My first trip as a new driver with my child!
Hi there, I’m Gemma, I’m a beauty and lifestyle blogger and mummy to a gorgeous little one called Reuben. I’m 24 years young and I passed my driving test at the end of May 2018 so I’ve been on the road for almost 8 months now - what a journey! Today I’m going to chat a bit about what it was like driving for the first time with my two-year-old on board after I had passed my driving test.
Picking up driving again!
It took me quite a while to get the courage to start driving. I had done a little bit of driving at the age of 17 but I was an incredibly anxious driver and found it very expensive on top of the anxiety - so I ended up packing it in, knowing I would be going off to uni and not have the need for a car anyway. After having Reuben, I got fed up of being stuck at home all the time or having to rely on my parents to take us out somewhere or go out late at night for me for medicine when Reuben was poorly - or sometimes because I had a nappy supply emergency as you do as a first time mum!
I started my lessons up again in January 2018 and it had been roughly 7 years since I had last driven a car so it was safe to say my confidence had grown a lot. It was still incredibly anxiety-inducing for me, but it was something I felt really strongly about doing so I was very determined. It only took me until May to pass my test and I passed first time with only one minor - something I definitely didn’t expect. It felt amazing. The freedom I’ve had since then has just been life-changing, to be honest, the ability to go wherever I want at any time is something I wish I’d had years ago. I bought my first car straight after I’d passed my test, I think I actually got my car less than a week after I passed so you can see how eager I was to get on the road…
Get us behind the wheel
I went for a little Peugeot 108 so nothing too fancy, it’s affordable, reliable and easy to park. Perfect. I had some practice getting used to driving it before I ventured out with Reuben in the car, as it was so different to drive compared to what I had learned in. Everything was different, the gear stick, the clutch, the size! I made sure that I felt comfortable driving it before I took my first trip with him. Once I felt a bit more confident (I think it only took a couple of days!) I took Reuben out finally on our first drive together. Our first trip in the car wasn’t overly exciting, we just went to my parent's house but it was a good 15-20 minute drive. We didn’t go round much back then as they live outside of town and without a car, it’s not easy to get to - so for Reuben it was a pretty exciting trip going to his granny and granddads!
I was so nervous to drive with him in the car for the first time, especially from my old house. At the time of getting my first car, we lived in a house at the bottom of a hill with a pretty steep driveway and backing off my drive scared the heck out of me. I constantly thought my car was going to roll down it. It went absolutely fine though, of course, just one of those things you have to get used to as a first-time driver.
The drive went very smoothly, I had a bit of confidence in my new car but not loads, so I made sure I drove really carefully - it was a bit like taking my driving test again actually. I think after you pass your test it’s just a case of taking it very steadily until you feel a bit more comfortable driving, especially if you have a little one - and it does take some time to get used to a new car anyway. By the time I had arrived at my parent's house, it was nowhere near as scary as I thought it was going to be and it made me feel so much more confident.
Loving the road trips!
Eight months on and I couldn’t be a more confident driver, especially when I’m with Reuben. I actually prefer having him in the car with me as he eases my anxiety when I’m driving to new places. We are constantly getting out and about, going on road trips, taking trips to the supermarket, life is great. It’s so much easier being able to nip out whenever I need a new stash of nappies and wipes, or even when we just need a weekly food shop. Food shopping is way more fun in person than having to have it delivered! It’s also great for getting little ones to sleep when they’re tired but refusing to nap - I just pop Reuben in the car, and 5 minutes down the road he’s snoozing away. I can’t wait for more adventures this year, we actually already have travel plans to drive up to Edinburgh next month and I’m so excited for the road trip. The best thing I ever did was learn to drive and I think Reuben actually loves going in the car more than I do!
If you fancy reading about all of our adventures together, you can find my blog over at gemmalouise.co.uk :)