It’s been nine years since “I Brake for Moms” debuted, and much has changed. (Jennifer Bardsley)

It’s been nine years since “I Brake for Moms” debuted, and much has changed. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Nine years later, the ‘I Brake for Moms’ journey continues

In her debut column in 2012, Jennifer Bardsley reflected on driving with little kids. Today, it’s the kids doing the driving.

The years speed by fast, especially while driving with kids

This week marks the ninth anniversary of “I Brake For Moms.” I thought it would be fun to look back at my debut column, titled: “A family’s life on wheels.” In 2012, my kids were 7 and 2 years old. Oh, how our life on wheels has changed.

“The driver’s ed program I completed in high school never prepared me for driving with children.” I wrote back in 2012. “First of all, there’s the constant running dialogue to either engage in or ignore. My daughter dreamily mentions ‘Mommy, when I grow up I’m going to be a princess firefighter who takes care of babies,’ while my son shouts out ‘Yellow car!’ every time one passes. It’s amazing that I can focus on the road and still manage to load the next Kindermusik CD.”

Now my children are 16 and 11 years old. My son has his driver’s license and my daughter listens to Spotify on her earbuds. I don’t know which is scarier: driving your newborn home from the hospital or watching your children head out of the driveway together for the first time on their own.

“Another problem that comes with driving with children is that since every time we pull into our driveway I have to unload a two-year-old, groceries and my purse, not much else makes it out of our car,” I wrote in the debut column. “My front seat is littered with a Kleenex box, the Ergo Baby Carrier, a golf umbrella and a pair of extra ‘just in case’ 2T underwear. The back seat is crammed with car seats, a few stuffed animals, half a dozen little white socks and Pokemon cards scattered across the floor.”

Nowadays, my car is a lot tidier, although there are usually abandoned masks and half empty bottles of hand sanitizer hanging out. I don’t unload groceries anymore because my kids do that for me.

More from 2012: “Some of the most difficult driving any adult will ever face is during morning drop-off and pick-up at your child’s school.”

I don’t know why I said “morning” drop-off, but didn’t add “afternoon” to pick-up. Four-hundred-sixty-eight columns later, my writing has improved, but I don’t mean to be nit-picky.

“The parking lot is a zoo of buses, cars, teachers wearing whistles, children on foot, children jumping out of cars, rain and my son freaking out because he forgot to wear shoes. Luckily, there are always three pairs for him to choose from floating around our back seat.”

Boy, do I miss that picture of a bustling school drop off with people crowded together and nobody worried about germs. I look forward to a future where that becomes a reality again.

The days are slow, but the years are fast. What a difference nine years make in the life of a family. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you with little white socks in the back of your car, teenagers begging to borrow your Subaru and grandkids convincing you to stop at Dairy Queen. Thanks for reading “I Brake for Moms.”

Jennifer Bardsley publishes books under her own name and the pseudonym Louise Cypress. Find her online on Instagram @jenniferbardsleyauthor, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as Jennifer Bardsley Author. Email her at

Talk to us

More in Life

R.J. Whitlow, co-owner of 5 Rights Brewery, has recently expanded to the neighboring shop, formerly Carr's Hardware. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
County craft breweries’ past lives: hardware store, jail

Most breweries in Snohomish County operate in spaces that formerly housed something far different — from boat builders to banks.

Caption: Stay-at-home parents work up to 126 hours a week. Their labor is valuable even without a paycheck.
A mother’s time is not ‘free’ — and they put in 126-hour workweeks

If you were to pay a stay-at-home mom or dad for their time, it would cost nearly $200,000 a year.

CloZee performs during the second day of Summer Meltdown on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019 in Darrington, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The psychedelic fest Summer Meltdown is back — and in Monroe

The music and camping event is on for July 28-31, with a new venue along the Skykomish River.

How to cultivate inner peace in the era of COVID, insurrection

Now more than ever, it’s important that we develop and practice relaxation and mindfulness skills that calm our minds and bodies.

Budapest’s House of Terror.
Cold War memories of decadent Western pleasures in Budapest

It’s clear that the younger generation of Eastern Europeans has no memory of the communist era.

Gardening at spring. Planting tree in garden. Senior man watering planted fruit tree at his backyard
Bare root trees and roses have arrived for spring planting

They’re only available from January through March, so shop early for the tree or rose you want.

Help! My Expedia tour credit is about to expire

Kent York cancels his tour package in Norway that he booked through Expedia after the pandemic outbreak. But the hotel won’t offer a refund or extend his credit. Is he about to lose $1,875?

Veteran Keith F. Reyes, 64, gets his monthly pedicure at Nail Flare on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021 in Stanwood, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
No more gnarly feet: This ‘Wounded Warrior’ gets pedicures

Keith Reyes, 64, visits a Stanwood nail salon for “foot treatments” that help soothe blast injuries.

Photo Caption: A coal scuttle wasn't always used for coal; it could hold logs or collect ashes. This one from about 1900 sold for $125 at DuMouchelles in Detroit.
(c) 2022 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.
Coal scuttles of days long gone by now used for fire logs

This circa 1900 coal scuttle is made of oak with brass trim, and sold for $125 at auction.

Most Read