I don’t know about you, but before I had my first son I used to always be teased about being on time or early for events, parties or anything that had a specified start time. Once I was pregnant people started remarking on how all this would change once my son arrived. Personally I strive to be on time and well prepared when I leave the house. When friends and family would insinuate that I soon would become the fashionably late guest, I would smile or respond with we will see.
Once Mas Man arrived my husband and I were very proud of our time managment skills. We started taking him out when he was just a few days old to make sure we could get a routine down pat, to visit those who could not make it to us and mostly to prove all those who doubted us wrong. In the first weeks and months after Mas Mans birth we had many functions, get togethers and meet and greets – to most of which (I’m talking 99.9% of which we arrived to on time, if not early) You would think our track reccord as a new family of three would speak for itself- well it didn’t, we now started getting new comments such as ” well he’s just a newborn not too much work yet,” “just you wait – when he is a little older you will be the last one to everything” again we would smile and get on with our visit. It wasn’t until he was a little older that people started to realize hey maybe they aren’t going to be clumped in with other new parents, or they arn’t the way we were when we first has kids. What a relief to not have people betting on you everytime you are exected to be somewhere at a certain time.
After a peaceful year of the nay sayers backing off it all started all over again when we annouced we were having a second child. As you can imagine being pregnant, tired from chasing a 2 year old, and working full time as an educational assistant – I had very little patience for everyone’s two sense worth. The typical “oh two is much different then one, you will be lucy to make it out of the house once a week”. So when out Little Wy arrived we did the same as we did with Mas Man, we acepted invitations to friends and families homes, we made plans and we showed up on time.
Yes in the past 3.5 years we have been late here and there. Usually due to traffic or some unforseen circumstance – like an emrgency outfit change, but for the majority of our social engagements, appointments etc we are on time if not slightly early.
If you are the type of individual, couple, or family who tends to always be the last to arrive or is the walking punch line every time plans are made – don’t feel bad there is nothing wrong with it at all. Sometimes I wish I could be that person who can just pick up and go whenever without having to plan in advance, or be able to finish that one last thing before I leave the house so I won’t have to come home and do it after the party. Unfortunately I am not – it is not how I am programmed and I am okay with that, I have learned to live with it, appreciate it and accept it. I’m hoping my type A personality can help some of you avoid getting lumped into the “tardy new parents” cliche, or make going out less stressful and more enjoyable. Below are some of the steps I take to ensure we can arrive on time.
Plan ahead – If you know where/what the location of the activity you are going to – check the weather ( so you aren’t scrambling the morning of to find your rain gear etc…) find out what is available at the venue (will I be able to heat the bottle, or do I need to bring a thermos, is there a change table or do I need to bring an extra large mat etc) what is near by – (will there be enough to entertain my toddler or will I need to bring my bag of tricks?) **Planning a head can save you a lot of unnecessary running around and searching the morning of)
Pack in advance – This goes with plan ahead – but if you need to bring food, pack up as much as you can the night before. Same goes for the diaper bag – have everything you need in it ready to go and put it by the door before you go to bed at night.
Know when to help/know your role- This can be a little confusing but in my house I am the packer, I am the one who is home with the kids 99% of the time. We have a system down pat and if someone else tries to step in and help it usually throws the system off – or important items such as the wetbag for the dirty cloth gets left out of the bag, or my sons shoes get forgotten at home ( and yes this did happen )
To avoid the embarassing event of showing up at the inlaws with no shoes for our son – we have a unspoken rule “if you start it finish it” – ie: if I start packing the diaper bag I finish it, if my husband is getting our sons dressed he does top to bottome.
Set your clocks ahead- even if it’s only for 5-10 minutes. You will find yourself actually leaving when you planned to (even if you think you are late). It is a pleasant surprise looking at the clock once everything is all loaded up and realizing you are right on schedule.
Alter the start time for those when necessary – ie: if you know your brother always takes forever to get ready and you need to pick him up on the way – tell him the party starts at 3:30 instead of 4:00 so you have a bit of a window when picking him up.
I hope this has been helpful!