Mom on the Go?


Mother and Children Walking

I am what you would describe as the exact opposite of a homebody. In fact, it mentally and physically takes a toll on me to stay at home (or anywhere, really) for too long. It wasn’t until I was recently stopped upwards of five times in one day by strangers telling me how “impressive” it was that I was out with my two small children and swollen belly that I realized this attitude might not be the norm. But, here we are, a family enjoying being constantly on the move. Over time, I have found ways to minimize the stress of being constantly out and about. Here are my top tips:

Take only what you need. When I was a brand new mom, I thought through every scenario possible that could happen on an outing. And, I tried to bring along everything to properly deal with those scenarios in my diaper bag. Not only was I completely tired and stressed out before I left the house, I was also really weighed down wherever I went. Think a couple of diapers, the wipe pack that is almost at its end, and a sippy cup or water bottle. Really, that’s all you need. Getting out the door with extra is just an added bonus. Getting out the door with too much extra will just weigh you down.

Keep the car stocked. Keeping the car stocked with provisional items makes it easier to follow Tip #1. My car is hardly ever without a fresh change of clothes for the kids and me, extra diapers and wipes, individually packaged car-friendly snacks, bottled water, activities for the kids, and a child carrier.

Set a budget and stick to it. I hate the big “B” word. But, if you are out a considerable percentage of your waking hours, it is extremely easy to fall prey to budget traps. And there are so many budget traps: McDonalds and Chick-fil-a, Starbucks, the “dollar” spot at Target, or maybe a random face painting station that just happens to cost $12 (per child!!). But, friend, I am here to tell you that Fort Worth can be one of the most budget-friendly cities to play in. Whether your budget for the day is $5 or upwards of $100, you can find so much to do. The hard part is saying “no” when you see your budget is about to run out. Personally, I have found it works best to take a set amount of cash for activities and extras. Once that cash is gone, it is gone. Can you still play at the Botanical Gardens? Absolutely. Can you get a latte (for you) and cake pops (for them) on the way home? Maybe next time. But, hey, it’s good for the kids to hear “no” once in a while. And, frankly, it’s probably okay for you, too.

Respect the nap/rest time. One of my children has long quit napping. However, she happens to be my little homebody who needs a little rest and space to function at her best. The other turns into a miniature Hulk when he misses his nap. I have found that it is crucial that I respect both of their needs, either heading home for a bit if we are staying around town or finding a good place to rest if we are out on an all-day adventure. 

Be consistent in parenting. Like most grown adults, I care about what other people think of me. Especially strangers. However, as a mom, I know it’s more important to my children’s welfare that I maintain a consistent style of discipline both inside and outside the home. Even more so that we are out of the house for a good portion of the day most days of the week. I try my very best to find a quiet, private place to have hard and important conversations with the children. However, sometimes there is no quiet corner. 

Set realistic expectations. Children are going to be children. There will be noise, breakdowns, and lots and lots of explaining why they must or can’t do x, y, or z. But, there will also be smiles, laughter, and adventure. And, it will be worth it. Plus, they were probably going to have a breakdown at home anyhow. 

What are some of your tips for not only surviving but enjoying time out of the house with the children?

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Rachel loves a good fairytale, so it’s no surprise that, after moving to Fort Worth from Washington, D.C., she kissed a frog and fell in love. She is the mother of two perfect children—Lillian, an adventurous toddler, and Lucas, a handsome cuddle-bug who is speeding through infant-hood too fast. She loves pearls, books, coffee, talking about books over coffee, writing, listening to others’ life stories, and spending time with her family. When she is not busy practicing law or changing diapers, you will find her exploring the amazing culinary and cultural delights that Fort Worth has to offer or blogging at Honeycomb and Pearls.


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