If you live in a metropolitan area, or heck, maybe even if you live in the country, you might have gotten into the bad habit of running to town willy-nilly for anything you need – maybe even one thing.
Yes, I see you there, nodding your head thinking, “how does she know?!”
That’s never been an issue I struggle with, because leaving my home with four children who are all age 7 and under isn’t something high on my, “Yeah! Let’s do that!” list. #lobotomy
However, there are some times you just have to leave – there are things you need to do and appointments you need to keep. So, it makes a lot of sense to, wait for it….
do it all on one day.
Do all your errands on one day
Thursday is the day I’ve set aside for errands. Ideally, it would be Friday, because that’s the free day I have worked into our school lesson plans, BUT…two of the places I would normally want to go on town day are closed on Friday. So, Thursday wins. Therefore, I switched our off day to Thursday. We only school 4 days.
Try to plan all doctor visits and appointments on this one day of the week so you can knock them out instead of spreading them out over the course of several days. Most doctors will make the effort to get all your kids in on the same day around the same time – our pediatrician is SO good for that.
Why do all errands on one day?
There are several reasons.
One, because it just makes sense to get it all done at once. If you’re going out, why not just use all your energy to get it done and be finished for the week?
Two, it gives you more time at home. A lot of people underestimate the importance of establishing roots and being HOME. It’s good for you – it’s good for your kids. It means you get more done at home instead of always feeling behind.
It does NOT mean you’re a recluse. You’ll still see people. A lot of people say, “GAH! I couldn’t stay home every day! I would go crazy!” When did home become a place that you weren’t happy to be? Bloom where you are planted.
Third, it saves you money. Those quick little trips here and there add up – you end up buying more than the one thing you went after. And hello? Gas ain’t cheap, even if it is cheaper right now than it has been.
What errands to do?
Make your trip count. Plan it out in advance. Here are things listed as possibles on my Town Day:
- Miscellaneous errands
- Nina day (Nina is what the kids call my mom)
- Library (this is one reason for Thursday town day. Our library is closed on Friday)
- Picnic/Lunch out/Parks
- Field Trips
You might need other errands or different important things on your list. Just think, “what do I need to do when I’m out?” And then, plan accordingly.
Sometimes you’ll be unable to avoid a doctor visit or errand on a non-town day. That’s life. We can make plans, but we can’t plan for craziness, amen?
So, what do you do? You roll with it, baby. The best part about a routine is that when a wrench gets thrown in it, you are easily able to take that wrench, handle it, and jump back into your routine when the opportunity arises. And even if that’s the next day, guess what? THAT’S OKAY. The world won’t come crashing down if Cleaning Day becomes Wait All Day At Urgent Care Day.
If I do have to plan a trip on a day that’s not Town Day, I try to make it during afternoon nap time/quiet time so that my mom and/or my dad can come here and stay with my children while I’m out keeping waiting room chairs warm.
Also, I enjoy grocery shopping ALONE. So, based on our schedules, the only day for me to do this is Saturday. I get up at 5am and get to Kroger by 6am. I’m done and home with the groceries put away by 7:45 and then we all eat breakfast together. It works for us. And yes – I AM a crazy person.
Tips and Tricks
- Pack snacks. For realz. Toddler meltdown can usually be solved by a nice, quiet snack. And for that matter, Mommy Freak Out can usually be fixed by a granola bar and some water. Don’t underestimate the power of a good snack, y’all. Feed the people!
- Pack your car/van the night before. After my kids go to bed, I put stuff in the van. Strollers, baby carriers, books for return at the library, snacks, water bottles (you might not be able to do this based on where you live), diaper bags, etc.
- Eating out can be expensive, so take a picnic! If you’re going to be gone longer than lunch, pack a picnic and find a place to stop. This is something I remember VERY fondly about going to town with my mom. It’s a good way to recharge your batteries if you’re going to still be out after lunch. But, do occasionally have a treat meal at a restaurant if the budget allows.
We aim to be 100% done by lunch time. And can I be honest? Some days, we end up not even going to town on Town Day because…life. But, 3-4 hours out with a lot of kids usually has me fried so I need to get back home.
After you’re home, unpack everything, put it away and then…
EVERYONE RESTS. Everyone, I said. For whatever reason, going out to do errands makes me feel like a zombie. I need that time to rest and relax, even if it’s only for 30 minutes. Everyone here either goes down to nap or goes to quiet time. Mommy needs it. They need it.
That rest time gives me the opportunity to get some energy back so that we can make dinner and be ready for Barry when he gets home.
That’s it – how can you start planning around a Town Day?
See other posts in this series:
- Wash on Monday
- Clean on Tuesday
- Bake on Wednesday
- Office Day on Friday
- Get Ahead on Saturday
- Chores to do Daily
- Chore FAQ
- Each Day Has Its Own Proper Chores
- What Would Ma Ingalls Do?
- Embracing Your Inner June Clever