There are many things that have changed the parenting landscape for the better.
ABC4KIDs, squeezy yoghurt pouches and swaddles with zips (that save you having to work out how to actually swaddle a baby), spring to mind.
But there’s an unsung hero that walks amongst us.
It makes instant caffeination without leaving your car possible. It’s the rainy day saviour of any parent with a child who believes that allowing themselves to be strapped in to a car seat means a one way ticket to hell.
I speak of the humble drive through. A game changer for #mumlife and a sanity saver for those who own small humans who require five point harnesses.
In McCafe we trust
This week, I have visited various drive throughs no less than four times. I have no shame in admitting this. In fact, I feel slightly smug that I was able to secure a half decent long black (dash of milk, hold the sugar but take my Keep Cup) AND fill a prescription without actually leaving my car, or, more specifically, having to remove three children from said car.
If that isn’t #lifegoals then you either a) don’t have children b) you aim far higher than me in the life stakes.
You can have your cafe coffee. I’ll take not having to remove my youngest cranky, conjunctivitis-eyed child from her car seat to queue for a double shot before I wrestle my half octopus/half child back into her seat.
Oh the places you’ll go… when there’s a drive through
The coffee thing is a biggie. Because coffee = life. But in my part of the world, the drive through has branched out. Yes, in my regional NSW town we have both a drive through ATM AND a drive through pharmacy. SAY WHAT? I shall withhold the postcode to prevent a stampede of new residents desperate to avail themselves of our facilities. Yes, they are both a couple of suburbs away but I’ll take that 12 minute drive any day of the goddamn week if it means I don’t have to bulk purchase the glucose jellybeans my children always manage to crack open while I’m filling my script in an ‘old fashioned’ chemist.
There’s something very special about being able to pick up your thyroid medication, a bottle of children’s Panadol AND ask the pharmacist about your kid’s weird skin tag, without leaving your car and while baby snoozes in the backseat. “This is what life should be like,” the experience whispers, as you drive off into the sunset. And if you happen to be sipping a coffee that you picked up, without leaving the car, while visiting the pharmacy? I think they call that living the dream.
Striking a balance
If i’m being completely transparent here, sometimes drive throughs have a downside. Drive throughs can’t compete with a real life coffee shop or actual, proper human interaction. Yes, you CAN attempt a conversation with the 16-year-old who takes your coffee order and sure, the pharmacy assistant who services the drive through window is good for the odd laugh, but they don’t really cut it in the friendship stakes. That requires actual people you know who aren’t being paid by the hour to speak to you.
Striking a balance between drive through days and ‘proper people’ days is key. Every woman who has ever mothered will know the importance of getting out of the house and speaking to adults. Sometimes the only cure for chronic sleep deprivation is some sunshine and a strong shot of the good stuff, enjoyed at an actual table, from an actual mug.
But for those other days when taking off your ‘leisure wear’ (AKA pyjama bottoms) is a hard no? There’s the drive through. Use it wisely.
New to the ‘hood (motherhood that is)? Check out our top tips on how to survive the early days (from a mum who has been there, done that.)