How to get ready to go out with kids

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You need to leave the house for whatever reason and you are in a rush but your kids are throwing a tantrum and your heart is beating at 100 mph. You are ready to give up, scream or cry. You think to yourself, “is the outing worth all of this chaos?”

As a new mommy, the first outing is the hardest, we have to get the child ready, prepare the baby’s bag, get dressed and make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. The more kids you have the more challenging it becomes. Before having kids, all we had to worry was ourselves, there wasn’t any diaper bag to be packed nor was there any necessities to carry snacks around. Obviously going from one step to 3 or more steps before leaving the house can be chaotic at first. I will share with you some tips I’ve learned along the way that I think will help with this problem.

I learned this first tip in college living with a Belorussian roommate but I didn’t practice it until becoming a mom.

  1. Limit the amount of clothe you have in your closet. I got rid of a lot a clothe and stopped buying excessively, like I used to prior to being a mother. This Belorussian roommate had literally 7 outfits. She would wake up 20 min before having to leave the house and get dressed really fast and off she went. Don’t be fooled, she always looked great because she had a couple of good pieces that she would wear continuously.
  2. De clutter the closet and your house. I try to go to one room at a time and find things that are not useful anymore and I either throw it away or donate it to a family member. Not having a tone of miscellaneous items around will help you concentrate during the times you are in a rush to leave the house.
  3. Get storage items, boxes, drawers to throw crap inside. All of us have these random items that don’t make sense but we feel like one day we might need it so we like to keep them around. The best thing is to have a drawer or any storage that we can throw these items in. This helps with quick cleaning and decluttering the mind.
  4. I am not one of those women that prepare things overnight but one thing that helped me getting out of the house quickly, is having my bag with the essentials at all times. This includes, diapers, wipes, water and quick snack where I can grab and insert into my bag.
  5. I think this tip is the most important one. Help your child become independent and take responsibility for herself. I was lucky because my first child really wanted to do pretty much everything by herself. I just had to teach her how to do it right, sometimes she didn’t even let me help her which would take a very long time to get ready but it’s now paying off. At 4 years old, she can pick all her items from her closet and get dressed all by herself. My second child was not ready to be independent as early as my first but that’s ok. As she is watching her big sister dress herself, she is eager to try out herself too.
  6. Having a uniform. What I mean about this is, sorting out your clothe by what event you have for the day. For example, I have clothe that I wear only for errand purposes,  casual sporting clothe if I am going to a sporting club or playground, dark clothe when I think I might get a little dirty mostly shopping in souqs, cotton/linen for really hot days and the most important clothe that I have when I will go out alone without the kids or frequenting a nice place.
  7. Having pieces in your closet that are seasonal friendly or that fit you. When summer comes there is no need to have your winter clothe occupying space in the closet and vise versa. Also having items that fit, whether it is too small or too big, either donate or storage it outside of your closet.
  8. I also stopped buying a lot of kids clothe. I just buy the most essential and sort them out by outings as well. If I am going to perform an errand than mostly likely they will be wearing shorts and a t-shirt and so forth.
  9. This next tip is something I just recently adapted into my routine which is wearing the same outfit more than one day and especially when it comes to kids clothing. I used to see a little stain in my daughter’s clothe and I would throw in the laundry. I seemed to have endless amount of laundry that entailed mostly children’s clothe. Now if I see one stain I make my daughters wear it again the next day.
  10. Lastly, invest in few but very good quality items. I don’t shop as much as I used to but when I need something, I will invest in good quality items. I also try to compare prizes for certain things that I need to buy, instead of purchasing at the first store. This implies for the items that I use in the daily basis such as my bag and shoes. For my kid’s shoes I try to buy a very good quality so that it can be passed around for the next child. I also buy items that can go with many things such as simple sneaker that can be dressed up or down. I usually buy one pair or sneakers and than one sandal for summer and one pair of warm shoes for winter.

These are just some tips that have worked for me but the most essential thing is to create a routine and have the children get involved. It doesn’t have to be the 10 tips I wrote above. Having things that you do every day to help you get out of the house as stress free as possible, will soon become second nature to you. I am sure we all experienced having the kids running behind us like little ducklings when we are trying to leave the house which can be a little irritable. If you include your child in the process it will make things easier for example, telling your child to turn off the tv, getting the water from the fridge and so forth.

