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Winter Break (20 min) Workout

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The kids are home for break and the struggle is real.

Maybe not yet, but it will be.

You know you should workout- you may want to workout- but finding the time is just too hard.  Maybe you usually go to the gym or go workout, but with the kids being home (and all those germs in the gym daycare- ugh!), you decide to just wait until break is over to pick it back up.

Here’s the thing- working out doesn’t have to be “long”, nor does it require a lot of equipment.  Sometimes, just moving a little bit is enough to make you feel better and get the endorphins going.  You will thank yourself for a quick 20 minute exercise… and your kids may even thank you, as well!

Better yet- have them do this workout WITH you.  Lay down a beach towel next to you- get them some water and GO! If they don’t want to workout, turn on some dance party music and they can dance around you while you burn those calories! It may not be the best workout you’ve ever had because, let’s be honest, you may get interrupted every few minutes, but do what you can do.  It’s better than doing nothing!

  1. 00:00-1:00  Jumping Jacks- nothing crazy!  Just get that heart rate going!  You can do jumping jacks, scissor jacks or side-step out jacks (watch that pelvic floor!)
  1. 1:00-3:00 Walking Lunges- Walk… and lunge!  Find a space to get in 4-5 lunges and go back and forth.  Engage the core and keep shoulders down and back, chest held high!

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  1. 3:00-4:00 Push Ups- Push ups are SO great because they work arms, core, legs— everything!  Quality over Quantity.  Start with wall push ups.  Step a foot away from the wall- straight spine-slowly lower yourself toward the wall and slowly push yourself away.  If you can do that successfully, then move to push ups with your knees on the ground, focusing on a straight spine.  If you can do that, then go for the toes!  Goal is arms to 90 degrees!
  1. 4:00-5:00 Heel Drops- Lay on a mat with your spine pressed to the ground.  Feet off the ground, hips, knees and ankles at 90 degrees.  Slowly lower one leg at a time to the ground and bring it back up while keeping your spine in contact with the ground.

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  1. 5:00-6:00 Jump Rope- It’s ok if you don’t have a jump rope!  Just pretend!  And the beautiful thing is that you can’t mess up.  If jumping is too much (for the pelvic floor), peddle your feet or run in place!

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  1. 6:00-8:00 Squats!  So great for women! Feet at shoulder width apart or a little wider.  Keep your knees tracking over your second toe.  Push the booty back first (like you’re about to hover over a port-a-potty seat) and drop the booty, and then bringing it back up, squeezing the booty!

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  1. 8:00-9:00 Tricep Dips- On all 4s with belly to the ceiling.  Fingers facing ankles.  Bend your elbows, straighten your elbows.  Keep your hips out of the action!
  1. 9:00-10:00 Bird Dogs- On all 4’s belly down.  Extend one leg straight back while extending the opposite arm out in front of you.  Slowly return to your starting position and repeat on the other side.  Try to stay steady, like you are balancing a vase on your back.

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REPEAT! (you could even repeat 2 more times if your kiddos are letting you and you want to get a 30 minute total body workout in!)

Take a few minutes to stretch and BREATHE at the end and then go ahead about the rest of your day!!

At Home Workouts

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The Elf…

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Ok- raise your hand if you, too, thought this elf would be such a fun tradition for the holidays and now you are dreading pulling it out yet another time and coming up with 32+ “activities” or hiding places for your elf?  Seriously- kudos to the person that thought of this idea and was able to convince all of us naive parents that it would be a super great tradition.  Lies.

Or maybe you are one of the few that love the Elf and all the “fun” it has to offer.  Do you really exist?

At our house- we forget to move him.  (Buddy- our elf’s name is Buddy #creative).  We really just move him around and it’s a fun “where is Buddy” game every day.  But we haven’t had any reprieve.  We have had the elf since Aiden and Lu were little… and the way it’s worked out- it has rolled right into the Knox and the twins.  I seriously think we are on year 8 or 9 of this thing.  No joke. (It was created in 2005).  Let me tell you how fun it was on those sleepless nights with the twins realizing the damn elf didn’t move.  Enter Aiden.  That kid has saved us SO many times.  And yes- this year Lucy was on the mad hunt for Buddy when we realized we didn’t know what box he was in from the move. “Hey Lu- not sure if you know or not, but Buddy isn’t real and we need your help finding him.”  Her: “duh”.  After two days of hunting, Jeremy headed to Kohls and we now have a Buddy #3.

