‘We’ve got to go, now!’ The REAL reasons mums are always running late

Mother running late

Getting out the door with young children is a major mind-bender for every parent. But throw in a deadline (work/school/doctor appointment) and it’s as good as fact: we will be late. Very late.

Below, the real reasons we are always behind the clock.

1. No one knows where their shoes are

“Put your shoes on, guys!” It’s like a morning mantra, but still, everyone is padding around in their bare feet. The shoe problem is real, and it happens every day, whether your kids are two or twelve. I don’t know why, it’s unsolvable. All you can do is continue chanting your mantra, and if your four-year-old decides her ballet slippers are shoes, so be it.

 2. Someone is always forgetting something

This could be the school bag, the lunch box, the blankie, the doll, or maybe it’s just the ‘magic’ stone your child found in the back yard yesterday that absolutely must go everywhere with him. One thing is for certain, something always gets left behind, and it is always remembered at the very last moment when everyone’s buckled into the car. This is when you take a deep breath and go back into the house to get the stone.

3. Someone is always crying about something

It can definitely feel like the cries and screams escalate in that last ten minutes before you have to leave. Someone hurts their finger, or stubs their toe, and you must pretend to care. Band-Aids are dumped out of packets, ice packs are hauled out of freezers, and you bundle up your wounded soldiers. Meanwhile, you are probably starting to feel the beginnings of a migraine.     

4. Toddlers are basically like drunk people

Even if you do manage to get everyone out the door, there’s a good chance your toddler will sabotage everything by spending ten minutes watching an ant crawl along the footpath. Or maybe they’ll just decide to bolt down the road and you have to drop everything to rescue and retrieve. Toddlers are wonderful time wasters, they are a lesson in slowing down and living in the moment, but not when you have to be at work in exactly 12 minutes.  

 5. No one can hear you scream

I see you. I see you standing there at the front door, half-eaten toast in hand, your tense-face on. But it’s like you’re invisible to your children, who are still scrambling around polishing off their latest Lego masterpiece. You can scream and stomp and throw your toast against the wall, but like little turtles, your children will never move fast enough. 

6. You’re always the last one dressed

I don’t know how this happens. Why everyone’s dressed and fed, and mum’s still wandering around in her pyjamas with one eye of mascara done. Smart, organised people would take care of themselves first in the morning right? But this never happens. Even if you’ve been up since 5am, and it’s now 9am – four hours! – you’re still flinging on an outfit as you walk out the door. Makeup is now applied at red lights.  

7. Getting in the car is just painful

Loading everyone in the car is somehow the final humiliating mile of the marathon. There’s the inevitable toddler tantrum about the car seat, the forgotten homework, the decomposing muffin in the driver’s seat. And you usually have to dash back two or ten times to get something.

Finally: “Are we all in?” “Yes!”

And then you drive away with the coffee cup on the car roof. Excellent.  


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