JORD Wood Watch Review and Giveaway!

I have partnered with JORD Wood Watches to provide this review. All my thoughts about this Cassia are uniquely my own.

wood watch with clock face
Cassia walnut and rose gold watch from JORD Wood Watches.

Lately I feel like I have become complacent with my no-frills wardrobe and accessories. I wear pretty much the same thing every day because it’s easy.  That has been the extent of my fashion choices for nearly a decade because that’s what works as a busy mom to young kids. Now that my kids are older and can do more for themselves, I have time to put effort into what I wear.

This summer, I am committed to purchasing sustainable, quality pieces that will last a long time. Whatever I buy must be something I love and leave no lasting trace in our environment. When Jord watches invited me to partner with them to showcase their wood watches, I dug a little deeper to learn more. The biggest draw to Jord wood watches is their sustainability

Jord watches (pronounced YODE) are made from reclaimed materials and yet so glamorous. I selected the Cassia watch made from walnut wood and rose gold for its classic features and gorgeous color combo. Rose gold is very popular right now and I am smitten with its mild tone against the warm dark color of the walnut. According to Jord’s website, the wood used in their watches is naturally sourced and supplied largely from reclaimed pieces. There is no use of toxic chemicals to treat or maintain the wood. So, after decades of use and care this watch will still be here, and in its end of life the elements can be recycled.

After wearing my stunning new watch for two weeks I’ve discovered:

This gorgeous watch is a nice departure from the fitness tracker I typically wear. It’s a great way to zhush up my outfit while running errands in public, or when I’m sitting alone at the local café to get some work done.  Plus, it doesn’t buzz at me if I am sitting at my desk for too long or tether me to a digital device (my phone) to operate.

The size and profile of the watch fits into my mom life of chauffeuring kids, doing dishes, running errands, and tossing in a load of laundry. I don’t need to feel stylish during these moments, but it is nice that the watch fits seamlessly into my busy task list-oriented lifestyle.

I truly love how unique this watch is and that it creates conversations about my eco-friendly values. Taking care of my family and the earth doesn’t mean I have to give up on quality. A hand crafted, sustainably sourced watch is a great first step in designing my new classic go to style.

The price range for these gorgeous watches is $100-$300. I recognize this can be above a family budget and it is a splurge for moms to spend that much on themselves. I totally get it! It is rare that I personally buy something for myself. It is more likely that my family will treat me to something this sophisticated. But I only share products I use myself so I can give my authentic review. After wearing my Cassia for two weeks I can tell you this watch is an investment in sustainable luxury that you can wear in good conscience for years to come.

When I find a product I love, I want to make sure my readers can get in on the love too. I am grateful to Jord for giving away a CHANCE TO WIN $100 off a purchase of any watch in their collection! And, since you are all winners in my book, Jord is also giving every entrant a 10% gift code. Now there’s really no excuse not to treat yourself to something just for you! CLICK HERE FOR YOUR EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT!

#ad #modern #unique #jordwatches #thewhatevermom1

Roxanne Ferber is a freelance writer and owner of The Whatever Mom blog. Nearly nine years on the coffee wagon and she still doesn’t have enough energy to keep up with her twins. But she is a survivor and she’s gonna make it; even if she has to white knuckle it through every day until her kids graduate. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Insta.

A Cynic’s View of Valentine’s Day – Celebrating Love and Grief

Valentine’s day seems to bring out two kinds of people. The ones who love everything about the holiday and the ones who hate everything about it. I used to be one of the folks that hated it. I thought it was some dumb made up holiday created to dupe people from their dollars with useless trinkets and overpriced flowers. Gift giving is easy but loving someone every day is the hard part. A total cynic, even after I found love with the man that is now my husband.

We were dating only a few weeks before Valentine’s day, so I gave my new love a card and a funny pair of joke boxers out of obligation. I was clearly in the no frills, less is more camp. Only after arriving at his apartment for a home cooked meal, a surprise dozen roses, some chocolates, gold jewelry and a sappy card did I realize he was in the other camp. And that made for some very awkward dinner conversation.

