10 Reasons Why I Like Being a One-Car Family

 

  1. Added family time– The four of us rarely enjoyed family time in the car prior to becoming a one-car family a year ago following our devastating car accident which you can read about here. Being a (youth) pastor’s wife means Sunday is not family day, but a work day. It took some major adjusting on this mama’s part to remember that getting our children to church was my mission as a helpmate to Ron and his vocation. Now that we are a one-car family I continue to be a pseudo single mom on Sunday and Wednesday, but after church we return to our family of four status as we now enjoy riding home together most Sunday’s.During the week the kids and I enjoy taking Ron to work even though this means everyone is ready for the day a little earlier than we might be if this responsibility was omitted.  Together time in the car allows us to confer about scheduling, work out any early morning spats, or just enjoy our coffee and kids together for a few more minutes.
  2. No payments– We have enjoyed payment free cars for several years prior to our accident and had even entertained the idea of converting to a single car. After totaling my Rendezvous and purchasing the Trailblazer, Ron decided that he would sell his truck to pay the difference for the new purchase and therefore leave us with no payment. This is one of the examples of servant leadership that I so admire about my husband and saw modeled in my dad prior to marriage. Dad drove an old Chevrolet pickup for years so that mom, my sister, and I could ride in a newer reliable mode of transportation.
  3. Less maintenance– With only one car we have one to maintain including tires, oil-changes, and, as our luck has gone this year, minor fender-benders (one where an ambulance backed into us at a red light and another where a pickup truck busted my back taillight).
  4. The clean factor– Ron has the car on certain days of the week and I know this means he will more than likely being transporting coworkers at lunch. Therefore, I try my best to have the car clear of trash and most toys. This means we start our days with a clean car.
  5. Shared bedtime duties– As I mentioned earlier, on church days in the past I would arrive home before Ron and have the added responsibility of lunch or dinner preparation plus bedtime routines for both kids. Now since we arrive home together my work load on those days has been reduced by half. What a blessing!
  6. Community-With only one car this makes for carpooling with friends on a regular basis for Ron and occasionally for me. Anytime we spend with others develops relationships and furthers the bonds of community.  It is both humbling and encouraging to find that so many are willing to extend a helping hand to us. In fact, this week as I visit my family with the kids, a generous friend has loaned his second car to Ron for two weeks. We are so thankful for this act of brotherly love.
  7. Rising to a challenge-I have to admit contemplating the transition from one car to two and actually doing it are two different things. The reality is that an accident kindly forced our hand. While some have jested, “Why don’t you just buy another car?” We have found that though planning is required the truth is that one car makes life a bit simpler than two. We can actually do without the “more” we believe we require. Thankfully, rising to this challenge has required planning not pains.
  8. Added margin– Owning one car requires that we simply stay at home more. We find that there are certain days that play dates and outings can occur. This is good for me because otherwise the laundry would be neglected all the more and the toys we have at home would be played with all the less.
  9. A steady rhythm to our days – I love Jamie Martin of Steady Mom. She wrote the wonderful book Steady Days that speaks of having a rhythm to the schedule of our days. Being a one-car family has definitely enforced a rhythm into the dynamics of our life.
  10. At least one bicycle is used– Yes, this last point may be pathetic, but it is true. If Ron were not forced to ride his bicycle to work on Sunday’s it most likely would sit next to mine rusting in the sunshine. However, I am going to lean into the curves and bike our county’s trail if it is one of the only things I do in the next two months!

What about you? Do you think you could share the car with your spouse for a day or two? Maybe even a week? If you do, let me know your experience. Perhaps you too would find that the benefits outweigh the inconveniences.

Shotgun!

 

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  1. Monti Bullock says:

    Hi Brooke,
    I enjoyed reading this – it reads as if you are counting your blessings! That is wonderful in my book. I wish that I could say that by having 1 car we do more things together – alas. Because Bart works so very far out of town I usually don’t see him before 7 p.m. each day. 🙁 I do walk more – and actually enjoy it. The traffic is deplorable here so it is usually much easier to walk, ride the skytrain or the subway here. It does make me leave earlier than usual for my destination – and I can’t do as many things in a day, but I appreciate not having to buy gas,make car payments, have a car serviced, worry about damage (wreck, dents, scratches) and no money is spent on insurance. (We’re paying for Colby to go to Liberty instead – a very good investment, I believe. I hope that one day he realizes what his mom gave up for him! 🙂 ) You’re a good mom and wife. You’re family is blessed. Thanks for sharing!

    • Monti,
      Thanks so much for visiting and sharing of your experience. I would agree that it is money well spent on Colby’s education. I so enjoyed all the walking that I did while in foreign countries. So blessed by your mission and love seeing you and your family on visits home. 🙂
      Brooke

  2. rachel groves says:

    Brooke,
    I love it! Thinking of applying this to my own life, it makes me giggle. I can just imagine Eddie making his now 45 min 1-way commute with a bicycle on the interstate. I love reading your posts, when I finally get a chance to sit down and enjoy them. <3 Rg

    • A 45 minute commute one way does present a challenge! I am thinking a bicycle ride may not be the solution. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by any time you can find the time. You are such a sweetheart and I treasure the all to brief time you lived closer.
      Brooke

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