Back to articles Timing is Everything by Funny Mommy, Kathy Buckworth

Categories: Parenting

Being in the right place at the right time is a long time accepted principle of success in life. This can also be true when trying to achieve success in the parenting world.

From getting the registration into the soccer club on time and scoring that preferred Monday versus Sunday timeslot, to  producing a child who doesn’t land in the overcrowded kindergarten class because you delivered two days after January 1st, there are some things we can control in terms of timing, and some we can’t.  You might want to take my advice and take control where you can. For instance:

·                     Don’t tell your kids you’re taking them to the dentist, doctor, or other such dreaded appointments until the last minute. And by last minute I mean when you’re walking in the door to their offices.  You’ve just cut the whining time to about two minutes. (Or in the case of the doctor’s office potentially two hours, in the waiting room, where all can enjoy.)

·                     Next time you have a long car ride, you might surreptitiously mention to two of your favourite kids that they have about three minutes to jump into their favoured seats in the family vehicle before yelling out the age-old “We’re leaving now!” announcement to the rest of them.  Squatting rights and all that. You’ll save loads of time listening to fights on this one.

·                     If you’re heading out to a restaurant with your kids, you might want to call your order in before you even get there.  The minutes spent waiting with children in a public eating space are existentially not the same length of the minutes that pass while you’re sitting in a bar with your friends. These minutes with children drag and you need to make sure to minimize the impact on fellow diners, and your own patience.

·                     If you frequent a neighbourhood park, you have to be careful of not only the Last-minute Extension Situation (you’re just leaving and Junior’s BFF arrives – of course with his annoying mother in tow, and you have to stay an extra 20 minutes or face a melt-down of nuclear proportions), but also avoid that Mom or Dad who always comes to the park and has to “dash back home” for a snack or something, and is gone for an hour (no doubt drinking wine, eating dark chocolate and snickering over your gullibility) while you watch their kid pummel your kid with a sand shovel.

There are many things we simply can’t control in terms of timing with kids, such as the internal alarm of theirs which goes off the second you close the bathroom door, get on the phone, computer or BlackBerry,  or collapse with a glass of chardonnay on the couch – fyi their alarm sounds like this “MOOOMMMMMMM!!!! WHERE ARE YOU?????  YOU NEED TO COME HERE RIGHT NOW!!!! MOOOOMMMMMMM!!!!!” – so we need to learn acceptance techniques for things like this, as these are universal problems which have likely been faced since Mom took a break from the butter churning and racoon skinning to take a swig from her own wineskin.  We need to have “wineskins” too.  I like to think of mine as Twitter, Facebook, and email.  Just be thankful you’re not living in that place, a way back then, when an escape into technology wasn’t possible – in fact like it or not, you’re in your right place, at the right time.  You timed that well, after all.

Kathy Buckworth’s latest book, “Shut Up and Eat: Tales of Chicken, Children and Chardonnay” is available at bookstores everywhere.  Visit or follow Kathy on Twitter at