A lot has changed since our first Hallmark holiday. For our second Valentine’s day, we celebrated the birth of my nephew. Our third Valentine’s day we celebrated my niece’s victory over childhood cancer and on our fifth Valentine’s Day we attended my father’s funeral. Valentine’s day has not always been all roses and chocolates for us. We’ve watched friends marry and divorce on Valentine’s day, and we’ve watched atrocities of mass shootings unfold on Valentine’s day. This Hallmark occasion has become a mixed bag of emotions for me. I’m always torn between throwing love around like confetti or sobbing in a closet. In between all the gifts and romance, funerals and cancer diagnosis’ we’ve learned that we need this one day on the calendar to remind us to slow down and check-in with those around us. I am always thankful for that extra reminder.

Today marks our 19th Valentine’s Day and again it is a day of celegrieving
(Note to self: coin the term “celegrieving”). We lost four amazing people in the last month. Grieving on Valentine’s day isn’t new to us, but it does put a crimp in our celebratory mood. Yet in a way it doesn’t. (There’s that mixed bag of emotions. You just don’t know which one I’m going to pull out). We don’t need flowers, or grand gestures to celebrate our family and friends. We are grateful for the memories we have with our Uncle Mike, our friends Michael, Jennifer and Erica. They are among the reasons we rejoice. We celebrate them and the wonderful gifts they’ve given us. Each of them taught us something, showed us kindness in every day gestures and made us laugh. Oh, how I will miss hearing their laughter. And their smiles when we talked. The run-ins at Walmart. And our shared stories with funny inside jokes. This holiday wasn’t invented with grievers in mind, and it isn’t my fault that my grief comes with a side of glittery wrapped dark chocolates. I guess grieving on the high holy day of chocolate has this one small benefit.

Despite my sadness this morning I decorated our kitchen with red and white crepe paper and scattered chocolate kisses all over the breakfast table. I surprised my girls with some special gifts, and I wrote love notes in everyone’s card. No, my husband’s presents and impressive dinners over the years have not converted me to the commercialism of Valentine’s day. But living in a world where it is easy to become so busy that we lose track of time and each other has changed our view of what this day means for us. All the materialism celebrated on this day will fade, but the lasting memories we forge together will get us through the low points, like when we can’t make sense of death. Even if this holiday is just another day on the calendar, I can still gift my family with joy over the cynical harshness of life. And what I’ve learned from the last 19 Valentine holidays is that every second we are alive is worth celebrating. Also, if you buy your brand-new boyfriend a pair of goofy boxers for your first Valentine’s day, when you get married, you can coast along on those low standards for another two decades.

Roxanne is the head writer, creative force and marketing guru at The Whatever Mom. She started this crazy blog before her babies grew into smarty pants little people leaving messes all over her house. Eight years on the coffee wagon and still folding nine million pairs of socks. But she is a survivor and she’s gonna make it. Even if it means white knuckling through every morning until her kids’ graduation.     Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

 

You Need Monster Jam this Weekend

I received complimentary tickets in exchange for this post. All opinions are mine.

It’s that time of year again! I am taking my family back to Monster Jam to enjoy some indoor arena fun and to get us out of the cold.

After our meet and greet with the drivers and getting some pics and autographs we will settle into our seats for a couple hours of adrenaline pumping, family friendly entertainment. These drivers take their jobs as role models seriously so there’s never any aggression, smack talk, or unfriendly words spoken between them. Just fun, friendly competition with lots of support for the game.

The audience gets to vote on who wins, which my kids love! They get to participate in judging each stunt. Of course we each have our favorite drivers to cheer for, but we are really here for the crazy truck flips and tricks.

If you are in the Albany area this weekend, get yourself to a show! Plan to have a day in with the family and enjoy falling in love with Monster Jam. You won’t regret it

Find your tickets at the Times Union Center.

How to Buy a Family Vehicle in 9 Easy Steps

So my family and I did a thing this week… we bought a new family vehicle. I was not looking forward to this at all because the process is so time consuming. Adding kids into that process makes it feel like torture. This is my first time buying a car in thirteen years and my first time buying a car while entertaining kids. I have no idea what to expect, yet I’m already dreading it.

