The dynamics of 'going out'

It's funny how the most routine things become complicated post motherhood. Earlier, there were three simple steps to going out:
Step 1: Get dressed.
Step 2: Pick up the car keys.
Step 3: Go out.

Now with Little Dude in tow, it's a whole new ballgame. For the first six months, it was like I was under self-imposed house arrest. Apart from not having the motivation to get dressed in those first few months (more on that here), it just didn't seem worth the effort. Now, over a year later, I am surprised at how much effort it still takes to do something as simple as a grocery run. I have to be prepared for every possibility in that time frame (which includes everything). Water, snacks, diapers, toys - you name it!

If it's an outing we're after, my mind is planning in advance for the estimated time of departure hours in advance. You see, the 'perfect' time to leave is when Little Dude isn't hungry, sleepy or tired. When all forces of nature collide at that single point, yup, we're ready to go! Of course, by then, the other two of us are hungry, sleepy and tired, but at least the baby's happy! Very often, he'll just refuse to nap and we can't really go to the beach after sunset, so all plans are just abandoned.

That's why I dread fixed appointments. I know that when we have to get somewhere at a certain time, he will want to do something other than be at that very place. Phew!

I don't have a very fussy kid, so I think I'm a fussy mom and I get worked up because I'm a first-timer and want everything to be perfect. I never wanted Little Dude to sleep in a mall or the car when he could do so comfortably at home. I don't regret anything, though. But I do admire moms who do manage to take their kids of all ages out, all at once. That must require a lot of hard work!

With just going out being such an elaborate ritual, you can imagine how tough it is for me to plan a vacation. There's a post coming up on that, soon!

Meanwhile, I'd like to hear what other moms have to say. Do share your thoughts!

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Tet said...

Hi. I'm a working mom and my little just turned 4. How can I forget the time I dragged around a so called baby bag packed with tons of feeding bottles, formula, diapers, extra clothes, wipes etc while she preferred to be carried around as she wouldn't stay for far too long in her stroller. We haven't been to the cinemas for ages and I still don't feel comfortable going without her. It's a real guilt trip. So I've decided to wait until she turns 6. Until then, it's DVDs for us.

Tarana Khan said...

Hi Tet! Thanks for sharing, and yes, we're off the cinema for a long time too!

Sandra Tyler said...

My boys are 7 and 9 but I remember well all the great hat went everywhere. And shopping with them as hell. Probably because I had 2 17 months apart in a double stroller, it was a bit more chaotic.

Tarana Khan said...

I can imagine! My one makes me think twice before stepping out!

Vinma said...

Totally get your point for I had been there once. For me, it is like 'sink or swim' when it comes to fixed appointments. I have to get to the destination anyways, so 'casualties' on the way have to be dealt with :)

Tarana Khan said...

And there always are 'casualties', right?!

Unknown said...

Hey there! So glad we get to connect through Bloggy Moms and Twitter. I'm certainly no mom expert, but my oldest is 9 and my youngest is 6.5 so I've done the "young baby phase" twice and here's my two cents;) 1. They will never be ready and willing to go EVER when there is a set appointment. That will be the day they take a never heard of before long nap or a he's never sone this before short nap. Make appointments and go no matter what nit teaches them flexibility and you commitment. 2. Going out is never going to be easy. Whether they walk and talk and buckle themselves in or they are in a baby seat, there's always something that makes it insane. That's life with kids;) So do what you need to do to stay sane- if getting out is what you need- do it. He will be fine. If staying in is what you need- do it. He will be fine.

What I wish most is that someone had reminded me that one day does not make or break anything. In fact, 5-6 days doesn't either. Trust yourself. They are more flexible than we think;)
(The Pursuit of Normal girl;)

Tarana Khan said...

Hi Vicky! I guess I'm just extra cautious being a first timer! And I am slowly realising that it's ok to change the routine sometimes.

Anonymous said...

It is funny to read this because I was just thinking this today as I contemplate an errand run. I have a six month old and am a first time mom, but so far I've learned my lesson about leaving the house without all the right items and/or tasks completed. It is a lot to orchestrate! Luckily, my little guy loves going out, so that makes it a bit easier.

Tarana Khan said...

Lucky you! My boy only really started liking the outside world after his first birthday!

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