Getting Kids Out the Door

Stuff OverloadKids jackets, rain coats, winter coat, rain boots, and snow boots hanging on airplane coat rack and sitting on floor

  • What: Getting Kids Out the Door
  • When: Leaving the house with children
  • Why: Keep kids warm and dry
  • Where: At home

Maybe it’s the day. Maybe it’s this year. Regardless of the reason, today I struggled. I have three kids. While this isn’t news to anybody, certainly not in my household, we all know this year has been a little different than anyone expected.

Kids getting ready to leave house in rain jackets, rain pants, hats, gloves, boots, and face masks
Each kid needs 11 items of clothing to leave the house in inclement weather.

Thanks to the current pandemic, my kids spend a lot more time outdoors. I love that they get to spend hours outside, but it definitely added even more hustle getting them out the door. Each kid now requires a base layer shirt and pants, a warm layer top and pants, and a waterproof jacket and pants. They also need a warm hat, non-cotton socks, waterproof gloves (turns out kids can’t write very well in mittens), and waterproof boots. Then, of course, they need their pandemic gear, like two face masks per day, and hand sanitizer.

The math isn’t complex. That means every day my kids leave the house, they need eleven items each (and I’m not courting gloves or boots as individual items, nor am I counting backpacks, lunch boxes, snacks, or water bottles). To get them out the door, which very much benefits their mental and physical health as well as mine, I need to make sure they have 33 things before crossing the threshold into the elements. If I don’t want to spend the rest of my life doing laundry and drying items, they need more than one pair of socks, base layers, and warm layers to get the job done. 

Child getting ready to leave house wearing pink rain jacket, black rain pants, waterproof boots, hat, gloves, and face mask
If the kids don items in the wrong order, they need help. Once they put on gloves, they can’t zip up their jacket or get their face masks on.

While I remain extremely grateful my kids get to leave the house on a regular basis and that our small school can make learning happen under these trying circumstances, we all suffer from stuff overload. My oldest son could barely keep up with his jacket, backpack, lunch box, and water bottle when he started school. Now when my six year old leaves his layers behind as he gets warm and sheds them, I can hardly blame him. That’s a lot to keep track of for anyone, much less a young child.

We will get better at getting out the door, even though it’s been nearly impossible to slide into any sort of routine this year. Meanwhile, I will keep counting items and kids as they leave the house and hope for the best.

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