Wednesday, March 30, 2011

one set of wheels ...

Last week, J got in a little fender-bender. He is perfectly fine, but his 2000 Toyota Camry got the short end of the stick. It currently looks like this ...

And it is going to stay that way. Due to a whole slew of reasons, including the fact that we didn't have collision coverage on the car, we will not be repairing it or replacing it. That means effective last Thursday, we became a one car family.

Easy peasy, right? I mean, it's not like I have to a job to go to. And I was already moonlighting as a chauffeur. Seriously. Being a stay-at-home mom usually entails making sure that everyone else is where they need to be, when they need to be there. Plus, J only works 12 minutes from our house. And it's not like he EVER needs to go to the airport 20 miles away. Or be picked up from the airport late at night. After our kids are in bed. Are you catching my sarcasm here?

Basically, I am living in my car. Take Monday, for example. J took Dizzle to school at 7:30. He was back here by 7:45, just in time for the two of us to load Doodle and Dilly into the car at 8 a.m., so that I could drive him to work before taking Doodle to school. (Note: Travel time from J's work to Doodle's school - 32 minutes).

Once I successfully dropped off J and Doodle, I had to make a stop at the store and the bank. With that done, Dilly and I finally arrived back at our house at 10:37 a.m. Exactly two hours before I had to leave to pick up Doodle at one followed by Dizzle at two (no trip home in between). At 2:28 p.m., we got out of the car for the thousandth time that day.

Then at 6:15, I dressed the girls in their pajamas and put them back in the car for one last trip. We needed to pick up J from work and they needed to go to bed as soon as we got home. Cumulative family time for the day (when all five of us were present) - 12 minutes. Approximate time spent by me "commuting" - 5 HOURS.

This is going to take some getting used to ...

31 comments:

miscellany said...

Long time reader, first time poster here.
We're a one-car family, and I too have 3 children (11yo, 9yo, 5.5yo) with many activities. Dh simply bikes to work, and it's awesome : we don't need the 2nd car, and he gets his exercise. He actually also bikes to the airport when necessary (we own a very old bike for this purpose - if it gets stolen we won't be too sad).
Is this an option for you ?

Holly said...

My take, take it to CarMax and sell it to them. At least you will get something for it. My hubby is a buyer here at the Charlottesville store and I always recommend CarMax. I would say get a car from them too but I have no idea your finances. Obviously you would go to one in Richmond. Good Luck! We were a one car family when we only had 1 and she was 2 so we didn't really need a 2nd car that badly. I couldn't imagine doing it with older ones in school!

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

oy. I don't think we could be a one car family. The hubs works an hour away. I hope something works out for you. The gas money might get to expensive too!

Liz said...

Don't you have public transport in the States? I know a few families without a car at all, and they have to get by with trains, buses, bikes and feet. It's hard, but doable.

Rachel McPhillips said...

Um whoa. We have debated not getting John another car when his lease is up in July.. The only downside is he has to be at work at 7am. When John and I first got married, we were a one car family- b/c I had a wreck the week before our wedding and broke my foot(awesome)- good thing we only worked 5 min from each other and always ate lunch together.

That will definitely take some getting used to!

The English Major said...

Re: Liz - Public transportation in the States exists in a few larger cities like New York and Washington DC, but outside of those, it can be pretty iffy. Even a city like I'm in, with over 270k people and a large population of college students, has only a token bus service.

Unfortunately there's a stigma attached to using it, so anyone who can afford to do otherwise, does. This means that the programs are underfunded, the buses usually in disrepair, and it can honestly be scary sometimes.

Jogging with Fiction said...

Gah! That's a lot of time in the car!

You might be able to find a rideshare program around you that would make J's commuting easier.

Good luck!!

Carly said...

We only have one car as well. Mostly because it saves us money. Luckily we both live in walking distance of school and jobs, but with the weather and stuff the car shuffle can be tough. I'm sure you'll figure it out!

Kerrie T. said...

That would be impossible for us. Hope you can find a solution. :(

(Just) Trying is for Little Girls said...

How about carpooling the kids to and from school? I'm sure you thought of this already...that way you aren't making every trip every day. Somebody else must be interested in coordinating with you.

