When you’re a mom and you’re learning to drive, how the heck do you find time to practice? Do you take the kids with you? Do they give you a nervous breakdown?
My last driving lesson started off horrible. First I tripped and twisted my ankle as I was pushing my way past a bush in my garden heading towards the driver-side door of the instructor’s car. I almost did a face plant. My Young Drivers guidebook came sailing out of my purse and I had to pick it out of a bush. Either my instructor didn’t notice (because he was busy moving around to the passenger side), or he was just trying to be incredibly polite by ignoring me making an idiot of myself. I was embarrassed from falling, I was nervous to get behind the wheel, and my ankle hurt.
I started pulling out of the driveway, meant to hit the break and instead hit the gas, so I accelerated across the street and directly into the curb. The instructor had to push the emergency break. I was badly rattled. I almost started crying.
I am so frustrated by how inept I am! I am five lessons in, with lesson #6 scheduled for tomorrow. I feel like I am very behind. I’m just not picking it up. But then I’m not getting out to practice either.
I can’t legally get behind the wheel without a license toting sidekick, but getting hubby to take me out to practice is like pulling teeth. He works odd hours and getting up early to take me out driving isn’t high on his priority list. If I could just leave my kids asleep in their beds and go driving around the block when hubby gets home at 11:30pm — that would be perfect, illegal, but perfect. Not counting my driver’s lessons, I have been out to practice twice. One time we were out running errands as a family and the kids happened to fall asleep in the backseat, so we randomly hit the nearest vacant parking lot. Another time we were supposed to be going out without the kids to shop for a new couch, but the store we wanted to check turned out to be closed on Sundays. Thankfully they did have a lovely parking lot.
To be honest, I don’t push as much as I might to go out and practice, because I’m still really nervous behind the wheel. The marked Young Drivers car with it’s passenger side “oh-shit” break, seems “safe”. Going out in our mini van…? I want a large flashing sign that says, “Get out of my way. I’m still just figuring things out.”
I worry about getting behind the wheel with the kids in the back. I imagine it would sound something like this:
Dad’s sitting in your chair!
Are you driving now?
Yay! Mom’s driving!
…do you know what you’re doing Mom?
Why are we moving so slow?
This is b-o-o-ring….
No more circles!
I like it better when daddy drives.
I think I need a sitter so I can practice driving. I still need to practice turns. I still need to stop and think which pedal is stop and which is go. I need to concentrate 100% on what I’m doing. I do not need to hear my kids whining and fighting in the backseat. I’m nervous I’m going to screw up and someone is going to hit us, and my kids will get hurt.
I need to work on improving my mom filter. How the heck does any mom EVER drive with their kids in the car? I am used to being the car referee. The one that reminds them to be quiet, keep their shoes on and not bite one another. Hubby drives, I child mind. If I’m driving, who’s taking care of the kids? I need to be able to tune them out. I need to focus. I don’t care if the little one just took off her crocs. Shh… be quiet, mommy is driving.
So I’ve got to ask, how do you guys do it? If like me you’re still learning to drive, how do you find time to practice? Who do you go out with? Do you bring the kids? Even if you’re an experienced driver, how do you concentrate on the road and do that mom thing at the same time?
Disclosure: Young Drivers is sponsoring this series of posts documenting my journey as I work towards getting my driver’s license by providing me with access to the Young Driver’s Defensive Driving Program.