My daytime line of work is marketing transportation demand management programs that support sustainability. In plain English, I market the use of mass transit, carpooling, vanpooling, bicycling riding and walking to commuters. Theses programs encourage commuters to leave their cars at home or at least share the ride whenever possible to save money, to save time and to save Mother Earth. I have been working in my department and leading it for close to 12 years and have honed what marketing strategies work and which don’t. But a completely different perspective to carpooling has found me marketing this concept at home too.
Case in point: My daughter’s summer camp is in full swing and much to her delight, the day does not begin until 9 a.m. This gives her extra sleep time in the morning and gives me extra stress knowing that I can’t possibly make it to work in time with a 9 a.m. drop off. The camp does not provide busing, but for an extra fee children are welcome to arrive beforehand. It kills me to fork over additional dollars for time under an hour so beforehand care is not an option. What is my solution? Carpooling! I quickly call a fellow working mother and arrange a carpool that benefits both of our working schedules, our wallets and in a day and age where everyone is going green, two mothers are helping fellow Mother Earth.
After this morning’s drop off with my fellow carpooler, I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony in all this. I have been unknowingly practicing what I preach. Since my children were of school age, I have been both the carpool driver and the carpool benefactor. I benefit tremendously when my children are carpooled by a fellow trusted parent. I earn borrowed time to accomplish what needs to be done and my children practice their manners. But the true benefit comes during the times I am driving the gaggle of children. I am privy to so much interesting information that flows from their conversation. Excited to converse, the children tend to forget it is Mother driving and that Mother’s ears are listening. Most times, I hold back the laughter at what is being said and other times I thank my lucky stars that I am blessed to catch these special moments between my children and their friends.
So one could say that I bring my work home with me. With complete pride, I retort–I wouldn’t have it any other way!