When you become a parent you don’t think about the other jobs you decided to take on as well. Or at least I didn’t. There are things that come with the territory like cleaning, laundry, cooking. But there is one job that I loathe more than the others. It is my job as a personal chauffeur for the most ungrateful clientele: my kids.
I drive my children to all their activities: my 4-year-old’s dance class, the twelve-year-old’s gymnastics practice, tennis lessons the thirteen-year-old would cry if she missed, and so many more throughout the week. It seems my evenings are a holding patterning of what activity do we have today and what am I making for dinner, but my dinner qualms are another story.
Luckily, I have learned to take this time as my own. Rather than sit on my phone looking through Facebook (well sometimes) or Tiktok I have created this list of things I now do to pass the time in a meaningful way. These items also help to ensure I don’t spend unnecessary money by going shopping each time I am alone. Which my husband is grateful, I’m sure.
Meaningful Time Passers in the Car
Take on something new!
Find an online course you love that you can do in the car! I began my yoga instructor certification a few months ago, online! I also got my Aryuvedic Practitioner Certification online. I do my assignments on the phone, read the assigned books, and everything in the time I wait for my kids in the car. It sounds crazy but it gives that time purpose.
Make a list of phone calls to make.
I hate calling people. The bug spray people (yes I said bug spray people because I can’t for the life of me think of the right word and terminator keeps popping in my head but that clearly isn’t it.) The vet. The credit card company. It seems I have a list of people I always need to call so some days I make that list, use the time my kids are busy and I’m stuck in the car to make as many of the calls as possible.
Eat a snack I’ve been hiding from my kids while watching Netflix.
Oh come on, we all hide snacks from our kids and it seems like when you pull out your favorite (insert item here) the kids can smell it or they have super hearing to know you are chewing. I avoid the “can I have some” while taking a bit of relaxing time watching a show the kids can’t watch all alone in the car. It’s great. In these moments I’m so grateful for my minivan where I can stretch across the front seat.
People probably think I am sleeping sitting up in my car but I have found that meditating is my best friend in the car. I use my Headspace app as a timer and make sure to keep one of my favorite singing bowls in the car and essential oils to always be ready to spend some time in mindfulness.
I See Myself In the Car More
So now we are now at the age where they want to begin hanging out with friends. Playdates are not for me and her anymore, but for her alone. My 13-year-old’s friends are extremely social, especially not that the weather is better. Giggling girls who want to get together almost weekly it seems and guess who is the transportation option: mother dearest.
I drop my addition to the happy-faced newly teenage laughter fest and I sit in my car. Their outings are not really long enough for me to make the trek back home and of course, I have to give the girls their space. “I mean mom, could you not?” So I sit and enjoy my time.