My poor sweet “Silver Mint” as my kids called my silver SUV, was on her last flimsy wheels. The tires kept losing air, the 6 disc CD changer broke many years ago. The brakes squeaked, something clunked when I backed up and all my neighbors knew the exact sound of our sad little muffler. I almost felt guilty taking the cash trade in. I saw them opening the doors of my old SUV for inspection and I knew it was only a matter of minutes before they found out we didn’t even have a car jack to leave behind. I literally floored the gas pedal of our new car as we left the dealership lot.

After FIVE HOURS we finally had a new car with actual safety standards and some serious technology upgrades. What exists in cars today did not exist in cars thirteen years ago. It’s crazy! I don’t even need keys to start my car anymore. What futuristic world are we living in? Anyway, I learned a whole lot about buying a car and having to take the kids with us. And I’m going to share that with you now.

Yes, you can transfer your child’s car seats into the vehicle you are test driving. This is the only part that had me freaking out the most. I didn’t want to drive around with a stranger in my car listening to my kids argue for any length of time. I also didn’t want my husband to hang back at the dealership alone with two crabby kids. Thankfully, we were able to put the car seats in the test vehicle and drive away as a family. And now I am writing this blog from Mexico.

Tips on Installing Your Car Seat

Pack snacks. Lots of snacks. The last thing you need is a hangry kid screaming for snacks while trying to do maths. It’s annoying and it’s hard to ignore. Bring something they are rarely allowed to have and hold that until the very end. Bribe the heck out of them with that giant Hershey bar they can only have if they can convince the sales team you are a totally normal family.

Go right after a full meal and everyone has used the bathroom. There is way less complaining if everyone’s blood sugar is stable and at least 50 less interruptions if everyone has a completely empty bladder. We chose to go after lunch so we were all ready to make important life choices.

Pack your kids iPad and chargers. Make sure your phone is fully charged and you have an extra charger on hand for that too. Today is not the day to be the “screen time is the new heroine” mom. You’ve got a car to buy, you need the silence to negotiate.

Research the heck out of your car options. Narrow it down to only the top three. Remember you are carting around car seats and tiny humans so you’re going to want to get through test drives quickly. If you leave it up to the sales person to tell you every last detail about your future car, you could be trapped there for hours. Go online, compare prices, packages and styles. Know what you want and what will fit your needs. Then go for a test drive.

Know your budget from highest to lowest. Most car sites today offer online payment calculators. You can type in the amount you plan to use as a down payment and the terms of a car loan with the anticipated interest rate. It will spit out a hypothetical payment for you. This is only hypothetical and does not include the extra $800 extended warranty, the scotch guard coating to protect against kids, the taxes and title, etc. But knowing the highest payment amount you can afford each month will help you decide in the end which car you drive away with.

Shop sales events, used prices and dealership specials in advance. This way you can narrow down which dealers to hit up first.

Be ready to roll. Bring your title, registration and insurance card in the event you are ready to purchase that day. It may not speed up the process, but it will guarantee you are riding away with a sweet ride that day. That means one less trip back to the dealer with kids and car seats.

Clean out all of your personal things before you leave home. Try to vacuum if you can. Less cheerios and cheesy poof crumbs on the floor can add a little extra value to your trade in amount. Plus, you won’t have to transfer all your sticky possessions into the nice clean new car.

So after 30 hours of research, two financial flow charts, a meeting with the bank president, a credit history search, consulting with two different mechanics and using my mom intuition, I was ready to spend the next five hours with my kids at the car dealership. They aced it. Our sales rep even commented, “they are the calmest kids I’ve ever seen.” I did not lose my $#@! one time. I didn’t have to grit my teeth and whisper yell, I didn’t have to snap my fingers even once. We walked out of that dealership with our heads held high. I had pride in my heart while my kids were so jacked on MSG and cookies they may have thought we got our car for free.

I highly recommend following these 9 easy tips to keep your sanity while buying a car with your children. It is an experience you will never forget, nor want to do again quickly.

 

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

Why is School Picture Day Such a Struggle?

Am I the only one that hates school picture day?

I mean I love the cute pics of my kids, but the struggle leading up to the big day is one I’d rather miss thank you very much.

I love that I have very strong-willed children, but there are days I have to suck it up that I am not going to get my own way. Picture day is one of those days. I would love to have my girls dressed in something cute and fluffy with perfectly coiffed hair. The problem is they aren’t having it. I can lay out the outfit I’d like them to wear the night before, and by morning there will be a tearful protest simply because I am “making” them do something.

