Feb. 28, 2022

Ask Amy: The Kids Make Me Nuts While I'm Driving!

Working parents could really use their commuting time to decompress. Kids prefer to use that time explaining every single thing that happened that day. How do you balance the need to share with the equally valid need for a little peace and quiet?


Does your kids' chatter in the back seat work your last nerve? You may identify with this week's question:

I feel like your wisdom could help me with the dreaded evening commute. I have a job that requires me to be on. And at the end of the day, I really need a moment of silence to re-become normal. Trouble is, the kid pickup and drive home is on me. And at the exact moment I need to hear myself think, my kids have had to shut up all day at school and have not gotten the chance to tell all of the stories. Our needs at that moment are total opposites.

There's a couple things I can't do anything about, like my work schedule. I'm leaving at five when it will truly take us about half an hour to get home. No, my husband can't do the pickup.

I have tried a couple of things. "Today I brought you each a book and you'll just read no talking." That works pretty well. Or "Let's listen to this cool family podcast I found today." But given that my kids also have equally valid needs, I feel like it's not fair to make all five weekday commutes free of the endless kid stories just to accommodate me. Do you have any ideas, suggestions? I'm all ears.

Everyone needs to decompress at the end of a long day– it's just that, as this listener points out, her kids' form of decompression requires more attention than anyone should have to give as to who sat where at circle time.

Amy suggests adding rituals at other times of the day that will both give the kids chances to share and that will give this mom time to center. Making room for both things is worth it.


StrollerCoaster: A Parenting Podcast is a podcast for parents of kids of all ages created by Munchkin, the most loved baby brand in the world. Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts!

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