Let me know what are some tips that helped you get out of the house as quickly and stress free as possible.



10 Traveling Tips to Egypt for Parents

Traveling with children is already stressful enough to add on to that you need to know what to bring.If you are traveling to Egypt for the first time, the mere fact of what to put in your luggage in very overwhelming. Stress no more, I am here to share some tricks and tips for traveling with kids so that you can relax and enjoy the ride.

1. Study your itinerary very well.

Mentally prepare yourself before your departure that Egypt is a very chaotic country and things never happen according to plans. Therefore study your itinerary, look over things that you can be skipped and research another potential activity if something doesn’t go according to plans. If you are a perfectionist and get shaken by unexpected events, then I would do some major meditation and mental preparation.

2. Seasonal Wear

If you are traveling in the Summer than know that it will be extremely hot and you need extra sun protection apart from sunblock such as:good sun glasses and a hats for the whole family.

If you are traveling in the Winter time, don’t be surprised by how cold Egypt gets. Defiantly bring a heavy jacket, the temperature between day and night drop significantly about 20-30 degrees difference which can lead for your kids to get sick which leads to next tip.

4. Fight the germs

If you are traveling in the winter time than defiantly get the flu shot for the whole family but also bring a stack of over the counter medication. Cairo is pretty polluted so be prepared if your lungs take some time to adjust to the pollution. If you are like me and don’t trust any medication for your kids than bring the ones that you do trust from back home. As well as wash your kids hands all the time. Pack up some wipes to carry around to clean their faces and hands when out and about. Lastly, have some sanitizer when you can’t find water to wash yours hands.

5. Stroller gear

If you have a child younger than 1 years old, I would recommend a good quality carrier. If your child is older, I would still bring a stroller as all the adventure and heat my tired them out. However, leave your regular big stroller behind and get an umbrella stroller. The umbrellas strollers are light to maneuver around and you can carry the stroller up the stairs without having to take your child out and put him/her back on.

6. Bring your own toilet paper

This sounds like a silly thing to put in your luggage but trust me when I say this! Bring one roll of toilet paper and buy another one here before you run out. Egyptians have a thing about toilets papers, so you will be surprised if you go to a public bathroom and you can find any around you. What will you do then? Oh wait! I have toilet paper on my purse or backpack, not a problem? See, something that could have been a major problem has been avoided due to these traveling tips. You can thank me later!

7. Respect the dress code and the culture

Egypt is very conservative and both men and women tend to dress modestly, regardless of your religion practices. Egypt has about 10% of practicing Christians who also abide by the modesty wear. If you want to prevent less stares I would avoid wearing short skirts and men should avoid wearing tank tops, the stares are real. Don’t panic about the dress wear because if you are in the hotel or some touristic areas such as the red sea, you can wear almost whatever you want. However, in Upper Egypt or even Cairo the locals tend to me more conservative.

8. Try to learn a couple of words in Arabic

You’ll  be surprised how many people don’t speak English here in Egypt. Off course, your hotels and most touristic areas such as the Pyramids, Egyptian museums and the Red sea, you’ll find tourist guides and locals that speak good English. But if you are venturing outside of these touristic sites, than you’ll find that the average Egyptian does not speak English. Words such as “how much”, “thank you”, “yes” and “no” can make a huge difference. When I first visited Egypt back in 2008, those were the only words I knew and it helped me a lot.

9. The local currency

Unfortunately the Egyptian currency has inflated and the exchange rate is very low. Fortunate for you, it means that you will get your money’s worth in Egypt. A couple of dollars here can do a lot in a month. However, if you exchange all your money and happened to bring the Egyptian currency back home, I am afraid you’ll be loosing your money.

10. Bargain like a Boss

Don’t be intimidate to bargain in Egypt most sellers set the prize at a higher rate because they are expecting you to bargain back. To learn more about tips on how to bargain, click on my post here How to Bargain Like a Boss.