plan ahead

This Mom Doesn't Go Anywhere Alone With Her Kids Until She “Scouts” The Location First

“I quite literally will not take them to a store that I've never been to.”

Before going anywhere with her kids alone, this mom always invites an extra pair of hands along so t...
Hilary Flips / TikTok

Going out into the world with a bunch of kids when you’re the one in charge can seem daunting. Hell, when I was left alone at home with my daughter for the first time, I was freaking out.

There is something nerve-wracking about going out in public alone with multiple kids. You’re outnumbered, for one, and there’s always an unpredictability to what could happen.

One mom has a solution to those nerves which she calls her “scouting trips.”

Before going anywhere with her kids alone, Hilary Flips shared she always invites an extra pair of hands along so that she can assess if she really needs the help or if she can do the outing solo.

“Okay, does everybody do this or is this my like weird going from one to two kids neurotic development?” she asks in her video.

“I will not go anywhere alone with my two kids until I have done what I call a scouting trip ... What I mean by a scouting trip is I go to the location, activity, event, whatever it is, with an extra set of hands like a partner project. I bring my husband. I bring my mom, whoever. So it's like man-to-man coverage.”

She explains further that the “scouting trips” help her assess if she actually needed that extra set of hands or if the outing was something she could have done by herself.

She continues, “And if it's something I feel like confident that I could have done by myself, I just add it to my repertoire of stuff that I can do alone with my kids during the week, and I will not do anything until I have done a scouting trip.”

Flip swears that the scouting trip helps calm her nerves of going anywhere with her kids alone because now she knows “the lay of the land” to keep her kids safe.

“I feel really secure that I can keep my two very mobile kids safe wherever we are. Whether it's like something big like the zoo or the aquarium or something or just like running errands,” she admitted.

“I quite literally will not take them to a store that I've never been to, like, I need to do a scouting trip, and I don't know if this is like a weird neurotic thing I have picked up now having two kids I was never this way with just one I would take her everywhere, but now with two who are mobile, I like must do a scouting trip.”

Some TikTok users resonated with Flips, writing, “I totally get this. You need to have a mom group to go to these things. I swear it’s a game-changer. We help each other keep watch each other's kids. It’s like a well-oiled machine.”

Another echoed, “That’s amazing that you have the opportunity to do a ‘scouting trip’ — for those able, that seems like a great tool!”

Others thought she might be going a little over the top.

“You went from man-to-man defense to zone. I think it’s overboard but I’m not you and you need to do what is comfortable for you,” another said.

If you can do this as a parent, I say: go for it!

To me, this feels like the parent version of looking up the parking situation on Google Maps before heading to dinner plans with friends, or when I made my mom go to my high school with me and walk my freshman year schedule three times before the first day of school. And if you’re prone to worrying and anxiety like me and Flips, a scouting trip might be just the thing!