Practical Life Question: How do you get errands, apts, etc. done while being a HSer? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Practical Life Question: How do you get errands done?
You take them with you 81 77.88%
Significant Other watches kids 8 7.69%
Family member watches kids 2 1.92%
Friend watches kids 0 0%
Paid Sitter 1 0.96%
Other, please list. 12 11.54%
Voters: 104. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-21-2010, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm wondering how homeschooling parents get errands done. These kinds of errands: Post Office, grocery shopping, dental apts, coffee with a friend, working out, yoga class, other shopping, doc apts, hair cuts, oil changes, or other apts where having kids around makes it harder or difficult. Obviously I think your answers will be determined by many things, like how many kids you have, their ages, your support network, community, etc.

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Old 10-21-2010, 09:37 AM
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We all go as a family on any errands unless it's something DH can do alone. I can't drive.

Occasionally, I turn the errand into a field trip

Pretty often we have "make-up days" on weekends because of errands that came up during the week.

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Old 10-21-2010, 09:51 AM
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I can appreciate how pleasant it is to go shopping without kids but normally errands are run with kids or perhaps I might take off for a couple of hours on a Sunday once or twice a month when DH is home. They also go on playdates regularly without me and are regularly in sports practice where I could go do a shopping run with 0 or 1 kid. I keep an insulated bag in my car, and if I plan ahead of time that I am going to the supermarket during swim team, I will through a cold pack into there. Otherwise I just group all the cold food together. Mine are 5 and newly 7. It's not a problem.

I do not do a lot of solo hangout time with friends though nor do I do any exercise classes. But many gyms / the Y offer child care so that's what my exercise class friends do, whether they home school or not.

Also you will see once they get a little older than yours and are reading, you could do something where you need to be left alone (meeting, exercise class) by putting them in a nearby corner with the laptop and saying something like "check off two Rosetta Stone lessons and finish your math sheet and then you may do favored activity until I am done" such as a book they want to read, computer activity or video.

I do have parents close by but I prefer to use that time to be IN the house without the kids
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:55 AM
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I picked other because at one time or another I've done all of the above.
The most common is to take them with me, with a second runner up being leave them with DH.
We don't have that much help from others, but on occasion have used others help.

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Old 10-21-2010, 10:13 AM
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They usually go with me alone but lately, a friend and I have been doing so much school stuff together that we've started doing errands together too. So when we're heading to the pumpkin patch, we stop for groceries now. And one of us either stays with the kids in the car if there's a sleeping child or two or we all go together which can be pretty fun.

We're suckers for each others's kids at this point. So if the mama says no, they go to the "aunt" who lets them have it. And then we give our gifts away on the way home.

We've actually had conversations that go like this, "I'll up your kids on Nutella with some rice crispie treats stuck to your walls!"

Keep your eyes out for friendships like this. You might find a mama friend who has similar homeschooling philosophies which often goes with similar lifestyle philosophies and before you know it - BOOM! Even grocery shopping is more fun.

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Old 10-21-2010, 01:41 PM
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I almost always have them in tow for most things. If I cannot bring them, which is a rarity, my dh is self employed and can move his schedule around to suit me, and if that fails, my MIL is 10 mins away. A few times I've had my good friend's oldest dd help me out- they're homeschoolers too, so often available during the day.

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Old 10-21-2010, 01:57 PM
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That is a key part of homeschooling, IMO. They come along to it all: dentist's apps, naturopath visits, blood draws, tires changed, car fixed, groceries, farm visits for local stuff, researching a new appliance, paying a ticket, second-hand store shopping for the coveted goalie gear, any and everything, they are part of it. To me it's part of learning about our society, how we conduct business, where these places are, what things cost, what needs repair or upkeep, how to deal with businesses, expressing yourself to them, behaving in stores/offices, knowing your community resources . . . I could go on and on.

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Old 10-21-2010, 02:08 PM
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My older 2 are at the age that if they do not want to come, they do not have to.

My youngest can be watched by either of the older 2 - but this is always voluntary. If she wants to come (which is the usual) she comes. If she does not want to come, but her brother or sister do not want to watch her - she comes. If she wants to stay home and her brother/sister are fine with watching her she stays home.

On really rare occasions I will insist one or the other babysits - but it is really rare.

For the most part I do not mind lugging children where-ever I go. I do not marathon shop, though, and frequent places I can get in and out of. I try to keep over stimulation levels in mind. Indeed, I overstimulate quite easily, so my kids rarely experience overstimulation as I am always ready to bail early on, lol
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:00 PM
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Well I'm a single mom so my dd comes with me everywhere. She always has though, even when I was married. I've never had an issue running errands with kids. It takes a little longer, but I like it for breaking up the day.

