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Inland SoCal Moms | Encouragement for Moms - Chauffeur - Global Women Network

Inland SoCal Moms | Encouragement for Moms – Chauffeur

I used to feel bad for those moms who were their kids’ personal chauffeur. I could never understand why someone would do that to themselves…until it happened to me.

inland_moms_chauffeur

For years I avoided having my kids on any elite or travel team for sports. In fact, when my son was going to try out a few years ago, I broke down and cried to my husband at the thought of weekly travel games and practice three times a week. I could handle taking him five minutes down the street for practice and games, but 30 minutes to an hour away, forget about it. Besides, he had his heart set on Teen Bible Quizzing and that was only a monthly commitment. Of course it seemed the wiser choice.

Little did I know the weekly practices for quizzing would be an hour away and quiz meets would range from San Diego to Fresno to Prescott, AZ. Add to this my daughter’s monthly Children’s Bible Quizzing and her new found passion for being in dance productions which requires practice on Saturdays. Did I mention my husband works retail so he can’t get Saturdays off? I had become that chauffeur I never wanted to be.

By Friday I had already dreaded the trip to San Diego at 7 a.m. the next day, leaving Noah’s Quiz meet at lunch to rush Becca home for dance, go to a dinner social, and then driving to the other side of town to pick up my son from my brother’s house because luckily he works in San Diego and could bring Noah back up north since I had to leave the meet early. I thought of the back pain I’d have to endure, how exhausted I would be, and how cranky the kids would be after a busy day.
“What have I gotten myself into?” I sighed as I fell asleep Friday night.

My negative thoughts began again when the alarm went off at 5:45 a.m.

“I’m too tired for this!” I thought, rubbing my eyes. But then I remembered, I went to bed at 8:45 p.m. Even with frequent bathroom trips in the night, I had gotten over eight hours sleep.

I put off waking up the girl as long as possible. I dreaded the thought of her crankiness, so I made her breakfast and woke her fifteen minutes before we had to leave. By the time we walked out the door, she was giddy about her brother’s offer to read to her in the car.

“This is going well,” I thought, sipping my coffee on the drive down. “It’s going too well.” Disaster was undoubtedly around the corner.

Amazingly enough, the day continued without a disaster. In fact, when I got over myself and my busy schedule, it turned out to be a blessed day. I had the opportunity to watch my son put to use all he had learned, as well as display a good attitude when he answered questions incorrectly. To see him smile whether he was right or wrong blessed my heart as we have been working on that for years.

Then the blessing of singing along with my daughter on our ride home came, along with watching her in her first “real” dance role. It wasn’t a dozen young girls running aimlessly around the room, but six young ladies working on a choreographed dance. All I could think of as she danced was how fast she is growing up – and I almost missed it. Not because I wasn’t there, but because of my attitude.

It seems like yesterday that they were just babies, yet in four short years my son will be driving. Then the pressure will be off me, but I will be missing out. I’ll miss out on them telling me about their day on the way home from class, I’ll miss watching them excel in their activities, and frankly, miss just being with them.

I never wanted to be that mom that complains of driving her kids everywhere, so I’ve decided I will no longer complain. I’ll continue to rack up 100 miles in one day, 300 over a weekend. I’ll plan and arrange drop off, pick up, and call on extra support from my family and friends to make it work. I’ll cherish the talks and activities, the silliness and the craziness. And at the end of a long Saturday, I’ll ice my back, put up my feet, and be grateful for the time I have with my kiddos, even when it’s in the car driving from here to there.

Kelly Harrel

Writer at Inland Moms
Kelly Harrel is an amazing wife to her husband, Jeff, and "the best mom ever" according to her two children. In her spare time, Kelly writes Inspirational Fiction novels, blogs about life lessons, and speaks to women and girls. She blogs at www.kellyharrel.com.

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