If you have any more than the minimum parent-time (click here to see what that is for kids over five), then you’ll probably be taking your kids to school.
Yes, you’ll have the privilege of that morning ritual that includes waking up kids who have overslept, and then nagging them until they get in the car. And why not just get them out the door and to the bus?
The reason is you’re the non-custodial parent (i.e., the parent with less parent-time), and you probably don’t live on the bus line for your kids’ school. Don’t feel bad, almost no one does, which is why most everyone has to drive their kids to school.
This reality brings up an interesting question: how far from your kids’ school can you live and still drive them every week?
My rule of thumb is twenty miles, and here’s why.
Twenty miles is deceptively far. What I mean is twenty miles doesn’t seem very far. When you think about it though, twenty miles takes a good long time in the morning. You have traffic from all the other parents, you have to navigate the school parking lot, half the time you’re running late, and it always seems that school is in the opposite direction of every parent’s work.
Now, none of this matters if you don’t work in the morning; but you, like most everyone else, probably do.
This means that twenty-mile trip will take you lots of time. If you do it consistently (especially multiple times per week), it begins the wear on you.
And wear is not something you want if you are a parenting after divorce. The harder parenting is, the less likely you are to do it well. There’s just so much stress that making things harder can’t be good.
So, what do I do?
So, what do you do about driving the kids to school? Honestly, the best thing is to live near your kids’ school. If you do that, it will solve the time issue and decrease your stress tremendously.
Another idea is to have someone drive your kids to school for you. This often happens when people remarry. And sometimes a grandma will take on the duty, but not often. (The grandma thing is usually a temporary situation anyway.)
Whatever you do, make sure you try to make it as easy on yourself as possible. You’ll be grateful you did.