Imagine this scene.
It’s 7:30 am and you are hustling to get yourself and everyone short you are in charge of out the door on time. After you drop the kids off at school, you’ll head to work. During lunch you have 2 small errands to run. If you’re really lucky you might grab 20 minutes to exercise before picking the kids up again. Then it’s back home by way of the store to pick something up for dinner.
If you’re like me or most moms I know, the scenario above implies that on your way from the house to the car, you have 20 bags of varying sizes, shapes and weights hanging from every appendage you own. There might be 2 bags on each shoulder, one under the left arm and 1-2 in each hand. On a good day your kid or kids might carry their own lunch bags, backpacks and favorite toy themselves. But if you’ve already had to wrestle them to brush their teeth and tie their shoes, you just might choose to skip one more battle and carry those items yourself to the car. To carry all these bags without dropping them, you probably need to hike your shoulders up high essentially making them pegs from which these bags can hang securely. As you deposit some of these items in the front seat, kids’ seats, and trunk, you’ll need to swing the bags left and right, contorting your body so the other bags don’t fall or tip. Can you imagine this scenario? I could throw a stroller into the scenario. You know, the kind that fold really easily (wink).
This is the first in a series I’m calling “one little change.” In this kind of post, I’ll suggest how making one little change in how you do something can make a difference in feeling comfortable in your body in some way.
My suggestion for this post is pretty straightforward. I hope I won’t insult anyone’s intelligence.
Make multiple trips. Ridiculously obvious, I know, but I often find myself needing to fight the urge to make one big huge hulking trip with everything I’ll need for the next 11 hours. It’s like a cosmic battle between efficiency and common sense. Act like a pack mule and you’ll likely feel a bit grumpy and sore. The one trip method overtaxes my body and its amazing appendages. Making multiple trips to the car to load up the day’s necessities has helped me stay sane this year. I feel less frustrated because I’m not taking the role of pack mule. My loads are lighter and I practically skip between the car and house (if coffee has already been consumed “tra la la!”).
Now if you live in a place where your car is far from your house, you’ll need some more clever solutions. Of if you are a beloved member of the public transportation community, God bless you! Roller bags, carts or light backpacks might be part of your solution set for keeping your body comfortable. If you’re a devoted bike rider, I am giving you a standing ovation right now. Right now! Panniers, of course, are fabulous for carting stuff without it hanging on your shoulders. Both bussers and bikers, by necessity, have learned to chose their loads strategically and keep them light. I must admit, living in Southern CA has shaped me into quite the car-dependent person as you can see my bias as I write. And I realize not all my readers have short people they are in charge of, are moms (or even women) or have bad habits like me…but if you find this pep talk useful or transferable to your life in some small way, I’m happy.
The bottom line here is: please don’t overtax your lovely shoulders by carrying too much at once, even for short distances. Outsmart your task by breaking it down and your lovely shoulders will thank you. They are not truly intended to be pegs, hiked up to the ears to keep umpteen bags from falling off. Your SPINE will chip in with a hurrah too.
Cheers! Here’s to lighter loads for all!