05/07/2014 10:42 am ET Updated Jul 07, 2014

Riding the Bus With My Mom

Marilynn Halas

Everyday, twice a day, we rode the #8 bus from our house about six miles to school. My mom would drop me off and then catch another bus to her office. We bumped along River Road and talked about life, dreams and what to have for dinner. We planned our weekends and did homework. No electronics or phones; just us riding the bus, listening and learning. Looking back on it, I know I learned a lot about life and parenting sitting next to her and I want to share some of that wisdom with you.

1. Keep cool. Buses get hot in the sunshine and tempers sometimes flare, but you can still keep cool. My mom used to bring a cool drink for the ride and she always had one for the driver too. She said sometimes life is uncomfortable, but you can still help each other out and find a way to make things more bearable. When my kids get fussy and frustrated, I think of her and we just try to calm down, cool off and sip some water.

2. Be prepared. We had exact change when got on the bus. We knew the fare and we were ready. Life moves along more easily when you get organized and bring what you need. This applies to diaper bags as well. Getting it ready the night before means you're less likely to forget anything and you'll have what you need when you need it. It keeps things moving smoothly.

3. Take care of each other. When an elderly person got on board the packed bus at the end of the day, we got up. My mom said it was easier for us to stand than for some other people and we should help each other out. That's true for building your family team as well. Little ones may need extra help and spouses get tired too. Helping each other teaches our kids about putting love into action and makes for more peaceful families.

4. Patience matters. Buses are late, lines are long and seats are sticky. Life is messy, as parents we can get frustrated or we can take a deep breath and remember that this too shall pass. Also remember to never leave home without wipes.

5. Stay open. On our bus we heard lots of languages, saw lots of people and even heard new music. My mom used to say it was a little slice of life and we should be glad to have it. As a parent we are bombarded with new sights, sounds and even languages. Everyday is completely new and if we can relax into the chaos and stay open, everyone will have a better ride.