A few weeks ago, I published a desperate plea for help on this blog. I really appreciate all the good advice, and I have great news! In the last 3 weeks, we’ve been 15 minutes early to Mass 2 times, and arrived just as the processional began twice. (We took the kids to Mass on the Solemnity of St. Joseph too—He’s our Parish patron saint.) So, if the new routine holds, even our “late” won’t be that bad.
So, what’s changed?
Well, I read everyone’s advice, and made the following changes:
1. I’m showering the evening before. One less adult in the shower really speeds things up, especially since we only have one bathroom. We really need to keep people’s time in there to a bare minimum if we want to get out of the hour in 3 hours or less.
2. No more choices at breakfast, and NO MORE OATMEAL. I decide what we’ll be eating the night before, and if there’s any non-microwave cooking to be done, we do it then. We feed the kids something quick and include breakfast meat (which has improved my three-year-old’s behavior. Apparently some of the ‘crazy’ was just ‘hungry.’ And without the ‘crazy’ getting to and through Mass is much easier.) We do not serve anything messy.
3. Calling out times and reminders. Nat’s comment about “Do you really want to read that book right now?” really hit home. We’re a pretty distractable family and tend to get caught up in unimportant things even when we’re rushing out the door.
4. Streamlining the process: I’ve changed where I keep the envelopes so we skip the Sunday morning hunt. I’ve relaxed a little on what constitutes “Dressed up” for the 3 and 1 year old – getting out the door is easier if we just go for “shirt, pants, socks, shoes” and I don’t get fussy. The girls are now getting themselves ready – the easier breakfast means they have plenty of time to get dressed and ready.
So, with 4 kids under 8 and one car, we’re now getting out the door on time. Of course, the weather has been a big help too – it’s a lot easier to get going when we don’t have to scrape the windshield and clear off the car! Pray for me—I hope we can keep this up. Mass is much more pleasant when we’re ON TIME!