SAHM without a car needs advice. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 19 Old 08-09-2011, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We just had to get rid of our second car and we can't afford a new one. I am looking for advice on how to get my son to school when the weather is not so nice. We live near Buffalo and get a lot of snow. We have to walk .7 Miles. He is in Kindergarden and there is not a bus. I will also have to bring my two year old with me. I was looking around and it seems like a bike trailer that turns into a double stroller would be best for the snow and it may be weather proof from rain/snow. Any one used this to get your kids to school? Anyone have any other advise?

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#2 of 19 Old 08-09-2011, 08:11 AM
 
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I had to reply - i grew up in Buffalo!  Best investment to make will be in decent boots for all.  Good jackets /hats/ waterproof boots are a must.  (His teacher should be well versed in helping him change out of his boots and into shoes for school.)  That is a looong walk for a kindergartner!  Maybe your son could ride a bike and you can push a stroller next to him.  OR  make friends with a nearby neighbor who drives their child to that school!  (thats what i did and i live in nice weather Long Island!)   Im certain its impossible for your DH to ever take public transportation to work right?  But maybe he might be able to carpool with a friend from work from time to time and let you have the car.

We have been a one car family for 6 years now and im only JUST getting to like it!  

Good luck and enjoy your summer! lol


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#3 of 19 Old 08-09-2011, 12:26 PM
 
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Ok, I live in Canada with no car....You need a bike stroller.  I bought a double with sturdy wheels and it was well and truly defeated by snow.  The jogging wheel is the only way I could get the kids out.  Look for used (few and far between) or cheaper versions.  I have a wike that is made here in Guelph and it's great.  So, you get really good snow suits, boots, mittens, hats and neck warmers then put them in the trailer with the rain cover over the top. The older child could walk until tired then get in unless it's really cold. Bundle with blankets as need.  You also need good boots and probably snow pants too. (dorky but a life saver).  I have to say that it is shocking that it is expected that a young child could walk seven miles without a bus.  How can you do anything but walk your child to school all day?  Would a complaint do any good?  I know kids can get bused here if there's even a intersection that is deemed unsafe. Good Luck.


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#4 of 19 Old 08-09-2011, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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oh sorry... it is 0.7 of a mile not 7 Miles! Not too far but still a little much for my 5 year old to do twice a day plus get used to being in school full day. We have been practicing this summer by walking to the school playground and back. They only bus farther then a mile or if there is a major road to cross. I am glad to hear that the bike trailer works well. My husband can take a bus to work and back it would take him 1 hour 45 minutes one way so it is an option in an emergancy. I now need suggestions for good brands of rain and snow gear mostly for myself. Does a bike trailer keep the kids dry in the rain? Is there such thing as an umbrella that I can attach to my stroller for myself? Just not sure how to stay dry in a soaking rain. 

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#5 of 19 Old 08-10-2011, 02:56 PM
 
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Lands End makes good boots. And decent slickers, too.

 

I had a bike trailer with a roll-down plastic cover for rain. It worked great.

 

And as prepared as you can be, I second the recommendation that you get to know another mom/dad who drives (at least one). You won't need the help often, but it's definitely a good idea, and if you'll normally walk, you'll have no trouble having your ds ready on time, so you won't slow them down or make them late.

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#6 of 19 Old 08-10-2011, 05:33 PM
 
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You could also look into a stroller/wagon with skis on it. A friend of mine even converted her regular stroller by attaching skis to the wheels - much easier in real snow.


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#7 of 19 Old 08-10-2011, 11:25 PM
 
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We currently have a car, but lived the past 4 years without one.  Even with a car, we still try to do most of our commuting by bike or walking.  I have a Chariot trailer, and highly recommend them.  I would get a used one, since they cost a fortune new.  If you purchase the rain cover that goes with them, than they will stay dry in rain or snow.  The Chariot also can convert to a jogger or even a sled, but all of these cost extra.  If you do decide to bike in the snow, invest in a decent bike (go to a bike shop for this), or shop on Craigslist, but have someone who is knowledgeable about bikes advise you.  And invest in a decent set of tires for the snow, and a narrower tire for when it isn't winter (again you can go into a bike shop and ask them).   

 

As far as gear, I used to commute 18 miles each way by bike to work, and I definitely recommend a good pair of gloves, and some warm shoes.  0.7 miles is not very far, so you probably can get by with a decent winter jacket for you.  A hat that you can wear under your helmet, and a neck warmer are also a good idea.  If you go for a double trailer and put both kids in it, they will definitely be warm in there for that length trip.  You will likely be quite warm pulling them as well!

 

Good luck, it is great to hear about others commuting by bike.

 

 

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#8 of 19 Old 08-11-2011, 11:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcyk1975 View Post

oh sorry... it is 0.7 of a mile not 7 Miles! Not too far but still a little much for my 5 year old to do twice a day plus get used to being in school full day. We have been practicing this summer by walking to the school playground and back. They only bus farther then a mile or if there is a major road to cross. I am glad to hear that the bike trailer works well. My husband can take a bus to work and back it would take him 1 hour 45 minutes one way so it is an option in an emergancy. I now need suggestions for good brands of rain and snow gear mostly for myself. Does a bike trailer keep the kids dry in the rain? Is there such thing as an umbrella that I can attach to my stroller for myself? Just not sure how to stay dry in a soaking rain. 



I'm reading the OP and I'm thinking "I don't know what I'd do to make it happen, but I WOULD get a car if I had to walk 14 miles a day in the snow!!!" 

 

That said, I'd make friends real fast and pay someone to carpool my kid for me.

