One day, my husband stopped me on my way out the door with a fussy baby in tow to express his concern about the amount of gas money I was spending driving our 6-month-old around in circles trying to get him to nap.
This drive wasn’t a once-in-a-while thing. A car ride was part of our daily routine, because sometimes it was the only way I knew I could get my son to fall asleep. And as a new mom, I needed my son to nap as much as he needed to nap. These car rides became my peace.
I knew my husband was right about the amount of money I was wasting driving around, so the next day, in desperation, I tried something else. I put my baby in his car seat and went for a pretend car ride around throughout the house, complete with some sound effects. It didn’t work, and so into the car we went.
When I got home, I joked with my husband that I should start DoorDashing as a side hustle because I spent so much time in the car trying to get our son to nap. It seemed like a win-win. My baby got his nap in with no fight, and I got a little extra money deposited into the checking account. The more I thought about it, I decided it actually wasn’t a terrible idea. Us moms are masters at multi-tasking and so, after some thought, I decided to start my journey as a DoorDashing mom.
As someone who recently switched careers and had to go through the grueling process of applying to jobs, I was pleasantly surprised to see that becoming a DoorDasher was very easy. There was no resume, cover letter, references, or letters of recommendation required. It required a background check that took a couple of days, but not much else. Once that came back, I was ready to begin my new business venture with my baby along for the ride (literally.)
You can choose when you want to DoorDash, so I only worked when it was nap time. I wasn’t trying to make a bunch of money — just get my son to nap. So when it was time to nap, I loaded up my boy and we went off to McDonald’s for our first DoorDash run.
We hit a snag almost immediately: It didn’t take long for my son to fall asleep, but as soon as I had to get him out of the car, he woke up. So the clock was ticking to deliver the customer’s order, but I was sitting in the parking lot trying to get my baby to calm back down.
Luckily, it didn’t take long to soothe the baby and we were off to drop off the order. I chilled out while I listened to my true crime podcast on the way to the customer. I dropped off the order, took a picture, and cha-ching, I made $9. I did the math in my head… $3/gallon gas… 20 miles to the gallon… I’d just made enough to drive 60 miles. That was a lot of car ride naps.
I quickly discovered that usually, I didn’t even need to go inside to pick up an order — I could just do the drive-through. I would pull up, give the name, and voila. I really started to get the hang of it and began to look forward to the once-dreaded nap time. I never got rich from DoorDashing and may have made enough to pay for the gas money, wear and tear on my car, and maybe a snack on the way home, but it was more than worth it for my mental health.
A year and a half later I no longer drive for DoorDash as my son outgrew his refusing-to-nap-unless-in-car-seat-driving-around stage. But I look back at that phase with fond memories and the adventures we had together. The baby stage, with the refusal of naps was hard, but along came other types of hard, with us now in the depth of toddler tantrum hard and don’t think riding around in the car is going to cut it.
Madison is a teacher, a firefighter wife, and a mom of two young boys. An INFJ, she is obsessed with Myers-Briggs and probably wants to know your type, although she might be too awkward to ask. When Madison isn’t working, writing for Scary Mommy, or taking care of her boys, you can find her traveling, reading, and trying out new recipes.