So here is what I did today… nothing. I let them have full control. I did not coach them on how to smile. I did not remind them to check their teeth before they go in for photos. And I did not pick out their outfits or adjust their mix of patterns. Today was just another school day. Nothing special.

I know it sounds totally crazy for those of us “control enthusiasts” who love things perfect. It definitely feels weird letting my elementary school kids have total control over pictures I am going to pay for (and I don’t even get a preview). Now that I have a few school picture days under my belt, I know those photos are a freeze frame moment in time- a time in my kids childhood when they can fully express who they are without judgement. The superhero and cutesy character t-shirts are a glimpse into the personalities and treasured favorites of their past. They have plenty of time to be perfect in the future.

Letting go of making things perfect isn’t easy. But I am learning to meet my kids half way.

Today, there were no tears. No one complained. No lines drawn in the sand. Both of my kids picked out appropriate and clean shirts to wear. One insisted on giant bows for her pigtails and the other wanted to wear the same hairstyle she does every day. We made it to the bus stop on time in glorious harmony. Zero struggle. Zero tantrums on school picture day. We even laughed at their suggestion to “dab” as their school picture pose. (Please don’t).

Today, was a much smoother send off than on previous school picture days. #totalparentwin

Also, I ordered the smallest portrait package so there will be minimal evidence if this little experiment goes sideways. #promomtip

 

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

Queen Girls Has 5 NEW Inspiring Stories!

I’ve partnered with Queen Girls to promote diversity and positive content in children’s books.  They have created a collection of fairy tales, inspired by the lives of real women – Marie  Curie, Isadora Duncan, Savitri Phule, Bessie Coleman and Frida Kahlo. I have not been compensated for this post. All opinions shared are my own. Read to the end for your free copy of a Queen Girls story and activity book.

Today I am excited to tell you that Queen Girls is launching a whole new series of books written to empower young girls! I only share with you the things I love most and this is one of them! I love the illustrations, the language and the stories. Most of all I love sharing these age appropriate true life stories with my own girls. I hope it plants the seed that they can be and do anything they want to in life.

Meet The Queens


This new book series includes 5 new stories about Frida Kahlo, Savitri Phule, Junko Tabei, Isadora Duncan, Bessie Coleman ​&​ Marie Curie. These are the souls behind this collection.

Each book combines reality with elements of fantasy, captivating the attention of our youngsters while at the same time showing them the power of determination. These fairy  tales are geared at girls aged 4 to 8, definitive years where perspectives are sharply  defined. They show our girls that anything is possible if we set our minds to it!     Queen Girls wants to stir the conversation around stereotypes in children’s literature. More  often than not, women are portrayed simply as exotic beauties, love seekers and  homemakers.

‘We believe that as parents, we need to be more conscientious about the content we read to our children. Story telling is an intimate, powerful and often underestimated privilege. It is not just about acquiring new vocabulary, but also instilling ideas and perspectives that will support our girls’ dreams. Telling them new stories will hopefully change theirs.’

 

Queen Girls is a collection of books for CONSCIOUS families, for parents who are  aware of the importance of the content we consume and read to our children.    

The Collection 
Diversity is at the core of this collection. Every woman portrayed comes from a different  walk of life and diverse background. The writers and illustrators are also unconventional.  Jimena Durán, Founder and Creative Director, intentionally invited different women to be  part of this adventure, hoping to create alliances beyond stereotypes.

‘We want to teach girls that our diversity makes each one of us unique beings, equally capable of doing anything we set ourselves out to do!’

How Queen Girls was born 
As a new mom, Jimena started paying closer attention to children’s literature. She found  herself changing the lyrics of songs and books because their messages didn’t always  resonate with her. She did not feel comfortable delivering much of the content to her son  and wanted to do something about it. Her sister in law, Andrea Doshi, Co Creator, speech  pathologist and passionate traveler, didn’t hesitate to jump into the adventure. Together  they brought this concept to life with their first, co authored book, ‘Bessie, Queen of the Sky’  (image above).

How to get involved? 
The first book was printed thanks to a supportive community and successful Kickstarter  campaign. They are now running a second Kickstarter campaign with 5 new titles! They need all the love you can give them to make their dream to publish this collection a reality!

