How not to leave the house when you have small children, in 5000 steps

March 31, 2016

Why it's so hard to leave the house with small children - 500 reasons why

Why oh why is it so hard to leave the house when you have small children?

Mornings, on the days we have vague plans to be somewhere, go something like this:

  • Very early in the morning: All wake up at the dawn of time. Realise we have somewhere to be at around mid-morning. Think – that’s LOADS of time isn’t it? We’re going to be ready really soon. We might even be early for once, wow. We’re going to ace this, aren’t we?
  • Twenty minutes past the time we were supposed to be somewhere: Still in the house and no-where near ready. Or dressed. Complete manic panic stations. Think – arghhhh, we are so so late, why haven’t we left yet?

Every. Single, Time.

I used to think leaving the house on time with one child was hard, but with two it’s impossible. Especially now one’s a toddler and they’re both mobile and run round and round in the opposite direction and although you have two hands there’s only one of you.

Even so, why is it so hard? You just have to get dressed and leave. But last week it took us a DAY AND A HALF to leave the house, no exaggeration (OK, slight exaggeration – some of that did involve having to stay in for a delivery, the builder and various other things. and at one point I gave up and we played in the garden. But still, a day and a half. And that was only going to the shop).

The early starts of nursery days are a nightmare, which begs the question of what school will be like – I have a feeling you can’t just turn up when you want…can you?

In my pre-baby life I used to be responsible for multiple clients, big budgets, deadlines and a team of people, all at once. Yet I can’t get two little people out of the house on time. It’s clear that my two children – both under the age of five – are now the boss of me.

In no particular chronological order, here’s many things that are likely to happen:

  1. Attempt to get everyone dressed upstairs. Fail
  2. Attempt to get everyone dressed downstairs. Fail
  3. Devise a new speed challenge game which involves people getting dressed in the quickest time, with varying degrees of success
  4. Attempt to have a shower and keep both children happy, a fine juggling act I’m not sure even David Blane could manage
  5. Attempt to get myself dressed
  6. Bribe children with Paw Patrol
  7. Have a lengthy debate around the finer points of Paw Patrol (which is better? Chase or Spy Chase?)
  8. Inhale giant amounts of caffeine
  9. Breakfast / drink / snack kitchen relay
  10. Wiping of something
  11. Search fruitlessly for two pairs of matching socks (where do they go?)
  12. Retrieve baby from top of the stairs a hundred times
  13. Retrieve pre-schooler from top of sofa
  14. Attempt to find three pairs of matching shoes
  15. Put baby socks on and then back on, repeat to infinity
  16. Unexpected nakedness from one child, the other child, or both
  17. Deal with some random thing that everyone’s suddenly, unexpectedly obsessed with
  18. Relay up and down the stairs to fetch things and retrive the toddler who  follows each time
  19. Attempt to get everyone to wear shoes, their own shoes, and keep them on
  20. Lose keys, phone or wallet (usually in back pocket)
  21. Lose…locate…pack…then repack the change bag
  22. Pointlessly mutter ‘but we’re going out for you, I’m perfectly happy to stay in the house’ into the void
  23. Have that panicky dream feeling that we’re never going to leave the house and we’re trapped in Groundhog Day: the pre-school version
  24. Debate giving up and putting CBeebies on as it’s already far to late to go anywhere
  25. Think; is it too early for wine?
  26. Any of the 4972 random things that can and usually do go wrong, awry, not to plan
  27. Try and get one person in the pram, one person next to it, and everything else we need in it
  28. We leave the house!
  29. Return shortly after to a) check I’ve locked the door b) retrieve something I’ve inevitably forgotten.

OK so it’s not strictly 5000 steps, but most days it feels like it could be. Does it get any easier as they get older? Tell me it does…Or do you just get better?

 *** If anyone’s not yet voted in the MAD parenting blogging awards I’d love love love a nomination in the best pre-school blog category, which you can do here – thank you! ***

More posts…the truth about two children, everything I’m late to the party about…what I don’t miss about my life before children and Marie Kondo, messy child style


  • Polly

    March 31, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    hehe… it’s fun getting kiddos out of the house isn’t it?!

  • Carie

    March 31, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    Oh what is it with baby socks that disappear from feet as soon as you look away never to be seen again!!

  • Mel Wiggins

    April 3, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    YEP! I am about to embark on the getting two small people out routine myself so it’s reassuring to know in advance that it is near impossible for most! x

  • Kathryn

    April 4, 2016 at 12:47 am

    If it’s any consolation we are still regularly late for school and come september I will have to get all 3 there on time. *cries*

  • Alison

    April 4, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Haha – I laughed at you saying no matter how early you get up, you’re always late. This happens to us too. WHY? HOW? It’s a mystery.

  • Jo

    April 24, 2016 at 9:29 am

    What about the but where someone poos? Normally after shoes on. 🙂

    1. gillian

      April 24, 2016 at 9:03 pm

      ALWAYS after shoes on! 😀 x

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