Some people dread carpools. And with good reason. It’s not just the traffic.
It’s a blessing to be in a group with mature, responsible moms with whom you get along. But just in case, perhaps tell your fellow carpoolers about the site/app you love, and they might just stumble upon these tips.
I recognize that there’s always exceptions, days where we ran into traffic and didn’t beat the carpool home, or days our child decides to have a tantrum as his carpool pulls into the driveway.
1Always be a favor ahead.
You never know when you’ll need a favor and it’s always great when you’re a favor or two ahead, because people will be more readily willing to jump in and save you too when you need it. So, yes, be one or two favors ahead. But perhaps it’s not such a good idea to be four favors ahead. Because then you’re not nice, then you’re a doormat.
2Make sure your child is ready.
Of course, exceptions always happen and there might be a day when your toddler hid your preschooler’s shoes under the couch cushions. But, in general, make sure your child is ready to walk out the door when carpool arrives. Don’t be the person who always keeps the carpool waiting.
3Are you running late?
It happens. Being on time is an obvious carpool rule, but unexpected things do pop up. Send a text with your ETA so your fellow carpoolers aren’t staring aimlessly at the window. They can get other stuff done too, rather than sit and wait.
4Child not coming today?
If your child is not coming, let your fellow carpooler know ahead of time. How many times do we pick go to pick up a child and he’s not there?
5Did your child stay home from school on the day that it’s your turn to drive?
It’s still your responsibility. Sure, you can ask someone to switch, but if no one is available (I hope one of them will be, this is a good time to use one of those favors you earned in #1), you must go anyway.
6Be home or make sure someone is home.
If your child is too young to be home alone, it’s not your carpooler’s responsibility to find a place for him. Of course, it’s great to carpool with your child’s friends, and perhaps take turns taking each other’s kids for playdates so you both have days where you have extra time to get those errands done.
7Finally, love all the kids as if they’re your own.
Care about the safety of each of them. (And if it’s little kids, it’s helpful to have extra boosters around, they don’t have to be expensive, like this one. ) It’s not just a carpool chore to get over with…you’ve been trusted with precious cargo.
Is carpooling not your thing?
It could be that it works better for you to drive and pick up your own child. But, sometimes you need some backup. Instead of a carpool, make an “uncarpool” agreement with another mom who’s also transporting her own child. You both cover for each other on days that one of you might not be available. See #1 as that tip is relevant here too.
Do you have any tips for happy carpooling?