I am pretty fortunate that 3 days a week, my kids are in school. At the same time. Which means I can run errands, do stuff around the house, and work in peace and quiet. But there are times when I have to run errands with one or, worse, both of the kids.
We’ve all been there when that quick trip to Target ends up in tears from both you and your child. They are screaming or whining or fighting with you the entire trip. If you’re lucky, you make it out of the store without your kid throwing himself on the floor of the grocery store.
As they are screaming and kicking and crying, you start thinking to yourself:
What is wrong with them?
Why can’t he just behave for 15 minutes?
What am I doing wrong?
You start questioning your parenting abilites and think about what you could be doing differently. And to think, this all started because you just wanted to grab what you needed for dinner!
How to Run Errands with Kids and Stay Sane
Know your child’s limits. It’s so tempting to run errands after you pick your kids up from preschool, but that’s not always the best time. They may be tired, hungry, or just plain don’t want to go. Before you set yourself up for failure, make sure you are picking a good time to take them out. Go after lunch. After a nap.
Know your own limits. Just like your child has limits, so do you. When we are tired, hungry, stressed, and not at 100%, it may be best to skip the errands. You’ll only end up more tired, hungrier, and a lot more stressed! The errands can wait.
Get them involved. Just because they are a toddler, doesn’t mean they can’t help! Get them started young. Have them help you pick out snacks at the grocery store. Or they can hold your list and coupons. If there isn’t anything they can do to help, talk to them! Point out what you are doing, why you are doing it, and what you are going to be doing next.
Combine your errands with fun stuff. If I want to hit the coffee shop before running errands with the kids, I skip the drive thru. Hear me out. I plan an extra 15 minutes in our errand running to sit down and plan our trip. I get my coffee, they get a pre-shopping treat. Or we’ll have a treat after our shopping done! Swinging by the local park or library is a great way to reward them for good behavior while running errands.
Running errands with kids can be challenge. But it can be done! A little planning goes a long way and helps you stay sane during the process!