You’ve heard it all before.
“I’m so sorry we’re late! [Insert excuse here]”
This often comes from a mom of one or two or three or more who enters hauling a bag, her gaggle of kids, perhaps a stroller, a crooked ponytail, often tired eyes, and usually at least half a smile on her face.
You don’t have kids, or maybe you do.
Perhaps they are grown and you have forgotten how things used to be. Maybe you have supreme powers that make you immune to the following list.
Good job if you do!
We (the late mommies) envy you.
These are the top ten reasons your mommy friends are OFTEN late.
This is first because it is the absolute most common reason a mommy is late. Countless times we are heading out the door, all dressed and ready to go, and then at least one child decides to soil their diaper.
Pause the caravan, it’s time for a diaper change!
Worse is when it happens and you don’t realize it until the kids are getting strapped into their car seats. That’s when you hope that there is a clean diaper and wipes in the car and space in the trunk to change the little one. You are now late.
Where are they? Oh, your toddler might know. Asking them might save a few minutes, but guess what… Late.
Sometimes the kids just don’t really want to get dressed. A chase ensues. The little one rips off his shirt, pulls down his shorts, and slips off his diaper. If you’re really unlucky, he might pee a little on the floor in a corner or in the middle of your rug. Now you not only have to chase him down to redress him but also need to clean up the puddle, too. So late.
This often feels like a game. “Where are your shoes?” you ask the kids. Cue running around the house. You manage to get the youngest one on the couch and work those socks and shoes on their feet.
Then after the older one makes chase, like it’s some sort of game, you manage to get his shoes on, too, only to turn around and see your first kid ripping his socks and shoes off.
Insert lots of kid laughter here. Insert a mommy sigh here. If you’re smart (like I suppose I’m becoming now), you just take the kids to the car without shoes and put them on when they’re strapped in to those car seats and can’t run away from you.
Small victory, but guess what? You are probably later than usual.
The kids get hungry often. Sometimes you’re ahead of the game and have pre-packed lots of snack items and have something ready to grab and go. Better yet is to have something in your purse or bag already. However, snacks tend to get eaten and there are those days when they get packed “fresh” right before you leave the house. Or your kids ask for something really specific right before you head to the car. Sigh…. late again.
“Mommy, I want to take my Thomas.”But he’s already in the car. This request usually comes as the seatbelt is being buckled. You can decide to go back inside and get the toy, find a replacement toy and hope that it won’t lead to a frown or protest, or ignore the request. Most of these options could cost you an on time departure.
When baby needs to eat, baby needs to eat. Having a newborn in the house again, priorities have realigned and his feeding schedule (which is on demand) is up at the top. If given the decision to feed the baby before you leave the house versus under a nursing cover at your destination, the house usually wins.
On a good day, naps are predictable. Plans can be made to accommodate the nap schedule. But then some days your child falls asleep right before it’s time to go. You are torn between dragging your feet so your kid can get a good nap and curtailing naptime for the sake of getting to your destination on schedule. Maybe if you’re really careful, you can extend this nap by 15-20 minutes if he makes it to his car seat still in his peaceful slumber (that you’re about to interrupt).
10. Your Reflection
You did it! Your kids are dressed. Their diapers are clean. They pottied one last time before you left the house. They are wearing shoes AND socks on the right feet. Snacks are in the purse. Cups are in hands of each kid. You’re walking to the garage as you pass the full-length mirror. That’s when you realize YOU FORGOT TO DRESS YOURSELF.
You’re now late.