Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sometimes It Really Sucks Having Only One Vehicle...

Sharing one vehicle is a decision Shawn and I completely agree on, and for the most part we are really happy with it.  Whenever we have considered owning a second one, the added cost far outweighs what little benefits we would experience.  Partly this is because he drives his work vehicle home because he is permanently "on call" and so I almost always have unhindered use of our own stylin' van!

But there are times when sharing our vehicle really sucks!

One of the worst was right after I had our third child. Shawn's boss decided that he didn't have to be permanently on call, and so he would not need to drive his van home for two weeks out of three, while others were on call.  During this period of time, I had to pack up three kids, including a newborn, at 8 in the morning in order to drop Shawn off at work, and race back to the school to drop off our son, who could not be here for bus pick up times without making his dad late. And yes, some mornings, I was driving in my PJs...and feeling thankful that no other coworkers park at the same location he needed to! Then, I had to pick up Baden after school, come home, start supper and pack everyone up again at 5 to pick Shawn up at work.  Just soak that in for a sec, I'm sure you can imagine that was fu-un! 

As much as I enjoyed the fact that Shawn wasn't on call as much, I really hated all that extra driving!  It wasn't long, however, before Shawn was once again on call at all times, freeing me from the daily driving.

The other thing that causes havoc with my hogging of our vehicle is... hunting season, and alas it is upon us again!  I am glad Shawn hunts for several reasons, super healthy meat at a very low cost is the biggest one. ( Curious what it costs? Check it our here:Cost of Our Family's Wild Meat   ) The other is that it is Shawn's major stress relief.  I've been known to tell people that Shawn is just not much fun unless he has killed something recently, whether it be fish, foul or game.  However, it does make it hard to share our vehicle!

If Shawn needs to take the van to go on a hunting trip, I cannot use it that same day.  If he is going on a longer trip I may be home with the kids without a vehicle for a weekend, or the better part of a week.  I do not live within walking distance of a grocery store, so this requires some real planning! If I had something planned and he can somehow get a day off, I need to cancel my plans where possible.  It's been so hard for him to get days off lately that he has to take whatever opportunities come up!

And so, this is what I find myself thinking on this week: How to share the van over the next few months.  This week, our mom's group is having a consignment sale.  I need to drop clothes off Thursday or Friday, work at the sale Friday night and pick up left over items on Saturday.  Then, I would like to be in Church on Sunday.  Oh, and I have a hair appointment on Thursday. Shawn was going to take Thursday through Sunday off to hunt.  Maybe it's actually good news, then, that work is so busy he can't get away?  It doesn't really feel that way, and it's only putting off the schedule juggling for a few more days.

I'm sure we'll figure it out, just like we have in past years.  Do you and your spouse share a vehicle?  What are some ways you've found to make it all work?  What challenges do you face?


  1. Could Shawn perhaps rent a car when he goes away for more than a day and you can't reschedule your outings for the car on those days? Does he ever go hunting with others that he could ride with (an obvious one I guess).

    As you know, I know exactly the challenge you face - our no-car life involves a tremendous amount of planning around errands and outings. Keep up the effort! Even if you guys need to rent a car from time to time you are saving huge money by sticking to one car!

  2. Thank, MC! I have to admit, I hadn't thought of renting a vehicle, it probably work well sometimes!! Yes, sometimes Shawn is hunting with others and they use that vehicle too.


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