I’m ready. I’ve accepted that my stomach will never look the same again. I’m ok with being known as Hudson’s Mom from here on out. I’ve accepted that I’ll be walking around with snot, drool, spit up, and/or cracker crumbs on me for the next several years. I’ve been ready for mommy-hood for a good long time and I embrace all that comes with it.
Except for the minivan.
What? But Caitlin, you’re about to have your first baby, plus you’re only 26. You don’t need a minivan!
Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
I drive a 1997 Toyota Camry that I bought used when I was 18. Michael drives a 1999 GMC Sierra pickup that he bought used when he was 16. Both cars have served us well. I actually really love my car, and Michael has taken such good care of it that it has given us very few problems, especially for its age.
But I’ve had it for 8 years. And it’s not as reliable as it used to be. Michael’s truck is showing it’s age as well.
So our plan is to get something new for me, and Michael will start driving my car to work. For all that I love about my car, I can’t stand how low it is to the ground, and I know that having a baby in a carseat will magnify that even more.
At first, I thought I’d go for a small-ish SUV. I assumed we’d buy used like we did with our first cars. I paid for mine in cash and it has lasted me a long time, so I’d love to do that again.
But as we’ve started researching, we’re finding that right now good used cars aren’t all that much less expensive than new cars. So we started thinking about maybe buying new (mind blowing, I know!). Well, if we’re going to buy new, then I don’t want to buy something that isn’t going to serve me for a long time (clearly we like to drive our cars for a long time). So I started looking at SUVs with a third row. That way we’ll have space as our family grows without having to upgrade too soon.
Friday night I posted a question on Facebook asking people with SUVs with third rows to give me their recommendations (likes or dislikes) about their vehicles. I got lots of helpful feedback about different SUVs, but I also had a lot of people telling me to bite the bullet and get a minivan because they are way more convenient.
Here’s the thing. I KNOW minivans are better. They get better gas mileage, they have sliding doors, you can store your whole house in there if you want. And I’m a very practical person. I can see all the benefits of getting one.
But minivans aren’t very awesome.
Let’s be honest. I’m not that cool. I mean come on, I drive a ’97 Camry. I shop at Goodwill. I rarely style my hair. I’ve never even cared about the coolness factor before. But I was looking forward to having a semi-cool, sporty-ish SUV.
I’ve actually accepted that I’d be a minivan mom someday. I just didn’t think that would be today. I figured that I’d have my used, small-ish SUV for a few years, then get a minivan later down the road after baby #2 or 3. But if we’re going to buy new, then I want to buy something long term. And that means minivan.
We want to buy this fall before Hudson gets here…so that means I’ll be 26, childless (in utero does not count in this instance), and driving a minivan for crying out loud!
As the responses were coming in Friday night, I was reading them to Michael and we were discussing the ones that got several recommendations (Pathfinders, Honda Pilots, and minivans. Lots of minivans.) and looking at them online. It was late, I was tired and the more we talked the more ridiculous the conversation got.
“Oh look it has a trash can built in! That’s amazing! But it’s so UGLY!”
“It has a vacuum cleaner?!? But it’s a MINIVAN!”
“First a minivan, then what? Mom jeans?!”
“Look at all the seat configurations! You can haul so much! It’s so cool! But so UGLY!”
“I’m only 26!”
And it got sillier and sillier until I was laughing so hard I was crying.
For the record, Michael is totally on board to get a van. He doesn’t care. In fact, his work vehicle is a minivan, ironically. All the above statements were said by me.
So we’re going to test drive some SUVs. But we’ll also try out some minivans.
My prediction: I’ll be driving a minivan by Christmas. My practicality will win out and I’ll take the plunge.
Just don’t laugh at me.