Now a days I bring my dd and the daycare babies with me when I run errands, including my doctor appointments. For working out I just usually exercise at home in the mornings. But when I did use a gym, it had free childcare for me cause I taught there. So I'd just drop the kids off in there.

Sometimes I have to do things at my college during the day and that gets tricky with a handful of kids. So I'll usually leave my dd with my mom and then take the babies. I have done all sorts of things at college with a baby worn on my back. Got to do, what you got to do!

I have social anxiety so it's actually easier for me to have kids with me when I'm out than it is to go alone.

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Old 10-21-2010, 03:21 PM
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I didn't vote because it kinda depended. Well, now it's not an issue, but when she was little it was either take her with me (stuff like shopping) or have a friend watch her (stuff like work meetings or doctor appointments), with occasional babysitters (same stuff but when friend's were busy). Really, though, I didn't think of it so much as having a friend watch her as arranging a playdate for that time, and she went on plenty of playdates when I didn't need someone to watch her, too... just because she wanted to see her friends.

No family or partner, though, so those never happened.

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Old 10-21-2010, 03:26 PM
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All errands and appropriate appointments I brought them with me. Working out, doctor appointments they were with dh.
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:21 PM
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I posted "take them with you" but then I saw you said things like dr appts, yoga, etc.

Ds is 3.5 so I can't very well take him to a yoga class now (unless its mommy and me) or to my dr. appt, etc.

But once I have no kids under 6 or so I'll take them to everything except something like yoga or a spa.
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:27 PM
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I voted other Cause there always has to be an other

If it's to the post office, or other quick errands I take them with... I will even grudgingly take them with to docs appts IF it's not a gyn issue that might require undressing. For grocery shopping, I wait till Thursday evening and leave the boys with hubby... that way I can have a posh coffee and an hour or so alone

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Old 10-21-2010, 11:41 PM
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I put other because I use a combination of all the things you listed. DH and I workout and the kids go to childwatch at the Y. He watches them while I go to an early morning Yoga class. We do Family Yoga.

Grocery shopping I take them about 1/2 the time and 1/2 the time I go early on a Saturday to avoid grocery store lines and to shop in peace. DH is with them then.

When I have meetings for DS' preschool (tonight), my dad has pizza and movie night with them. When I have meetings for scouts, a friend and I trade off watching one another's kids.

Dentist and doctor appointments for me are rare enough that I do them on the 1 afternoon/week that I have a sitter. Usually this is to help DH at his office, but 3 times a year I use it for dr. appts.

I think the key to juggling this stuff though is to have a routine for what kind of thing it is. IE--workout=childwatch; preschool meeting=night with grandpa; scouts=playdate with G. If that stuff moved around too much for who watches them when I think it would get confusing for me and them and the friends/family helping out.

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Old 10-22-2010, 12:24 AM
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You need an all of the above LOL.

Everything from take them with you, they stay with a neighbor/friend/family member and when age and situation appropriate they stay home.
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:24 AM
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My dh commutes. The kids come to everything but my pap smears. In the evenings I can head to the gym by myself but I consider that me time, not running errands. My dks are 5 and 7, so it isn't always easy but we've never known anything different. We have no family around and the hubby is gone before we wake up and home after we've eaten dinner. If they didn't come with me, I'd never get anything done.
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:25 AM
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My DH is a minister with a flexible schedule, so for doctor/dentist visits, I plan them for first thing in the morning and he stays home/goes in to work late. Weekly grocery shopping gets done while the kids are at martial arts class on Thursdays. Everything else is done with kids in tow.

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Old 10-22-2010, 01:13 AM
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My kids are older so it is much easier than when they were toddlers/babies.

Dh works evenings 4-midnight Mon to Fri. So, I can pretty easily leave the kiddos with him for things I don't want them around for (like pap smears like a previous poster LMAO! Or haircuts), or if I am a bit crabby and there is a high risk I might not be so patient with them like on a long grocery store trip. On Saturdays and Sundays dh will sometimes do the winding down for bed routine with them, so I can go have a bath or go out to a coffee shop myself. For working out, I have weights/kettlebells etc in my basement, and go and workout in the mornings before they get up generally. If they do come with me for things, we always pack a goodie bag like when they were toddlers...ds's Playmobile, sketchboard/markers for dd, picture search books, etc.

one thing we have found hard is home renovations. I have been sanding/wallprepping/painting for THREE freaking years now. My friends all laugh and ask what is taking so long, and I reply that it's not like my kids are out of the house for 6hrs a day in school!

