My Car is a Trash Hole


Its true.  My car is a rolling garbage can.  I don’t even know how it happens y’all.  I have four kids so that is most definitely a contributing factor, but I know other people who have four kids and manage to keep a decent vehicle.  What is this life? How can we just live in this day to day and no one even says anything about it anymore? Except my husband.  He has plenty to say about it…. mostly, “What is that smell?” or “Do you really need to carry around an entire roll of paper towels at all times?” He is blissfully set apart from this transportation crisis I exist in.  

There have been several times when it has proven useful though.  Once, my kid’s flip flop broke and I told her to dig around on the floor and see if she had another pair of shoes back there – she did! Minivan miracle! And, if we were ever caught in a snowstorm or something and had to exist in our van for weeks, I’m pretty sure there is enough food in the crevices to keep us alive if we were willing. Also, since we have lost approximately 3,826 water bottles in there, we would probably be good on hydration too. That said, those are not really the criteria of cleanliness I generally aspire to, so what gives?

Its not because I don’t care.  We regularly clean the car out; the mess just always comes back with a vengance.  I definitely WANT it to be cleaner.  What I lack is the follow through.  I have actually given this a lot of thought, and I think I have at least part of the answer.  My kids sneak stuff in the car: a snack in their purse, a small toy in their hand, an armful of activities when we are in a hurry. And often I just don’t notice; I don’t have the time to police them all. Then, somehow we all walk back inside empty-handed.  You would think after over a decade of parenting I would have gotten into that habit of saying something like, “Gather your stuff kids!” and appropriately supervising this activity.  But no. I haven’t.  And I know why.  I just want to GO INSIDE.  After an outing with all of them where my youngest has no doubt peed in every. single. bathroom. we. encountered, and they have caressed (sometimes broken) every possible item in every single store, and have been generally loud (albeit good) kids for hours…. I’m just done.  WE MADE IT HOME. NO ONE DIED. DCS WILL NOT COME THIS WEEK. Get inside so we can all go to separate rooms for a few minutes! At this point I just need to NOT try to keep them alive or quiet or un-kidnapped, and I need to decompress.  I forget all about my trash hole car because we all just want to be free of it.  

I’m sure there is more to it, but that’s the only component I’ve figured out so far.  What are your cars like? Any tips for tired mamas like me? Any other moms with trash hole cars out there that want to commiserate? Comment below!

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Jessica was born and raised just outside of Atlanta, GA (Go Braves!) She has a BA in Psychology and a teaching certification, which she used to teach K-2 self-contained autism classes before her children were born. She moved to Memphis 6 years ago following a job for her husband. Their whole family fell in love with this city and now her mom and brother-in-law’s family have moved here too! She has a 9 year old daughter, a 6 year old son, another 6 year old son (not twins – adoption rocks!), a five year old daughter, and a live-in mom. It’s a busy house but always an adventure! Jessica home schools 3 of her children and one is in public school. Two of her children also have chronic illnesses so she spends a lot of time on the phone and in doctors offices, and just trying to keep up with life in general – not to mention the laundry! Jessica and her husband, Jody, are planting a church in downtown Memphis called Riverdeep Church. They just celebrated their church’s 1 year anniversary and spend most of their free time renovating their 100+ year old building. When there is any other down time, Jessica has developed the ability to sleep on command and does so whenever possible. She also enjoys cooking for her daughter who has very specific dietary needs, coffee with friends, dating her husband, and watching people’s faces when she blasts the rap music in the minivan.


  1. I totally relate to ALL of this. Sometimes I will set an alarm on my phone as we’re walking into the house and when it goes off, we clean out the car. Everyone cleans out their area and we all clean out the back. Everyone complains, but it gets done!

  2. Me! My youngest loves to take off her socks and shoes in the car. At one point she had 2 pair of shoes and like 9 socks in the car lol. My middle child sneaks snacks in the car but they never leave smh. It’s like we live in our car. It is our 2nd home and right now I am ok with that lol. Love your post!

  3. I can relate! But it’s all good when we show up at shelby farms playground and I realize I forgot sand toys, but manage to find a plastic cup, bucket and a shovel ?

  4. I have a small trash can in mine to help keep trash scattered to a minimum… i told myself when i got this vehicle i wouldn’t be all psycho over no drinks and food and really the only one that makes the mess is my youngest. I still have to stand over them to clean up but somehow we manage.

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