The Weird and Wonderful Ways Moms Use Their Cars
Moms have been getting creative with their cars long before 2020. But over the past year, they’ve relied on them more than ever — to take uninterrupted calls, meet with friends from a distance, or blast non-kid-friendly songs from high school.
Now let’s take a moment to applaud moms around the world for their grit, creativity, and every single one of their inventive hacks for finding solace in the car. Happy Mother’s Day.
How to spread holiday cheer from your car
“During the pandemic, I joined a group at my church and started coming up with ways to keep our community connected. Around Christmas, we decided to coordinate a car parade at the retirement communities where a lot of people from our church live. It was the perfect way to wish these folks happy holidays from a safe distance.
People went all out. We decorated our cars with Christmas lights and reindeer antlers and waved handmade signs with festive greetings as we drove past. One of our friends put a Christmas tree on top of his car. And of course, we blasted holiday music the whole time.
We paraded back to our church parking lot for a drive-thru event with a bunch of stations. At one, people could drop off goods for the food pantry. At the last one, we handed out bags of microwave popcorn, hot chocolate mix, and candy canes as people drove by.
Everyone had so much fun that we did it again for Valentine’s Day. This time, we drove through neighborhoods of people who are homebound. At each house, someone hopped out of the car to drop off notes and Valentine cookies our students made. It was crazy, crazy cold that day. But everyone waited on their front steps waving to us when we came by. They were just so happy to see people.”
When to bring the car on cycling trips
“My husband is a big long-distance cycler — sometimes he rides up to 1,200, 1,300 or 1,600 kilometers. When he’s out on the road, sometimes I drive behind him with food and supplies, following along for the entire journey. My favorite one of these crazy adventures was when my daughter, mother, and I trailed him through the French countryside. It was wonderful.
Not as wonderful? When I lend my car to my eldest son, who’s notorious for leaving it dirty or hitting too many potholes and damaging the tires. But I’m pretty sure this is just a standard part of being a parent.”
What to listen to when the kids aren’t in the car
“When my two-year-old daughter’s in the car, I have to keep the music G-rated. But when she’s not, you know I’m cranking loud emo music from high school.
For me, that’s Breaking Benjamin, Green Day, Blink-182, Avril Lavigne — all ’90s music, but I still love it. In high school, we used to do scavenger hunts where you jump out of the car and race to see how many pictures you can take at different locations around the city. We’d jam into the backseat clinging for dear life as we rushed to collect pictures.
I think old music is something I cling to when my kids aren’t around because it makes me feel like myself. It’s what I listened to when I wasn’t labeled as a mom, instead of the Disney music my daughter wants to listen to. That said, my daughter is a big Weezer fan. So there’s hope.”
“A few weeks ago, I promised my children a treat on the way home from school. We passed through a little village where there is a self-service honesty shop selling ice cream and had to stop.
It was just starting to rain when we arrived, but by the time we were back in the car with the mini tubs of ice cream, we were surrounded by a hail storm. Needless to say, despite the chilly weather, the children still enjoyed their ice cream in the back seat of the car — and I was seriously grateful for the heated seats in the front.”
Finding moments of pandemic peace
“My family hasn’t taken many day trips during COVID, but there’s a Filipino fast-food place in Jersey City that we love. It’s an hour away, but it’s worth the trip to pick up takeout and get out of the house, even though we just eat it in the car.
When social distancing was super strict, we would meet up with friends for trunk picnics. We’d order takeout, go to a park, and sit in our trunks in a circle to see each other. For my son’s third birthday, we met along the Palisades Parkway and enjoyed a beautiful view of the Hudson River. We’ve started keeping extra napkins, utensils, plates and blankets in the car, because you never know when an impromptu parking lot picnic might happen.
Driving gives me the chance to have moments to myself, even if it’s a 15-minute trip to the grocery store or bank. As a working mom, I don’t get 15 minutes very often. I purposely chose to buy a car with a sunroof, because on nice days I love to blast music and just feel like myself again, like I’m 21. Windows down, music up, sunglasses on…it’s perfect.”
If you’ve been hosting your own car parades (or maybe just cruising around to pass the time) we want to hear about it.