(Buddy #1 met his unfortunate death when we had him eating popcorn and watching the movie ELF when Lucy was little and Rockne ate his face off.  Seriously picture our faces… we left Buddy face down in the bowl of popcorn all day- went up to tuck them in for bed and come down and the elf has no face… the popcorn was also gone.  I can not even begin to tell you the middle of the night panic trying to replace the elf without a face… Jeremy going to every store was open and sending me pictures on our Razors (did they even take pictures??) and trying to find the one with exactly the right hair color.  Thankfully our secret was safe for many years… we finally just broke the news to her this year.  She was slightly devastated.)

But here we go again… another year of hiding the elf every night until the glorious morning of Christmas when most people are excited about presents and time together with family- we’re holding up our Christmas mimosas in the air to a break from having to scramble to hide the elf.

For total selfish reasons- I created a Virtual Elf Planning party on Facebook this year.  100% selfish.  I need all the ideas.  Although- one of my amazing neighbors ordered Reindeer from their elf last year!!  Seriously!! Real Reindeer!  In their front yard!  Amazing!  And another had their elf break their leg, and therefore be in a cast so they couldn’t move for a few weeks #genius.

Buddy is back though- and he will be back for at least a few years.  (or if the little ones are anything like Lucy- we have 8 more years of the Elf. *insert favorite cuss word*)

I have included my Elf on the Shelf Calendar for you all. #yourewelcome. Nothing fancy- but each day is split in half so the top half is for the idea and the second half is for supplies needed.  This way, if you are lucky enough to have helpers like me- you can all be on the same page and not have to guess what the elf does next.  Because it’s all about taking the stress out of the holidays, right? *insert spontaneous laughter*

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If you forget to move your elf, someone else (probably just like me) has created a list as to why the elf didn’t move.  Check it out HERE

And for those of you that were smart enough to have never introduced the elf into your house- I raise my mimosa to you.

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The “Why” behind the Workout

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If we have no body, we have nothing to serve with…

Those words echoed in my head today sitting in the church.  I was surrounded by rows of people. All the chairs were full.  I looked around.  Were they hearing what he was saying?  It was one of those moments I wanted to leap from my chair- hands raised up with a triumphant “YES!”

Yes!  Our pastor today was seriously telling everyone to take care of the body we have so that we may serve better.  aka: Workout.  Eat to Fuel.  Listen to your soul.  Rest.  It was my world of health and fitness combining with my spiritual life with a sudden BAM! And it was beautiful.  And then he said something else… physical wellness and spiritual wellness should not be two separate entities… but they should support one another and be one in the same.  What? So in working out, eating right, being “well”, my spiritual life can also grow.  Lightbulb.

The crazy thing is, it’s not just my spiritual life, but my whole life that benefits.  Take a second to reflect.  What’s your purpose?  Really- what do you do every day?  What do you wake up to do? What gets you going? Career? School?  Wiping noses and kissing boo-boos?  Teaching and shaping young minds?  Is that your purpose?  How are you living that out?

My purpose right now?  To help moms be the healthiest version of themselves so they can show up every day to this thing called motherhood and rock it.  They can keep up with their kids.  They can play the games.  They can do all the things because they are able to.  They can feel like they aren’t alone and that they have a village that loves and supports them.  My more important purpose is to keep my own family happy, healthy, and safe.  And I can do that because I am able.

Am I tired?  Everyday.  Does my brain ever stop worrying or overthinking everything?  Nope.  Do I usually think I’m royally screwing something up?  Yup.  But can I mentally and physically give what I need to my kids, Jeremy, and those around me? Heck yes.  Because I take time to care for me.  Physically and spiritually.  (and again, please note, no where did I say it was easy.  But I can do it).

