In a perfect world, you could spend all your free time playing with your kids – with no chores or errands to distract you. But in this world, you need to pick up groceries, mail your nephew’s birthday present, drop off the check at the bank, buy diapers…and the list goes on. Bringing your kids isn’t always the most relaxing way to get your to-do list done, but it can offer some great opportunities for bonding while you’re out and about.
Plan a Date
If you can schedule your errands for a time when your partner is home or the nanny’s still on duty, then try taking just one child at a time with you on your trips around town. Your little ones will look forward to the one-on-one time with mom, and you’ll be able to focus all your attention on the kid whose turn it is – which means you can expect better behavior and uninterrupted time to chat about school, friends, and whatever else strikes your child’s fancy.
Make it Fun
Running errands with all the kids at once can be nothing short of exhausting, but if you go into it with a mindset of fun, your kids will, too. If you’re headed to the grocery store, let them help you pick out ingredients, or send them on a scavenger hunt for green fruits, purple vegetables, or the cereal with the least amount of sugar. At the post office, have them choose the stamps and find grandma’s house on the wall map. And at the bank, lift your no-sugar restriction to let them have that lollipop.
Prepare the Kids
Running in and out of stores all day is not any kid’s idea of a good time. But by scheduling just a few errands at a time and talking to your kids ahead of time, you can help them prepare for the trip – and avoid meltdowns. Let them choose some fun stops to make along the way, too, whether that means a quick detour to the park, visiting grandpa for lunch, or a drive by your favorite pet store to see the kittens in the windows. You may be surprised at your child’s idea of fun – and you may even get to know them a little bit better.