After I confessed and told the world of my hitchhiking endeavors brought about by having only one car in a two-car world, little did I know that my family was not alone in this, that there were more out there, just like us! One of them is Angela, better known as Pagan Mom Blog, who I finally met in person during the Type A Mom Conference. I didn't know she is in the same boat until that day I tweeted about my story. Now it's her turn to tell her story... read her story and be inspired...
"You have one car? What?!"
Just over a year ago, we got rid of our second car. I was happy to see that ugly rust bucket go. Between the paint chipping off and the ceiling hanging down so far that the rear view mirror was pointless, I felt relief. But it wasn’t just a vanity issue, gas was getting to be too much. Insurance was getting to be too much. The maintenance on that piece of crap was killing us. Yes, it was time to let go. Nowadays when people get rid of a car, they replace it. Not this time. We had to make the cutbacks in order to make the bills. So off it went with some cash in our hands to pay up what we got behind on. Since then we have made no move to get a second car.
We have a 1995 Isuzu Trooper that has over 270,000 miles on it. When people hear that the first reaction is “Wow, that’s a great car to make it so long” and then what follows is “What about your second car? Is it as good as that one when it craps out?” Because most people think that maybe it’s time to have a backup. But we haven’t. We have adjusted to having one car. It’s not easy. Trust me it’s not easy.
The biggest issue is that we have three children, all of which I homeschool. Three children are very active. So planning who gets the car when is a trick within itself. My husband and I both are accountants, with the advantage of the fact that I work from home and at night from our office. My husbands daily work is a bit different than mine. He tends to visit clients weekly and work from their location. That’s where the biggest problem is because sometimes he is booked up all week. In those cases I try to plan things around the bus schedule. We are lucky to live right along the bus line. I can also find enough educational things in town along the bus line.
What happens though when I need to go out of town? That’s even worse. For the Type A Mom Conference my saving grace was I live where it’s held. So I can easily get him to drop me off. However, when I traveled to York SC for the Zhuniverse Tour that took some juggling on his part. In an unusual move he called his clients and rescheduled everything so I could have the car that day. While he was gracious about it, he huffed and puffed that he could not do that a lot.
Carpooling occurs a lot but is a bit harder with other home schooling families since most people cannot accommodate for an additional 4 people. But for events like hanging out with friends, it’s wonderful!
While the juggling may sound horrible, it’s really not. You get used to it and you get used to it quickly. I am very happy we made the decision to not replace our second car. In that time my kids have learned that walking ½ mile to the grocery store to pick up milk is not that bad. They understand how to use the bus system and the importance of knowing when to be where to catch a bus and show up on time at a designated place. They have learned how to notice some of the prettiest things around town that would otherwise be a blur in a speeding car. My eldest, whom is quite the ecological activist at 10 years old, is quick to let everyone know that she is working to not contribute to polluting the air with a motor vehicle.
Thinking about giving the one-car-family a try? Do it. You don’t have to get rid of that second car, just park it at a family members home and cover it up. For one year learn how to live without that second car. You might just find that you can be happy without it!