I recently went on a 1800+ road trip with my kids. My THREE kids. My three kids that are three and under. BY MYSELF. Yes, I’m giving myself a HUGE pat on the back for this. I mean… serious Super Woman status here guys.
I thought I would write down a few things I learned during that trip to help anyone else who might be thinking about doing the same thing.
1. Bring TVs. But keep them hidden. If you can help it, hide your TVs for the first few hours. They are the “pinnacle” of entertainment for the car ride, so you don’t want to bring out those first thing. Instead, get in the car and a start driving. No music, no tv, no snacks. Nothing. See how long you can hold off. When the kids start getting onnery, pull out a new CD with kids songs on it. Play that as long as you can. Pray that the kids sleep. And THEN, after everything else, turn on the TVs.
*note: This will ONLY work if your kids can’t see the TVs. If they can see them, they are going to want to watch them.
2. No toys. I know. This sounds crazy. But I did the whole trip without toys. Why? In my experience, toys make the kids bored and they want MORE toys. If there are none, you might get a little whining at first, but they figure it out pretty quick.
3. Stop at rest stops. This one was important for me because with a 3 years old, 2 year old and 4 month old, getting out at fast food places was not a good idea. Can you imagine trying to get them all back in the car when they could be playing on those toys??? Yeah. Not going to happen without a fight. But leaving a grassy area is MUCH easier. So when it was time to eat, I’d pull through a drive through and sit in the back with them while I nursed the baby and they ate their food. Then I’d eat my food on the drive.
4. Bring snacks that are easy to throw. This is important if you’re in an SUV (I was in a Suburban). I would open up a granola bar and chuck it at the kids. They can’t open their own snacks, so things like fruit snacks would have made a big mess on their ride back to the back of the car. So I got things like crackers and granola bars and squeeze things of apple sauce that were easy car snack.
5. Take your time. Realize that it’s going to be slow going. But that’s okay. You’re going to get there eventually.
6. Podcasts. I used the app Stitcher on my phone and had downloaded a bunch before I left. Then when they were watching TV or listening to their music, I was able to listen to something else.
7. Don’t think about it. Just do it. Think about all the things you’ll miss out on if you never go on your own with your kids. If I can do it, ANYONE can do it. Seriously. You can do it.
Do you have any tips to add to this list??Share