Lemme tell ya, this isn’t easy. You might be thinking, “Jess, just go! Be free! Live!” And to that I say, no.
With the holidays upon us, there are so many fun things to do! I often make excuses to stay home, but recently I’ve noticed my kids really enjoying our outings. So I’ve saddled up and decided to embrace the fun alongside them.
I am a planner down to my soul. I anticipate and prepare like the apocalypse is on my doorstep. So now after 2.5 years of parenting little people and two toddlers wreaking havoc on my once stylish lifestyle, I know a few tips on how to get out of the house and have fun with your kids without losing your damn mind.
Have a backpack baby bag
At my baby shower for my first son, my friends got me a beautiful leather camel colored bag. It is gorgeous. But once my little men got busy and heavy and walking, I couldn’t manage the children and a shoulder bag. So I only use that when I need to be stylish, and I opt for this bag more often. This one is also a good option for the dads. Although my husband rocks our tassle adorned baby bag like nobody’s business.
Research parking beforehand
Parking is one of the few things that makes my husband anxious, so we always research where to park before we go to a new place. It’s helpful to know if you’re going to have to manage a stroller in street parking or if you’ll need a stroller at all if parking is onsite.
Embrace venues with outdoor spaces
We honestly don’t go out to eat as a family often. But when we do, we always opt for a place that has an outdoor option. We worry far less about cleaning up if our kids are dropping food on the ground vs. inside. Also, its typically easier to let the kids walk around outside. They can stretch their legs and you can enjoy one or two bites of your food while its still warm.
This also helps me with my shy child. I know that he tends to get more timid in enclosed spaces with lots of people so outdoors at non-peak times are best. You can read all about my shy baby here.
Stock your bag appropriately
I never leave the house without a snack and water for everyone going on the adventure - including adults. I also have simple first aid (like band aids), hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, small toys, and extra clothes (again for everyone). So when the shit hits the fan, you’ve at least got animal crackers and fresh socks to get you through.
Work around your kids’ schedule
I am a firm believer in prioritizing the kids’ schedule over my need to get out of the house. I try to keep as many naps as possible at home because that means they will sleep overnight better. That’s far easier now that they both only take one nap. When they were younger we would always shoot for the majority of their naps at home. Outings are going to be the best when your kids aren’t tired or cranky because they missed a nap.
Those are the basics. You’ll be prepared for any curveballs and still get to go out and have fun with those babies!