Minivans: Love or Hate?

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minivans

Hi, my name is Jen, I am a mom, and I drive a minivan. The quintessential mom mobile. I know.

I love my Chrysler Town & Country minivan. See that sliding door? That is a beautiful thing when you have young kids.

It’s fabulous to cruise up to school pick up, push a button for the door to open, and watch the carpool kids easily climb in on their own. I pick up four girls in our carpool, and they can all find their way to a second or third row seat with ease. Once everyone is settled, the push button closes the door and we are on the way. It’s like magic. 

I never have to worry about smacking an open door into another car in a parking lot while struggling with my child’s seatbelt. I can push a button on my keys and open the doors from afar to give the kids a head start getting in and into their seats. It’s nice to not have to worry about kids closing the door on themselves or their little fingers.

There are so many cup holders you can’t even use them all. Oh, and I really love the automatic key that allows me to open my car doors by sensor so I don’t have to dig in my purse to find my keys while my hands are full with kid crap.

So, I have to wonder, why would a car designed to make mom’s lives easier and more convenient arouse such hatred in people? 

I have to say I honestly don’t get it. You know who I am talking about ~ the minivan haters.

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard, “I wouldn’t be caught dead driving a minivan.” “I just can’t DO it.” “I would never drive a minivan!“I refuse to be a minivan mom.” All with a specific tone of distaste.

Just the other day on Facebook a friend shared they were considering a minivan with baby #3 on the way. The array of “don’t do it” comments were hilarious.

One even commented it was not just about buying a minivan, it was a state of mind. Correct me if I am wrong, but the day you decide to become parents, you basically succumb to the state of mind the minivan represents. It’s called parenthood.

Granted, I could be driving a gazillion other cooler cars, but let me let you in on something that’s not a secret…I am 39 and I am a mom. The kids hanging on me and my hands are a dead giveaway. So is the somewhat tired, frazzled look on my face.

I doubt anyone in the Target parking lot would look and think I was any cooler based on what car I was putting my kid in.

Just the other day at gymnastics, one of my friends came in and told me she thought I left my slider open in the parking lot. When I went out to check, it was the same exact car as ours, a white Town and Country, with its door open, but not mine.

Trying to be a helpful citizen to another (likely) crazed mom who was probably distracted unloading her kids, I decided to ask a few people inside if they, “Drove a white Town and Country?” to try and find the owner and let them know.

One middle aged (and dorky) dad I asked responded with, “OH GOD, NO!

And he said it with such disgust, I almost snapped back at him. Are you kidding me? I wanted to know, what EXACTLY is so wrong about driving a minivan? And who did he think he was?! But I decided to not start up a minivan fight at gymnastics so I smiled and moved on.

[Side note: Regardless of what car he was loading his kids into that day, my assessment of his cool factor would remain the same.]

Yes, it is a mom mobile. Yes, it is a kid hauler. But it’s convenient, and I am a big hit with the preschoolers. One of Morgan’s little friends calls it the Abracadabra car. They get the magic of the minivan. Take that dorky gymnastics dad.

What do you think?

Let it loose ladies, don’t hold back, how do you really feel about minivans? Why do you feel that way?  I won’t get my feelings hurt. Promise.

22 Comments

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22
  1. 1
    Liz says:

    Jen, this is hysterical and all so true!! I am guilty of driving a minivan as well. I love all the great features that you listed to get my 3 kids (and the carpool kids) in as quickly as possible!
    As for the million dollar answer to all the “Haters”…..this I don’t know. Looking forward to the responses;)

  2. 2
    Lee says:

    Being the Mom of one of your carpoolees, I think your van is awesome. The main reason I don’t have one is I am resistant to driving anything bigger than a shoebox. One kid makes that easier for sure 🙂

  3. 3
    Carolyn says:

    The designer of the minivan is a saint!

  4. 4
    Jen says:

    Thanks for your comments ladies!!!

    Lee, yes, believe you me, when I am out of the carting kids around all day phase, I will DEFINITELY be driving a little car again so I can zip around town.

    Liz – Me too, interested to hear what people say and I am so happy to hear another mom admit to driving the mom mobile.

    Carolyn – Could. Not. Agree. More.

  5. 5

    I think mini-vans are perfectly fine. I believe a car is to get you from point A to point B. I also believe in comfort. My husband is looking into them right now for our future kids and his surfboards!

  6. 6
    Susanne says:

    I agree that they are so functional and the perfect family car, and I love riding in my friends minivans. I even drove one over winter break when my hubs car was in the shop and it was lovely, smooth, convenient experience… but even with all of these selling points for some reason I don’t want one. I might come around when it’s actually time for me to get a new car, but I guess its a silent protest in the mean time. (Maybe its because my hubs thinks I should get one?)

  7. 7
    Susanne says:

    PS- This whole post cracked me up! Such a controversial topic.
    PPS- that dad is for sure dork. 🙂 ha!

