Have you ever met a woman who hasn’t apologised for the state of her car before you step into it?
We definitely haven’t.
It’s often said that a woman’s car is just an extension of her handbag. And just like a handbag, you can tell a lot about a person by what’s in their car.
So today, just for fun, we’re giving you a small insight into what life is like on the road with Mamamia Women’s Network Editorial Director Mia Freedman.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Nissan Pathfinder.
MM: So! This is what your car looks like.
MIA: Yes, I’m sorry about the mess. Actually, you know what? I’m not really sorry. I’ve been apologising for my car every time someone outside my family gets into it pretty much since I learned to drive. I’m done. Why do women do that? I’ve never ever been in a woman’s car when she hasn’t apologised and immediately tried to throw 24 things from the front seat into the back.
MM: Don’t worry about it. That bunny suit is actually really soft. Can I have it back to sit on?
MIA: [laughing] It sure is. I have no idea why it’s in the car. It belongs to my daughter. Was she taking it somewhere and left it in here? Was she wearing it and it got too hot and she took it off? My car is totally symbolic of my life: a beautiful mess. That description comes from a recent talk I heard Elizabeth Gilbert give. She’s the author of Eat, Pray, Love. She talked about how the word “balance” was a prison for women and that instead of trying to achieve the impossible we should try to embrace the beautiful mess of our lives. My car is the embodiment of that philosophy.
MM: How many kids do you have and how old are they now?
MIA: I have three kids, 6, 8 and 17 and we spend a lot of our time together in the car. I’m driving all of them around constantly like most parents do and my son is about to get his license and since my husband is not great at being a passenger, I’ve done most of our son’s mandatory 120hrs of driving with him. I love being a passenger! Love driving, love being a passenger. Love being in the car actually, which is lucky because I’m in it an awful lot.
MM: Do you consider your car something that just gets you from A to B or do you have a deeper connection with it?
MIA: Oh no, it’s not just transport. To me, my car is sanctuary, therapist office, dance floor, coffee shop, wardrobe…..so many things. It’s the place I spend some of the most important time with my kids because on the way to school and on the way home, we talk. And when your kids get a bit older it’s a great way to trap them into listening to you! My teenager has many tales to tell about being stuck beside me in the car listening to one of my famous ‘teaching moments’. I like to impart life lessons and wisdom on the road when my kids can’t escape and don’t have screens. Works a treat.
MM: Are you ever alone? Like, ever?
MIA: What is this ‘alone’ thing of which you speak? I’m rarely alone, no. With a staff of 60 in the publishing business my husband and I run and three kids at home (and a dog that comes to work with us), alone time is rarer than…..I don’t know, something really rare! I’m not alone in the bathroom anymore and I’ve made peace with that. I don’t have an office at work. I sit in the middle of my team at a little round table with my editor-in-chief and we’re all open plan. I love that actually. But I’m very protective of my time alone in the car because it’s the only time I have by myself. Sometimes it’s just a few minutes between dropping the kids off and pulling into the car park near work and vice versa at the end of the day but I treasure those minutes. I use them to catch up on phone calls (safely, using Bluetooth of course) and listen to talkback radio and on longer drives and on weekends, I listen to podcasts. Lately I’ve been listening to the Mamamia Outloud podcast which is slightly embarrassing when my kids get into the car and say “Mum, why are you listening to yourself?”