Running errands with kids is not one of my most favorite things to do. I can think of a few million other things I’d rather do. Like stick my hand in boiling hot water. 😉 But seriously, it’s not my favorite activity, but most of the time we have no choice. Things have to get done. There’s this small thing called being an adult/parent and a lot of the time it requires leaving the house. Ha!
When thinking of taking our favorite little people all around town, it can become overwhelming. I TOTALLY get it! I’ve been there more times than I can count!
So here are a few tips that I’ve used (and try to remember) before leaving our safe haven!
#1. BE PREPARED!
Those boy scouts knew what they were talking about when they came up with that motto. The best thing you can do is prepare yourself for the possible disasters that are about to come your way. You NEVER know with children. One second they are sweet and literally .02 seconds later they become someone that needs to be locked up. So before leaving pack SNACKS, SNACKS and more SNACKS! I TRY to pack healthy stuff, but I’m not a perfect mom and a lot of the time my kids are getting fruit snacks shoved into their mouths or DUM DUM after DUM DUM!
Here are a few healthy snacks that I love giving them:
Annies Organic Snacks (on SALE)
#2. DON’T GO HUNGRY
If you don’t want to worry about doing number 1, or you’re in a big hurry, try and get everyone’s tummies full before you leave. This will make a world of difference. Then you won’t have fussy kids and you won’t be tempted to run through the drive thru. Also, change diapers and have everyone use the restroom. There’s nothing like pulling out of the driveway and down the road and someone tells you they have to pee.
#3. MAKE A LIST
Before doing numbers 1 and 2, make a list and figure out what exactly needs to be done. This will keep the errand journey much smoother and quicker! Which is exactly what we are striving for, right?! Prioritize your list of most importance. If you can’t get errands #3 and #4 on your list done, at least you know you got the most important ones completed. I need to be better at this. Sometimes I feel like I’m driving around town like a chicken with my head cut off and I end up getting NOTHING done! That’s the worst! So make a prioritized list!
#4. KEEP YOUR KIDS INFORMED
Let your kids know ahead of time exactly what your plans are for the day. Tell them what to expect and be on their best behavior. A lot of the time before leaving, I tell them I will reward them with an ice cream cone (or whatever it may be) if they show good behavior.
#5. INVOLVE YOUR CHILDREN
Let them carry the groceries for you or give the cashier the money or take the receipt (my kids LOVE doing this). It makes them feel like they are helping and involved in your errands. Remember to say, “Thank you so much for helping! You did such a great job!” My kids thrive on this and I’ve noticed how much more well behaved they are for the rest of the time.
#6. AND IF ALL ELSE FAILS….
Wait until your husband gets home and go by yourself! 😉
I hope these simple tips can help you enjoy your time running errands with your children and not make you want to pull your hair out!