Lessons from Our Time as a One Car Family

As many of you know, we were a one car family for six years! It’s only recently, less than a year ago, that we’ve become a two car family. As you may imagine, I have a lot of thoughts on being a one car family. Well, I have a lot of thoughts on most things, but today this is what I’m talking about.

Because, to be honest, there are pros and cons to having one car. Yes, there are actually things I miss about having one car. In the end, I still feel the benefits to two cars outweigh the benefits to one car, but that was a simpler time I do miss.

So, here are the things I miss about being a one car family.

It was easier to say no.

There are so many awesome and amazing opportunities nowadays. Especially living in a big city, if I wanted to, I could be doing something with the boys every single day of the week. This, however, is a recipe for burnout. Even if all those things are good things. Saying no to the good things was easier when I thought about how much of a time commitment it was to take Nick to work. Was doing something for 20 minutes worth the extra time taken out of my day? Which overall was just under 2 hours. Often it wasn’t. So having only one car really did help me to weed out the difference between things I wanted to do and things I felt obligated to do. One car family

Dedicated talk time

In the car, there’s not a whole lot of options for what to do. This is especially true for me since I get car sick if I read or do things on my phone. So I would often talk to Nick or the boys. When we picked Nick up from work after a co-op day, the boys would get to tell Nick all about co-op. I do sometimes miss this time where we could just talk without anything else going on, with fewer distractions.

My kids are really good in the car.

Okay, so I can’t prove that this is the case because I’m aware that correlation does not equal causation, but my kids are pretty chill in the car. Even though we often had to wake them up early to get in the car, they never once complained about it. I was the one doing all the complaining. They seem to take riding in the car in stride and while I definitely can’t prove that it was because they were frequently in the car, I am sure that it didn’t hurt.

On the flip side, here are things that have improved since we have had two cars.

I have less anxiety.

I don’t know how many of you know or remember this, but when I was in college I was involved in a car accident. I fell asleep at the wheel and rolled my car. It was terrifying and traumatic and even though that was 8 years ago, I still have some underlying lingering anxiety about driving, especially driving while tired. Now, don’t get me wrong, my anxiety has gotten a lot better. But, when we were a one car family and we were having to be in the car so early in the morning (when Nick started work at 7) and then I was doing so much extra driving because I had to not only drive to and from wherever we were going, but to and from Nick’s work as well, I was having a lot of anxiety about it. On nights when I had to be up early to take Nick to work, I would often have trouble falling and staying asleep because I was worrying. Since having a second car, I’ve noticed my anxiety has decreased a lot. I’m sleeping better and this makes me a better mom, parent, and person.

It is easier to say yes to things.

This is the flip side to the one above, but before, saying yes to things required a massive amount of coordination. I could never just say yes to something. I had to think about the schedules. I had to think about if the thing coincided with Nick’s work times. Even if someone was picking me and the boys up, I had to make sure that car seats got out of the car before Nick left for work. Saying yes to anything took a lot of pre-scheduling on my part and I could almost never be spontaneous. Now, I can be.

I have more time.

We didn’t take Nick to work every day. However, on the days we did, that was a serious chunk of time out of my day. Almost two hours. There are a lot of things that I can get done in two hours. Not to mention, it disrupted the flow of the day often. I’d have to wake the boys up, either from night sleep or from napping. We’d be in the middle of something and we’d have to drop it. Things like that. It has been so freeing to have that time back. Of course, one could argue we filled it with other things and to some extent, that is true. However, I still like to think that I keep a good level of balance between going out and staying home.

So, these are my pros and cons of being a one car family. Do you have experience with being a one car family? What was it like for you? Or, what are some reasons you would never consider being a one car family? 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Post a comment

CommentLuv badge