So now the question is- are you taking care of yourself in the way that supports you being able to live out your purpose? I was asked that today sitting in my chair about 20 rows back from the stage.  Not asked individually, but asked as a collective whole.  I was able to answer yes.  And I wonder if other people in the room were able to answer the same.  I’m not saying that to be prideful or boastful.  It’s taken me a long time to get to where I am.  And I’m not perfect, yet.  But I’m getting there.

So the thing is- I don’t workout or try to “eat right” because I want to be the skinniest or the strongest (though that would be a nice bonus, I won’t lie).  I workout so that I can live a functional and fulfilling life.  I workout so that I can sprint across the house and bound up steps when I hear one of the babies crying for me.  I workout so that I can run across the grass and jump over a bike to keep a kid from running in the street.  I workout so when my 4 year old tells me he wants to ride a bike without training wheels, I can run alongside of him to catch him if he falls.  I workout so I can separate a Royal Rumble happening in my living room when there’s just one of me and two … or five of them.  I workout so I can have quiet alone time.  (yeah, you read that right- I run without music or noise so that my brain can rest and my body can work- it makes for some great clarity on many issues and decisions.  and it’s quiet).  Some people workout to be with other people- I workout to be by myself.  I workout to be happy.  (working out creates endorphins- endorphins make you happy- yada yada.  But it’s true).  I workout so that I’m not out of breath doing day to day tasks.  I workout so that when I’m a grandparent- I still will be able to do all these things.  Do I still take naps?  Sometimes.  I call it self-care.  Some days I need a 20 (or 60) min power nap to get through the day with the crazy trio.  Some days I can keep going.  It’s all about listening and knowing when to stop and when to go.  Working out doesn’t have to be because you want to look great.  Who cares?  Working out should happen so that you can show up to whatever life throws at you being the best version of you.

So now I ask you.  How are you taking care of what you were given?

A friend posted tonight that she challenges everyone to live out the last 90 days of 2018 with the same motivation and determination as the first 90 days of 2018.  I love that.  What were your goals?  Have they changed?  Are they the same?  Do you still have that motivation.  I would love to challenge all of you do to the same- make the last 90 days just as good as the first 90.

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My Teenager

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It hit me today…  I’m almost the mom of an adult.

By the time the twins are in kindergarten, I will be the mom of an adult.

Want to know how I figured that one out?  When I was sitting in the passenger seat of MY CAR while he drove us to his school.  Did you read that?  He DROVE me.

Sh**

And now that I’m a little more into my day, and the coffee has kicked in, I realized that my sleepless nights ahead will no longer come from the babies, but from my oldest.  I love that I have kids at all stages of life.  It allows me to relate to so many more moms and stories they tell, but it also allows me to be a little humble and gracious to the stages my kids are each going through because they are all so uniquely different.  Life lessons as a teenager are HARD.  They are beyond potty training accidents and sleep training and positive discipline (or not so positive in my case some days).  And they are not going to get easier.

These are legit life lessons.  I can’t grab his hand and pull him back out of the path of a car or hold him in the deep end.  I can’t kiss an owie to make it better or find his favorite blanket to cuddle.  (Well, I could, but… I’d lose the cool-mom points that I have still remaining).

My child is driving a huge metal object that weighs a ton (especially Betty… yeah, he drove Betty… that should be extra credit).  Mistakes mean potentially a lot of damage.  He did great- he’s so cautious.  My dad always told me to be on the defense, don’t assume anyone around you is a great driver.  I get it.  Aiden will be a great driver and he won’t be the kid that does a lot of stupid stuff (he probably will, but I’m going to play naive for now)- but it’s everyone else around him that worries me.  (Like the lady who was tailgating us through our neighborhood this morning as he was following the speed limit… man, did I want to get out of the car.  I didn’t.  I also only went to grab the wheel once… which I think is pretty good for a 5 minute drive!)

