Features writer Amy Bredeson writes about Lowcountry moms who have advice to share. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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It can be tough getting places on time when you have kids. Just when you think you're ready to walk out the door, someone has to go to the bathroom. Then someone else has a meltdown.
I have a hard enough time getting out the door on time with just two kids. I can't imagine getting anywhere on time with four.
But somehow working mom Allana Metz manages to do it. With four kids under the age of 7, she says there's a method to the madness.
Name: Allana Metz
Strength: Being on time
Question. What's your routine in the morning when you have to be somewhere?
Answer. My husband is in charge of breakfast. I get the kids' clothes together. I'm in charge of showers, teeth, hair and clothes. I like to do it in an assembly line. I usually start with Lilly, the oldest, and I get her ready from top to bottom. ... The baby is usually last because, yeah, she'll make a mess.
Q. Do you have the same routine during the school year?
A. Oh, yeah. He's in charge of food. He does the lunch boxes, and he does the breakfast. And I get everyone's uniforms together. And I do that the night before because it's too scary in the morning to mess up and be late for work. ... Then we load the car, and Eric follows me over to Cross (Schools). I drop the younger two off with him. He takes them inside, and I head on into work (with the two older children). ... It's a system. And we are always on time for school. I was never late, not one time.
Q. Do you do anything the night before?
A. I make my list. I'm a list person. If it's not on the list, with this many kids, I get distracted. So if I don't make a list and stick with it, then I'm all over the place.
Q. Why is it important to you to be on time?
A. I just think it's my personality. I'm very conscientious. I like to get there. If you can get there, you can relax. It's good to teach your kids to be on time. It's important. As a teacher, I don't like it when kids are late for my class. It's part of being respectful to others.
Q. Do you have any tips for moms who struggle with being on time?
A. You always have to be a step ahead of the game. If I get up with them, it's not going to work. I have to get up ahead of them and have my ducks in a row. ... It's all about
Q. Is there anything you are not so great at?
A. Yeah, plenty. I don't feel like I'm that great at any of it. ... I get wrapped up sometimes in trying to keep things together and I just have to take a break and say the three T's -- "things take time." You know, when you're cleaning the house, you're like, "OK, I see everything that needs to be done." Well, everything's not going to be done in one day, and your kids are more important. So my biggest advice ... is stop and just spend time with your kids. Sometimes you have to let it go.