It’s 4:00pm and while most people are enjoying a nice relaxing ride home from work, I’m usually trapped in a car with three children who are determined to get me to stop what I’m doing (driving) and attend to their needs. My 12 year old is complaining that I picked him up from practice late, my 4 year old keeps whining about me going back to her school because she lost a crayon in class and my 2 year old, is tossing Goldfish crackers at my head. This is my life every day. It does not matter if it’s raining, it’s cold or if I’ve had a rough day at work – my ride home is always an adventure.
You see during my 30 minute commute home there used to be so much going on in the car that I would be “beat” before I even entered the door. Now I use my “Mommy Thinking Cap” so I can get a little bit of peace.
I take 5 minutes to decompress before I get in the car. I literally turn off my radio, plug up my cell phone and just sit and reflect on my day. If something bad has happened I make a conscious effort to let go of all the negative energy from the work day. So when I drive off, I leave whatever is at work at work.
When my kids get in the car they know not to ask me for anything for the first five minutes of the car ride. They can talk to one another, (as long as they’re not fighting) but I don’t want to hear about how you are going to “die” if you don’t get the newest shoes (my twelve year old), or how I have to stop at the store and pick up some cookies or else they’re going to “die” of hunger (my toddlers).
The only exception if something serious has occurred to them then they know to let me know AS SOON as they hit the car.
To help my kids NOT ask me for anything, as soon as they enter the car, I give them a snack. It used to be that my kids get in the car the first complaint they have is, “I’m hungry.” It doesn’t matter if they just had a snack two minutes before school got out—it’s something about my car that makes them hungry. To make matters worse, they’re never quiet about it. So I got “Mommy Smart” and put snacks in places in the car they can easily get to. Both toddlers have crackers in the compartment in their car seats while my 12 year old has some inside the compartment on the door.
Now my ride home is somewhat relaxing. Sure there are still moments where my 2 year old takes off his shoes and hurls them to the front of the car, or when my daughter throws something out the window and I get pulled over for littering, or when my twelve year old comes to the car upset because of some middle school drama. But most rides are uneventful which gives me some type of peace to make it the rest of the night.
Now Mommy Noire mommy and daddys what do you do to make your ride less eventful?
Words By: Franchesca Lane-Warren