It’s not just physical mistakes.  The heart and brain life-lessons are hard, too.  He had a coach yesterday tell him some not great things (when I thought he played a freaking fantastic game and had two tricky corner kicks get past him… and all the other members on the team).  That hurts.  That stings.  And it’s hard to teach them that sometimes ADULTS forget they are dealing teenagers and that they shouldn’t take their frustrations of a tied game out on them.  On the flip side, he’s old enough to handle that now and we’re beyond everyone getting a trophy or medal for participation, or making a team because they will cash your check you write them (yeah, I said it- if you haven’t entered the world of club sports yet, just have your check book ready.)

And love… We’re not into dating yet (at least I don’t think he is).  And maybe the first broken heart will be his sister’s, and not his, but I’m not looking forward to that day.  What if he’s the one doing the heart breaking?  Lesson too, right?

So I have these toddlers learning life lessons through “yes”, “no”, “that hurts”, “that doesn’t hurt”, etc.  The “lessons” seem so small compared to what I’m dealing with in regards to the big kids.  (even though in that moment with the littles, I totally admit I often overreact and make them really a big deal).  And now I have this teenager, and another almost teenager, that are learning some really big stuff.  And unlike the littles, most of the bigs’ lessons, I just have to sit back and offer support.  I can’t take the lead.  I shouldn’t take the lead … if I did … they wouldn’t learn the lesson, right?  I have no control.  (There it is- my control issues).  I can’t be there to “fix” it like I do with the littles.  The bigs have ground they have to uncover themselves.  I can only hope I did lay their foundation right, and that I did everything I could during those small life lessons to create success (whatever that definition is) in the big life lessons that are about to come.  It also made me realize how important the littles’ life lessons really are.  They lay the foundation.

However, if Aiden and Lucy come to me one day looking for their blanket for comfort, or to kiss an owie, or pull them out of oncoming traffic.  You best believe I will be right there, cool mom points or not.

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We now have Threenadoes- x2

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Man- if I had to pick one age I could bypass- it would be three.  I know, I know… it sounds horrible and heartless, but seriously, like overnight they have taken over my sweet (yet rambunctious two year olds) and replaced them with these beings that appear cute on the outside and full of sass and stubbornness on the inside (I blame Jeremy).  My babies are no longer babies!!

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No- they are no longer babies- we will probably always refer to Whitney as “Baby”, but the baby stage has packed up and left the Hillman household (or at this current point, my parent’s house because #moving).

As we approach the threenage years, I’m going to take a second and reminisce on moments… that I remember…

