Ways to keep us Sane – Carpooling

carpool-schoolI write this on Sunday evening, and feel like for the first time in quite I while, I’ve had a productive day. Some good family time, but thankfully for my mental health, I got through some of those things that have been on my to do list for quite a while.  I laugh that a day of paying bills, mailing overdue gifts, putting some laundry in the machine, moving my summer clothes into the attic and bringing down my winter clothes, can feel so good.  And the reason for this weekend being so highly productive was that as of last weekend, soccer for two of my sons is over, and field hockey is over for my daughter.  So coming off of last weekend where I felt like I was drowning – with 1 lacrosse game, 2 field hockey games, 2 soccer games and 2 birthday parties, plus a husband out of town, this weekend was wonderfully clear.

So as I was going through my piles today, I came across an article I had torn out of the paper awhile ago. According to the date, this article has been sitting by my bedside table since April 6th.  (And yes, that pile is now much smaller too.) Anyhow, it was about a carpool management website called dividetheride.com. It’s a very  interesting premise.  You register by putting in your name and address, your children’s names and their activities.  Then you invite friends and neighbors to join a carpool.  From what I can gather, the biggest advantage of doing this vs. facilitating a carpool schedule through phone or email, is that is calendarizes the schedule for you, maps the houses and destinations, and then sends out update reminder emails or text messages on the day of the carpool, 2 hours preceding the event.

It also has a function called CarLine Manager.  This is a program set up through your children’s school, and enables you to send an update into the school’s administration if you are not able to pick up your child at the last minute, and designates who will pick up your child instead.  I thought this would be a useful tool for those last minute scrambles when you’re stuck in traffic and know you’re not going to make it.

I think the biggest hurdle to overcome in using this is ensuring that this site is safe – as you are putting personal details about your children’s whereabouts on the web. It is a password protected, secure site, and only those you invite can have access to view your personal details.  That being said, it’s still natural to be trepidatious.

But as a mom of four busy kids, who lives in a rather out of the way neighborhood, carpooling keeps me sane, not to mention the fact that it’s a wonderful green solution.  I may just give this a try, when the next activity starts up, as long as I can find some willing guinea pigs!

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Is anybody happier because you pass his way?
John Hall

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