Parenting Is A Lot Like Driving

By Contributor Stephanie Young

When we first learn to drive, we take a class on the rules, the signs, the typical scenarios. But those lessons don’t necessarily prepare us for life on the road.

For example, a few weeks back during an intense Kansas thunderstorm, my husband had to navigate us through golfball-size hail. As hard chunks of ice slammed into the car on a pitch-black country road, visibility became zero.  He finally found a driveway and pulled up next to a barn to wait it out.

No driver’s education prepared us for that.

Driving is affected by weather, road conditions, traffic, other drivers, mechanical problems, bright sun, dark nights, our own state of mind, on and on. Some things you can control and some you can’t.

Parenting is very similar. Oh sure, you can take a childbirth and parenting class. You can read all the books and get all the gear, but nothing can truly prepare you for the wild ride that is a child.

Here are a few signs you might encounter along the path of parenthood.

My favorite is this one. All parenting handbooks should have something like this at the beginning.

Parenting Is A Lot Like Driving

How many times have you struggled with which way to go?

Parenting Is A Lot Like Driving

And even if you knew for sure, life doesn’t always cooperate.

Parenting Is A Lot Like Driving

Ever feel like you’re going in circles, doing and saying the same things over and over, day after day?

Parenting Is A Lot Like Driving

There are times of fear – head bonk, broken arm, the time my kiddo wandered out of the children’s church room and it took us 5 minutes to find him.

Parenting Is A Lot Like Driving

Or times when you know difficulty lies ahead – divorce or a move, starting school, an illness like asthma or diabetes, break-ups, peer pressure, a tough teacher.

Parenting Is A Lot Like Driving

Sometime s you just want to take a break, rest, relax, do anything just for you. But it won’t happen today. You have to keep going.

Parenting Is A Lot Like Driving

Because their needs are more immediate and urgent than yours.

Parenting Is A Lot Like Driving

There are peaceful days too when everyone is happy and healthy, flourishing and having fun.

Parenting Is A Lot Like Driving

And someday, God willing, they will be ready to go out on their own to navigate the winding, bumpy road of life. And we’ll be waiting, just in case they need someone to take the wheel for a little while.

Parenting Is A Lot Like Driving

Stephanie Young lives in the heart of Kansas where she is mom to a spirited 7-year-old boy, self-employed with her husband and writes the blog From the Burbs to the Boonies about living large in small-town USA. 

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Angela V

Founder and Writer at One Smiley Monkey blog
Hi, my name is Angela van Tijn and I live in Vancouver, Canada with my wonderful husband, our two boys and our puppy. I am the founder and primary contributor behind One Smiley Monkey. Welcome to my blog!

27 responses to “Parenting Is A Lot Like Driving”

  1. Love it, funny but real!

  2. Funny, children at play is my favorite photo 🙂

  3. Interesting post, great photo!

  4. Love the humor of this post, funny but true really. I came across so many of those as I was raising my son! Love the photographs she has with this!

  5. Great analogy, and great pictures.

  6. Very clever… and very true, too!

  7. omg all of them are so true!

  8. Excellent analogy Stephanie! At this point of raising my oldest son, it begs for a YIELD sign as I just wish time would slow down!

  9. This is great! One more that could be added is a gas station, because sometimes we all have to stop and ask for direction.

  10. Love the post and the analogies. It’s a great reminder that we all have to go through the same road and need to watch for the signs.

  11. Very clever post – love the analogy! I relate particularly to the roundabout one (sometimes parenting involves literally going around in circles as well as figuratively!) and the No Parking one. I miss being able to “park” whenever I want, but I still wouldn’t trade the nonstop on-the-go exhaustion for anything. 😉

  12. I just loved this and can only agree. Having brought up 7 children I couldn’t agree more. The fact that each child is also different also sometimes makes for a bumpy road but worth every struggling mile of the way.

  13. can totally relate! Loved reading this post 🙂

  14. Great post

  15. Wow, great post! Fun and very true and helpful!

  16. I really like Stephanie ‘s comparison of being a new parent and driving. I used to think that it didn’t really matter how many manuals I read, (Dr Spock was a lifeline) since it occurred to me that , since baby had not and probably would not want or care to read any manual, the contents had to be taken with a grain or tsp. of salt , depending on the day and baby.

  17. Great post, love the analogy.

  18. I love the signs warning -guiding -us on this long ride that is parenthood. I don’t think anything can prepare you for it. Every child is so unique that what works fairly well with one child will not ;work at all with another one. Every child is a learning process, which takes time, energy and endurance. Looking back. it was well worth the effort, work, endurance and the many prayers.

  19. Great post,love the photos

  20. Driving and parenting really do take you down the same roads sometimes

  21. Interesting post,love the analogy!

  22. At tea time with the girls the other night i was talking about this write-up,so they get the whole story i shared on FB

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