As we all know the costs of having kids is astronomical. And I don’t mean in the buying millions of nappies sense. There are unforeseen costs that a life time’s worth of baby wipes can’t compare to.
I found this out recently when our large German Saloon (rhymes with shmaudi) just couldn’t cut it in the boot department. This is a car designed for family use, with a frankly massive boot. However, being a saloon renders most of the space useless. Have you tried putting both parts of a pram in a saloon? You have to drop the first part in, shove it to the back then drop the second part in, leaving absolutely no room for your baby bag, bottles or any essentials you may need with an infant. Going food shopping? Forget it!
Now we also owned a French hatchback (rhymes with ….erm…well it was a Renault) but the boot in that was quite miserable and no real use either. So what to do? We obviously needed a bigger car and had to replace one we owned, but which one?
We couldn’t get rid of the German car. The neighbour’s curtains would be twitching if we downgraded, so the French car had to kick the bucket.
But what to replace it with? Initially one of those sporty SUV’s seemed a great choice. You know the type, looks like an off roader but the only difficult terrain it sees is going over speed bumps on the school run. But have you seen the boot space in them? Very disappointing, all show and no go.
With only having one child so far I couldn’t resign myself to a people carrier, so I narrowed it down to an estate car. I would benefit from a massive boot and… well not much else, but at least it’s not a Dad bus.
I had a good look at what was out there. I discounted another German car, I didn’t want the neighbours thinking I’m showing off having two, (and I could barely afford the first one) and the usual suspects from Ford and Vauxhall left me bored. Then I saw a Japanese estate. It had loads of space and a huge boot, all the toys and driver aids and it looked great.
I went over to the sales man… only kidding, he had pounced on me the second I walked in, and requested a test drive, to which he readily agreed. I explained it was needed as a family car so could we test it accordingly? Again, yes, not a problem. Could I fit the car seat? Of course! Could I shove crisps down all the seats and smear ice cream on the windows, NO! Could he repeatedly kick the back of my chair on the test drive whilst shouting “I’m boooorreeed”? Definitely no!
Begrudgingly I went on the so called test drive and was pleasantly surprised. You wouldn’t know it was a big family estate, unless you looked back into the cavernous space behind you, or tried to park it.
Speaking of parking. I can honestly say I have never before felt the sheer rage that I feel when I see some selfish wanker, I mean other person using a baby and mother space when they clearly are child free at that time. No Doris, I don’t believe you when you say you’re picking up your kid from Marks and Spencer. Yes I see you have a car seat, but you are 80 years old and a lying bitch!
Now I apologise for that outburst but that actually did happen to me. I have also been told to park in a disabled bay, no thanks, I don’t want a fine and I’m not a tosser. I can feel the tension rising as I pull into any car park where there are designated child bays. I never used them when we didn’t have a child and I wouldn’t use one if Maddie wasn’t with me. I don’t think people realise how much space and effort it takes to get a baby in and out of a car. Doors are swung all the way open, prams are assembled in the middle of the road then chased after as they roll away. All this simply cannot be done in a regular bay.
And you should see the show I put on as I return to the car. Once Maddie is in and the pram is away I fear the head shaking from people waiting who can’t see I am with child! So I make a grand gesture of opening the door again to check on Maddie and show the world I am not a bay stealing moron and that there is a child on board. But I don’t know why I bother because nine times out of ten as I pass the waiting car they don’t even have a bloody kid!
Anyway, rant over and back to the car, which was great, so I bought it. And life is now so much easier. We can even fit the dog in the boot alongside the pram and any shopping we buy.
So to anyone expecting their first, I would highly recommend considering your car choice. A large car is by no means essential. We have friends who get by with tiny cars, but it does make life so much easier.
Did you have to buy a new car after having kids? Do you get parking bay rage? Drop us a comment below! Safe driving!