How hard can it be to get a tiny creature out of the house on time? REALLY FLIPPING HARD, it transpires.
Stage 1: Getting ready
If you don’t manage to get a shower in while your partner is still at home in the morning, you have two choices:
a) Manoeuvring something – bouncy chair, changing mat, Moses basket are all options, space permitting – into your bathroom and hoping your baby will tolerate lolling in it long enough for you to spritz yourself with water.
Both are acceptable at this stage in the game. Either way, you then need to get yourself dressed, by grabbing the nearest cleanish clothes you can find. 10,000 bonus smug points to you if you locate matching socks.
Stage 2: Getting the baby ready
This first part of this involves looking out of the window at the weather or, if you’re trapped under a baby and the curtains are shut, checking the weather forecast on your phone. You can then dress your baby. Maybe you have one of those chilled-out babies who takes nappy changes and the wriggling-on of leggings in their stride, or maybe you’re now going to get kicked in the face and screamed at. Either way, this shouldn’t take too, too long, depending on the current contents of their nappy.
Stage 3: Sustenance
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, they say, but when you’re a new mum, specific mealtimes are kind of fluid. Multi-tasking mums like to balance a cereal bowl on their baby’s body while their boob is in action but we wouldn’t recommend this unless you like spilled cereal and angry babies. Toast, pastries or cereal bars are an easier on-the-move/on-the-boob option (and always choose a buggy you can drag around one-handed so that your other hand can accommodate toast – there’s no shame in it).
The problem is, post-feed, there’s now a strong possibility that your baby will fall asleep, ruining your best-laid plans. If you’re heading out with a buggy or sling, a stealth transfer can be attempted, but this is trickier if you need to try and get a coat or other layers onto them first.
Stage 4: Packing
Whether you use a traditional changing bag or just shove items haphazardly into a rucksack or carrier bag, this part involves brain power. You will, of course, always forget something. At first, this will feel catastrophic but remember, most things are available in the – whisper it – outside world. Plus, becoming a mum is great for your improvisation skills. Many things can double up as mislaid baby wipes. Including your clothes.
Stage 5: Actually leaving the house
You’re dressed, you’re packed, you’re good to go. Doesn’t it feel amazing? Almost as amazing as the sweet sweet smell of newborn poo that’s oozing from your baby… back to stage 2.
Stage 6: Actually leaving the house
QUICK, RUN BEFORE SOMETHING ELSE HAPPENS! And also because you’re now really, really late.
Sounds stressful? It can be, but it’s important to remember two things:
1. It. Gets. Easier.
2. You will always ALWAYS feel better for leaving the house, so try not to give up halfway through. Fresh air and human interaction are the most important things for a new mum*.
*Well, after chocolate and sleep.