I own a minivan. I still can’t believe sometimes that this is my new ride. I had sworn up and down that I wouldn’t be one of those moms. I had multiple conversations with my husband, friends and mother (who still loves and drives a minivan) about how I just couldn’t do it.
I felt like getting a minivan meant the last part of me that was not defined as ‘mom’ would be lost.
But then the time came. My sleek, fun-to-drive SUV was on its last leg, and we needed to go car shopping. We looked at mid-sized SUVs, giant SUVs, luxury SUVs. They were fun to drive, looked great, and had that “cool” factor. But we wanted to look at all options. This would be the family car for the next few years. So we went to test drive one more option…
I was hesitant, even resistant to look at a van. But I went along with the initial test drive.
And a week later we went and picked up our brand new minivan.
So what changed my mind? A lot of things. But the first thing that had to change was my resistance to the van. I had to get over the stereotypes associated with driving a minivan. The bottom line came down to this vehicle makes my life easier every day. For a mom of two small children, I’m here to tell you- the van beats everything else, hands down.
Having one child in a car seat and one still in an infant seat means a lot of lifting and buckling. With the van, my three-year old can open his door, easily get into his seat, and wait for me to buckle him in. Also, with the van not being as high up as an SUV, I can get the baby into his seat with any trouble. Being five foot nothing, this was a huge plus for me. Even with my old SUV, it took some effort to hoist the infant seat into its place. I can’t imagine doing it with an even taller vehicle!
Van doors are a game changer. Maybe if GMC had put sliding doors on the Yukon XL, this would be a different post! The doors in a minivan are amazing. No longer do I have to drive around the Target parking lot, trying to find a space where I can easily get the infant seat out, while having the toddler open his door without banging into the car next to us. With one push of a button, the doors retract back and open with ease. If there was ever a reason to consider a minivan, it’s this!
The Family-Friendly Features
We bought our van and got on the road for a family vacation. It was so fun trying out all of the bells and whistles. I love the ‘cabin talk,’ where I can talk to the kids through their headphones. The middle seats go back and forth for ease of entering and exiting. The back seats go down so easily for when we were packing the car. It is also amazing to have a permanent third row. My old SUV had a third row, but I always had to keep it down so I had room for the stroller, groceries, etc. Looking in to the future, I’m excited we’ll have plenty of room for friends, luggage, and groceries without having to compromise comfort or storage.
Knowing that this is going to be a “family vehicle” I realize that it will be ‘well-loved’. With two small boys, I see in its future soccer games and muddy cleats, swim team with wet towels, and crumbs on top of crumbs all over this car. When we looked at large SUVs, the cost was almost double. Double! I couldn’t allow us to spend all of that money a depreciating asset. With the money we saved by purchasing the van, we can add money to the boys’ college fund, complete a house project, go on a few more vacations, and feel OK that we didn’t sink that much money into a vehicle that it going take the wear and tear of small children.
I love the van. I really do. And I have accepted being a van mom. So when I’m rolling around the ICT in my yoga pants and Starbucks, jamming out to kids music, I may not look like a ‘cool mom’ anymore, and frankly, I’m OK with that.