And, not always safe ..let me tell you a story. This weekend we were all headed out the door for something or another. It was not well planned on my end, and I was harried trying to get everyone out the door. There was a timing miscommunication between hubby and I, and he sent the boys to the car to buckle up. As they were headed out the door to go obey, I explained that I still needed to feed the baby one last time before heading out.
We didnt get the message to the kids. The eldest figured out pretty quick we werent coming, so unbuckled and came back in the house. No one thought anything about it.
It wasnt until we were ready to head out again, that we discovered the three year old had been waiting in his car seat, buckled up and ready to go that whole time. You see, he can buckle but not unbuckle ..this is bad, because it is the middle of July in SC ...and the car was closed up, leaving my child cooking in the van in 120 degree weather! I dont have to explain how I felt. He was flushed, sopping wet with sweat and a bit weepy. So.was.I.
There has to be a better way ...obviously such things wont always happen if you are running late out the door, but had we a better plan, that would not have happened.
I know this is not an original idea, but it works for me. It is something that has helped in a major area of stress, especially since having my third little one two months ago...
For me, planning is everything. I have discovered that having a physical place where I can plan my route and my day out, really helps decrease the stress that is involved in getting out of the house. I call it my Launch Pad! Combining this space with the Car Bucket makes for a great location to identify what is needed for everyone.
Timing is a big factor as well, when talking about the stress of getting out the door. I know, if I take the time the night before we have planned activities out of the house, I am most more relaxed with it comes time to leave. It helps the whole experience be less stressful for all involved!
Our "Launch Pad" is a shelf surface in our dining room, which is a central location between the kitchen (where the snacks and drinks are) and the rest of the house (where everything else is). I put the Car Bucket there, as well as the kids outfits for the next day and anything else I need to make our morning run smoothly. Today, I needed paperwork to drop off at the doctors office, dvd's to return, the kids clothes and shoes and the Car Bucket..truthfully, it was NOT all in one location but scattered all over the dining room. But..it would have been better if it was!
Anyone else have any other "out the door" ideas to share? I know I can use them!