Generally I try to take them though, as I think it is good for them to be in public learning social niceties like waiting in bank and grocery store lines! Just today I ran a few errands, and dd came with me; she chit chatted with some people in line about their babies, was thrilled to order the sushi we treated ourselves to, and made a purchase of a toy with her allowance. You know, real world stuff while the rest of kids her age are in school.

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Old 10-22-2010, 01:25 AM
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My family (usually my mom) watches them for things like my getting my hair done or drs. appts that I cannot take them to and that is not very often. My sister does my hair every 6 weeks and dr appts happen rarely. My mom does pick up my kids for an afternoon often though because she likes to play with them so I just get stuff done during that time too (read, nap, clean ect).

Otherwise I just bring them shopping, midwife, errands, ect...It is all part of learning about life

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Old 10-22-2010, 01:29 AM
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Originally Posted by karanyavel View Post

Pretty often we have "make-up days" on weekends because of errands that came up during the week.

Ditto. And same if I have to work. Sometimes I'll trade her a weekday "off" if we're too busy with the understanding that some of the core stuff will get done on Saturday. But don't feel too sorry for her ; I always try to plan for a four day week with fun stuff on Fridays anyways.

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Old 10-22-2010, 03:23 PM
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Over then years it has been all of the above except for paying a sitter. When they are too young to stay at home alone they have usually gone with me for most errands and I would schedule appointments around DH's work schedule when I could. Now on the rare occasion that I feel like I will be gone too long to leave DD at home alone she will go over to a friend's house or if possible I'll schedule on DH's off Friday.
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Old 10-22-2010, 03:59 PM
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I take them with me for: post office, grocery shopping, other "errands"

I have dh, a friend or a paid sitter watch them for: dental apts, coffee with a friend, working out, yoga class, doc apts, hair cuts, oil changes

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Old 10-22-2010, 04:00 PM
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For most things, I took the kids with me (including daycare kids so sometimes I had 7 kids with me). If it was a doctor's appt for ME, then I closed daycare down for the day and only took my own kids (I have 3). The only thing I've had DH schedule time off for or have used a baby sitter for is my anual papsmear or if I need actual dental work.

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Old 10-22-2010, 09:28 PM
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I voted "Other." My two oldest are both 17 years old, so they can stay home, but are rarely actually here. The two youngest are 9 and 5, unable to stay home alone. If I *have* to go somewhere without them, like the doctor or a coffee date with a friend then I make sure to schedule that when there is at least one teenager at home. Otherwise, if it happens that I need to run errands when one of the girls is home, they can stay at home. If nobody is at home, well, sorry, you gotta come with me.

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Old 10-23-2010, 03:37 AM
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The only time I leave the kids with DH is if I am just going to run REAL quick in and out of a store or post office... Everywhere else, long shopping trips, stuff like that- the kids come with.

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Old 10-23-2010, 11:28 AM
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I have 3 kids 6, 3 and 11 months. Dh's parents live close by but are often busy, his dad usually watches the (older)kids for a few hrs once a week- and once every several months we might go on a date and have one of our parents watch the older ones. Otherwise they are with us- mostly me due to his work schedule.

Groceries generally get done on the weekend after church w/ dh. I generally go out once a month w/ friends and leave the older 2 at home w/ dad. We make our dental appts/eye appts/blood donations together and take turns. I work out w/ family. Dh does our oil changes almost always- or I will go through the quick-lube place and we wait in the lobby. I don't do a lot of shopping usually- on Tues I will sometimes run some errands w/ the kids, sometimes dh will stop by places before or after work.

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Old 10-24-2010, 12:01 AM
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i always have at least two of the kids with me but normally every one is in the car! i try t save boring time consuming ones (like the post office) for days i have the fewest children.

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Old 10-24-2010, 01:46 AM
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I take them with me for most things, but I'm also blessed with extremely supportive parents and ILs who both live near me I have some friends that I would feel comfortable asking, but they don't home school, so I'm reluctant to ask them to watch all three of mine when some of theirs are in school. . . I'd only do that if I was really in a bind or an emergency.

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Old 10-24-2010, 02:29 AM
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We typically do school work in the morning and any running in the afternoon.
The kids go with me 90% of the time and that's just part of their learning. They learn patience, social skills, manners, etc which are sadly lacking in many kids today.

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Old 10-24-2010, 05:29 AM
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Mostly the kids go with me (groceries, post office, paying bills etc) and just think of it as an extension of our unschooled life. If I have things that I need to do on my own (doctors appt, library for myself, getting down time at my own pace etc) then I will do those things on a Sunday or Monday when DH is home to mind the kids. I don't really have anyone to leave the kids with during week hours (and really, it hasn't been a pressing issue where I've *needed* to find someone as yet), so unless I can work something else out, we all do it together.

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