I Just Bought a Mom Car:: Crossing Items off the Pre-Baby To-Do List


I am over the half-way mark in my pregnancy, and I am in full-on, Type-A planner mode. I’m slashing home improvement projects from my To-Do List on the daily. I’m researching and adding items to our registry list like a boss. My work calendar is fully calendared through May 15 (the Do Not Travel cut off date). My husband is tired, and I am on the verge of manic productivity some days. But, the To-Do List is beginning to shrink, and for that, I am proud and relieved. 

Me at 21 weeks in my bathroom (the update of which is another To-Do on the To-Do list…)

One of our major To-Do’s was to get rid of my hand-me-down 2005 Honda Accord and purchase an upgrade. I “inherited” the Honda from my ex-husband, who acquired it somewhere around his senior year of high school or beginning of college. Just picture this. Black window tint that is so dark it is illegal in the state of Louisiana (I know this because I failed the window tint test when I titled it in that state)– not my doing. More than one burn in the tan plush fabric interior — again, not my doing. Dints and dings and scratches galore — blemishes most definitely of my doing. It has 132,442 miles on it, and one day, about a year ago, the radio just stopped producing sound. Imagining myself pulling up to preschool in this car and hauling the baby carrier in and out of the lower-than-low backseat was just not appealing. Call me shallow, but the idea was downright embarrassing. My husband agreed: it had to go.

The sun sets on the Honda Accord.

So, on a Friday at 2:30 p.m., we pulled into Landers Ford in Collierville to purchase an Explorer. Bargain-hunter that I am to my core, we started by checking out a 2015 model, but we did not like the mileage count, and I simply could not bring myself to seriously consider a white car. (I don’t know what it is, but white and red are just non-starters. Always have been. Always will be. I won’t even get white or red rental cars on my work trips!)

Then, the salesman took us waaaaaaay out to the far corner of the lot, to the very last 2018 Explorer on the row. (My Fitbit was like, ohhhh yeah, but my pregnant body was like, ugggggh NO.) It was exactly the model I wanted, exactly the color I wanted (a dark gunmetal grey), and had most of the features I wanted (I could live with dark fabric interior). We test drove it. I was almost sold. But the bargain-hunter in me wanted one more word with this salesman.

“Could you just show us the 2017’s you have on the lot before we commit?” I asked in my best I’m-sweet-but-I-mean-business car-buying voice.

Just steps outside the dealership door, parked right in the front row, was a 2017 Explorer with less than 4,000 miles on it that they had been using as a loaner car. It had the leather seats, it had seat and steering wheeler heaters, it had light-colored interior. It was everything I had dreamed of in this Explorer, except the exterior was a light shade of gold that is dangerously close to white. [Cue the tragic gasp!] As I circled the vehicle, poking my head in all the nooks and crannies, high and low, I pondered: Could I learn to love this color? Was it worth having all the interior luxuries with this color?

And after about 3.5 seconds of dramatic internal monologue, I came to my senses and realized it wasn’t thisclose to white! No, no, no. It was… It was… CHAMPAGNE! love champagne! The fanciest of party drinks!

Et voilà: SOLD.

So, now, I own my very first Mom Car: a champagne 2017 Ford Explorer with heated leather seats and steering wheel, perfectly sized for reaching from front to back seat when Baby Girl needs attention, and perfectly NOT the old, illegal black-tinted, lowlowlow, hand-me-down Honda Accord.

It’s not the sexiest new SUV, but it is going to take my family to entirely new places, and for that, I am filled with anticipation and excitement.

The champagne Mom Car all cozy in its new garage home.



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Sarah Townsend Leach is a fundraising, communications, and leadership professional living in Collierville and working with clients around the country. Sarah grew up in Nashville and has lived in quite a few places, but thanks to visiting grandparents in East Memphis throughout her childhood and attending Rhodes College in Midtown, this has always been a second (and now a primary!) home. Sarah and her husband John met through both of their work in the Episcopal Church in 2015, and she is a mom to Poppy (June 2018) and Ann Townsend (October 2019). Follow her journey through new motherhood: focusing on learning how to be a parent and finding her new work-life balance out in the burbs. Sarah loves exploring, being outside, yoga, and crafting (all of which she has no time for now that she is a toddler mom).