Help Wanted: Taxi Driver
I’m done. I’m spent. After years and years of taxi driving, I need a break. I’m done. I can’t get in my van one. more. time.
Taxi Driver, or more specifically Mom Taxi Driver, has been my job for over 15 years. Little did I know in August 1997 when I drove my toddler to our first Mommy and Me music class that I was embarking on a new career. I’m in an unpaid, under-appreciated, and largely unrecognized profession. No union for this Mom Taxi Driver.
Speaking of kids and driving, a new report from Ford shows that teens are paying attention. 82 percent of teens reported that their parents drive carelessly. As the mom of a teen I try to demonstrate safe driving, but I’m sure from time to time I have run a stop sign or taken a turn too fast.
Most afternoons and evenings and many weekends I’m behind the wheel. Driving hither and thither and yon. It’s not unusual for me to drive Child #1 to Event A, leave after 15 minutes to pick up Child #2 from Event B, return to Event A with Child #2, leave Event A with Child #1 and #2 to motor over to Event C to meet my husband and Child #3. If your head is spinning with the logistics of it all, imagine how I feel doing this 4 to 5 days a week with weekends thrown in for good measure. The only way I keep my head above water is to keep all kiddie activities logged on to two calendars — a wall calendar and an online calendar.
It wasn’t always like this. Years ago I stayed home most days with my infant daughter. It wasn’t unusual for us to go two or three days without leaving the house. I was a stay-at-home mom who worked part time. I clung to the fact that I could manage all my work assignments while raising a baby. I was reluctant to put my daughter in daycare. As my oldest approached her second birthday, I had to reluctantly accept that I needed more childcare. Although, I steadfastly worked around her nap schedules and bedtime there came that fateful day when she dropped her morning nap. I was devastated, but could no longer put off looking for preschools.
The decision to place her in a preschool was the first notch in my taxi driver belt. Driving her to and from preschool twice a week was the start of my driving adventures. While playgroups and music classes could be “skipped” if the toddler was under the weather or more likely the mommy was a zombie from working late the night before, preschool was sacrosanct. She NEVER missed a day of school except for sickness.Continued on the next page