Without strollers, there would be no Stroller Strides. Without kids, we’d have no need for strollers. But let’s be honest. Sometimes the kids just aren’t feeling the whole “being strapped into the stroller” deal. Why do it?? It is worth the struggle because I know how life changing Stroller Strides has been for me. Without the support and community that this group has given me, I would be a different mom and a different person.
- We are setting a positive, healthy example for our children by participating in these workouts. We are worth taking an hour of our day to focus on our well-being.
- And the amazing thing about Stroller Strides is that we can do this easily without having to find a babysitter for our children or wait until they are asleep or whatever other reason might have stopped us before.
“But, my child HATES being in the stroller for that long. How is that enjoyable for me??” Good point. It really is a good point. My response is that I truly get that it can be stressful and for you personally, it might be pushing you beyond your breaking point. But something I have learned is the importance of remembering MY needs in addition to taking care of the needs of my family. For me, I just had to remember during any of my child's discomfort- when the guilt would set in.... an hour in a stroller for a few days each week is a tiny blip on our children’s radar.
How do we keep some sanity and focus during class while also keeping our children (relatively) happy? Here are some ways I have kept, or at the very least attempted to keep, my boys content, plus a few other ways I have noticed working for other moms:
1. SNACKS. Enough said. Snacks that take a long time to eat are even better.
2. Toys that are left in our van and only used during class
3. Allowing my oldest son to pick out toys for my youngest to play with during class (decreases fights over who gets to play with what toy)
4. Parking our stroller next to a friend
5. Lots and lots of tickles
6. Trading toys with a friend
7. iPad or iPhone (or some device that can play shows) for games/shows
8. Turning the stroller away from you so your child(ren) aren’t being reminded that you are roaming around freely and they are not :-)
9. Additional ideas on our 'Happy Stroller Buddy' pinterest board.
10. Teach your child to encourage you, and remind them how happy you are to have them with you... how they help you get strong by coming to class and having fun in the stroller.
Arriving early for class can also be helpful to allow kids to run off a little energy before climbing in the stroller for class- make sure you have that 'special toy/treat' to get them to happily climb in and buckle up. Truly, consistency works in this situation. They learn that after class mom always lets them play with friends. On days when she wants [it] "NOW!!", I just remember that waiting builds patience and teaches my child that she isn't the center of the world.
One of the many wonderful things about working out with a group like Stroller Strides is that everyone has been or will soon be where you are. Crying baby or disgruntled toddler? Check. We get it. Throwing toys? Yep. Get that, too. Wanting a great workout while connecting with other moms and providing a fun environment for our kids? YES. That’s why we are here. I am proud of all of you who put on your workout gear, load the kids (and snacks and diapers and toys and strollers) in the car, and make your health, your well being, your need for community, YOU a priority. YOU are worthy of an hour workout each day and, no matter how cranky your children may be at times, they are learning from you how important self care and self love is.
See you at Stroller Strides tomorrow! :-)