Getting out the door with two under two
There I was with a rotund eight-month pregnant belly, over-stuffed diaper bag falling off one shoulder, car keys and cell phone in one hand while I clutched the back of my 20-month-old’s shirt in the middle of a Kroger parking lot to keep her from running into the path of a Buick when it hit me--- this baby was coming and I would never be able to go anywhere ever again.
I could barely get in and out of a store with my one “spirited” daughter, how was I supposed to add a newborn to the mix? I voiced this concern to my mom, who had six kids, and she laughed.
“You’ll get better at it.”
Those first few weeks of post-partum were a little rough for me because I like getting out of the house and baby girl was born right in the middle of the deadliest flu season in years. Eventually, though, the weather got warmer and the news stopped freaking me the freak out by featuring the flu’s newest victim. It was time for mama bird to leave her nest. …Only I was a hot mess express and it took me forever to get out the door.
I was exclusively pumping and I was always having to time everything perfectly to where I had just pumped before I left. Then, depending on how long I was planning to be out I either had to sanitize and pack up all the pump equipment or make sure I had some expressed milk ready to be consumed by my hungry newborn. By the time I pumped, made sure everyone was recently fed, had a fresh diaper on, and looked halfway decent, a solid 45 minutes would pass by, easy. Then the whole getting two babies in their car seats safely was always hard too. I live on the corner right by an intersection that gets very busy when school starts up and gets out---my fear was always that Ellie was going to get away from me and run out into the street.
As it turns out, my mama was right. (Surprise, surprise.) I have gotten better at getting from A to B pretty quickly. The thought of leaving the house doesn’t even fill my soul with dread anymore! Here are some hacks to make getting out the door easier.
Pack the Diaper Bag the Night Before
If you know that you will be going out ahead of time, I’ve found that packing up the diaper bag the night before saves a ton of time. This has especially been great helping us get to church on time during those hectic Sunday mornings. I just do a quick check to make sure I’ve packed some snacks, plenty of diapers, wipes, and a fun toy I can use to try to distract Ellie.
Take the Stuff out First
It took me way too long to figure this one out. I make sure both of the girls are safe (let’s be real, safe from each other) and I run the diaper bag and any other necessities out to the car ahead of time. It’s also a great time to load up the stroller and blast some AC to get the car cool during these hot Texas summers. It is super nice having my hands free to keep track of the girls better when I’m getting out.
Toddler First, Baby Can Wait!
I have found that when loading the kids in the car, it is much safer to load my super mobile two-year-old into her seat first. I still carry Scarlett in her infant car seat, so I set it down next to the side of the car as I strap Ellie in. I’ve tried this the opposite way and even though Ellie has gotten much better at sticking with me instead of wondering off, it only takes one distracted second for her to run into the street.
I do the same thing when getting them out of the car at the grocery store. I try to park as close to a cart kiosk as I can. This way I can grab the cart first, put Ellie in it so that I don’t risk her running in front of a car, and then I load the littler little in.
Have Extras That Stay in the Car
It’s inevitable. There will be a time when you just forget something crucial. I like to keep a couple of extra diapers, a bottle, an emergency change of clothes for both girls, and wipes in a bag that stays in the car. This way if I’m out and about and realize that I forgot something, it’s only as much of a hassle as getting back out to the car.
These little hacks have made getting out much less daunting for my little tribe. Of course, we still have our days where the bed head never gets tamed and the pjs never come off, in which case disregard this list and go the Walmart pickup route!