Part 1 - I don't have a car but my stroller is boss - (why?)

It was shocking to me how quickly after announcing our first pregnancy to the wider world questions/assumptions came pouring in about when and what kind of car we would be purchasing (answers: never and none).  Yes, it's true... my name is Dina Aronzon, I live in a city, I have 2 children, and zero (0!!) cars.  Also I am not alone in this decision.  If you've not encountered this phenomenon before, this post will answer all your burning questions about what that's like.

Are you some kind of martyr/hippy/crazy environmentalist/crunchy sanctimommy?

No (at least I don't think so).  The decision to not have a car was not made as a statement nor out of any kind of particular conviction (please! who has time for that kind of thing with the amount of laundry around).  It is entirely one of practicality.  Reasons I don't have a car:
  1. 1. It's really expensive to have a car in the city.  You have to pay to park it at your own house (we rent out the parking space that came with our condo for $125/month), at your job (my job downtown charges $350/month to park; even when I worked in the 'burbs it was still $30/month), and everywhere else you go.  Car insurance costs more.  Our combined spending on transportation (monthly transit pass + average Zipcar spending + taxi/uber) comes to roughly $200 a month.  The math doesn't lie.  Plus, we can take all that money that we DON'T spend on parking, insurance, car payments, and gas and spend it on our mortgage.

  2. 2. At the end of a snow storm I've never been sitting there thinking "you know what I want to do right now?  Go outside in the freezing cold and dig a hunk of metal out, just for kicks". 

  3. 3. I never have to schedule an oil change, get snow tires, or coordinate getting home from "the shop".  Frankly, I'm too lazy and busy to add another expensive and possibly lethal thing to take care of.

  4. 4.  Most importantly, in the 10 years that I have been living as an independent adult, there has never been a thing that I wanted to do that I haven't been able to because I don't own a car.

Do you have a driver's license?

Yes. I live in America, I'm pretty sure they strip you of your citizenship if you don't get one by age 25.  Also, I've had to drive equipment around for my job so it's come in handy for professional reasons.  Also also, we do use Zipcars when we need to get somewhere that's not conveniently accessible by transit.  Being able to drive when you need to without owning a car - the future is pretty awesome, isn't it?


How do you get your kids anywhere?

Riding Amtrak with our 3 month old
The same way all parents do - with a lot of patience.  Also with the help of strollers, trains, buses, and as previously mentioned, Zipcars.

15 month old, riding the bus
Toddler says "Hi there, I love my stroller"
And of course, when all else fails, we use our walking feet

You must be sacrificing SOMETHING

Sure, yes.  But once again, this is no different from anyone else.  There are absolutely jobs I haven't taken because it would have meant buying a car and commuting out to the suburbs every day.  This is definitely a  place where I have some luck.  I have not had trouble finding work that fit my criteria.  That said, I have also been flexible as to what my criteria are.  In return, my husband and I commute to daycare on transit where we get to talk to our children, play games, and sing songs with them. They are not stuck completely strapped into a seat, facing a different direction, unable to have meaningful interactions with us.  Also, as a bonus, we don't tend have naps ruined by a cat nap in the car (instead our naps are ruined by toddler intransigence).  And finally, yes, sometimes we say no to activities or events because it would be too much of a hassle to get there.  Then again, there's something to be said for using your time judiciously and just walking your kids to the playground instead.


I have a car.  Are you judging me?

Yes.

I am of course joking. I don't really care what others do. The purpose of this post twofold.  The first is really to dispel the mystery around my family's choices (which frankly aren't that mysterious).  The second goal here is to encourage others who may currently be living car free but are about to have children to consider giving the carfree family lifestyle a try. 



This post is the first in a series of posts about carfree living. Upcoming posts will include thoughts on strollers for urban use, necessary accessories, and whatever else we think to blog about!

Photo Credit - National Sarcasm Society under the Creative Commons License. 
Share on Google Plus