There comes a point in every mom or dad’s life when you start to realize that your number one function is to act as your child’s own personal chauffeur! I have hit that point.
I’ll be your driver, baby...I’m in demand!
I got a chuckle from this Youtube video that is a parody of moms shuttling their kids around. I can totally relate because three to five days a week I’m driving my kids around after working a full day. Like Lisa Thornbury exclaims in the article, Ten Ways to Cope in Your Role as Taxi Mom "I’m considering painting my Honda Pilot yellow and switching on the “OCCUPIED” sign since clearly I have become a taxi driver."
My taxi service started out slowly.
I was a stay at home mom for many years and looking back at that time I was definitely easing into my chauffeur mom role. Even though I was home with the kids they still took the bus to school so I didn’t have to do the brutal school parking lot every day. I had the occasional pick up after school when the kids stayed for an extracurricular class but I didn’t have to drive more than 3 miles. Playdates were typically after school so the kids would take the bus home with their friends and I would just have to go pick them up at a house nearby.
Looking back I realize I had it easy then.
The next phase of mom chauffeur came when the girls hit 2nd/3rd grade and they signed up for gymnastics and ice skating. These activities were only once per week and usually only for about an hour, but these activities were a little further away. New activities and years at the same school resulted in a growing circle of friends which also meant that playdates became several miles away instead of in nearby neighborhoods.
Now, I have moved on to MomUber phase three.
We have graduated to new and more demanding activities, cheerleading and horse riding. We drive the kids to these twice per week and the distance requires miles of highway driving. Rick and I do our best to divide and conquer and help each other out so we can attempt to have a few normal family meals in a week. We also have weekend competitions and horse shows that we shuttle the kids to. Even though we moved to a new city, the kids still have playdates in our old neighborhood 20 miles away. We also shuttle the kids to evening school functions, sleep overs, and birthday parties.
The website Motherly shares results of a survey that shows that moms (and dads) spend a TON of time driving their kids. The survey done by HopSkipDrive shows that 51% of parents spend upwards of 5 hours a week driving their kids around, 13% devote more than 10 hours per week to shuttling duties, and 35% percent of parents hilariously characterize their child’s school and extracurricular transportation arrangements as being more stressful than filing their taxes! I think Rick and I definitely could be part of those statistics.
The older your kids get, the later your taxi shift ends.
I know that I will be entering a new stage in the next couple of years. My 9pm bedtime won’t be possible when I am picking them up at 10 pm from work or 11pm from a weekend party. I’m happy to do it, but it definitely takes patience and giving up a happy hours or late night cocktails.
Not worrying about alcohol and driving has been a pretty nice part of this year long goal!
It is a lot easier for me to go pick up my kid from a friends house in the dark knowing I haven’t had too many glasses of wine. Reflecting on how much time I spend on the road, it is a good thing I am not drinking!