I used to own five strollers.
Stroller #1: The Original (basic single, four wheels)
Ah, our first stroller. We asked for this one when we were pregnant with our oldest. It came with an infant car seat & it was affordable, which was ideal since we had some family members so kindly purchase it for us and I wasn't going to ask for something that was crazy expensive. Our first family walks were with this stroller. Our first born's first trip to Reeds Lake involved this stroller. First couple months of Stroller Strides? This stroller made it possible.
Stroller #2: The Old Faithful (single jogger)
This baby was purchased a couple months after I joined Stroller Strides and I learned that jogging strollers are much easier to push around for an hour. Actually, they are just easier to push overall and, almost five years later, I still use this stroller on a regular basis. She's a bit rusty around the tires and has a multitude of scratches on the tray from my two buddies who have sat/sit in that seat. Over the course of our time with this stroller, we have walked and ran miles and miles. The cup holders have carried lots of water bottles and Starbucks cups and the classes and walks have helped make me a much healthier individual than I ever was before.
Stroller #3: The Space Saver (umbrella)
Strollers are bulky. Let's be real. The umbrella stroller was purchased when we were going on a long vacation and needed something very compact to bring (this is before we purchased our van). Little children require SO MUCH STUFF. It's amazing. So....car+two adults+1 child+1 big dog+luggage=no room for Stroller #1 or #2. Enter: Stroller #3.
Stroller #4: The "More Than One Small Child" (double jogger)
Can I just state that double jogging strollers are expensive? Goodness gracious...I'm so thankful for dear friends and family who gave us gifts that made it significantly easier to buy this stroller. Obviously this beast was purchased when our second child was born and I needed a stroller that could hold two kids. I found it quite amusing when people (not Stroller Strides people) would ask me if I was still planning on attending Stroller Strides after my second son was born. Ummmmm yes! This program played such a vital role in remaining (somewhat) sane while adjusting to two children and helped me lose a lot of the weight I had gained during pregnancy. Let's not forget how much critical it was for my oldest son to receive extra attention and play time with others while I was also taking care of a newborn. I can't imagine not continuing to come to class after having another child. This stroller made that possible!
Stroller #5: The "My Other Double Stroller Is Too Wide" (non-jogger double stroller)
Stroller #5 was purchased when we moved to inside Stroller Strides classes the fall after my second son was born and I learned that Stroller #4 was too big to fit through doorways. Many tears, a very understanding husband, some extra money in savings, a trip to Buy Buy Baby, and voila--a side by side double that actually fit through doorways. My husband and I also refer to this stroller as "The Inside Stroller Strides class Stroller" because, honestly, with the exception of two trips downtown for ArtPrize, that is all it was used for. Well...."all" meaning anywhere from two to four times per week from November through April for two winter seasons, This stroller received plenty of use to easily justify purchasing it. I always think about how wonderful it was that my husband recognized (and continues to recognize) the important of Stroller Strides to my physical and mental health. It wasn't just buying yet another stroller---it was about making it possible for me to continue to take of myself.
And a couple weekends ago, I said goodbye to that stroller, dear Stroller #5. My oldest is too big for it and we have no plans for a third child so there's no solid reason to hold onto it.
I remember how important that stroller was when we bought it. I remember crying when I got back in the van after discovering that Stroller #4 couldn't fit through the church's doors. I remember knowing that we had some money to buy another one but that we had other plans for that money, purchasing a fifth stroller not being one of those plans. I remember how many snowy, cold, gray days that were made brighter because that stroller made it possible to attend classes during the winter. It wasn't just a stroller to me. It was something that gave me consistency and support during these first two and a half years with two young children.
This fall it will be time to sell the Stroller #4 and I already know where Strollers #1 & #3 will be heading within the next year. But Stroller #2? The Old Faithful? I'm thankful that I'll be able to keep using her for a couple more years. Enjoy your strollers, my friends, because too soon, your babies will become kids who are too big for those strollers. My six month old baby who showed up to our first Stroller Strides class in May 2012 is now five and starting kindergarten this fall. Not for one second do I regret all of the classes, walks, and runs with my children--made possible by all five of my strollers.
Well....now four strollers...That stroller I sold? It's off to provide another family with wonderful memories. :-)