  • Finding out there were two:  Seriously- will never forget that moment.  In the Dr. office, not expecting great news.  I had had an ultrasound the week before (at 5 weeks) but Dr. didn’t say too much and said let’s repeat it in a week.  For someone that had been through multiple early miscarriages… I wasn’t expecting great news.  I had symptoms, but I also had symptoms with Jeremiah, the baby we lost in the second trimester due to a Partial Molar Pregnancy (ugh- needles in the skin just typing that phrase out).  So I sent Jeremy to his bowling meet, had my mom meet me at the Dr. to watch 7 mo old Knox in the waiting room so I could find out maybe good news/probably bad.  It was a new tech… had an internal ultrasound because it was so early… and before she flipped the switch on, she goes “Well, it still might be too early to see both their heartbeats”.  Me: “Oh, you must have the wrong chart, we’re just checking for a viable pregnancy.”  Her: “Lisa Hillman?  Yeah, they didn’t tell you last week there are twins?”  Me: “Uh… no… you’re kidding right?  Oh my gosh, I can’t breathe… can you go get my mom?  I definitely need my mom?  She’s sitting out there… go get her please?”  Her: “Uhhhh… I just can’t leave this inside you…” Me: “Oh, right”.  I don’t really remember the rest of the appointment besides the moment of my just handing my mom a picture of “the babies” and watching the realization of what was happening wash over her face.  Let’s just say she was a little more excited than I was.
  • Telling Jeremy: Have you all seen it?  It’s on YouTube… I’ve never seen my husband speechless before.  Watch it HERE.
  • Team Green: Being Team Green was SO hard… especially with twins…and especially with a High Risk Doctor that had a hard time keeping secrets.  But we made it and it was SO worth it.  We had an idea that Baby “B” might be a girl… the nurses referred to “her” as a Diva because B was always the most difficult to get the readings on and never cooperated.  Fast forward to the delivery and “A” came out with “It’s a girl!”… we start crying and then go… oh man, two girls!!  Imagine our surprise when two minutes later “B” comes out with “And it’s a boy!”  Uh, what?!?!  Welcome to the world, Griffin  (who still has Diva-tendencies)
  • The Delivery:  First “Gentle C-Section Delivery” at Copley.  So great.  We had a clear curtain so I was able to see them immediately.  They put Whitney on my chest right away and had Jeremy wear a button down so he had Griffin right away for some skin to skin time.  Well, both of them wouldn’t settle down and kept crying, so the nurse did a quick switch and sure enough- we had a daddy’s girl and a mama’s boy from the first minutes of life.  Totally different from the C-Section I had had with Aiden 13 years prior that I didn’t get to hold him for over an hour and barely saw him before they whisked him away for all the tests and bath.
  • The feedings:  Dang- that sucked.  Neither twin would latch.  We. tried. everything.  Lactation consultants, nipple guards, different positions… nothing worked.  Which left me to pump.  And pump.  And pump.  I missed out on a lot of life in the first few months.  We would feed them, burp them, change them, get them settled, then I would pump for about 20-30 minutes (for a good feeding) and I would have about 30 minutes before the process started all over again.  Fed is best and my life became insanely less stressful when we introduced formula.  And the babies were so much more happy and content as well.  I repeat.  FED IS BEST!  for everyone!! including my 3 other children and my husband.
  • The support:  The meals, the help, the holding of babies.  It was all so great.  It takes a village and our village sure picked us up and helped carry us when we were too tired.  Showers were so glorious and it was so nice to have someone come and just sit there so the shower could happen uninterrupted.
  • The first year: Nope.  Don’t remember it.  I don’t remember who rolled over first, who talked first, who crawled or walked first.  Nada.  I got nothing.  I remember moments of success… like figuring out how to carry both of them up and down the stairs at the same time, when they could feed themselves a bottle, when I got them both to relax at the same time… even if it was for only 30 seconds.  I SWORE I would not take any moment for granted with them.  Sleep deprivation beats memory.  Hands down.  I do remember buying a Franchise when they were 3 months old.  Who doesn’t start a franchise when their twins are three months old?
  • The gear:  So much gear for twins.  Not necessarily two of everything, but two of a lot.  So many bottles and bottle parts (Thanks, Dr. Brown), the pack and plays, the diapers… so many diapers.  We used to order our diapers from Amazon- and it would look like we had a body delivered to our house every month.
  • The real world was not twin friendly: I gave up going places eventually.  I remember pushing one cart and pulling the other cart through a store.  I remember getting so mad when people would take the “big cart” at Target for their one child.  I had to remind myself they have no idea.  I actually pulled into Target once and left because I couldn’t find a big cart.  I would take the double stroller places, but that didn’t fit anywhere (which double strollers are the same width as wheel-chairs, which made me super sad).  Grocery stores put milk at the back of the store.  No quick trips.  This now made Jeremy the sole-grocery shopper.  And trying to get twins through a parking lot is like herding drunk cats.
  • The Chaos:  It’s never calm.  What’s calm?  There’s no calm.  There is always something going on.  Someone crying.  Someone yelling.  People fighting.  Something lost.  We’re late.  We forget things.  We haven’t forgot kids yet, though.  Yet.
  • Their bond:  They maybe aren’t as close as some twins, but they sure have a bond that none of the other siblings share.  They have a special sense that they can tell what is going on with the other when we can’t.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not butterflies and rainbows… they fight… but they love each other fiercely and don’t like to be apart from each other at all.  They watch out for each other.  I would take them to the church nursery to interact with other kids, and they would just play by themselves.  Now, they will tell you they are each other’s best friends.  Melt my heart.
  • Boy vs. Girl/ Nurture vs. Nature:  So with boy/girl twins… there’s not a whole lot of time to promote “girl” toys or “boy” toys.  Since they started playing toys- they gravitate toward the same gender toys.  Our biggest thing has been Griffin (and Knox) wanting to paint their nails or wear dresses.  Who cares though, right?  Why can’t boys of pretty nails?  Or wear pretty dresses?  Why is it so much more appropriate for girls to wear “boy” clothes, but not the opposite?

