Weekend in Flagstaff
One year as a working mom

The one-car family life (so far)

  How we're making it work as a one car family | RISING*SHINING

In July, we sold Chris's truck and have had only one car (a Prius). So far, being a one-car family is going really well! I'm surprised at how un-burdensome it feels and how, for the most part, it's been a simplification and not a complication in our lives . 

Chris and I each have a day that we work at home and on those days the other person takes public transportation to work. There's a park-and-ride near our house and we drop each other off so the person at home can have the car. Three days a week, Chris and I carpool together from work and drop off/pick up Dashiell from daycare together. On the weekends, it's pretty easy for one of us to take the car alone, if needed, while the other hangs with Dashiell at the house. Otherwise, we usually go on outings as a family.

The situations that do feel a bit inconvenient to manage are when one of us needs to be at work late. For example, I had a work happy hour that I wanted to attend a few weeks ago and Chris has had some evening events to attend (including being interviewed on our local PBS station!). We have found ways to deal with the solution in a couple of ways. One time we had a neighbor come to the house and "babysit" a sleeping Dashiell while Chris picked me up from the bus stop. The other times I've loaded up Dash up in the car, asleep or just around bedtime, and we picked Chris up. I'll admit, it's not ideal to put Dashiell back in the car after we've only been home for a couple of hours but since it's only every now and then I think it's a minor inconvenience for the much greater benefit of having only one car.

Now that Chris and I consistently carpool each week it feels like we're actually getting more quality time together as well. Not that driving on the highway is the very best quality time but we do get to talk about our work weeks and anything else on our minds. It's nice to have the built-in conversation time, especially since caring for a toddler at home does not usually lend itself to in-depth or even lengthy conversations. Sometimes we even fit in a mini coffee date on the way to work!

Honestly, getting rid of a car has made our lives feel simpler. I didn't expect it to be that way but it really has. Being a one-car family requires Chris and me to be really in-sync about our schedules and to be very intentional about what we put on the calendar. There's still the big unknown of what adding a second baby will do to the situation and over time our needs could definitely change as well but nearly three months in and so far, so good!

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