Learn more here: Queen Girls Publications

SHARE to receive free e-book + coloring book + activity book of ‘Bessie, Queen of the  Sky’ – fairy tale inspired by the story of Bessie Coleman, the first black woman to receive  her pilot’s license ​https://goo.gl/DSt4vBi​ #queengirls  Share this and tag Queen Girls on social media to receive your free download of Bessie, Queen of the Sky!

 

 

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s Why I am Such a Terrible Blogger

Probably not the title you want to see from someone trying to become “profesh.” But most days I feel completely terrible at my job as a blogger. It isn’t for a lack of trying, or working hard, in fact I write stuff all the time. I am usually writing it all in my head while I’m driving the kids to gymnastics or to the grocery store. I am always taking snap shots of the craziness that happens in my day, but then forget to upload them later. If only I didn’t have to mom all day I’d be a much better blogger, I say to myself every night as I turn out the light and pull the covers up to my chin.

I attempted to work outside the house for about 9 months and it totally threw off my blogging flow. I thought I’d get back into it during the summer and that was harder than I thought. I barely had enough time for my morning coffee before the kids and I were off an running. It was an amazing summer, but not much proof of it in the way of blogs and photos.

The truth is I love blogging and I love writing. But the kid noise and household demands always come first. Call me crazy, but I do enjoy having fresh undies and a clean glass to drink my wine from. #priorities I am often choosing between writing and holding it all together. It feels unfair at times because this is my creative outlet AND chance to make an income for my family. It isn’t that I don’t make it priority, it’s just that there aren’t enough hours in the day. I don’t know how my favorite bloggy moms do it!

On top of all the mom guilt I have, I can now add blogger guilt. The guilt of letting time pass without sharing. The guilt of not connecting enough. Then there is the anxiety (and reason I don’t sleep) that everyone has moved on because I’ve been too busy to stay on top of things. My blogging mission has always been to share the “realness” of my my messy life as a mom. I think I am the same as any other mom just trying to keep up with life and squeezing in a little self-care.

Maybe you can relate to this feeling even if you aren’t a blogger. Do you ever feel like you fall behind in some part of your life? How do you handle it? I wanna hear from you in the comments below! Leave me your best tips and ideas for getting back on track with your creative pursuits, self-care and general flow of life.

I hope you have a great week!

Love,

The World’s Okayist Blogger

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

Marvel Universe Live – A Must See Show!

Marvel Universe Live is back!!! My family and I cannot wait!

We caught this show live at the Albany Times Union Center over a year ago and we are ready to go back for more! This super energetic show is entertaining for kids of any age (and kids at heart). There isn’t a moment to sit still with this action packed super hero adventure.

 

Shows start in just 2 weeks!  

Thursday, October 4                     7:00 PM

Friday, October 5                           7:00 PM

Saturday, October 6                  11:00 AM, 3:00 PM, 7:00 PM

Sunday, October 7                    12:00PM, 4:00PM

Don’t miss out – order tickets now:

Online at Ticketmaster.com

By phone at 1-800-745-3000

At the Times Union Center Box Office

We absolutely loved this show and can’t see what new additions they have this time around. It’s a family friendly event my kids look forward to.

Have you been to a Marvel Universe Live show before? What did you love?

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

#TheWhateverMom Army Still Charges On

The term “Mommy Wars” just doesn’t sound right to me. As moms we are supposed to be peaceful role models for our children. We teach our kids not to fight, to think of other people’s feelings, and to be kind to others. So how can we be at war with each other and still teach our kids how to be decent, inclusive, thoughtful humans? We can’t. Four years ago, I was inspired to create my own photo montage in protest of the mom war struggle I was feeling. I enlisted the help of my local mom friends and got to work.

 

All the moms in these photos are friends I met as members of a mom’s group on Facebook. Over the years we’ve celebrated birthdays together, brought each other meals, and have encouraged and supported each other through the trials of motherhood. On this day four years ago, we were standing next to each other smiling and holding signs reflecting our “opposing” mom choices. It was all the proof I needed to see that even though we make different choices for our families, we can still be friends and even respect each other’s personal choices. I have come to realize that without the different opinions and choices lived out by other moms in my circle, I wouldn’t know I have options in my parenting.

