Yup, it’s true, this homeschooling momma has taken off her homeschool hat and put on the public school hat (I live a life of extremes.) Like many, many, oh so many, mommas before me I ventured into the parenting journey scared and clueless, yet somewhere along the way I learned that the only one in charge of this is me! Could I have continued homeschooling this year? Yes. Do I still believe homeschooling is ultimately the best option for my kids? Yes. But, for my own reasons, I decided to pack up my kids, move to a completely different house so I could enroll them in a good public school, and do something completely different this year (and if the worst case scenario is my kids being with someone who has devoted their life to teaching kids for a year, there are certainly worse things.)
There were lots of “pre-school prep” conversations where the kids and I discussed what school would look like, role played different scenarios, went through the whole “stranger danger” and “bully” spiel. There were lots of tears too. Breakdowns when my daughter realized her brothers and mommy would not be going to school with her, my 6yo climbing into bed with me for the first time in his entire life the night before school started, me completely losing it when I finally got the “alone” time I needed. It was ugly. It has definitely not been a pretty transition (although I save most of my ugly cries for when my kids can’t see, and I keep a smile on my face and a song in my voice when I say, “School will be so fun!”)
I’ve already learned lots of invaluable lessons in this short week of school, but one that is literally driving me to the breaking point, is that I am really bad at carpool. Like a disaster. In fact, true story, y’all, as I write this post I’m looking at the clock and I need to be leaving like right now in order to get there in time, but the OCD writer in me needs to finish this post before my writing spree wears off and I’m left with no post! After thinking about it, I truly do need to go before my child is the one sitting in the office for 20 minutes waiting on me to get there like he did two days ago… hold on!My oldest child was both the last one dropped off and the last one picked up yesterday, like closed the gates behind me last one, and I consider that a victory because at least I made it! But when I imagined carpool it was not like this!
I was a nanny for roughly 10 years to a wonderful family that I still love. I remember getting to their house at 6am, giving the kids breakfast, getting them dressed and ready for school, having a wonderful drive filled with funny and usually educational conversations, always being on time for both pick up and drop off, I was the perfect carpool “mom” (something the mom happily reminded me of on my facebook the other morning as I complained about how horrible at this I am)! I was better at a lot of things when I was 17 and they weren’t my own kids. I had a lot more energy and a lot more brain space! But, thankfully, I’ve had some awesome friends give me some great carpool advice so maybe I actually *can* use carpool as some down-time instead of a drag race.
Advice #1 Find the sweet spot. There is always a “best” time where you are either ahead of everyone or you’ve missed them. Since the first day I was an hour and a half early and the second day I was 40 minutes late, obviously I’m not good at this aspect of it! I’ll keep working on this.
Advice #2 Map out your driving route. Know exactly where you are going and how long it takes. Apparently, good carpool is like a recon mission. Since 4 out of 5 days last week I started driving towards my son’s school and got halfway before realizing I’m supposed to drop my daughter off first this one actually makes a lot of sense. Are there steering wheel covers with photo inserts in them so I can keep this constantly where I can see it?
Advice #3 You are not the only one. Luckily, this one needs no explanation! High fives to all you fellow failing carpool mommas! We may suck at this, but at least we’re not alone! (PS have you gotten a talk from the principal yet??? meep)
What are some tips you can give to mommas struggling to succeed on the carpool front?
Hey y’all! Obviously, your favorite red-headed, single momma blogger has been on a bit of a bloggy break! (is it too much to assume I’m your favorite?) When I left I was a stay at home, single, homeschooling momma. Now I am a part-time working, still single, public schooling momma. That’s right folks! Life has gotten crazy up in here! I’m so glad to be back!