Thursday, February 16, 2012

A one-car family

We are a one-car family. Will we ever get a 2nd car? We plan to, eventually. Is it easy? It takes some work and compromise. Is it hard? In a town with decent bus service, not terrible.

We made the decision before we had kids to downsize to one car. At the time, it made a lot of sense. We were both working at the university so we could carpool. The bus to campus went past our neighborhood, making it easy for us to use public transportation. The walk home wasn't that bad and was good exercise. Paying for insurance and registration on a 2nd car just wasn't cost effective.

That was 7 or 8 years ago. These days, with me at home with the kids and Chris going to work every day, it takes some planning. We have to compromise. Sometimes the boys and I are limited to places within walking or busing distance. Sometimes we trade the car partway through the day. Sometimes Chris has to plan his schedule around when he has the car.

Want to know what is within walking or busing distance? Quite a lot. We have walked to the park, the mall, the book store, campus. We have taken the bus downtown, to the library, to campus, to a friend's house. Yes, there are places we can't get to easily, but it's amazing how far we can go if we're willing to plan. (Summer is harder with the reduced bus schedule. Once an hour limits us quite a bit.)

We do plan to eventually get a 2nd car. It will make it easier with the boys being in school and having after school activities. As they get older, it is likely we'll be ferrying them around more. But for now, Chris and I usually know where the other is and we get to see each other more often than we normally would. The times during the week when we trade the car are an extra bonus time for us. And for the boys to see Daddy. We aren't just two cars passing as we come and go.

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