It’s a brave new world, fellow Dads. These days the responsibilities of parenting are split 50/50 in more households than ever, and with that comes some uncomfortable circumstances for some. Unfortunately for a lot of Men (and Women!) there are quite a few old-school perceptions of society that have leached into our modern world whether it be by misinterpretation or stubbornness.
One of these is the Minivan. Renowned all over the U.S. as the “Mom Van”, “Mom Mobile” and most notably the “Soccer Mom Car”, it has largely been attributed to Moms and has become a symbol of something very strange to me.
It’s become a symbol of the “resignation to parenting”. By that I mean: there exists a stigma that parenting is 100% a hassle in all aspects, and by driving a Minivan you have officially given up hope of a “normal” life and become a full-blown parent.
Who the fuck decided that?
Lets be clear, parenting is difficult for sure. But for anyone to feel SHAME about it? That’s just mad.
It’s time to accept the Minivan and here’s why:
There is an UNBELIEVABLE amount of space, and it’s one of the most important things to have as a parent. Even if you have one kid, you have to comfortably fit you child, groceries, stroller etc. all in the same car. If you have a Sedan that can hold all the things you need comfortably, I’ll bet my teeth you pay an arm & a leg for gas. You need all the space you can get my friend.
As mentioned above, if you have a car that can fit your kid and all of his/her “accouterments” and it’s NOT a Minivan, you are probably forking over a ton of cash each month that could be going toward diapers or date nights. Modern vans have gotten to be pretty incredible as far as MPG goes, especially the main brands known for their vans such as Honda, Toyota and Kia. Even models from way back in 2008 get around 30MPG avg.
Now, when I say “Minivan” you are probably thinking of the classic 1990’s Chrysler Towne and Country with the wood paneling on the sides, am I right? Nowadays, not even close. Automakers nowadays are tuned into the style that modern parents are looking for. We don’t mind the bulk, as long as its pleasing to the eye. No more boxyness or strange window configurations. No more driving around your kids looking like a creep in a mini-camper van.
The advancement of technologies in the field of car safety are better today than they’ve ever been. In the early 2000’s car makers started putting airbags in every damn corner they possibly could. While trying to turn the car into a huge hamster ball upon collision is a neat idea, it wasn’t necessarily safer. Nowadays they are a lot smarter about placement of airbags to ensure the safety about you and your precious cargo. The development of the frame of the car itself, and in fact the ENTIRE STRUCTURE of these modern vans are developed from the ground up to be the safest possible thing on the road.
Feels like your driving a barge? Think again. Older vans were packing a V6 cause it needed to sling around an extra tonne of weight. But with modern frames being lighter and weight distribution being smarter, the new standard V6 in a Minivan can get you from 0-60 in less than 8 seconds. It may not roar like the Mustang you had to trade in, but you’ll still be able to get around in a satisfying manner. Modern Minivans will give you an average 200 horsepower along with Four/All Wheel Drive. Now you may be thinking at this point “you shouldn’t encourage parents to drive recklessly.” Well, I’m not. The primary reason I bring this up is because of something I realised now that I’m driving around with my precious kiddo in the back.
Life on the road often hands you shitty situations. More often than not, you can avoid collisions thanks to your cars abilities in quick acceleration/deceleration and handling. Modern vans’ standard breaks, engines, transmissions and suspension can put others to shame if you feel like a bit ‘o racing. But the real point of it is it gives you the ability to control your ride in the best possible way.
6.) Breaking the stigma of being a Dad.
Another stigma, like the one mentioned at the top of this post, is that Dads are not willing/able to be affective parents. Accepting the minivan for what it is, (the best possible option for managing family life) and owning it as a part of your parenting life is important. The reason most Dads are afraid to be Dads, or closed off to the responsibilities, is because they came of age surrounded by the mentality that Dads are no good at parenting. For every one of us that breaks these stigmas (such as the Minivan, or Cargo shorts) we are taking that fear out of the world. We’re teaching our little girls and boys that they are equally capable of all things. They will grow up knowing this as fact and not be held back by the unfortunate traditions of the past.
All in all, there are more than just 6 reasons for you to get one. What do YOU think? Let us know!
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Photo by: Eric Rice