Getting out the front door

A friend of mine, a very competent, intelligent, organized woman was taking her new baby out for the day..

A friend of mine, a very competent, intelligent, organized woman was taking her new baby out for the day, in the car, by herself, for the first time. She had made a mental list of everything she needed, and as she loaded the various bags of things. She kept remembering other things she needed to bring. So she went back and forth from the house to the car quite a few times. Finally, she was all packed. Pleased with herself for remembering everything, she drove off happily. A few blocks into the ride, she realized something was wrong… she had forgotten the baby.

As every parent of a baby or of a young child knows, just getting out the door can be a major challenge, especially if you have a time constraint and have to be somewhere at a specific time. For those of us who are sticklers for punctuality, this can be very hard on our self image. Suddenly, once we have a baby, we’re apologizing for being late all the time. And our sense of being competent, organized, and intelligent starts to fade.

So what’s a parent to do?

First of all, recognize that most new parents have this experience. Babies have their own time, their own inner rhythm, or non-rhythm, that doesn’t co-ordinate with ours. They need to eat when they need to eat, usually right when you are ready to leave. Or you’ve just changed their diaper and they have a mega poop. Or just as you are ready to go, their tummy starts to bother them and they start crying inconsolably. This is what babies do and it is no reflection on you as a parent if they do it at an inopportune time.

Learning to roll with it is one of the first lessons of parenthood. Learning to not be hard on yourself when things don’t go according to plan, is another important lesson. Sometimes, the more you were in control of your life before, the more out of control you feel as a new parent and the more distressed you get when you can’t get out the door.

Another step is to actually be a bit organized. If you know you need to be somewhere the next day, do some pre-planning. Some parents have a core list of what they need to take with them each time they go out. They pack what they can the night before, remembering things like money for a parking meter, charging their cell phone, a spare set of keys, their baby carrier, and extras of everything.

If you don’t have one of these lists, it’s worth taking 15 minutes and getting it done, printed and put on the fridge, or in your diaper bag. When you are going to be going out, try to give yourself lots of time to go through the checklist, gathering the other things you may need (including snacks and water for you).

Dads find these lists very helpful. If they are not the stay at home parent, they appreciate knowing just what to bring with them if they are taking the baby out for a while.

Some parents keep a spare diaper bag with extra essentials always packed in case they are in an unexpected hurry. This helps to cut down the panic factor if plans change suddenly.

It also helps to tell people ahead of time that you’ll do the best you can to be punctual, but that babies needs are immediate and compelling and you may be late.

Once you get used to being a parent and your baby gets used to being in the world, you’ll find it easier to get where you want to go, and mostly be on time.

Then when they are toddlers and preschoolers you’ll have all new time challenges. We’ll talk about that next time.

 

Judy Banfield has a master’s degree in early childhood education, is an internationally certified lactation consultant, and is the owner of downtown Nelson’s Mountain Baby

 

Just Posted

Police call Appledale death a homicide

But few other details being released

Kayakers capsize in front of Chahko Mika Mall

Nelson Police Department says members of the public helped two kayakers

Nelson rejects plastic bag ban, opts for education and awareness

Council will collaborate with Chamber of Commerce

Matti Erickson to compete for Team B.C.

Erickson will race at nationals next month in Sydney, N.S.

Nelson U-Haul shutting down

Kootenay Glass and Mirror will no longer provide the service as of July 12

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Mercury tops out on top of the world: Alert in Nunavut warmer than Victoria

It’s the latest anomaly in what’s been a long, hot summer across the Arctic

Canadian is detained in China on drug allegations: Chinese government

Detention of a Canadian in China comes as part a diplomatic dispute triggered by arrest of Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou

Too much time on social media can hurt teens’ mental health: study

Researchers conducted a four-year survey of more than 3,800 adolescents between Grades 7 and 11

Most Read