Baby First Car Ride

The Long Drive Home

It’s one of those things that you never forget. Well on our way to the warmer temperatures and sunshine that comes with spring, we happily drove to the hospital for a check-up on our soon to be born first child. Being informed that we would not be leaving the hospital that day was a bit of a surprise but a happy one, knowing that we would soon be meeting our son.

Three days in the hospital felt like 20 minutes and as they shooed us out on our own, I couldn’t help but think that I wasn’t even close to being ready to handle the responsibility of raising another human being. That’s when it hit. The odds of one of the worst blizzards of winter hitting at the end of April, and more specifically, on the day that I had to drive our newborn son home, were not great. Yet, there it was!

My knuckles were as white as the snow I was fighting to see through as we made our way home that day. The snow pounded the window, making it feel like we were moving at warp speed, although based on the honking, I was definitely driving at least 20, fine, 40, kilometres under the posted speed limit. Luckily, we managed to make it home in one piece as we began our journey into parenthood.

It definitely took having children to realize that there were some areas of my life that I needed to tighten up a bit more. For instance, I had never purchased winter tires prior to having children, which definitely would have been helpful on that trip home from the hospital. I had also not given much thought to the type of vehicle I was driving, generally opting for the “whatever is cheapest” approach. This method left us with some fairly undesirable and frankly, impractical vehicles.

When we were looking to purchase our next car, I was a wise, veteran parent at this point and I had a way larger check list of things I needed from a vehicle to keep my family safe in any kind of weather. So, I did a ton of research on autoTRADER.ca before purchasing our last vehicle (yes, it’s a minivan), which led us to a great deal at Metro Dodge here in Ottawa. autoTRADER.ca was amazing in helping me compare prices between both dealer and private sellers, plus it allowed me to get a feel for what my current vehicle was worth as a sale or trade-in. It was a huge resource of information – from car comparisons, to reviews, I learned a lot about what I needed to know to make sure I was confident in my final decision. And, even after I bought my van, I found myself coming back to the site – the News & Features section was a great way to get expert opinions on all the burning questions I had, including what my warning lights mean, how to figure out insurance, cruise control tips and more.

Before I leave you, I’d like to take a moment to just say that minivans get a bad rap, but our minivan is the single greatest purchase we have ever made. We are able to shuttle the kids to all their sports without worrying about fitting the equipment in. We can pack the van full of their friends and head off on amazing adventures. Plus, now that I’m a big boy who buys winter tires, I am never afraid of being on the road in the winter anymore because a minivan is essentially a small tank. It’s one of those “don’t knock it ‘til you try it” kind of deals. Much like having children…

*Thanks autoTRADER.ca for partnering with me on this article*

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