Lisa Thornbury: Party Mummy


Ten Ways To Cope In Your Role As Taxi Mom

Plus, enter for your chance to win a $150 Shell Gift Card and Free Coffee!

mom taxi driver
It's not that watching my son's basketball practice is boring—though I may have "rested my eyes" a few times. It's more a matter of being tired. Five days a week I'm on the move, driving my children to Tae Kwon Do, gymnastics, swimming, music lessons, basketball, cross country practice, play dates, and a myriad of appointments—and this is after working all day. I'm considering painting my mini-van yellow and switching on the "OCCUPIED" sign since clearly I have become a taxi driver. I'm happy to do it, but there's definitely a knack to this. 
Here are TEN things that make being a Mom-On-The-Move easier so you're less likely to go all Robert De Niro in "Taxi Driver." 

1. Keep a change of clothes in the car

Life gets messy, so stow away a change of clothes for each child in a bag in the trunk for upper (think, ice cream) and lower (think, wait... don't think about it) spills. And wet wipes. They're not just for babies. They're essential for sticky fingers, snotty noses, germy hands, and wiping ketchup off mum's white pants. Fries? What fries?

2. Pack snacks

Hangry much? Non-perishable snacks like a box of granola bars tucked away in the glove compartment can be a life saver. The only thing more unnerving than a hungry child is their 'hangry' mother.

3. Bring entertainment

A small bag of kids' books, pens/pencils, and a notebook or two will make them bored no more. It's easy entertainment for bored kids and you'd be surprised how often the paper comes in handy—like for leaving a cheeky note on a friend's car you spotted in the drug store parking lot. At least I think it was her car...

4. Fuel the Driver

The drive-thru line at the coffee shop across from our gymnastics centre is always a mile long. Thankfully, there's a Shell station on the way to the gym so I can dash in on our way and grab a Java Café coffee, pick up some gum and a magazine, and be on my way in minutes. We tardy-moms-on-the-move don't have the time (or patience) to idle in line-ups.
Gas station coffee? Don't worry, the stale pot you might remember is no more! The updated Java Café can be customized with FREE flavour shots (exciting!) and the variety of blends are brewed FRESH throughout the day. From now until November 9th, you earn five bonus AIR MILES with each Java Café purchase at participating Shell locations. Might as well earn points for something you desperately need, er...MUST have, that is, that would enhance your general enjoyment of your daughter's 90-minute gymnastics class.

5. Plan ahead

Take a few minutes to map your route so you can kill a few birds with one stone. By the way, if you happen to see the truck beside you strike and kill a bird, do your best to distract your children so they don't notice. Poor, poor pigeon. 
If you have books coming due at the library, and your son needs styrofoam balls for a science project, schedule those errands amid the regular stops. The library is beside the pool so return the books on swimming lesson day. And the craft store is on the way to gymnastics so stop in as you pass by. The result is less running around for you, time saved, and you can check things off your to-do list. Is there anything more satisfying than that? If you're like me you add things you've already done to your list just so you can check them off. 

6. Be prepared for the unexpected

Keep an "emergency" kit in your trunk just in case. Stock it with Bandaids, Tums, a small sewing kit, hair elastics, Tylenol, tampons, and whatever other random items you think you might need in a pinch and will save you the mad dash home. 

7. Bring Music

Make a playlist of your kids' favourite tunes to play as you travel along. BUT be sure to provide them with headphones because if you have to hear "Old MacDonald" one more time your head will explode. My son is currently into Minecraft cover songs. Needless to say, he has his own playlist on his iPod and mandatory earphones. 

8. Bring Things to keep YOU entertained

When your kids' activities overlap and one child must patiently wait around, you'll be happy you brought along some digital entertainment like an iPad to keep your little sweetheart occupied and quiet while you read your book. Oh yes, always keep a few *adult books or magazines in the car for the times when you have to wait. And there be waiting. And then some. 
* By adult books, I don't mean 50 Shades of Grey. I'm referring to any reading material that doesn't rhyme or feature illustrations of a scared squirrel.

9. Be prepared to Charge!

Parents need tech too. Sometimes we have to work while we're at the ice rink or sitting in the bleachers. It's sincerely sad when our batteries die and we're left hopelessly disconnected. Let's hang our heads for a moment shall we? This is why it's important to remember to charge your devices consistently. Or at least make sure you have the right cord to get charged on the go or pick yourself up a portable charge pack.

10. ...

I know I promised ten tips, but I need to pick up my phone charger, drive my son to the dentist and then pick up groceries before getting my daughter from school to drive her to swimming lessons. So, gotta jet. Er, taxi. 
Later mamas! 
~ Lisa "You talkin' to me?" Thornbury