Carpools are very useful arrangements for busy moms.
But there's a bit more to them than just alternating driving days.
Being part of a carpool implies a commitment both on your end and on the other moms'.
These carpool survival tips can help ensure a successful arrangement for all involved.
And they just might help ensure your sanity remains intact on the driving days ahead.
The most important of the carpool survival tips: Choose your participants wisely.
Set up carpools with parents at your kids' school or parents whose kids are involved in the same weekly activities as yours.
Try to find other moms in your neighborhood. If you have to drive 10 miles out of your way every fourth day for one far-flung kid, the carpool may not be worth it.
Make sure the other moms are somewhat reliable and are safe drivers. Want to know for sure? Ask your kids after the first week. They'll tell you whether they drive like you or not. (You can interpret the results.) These are your babies we're talking about here.
Establish how to change the schedule, and how to notify other moms if your kid is out that day. If there are more than two of you, you'll probably want to arrange a phone tree for this as well as for emergencies.
Establish that unruly children will be dropped from the carpool after three incidents. If you work this rule out ahead of time, it's easier to address when an incident actually occurs.
Do you really want your neighbor sending her constantly texting teenage daughter to pick up the kids one day while she's getting a manicure?
Keep a carpool directory and schedule in the car for last-minute changes or questions.
Insist that the other moms don't run errands with kids in the car. The kids need to get home. They've had a long day. Older kids may have other activities to rush off to. And parents will worry.
Wait until a child has entered her front door before driving off. Make sure the other parent drivers do, too.
In a serious accident, time is of the essence. Make sure your minor children can receive immediate medical aid if required.
A few more things you might want to make a part of your carpool agreement:
And last but not least, set carpool rules for kids, too!