The school year is fast approaching, and it’s time for moms to think about how their children will be getting to and from school. For those who don’t have the option of sending their kids on the big yellow school bus, or who feel that it’s just an unnecessary expense, carpool is your next best bet. Truth be told, some people find that the notion of carpool is a stroke of genius, while others feel that it’s a headache that they can live without. No matter where you fall on the love-it-or-hate-it spectrum, here are some ways to make your carpooling schedule simple.
Round Up the Gang
First things first: you’ll need to brainstorm and make a list of your child’s schoolmates who live in your neighborhood. Once you get that out of the way, it’s time to make phone calls and find out which parents will participate in your carpool. When you find enough parents to join the crew, it’s time to create a carpooling schedule.
Five for Five
It makes the most sense to have five children in the carpool (including your own child), so the five school days each week are covered. Each of the five moms will choose one day per week to drive the carpool, and that schedule will stick throughout the year. For example, Joey’s mom will pick up and drop off on Mondays, Sam’s mom will be responsible for Tuesdays, Abe’s mom will drive Wednesdays, and so on. This way, it’s easy for parents and kids alike to remember whose “carpool day” it is, and the best part is, each mom has a week to recuperate until she needs to drive carpool again!
The Morning Rush
Moms all over the world know what it feels like when the alarm clock blares and the morning commotion begins. Kids need to get dressed, eat breakfast, grab their schoolbags and books and get some snack and lunch on the way out. And all this needs to happen in time for school. Now, there’s bad news and good news. The bad news is, when your carpool day comes around, you’ll need to start this morning rush even earlier in the morning in order to leave a good half-hour for picking up the children in your carpool and dropping them off at school. The good news is, this only needs to happen once a week!
When you’re driving carpool, keep in mind that all the other moms in your carpool have their own schedules and are banking on you to pick their child up on time (please note, not Syrian time!). Be considerate of the other members of your carpool and be ready to show up in a timely manner.
It’s every carpool mom’s nightmare. The wheels are rolling and the kids are jumping around the car like monkeys on the bed. But before you start sweating from just thinking about it, you need to know that it’s your job to put a boundary firmly into place at the beginning of the school year. Remember, you’re the boss with your foot on the brake!
When driving carpool, it is your responsibility to keep all the children in your car safe and to enforce safety rules. When it comes to seatbelts and remaining seated, it’s time to put on your drill sergeant cap and make sure everyone is ready for a safe drive. The children in your carpool need to know that when it comes to safety, listening is a must, and if you’re not buckled up, you’re not going anywhere.
“Mommy, I Have a Stomach Ache!”
The carpool schedule isn’t set in stone, because things come up and it’s important to be flexible. If you or your child isn’t feeling well the night before your carpool day, call another mom in your group and ask if she’ll swap days with you for the week. And in the worst case scenario, if something comes up the morning of, be sure to make phone calls right away to do the carpool swap. Obviously, if you know about a berit or appointment in advance, make phone calls to switch your day as soon as you know about the change to your schedule.
With carpool, you get a nice break from driving your children to school every day since you can share the responsibility with other moms. Be organized and considerate of other people’s time, and carpool will work for you and the others in your group.