Packing up one kid for an outing is challenging but add a couple more and it can be downright daunting.
I’ve learned that the longer I stay inside the house the more difficult the thought of going out becomes. The supplies (diaper bag full of diapers, wipes, snacks, bottles, extra clothes, and other survival items), the tantrums to get dressed, out of the house and into the carseat, the poopy diapers on the way out the door when I finally thought we were ready, ect.
Every time I do get out though I feel a sigh of relief, the change in environment can really perk up my mood as well as the kids. Some outings still end up being chaotic but the more you do it the easier it gets and you start to learn survival techniques for making it easier. I have seen a mom with one baby take 2xs as long to load up and leave a parking space as it usually takes me to load up all 4!
Here are some tips and suggestions for outings
1. Always have the diaper bag prepped, when you get back from an outing refill any non-perishables so it’s ready for the next trip.
2. Start out with small trips, a walk around the block, a drive to the mailbox, coffee at a Drive Thru Starbucks, ect. Shopping in large stores is trickier, especially once you get to the toddler age so try to go when you only need a few things and can get in and out quickly. Usually they can handle about 15 minutes of shopping before it starts to get ugly.
3. I love walks since I’m getting exercise, they are getting out of the house and usually the movement and view keeps them entertained. Trips to the ice cream store or to get a pizza are everyone’s favorite. Actually anything involving a tasty snack will usually do. Below are the girls having breakfast tacos before Mom heads into the grocery store.
4. Play dates at homes and the park. These are a great way to wear the kids out and possibly have a few minutes of adult conversation. Join your local Mom/Parent group if you don’t yet have a good network, it’s worth it and really makes you feel sane when you know you are not alone on this unique parenting journey.
5. Use the trip as fun education, point out things on the way to teach them words, colors and counting. When we go on walks we use flowers in people’s gardens as a good color lesson and I get them to point and say things that they see and hear along the way.
6. Don’t stress out about what others are thinking…you most likely will deal with a public tantrum, messy situation or some other catastrophy at some point. I had one infant literally vomit all over herself, her car seat and the groceries when I was in a checkout line. Crazy stuff will happen, hopefully you will be able to laugh about it later and regardless you will know that you are stronger for just getting through it!