Poor J--glad it was him and not you driving. Accidents are scary.

theAlmostRunner said...

whew! this would be so rough for me! but looks like you're doing really well!

Lesley @ racingitoff.com said...

That sucks. I've been there, and its not fun. Sorry!

jen said...

I am exhausted for you!! Good luck with only 1 car - we have no reason for a 2nd car (not really anyway) but since it is paid off we keep it. I never even thought about what actually is involved with one car.

I hope you keep your sanity but I look forward to more stories of your 1-car adventures!

muchlove and big hugs!

Liz said...

Wow! Thanks for clarification! I thought public transport was poor in the UK, but it seems a lot more available and easy to use than in the US. I've learnt something today!

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman said...

Let's say you average 40mph going to J's place of work. With a 12 minute ride, that's roughly 8 miles. Depending on the route you take, I'd say a bike is a very feasible option. I work at various locations between 5 and 20 miles from me and I'm debating switching the car for a bike myself. Plus, exercise is built in - no need to worry about fitting in that workout afterwards.

My parents had to do the one car thing once when we were kids. It takes some sacrifice for sure! Best of luck with everything!

Pam said...

Dude, that SUCKS. Like you aren't stretched thin enough already.

April said...

Yikes! That is a lot of time playing cabbie! So sorry!

Deb said...

We were a one car family for a little while after the first baby. One child who didn't have to go to school or anything. It was doable but sometimes frustrating. I can't imagine the adjustment you must be having with 3 kids.

I think J needs to start riding a bike to work...

Runners Fuel said...

That is tough! I can't imagine being a 1 car family and i don't have any kids.

SupermomE12 said...

I totally feel your pain... we are a one car (ok, a one 15 passenger van) family and it sucks. a lot. I hope it works out for you guys better because five hours in the car is ridiculous!!!

Running Girl said...

Yikes - that sucks. Hope you are able to come up with a better solution.

Marlene said...

You need to invent a family-sized rickshaw - that way you can incorporate your running with your chauffeuring! It wpuld count as cross-training too. ;)

Okay, but really... that sucks!! I hate driving here and there. It always feels like such a waste of time. Good luck!!

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

I was wondering the same thing as you first commenter. Biking an option for J to work some days? I assume their isn't another driver who hit him that did have insurance? I know you can handle whatever situation your faced with, just wish there was a better/easier solution for your family in this one.

When life throw you a curve ball, change up and hit a home run!

Good Luck!

Rene' said...

We have been in that situation before. Thank goodness Travis' dad works at the same office park and could give him a ride everyday. Good luck!

Judi said...

Just think of all the money you will be saving! We hope to someday be a one car family. We'd like to live close enough to DH work and then he could cycle. You can do it!

N.D. said...

oH no! that's terrible!! I hope it gets better with the car situation. Awful.

Holly said...

Can you get a junker for cheap? I mean something that literally just runs and that will get you by?

Otherwise sounds like J needs to find a coworker to take him or start riding his bike to work.

That schedule sounds nuts.

BeePieRuns said...

ugh, that's horrible! We often talked about Hubby riding a bike to work as he's only 6 miles from his office, BUT the roads around here are super scary for bikers... Definitely not something I want him doing on a regular basis. Hope you guys figure it out!

Zoƫ said...

Ugh. That sucks, I'm sorry. Accidents are no fun, and I'm glad J is ok.
That is A LOT of time in the car...so I hope something works out quickly.

Suzanne said...

I understand about the fixing thing...both our cars are older than your 2000 ( one is old enough to vote!) and even a small fender bender would mean they are totalled. Good luck with the chauferring...I will say it would be more efficient to have a second car (I know you had not noticed!) good luck!

wtfree3 said...

One other thing - there's no reason to take J to and from the airport for business trips. That's what expense accounts are for. When I did the travel thing, I would often get a taxi, particularly for those early morning/late night travels that are often involved. Yeah, sometimes it was nice to be picked up by the wife and kid (only one at the time), but the timing had to work in those situations (as you noted with sarcasm).

Good luck with the 1 car thing. You know where this may eventually start to cause problems? When the second kid starts getting into different after-school activities from the first - and they're at the same time.