In My Own Words

Writing and Images from the heart...

In My Own Words

Writing and Images from the heart...

Minivan Mama

I’ve always said that surrendering to my inner mama wasn’t something that I thought would happen. Life has its way of humbling me when it comes to my children. When no matter what I thought I wouldn’t do as a mother, I have learned turns out to sometimes be the best choice for my family. Here’s some fine examples of things I said I would never do:


I will NOT let my children watch TV before the age of 2.

And then I had Peyton. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is the ONLY thing that has kept that child sane. Others have come and gone, Elmo, Bob, and more recently Thomas, but there is one that remains. He STILL loves it today. I’m convinced if Mickey Mouse didn’t exist, my children would be eating spam and potato chips for dinner because there is no way I would EVER be able to prepare a meal otherwise.



I will NOT give my children foods that are processed or breaded on a regular basis.

After MANY nights of sending my children to bed with grumbly tummies because they refused to eat what I cook, I’ve learned that some battles are not worth fighting. Instead, I alternate every other day frozen/cooked/their favorite foods, with my home cooked meals. I am hopeful that someday they will like what I create, but until that day arrives (I’m not holding my breath)  I’m meeting my children in the middle and in turn I’m teaching them about compromise. WIN!



I will NOT bathe both my children in the same bath water together.

I don’t know… It just seems gross to me. Them playing in each other’s filth and what not. And what if one of them poops! Gross, I know, but it has happened. And it was nasty. My skin crawls just thinking about it. GAH! Doesn’t seem to bother them in the least. Saves time, I know. But still… just… GAH!


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And last but not least…


I will NOT under ANY circumstances – even if I have NOT OTHER OPTIONS – I WILL NOT drive a minivan. I would rather walk. With both kids. No stroller or snacks.



I’ve always said never say never…

This takes us to Saturday. We all got in the family car, drove out to Hadley, and I had visions in my head of shopping at Old Navy, Target, and maybe even Michael’s if the kids are good. I’d look at all the Christmas décor, smell the cinnamon pine cones in pre-holiday bliss as my children smiled and amused themselves in their stroller.

What kind of alternate universe was I living in?!

If you’re like me, to go shopping with your children it’s like you need a pep rally before you even walk out the door to your house. You rally yourself and your children in a circle around the makeshift ‘bonfire’ of diaper bags, electronics, and must have toys (even if you’re just going to CVS) and chant ‘SHOP! SHOP! SHOP!’.

Well, at least that’s how it seems it happens in my head.

Anyway, our trip to shop last Saturday turned out how a typical day of shopping with an 18 month old and 3 year old is to be expected. Exhausting. After the marathon to actually get to them in the car, drive while keeping them content, then getting them into the store, shopping for about 20 minutes all while singing ABC and Itsy Bitsy Spider, running out of songs, both kids having a meltdown at the register that was SO LOUD I couldn’t even hear what the cashier was saying. After that, we were on our way to get them back into the car when someone had parked SO CLOSE to me that I couldn’t even open up the door to get Avery into her car seat, or me into the drivers seat. We even parked far away! Unfortunately this is a normal occurrence in the parent life and with our car seats and vehicle it actually requires you to open the door as much as possible or the risk of injury on the munchkins greatly increases. Standing there in the parking lot, just staring in disbelief, kids still crying from their tantrum, one trying to take off and run into traffic while I was still holding bags from what we had bought, the wind was blowing I was ready to sit down on the pavement and have a good cry myself.  I’d had enough. I had a mom freak out moment. Just a moment… Or a few minutes… OKAY it was the entire car ride home! I went on a rant about how frustrated I was in general. Mainly that I do a lot of the weekly shuffling on my own, and that the simple tasks of getting both kids into the car and not chasing them into the street while doing so was getting to me. And that I JUST NEEDED SOMETHING TO GO SMOOTHLY!

Here is the car in question. A very nice one indeed, but totally lacking in child accessibility and convenience.


I’ve been saying forever how I wanted a minivan. Not because it’s stylish. AT ALL. It’s because I am willing to sacrifice my trendiness for my sanity. Plain and simple. Little did I know when I was having my ‘episode’ in the car on the way home Eric had been looking at his phone, and what I thought was not paying attention to me, which at the time infuriated me. Then when we got home, I was still upset, and he wasn’t talking to me. Then all of a sudden he said ‘I found a van for you and I think we can afford it.’  He told me that if this was the one thing that he could do to make me happy and have a simpler daily life while he’s traveling, that he was happy to do it.

What an amazing man I have.

Check out the new whip. Sad to say that we are TOTALLY LOVING IT. Yes. We are loving the minivan. Never thought I’d see the day. We can get the kids in and out much easier, they are happy and quiet, everyone is at peace.

My mother laughed hysterically when I told her we bought it… Then she asked if she could borrow it. Everyone hates on the minivan until they need it! I’m pretty psyched about all the equipment I’ll be able to load in and out by myself! Not to mention all my things for bridal fairs, Ikea trips, and of course hockey equipment – just to keep it real and uber masculine.


Until next time!


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© Trish Kemp 2024