 

 

 

Seven years into this mom gig and I have learned to let go of the pressure to make the same choices as other moms. I have also learned that it is par for the course for every new mom to grapple with her confidence as a mom.  That’s really where the mom wars start. It begins with that first wobbly step into motherhood. As we put one foot in front of the other, we learn the path that works for ourselves and our families. We also begin to realize that choices other moms make in their own homes really do not affect us. For example, nothing in my world shakes when another mom feeds her kid formula because she can’t breast feed. There isn’t a slight shift in the wind when someone feeds their kids McDonald’s for dinner because they are too worn out to cook. And if a mom uses bleach to clean her floors instead of the finest essential oils, I can still sleep at night. I firmly believe that if a mom falls at the playground and no one is around to hear her she will still swear like a trucker (all moms do that right, not just me?).

 

 

I haven’t done any hard research on this, but I have yet to see any viral social media clips of a Harvard grad mentioning their mom’s meticulous house as the reason for their success, or that her perfect dinners and over the top birthday parties drove them to the top of their class. If at the end of the day your kids are safe and alive, you deserve a round of applause. We all bear the same burdens of motherhood so why do we put so much pressure on ourselves (and each other to be perfect?).  No matter what your style of mothering is, we will all run the same course: stomach bugs, sleepless nights and feelings of self-doubt. All of these quintessential mom moments level the battlefield for the “Mommy War.”  Certainly none of us makes perfect decisions, but we all have the same end goal- to raise healthy, happy and productive humans. Does it really matter what path we follow to get them there?

 

My call to arms remains the same: do whatever it takes to let go of your fears and worries that you are not enough. Take up the charge to own your mom choices. Decide right now to be confident in your decisions because any decision you make in the best interest of your children is the best decision you can make for them. Never ask yourself, “Which side am I on?” Instead ask yourself, “How can I stand with my momrades?”

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

 

 

What to Pack for Your Next Family Road Trip

Car with map

Summer is here and for us that means a lot of time on the road. The kids get so bored in the car, even after their fill of movies and electronics. Having a few extra activities on hand can help maintain sanity and squash boredom levels.

There are times I travel solo with the kids to see my family which makes me the ship director and the activities coordinator all in one trip. I discovered filling up a basket of new-to-you activities for the kids makes a really great co-pilot. I can pull out a new distraction with a free hand and pass it back to the kiddos before they begin their first argument. The trick is to not use all the stuff up before you get to the end of your road trip. Then you drive back home empty handed and that is no bueno.

Here is what I keep in my basket of tricks:

Books – especially ones with stickers my kids can peel off and stick again. Those keep them entertained and won’t stick to the inside of my car. Trust me, a lesson you learn only once.

Snacks – and lots of them! I’m talking the rare treats they never get like gummy things, barrels of Goldfish crackers and sticky, sweet granola bars. Kids can’t argue if their mouths are full. Rare treats also work well for bribery, “Simmer down back there or the gummies get it!”

Wet wipes – to take care of the sticky granola bars.

Bubbles – this is great for younger kids. I use them at the rest stop when we get out to stretch our legs, or to give the other kid something to do while we are in the bathroom (besides complaining sister got to go first).

Art supplies – my kids love the adult coloring books. I keep a few on hand with a mega set of colored pencils. Not only does this give them color options, but it means I won’t have to go digging for the only blue pencil they just dropped under the seat for the 10th time in the last five minutes.

White board – to use the dry erase markers to play games like Pictionary or hang man. This of course only works if they are in a amicable mood. Otherwise you’ll have to endure listening to high pitched whaling, “she drew a picture of me with 3 eyeballs!” Also get the washable, dry erase markers. (Another lesson you only need to learn once).

Patience – it is typically somewhere near the bottom of the basket. I have to rummage around under all the other stuff to search for it and eventually I find it. Traveling with kids is stressful at some point. You have to manage emotions, attitudes and temperaments along with hunger cues and bathroom breaks. Not to mention defend everyone’s personal space. Being prepared with favorite comforts can really help. But what works best is dropping any expectations for a tranquil journey. And if you pull out the electronics to find a little peace – go for it! Driving with screaming kids can contribute to road rage, so really handing your kids an iPad is a simple safety measure.

Happy travels!

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia