(True story)


1. Decide to go to the playground.  Begin process of leaving the house.


2. Tell toddler he’s got to get dressed.  Go upstairs.  Get clothes.  Come downstairs to dress toddler.  Where is toddler?  Toddler is hiding.


3. Search for toddler.


4. Find toddler behind the bathroom door.  Chase toddler into the kitchen.  Practice Zen breathing while your toddler does an alligator death roll on the floor of your kitchen to prevent you from putting his legs into his jeans.


5. Notice all the crumbs on your floor.  Gross.  Make a mental note to mop. 


5. Screw Zen breathing.  Threaten a time out if the toddler doesn’t let you dress him.  He finally complies.  You dress toddler.  Wait – where are his shoes?


6.  Look for shoes.  Find shoes.  Repeat Steps 4 and 5 as you put on his shoes.


7.  Snacks.  You have to pack snacks.  Raisins, apple, crackers – you should probably bring something with protein.  Put some nuts in a Ziploc bag. 


8. Find purse.  Put all the snacks in your purse.


9. Do you have enough diapers?  Double check.  Yes.  But you’re low on wipes.  Go back upstairs for wipes.


10. Come downstairs and announce it’s time to leave!  Oh – wait.  The baby needs a jacket.  And probably a diaper change, too.


11. Go upstairs again.  Get baby’s jacket and a new diaper.  Go downstairs.


12. Change baby’s diaper and put on her jacket.  Toddler sings her a song.  The two of them look so adorable together that you get up and find your phone to take a picture. Text the picture to your husband, post it on Facebook, and select an awesome Instagram filter for it.  You can’t help it – you’re just so in love with the two of them, alligator death rolls and all.


13. Put baby in car seat. Baby starts to cry because she hates the car seat with a passion.  Where is a pacifier?  You can’t ever find a pacifier.  You own, like, twenty-two pacifiers.  Do you know how many you can locate right now?  One.  Just one.  And it’s upstairs. Go back upstairs.


14. Say, “Okay, it’s time to leave!”  Pick up purse, pick up car seat, hustle toddler towards the door.  Congratulate yourself because no one is currently crying or bleeding.


15.  Wait – you need a water.  You are SO desperately thirsty.  You cannot leave without a water bottle.  If you get to the park and don’t have water, you will surely die.  Put everything down, go into the kitchen, and fill up a water bottle. 


16. Your stomach growls.  When was the last time you ate?  Forever ago.  Maybe you should pack a snack for yourself, too…


17. Grab a big piece of chocolate and stuff it into your mouth while hiding in the pantry.  You’re not willing to share.


18. Head out the door.  Pull on your shoes and jacket as you go.  Load everyone and everything into car.  Get into car.  Realize you don’t have the keys.


19. Go back inside.  Look for keys.  Where are your keys?!  Find them under a couch cushion.


20. Go back to the car.  NOW it’s REALLY time to leave.  Yay!


21. Realize you haven’t brushed your teeth or hair today.  Is it worth going back inside?  If you don’t, you’ll run into people you know at the park.  If you do, the playground will be totally empty.  Hmmm.  Compromise – pop a mint and run your fingers through your hair.


22. Pull out of the garage.  Back directly into your husband’s car. 


23. Get out. Inspect the damage. Decide a baby wipe can probably fix this (baby wipes can fix a lot of things).  Furiously rub a baby wipe on the scratch until the paint transfer comes off.  Looks pretty decent.  Make another mental note to confess to husband later.


24. Get back into car.  Finish backing out without destroying more property.


25.  Drive away.  One mile later, you remember that you left your water bottle on the counter.



  • Pam Bubenheim February 12, 2015, 9:09 pm

    This is my life everyday

  • Sarah February 12, 2015, 9:31 pm

    this is amazing! and what i feel like when i try to leave with JUST my 7-month-old. you’re supermom for sticking it out to step 25!

  • Sarah C February 12, 2015, 9:52 pm

    Pretty much! I got so flustered trying to leave the house I made myself a checklist and taped it to the freezer. I also make my toddler sit down after I’ve gotten her ready because otherwise she runs around undoing all the work I did to get her ready.

    • Caitlin February 12, 2015, 9:54 pm

      You can make her sit still?! Tell me your secrets :)))

  • Dominique February 12, 2015, 10:01 pm

    We have a 2 1/2 year old and I’m 4 1/2 months pregnant. This is both hilarious and terrifying all at the same time.

  • Laura February 12, 2015, 10:12 pm

    Haha – alligator death roll! So appropriate!

  • Stacy @ Sweating Tulipz February 12, 2015, 11:20 pm

    You know what’s hilarious? This is pretty much me, minus the children…lord help me!

  • Kat @ Where the Sidewalk Ends February 12, 2015, 11:27 pm

    This is hillarious!! I’m six weeks from giving birth, and so terrified/exciting for the magical adventure of managing an infant, particularly as it takes about 19-36 steps to just get myself out of the house.

    • Kinnereth February 14, 2015, 10:54 pm

      Tee hee! My infant is 6 weeks old and it seems like I prepare an hour ahead of time for any appointment otherwise we don’t make it!

  • Karien @ Running the Race February 13, 2015, 1:42 am

    Soooooo funny – this could have been us! LOVE No. 17 – I hide to eat my chocolate too 🙂 .

  • Verna February 13, 2015, 5:50 am

    My babies always like to poop in the carseat for some reason. Which is at the PERFECT angle for helping spread it all up their backs. Haha!!

    • Kate February 13, 2015, 7:02 am

      Oh, the beauty of the messiness in life. This is just too funny- and terrifying to a never-been-mom. Mom’s rule the world.

  • lucy February 13, 2015, 7:03 am

    this is exactly why i stay at home most days!! (well, also because we have 5 feet of snow outside and won’t be able to go to the park again for months…)

  • Heather February 13, 2015, 7:23 am

    HA HA…. life is still crazy like this and my son is 10.

  • kwithme February 13, 2015, 7:23 am

    I remember this. It sort of gets better but only if they want to go (ages 9 and 13 now). Although, I highly recommend keeping diaper supplies on all floors of the house. I think I changed my kids in the living room more than in their rooms.

  • Cate February 13, 2015, 7:33 am

    Love this post! Not a mom, but I love reading about mommy adventures.

  • Shawna February 13, 2015, 7:40 am

    This is hilarious! I am due with my second later this summer and I am already dreading the first few times I venture out with both.

  • Emily February 13, 2015, 8:07 am

    Sounds about right 😉 bad news, because I hate to be the parent that lies to you and tells you it gets better, it doesn’t get easier with a preschooler and toddler because they can all run away from you. Little babies are my favorite because they don’t move 😉 haha

  • SarahF February 13, 2015, 8:11 am

    hahaha This is fantastic! I was totally waiting for step 25 to be something along the lines of “realise it’s raining- everyone back in the house”. Hope the park was worth all 25 steps 🙂

  • kath February 13, 2015, 8:59 am


  • Katy @ Have You Hurd? February 13, 2015, 9:01 am

    HAHAHAHAHAHA omg I LOVE this. Absolutely hilarious! A glimpse into my future….

  • Ellen February 13, 2015, 9:29 am

    Gah Im scared of trying to get out the door in the morning when I have two!!! Chocolate Chips and Yogurt Raisons go a long way in household when it comes to getting dressed.

  • Janelle February 13, 2015, 9:40 am

    So funny and cute. Excited / nervous for this to be my life (pregnant with my first at this point). Also, I CANNOT wait for spring and actually getting to go to the park (sans snow shoes) again!

  • Rebecca @ Bring Back Delicious February 13, 2015, 9:45 am

    Last weekend, it took us half an hour to get ready to go to the bank. The bank is only 2 miles away…

    *face palm*

  • Ashley February 13, 2015, 9:48 am

    LOVE the realness here!! I can surely relate. Did a lol at #25! Too funny!

  • Aishah February 13, 2015, 10:06 am

    This totally made me LOL … too funny!!

  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine February 13, 2015, 10:20 am

    Hahahaha! Omg! This is so great 😉 XOXO Mom = The Best people in this world!

  • Becki February 13, 2015, 10:46 am

    my FAVOURITE part of this was number 6 about the shoes…and it said “repeat 4 & 5”, well, I went back to read 4 and 5..and there’s two fives…IDK if it is really funny – but I laughed SO hard!!

  • Katie O February 13, 2015, 11:49 am

    It’s like you were watching me every day the past 9 months… only with less yelling…turns out I’m prone to yelling at my kids 🙁 working on that…

    • Caitlin February 13, 2015, 12:36 pm

      Zen breathing LOL

  • Kate February 13, 2015, 12:23 pm

    I know not everything child-related has to be rainbows and sunshine all the time, but I’m so tired of reading things like this on blogs, Facebook, and Scary Mommy. I know, I know, if I don’t like it, I shouldn’t read it, but this type of sentiment honestly feels omnipresent on the internet nowadays. I’m looking forward to having my first child, and sometimes I get really sad thinking that as a mom who will have to work full-time out of the house, while getting my advanced degree, the opportunities to do this type of little, normal outing with my kid will be few and far between. I think it all goes back to how you frame things in your mind: is getting your kid to the park this huge, overwhelming chore? Or is it something you really need to buck up about because you are insanely lucky to be able to do it at all, compared to many other women in this world? Just think about it, is all I’m saying.

    • Sarah February 13, 2015, 12:51 pm

      …says the woman [Kate] with no children. *snorts*

      Caitlin, my two kids are the same age as yours — kudos to you for getting out the door. It’s HARD!!

      • Kate February 13, 2015, 3:59 pm

        This is a rude comment to my heart-felt one. Yes, I do not have children yet. Guess what I do have? A mother, who stayed at home raising 4 children on my dad’s limited salary, who never once complained about doing fun, simple stuff taking us to the park. Yeah, she complained about a lot of other stuff (like cleaning the bathroom after 3 little boys!) but she has always always emphasized to me that it was a privilege for her to stay home and take care of us. I’m sorry taking care of your 2 children is such a burden, Sarah, and I’m sorry you feel the need to be rude to me after I expressed my honest opinion.

        • Sarah February 13, 2015, 6:16 pm

          Kate, I only laugh because I was you, 2.5 years ago. Idealistic, and completely unaware of how much motherhood would shake up my life. It is not a burden, but boy, can it be trying at times. I give thanks every night before bed about how lucky I am to have two amazing children.

          I don’t think any part of Caitlin’s post was a complaint. She just spelled out exactly (exactly!!!) what it is like to manage getting two children under three years of age out the door. That’s why all of us mothers are laughing and commiserating. Check back with Caitlin again if you ever end up with a toddler and a baby. You won’t believe how much your perspective changes. And I am sorry if you felt my comment was rude. Truly. Again, you’ll understand once you have two little ones!!!

    • Amy February 13, 2015, 1:29 pm

      Oh, come on. She’s sharing a hilarious story while appreciating the fact that she’s able to do it, of course.

    • Katie February 13, 2015, 1:42 pm

      As someone who works full time (no kids yet, pregnant with my first), I sometimes envy my sister who works half time and gets to take her kids to the pool on some weekday afternoons. That said, I think the difference is that something we do occasionally is a *treat*. Doing something like this day in and day out is *work*.

      I will also say that you make the choices that shape your life — including whether you have time for these kinds of activities. People who stay at home are giving up something, just like those of us who work are doing. Choose wisely and with your eyes open 🙂

      • Caitlin February 13, 2015, 1:47 pm

        I agree. 🙂 I also think if you can’t laugh at the toddler alligator death roll… Which is going to try your patience no matter how much you love your kiddos… Then you’re gonna eventually pull your hair out! Orrrr lock yourself in your bathroom with a bottle of wine. Hah. 🙂

        • Breanne February 13, 2015, 2:52 pm

          No shame in that bottle of wine (AND chocolate) Caitlin! 😉 🙂

    • Lori February 13, 2015, 2:55 pm

      There’s no point in comparing stay at home / work at home / work outside of home moms. Being a mom is hard work, period. And you will find, Kate, that it WILL be hard to get out of the house. Just because some mom’s get to go to the park during the middle of the week doesn’t mean that they should appreciate it more and can’t complain (while keeping an amazing sense of humor, I might add!). Don’t have a chip on your shoulder because you work outside of the home and are working on an advanced degree. Everything in your life is your choice.

      • Kate February 13, 2015, 4:10 pm

        I don’t feel like I have a chip on my shoulder because I’m going to work outside the home, and I don’t think I’m better than Caitlin because she’s a SAHM. That’s just life – some people work outside the home and some people work inside the home. And all work, no matter what it is, will get annoying and hard at times. My point is, you need to decide how you’re going to react to it. My job/school work is a PITA sometimes. However, I don’t post stuff like this on my Facebook because I remind myself that I CHOSE my life and I should be grateful for those opportunities, rather than complaining about life’s little ups and downs. Motherhood will be hard but hopefully I can remember these words when I’m there! Check back with me in like 7 months 😉

        • Caitlin February 13, 2015, 4:26 pm

          You will love it, including the ups and downs. Congrats on your baby!

          • Kate February 13, 2015, 4:35 pm

            Thanks girl! Just started reading your blog, fellow NC resident here! I hope this didn’t come off as judging you bc that was not my intention- perhaps I need to lay off reading the Scary Mommy/ writing things when my hormones are out of wack?

          • Caitlin February 13, 2015, 4:41 pm

            Scary Mommy is pretty scary 🙂

    • LMN February 13, 2015, 2:57 pm

      I don’t think a woman who works out of the home has to love her job every single day. I don’t think a woman who stays at home with kids has to love every little thing they do. Nothing is so black and white. Also, I am not aware of the alligator death roll, but it sounds hilariously frustrating 🙂 glad you made it to the park and didn’t die of dehydration!