I know this post doesn’t make it seem all great.  It is.  I swear.  I was never a person that wanted twins.  I was actually shocked when I found out there are people in the world that wish for spontaneous twins!  I wouldn’t change it for the world.  They were the perfect finale.  The perfect caboose to our train.  Quatro and Cinco.  I can’t imagine life any other way.  I enjoy the questions.  I enjoy watching their bond grow.  I enjoy the chaos.  I embrace the chaos (somedays).  I love that we have a huge triple stroller named “The Beast” and I love Black Betty.  I love that we have this large family and that I have 5 kids that are all so uniquely different.  But I don’t love 3’s.  3’s are rough.  I’m sure I will be celebrating in a year when we reach the 4’s.  Until then- que sera.

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Why Accountability Matters.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

You know this couldn’t be my blog without me talking about working out/healthy living in some form or another.

Here we go…

Moms need to workout.  They do.  I’m not saying to lose weight or look great in that bikini, because really, no one is looking.  (at least I’m not, I’m just trying to make sure my 3 littles have decided to not try to be sting rays at the bottom of the pool… not lying, it happened).  Moms need to workout the same reasons everyone else does.  It makes you feel better (endorphins?  I heard working out creates endorphins, endorphins make people happy, and happy people don’t kill their husbands… lol), it creates time for yourself, it helps you feel a sense of accomplishment, on top of all the other health benefits I’ll go into another time.

So how does a mom do it? I mean, we’re busy right?  We have to schlep kids around, attend all the meetings, go to work, cook the dinner, clean the house, meet the people… you get it. Working out needs to be a priority.  It’s never going to get easier than right now.

I’ve been in this profession for awhile now.  Teaching PE for 13 years, owning my own business for almost 3… I’ve seen a lot.  I’ve helped a ton of different clients, from students to busy moms, and they all share one common factor in their success in reaching their goals.  You guessed it, ACCOUNTABILITY.  It changes the game when you know someone else is watching out for your success.

People that know that other people are looking out for them to do their workouts are more likely to do them.  I wish I knew why.  Some people mean well, but their intrinsic motivation just isn’t there.  “Most” people are people-pleasers, and they, themselves, want to feel cared about… like they matter.  They don’t want to let someone down; especially someone that they respect or care about.  And creating accountability creates the sense that someone is looking out for you to do this- it will make them happy for you, which will make you happy for you!  Crazy how impactful human relationships can be!

I’m leading this online based run training right now.  We don’t meet up during the week.  We met in the beginning and we are all running a 5K together at the end.  We have this Facebook group though that we all check in after we complete our training runs, and guess what!  It’s working!!  These moms are teachers, work from home, work out of the home, stay at home and are all training at different levels, but they are all finding success.  Why?  Because they know the group is waiting for them to check in every day.  Every run.  So many of them have said they would have given up by now, but they know the group is there watching for them.  Accountability matters.

How do you find accountability?

  • Run Groups- you can find free and paid run groups all around.  Run Junkies, DNA, and FIT4MOM all offer great run programs for all levels of runners.
  • Find a partner- Regardless of how you want to workout (Zumba, HIIT, Boot Camp, running, pilates, etc). find a partner that the two of you will commit to go together and stick with it.  Text each other to check in and stay motivated together.
  • Find a Small Group Fitness place- If you are the person that can’t work out at home (it’s hard for me to!), find a gym or studio that is going to know you by name every time you walk in the door.  They will notice if you miss a few days or a week or two and should reach out to you.  Plus, you’ll end up seeing the same people in class and that, in and of itself, is a great form of accountability.  Find your tribe.  They will build you up.

