Running late is something I feel I’m pretty qualified to give advice on. It’s something I’m skilled at, I have plenty of experience, I really know how to make this happen. So I thought I’d share some advice on how you too can be running late everywhere you go.
I know that’s pretty obvious first step. Children are just great at causing delays. They won’t get dressed, they refuse to eat their breakfast, they can be generally uncooperative and somehow someone always needs to poop (be it in the toilet or their pants). This works better the more children you have, especially with toddlers who’ve just learned the power of the word “NO!”
Don’t plan ahead
This is very important. Don’t work out how long it would take you to get to your destination – actually it’s best if you don’t really know exactly where you’re going before you leave, that way you’ll spend plenty of time getting lost, or checking out what route to take. Also where applicable don’t work out where you will park on arrival – driving around in circles looking for a parking area can add several minutes or more to your estimated time of arrival.
Don’t be prepared
Make sure you don’t start packing a nappy bag, snacks, drinks and loading the car for you outing right up until the last minute. Don’t be tempted to lay out clothes for the day either. Just hope they aren’t in the wash when you go to get everyone dressed.
Keep your time margins super tight
If you happen to already know how long it’ll take you to get to your destination it’s a good idea to plan to leave at the exact minute that if there’s absolutely no traffic or delays on route you should arrive just on time. Especially when your toddler turns into a planking octopus every time you try to put them in their car seat.
Under estimate how long everything will take
You need to be somewhere in an hour, it’ll take half an hour to get there, so you have plenty of time to quickly wash some dishes, vacuum and hang out some washing and heck, you might still have time to pop on the kettle and have a cuppa…
Turn on the TV
Ideally your children’s favourite show, and turn the volume up; they’ll be so distracted they won’t hear you remind them to put their clothes on and eat their breakfast.
The more stressed you get the more likely your children will respond in kind, this means more tantrums, more resistance and the later you will be.
Quickly check ONE thing Facebook, Twitter, emails etc
(No further explanation needed.)
Don’t keep essential items in a convenient place
So when it comes time to go, you’ll spend several minutes looking for things like your wallet, phone, glasses and keys.
Make it a surprise
Give your children no warning whatsoever that you’re about to leave. Just announce “We’re leaving now!” and if that doesn’t work, go back to step 7.
Don’t take a breath
If you relax, step back and slow it down, you might find you don’t have a reason to rush around and that if you just calm down a bit, you might still be late, but you might be a little bit less late than if you stay in a frantic state.
Or you could try doing the opposite, if being on time is your thing…