    • Aishah February 13, 2015, 3:10 pm

      It’s like saying you can’t ever complain about your job because there are so many people who are unemployed. Just because something/someone frustrates you sometimes it doesn’t mean you are unappreciative of what you have. I have never heard someone say parenting is easy, and I think Caitlin was simply sharing something funny that many mothers can relate to. I don’t have children but my friends that do constantly tell me how much they miss being able to leave the house in two minutes vs. 20 when you have kids. I’m sure moms who work all week and take their kids out on the weekend laughed at this just as much as any other mother reading did. I thought it was hilarious and I can’t even relate yet 🙂

      • Caitlin February 13, 2015, 3:16 pm

        ohmigod, i remember before i had dogs (gotta let them out, crate them) and before i had kids (see my million steps), and you could just decide you were leaving and like… LEAVE!!! haha. it seems so weird to me now.

    • Jennifer M February 13, 2015, 4:15 pm

      I think you are reading this the wrong way. It seems to me, Caitlin is just sharing an amusing morning which many mothers can relate to no matter when or if they work. Like you said, if this type of post bothers you, then don’t read it. I have one child who is close to Henry’s age and found it very relate-able and laughable. And I was glad to know I am not the only one who takes a year to leave the house (and that is with only one child).

    • Natalie February 13, 2015, 5:01 pm

      Kate – don’t worry, it’s definitely not always this hard. Yes – I have two kids and that’s all I will reveal about my situtation so nobody jumps on me, but this must have been an especially scattered day for Caitlin. If taking your kids to the park was this hard every day, nobody would do it. In normal circumstances, your diaper bag is packed, you brushed your teeth as part of a normal routine, and your house is in enough order to locate everything you need with ease. This type of post I feel is some women’s way of bucking against the system. A decade ago, it was more normal to act like you had everything together and not complain. Now, people aren’t afraid to admit that they aren’t perfect (without scrutiny) and the pendulum has swung the other way.

  • Lori February 13, 2015, 2:41 pm

    #accurate HAHAHA
    When I was on maternity leave for 10 weeks, most evenings it would hit me that I hadn’t brushed my teeth yet that day. Sick.

  • Mandy B February 13, 2015, 2:58 pm

    Ohh my! My only son is 13 months and I’ve got baby fever, but I’m so nervous about making it work with two (I feel like I’m barely holding it together with just the one!) I also work from home and we only have one vehicle…yeah…maybe I better wait 😉

  • Lindsay February 13, 2015, 3:52 pm

    So, so true!!! 🙂

  • Jennifer M February 13, 2015, 4:10 pm

    Oh my gosh…. this is my life but with only the toddler. I can’t imagine it with a second!

  • Nancy February 13, 2015, 4:17 pm

    I was reading this out in public (while grocery shopping) and I let out a huge laugh reading this post! OMG at you backing into your husbands car. I cannottttt help but laugh.

  • Susan February 13, 2015, 6:37 pm

    Hahaha, this is exactly how my day goes, lately! Thanks for sharing, I’m glad I’m not the only one!

  • Becky February 13, 2015, 6:44 pm

    Oh my goodness. I love this. Spot on including the backing into your other car. Been there. And I also eat chocolate in the pantry. 🙂

  • Lisa February 13, 2015, 7:28 pm

    Holy crap. One of the funniest posts ever. Didn’t see the ending coming….literally LOL’d. 🙂

  • Kinnereth February 14, 2015, 10:52 pm

    Baby wipes are the best 🙂

  • Julie February 15, 2015, 6:58 am

    This is my life everyday, with almost two year old twins!!! What’s even more awesome, is trying to get their snowsuits, hats, mits and boots on them, while they’re doing the alligator death roll! Then, to discover, as I’m searching for my keys, that they’ve taking their ha and mitts off…. A jacket and running shoes sounds like a walk in the park right now! Lol
    Thanks for keeping it real!!

  • Monica February 16, 2015, 9:49 am

    This. Is. Fantastic.

    So, so true… I only have one toddler, but still. So true. Lol…

  • Katie February 16, 2015, 12:38 pm

    This sounds about right! Add in “toddler announces the need to use the potty after fully dressed, and requires being naked from waste down to use the potty” . So much fun though 🙂

  • Paula May 17, 2015, 7:35 am

    This is a pretty accurate characterization of getting out with toddlers and babies. I have a 2,3,4 year old. Add removing clothes before you have finished dressing everyone, having to use the bathroom and then refusing to do so, fighting, fighting fighting, crying and then more crying, declarations of thirst and hunger and then flat out refusal to go. It is the nature of the beast. It is a phase and is so difficult deal with. When it is Mom against several children every day it is exhausting. Add bad parental reactions to the typical exhausting toddler antics to make the day take on a downward spiral from there. Then taking the children to places with traffic or where they can hide (in clothing racks) is just not worth the stress or the risk. It is why we do not go anywhere.

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