Since I had my third child I seem to find it almost impossible to get out of the door in a set timeframe. No matter how hard I try, or how organised I am in advance, I always seem to be rushing around and running late. It doesn’t seem to matter how far in advance of my decided departure time I begin the process of getting ready. It doesn’t seem to make any difference.
If I’m doing well and we are all washed, dressed, fed and organised before it’s time to leave; something unexpected always happens to prevent us going and to make us late. Even if by some miracle we arrive at the destination on time, we have been running behind schedule at some point in the proceedings.
Take today, for example. I had arranged to meet some friends from work for a catch-up lunch, as we are off on holiday just now. I knew it would be an operation to organise the kids and get myself ready before dropping them at my mum’s and getting to our arranged meeting point. I started early, with plenty of time to get everything done and have some spare time left in case anything happened. It turns out it was still not to be.
I tidied up toys, put the dishes from breakfast away and let the boys out into the garden, so that I could put W down for her morning nap and get myself showered and dressed. This actually worked quite well. I left the window open so that I could hear them and grabbed a quick shower. Afterwards I dressed quickly and straightened my hair before applying a little makeup (I can’t go out for a nice meal looking half-dead!) I then headed down to get the bags for my mum’s sorted and get the boys in to organise them for leaving before I lifted the baby.
This was when the first setback arose. J had found the hose, turned it on and filled the paddling pool. He had only knelt at the side and leaned in to swirl the water but was still somehow completely drenched from head to toe. I got him changed and ready to go and we were still, surprisingly not behind schedule. I lifted W from her cot as she was now awake, only to discover she was very smelly. A quick change and we were able to head off our to the car. Cutting it a little fine now but still just enough time for me to drop them off and get to lunch on time.
Obstacle number three came in the car. It was warm to begin with, so I had put all of the windows down. After a few minutes the breeze had cooled the car and the boys wanted the windows back up. When pressing the button the windows go up automatically. J decided it would be a good idea to pop his finger between the glass and the rubber seal at the bottom of the window as it was moving up. It got stuck and he was very upset. I had to put the window back down to free his fingers and pull over to check he hadn’t damaged his fingers and console him.
Once we finally got on our way again, a large lorry had overtaken us and was proceeding very slowly along the route. It then struggled round the roundabout and couldn’t get past parked cars, as there were cars on the other side of the road.
After what seemed like ages we finally arrived at my mum’s and I rushed inside with the kids. As usual, J didn’t want me to leave and I tried to reassure him I would return soon, as I always do. You would think I abandon him regularly and don’t return for him the way he reacts. Finally I ran back out to my car and was now running very late. I had around 5 minutes to make what is usually at least a 15-20 minute journey. The journey was,of course, slow and I even managed to make a wrong turn and need to double back – despite the fact that I have travelled this route many times before and could almost do it with my eyes closed!
I eventually arrived, around 20 minutes late and everyone was waiting. Luckily I have very understanding friends who did not show it if they were annoyed with me for being late again. I am thankful for that. It’s nice to have people who are patient and understand when I don’t turn up on time. Sorry everyone!
My lesson from today is that I really need to look at the longest time it takes to get ready, factor in a few extra nappy and clothing changes, allow for accidents & emergencies and make time to be stuck behind the slowest traffic known to man. Once I do this I need to also add on an extra 20-30 minutes and I will probably still run late 😩
I can only apologise in advance to everyone I’m going to meet in the future. If you want me to arrive on time, tell me you are meeting about half an hour earlier than you actually are! Thanks x
Does this happen to anyone else, or is it just me?