I’m not a mom that overachieves. I just try to get by…and that apparently includes car naps.
What I mean is that I don’t schedule every minute of our days with play dates, activities, sports, clubs, and more. But with three kids and wanting a life that is mine too – it happens anyway. And a result of that is using my car for whatever I need it to be at the time.
It started early on, when I was pregnant with #3 and #1 was in preschool about half an hour from home. My big ol’ belly and I would get up the older two kids, then two and four years old, and feed and cloth them before strapping everyone into the car. We’d drive the half hour to drop him off, which meant, of course, that we all had to get out of the car to sign him in. Then I had to convince my toddler to get back in her seat for one of a few options. Sometimes it was a half hour drive back home. Sometimes it was grocery shopping or some such outing. Occasionally it was a social call on a friend. Often it ended up being a nap in the K-Mart parking lot. There were even a couple of times I’d get off the highway and pull over to take a nap with the doors locked. I was exhausted. And that went on, to some degree, for years.
Napping in the car. Talking to my mom from the front seat while the kids napped in the back seat and I waited for school to get out. Reading books, writing articles, having picnics, and more…all in my car.
Now, as homeschoolers, the need to be mobile is even greater. I nap in the car less, but it does still happen. Thankfully all the kids sleep through most nights now, so day sleeping isn’t as much of a need. But my car becomes my classroom – just yesterday Tyler and I learned some nifty facts about Nepal for an upcoming geography fair. It becomes my office, with phone calls made in parking lots before and after meetings.
I also find myself catching up on emails, writing posts, and working on bios I’ve been hired to write at the YMCA. We’re there several hours a week for kids’ activities and they have free wi-fi. When I’m stuck or tired or just need a change of pace, I can walk a few laps around the track. And I’ve been known to occupy two kids at the book store reading, perusing, or playing with the train table or blocks while another learns guitar chords. And I’m not the only one.
I know moms who spend double digit hours in their vehicles or at the park with younger kids while older kids take music lessons or learn a foreign language. I see other moms with their lap tops open at the Y’s cafe, just like mine, while our kids socialize and get PE credits. I even ran into a family at Panera Bread at lunch time today – homeschooling in style!
It’s important to note that living outside our homes isn’t exclusive to homeschoolers. I remember my mom napping in the car when she’d pick me up from public school. I see other entrepreneurs finishing up calls or taking notes before coming into our shared meetings. And how many times have you met a friend for coffee or lunch and heard, or said, “Just let…me…press send…there,” before the phone gets set aside and catching up commences?
Being busy? It’s a thing. Being busy and taking it on the road? Also a thing. Just ask a mom near you. Being a mobile mom is definitely a thing.