Find a great water bottle. Buy a few and keep one in your car at all times. The long-term benefits of hydration are scientifically sound whereas the rest of my advice comes only from my own taxing experience. I will dispense this advice for busy moms now.
If you are old enough to remember what song I’m parodying, “Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen)” by Baz Lahrmann, then you are probably a busy mom, spending a lot of your time on the go. Driving your progeny all over the metro for one activity or another. I also drive a lot for work so I spend a great deal of quality time in my steadfast minivan.
I have learned a few things in my epic travels. I have become competent in the ways of the on-the-go lifestyle through painstaking trial and error.
Tips for Busy Moms
Often the margin between running around for work and running around for my life outside of work can get pretty hard to define. I’ve learned it’s best to merge these two aspects without shame. For me, this all starts with the right bag.
On the Go Bag
It’s taken some research and a few fails but I now carry a bag that holds what I need for work but also has space for the things I need for life. It’s functional enough to hold my laptop but cute enough to wear crossbody into Target with a toddler in tow.
Still, I don’t always want to lug a laptop with me everywhere I go. I also have a small clutch wristlet I can easily move from my work tote to a fully stocked purse that I keep stashed between the seats of my van.
Here’s a pro tip: I keep my key fob attached to the clutch. That way if I can start my vehicle I also know I have all my cards and cash. I’ve also gotten into the habit of putting my work badge into my clutch the second I leave work. Now I never have to beg a coworker to let me into the building.
Eating on the Go
It’s too easy to drive through fast food or stop at a gas station for a giant Diet Coke and some nutrient vapid snack food when you’re living on the road. To curb these behaviors my mom gifted me to a freezable lunch box. It can keep food cool all day. No matter where I go, or how many kids I have along for the ride, I can eat on the cheap.
I also keep a Cosco sized tub of animal crackers or goldfish in the trunk for hunger emergencies.
Clearly, we eat in our van. All the time. It drives my husband crazy, but the nice people at Chrysler saw fit to put a built-in vacuum cleaner in the van. In the van! The crumbs can be cleaned up quickly because life on the go demands sustenance.
Stuff on the Go
Life requires stuff. My big family occasionally require diapers, feminine products, pull-ups, pacifiers, umbrellas, jackets, clean socks, and masks. I keep a giant stash in my car’s stow-and-go slot which I access all the time.
The most important thing I keep in my van is a blow out kit for my kids. My toddler is head-to-toe dirt after a day of learning through play at preschool. I often have to change his entire outfit and wipe every inch of his adorable face and hands with cleaning wipes before I can run to one of his sister’s school events or church.
I have duplicates of all my essentials; sunglasses, my favorite water bottle, chapstick, and bobby pins. I keep one set in my van and the other in my bag or office.
Gas on the Go
You always have time to get gas. Always. Just because our cars now tell us exactly how little gas we have left in the tank doesn’t mean one can’t run out.
Make sure you get your regular vehicle check-ups and fill those tires because good car maintenance is akin to self-care when you spend more time with your van than your spouse.
I hope some of these tips help you busy moms better navigate those days when you begin feeling like an unpaid Uber driver.
But trust me on the water bottle.