There’s an old joke that goes, “How do you get out of the house when you’re single. Well you put your coat on and you walk through the door. Now how do you get out of the house when you have kids?” This is where parents start rolling on the ground laughing because we all know 45 minutes spent at the front door without ever crossing the threshold is not unheard of. It is a feat of incredible magic and coordination to get out the door without screaming your head off, breaking a sweat or a nail or both.
Right now we’re dog-sitting a 70 pound Golden Retriever. My son doesn’t like socks. My daughter changes outfits a minimum 4 times a day. The dog likes to grab my shoelaces and wrap his leash around my legs. Leaving the house is FUN!
So unlike my husband, I make a habit of getting everything ready hours before we actually have to be anywhere. The bag I need for the day is at the front door packed with snacks for the kids, brightly–coloured wallet (so I can find it in my HUGE tote), water bottle, travel creams and hygenics. The kid’s boots and coats are lined up by the door. The dog’s leash has plastic bags tied to it for poop-scooping and my keys and phone are standing by.
If we have to be somewhere by 3pm, this stuff is at the door at 1pm. No word of a lie.
The times I’ve had to pack and get ready on the fly I have without a doubt forgotten either tissues for the kid’s noses (that never stop running) or a snack (God forbid you forget the snack parents. I cannot overstate the importance of this!) or my wallet. There goes our reserved spot at LegoLand. Can you say #mommyfail?
I find that having bold coloured carrying cases and accessories helps me to, firstly, have a place for everything and secondly, find whatever I’m looking for FAST. So when we’re about to drive into an underground parking garage and I need my wallet, I can find it easily in my tote.
The other thing I try not to forget is my camera. Most people will tell you their camera is their phone so it’s always with them anyway. But I still rely on my Canon Power Shot to capture some of the best composed, sharpest, high resolution images. If you have parents like mine and they want every photo of their grandchildren blown up to 8x10’s for the wall you will need high res shots. You never know when the dog will run away with your toddler’s mitten. The chase that ensues is definitely worth a picture! Don’t miss it because you didn’t pack everything well in advance.
Tracy Moore is an award-nominated host of Cityline, Canada's most influential lifestyle program for women. Prior to hosting Cityline, she was a reporter/anchor for Breakfast Television, CP24 and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Moore holds a B.A. in Political Science from McGill University in Montreal and a Master's degree in Journalism from the University of Western Ontario in London. She's married to former journalist and entrepreneur Lio Perron. They have two small children together. Despite her busy schedule she remains a fitness fanatic and committed to several grassroots charities, including Girls on the Run, Trust15 and Engage and Change. You can follow Tracy on Twitter and Instagram @tracycityline and Like Tracy’s Facebook Fan Page at facebook.com/tracycityline.