I'm often asked by people, what's your secret to motherhood, what's your secret to raising four kids and keeping sane. To be honest, I don't really know. I like routine and I try to maintain patience which is extremely key. Especially when four, very demanding souls are talking to you all at once and expect your undivided attention. Or the mornings before school when you're using one hand to help brush the youngest child’s teeth, while the other hand is brushing hair, you're talking to the third child about homework while the fourth is getting “loud and passionate” at you to put the tomato between the ham and the cheese so the bread doesn't go soggy in the lunchbox... breathe... just breathe.
It then hit me when I was walking the kids to the car, four backpacks in hand, reaching for my keys to press the magic button which opens my van’s sliding doors automatically, no extra hands required. The kids get in and out no hassle and the boot opens for me with another press of a button so I can throw four bags in the back without breaking my stride.
One of my secrets is my Kia Grand Carnival van!!
It occurred to me that my husband and I owe a lot of our sanity to this amazing vehicle. Not only does it have automatic doors, but it has up to eight seats!!! That means, after we take the middle seat out, the kids can walk up the center like a true bus and each child has their own corner of the car. No touching each other, no fighting, no infiltrating each other’s precious personal space!!
At first I wasn't open to the idea of changing from a 4WD to a van. I grew up with one and it was always considered so damn uncool. When we were pregnant with our fourth child though we had no choice but to upgrade the car. We spent hours, if not weeks, researching, test driving and I tried desperately to convince myself and my husband that a 7 seater 4WD would be great. In the end I had to face the reality that there was just zero space and you can’t tell me that your knees up around your ears in the back constitutes an extra two seats… and that usually came at the expense of much needed boot space. When we came across the Kia Grand Carnival, it really was a no brainer. I only agreed at first though because it had electric doors! Then it came time to upgrade a couple of years ago and we didn’t hesitate in getting the new model, we are 5 years into our relationship with Kia and we are still madly in love.
We spend a lot of our life in the car; if it's not school drop offs, school pickups, it's the sports and after school activities, visiting friends and family or a last minute road trip interstate for work... And those long road trips are bliss, well inside the car anyway. The only thing the car doesn't have is the privacy wall between the front two seats and the kids. Note to Kia, please consider this!! Sometimes I just want to listen to Harry Styles while I’m driving, belting out his tunes at the top of my lungs without having my kids yelling at me to turn it down and to let go of my dreams of a duet with Harry! Ouch!
Overall, I would say that even though it takes us 20 minutes to get from the front door to the car, or 20 minutes to get from the car to the front door (someone always forgets at least one shoe), it takes very little time to settle in and have a relaxing drive. I would recommend the Kia Grand Carnival if you are looking for extra seats and some extra space, even if you have a couple of kids, the extra seats are so convenient for play dates and weekend sports.
Now that I’m a little older it seriously is a cool car… “ridiculously practical” equals cool doesn’t it?!?!.