  8. 8
    Sarah says:

    OMG. Thank you so much for this post! It baffles me how (some) people react this way about minivans. My husband was given one as a company car before we even HAD kids. He was a little unsure feeling it may be a right of passage into his future fatherhood. But…let me tell you what you CAN’T do in your giant SUV. We transported a used washer and dryer inside it with the seats folded down. We easily can put down he back seats and put in the double BOB without FOLDING it. I can go to Costco and will pick up kids from school in the same trip. Oh, and nobody ever complained when on several occasions I could pile in 7 women comfortably and road trip to Vegas for various bachelorette parties over the years. I want to hear from you minivan haters now! Who is said dorky gym dad trying to impress anyway at this stage of his life?! The hot moms at Home Depot and school drop offs??? If be more upset to be his wife knowing he wants so badly to protect his “cool” image. Sorry for the tirade but it is bizarre to me!!!

  9. 9
    Suzanne Towles says:

    We had a minivan – a Honda Odyssey. It was wonderful. Perfect for vacations and everything else you mentioned, Jen. When my son learned to drive, he got the minivan. Not so cool to a 16 year old but as he got a little older he used to joke that he was a “big hit with all the soccer moms.” How funny is that!
    Secure is what I call it.

  10. 10
    Lisa R. says:

    I also drive a mini-van on the day to day but occasionally use my husband’s SUV. There are so many more pros to our mini-van for me; the automatic doors, the sliding doors so you aren’t hitting other cars, the third row for extra friends, helping people move, and one thing you haven’t mentioned are the rear vents! My husband’s SUV doesn’t have specific vents for my kids, and they roast back there without them on a hot day! Oh and also, the van has way less blind spots making it easier to parallel park, and because it’s lower to the ground, the kids can get in easier.

    Both of our parents drove mini-vans so it wasn’t new to me, but what really sold me was the test drive; sitting in the captains chair in the middle row, felt so nice, your own armrests, lots of leg room, and vent controls

    At least once a week it comes in handy; for picking up the teen age babysitters, for picking up my sons friends, for having a double stroller AND a load of Costco groceries.

    It’s also easier on gas than large SUVS in equivalent size.

  11. 11
    Jen says:

    Miya – glad you are not ruling them out!
    Sarah – your comment me laugh out loud AND love my minivan even more!
    Susanne -you know you love cruising in the T&C with me enjoying all the dudes checking us out…
    Suzanne – I love the fact your son is now driving the minivan!
    Lisa R – your breakdown of minivan features rocks! I almost had to check twice, but our T&C does have vents for both second and third row.
    Thankfully, that would be HOT.

  12. 12
    Lisa Henderson says:

    You people are seriously making me want another minivan. I swore I would never drive one, but once I had kid No. 2 I was ALL over that. I loved my Odyssey. And I’m not ashamed to admit it.

  13. 13
    Helen says:

    HI Jen,
    I remember you from high school. You were friends with my sister, Sophia. You look the same! Anyway, my friend forwarded me your post. I love my mini van. I have a VW Routan. I have to admit that I resisted it for awhile but after 2 kids, it was the best decision ever made. The ease of those sliding doors and captain seats. Over Christmas, I even let the kids decorate it with reindeer ears and nose. And of course I have a soccer sticker on the back window. I joke that I have embraced surburbia with open arms.

    • 14
      jen says:

      Hi Helen!!!
      I absolutely remember you!!! How are you? I am so happy you found me here :). How is your family? Thanks so much for the note! Jen

  14. 15
    Stephanie says:

    Our mutual friend Heather told me about this post so I had to read and respond. I never wanted a minivan but then again I never wanted to have kids either. The babies were the best decision of my life and I will have to say leasing a minivan is up there on my current list.

    All of the features you mentioned plus the fact that my parents can easily get in and out of it as well is a huge bonus. No more hoisting kids into a tall SUV. Worrying whether they are going to fall out of the doors while I run around to the other side to get my second child. Just press a button, magic door, and breathe.

    I love my minivan. We call her the luxe bus and she truly is fabulous. Haters can pay for the extra gas, break their backs and climb over seats to clip seat belts all they want-I will take my cool minivan over anything else, any day of the week.

  15. 16
    Jen says:

    Stephanie, I couldn’t agree or love your comment more. I also just might have to adopt the phrase “luxe bus” myself! Which Heather is our mutual friend? XOXO

  16. 17

    We both know Heather A – with her two little girls. I think you met at Whiz Kids. She is awesome.

  17. 18
    Jen says:

    Heather and I met at gymnastics. LOVE HER!!! I will thank her for sending you my minivan post!

  18. 19
    2014 Recap says:

    […] my gosh, the 2015 Honda Odyssey. I have mad love for the minivan and this vehicle is a dream come true. I could not love it ANY more!!! Don’t knock it until […]

  19. 20
    Eve says:

    I’m totally agree with you Jen. My husband refused to buy one. But, when I told him was my dream. He bought me a Toyota Sienna (2004). We drove that van for 10 years. Never had a problem. Love, love that minivan. So, we switched it last year for a SUV. We can’t do all the stuff we was doing with our Sienna. Now we want to trade the SUV for another Sienna. Yes!! My husband love and miss the Minivan. The SUV third row. It is a nightmare. Plus no cargo room. Hate this thing. Our kids are 9 and 13. And they want the Minivan back too!!!! Can’t wait to have our Sienna back.

    • 21
      jen says:

      I am so happy to hear you are a fellow Minivan lover Eve! Our lease on our minivan was up in December – and when my husband asked me what kind of car I wanted this time around – I said I can’t NOT have a minivan! And this time we bought it and plan to drive for a LONG time. 🙂

  20. 22

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