gruesome. And hence why wipes and hand sanitizer are at the top of this list!) Needless to say, an extra change of clothes would have salvaged everyone’s fun at the park that day.
At the very least, keep the spare clothes in the trunk of your car if your diaper bag doesn’t have room.
Patience: Parenting is hard work and kids are crafty little buggers who can make our hearts fill with love and our head sprout gray hairs in roughly 20-second intervals.
Family outings can most definitely be patience-testers, but the Season of Parenthood goes by sooooo fast.
Focus on the positive, drink in every precious moment and don’t be afraid to go on adventures whenever possible.
Remember the day at the beach as not being “The Day my Daughter Cried Eight Times”, but instead remember the sight of the sand betwixt tiny toes and the look of wonder when your kids discovered new critters.
Embrace the messy moments along with the good. Or the good, along with the messy.
Either way, they’re both there if you look for them.