Driving with young kids can be stressful – so here are some tips to make the whole process easier.
1. Collect The Trash
The easiest way to keep your car clean as a mom is to have a trash receptacle handy for trash! I highly recommend using a bag, a plastic container, a shoe box or just about anything that can withstand sharp swerves and turns in the car. This teaches youngsters early on the importance of collecting their trash in the right places versus leaving it lying around under the car seat or stuck goodness knows where! Having a defined routine can help you keep both your home and your car neat and tidy. Always use car mats as they make it easy to keep the inside of your car clean and tidy, visit mrcarmats.co.uk for a full range to choose from.
2. Handle Bad Odors
When traveling with kids, bad odors tend to permeate throughout the car. Whether it's sweaty socks or left behind food remnants, these smells can really hit you hard! Rolling down your window and airing out the car or leaving scented essential oils may not always do the trick, at least they didn't with my kids.
A much better alternative that I later discovered is using PERK Vent Wraps, which have a pleasant fragrance and don't fall down at every turn. They never spill or leak chemicals, and most importantly, work well whether your vents are blowing air or not. Each Wrap is individually wrapped which makes it easy to only use one at a time as needed.
3. Let Your Kids Get Situated Themselves
Let your little ones learn early on how to get in and out of your car, and where to sit. It may require a bit of extra time and effort, but kids love the challenge and you'll feel less burdened. Don't forget the importance of training your kids to buckle their own seat belts if they're old enough to do so. This can help you significantly decrease the time it takes to travel to your destination.
4. Create An Emergency Kit
I highly urge parents to create a small emergency kit to keep on hand in their cars that meets the needs of their kids. You can Google and find a large number of articles that focus on what to put in an emergency kit, but I really feel that this is an individual choice you should make based on the needs of your family. Most importantly, you don't have to invest a great deal of money or spend half your paycheck on these things. More often than not, these items you already own and have at your house.
Some things that I do recommend including in your kit are;
*Bottled water and snack bars
*Jumper cables and a flashlight
*Duct tape and rope
*A change of clothes for everyone
*Weather appropriate gear such as gloves or a warm blanket if needed
5. Have A Safe Signal
Kids by nature are loud and boisterous, but when you're a sleep deprived mother with other responsibilities, external stimuli such as sights, smells, and sounds can negatively impact your mental health. Sure, listening to your kids playing and enjoying themselves is sometimes a welcome noise in the car but sometimes, it becomes too much. For these times, make sure you have a signal figured out that you can use to communicate with your kids that you would like some silence in the car. A way that I tend to diffuse such a situation is by raising the palm of my hand and instructing my kids to stay silent until I lower my hand.
6. Try Stay Calm
Driving with the rest of the family in the car can cause stress and anxiety and trying to stay calm when driving with you kids can be quite a challenge. Keeping them calm and preparing them for the trip goes a long way here and can prevent issues. You can always prepare yourself to stay level headed by taking some CBD gummies beforehand, to keep things on the straight and narrow.
7. Leave Your Mobile Devices Out Of Reach
I am probably not the first parent to admit that I depend on my smartphone probably way more than I should. Even while driving, the temptation to reach across my dashboard and grab my phone to quickly access my messages is greater than I ever care to admit. I have since then learned that a fantastic way to get a handle on this urge is to simply place my electronic devices out of reach. Somehow, not having direct access to my phone while hitting a red light has taught me to focus more on the here and now, and less on what other people are doing. If your phone rings, just let your answering system get to it. On the off chance that you think it may be something important, you can always pull over and check your messages then. In short, I have taken the steps necessary to focus on my kids and the road while driving.