Road trips are great, right?  The weather is awesome, you roll down the windows and crank the music, and there is no stress at all.  Yay!  That was how is used to be before kids.  And then those little needs - constant needs - change the dynamic of the car for the rest of our lives.

What's the biggest road-trip-ruiner when kids are involved?  Here's mine!

I took a long trip to visit family in Nebraska last week and it was just me and three kids in the car.  I was WAY outnumbered by the kiddos.  They're 6, 4, and 2 and just like your kids they have needs that don't stop when they're on the road.  In fact, the needs probably increase because the restless factor is involved.

It's not the constant asking "are we there yet," or even the physical fights that ruin a road trip for me.  (The 4 and 6 year olds sit close enough together that they can reach across and punch each other....I can't get the car seats far enough apart to prevent it!)  There's plenty of talking with three kids and sometimes one interrupts another and then the yelling escalates with everyone trying to get a word in, but even that is okay with me. Mama can block out the noise with the best of 'em.  And DVD players help.  I think we watched 17 movies on the trip.

Jen Austin Facebook

The biggest road-trip-ruiner for me is this:  the constant potty breaks!

When the 4-year old has to go, she has to GO.  She gives me no warning and usually about 45 minutes after the last time we stopped to go to the bathroom I hear, "Mama!  I have to potty bad bad bad bad!  I'm gonna go in my pants. ."  To which I say, "Ok, we'll stop at the next place I see."  And then I keep driving and pass about a hundred places with bathrooms just so we can get a little further down the road, and I stop after about a half hour of procrastinating.  She was onto this little trick by the end of the trip, but I got some good mileage out of the tactic while I could.  If Mama had stopped every time the kids wanted to stop, we'd still be in Colorado today.  And we had no accidents.  Hmm.

And then there's the issue of getting all the kids' bladders synced up with your own. I am dehydrated today because I deprived myself of liquids for at least 8 hours yesterday.  I'm surprised I'm not shriveled up.

When the kids sleep, it helps!  That's a successful road trip when a nap is involved.

Share your road-trip-ruiners on Facebook today.  I'm interested to hear your take.