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Now that I’m pregnant with my second child, I’ve started to hear the siren call of a bigger car. One with air conditioning. And enough pick-up to feel safe driving on the highway.

I feel guilty about this on so many levels.


First, there’s the money. We could probably figure out a way to pay for–not a new car, but a newer car–but that doesn’t mean we can really afford it.

Next, there’s the environmental impact. It’s not like my current car is great for the environment, but its age is actually a good thing in one way–I’m not contributing to further use of materials and manufacturing. And it’s a diesel, which was great when I could find biodiesel…not so great now that the biodiesel station seems to have closed. One of our cars is actually converted to run on straight vegetable oil, although I’ll admit we haven’t gone to the trouble of collecting and filtering vegetable oil in years and aren’t likely to any time soon. But I still feel more eco-friendly just knowing that I have the option–even when I’m driving on petro diesel.

And then there’s the I’m-turning-into-a-stereotypical-mom guilt. I shouldn’t feel this right? Can’t help it. I feel guilty about wanting a car because growing families always get bigger cars. I feel like I’m conforming to societal stereotypes in a way that’s bad for the environment. I feel like I want it mostly because everyone else is doing it.

Which is true. Isn’t that why most of us want new things?