Nightmare car journeys: The parent edition


I’m at that time of year again, the one every car owner dreads.

MOT testing time.

Yep, with two months to go until Christmas I’ve just paid Kwik Fit over a thousand pounds on new tyres, brakes and brake pads and woe is most definitely me.

However, it could have been worse; last night I watched a TV programme that featured a story about a woman being made to wait over five hours for roadside assistance with kids in the car. I know which scenario I’d prefer; at least I know my car is roadworthy now.

I’d like to think I’ve been lucky in terms of car journeys with the kids.

The odd tantrum, occasional danger nap and that one time when we got pulled over by the police half way through a three hour long journey to a castle because apparently my partner had no car insurance. He did have insurance, and we were allowed to continue on our journey, but the panic that set in when my dear partner couldn’t actually remember who his car insurance was with is something I’d like to never repeat.

Empty road Yorkshire

I decided to ask around and see if the lady from the TV programme was really unlucky or if we’d been really lucky.

Turns out, there are a few things worse than being stuck in a stationary car with kids.

For example, being stuck in a moving one with them.

10 minutes down the road my 6 year old tells us he’s not buckled in (first trip with all 4 kids.) Husband says “what do you want me to do?” Melanie

Husbands: great in emergencies

I took my then 4 year old to nursery and when I got out the car I realised I’d buckled his little brother into his car seat but NOT strapped the seat into the car. He was about 8 weeks old.  Alessandra

When my youngest was a baby I was transporting her and a friend’s baby home on the M25 and it wasn’t until we were on local roads that my friend realised she hadn’t strapped the seat in. When you’re used to a click-in system in your own car it’s remarkably easy to do!

The day my son worked out how to undo the buckle on his car seat… just happened to be on a dual carriageway with no stopping areas! The first I knew about it was when he said into my ear “I’m coming into the front with you Mummy!” I thought I was gonna have a heart attack. I shouted at him so badly that he managed to sit back down and get his arms in until I found a safe place to stop and do him back up. I tell you what, he never ever undid it again! Emma, Emma Reed

That is the stuff of nightmares, but you can bet it happens a lot more than people care to admit!

Going on holiday alone with the kids - car journeys are major whingeathons

…Or being stuck in a moving car with a travel sick child.

There was a time I forgot to give my child (who suffered from terrible car sickness) a travel sickness tablet. Inevitably I ended up with a green child in the back whimpering “Mum, I feel sick!” At the time I was driving a brand spanking new courtesy car, I didn’t want him vomming all over it and the only thing I had to hand was my freshly bought day old handbag which I threw over my shoulder from the front a bit sharpish. Couldn’t face washing it out and so had to fish my carroty-sick covered bits and bobs out and bin it. Julie, Picking Up Toys

Parenting rules number 1: Don’t ever buy yourself new stuff. EVER.

My daughter suffers travel sickness. Driving back from a trip to see friends she mentioned she was feeling groggy so I pulled up at a toilet stop, got her a drink and sat for a while. There had been an accident a little way down the road so I decided as she was feeling sick to just wait there until the accident had cleared. We got back in the car after sitting there for about an hour and a half, I drove a grand total of 5 minutes before she promptly spewed everywhere, I’d only just got the car too! Cheryl, Mummy of 5 Miracles

See, what did I say? Never buy yourself new stuff.

Empty road America

Being stuck with a kid in the car in another country doesn’t sound much better.

In France, on the way to a wedding, 18 month old in the car and me very very pregnant with our second. We popped a tyre in the middle of nowhere. I desperately needed a wee and our daughter was desperate for a snack and the wedding was in just two hours time. Total nightmare. I ended up weeing at the side of the road while our toddler screamed inside the car. Never road trip in a foreign country with kids! Vicky, The Mummy Bubble

Wise advice, road trips with kids are bad enough, doing them in a different country? No thanks!

When I was a kid on holiday in France. My brother was asleep in the front (he was about 12) as we sped at top speed down the motorway he proceeded to open the car door, whilst sleeping. Luckily he had his seatbelt on. Suzanne, And Another Ten Things

M40 motorway

Finally, there was a story that proves Mum Guilt is out to get you.

Once on the M40, in a thunder storm, my engine stopped working, the power steering locked and I somehow steered myself safely between two juggernauts to the hard shoulder. I was alone on the way back from a mad mums weekend away and at the time was convinced this was the CURSE OF MUMMY GUILT upon me for being a SELFISH WOMAN. Cathy

You just needed a tyre puncture or dodgy breaks to turn that into a real mum guilt nightmare.

All these stories made me realise that my MOT bill was the least of my worries.

Plus the car is fixed and I don’t have to think about it for another year now, right?

This is a collaborative post.

If you’re waiting for your MOT, why not take this #TyreChallenge quiz to find out how much you know about tyres and tyre safety. My score was pitiful. What’s your score? 


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