This was originally posted by the Marion & Polk Early Learning Hub here.

I’m not quite sure how she does it, but my wife always seems to be prepared for every situation. It’s like she knows what’s going to happen and what we’ll need in every situation. Snacks, hand sanitizer, more snacks, an extra mask…whatever we end up needing when we are out and about…she has it!

This ability that she has worked on and developed over the years comes in very handy and saves us a lot of meltdowns and heartache when we are out and about. It can also be a great opportunity for us to involve and engage our children in thinking ahead and trying to prevent and solve problems themselves.

Here are some examples of ways that we can prepare ahead of time and make our outings with our families more enjoyable and less unpredictable:

  • Create a restaurant survival kit (my wife and I already wrote about this here!)
  • Have a grab and go bag ready for the park, the store, play dates, whatever. Make sure that it has a change of clothes, snacks, extra shoes, masks, diapers, bottles, binkies, whatever you may need when on the go
  • Create a grocery store list so you know exactly what you need and maybe even where to find it. Create a list of pictures with the grocery items for your child so they can search and check them off with you!
  • Create an emergency or disaster preparedness kit with non-perishable food, water, gloves, clothes, some cash and other essentials and store it in a safe place. Nobody wants to think about this, but if a disaster does happen you will be so glad you were ready! Great resource on kit preparation from The Red Cross here:

Sometimes it feels like we are just jumping from moment to moment and hoping to survive and make it through the day. I totally understand that and have definitely felt that way before. But, I think that sometimes I could have saved myself some time and heartache (and maybe a few grey hairs) if I would have taken a few extra moments beforehand to prepare. In honor of National Preparedness Month in October, I encourage you to take a few of those moments and check one of these preparedness items off your to-do list.

This is fatherhood…