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#9 of 19 Old 08-12-2011, 02:41 AM
 
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Was shocked with 7 miles, luckily we just overlooked the point before the seven there. I have the Chariot. You can close it up when it rains so your kids don't get wet and I use my bike with it. 

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#10 of 19 Old 08-12-2011, 01:20 PM
 
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i had to do the same thing (but for pick-up, not drop-off) with a little one along as well. a jogging stroller is the best thing for snow, i found. hope you figure it out! it stinks that they won't take kids on the bus if they're too close (under 1k here) to the school (though they do make exceptions for JKs here.) if you know an older student who is a walker, you might be able to get them to walk your child home too. i don't have any older students living near me so it wasn't an option. back and forth in rain, shine, snow etc i went.


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#11 of 19 Old 08-15-2011, 06:42 AM
 
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I was also shocked at 7 miles. 7 miles isn't too bad riding a bike if you're used to it, but walking with two kids? Pure hell I'm thinking. Glad to know it's only .7 miles. Still a bit of a walk for a 5 year old, but much better than 7 miles, lol! No real advice, because If I had to walk my kids to school I'd have to walk about 7-8 miles.


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#12 of 19 Old 08-15-2011, 11:44 AM
 
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Funny . . . we have a really similar situation, and are also .7 miles from school with a younger one (now 2).  I agree with the bike trailer.  We were able to find one really cheaply on Craigslist, and it has the plastic roll down thing so we are able to keep the LO warm and cozy in the rain.  My older one also loves to get in there with my younger one, and it's a bit of a squeeze but in a raining pinch it could work for you, I think.  You'll probably have a backpack for him which you can just toss in the back of the trailer (most have pretty good storage).  Another suggestion - can your 5 YO bike while you walk and push your younger one in a stroller? (I know this is not an option in the snow.) We do this frequently, and finally, we found a super cheap scooter at a yard sale, and my older one loves this, too.  The walk is *doable* for the older one, but tiring day after day, so anything we can do to make it more fun helps.  You might also consider a drink or snack to have at the half-way mark, which could make the whole thing much more fun.  Cocoa in a thermos in the winter?  smile.gif  I also have found a couple of moms willing to transport in a pinch.  This is invaluable for not only the stormy days, but also the inevitable times when your little one is sick and you don't want to schlep him all the way to school and back.  I bet you there are numerous WOH/WAH parents (having recently been there myself) who would be ecstatic if you could figure out some trades - you take their kiddos a couple of afternoons after school here and there in exchange for a ride when you need one?

 

On the bright side you will be very fit, walking 3 + miles a day!


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#13 of 19 Old 08-21-2011, 09:39 AM
 
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i would suggest talking to his teacher and see if they know of any parents who would be willing to carpool! so that way u dong have to walk such long distances especially in winter with both children.


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#14 of 19 Old 08-23-2011, 12:57 AM
 
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We live 0.7 miles from the school and my 4yos have managed it daily (they are wimps and barely turfed out of the buggy at that point, kids start school a year younger in England than in the USA), but we only get wind, hail & dreary wet for the most part (not too many blizzards). And I won't pretend they don't throw plenty of strops that can make the journey a misery, although very rarely about the weather. Then there's the dog muck to contend with on pavements when you walk every day, yuck!!

 

I do resort to a double-width cycle trailer when one child is ill, too ill to walk the journey comfortably & too young to leave alone at home, and the others still need to get up there but I'd rather they didn't travel unescorted. The Wike is a good cycle trailer with stroller conversion, one I very nearly bought (got a Chariot instead, but it's not as waterproof as I'd like, Burleigh said to be better).

 

DC walk in wellies (cheap to buy & for sale everywhere, but maybe not warm enough in lotsa snow?) in very wet days and change into school shoes when they arrive, although for the older ones (feet don't grow so fast) I have resorted to investing in expensive waterproof boots as school shoes (they have uniform reqs re footwear).  Good warm breakfast, hats, gloves & scarves all essential & ideally on the bodies before you set foot out the door.


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#15 of 19 Old 08-23-2011, 01:00 AM
 
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oops, sorry if this is obvious, but make sure if you get a cycle trailer that it's a double, to accomodate your 2yo as well, and the bigger wheels the better to manage in snow (the Chariot is brilliant and I can steer it 1-handed on snow, even with one or two heavy passengers).


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#16 of 19 Old 10-08-2011, 02:02 PM
 
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I just had to comment, since I haven't had a car for a year, and we walk pretty much everywhere. Warm comfortable boots, wool socks, and long underwear! The long johns make a huge difference in my body temperature during the winter. As soon as it gets nippy, I start doubling up. I can't think of anything else that everyone else hasn't already said, so good luck!


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#17 of 19 Old 10-12-2011, 11:29 AM
 
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Hi!!!

 

We are a one car family in the suburbs of Chicago.  We just bought a home, and do not need another bill on top of the new expenses with a first home, so we are staying a one car family for the next year or so and possibly longer.  I stay home as well, and try to plan things on my husbands off days or carpool.

 

We do not have to walk anywhere, and have an emergency family member nearby.  However, we lived in the city by the lake forever, and I find Hunter or Tretorn boots with Wellies are wonderful.  I also do the nike running pants under a waterproof pant instead of long underwear.  

 

There is an umbrella that attaches to your stroller or trailer, its called my blue bumbershoot and attaches to any handle.

 

I hope you are able to find someone to do at least one way carpool for you.  People are generally fine with that, especially if they live close or do not go out of their way.  In exchange, if they have a small child you can do babysitting for an hour or so?

 

Good luck!

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#18 of 19 Old 10-17-2011, 06:54 PM
 
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Invest in a really sturdy sled and feel those calories burn!

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#19 of 19 Old 10-20-2011, 01:30 PM
 
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How about a double kicksled?

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