Would you like to know some tried and true ways to make errands less stressful when you have children along? Let’s face it; no mother enjoys the stress of a day full of errands when she has children to take along with her to every stop. You love your children and you may even love getting out and doing something with them along, but the combination can make for a very stressful day. Let’s talk about some ways to make errands less stressful that I found worked well with my own children.
1. Start Early
One of the best ways to make errands less stressful is to start early. If you start them early in the day you have several different advantages. Stores and other places will be less crowded than later on. Everyone is well rested and no one needs a nap. Additionally, in the summer time, you can avoid the worst heat of the day by getting your errands done early on.
2. Take Care of Everyone’s Needs First
If you don’t make sure that everyone’s needs have been met before you leave home, your trip is doomed from the start. It is best to make sure that everyone has been to the bathroom so you hopefully won’t have to find one early on in your day. It is also good to leave home with everyone having a full stomach. Hungry children are not happy children. You should probably even throw some snacks in your bag to tide them over till you eat again.
3. Plan Your Trip
When I leave home for a full day of errands, I plan my trip. I figure out what would be the most convenient way to squeeze all of my errands in and avoid having to backtrack to pick up something I forgot. I also write a list of all of the stops that I need to make to help me avoid forgetting them. There is nothing worse than finally getting your little ones home and realizing you have to go back out to do something important. I even list what I need to take care of at each stop so nothing gets forgotten.
4. Take Advantage of Drive-throughs
I have a love of drive-throughs. I think the world is a better place because of drive-throughs and I will happily use each and every one I can. That being said, drive-throughs are the best thing ever for moms with children. Stopping and having to unbuckle your children at each and every stop is a hassle, even if they are old enough to unbuckle themselves. Drive-throughs keep everyone nicely in the car and lets you get your business done. Use them whenever they are an option.
5. Make a Grocery List
I already said that I make of list of each stop I need to make and what I need to do there. I also am huge on making grocery lists. I would never attempt to go to the grocery store without mine. For me, that would be total chaos and is for most of you. Make a grocery list and check it off as you shop. This way, you know for sure if you got everything that you needed to get before you get home and miss it.
6. Keep Your Cool
It is hard not to let it stress you out when you have ten different errands with children in tow. I know because I have been there. I have also found that errand days go a lot smoother when I keep my cool. I try to remind myself of this when I feel my patience slipping. Sometimes a bit of humor or even music can help you all to relax and get through errand day.
7. Build in a Treat or Reward
Building in a treat or a reward is a nice thing do for your children and yourself. It gives all of you something to look forward to. It is easier to deal with going to the bank, the drugstore, the post office and all of the other places you must go if you know that you have an ice cream cone or smoothie at the end of the trip. It can also be used as motivation to help your children behave while you are doing errands. It will also give you a nice, quiet car ride home.
Errand days are difficult but they can be more manageable with these tips. What do you do to make errand days easier when you have your children along? Let’s all learn from each other here!