Sunday, January 20, 2013

The State of My Car

Ugh. I hate when I'm a bad blogger.  Once again, since Wednesday, life has gotten in the way both nights I wanted to sit down and write.  And once again, it's mostly Reagan's fault, but this time, it's not really her fault.  Poor kiddo has a bad cold with a horrific sounding cough.  We went to the doctor and it's nothing serious, and sounds a lot worse than it is, but she is just miserable and having major issues sleeping.

Anyway, I realize I don't have deadlines, and I'm sure my tens of readers do have lives that don't revolve around me, so it's not tragic when I can't get on the computer after bedtime.  However, that does sort of give me a backlog of topics.  I had a really good topic on Friday night, then a really good topic on Saturday, and I had another idea today, so I'm running with that.  (Which means I have two posts in the backlog...hmmm...maybe I should start a poll.  What sounds more fascinating...parents only dinnertime or Mom's Day Out?)

Yes, as sad as it is, I've started thinking about events as "oooh, I could definitely write about this", and then I start writing it in my head - sometimes AS they are happening, but definitely afterward.  Usually by the time I'm actually on my laptop, I'm only transcribing a story I've been narrating all day.  Weird, right?

Today, I've been thinking a lot about the state of my car (probably because I was in it for MANY hours).  It's not good.

First off, I really do love my car.  It's great in the snow, definitely reliable, all that jazz.  But lately it's been a disaster zone, and I'm really at a loss for how to fix it.  It just doesn't seem big enough for everything I need, and that's just ridiculous.

Here's the situation.  I used to commute about 45 minutes each way to work.  I basically set up a mobile command center in my car.  I had my phone plugged in to the dashboard, my ipod plugged into the center console, a coffee and a water in the cupholders, and my bags on the passenger seat.  I had all that "car emergency" stuff in the trunk (scraper, gloves, washer fluid, etc).  The backseat was pristine, because no one ever sat there, but I did have a little bag with trash bags, clorox wipes, lip balm, etc.  I got really used to having everything I could possibly need in my car with me.

Now that I have TWO careseats eating up my entire backseat, my mobile command center has gotten way out of hand.  I still want to have everything with me in the car, but now that also includes:
  • the ergo
  • the travel potty (not the folding seat - the pottette for times when NO potties are available)
  • a double stroller (that takes up almost the entire trunk)
  • a cart cover
  • a diaper bag
  • a cute little 31 bag that has wipes, snacks, trash bags, etc.
  • MY stuff (purse, chargers, coffee cup, snacks since I never seem to get to eat breakfast, lip gloss, reusable grocery bag, trunk stuff)
Add to that a toddler who likes to take things in the car, then throw whatever she has on the floor (cups, popcorn, toys), the fact that I have to carry two girls into the house (since the big one inevitably takes off her shoes and socks, and it's winter) and don't have room in my arms to get in everything else...ugh, it's a disaster.  Then you've got the "extras" - library books, Target bags I haven't brought inside yet, mail.

I clean out my car at LEAST once a week, getting rid of wrappers, extra bottles and cups (some mine, some theirs), bags, mail, whatever, but it's instantly back to the way it was, and I don't know how to fix it.  It's embarrassing, and I feel like I can never have anyone else in my car.  Today I was up visiting my parents, and my mom was truly appalled.  Adam is appalled every time he gets in, and consistently tells me my car makes him sad.  I was going to take and post some pictures, but I was too embarrassed.  Instead, as soon as I got the girls in bed, I hauled in 6 trips worth of clutter from today and dumped it on my floor to organize.

The thing is, I hate the judgment, and I definitely don't want to hear it, but I hate the state of my car too.  I'm a clean and organized person and my car does not reflect that.  This is one mom cliche I really don't want to be a part of.  It's mostly just clutter, not actual MESS, but trust me, there's mess there too.  Mess I can barely get to because of the clutter.

So what's the solution (besides getting a different car.  I might have major minivan envy right now, but this car is just about paid off and a new car is NOT in the cards right now)?  I need to figure this out.  How can I balance my need to be prepared with my need to be neat and organized?

I'm absolutely GIDDY that Circle of Moms posted my article this week on feeling inadequate in the days of Pinterest.  Have you read it yet?  Everything Circle of Moms publishes is brand new material, so definitely check it out, share it, comment, like it...all that stuff.  Hopefully it's the first of many on their site!


Unknown said...

OK, I'm the so called "appalled" mom. I'm really not THAT appalled. All I wanted to do was throw out some of the fallen crakers and popcorn. I HAVE HAD a mouse (or something) in my car that ate marshmallow peeps once. Don't want that to happen to you.

But the reason I am not truly appalled is because of the time we took you and your sister to California for a two week trip to Uncle Bob and Aunt Kathy, who do not have children. Within that two weeks, we left them for a trip within a trip up and down the coast.

When we arrived back at their house and Uncle Bob greeted us in the driveway, he took one look at the back seat and called to Aunt Kathy, "come out, you HAVE to take a look at this backseat!!" I don't even need to go on with the description of snack bags, snack crumbs, loose crayons and every etc you can think of. Thankfully, it was a rental.

So I know.

But I don't know tips, your friends seem excellent with tips, so let's see together what they suggest.

Unknown said...

"crackers". There's no editing here?

Anonymous said...

This is what I currently do--no kid drinks in the car except water. That way I never worry too much about a cup that gets left in there...I know it won't turn into a stinky mess! Also, if there's a spill it's not that big of a deal. The ergo is always in there but not the double stroller. I have three kids and I can always wear the youngest, put the 2 year old in the cart and have the 4 year old walk. I've never used a cart cover and if you're wearing you're youngest I bet you can do without yours too. I only put the double stroller in when I know we'll be using it. Kind of a hassle maybe but I've never really been out and wish I had it when I didn't. I also don't do a purse. The pocket of the ergo serves as mine...and the diaper bag too. I throw away trash every time we stop to get gas and sometimes even when I'm on a way into a store. Let's see...when I am really organized, I have a cloth square tote in the passenger seat and everything goes in there....items to return, mail that I grabbed on our way out, bills to mail, library books to return, etc. Ideally, that's the only thing in the front and then I'm never embarrassed to have anyone with me. Truthfully, I rarely can keep up with that for some reason. Maybe I'll start doing a clean sweep every Thursday and Sunday. After a weekend away is always the worst...I don't want to carry everything in as well as the kids. Now the can be messier and it doesn't bother me as much. (we have a minivan so an extra adult passenger wouldn't even see it or be bothered by it). I try to limit the toys that the kids take to the car but need to work on that more too. Thanks for inspiring me. I will work on my van today. And maybe even do before/after pics. Don't be embarrassed about taking feels great to see the improvement!

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