It’s easy for moms these days to find workout plans online and try to set up a plan to follow them.  Some moms find great success in this.  Others (like me), have great intentions that don’t always last.  However, being part of a group- having a partner- having accountability is the key to making sustainable changes in your workout plan.

Who can you ask to be your accountability partner?  I’m sure they are looking for you, too.

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Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

 

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The Drop-Off/Pick-Up Line

I feel like I should add “Dun-dun-duuuuuuuun!”

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Photo by JESHOOTS.com on Pexels.com

Ugh- the drop-off/pick-up line… is there anything with back-to-school more terrible and wonderful at the same time?

So great to be able to drive your kiddo to school (or pick them up) and not have to get out of your car, right?  The rainy days, the busy days, the running-late days… I mean really, it saves the day sometimes.

But it also is going to FILL the Facebook Mom-Pages soon with posts and comments and opinions.  Even the quiet, go-with-the-flow mom has opinions about the drop-off/pick-up line.  And yes, even Kale-blending Cynthia, in her pilates pants will let you know how she feels.

For the newbie moms- it can be the utmost terrifying part of her OWN back-to-school time.  Everyone knows the “new parent” when it comes to the line, amiright?

After 8 years of experience at multiple schools- I think I’ve seen it all.  (every year surprises me though).  I’d like to think I have some expertise to share.

So how do you navigate it?  How do you keep it upheld in all its intended glory?  Don’t worry- I’ve compiled a list.

  1. DON’T BE A JERK.  I said it.  I’m not kidding.  I’m really not sure if there is any other advice that needs to be given.  You don’t know what that mom in the mini-van with the messy bun and glasses on went through 20 minutes before getting in that line.  Have patience.  Have grace.  (I also tell you this for your own good because she may truly be at her tipping point and I would hate for you to be on the receiving end of a tired mama-bear in a mini-van… and two tired mama-bears in mini-vans is probably one of the most terrifying things ever when they come in contact with each other).
  2. Follow the rules.  This can go with #1.  I’ll make it separate.  Someone has taken time to go through the safest and most efficient ways to get our kids into a building from giant moving pieces of steel and metal.  If they tell you don’t pull a u-turn, don’t do it.  If they tell you that you shouldn’t travel a certain direction down a street, or you should only turn one way when leaving the lot… then do that.  So driving the long way around takes a whole extra 2 minutes.  Great.  2 more minutes to talk to your kid OR enjoy the quiet.  DON’T be the parent that thinks the rules don’t apply to them.  They do.  They were actually written JUST for the parents that think rules don’t apply to them.
  3. Go with the flow.  Seriously- just watch and take it in and note what the other cars are doing.  You’ll see the veterans right away.  You could probably time them like a pitstop at the NASCAR races.  Pull up-unload- and green light, go!!  If the other cars aren’t parking and getting out of their cars… don’t do it!  If people aren’t getting out of their car to have a quick smoke break before their kid gets in… don’t do it!! (I wish I was lying when I said I haven’t seen this before… and I’m pretty sure it’s illegal on school grounds).  Observe, and follow.  And go with the flow.
  4. Don’t take anything out on the teachers or crossing guards.  Are you out there doing what they’re doing?  Are you going to plan on doing it?  No?  Ok- so don’t complain.  Unless you want to get out and do what they’re doing- then you have every right to complain.  If you’re sitting in the comfort of your car- keep opinions to yourself and maybe give them a smile and a wave.
  5. Make sure your kid is ready to get out.  But if they’re not, it’s ok.  They’re kids.  Not machines.  And if the person behinds you honks… smile, wave, and then send them this blog and ask them to refer to #1.

Seriously- back to school is crazy enough.  Let’s not make it more difficult on each other by making the parent drop-off/pick-up line something more than it is.  No power battles,  no races, no creating new rules… just take a deep breath, take a sip of that (probably now cold) coffee, smile, and go with the flow.  And then be thankful that something as crazy as the parent drop-off/pick-up line does exist.

boy in brown hoodie carrying red backpack while walking on dirt road near tall trees

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