Surviving Multiple Car Rider Lines

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I took a deep breath before typing this sentence because I have to get in the mindset of carpool (or car rider line as some call it). First off, our family lives in a school system that does not have school buses, so that’s not an option for us. And I won’t say much more about that because that’s another blog post in itself. Secondly, I have two kids (aged eight and 12) in two different schools that are not close to one another. Also, there’s no easy way to get from one to the other. There are other parents with more kids and more schools to drive to, so maybe I don’t have it all that bad. Although, however many kids you have, having to drive and wait for two or more children is time-consuming and tiring. 

But there’s hope! No, your school system that doesn’t have school buses isn’t about to get them, but there are ways to survive the daily carpool grind. Morning carpool is generally a breeze. . . for me at least. The afternoon carpool is where I struggle. So, here are some tips for surviving multiple afternoon carpools: 

Tips for Surviving Multiple Car Rider Lines

Be Prepared

    • Get your mind ready. You have to go get your kids, so get in the right mindset to drive to school and wait. It’s happening. They can’t stay there. Make sure you’re up-to-date on the carpool procedure. You saw Mr. Mom. You don’t want to be told, “You’re doing it wrong.” 

Leave Home Early:

    • My first child’s school dismisses at around 2:30. I try to arrive at about 2:10 so I can get a good spot and make it to the other school (across town) before 3:00. Some people are sitting in line at 1:30. That’s not me. I can’t sit in line for that long. If that’s you, then you do you! Now, I know not everyone is a stay-at-home mom or can work a part-time job. Some of my tips may not work for those people, but planning your trip is essential. 

Bring Entertainment:

    • You’ll be sitting for some time. Unless you just enjoy looking at nature and listening to the birds, you might pull your hair out without a distraction. Of course, your phone is entertainment. You can scroll social media, check your email, or write a blog post in your notes app. I’m writing this blog post in carpool right now. Ha! I usually bring a book to read, and then I can read it in both car lines. Bring entertainment for the child who will be sitting in the second carpool line asking “How long have we been sitting here?” Maybe they’ll fall asleep. Maybe they’ll have homework, or maybe not. Either way, you need to be prepared.

      “Patiently waiting” for the car line to move.

DON’T FALL ASLEEP!!:

    • I have fallen asleep for 20 seconds in carpool and thought it was 20 minutes. I was terrified! You don’t want to be the mom/dad who falls asleep in carpool and messes up the line. My husband informed me that he fell asleep in carpool once and woke up before the line moved. That would not happen to me. I would be featured on the “What’s Happening in (insert your city here)” Facebook page. 

Bring Snacks:

    • If you travel to multiple carpools, the child who waits will be hungry because every kid is hungry after school. You might even be hungry yourself.

      Snacks and entertainment are critical to survival!

Be Patient:

    • You’re going to wait regardless, and some days you’ll wait longer than others. I’ll be honest. I don’t do well with patience here. When I’ve been sitting in a car and I want to go home, I may even say out loud, “I want to go home,” to which my younger child responds, “Momma, stop raging.” But ultimately, we have to realize that this is the way it is. Carpool procedures are created to make sure kids are safely and efficiently dismissed to their cars. They are oftentimes tweaked for efficiency, but the carpool system will likely not be overhauled into something different any time soon. This is a tough pill to swallow for me. I want it to be easier but this is probably as good as it’s going to get for now. 
I thought of ending this by saying, “Embrace the carpool because one day your kids will be gone and you will miss it.” But, I will not miss driving to carpool, even though I know I will miss the time with my kids. The end result of my waiting in line daily is more time with them, so I guess I’ll endure the long wait just to hear about their day. 
 
Do you drive to multiple carpools, too? What are your carpool tips?
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Kimberly Wright is a native of New Orleans and a proud graduate of Louisiana State University. At LSU, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and worked in marketing for 10+ years. Kimberly moved to Birmingham, AL in 2000 where she met her husband. She dove headfirst into the fitness industry in 2007 as a fitness Instructor. And after the birth of their first son, Kimberly became a stay-at-home mom with fitness as her part time job. Currently, Kimberly is a Certified Personal Trainer and a Fitness Instructor. She lives in Vestavia with her husband and two sons ages 7 & 11.

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