The Great Minivan Debate

Becoming a parent is an occurrence that naturally makes you question your vehicle. Is it safe? Is it big enough? Will I be able to get baby in and out of the carseat without completely injuring myself? 

Then, if you hadn't thought this already, someone says to you, "So, are you going to get a minivan?" A question to which most moms initially provide some sort of definitive answer. This question often elicits a very strong response; sometimes an emphatic YES! and other times an emphatic expletive followed by a passionate NO!

Add "minivans" to the list of polarizing topics for moms. I won't go so far as to compare the minivan debate to the breast v. formula feeding debate or the disposable v. cloth diaper dilemma or the co-sleep v. separate sleep scenario, but I will say that the minivan situation is another emotion-laden topic that moms in the US will encounter. 

I can only think of a handful of cars that generate such emotion and debate as a minivan. You don't hear big debates and struggles over getting a sedan or a convertible! Sure there are opinions and conversations about which make and model of sedan or SUV or sports car to get, but for a mom, the emotions and feelings that go into the minivan debate are unmatched with any other vehicle type. Talk with a group of moms at a playground and they can go on and on about minivans - good and bad. 

The difference in the minivan debate is, unlike some of the aforementioned debates, often times the struggle over the minivan is internal. Joining the minivan club instantly adds you to the "soccer mom" roll call. In a sense, a minivan comes with a stereotype, one that some are not comfortable with. The type of vehicle we drive says a few things about us. For example, my first car was a 1998 Jeep Wrangler (still own it!!) - what does that make you think about me? That certainly elicits some sort of thought and potential preconceived notion about me. The minivan also generates an opinionated thought for many - "soccer mom." This judgement, for whatever reason, is often associated with a loss of personal identity for us moms, and is absolutely valid. In fact, this sentiment can often be the deciding factor for some of us when it comes to the minivan debate. 

Another interesting factoid about minivans - often it's the partner advocating to add the minivan to the family. This is absolutely the case in my family and, as I learned from the Experiences In Motherhood Survey Group, this is also this case with many of the moms in the group. Perhaps it's the logic and the fact that minivans are geared towards families. But, there is no doubt that, in the end, the mother must be on board with adding the minivan, otherwise, no deal! 

I'm in several mom groups on Facebook. Every single group has multiple, nay dozens of posts from fellow moms asking about minivans. It's a natural question with many, many thoughts and opinions to consider. So, what makes this blog article and infographic any different? Well, just that - many opinions and thoughts all consolidated into one place. Share this infographic with a friend or a social media conversation on the topic to help provide an all-in-one reference to help ease the decision. Oh, and this one includes kids' opinions too! 

If you're currently in this debate, good luck. There's no right or wrong answer - just your answer! This is a big decision so trust your mom-intuition! 

Finally, just for laughs...The Swagger Wagon. Hilarious!  

I'd love to read your thoughts and comments on this topic if you've been through this yourself. Leave your comments below to help others with this exact situation!

Stay blessed, 

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Kari Haravitch