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How to get to church on time with little kids
Why is it so hard?
Maybe you’ve asked yourself that, or maybe some not-super-helpful person has asked you this question.
So why exactly IS it so hard to get to church on time with little kids?
Well, there’s the obvious fact that you’re getting additional humans ready to leave the house beside just yourself. But then add in that they are small and need lots of help doing basic tasks like, you know, brushing their teeth and feeding themselves.
And if you have a baby? Of course you know exactly when they’re going to have a diaper blow out. Toddlers also have a knack for doing the exact opposite of what’s helpful in any given moment. All that together makes for an exciting Sunday morning.
So, yeah. It’s hard to get to church on time with little kids!
But it’s not impossible. Let me walk you through how you can get to church on time with little kids!
How to get to church on time with little kids
1. Think through your sticky spots
What slows you down or throws you off track? What takes up so much time in the morning?
+Do you need to get up earlier?
+Wash clothes the day before?
+Should you go to a later service?
+Does cooking breakfast take too long?
+Are your expectations reasonable for the stage of life you’re in?
Write out what’s holding you up on sunday mornings.
2. Make your plan
Now let’s make your plan for Sunday mornings!
First, decide what time you need to get up to not be rushed and stressed out.
Start at the time you need to be at church to get seated, then add drive time, 10 minutes for carseat buckling/unbuckling and walking to the building, time to get dressed/brush teeth/comb hair, eat breakfast, change diapers, put on shoes, and brew your second cup of coffee. Add all that time together, and figure out what time you need to be out of bed on Sunday mornings.
If you have a newborn, add 30 minutes, plus feeding times. Totally not joking, y’all!
Second, figure out what you will have for breakfast. My advice is to either make it easy (instant oatmeal or granola) or make it ahead! I usually make homemade cinnamon rolls or waffles ahead of time and freeze. Then, all we have to do on Sunday mornings is heat and eat.
I also try to make it something I know everyone will like. No sense in picking a fight on Sunday mornings 😉
Third, plan out clothes. I have 3-4 polo shirts for each kid, and 2 pairs of nice jeans. I have a few nice tops for me, and two pairs of pants/jeans, and two pairs of shoes. Keeping clothing options simple and minimal helps cut down on Sunday morning craziness. Have a few outfits that you just cycle through each month.
I also keep my hair pretty basic. There’s no rule about curling your hair on sundays! God won’t be frowning on you if you show up at church with a ponytail. Be realistic about what your Sunday mornings will look like, and pick a few hair styles you can pull off quickly and easily. Meaning, Sunday morning isn’t the time to try out that fancy Pinterest hairstyle that looks so awesome.
Now share your plan (with your husband and kids!).
Make sure everyone knows what Sunday mornings will look like now! Walk through the plan with everyone, and discuss with your husband what needs to happen, so you can both work together to get everyone out the door on time. Dads can brush kids’ teeth, too!
This is the step that will make or break getting to church on time with little kids.
My dad was in the Navy when I was growing up, so I was very familiar with the term “preflight”. It’s exactly what it sounds like – prepping ahead of time, so you have everything ready to go for your flight. AKA getting to church on time with little kids!
This happens Saturday nights most often, but if our Saturday evening is crazy, I’ll do this Saturday morning or Friday night.
1. Lay out all clothes. Yes, yours too! Belts, shoes, socks, earrings/necklace, comb and toothbrushes. Make sure everything is ready for Sunday morning.
2. Prep or plan breakfast. Set out bowls and spoons, paper plates, coffee mugs, etc. Everything you need for breakfast.
3. Pack the diaper bag. Make sure it’s stocked with diapers and wipes, extra clothes and pacifiers, snacks, a few toys or drawing books, and your bible.
4. Make sure your van has gas 😉
It won’t be perfect, but it’s still worth it.
Following these steps will make getting to church on time with little kids much easier! But even if you occasionally have a morning that goes badly, go anyway! It’s still worth it to go, even if you’re a little late. Embrace the imperfection. You don’t have to curl your hair, and it’s ok if your baby goes in pajamas.
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If you love structure
And want a daily schedule
And are super duper strict about food only at the table
And get a little panicky over late bedtimes –
I’m here to tell you that it is ok to be type A!