“When will they ever learn to drive?!” You huff, shoving a pop tart down your throat, honking the horn and starting the engine.
And so it begins. A day of dropping kids off, running errands, picking kids up, attending piano lessons, dashing home, and then back to school for another basketball game (or two).
Whether you home school, public school, or private school, your kids need a driver and guess what – you’re it.
But how can you survive the whole taxi rat-race day-in, day-out, without losing your ever lovin’ mind?
Welcome to your home on wheels
You spend half your day in it.
Why not spend a few minutes each week prepping it?
-Clean out the trash and sweep your ride
-Store a few toys in bins or containers to keep little ones busy
-Install a pumpkin scented air freshener (or whatever. ‘Tis the season.)
-Select a few of the kid’s favorite CD’s (and a few mom sanity-savors too)
-Stash a notebook, pen, and book you need to read (for long waits)
This is your taxi. Detail it. You’re the one hauling around people all day long – may as well make it pleasant.
‘Twas the night before school…
Come on, girl. Get your route planned.
-Check with your people about where they need to be the next day.
-Write it down or store in your iPhone
-Pack a couple bottles of water and a few snacks for yourself
-Make sure your people have their stuff together too
-Plan to leave 5 minutes earlier than you usually do
If take 30 minutes each night to get organized and make sure you’ve got all the gym shorts, flutes, and homework papers together, it makes for a smoother ride the next morning.
On the road again
So everyone’s loaded and ready to roll. You may have some morning people and some not-so-morning people.
-pop in their kiddie music and let them enjoy, or give them a pep talk about their day. Be attuned to anything they may be apprehensive about such as a spelling test or a friend conflict. Get your listening ears on!
-Just go straight for the music. Try to play something you both like – it’ll make things go a little more smoothly.
-Once you drop them off, turn off the music, take a few deep breaths, and spend some road time in prayer.
Pray for the kids, their teachers, and yourself. If you’ve been looking for a fresh new way to zero in on your prayer life, here is a great resource.
There she goes again
I remember days that never seemed to end because we had so many destinations.
It’s annoying, but if you keep your senses about you when the kids are in the car, you can have some special bonding times.
My youngest just reminded me of some of ours:
Singing at the top of our lungs
Hitting our favorite drive-thru after gymnastics each week
Discovering what kind of music my girls like by playing their ipods through the speakers
Catching up on my daughter’s love life
Deep, introspective talks on the way to violin lessons
Listening to my son tell a hilarious story about his class (because that’s what boys do – they’re the comic relief)
And then, there was the time we joyfully belted out the “Star Spangled Banner” and then suddenly wiped out a dog….
…that cut the concert short, let me tell ya.
A few more suggestions
-STOP!!! ARE YOU, OR WILL YOU BE NEAR A GAS STATION AT ANY TIME TODAY?
GET. IT. NOW.Procrastination is not a habit of a taxi driver. Click To Tweet
And make it a rule to NEVER get below 1/4 tank. Ever.
-Slow down. I can’t tell you how many times I ignored the speed limit.
(Of course, I have the speeding tickets to prove it.)
Also, you could possibly avoid putting your SUV in the ditch one snowy night after swerving on a solid sheet of ice. (It was either the ditch or the creek. I chose the lesser of the two evils.)
My kids will never forget that night. And the napkins sailing from the rear past my youngest daughter’s head (we had just been to the grocery store).
Hear me well: nothing is worth speeding. Your precious cargo is more valuable than anything else in this world.
Go the speed limit.
A blessing in disguise
Don’t worry, mom. They will drive one of these days – sooner than you think.
And it’s not all that great to begin with, either.
But once they do, you’ll find you need to seek other times to catch up with your kids.
Because you’ll discover something you never realized until the moment it happens:
The taxi driver years have come to an end.
So prepare. Settle in. Bond with those kids. You are the taxi driver.
It’s not a hassle – it’s a privilege!