I swore I’d never say it, but here we are: I want a minivan

It was 2008. I was still in my 20’s. Not yet a mom, but about to become one. We were relocating to a new state, so I was job-interviewing and house hunting.

Obviously I was going to be a super cute, trendy, working mom who raised her child in an eclectic, urban environment full of culture and diversity. Our Jeep was the perfect family car because of the cool parents we were destined to be.

I’d never EVER be a frumpy frazzled mom in a mini-van, living on a cul-de-sac where all the houses were nearly identical and a bland shade of gray.



Fast-forward nine years. My 20s are over. As are my working mom days. I’d like to say it was a slow progression into unshowered-SAHM-cul-de-sac-mini-van life, but to be honest, I sort of dove in head first. At home on my maternity leave, my husband looked at me one day and said, “You’re not going back to work, are you?”

And the rest just happened.

Suddenly, we found our house-hunting trips to be creeping west—away from the city. Bigger yards, better public schools and lower crime rates became our focus, rather than the nearest sushi and coffee bars.

The rows of grayish-tanish houses now looked appealing. They were so much bigger! And the baby just had so. much. stuff. And they had laundry rooms! And attached garages! The mom life was my new life, and every convenience that made my new role more manageable jumped to the top of my priority list.

And you know what happened next.

After settling into a house in a cul-de-sac and tripling my husband’s commute, we looked at our four bedroom house and thought, let’s fill this baby up! With, of course, another baby.

Upon bringing our second child home from the hospital, our beloved Jeep seemed a tad small all of a sudden. As in—my husband couldn’t sit comfortably in the driver’s seat anymore, now that the giant rear-facing car seat was behind him.

By this point, more than two years into this parenting gig, I knew my inevitable fate. I’d seen what the moms around suburbia were driving. I saw them running errands with their automatic sliding doors and giant trunk space. I saw how they’d stock up at Costco, fitting enough provisions to feed every kid in a 12-block radius.

So that December, mere days after my daughter was born, I said four words I’d vowed to never say: “I want a minivan.”

My husband didn’t fight me as hard as I thought he would. He knew, as did I, that we’d officially lost ALL of our cool points anyway. We hadn’t been out to happy hour in two years. All of my dry-clean-only Ann Taylor clothes had been pushed to the back of the closet as I’d adopted a new permanent yoga pant/hooded sweatshirt uniform. Our evenings were spent changing diapers, passing the baby and toddler back and forth, and falling asleep 10 minutes into a movie.

We surrendered.

And when we added baby number three two years later, we knew for sure. We’d never go back.

I was a #MinivanMom4life.

So yeah, a minivan was the logical final piece to my transformation. I was officially “that mom” I never thought I’d be. But you know what? It felt okay.

Actually, it felt better than okay. This was not the path I had started on, but it’s where I was meant to be. And that realization felt great.

I am comfortable in suburbia, at the end of a cul-de-sac, where my kids can safely ride their bikes in the street and hop from house to house snacking on cookies and juice boxes. And as a family who road-trips several times a year, I LOVE the space in our van. It’s like a house on wheels. Five suitcases, a bag of toys and car snacks, outlets to charge the iPad, and enough room for the kids to spread out so they can’t touch each other? Yes please.

With two boys who will fight over whether the sky is blue, my dream machine offers the perfect setup to ensure at least a 75% chance of harmony as we trek across the nation. Which, for Mom and Dad means actually getting to have a real, uninterrupted conversation now and then!

It’s also comforting to know that my family could probably live in my van in the case of a natural disaster or zombie apocalypse. It’s fully stocked with bottled water, granola bars and blankets. It’s my home away from home (or sometimes my actual home—as I feel like I am in that driver’s seat more than than my actual house) and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So adios, cool 20’s mom. You gave it your best shot, but you opted for comfort and convenience over trendiness and culture. But don’t worry, this eight seater takes the whole fam into the city on a regular basis. We can still hang with the cool kids. We just can’t always parallel park when we get there. ?

When it comes to registering for baby products, there's one word we love: convertible.

In contrast to items you use for a short period of time, convertible (or multi-use) products are made to grow with your baby… and trust us, that makes them worth their weight in gold.

Convertible items allow you to reap the benefits of your baby registry for years to come—and that's just savvy shopping, mama. Also savvy shopping? Creating your baby registry with Target and enjoying their Year of Benefits registry program for expectant parents. Just by starting your registry, you will get a welcome kit with more than $100 in coupons and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. And Target's newest registry perk, the Year of Exclusive Deals, gives you discounts on essentials for your baby's whole first year when you sign up for Target Circle as well.

If you prioritize value and longevity when creating your registry, here are 10 items you'll love from day one through day 1,000… and beyond!

A crib that can grow through childhood + beyond

Simmons Kids Slumbertime Monterey 4-in-1 Convertible Crib

A crib is a necessity as you plan for life with your baby—you know that already. But what about in a couple of years when they need a toddler bed? Or a few years beyond that when they graduate to a bigger bed? Well, you're in luck: With the right attachments, this bed can be the only one they need until college.


A cozy blanket for snuggles + security

Plush Velboa Baby Blanket I Love You - Cloud Island\u2122 White/Black

Blankets have earned their spot on millions upon millions of registries for good reason: They function as stroller covers or play mats during the early days, then become beloved security items in the toddler years.


A comfy spot for feeding + stories

Baby Relax Addison Swivel Gliding Recliner

During your first months of motherhood, a comfortable gliding chair will be your second home as you spend time feeding and bonding. As your child grows (and mobility makes those snuggles harder to catch), you'll discover a new love for this cozy spot for stories and bedtime snuggles.


Sealy Cozy Rest Extra Firm Crib and Toddler Mattress

Fun fact: A standard crib and toddler bed actually use the same size mattress. That's why it's smart to get a quality crib mattress right out of the gate: One less thing to change up in a few years!


A changing table that doubles as a dresser

Simmons\u00ae Kids Monterey 4 Drawer Dresser with change top

If space is at a premium in your baby's nursery, look for a combination changing table and dresser. That way, you can keep using the dresser long after your little one is potty trained.


A car seat that converts to a booster

Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

The safest place for your child is in the backseat of your car, in either a car seat or (later) booster. But instead of buying a new seat for each phase, you can check off multiple boxes at once by adding a convertible car seat to your registry.


A stroller that accommodates big kids, too

Graco FastAction Jogger LX Stroller

The need for a good stroller doesn't end when your little one learns to walk, so look for a stroller that can accommodate bigger kids, too. We recommend a jogging stroller that allows you to attach an infant car seat and is still perfectly spacious for toddlers.


A place to dine for years to come

Ingenuity SmartClean Trio Elite 3-in-1 High Chair - Slate

From first bites to family dinners around the table, one single high chair can be the solution you need. That is, if you look for a version that adapts into a booster seat when your child is ready for a plate at the table.


A white noise machine + alarm clock in one

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

After spending months listening to ambient noise in the womb, white noise remains incredibly comforting for your child. It's nice to have a sound machine that can transition to a time-to-rise clock down the line. By cueing with sounds and colors, these clocks reinforce healthy sleep habits.


A baby carrier that can haul a toddler, too

Infantino Flip 4-in-1 Convertible Carrier

A carrier is a major help when your baby loves being held, but you need use of your hands. But even months or years down the line, you can still get use out of that carrier. To maximize longevity, look for one that can be used with your child facing outward or even carried on your back as they grow.


Enjoy building your registry with Target, mama! The Year of Benefits is calling your name with a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more! 😉

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.

And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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