Ahhh car journey’s with children are just bliss. The longer the better. We all look forward to them, right? WRONG. I can hand on heart say I have never heard those words come out of any parents mouth, like ever. And if I did, I’d call them out on their BS because let’s be honest, car journeys with toddlers alone are hard. flipping. core, never mind adding a few more hours into it for a road trip. If your little is anything like mine than you’re heading for hell. At least that’s what it feels like.
My family live two and a half hours away from me so getting used to longer car journeys, with a toddler has been a given. Something I’ve been wanting to master with zero toddler wobbly’s. Since new born my little has HAAAATED being in the car, I thought she was finally out growing it and then B A M! Que the almighty car meltdowns on every long journey (eye rolling emoji times one thousand right here). Here are a few, I really mean a f e w tips that may just make those disastrous car journeys a teeny weeny bit easier. Sending you alllll the love if your child is anything like my car demon one.
Used to travelling at convenient times for you? Say goodbyeeee to that. And say hello to your new, driving whenever they will sleep life. This is the best advice I could ever give. Car journeys are SO much easier when children are asleep. F A C T. This is however, slightly difficult on a six/seven hour journey. I try and go as early in the morning as my tired, mom body will let me. Four in the morning has become the norm for the longer car journeys. I get an early(ish) (what even is an early night for us parents?) night and leave super early in the absolute hope that they’ll fall back to sleep in the car, aaaaand stay asleep of course. Then they wake up for the last leg of the journey and it makes it a little easier to cope with. Because, there is light at the end of the tunnel by that point.
Can’t face the no sleep zombie stage? Fear not, just set off at a time where they could possibly have a nap and. go. prepared. By that I mean, have chocolate, have sweets, have toys, have juice alllll on hand. There’s nothing you can’t bribe your child out of with a bit of chocolate. They’re suckers like that and it’s our chance to have a bit of a slummy parenting win. No shame. I’ll take a win any way I can. Even be prepared to listen to CBeebies top charts (that’s what it feels like) for the whole journey. You may be singing them on repeat in your head for a few days but rather that than almighty meltdowns.
Plan stops, as many as your sanity needs. If it’s motorway driving, some services have play areas for those mischievous kiddiewinks. Hunt them down and plan to stop there. It’s amazing what running off a bit of energy can do to a toddlers behaviour.
Sing. Sing. Sing. This has got me out of some preeeettty dire car slumps. Row your boat being little E’s favourite and a common car song. Get creative, get crazy. If they’re dancing and laughing rather than having a melt down? Then do you really care if the car passing you can see you singing with your tongue hanging out and a nappy on your head? Probably not. Obviously drive safe though guys and if you can, have a 24/7 entertainer i.e a passenger to help the journey go a little more smoothly, literally.
A tub of chewing gum. You probably think I’m crazy but this has literally kept my little entertained for a good hour!! Take it and run with it my friend. Something as simple as that could quite literally save your car journey sanity. Children are known for rather playing with a box than a toy. Or paper rather than a toy. Give them something none lethal, but what they haven’t played with before and you are definitely on to a winner. An old magazine always goes down a treat with little E, even if it ends up in shredded up paper on the floor. Rather that than your hair. For reals.
If all else fails, crank that music up and hope it will drown out the whinges and pass the time by until you get to your beloved destination. In all seriousness though, I don’t think car journeys hardly ever go smoothly for people with kiddiewinks so know that you are not alone. I feel like there should be some sort of secret sign to give to other parents you see braving the roads. You know the one where it’s like, ‘meltdown number ten in five minutes, loosing the will to live, rocking back and forth’ moments. Just a little sign to say, hang in there broseph, the meltdown will be over soon and you can love their cuteness once again, promise. Let’s make that a thing, K? Ok. (Sign to be determined).
Any tips that have worked for you? Share them below, I welcome ANY help. In the mean time, chin up babes. Raising humans is hard, you got this. You’re doing theeee best job. Laugh through it, you will miss them being so little and will hold on to moments like this (I think). ♡♡♡