Until July this year our school run consisted of myself and the three kids taking a five minute walk down the road and we were there, it really was idyllic and we never had to get in a car, well not unless I was late for work!
Since moving, the school run is pretty different. We now live five miles from the kids school and even if we wanted to walk it would be too dangerous, a big main A road and then country lanes without any paths are our route. Also in the interests of being frugal and green we car share with our neighbour now. So my school run includes six super chatty kids in the car, all aged between 5 - 10 years old.
We do have a lot of fun but it can test your skills of concentration as a driver. The questions and chatter is pretty relentless - 'Mum, put on Olly Murs', 'Mum, can we have a snack when we get home?', 'Mum, can F come and play?' and on and on. Then in the background I can hear them playing the yes/ no game or singing along to the latest track. The noise level is high. I have to be honest and say that I have not really consciously thought about how demanding or stressful the school run can be, it is just something you do each day and I'm incredibly grateful to my friend P for doing one of the runs, so I only have to do it once a day.
Take a peek at this fun short clip and see how Lewis Hamilton copes with a school run -
Allianz Insurance asked the racing driver Lewis Hamilton to undertake a school run to see how stressful he found it as someone who is used to coping with driving in extreme conditions. He said 'I can certainly understand how parents could find the school run stressful and a real challenge when it comes to driving safely. Jess and Lauren were great fun but they were very chatty - so I had to make sure I remained focused on driving throughout the journey'.
The little girls made me smile and it was obvious they were super excited to be in the car with someone so famous but I'd like to set Lewis a real challenge and say come and do my school run and have six noisy kids in the car and then you can really test your powers of concentration!
As parents I think we all realise how important it is to keep our children safe and to be aware whilst we are on the roads, but it is great to have a reminder every once in a while as it is far too easy to become complacent.