I probably should have disclosed this information in my This is Me post, but I need you to know something…

I am a proud minivan owner.

I’ve got two words for you: SLIDING DOORS.

When I was pregnant with my second baby, Audrey, one of things I was giddy about (seriously!) was buying a minivan. Yes, we’d only technically have two children, but we do like to spend a lot of time with my nephew and the idea of squishing that poor guy between two carseats? Well. Let’s just say Olivia puts him through enough.

So, my hugely pregnant self said goodbye to my cute little Camry and hello to a new (to us — good GRIEF, minivans are expensive. Makes sense, what with ALL THE AWESOMENESS THEY PROVIDE.) Toyota Sienna.

Aw, yeah. The original Swagger Wagon:

I seriously love this thing. And… I don’t understand why people hate on the minivan. Why they are embarrassed to drive one or think they’re becoming “those people” they swore they’d never be. Who are those people? Parents? Are you afraid people will know you have kids? Um. I’m pretty sure THEY ALREADY KNOW. Gasp! Is it because you think they’re ugly? Even the nicest ones now are no sports car, but it’s not like they’re PT CRUISERS (Sorry if you own a PT Cruiser.).

Is it wrong to be thought of as the soccer mom? If it is, then I don’t want to be right, y’all. I don’t go as far as to put the little sticker family on my back windshield, but fist bumps to anyone who does. Go for yours, proud parents!

We take a family vacation to upstate Vermont every summer. The year Olivia was one we took our SUV and it was so packed with stuff for one child, we had to enlist my husband’s parents to bring her stroller because we couldn’t fit it. One kid. True story.

The next year we had the minivan. We took Olivia, Audrey and my nephew… two pack n plays, a double stroller, bouncy seat, a full sized SWING (Oh, infant Audrey and your colicky demands.) as well as the two carseats and all our bags and had room to spare.

Try to contain your excitement, children.

The room alone is enough to make me swoon. I mean, I’ll be honest: do I need 18 cup holders? No, but I’LL TAKE ‘EM. And the third row. Can we talk about the third row for a minute? It’s not a fake, squishy, rock-paper-scissors to who gets stuck there third row. It’s a for real, fit-three-people-comfortably third row. And? AND?! You still have a giant truck space. I can put seven grown people in my van and probably all of their stuff with no problems. Plus, the gas mileage is better than our SUV. Oh! And it drives like a car, not a bus. I could go on and on.

But, I’d rather hear from you! If you are a hater, why? I’m not saying you can’t just plain old prefer a different vehicle to suit your family’s needs. I completely understand that. Not for you. I get it. It’s the HATE. Lots of people I know simply won’t even consider one. Because… they hate comfort? Individual climate control? Sliding doors? Extra leg room? Help me out!




12 comments on “Swagger”

  1. Proud Sienna lover here! I don’t give two hoots about being a soccer mom. It’s so roomy and comfy, especially in comparison to my thirteen-year-old Saturn, which has served me well. Plus there’s so much space in the back, I can let my OCD tendencies run wild with organizing everything we could possibly need. LOVE!

  2. With the seccond on the way, my husband and I have been talking about a bigger car. I have an Escape Hybrid and LOVE it, but with 2 kids its going to be hard to do more than daily trips. I won’t do the minivan thing, just not me. I love SUVs. We have been looking at the GMC Acadia. 3 rows of seats, space in the back, and still have my SUV. Hardest part for me is losing my hybrid, I don’t think we will trade it in but keep it for a spare for my husband since he has a 4 door pickup. And we can’t get ride of the pickup because we need the bed to bring home all the yard/garden stuff.

  3. I LOVE MINIVANS. Love them. My husband, however, hates the gas mileage they get, and the “I’m a parent” stigma that comes with them. I agree with you that, um, I think the cat’s out of the bag and people know we have kids 🙂 hahahahahaha. I have a little Elantra, and it gets great gas mileage, but my kids can’t have a friend come home from school with them until they’re out of car seats, which I’m pretty sure happens around age 20 now. You just can’t fit 3 across back there with their beastly large seats. Oh, minivans…sigh.

  4. I could not agree with you more! I am a proud mini van owner, and love everything about it! I NEVER understood the stigma with them either! I imagine those haters are the same people who are too good to buy their clothes at Target or TJ Maxx! I live in a practical world, and those sliding doors are the gateway to it. Also- I know my limitations, and fully admit that I would never be able to park, let alone see above the steering wheel of a Suburban. Bring on the Roof Racks!

  5. I love my sienna too. The remote-control-automatic-sliding-doors are the best invention ever for a momma with a couple of kids in a busy parking lot. For my first four years of parenthood I drove a camry with old-school manual locks, so I don’t take this feature for granted one bit.

    I do have a theory about the haters though (not counting the people who rule them out for mileage reasons). I wonder, if there were an invention that primarily made men’s lives easier, would there be such vehement opposition? I think there is an undercurrent of oppression here: if the women have more free hands with which to rule the world (on account of the remote control sliding doors)…is that too much power? I know this sounds extreme and somewhat ridiculous but I am struck by the emotion that some people have about a product that was designed around helping moms, so I can’t help but wonder what’s behind that. There are lots of cars that people think are ugly but you don’t hear people rail against them so strongly…

  6. I have a Mazda 5. It’s a “mini” min-van. For my family of 4, it’s perfect and suits our needs. When I first got it though, it felt huge to me. Now I’m so used to it I could see upgrading to a full mini-van someday. And I swore I would never get a mini-van.

  7. I refused to even get anything bigger when I had my twins last year. I drive a Ford Focus (with 2 rear-facing convertible seats) and the husband had a Mazda 6. After giving in to getting a bigger vehicle because grocery shopping was becoming near impossible, I refused to get a minivan. I have never cared for them and was disgusted at the poor gas mileage.

    We went for a mid-sized SUV that is a hybrid. I love it. It handles just like the 6 and has an even better engine. I still mostly travel with the twinkies in my little Focus because it gets over 30 miles to the gallon. I listen to people who rave about the minivans and I will honestly say that it is a vanity issue on my part. I think that stylistically they are terrible to look at and neither my husband or I would want to drive one. Also, we did test drive 3 different ones and disliked they way that they all handled.

  8. 🙂 I fought it tooth & nail, but after going on our vacation & seeing all the room we STILL had after it was packed & how comfortable we all were I was totally sold! We too are only a 2 child household & I would not change having a mini for the world at this point. Just having the boys that couple of inches more seperated is HEAVEN to me!!

    1. Katie… YES! I bought the van right before Audrey was born, but I cannot even imagine if I had to put these two dramatic girls RIGHTNEXT to each other. OMG. The extra space is awesome!

  9. Lol, Steph ~ you go girl! I am one who fought the mini-van kicking and screaming. Before our 3rd kid I was the proud owner of a Toyota Highlander Hybrid..and she was purple. Yes “she” ~ her name was Twila and I loved her irrationally. It was obvious when our lease was up, however, that we’d have to do the whole minivan thing and I didn’t fall in love until…..those sliding doors. Yes, the sliding doors made me fall in love! I can now say that I’m the proud owner of a Toyota all-wheel-drive Sienna. Her name is Isis and she totally fits our needs. I, however, have already written a letter to Toyota requesting that in 2 more years (when my current lease is up) they come up with much more imaginative colors. If I have to drive a minivan, it should at least be purple! 😉

  10. Bahaha! Steph, I can always count on you for a laugh! We have a Jeep Patriot, and sometimes I wish we had a minivan. But, I need to have a specific gas mileage for work, and most of the used minivans don’t quite make it! Otherwise I would so be there!

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