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How To Never Leave The House Late Again

{ Kids patiently waiting by the door for Mommy. }

I am always late. My bridesmaids included this fact in the poem they wrote and read at our engagement party, and I think both of my Maids of Honor mentioned it in their speeches at our wedding. I should probably take a lesson from this blog, BUT I’M RUNNING LATE TO GO TO A CONCERT SO I HAVE TO GO BYE! Here’s Heels in the Hills’ resident mommy blogger Barbara King on how to never be late again…

I was constantly late as a child. Late to school, late to dance class, late to camp. LATE. LATE. LATE. Although I’m sure it was at least partially my fault, I totally blamed my parents because they were the ones driving me. But anyone who knows my family understands that it was REALLY my mom’s fault. My mom claims that there is something in her Slovenian culture known as the “academic quarter,” which apparently means that academia are allowed to be a quarter hour late for their classes. I found this excuse rather odd not only because it sounds totally made up, but also because my mom is a business owner, not a professor! My dad on the other hand was better with time, telling the story of how Napoleon changed the culture in France when he always showed up on time – or even *gasp* early – for meetings, causing quite an upheaval in his circles. By high school I caught on to their habits and started to tell my parents that my school plays and musicals started earlier than they did to ensure that they made it on time. I even remember my mom wondering aloud once, “why would a show start at 7:15pm.”

As an adult I figured I would always be on time and my motto became, “10 minutes early is better than 1 minute late.” And for the most part, it worked. Then I had kids and became that mom. I wildly rush into playdates 45 minutes late, with Starbucks in hand, no snacks for my kids, and a billion excuses. The only way for me NOT to be late is to be ridiculously early which is why when my cousin recently asked what time I would leave to get to LAX for 10:10am flight my reply was: “An hour to get there normally plus an hour to account for traffic, an hour to park, an hour to get from the lot to the airport, an hour to go through security, an hour to enjoy my much-needed glass of wine before the flight, and then 5 minutes to crazily run to the gate. So we’re probably leaving our place about 11pm the night before.”

With the very strict and weirdly specific start time of 8:01am for Kindergarten fast approaching, I knew I had to snap into gear.  As any mom knows, just getting out the door with kids is a huge challenge, and a big reason why moms are so late. I started to think about how I could help my daughter get organized so that our family late curse is broken. And what better way to shape-up is there than to make some fun crafts? I enjoy creative projects and in the world of Pinterest, the crafty-moms abound, shoving their cute little crafty ideas down our throats. And I love it.

How To Never Leave The House Late Again

This is my very own creation of a daily responsibility chart aka “My Chore Chart” that I created for my daughter. I tried a few different versions of a Listening/Rewards Chart in the past and so far – this is my favorite.

How To Never Leave The House Late Again

The chart is for daily “chores” which are separated into morning, afternoon, and evening. Then at the bottom are the 5 weekdays. If she completes each chore, then she gets a blue star for that day. The next day, the chore list starts over. At the end of the week if each day has a blue star then she gets a reward, like the chance to watch TV over the weekend after a long school week of no TV/electronics.
How To Never Leave The House Late Again

I decided to make fun, cartoon drawings for each chore so that my 4 year old could tell what the chore is without having to read it. And I used Velcro tape to attach everything in order to swap out the chores or add more. And I used Washi tape to separate the sections. I actually had a lot of fun making this and the best part was the morning my daughter found it. I didn’t realize she had spotted it, so I was confused when she began to rush around the house saying, “don’t look at me.” Then she finally presented herself – fully dressed, bed made, and teeth brushed.

I must admit, getting out of the house is easier with this chore chart. I think I need to make myself one.

Have any of you made a responsibility chart like this? What seems to work best in your house?

Barbara King-Wilson is an actress and writer living with her family in Los Angeles. Follow her @TheBarbaraKing and visit her at!

More from Barbara:

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