Sunday, November 15, 2009

Are we there yet????

How many times have your kids asked you that question while driving long distance???Mine are now at the age where they have learned that question and it drive me NUTS! I can imagine it drives EVERYONE nuts right? is another question for you...How many people out there actually drive long distances ALONE with their small children? I'm talking 5 hours plus here, not just an hour or two. I do it ALL THE TIME and it SUCKS ASS. I hate making road trips alone with my kids (who are aged 3 and 4 btw....) I have been doing it for a few years though, but it never gets easier. If you have never done this, I am sure you have no idea how stressful it is. You might think u know, but u don't. It is very involved, and I normally stress out pretty bad for at least a week prior to the trip and a week trips have an enormous impact on my life. Let me walk you through it....
First there is the preparation...gathering everything you need, which is alot more thatn you wold need if it was just adults, or if more than one adult was going. You need to have stuff to entertain your small children the ENTIRE WAY. I opt for enough crayons and coloring books that they can't possibly drop them ALL on the floor, and dvd's. And snacks...gotta be sure to have enough snacks to occupy them too, and drinks..and gotta make sure it is stuff that is easy to open while driving, as noone else is there to help. And the packing....gotta pack....i hate packing, esp. for 3! Kids need more stuff too, cait is still in pullups, so there is kids have accidents, so gotta pack alot of extra stuff for that too.
Then...for me...I have to make sure stuff around the hosue is taken care of. I have to ensure my pets are all taken care of, which means cleaning out all their cages/litter box (none of this will get done while I am gone....) and putting food packs together for them. Alot of this has to get done last minute too...which i also stress over. Make sure all bills paid....dishes washed (or they will still be tehre when i get back) garbage taken out (or it will be NASTY when i get back)....etc. i will stress about all this for a week before I leave.
then, on the day of the trip, man oh man. Gotta make sure everythign is done, this is truly stressful. I make a million trips back into teh house before leaving! Get kids into car, get their stuff all on them (traytables so they can color/eat) start a movie for them, make sure they can reach everything, make sure my ipod is charged and ready to go, phone charged and ready....gas up car and head out.
Now this is where the fun of the kids will drop something. They can't get it if they drop it. They then CRY and WHINE. Sometimes, it is so bad, I have to stop the car to get it for them. Can you oimagine having to do this for 7 hours? Then their movie ends....I have to change it for them.....or they get hungry...i have to be able to reach teh snack AND movies, or else I will have to stop for this as well. It is not easy to change a movie while driving eitehr, althought I have mastered it! Then, some point someone is going to have to go to the bathroom and well, we have to eat at some apoint we have to stop. I then have to get them both out of car, and into gas station/restaurant for all this. This is not easy either. tray tables off, kids out, movie off...and into bathroom for potty break. This takes time with 2 small children, trust me! Then, i get to do it all over again...get them back in car, get all their stuff they need and hope they don't drop anything in 5 minutes!
Are you starting to get teh picture? I haven't even brought up again teh fact that they are asking me 'are we tehre yet?' every 5 miles! Can you imagine this for 7 hours? or 8 even?
I have done this several times this year. At Easter, I went to pittsburgh alone with kids....7 hours there. then, we went 3.5 hours to wEst Virginia to see inlaws. And then 8 hours home. Wow right? I was BEAT after this trip. In May, we made a 5 hour trip to charlotte ( i take responsibility for this one, as i really wanted to go see Michael Waltrip for fan day). 5 hours there, 5 hours back, 2 days. In August, I made another trip to Pittsburgh alone with kids. 7 hours there, 7 hours back. In october, i also drove kids to pittsburgh and back (october/november actually!) Is taht enought trips for one year? alone with my kids? You woudl think right? well..there are still 2 more planned by years end!
On Friday, I will pack up my kids to take them to SC to see my BFF....this is a SHORT TRIP! only 6 hours! oh JOY! I am looking forward to this trip, but there is still alot of stress involved, which sucks. Luckily, I will have another adult in car for the return trip, so it wont' be as bad. Then, Dec 26, i have to drive alone with kids to WV again, this is an 8 hour trip. Alone, both ways. Jaime suggested today, I do the WV to pittburght and then home again....not sure i can handle taht.
Why am I posting this? Because people expect me to jsut pack up the kids and make these trips all the time. (not ALL People ) I feel like it is expected of me to do this all the time. Noone ever stops to think twice before askign me to do it. Probably because it is something THEY HAVE NEVER DONE. have no idea unless you have done it. I'm already stressed for my Friday trip now. and I have a ton of stuff to do in between now and then....I feel like pulling my hair out! I just got back from last trip less than 2 wks ago! I just don't understand why it is always expected of ME to make the trips. I am teh ONLY ONE who has to do the trip alone with 2 small children. Noone else has to do this ever. But yet, I am the one who has to do it. At some point, i am going to just stop doing it. Im tired of travelling. Tired of driving. It jsut sucks. Im tired of the stress taht surrounds the trip. Im tired of the 'are we there yet?'

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