Say it loud: I’m a mini-van driving mom and I’m proud

  • Friday, August 9, 2013

There are so many things you think you know about being an adult before you are one: how to discipline kids, how to have a successful marriage, how you’ll never turn into your own mother, get into debt, or let yourself go or drive a minivan. Life seems so easy before you’ve lived it.

The prospect of aging and losing your identity as a 20-something can be terrifying. I suppose that’s why we make these ridiculous vows to stay the same.

As a 20-something myself I personally vowed to never, ever, ever “let myself go” or drive a minivan. (Cue the scary music.)

Well, three pregnancies in a four year span took care of “letting” myself go. I didn’t “let” myself do anything. My body was taken in a hostile takeover by three small beings whose needs were greater than my own. But I held firm to my minivan stance. I was way too cool for a vehicle that could actually comfortably hold three carseats.

For the last eight years the backseat of my car has been a warzone — hostile territory. All three girls crammed so tightly together that closing the doors made the middle carseat swell up a little bit from the pressure. Whoever was in the dreaded middle seat was ground zero, touched by both sisters constantly, in charge of passing sippy cups and snacks from me to the passengers.

Road trips have been nightmares so epic, that other women have read about them and cried. (Tears of laughter at my expense, but nevertheless, tears have been shed.)

Earlier this summer I had the opportunity to test drive a minivan for 10 days and I’ve never been so happy to eat my own words. There was literally a button for everything: opening and closing doors, cupholders everywhere and gloriously — room for all of my children to sit comfortably without touching each other.

I realized quickly that I feel the same way about driving a minivan as I do about wearing yoga pants. (Am I about to make a yoga pants/life/ minivan analogy?? Yes. Yes, I am.)

I want to wear my yoga pants all of the time. They are comfortable, versatile and get the job done. If I run into somebody at school or the grocery store and they are dressed up all cute, I’ll notice. I may even say, “Hey, lookin’ good, Momma.”

But don’t you think, not for one, flipping second, that I wish I was wearing underwire and makeup – ‘cuz that took some work and I know you aren’t as comfortable as I am.

In fact, I know that as soon as you get home, the first thing you are going to do is slide your bra out the sleeve of your shirt then go put on your yoga pants – but here’s the thing: I’m already wearing mine.

I want to wear my yoga pants all the time. Physically and metaphysically.

After my test drive, I spent months fantasizing about my very own minivan — with cupholders and a third row, doors that opened and closed with the press of a button and room for all of my children to be out of arms reach of each other.

A few weeks ago my dream came true and it’s all that I thought it would be and more. On our most recent trip to the beach there wasn’t a single squabble between my kids in the van. Everyone had their own space and their own headphones. They watched a movie (silently - The marvels of technology) while I caught up with my husband on the phone and listened to the radio in the front seat.

I am no longer ashamed to admit it. I am in a minivan mom. I’ll say it loud and say it proud —if you need me, I’ll be sitting in my minivan, wearing yoga pants — obviously.

Robin O’Bryant is an author, humorist and speaker. Her latest book is “Ketchup is a Vegetable and Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves.” Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter and visit her blog at www.robinschicks.com.

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