Mom topics

One mom dreams the impossible dream: No eating in the car

April 5, 2013 at 2:10 PM ET

Be it a minivan, SUV or sedan, one thing unites all mommymobiles – the mess inside. If you’re a mom, chances are, crushed Goldfish crackers line your floor mats and old French fries are wedged between the seats. Add in a few art projects and shin guards and your car is nothing more than a tenement on wheels. No matter how often we promise ourselves to keep our cars pristine, we usually find them back to their slovenly states in no time.

Is your car a dining room on wheels?
Is your car a dining room on wheels?

One mom vows to defy the odds and keep her new ride a food-free zone. Writing at Mommyish, Rebecca Eckler admits that her past track record in car cleanliness is nothing to brag about. “When I first got my new car, I made a rule that it was to be a “NO EATING CAR” meaning my daughter was not allowed to eat in the car. That lasted about a week, until we went to my parents’ house and they handed her a cookie as we drove off. It just went down hill from there,” Eckler wrote.

Eckler lamented that the new car smell quickly gave way to more of an "eew, what’s that?!" smell. This time around, she’s going to try once again. “So we made a pact that when we get our new car next week, it will be a NO EATING car,” she wrote.

So many of us start off with the best of intentions. We vow to sit down to a family meal at the table and keep the food out of the Ford. Then, the soccer, baseball, and piano schedules come out and we realize that our only chance to eat together as a family is to do so on the road.

Even if we manage to keep the cars food free, that doesn’t mean they’ll stay pristine. As one reader commented, “I had that rule, and enforced it. Then one of my kids threw up in the car. You can't win.”

Do you try to keep your car tidy and respectable or have you come to peace with the mess, if not necessarily the smell?

Dana Macario is a Seattle-area mom who begs you not to look inside her car.