With so many incredible stroller options, it’s no wonder many parents feel they must have the latest and greatest. But when did strollers become a status symbol? Why do we judge a parent by their stroller choice?
I won’t lie; I have a stroller or two more than I probably need in my garage. My family’s child transportation needs vary by day and occasion, and I can never have enough options for an outing. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to stroller choice. And no parent should ever be judged for theirs.
Why Do People Care So Much About Strollers?
Besides countless strollers in stores and online for families to pick from, it’s safe to say modern-day technology plays a huge part in the weight parents place on the strollers they have. Or that think they (or other parents) should have.
When new or expecting mamas are constantly bombarded by social media influencers showing off their little babe’s shiny new ride, luxury strollers become the assumed standard for the everyday family. Furthermore, while online communities can be a game-changer for new parents, conversations within threads on Facebook mom groups and the like tend to focus on what “everyone’s buying.” Ultimately, this leads moms to believe they must keep up with the trends to fit in. Despite decades-old stroller brands having proven their long-standing quality.
Stroller Judgment is Real
I remember a conversation I had several months ago with a first-time, then-expectant mom friend. She wanted my opinion on whether she was making a solid decision with her stroller choice. It was a Graco Modes, to be exact, which she boasted her sister-in-law had graciously offered to gift her as a hand-me-down, looked comfortable, and pushed smoothly. She expressed concern about accepting the stroller, as several women in her childbirth preparation class insisted that she needed a UPPAbaby Vista and a Wonderfold wagon. The four-seater for space and that extra appeal, of course. Despite having a single baby on the way, with no plans for more in the future. “Or,” my friend exclaimed in one mom’s words, “she’d regret it.”
While I’ve heard fantastic things about all three products, I encouraged my friend to save money, accept her sister-in-law’s generosity, tune out the noise, and go with her gut. I recently met up with my freshly postpartum pal for a walk in the park with our little ones; she informed me of a recent run-in with one of her former childbirth prep classmates at the grocery store. She didn’t regard the interaction as pleasant, with the topic of my freshly postpartum mom friend’s budget-friendly, hand-me-down stroller (or lack of a high-end counterpart, rather) being unwelcomingly front and center.
I mean, come on. Is this what new parents need to hear? Do better, people. Please, do better. Who wouldn’t say yes to a previously loved ride for their littles? Parenting is expensive enough, so this is a no-brainer for me.
Stroller Judgment Goes Both Ways
On another occasion, I visited a fellow mom friend who told me about her mother-in-law’s snarky comments regarding her recently expanded family’s Doona purchase. This friend was shamed by her MIL for “spending a good chunk of a month’s mortgage” on the hybrid, all-in-one stroller-car seat combo. Despite having exclaimed this stroller’s convenience factor – especially for a travel-loving family needing something versatile, space-saving and portable – my friend was mocked for opting for a product “nobody needed way back when.”
Again, is it necessary to knock a new mama down for what she chooses to invest in for her family? I think not. It’s just a stroller, of all things. And it isn’t even yours, for that matter.
Regarding strollers, parents have plenty of options: luxury, budget, brand-new and futuristic, gently used, and well-loved. What works for one family won’t work for another — and vice versa. There’s no universal “best” choice stroller, but there are a lot of excellent choices. Whether you’re a parent of young children, a veteran parent, or anyone else observing stroller-owning families everywhere, please don’t judge a parent by their choice of transportation for their babies. We’ve got enough (and more important) things to worry about, and the type of stroller we have or don’t have isn’t one of them.