Yesterday I was having a great time sitting at my writing desk letting the insights and inspiration flow when I realized I needed to go pick up Samuel. I lose about an hour a day (or more!) schlepping kids here and there. I get pretty darned cranky about it SO in order to keep my sanity – and a positive relationship with my children – I have come up with strategies to thrive while doing this least favored chore. Some are simple and some may be life changing for you. Try the first couple or two that appeal to you and then… try more. It will make a big difference!
- Smile. Just putting on a happy expression, believe it or not, makes a difference in your emotions. Put your key in the ignition of your car, put a smile on the ignition of your face.
- Don’t turn on the radio immediately. Enjoy some quiet instead of a barrage of bass-filled beats or advertisements. This also creates room for more conversation. Teens especially need this space and will tell you more while schlepping around than anywhere else.
- Practice creativity while driving. My children, even the youngest ones, enjoy “writing haiku” as we drive. This simple Japanese poetry form is simply 17 syllables of “what you see” in its most simplest guise. My kids are still talking about my “blue surrounds the clouds” line.
- Have a “surprise phone-tography shot” challenge. Who can spot the most interesting image during the drive. Mom, pull over and take a photo & then together, vote on the winners. Prizes? Hugs from Mom or a relief from the simplest chore/household task on the list. And yes, Mom, you are included in this “photo spotting” project.
- Let the view spark family and life stories. “Do you see that guy, on the corner? That reminds me of a story grandpa used to tell me when he was a little boy.” My children have learned more about my life – and the entire extended family life – because we make the most of what we see. After you are finished with your quick story, ask your child, “What does it (or that something else) remind you?
- I know it’s illegal in most places, anyway – but put your phone away! (this is why I said to pull over for the phone-tography. A recent tweet from my fifteen-year-old “calling me out” made me choose to just put it away! (You may do the same with your children, too. Make the car “family” time. If the habit is too tough to break, as child to read amusing tweets on a favorite shared subject by searching twitter hashtags.
- With that in mind my final suggestion is this: set ALL electronic devices aside, except for GPS ofcourse. Unhook the headphones, put the hand held devices on standby, and use Mom-Shlep time to connect with one another rather than connect with technology.
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© 2012 by Julie Jordan Scott
This is my Ultimate Blog Challenge Writing for the Day. Be watching for my challenge posts which will include Writing Prompts, Writing Tips and General Life Tips and Essays. This is Blog 4/31 for July!
Julie Jordan Scott has been a Life & Creativity Coach, Writer, Facilitator and Teleclass Leader since 1999. She is also an award winning Actor, Director, Artist and Mother Extraordinaire. She was twice the StoryTelling Slam champion in Bakersfield. She leads Writing Camp with JJS & this Summer will be traveling throughout the US to bring this unique, fun filled creative experience to the people wherever she finds the passion & the interest.
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