Friday, February 13, 2015

Meet Jess :: Being Mrs. Beer

Hi there Wife Mommy Me readers! Stephanie asked for a few people to pop in while she was moving back to Ohio, and I'm honored to be with you guys today!

I'm Jess, and I blog over at Being Mrs. Beer. Yep, that's my real last name. (Can't take the credit for that one, I just married into it!) Anyway, I blog about my life as a working mom to my two-year-old, Abbie, in the DC area and all that comes with it. If you get a chance, I'd love if you came over to say hi!

Anyway, in honor of Stephanie's move and the long drive she's embarking on, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite tips for long car rides. See, commutes in the DC area can get long - very long. Those long drives with my 2-year-old in tow? Not always fun. I have come up with some strategies, and while I use them during my commute, they are great tips for longer car rides too!

 How to Handle Long Drives with a Toddler
  1. Be mindful of your toddler's mood. Toddlers are so unpredictable sometimes, aren't they? Most of the time when I pick Abbie up, she's happy and in a great mood, which usually means an easier ride, giggles and all. If she's already cranky, I adjust my focus from being fun to just keeping her as happy as I can. You know your child best and can judge their mood.
  2. Have snacks and water handy. Toddlers are finicky, but most of the time a snack will help. I usually stash one of Abbie's water cups along with an easy snack (like goldfish) in the car, and it's saved my sanity countless times. Toddlers sure love their goldfish.
  3. Talk and play when you can. Obviously, this is something you have to judge, since it's more important to drive safely. While I can't turn around and look at Abbie while I'm driving, I can talk to her, even though she's not at the point where she really responds. When I'm at a red light, I'll reach back and tickle her, grab her hand, or find a way to be silly. If she's whining while we're stuck in traffic, I'll tell her about the cars or the scenery, or ask her questions - even though she can't answer me yet. It helps her to know I'm still with her and engaged, but focused on getting us home safely. I'm hoping it's a precursor to conversations about her day as she gets older. When there's more than one adult in the car, this gets easier - one can sit in the back while the other one drives. We've done that a lot, especially when she was younger, and it really helps.
  4. Have distractions ready. As much as I hate it, Abbie's pacifier is a necessary part of our commute. It's a good comfort and distraction for her. We occasionally are able to make the drive without it, but usually need it. I also keep toys in my car that are specifically car toys - stickers and Doc McStuffins flashcards are great because they're easy to hand to Abbie and she can play with them quietly. Of course, there's two last resorts - the Disney Junior playlist on my phone, and my Kindle Fire. I can't tell you how many times we've listened to the playlist, and while I don't love listening to it, it keeps Abbie happy for the most part. The Kindle is always the last resort - I try to limit Abbie's screen time when I can, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
  5. Try to be patient. There will be days that it sucks. The DC area has some of the worst traffic in the nation, so this is something I know all too well. Sometimes traffic is backed up for no reason. Sometimes there's an accident, and sometimes more than one. Sometimes your toddler will be in the worst mood, and maybe you will too. Just keep in mind that it's okay, and you'll get through the drive, one mile at a time.
Thanks so much for having me today, Stephanie! If any of you would like to follow along with our adventures, you can find me below!

8 comments:

  1. Great tips for traveling with kiddos. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. These are such great tips for traveling!

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  3. Ah yes the iPad has saved my bacon more than once!! Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks

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  4. These are great tips! We don't take too long of car rides often but my parents live 7 hours away so these will be great when we do that long trip again!

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  5. Snacks and water are a life saver in our car! And when the kids are really starting to lose it we have a Veggie Tales CD that does the trick every time, it's the funniest thing to hear them all of a sudden get quiet and stop bickering when I turn it on. :)

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  6. These are all excellent tips for traveling with kids! Thank you for sharing :)

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  7. Jess is fabulous. I've really enjoyed getting to know her over the last few months. Great tips! Thanks for sharing, Jess!

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Thank you so much for commenting on today's post. I reply to comments via Disqus so if you are curious as to what I may have to say in response to your message, just visit this post and check your comment. -- xo, Stephanie