Being a mother goes beyond changing diapers, three-o’clock feedings and bedtime stories. It goes even farther than hiring a trustworthy nanny, choosing the right preschool, discipline methods and bully-proofing techniques.
You’re probably expecting me to start talking about learning how to make the house the way Martha Stewart does. What I am here to talk about, though, is the driving duties that we take on, sometimes half-heartedly for our children. This mostly applies to stay-at-home, work-from-home and entrepreneur moms.
I’ve been a school parent for four years now and every year, I hear at least one mother saying that she’s a newbie driver, forced to teach herself how to drive for her new role as a hatid-sundo. Yes, parenting is all about rising to the occasion. We compel ourselves to learn how to deal with situations we’ve never encountered before. Oftentimes, it’s trial and error until we come up with the “right” solution for the challenge at hand. Right, of course, varies from one home to the next. The mere thought that amateur drivers are spinning around the compound of my children’s schools scares the life out of me and, because of this, I have always made it a point to bring them to and pick them up from their schools the earliest possible to ensure their safety.
My dear ladies, I mean no offense. You may have very good reasons why you have not learned how to drive when you were single, but after getting married and giving birth, you’ll have more than enough time learn before the very first time that your child goes to school. Your children’s schools are not a training ground for you to practice on for obvious reasons.
Driving is a Huge Responsibility
Being behind the wheel alone is a huge responsibility. The task is magnified to an even more daunting scale when you’re steering around Metro Manila. I’ve been driving for almost a decade now and I still sometimes find myself shaken by the endless gitgitan on the road.
I’d like to remind you of Master Amiel Alcantara, a fourth grader from Ateneo who died as a result of a vehicular accident on February 2009. According to reports (and some parents from the Ateneo Grade School community), the woman behind the wheel, also a parent of an Ateneo student at the time, had just learned how to drive. She is currently roaming around free (and driving the streets of Metro Manila at that!) on bail.
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I was greatly affected by this incident. What I had only imagined actually happened. I looked up “school accidents” online and found far too many results similar to the accident mentioned above…and yes, most of the drivers were women, mothers who have just learned how to drive.
Click here to read on about how to aviod school accidents by being a responsible driver.