Casually early is the parent’s version of casually late. Actually casually late is a thing for parents too. Basically, parents get to set their own time rules in the universe.
My husband and I recently got invited to a dinner party. Oh, we were so excited to click yes on the evite, and for the first time our party of two was now a party of three. But as the event neared, we realized the practical implications of that. Hmmm…the party is an hour away from our house. It starts at 6:30pm and our baby bedtime routine normally starts around 8:30pm. Yes, our baby is so young he hasn’t exactly grasped time and routines yet, but this is something we’ve been working hard on. So, we started the negotiation of when we would leave. After much going back and worth we settled on 7:50pm. Yup, 7:50pm. This number was clearly the product of bracketing – a common negotiating tactic in our family. I started at 9, he started at 7…we incrementally started to split the difference. That gives us enough time to mingle over appetizers, sit down to dinner, get some good grown up conversation in, and politely excuse ourselves before dessert. Our New Year’s diet will thank us for that one. We’ll keep you posted on whether or not we actually manage to get out at 7:50, but here are some great strategies you can use to get leave a party (or meeting) early.
Set a reasonable time.
Maybe an hour is too little and 3 hours is too much. Set a reasonable time that allows you to make the maximum impact without. If you have a partner or date, this might be a negotiation (and a great time to hone your negotiating skills).
Set an alarm.
No, not something blaring and disruptive. Something discreet – a phone vibration in your pocket, or a timed phone call should do the trick.
Create a code word.
Agree on a code word with your partner that it is time to go. If this is something you agree on together beforehand, you can avoid the (potentially awkward) back and forth at the party itself, and help you both remember the agreement you made consciously .
Arrive a little early.
Craving some extra time with the host? If possible, try arriving a little early. This way, you can spend some extra quality one on one time with them, and even help set up. Sorry, party etiquette bloggers. When you have a baby, you play by a slightly different set of rules.
This is important for both you and the host. If your host thinks you’re staying late for a few rounds of Gin (I meant the card game, but if you thought the drink, hey, you do you, mama don’t judge) after, let them know that you can’t stay very long. You have a baby. People get it. Babies are great excuses, so use them! Managing the host’s expectations lets them know you will be leaving earlier than they planned, and helps prevent an end of the night back and forth “what, you’re leaving?! Nooooo!!” type situation that can happen…especially if they’re a half a bottle of wine (or gin) deep by then. Also, manage your own expectations. You hope to leave at 7:50, but really, if it is 7:55 is that enough to go to pieces over? Probably not!
Try these tips the next time you need to leave a place early, and let me know how they work for you! Do you have any to add? Share them in the comments, below!