We picked out our first jog stroller before Maggie was born. Back in those days, there wasn’t much of a selection when it came to jog strollers. We ordered a Baby Jogger because it was the only one we had ever heard of.
I remember my first run with Mags like it was yesterday. It was spring and a little bit chilly, and I had to prop her head up with the car seat headrest. She was 3 months old, and that run made me feel like I had my freedom back. She seemed to like it too — she slept for the whole run.
A year later, I found out I was pregnant with the twins. One of my very first thoughts was “How am I going to run?” I researched triple jog strollers and while there actually was such a thing, it took me five minutes to realize it wasn’t going to work. Even if I could push all three kids on a run, the stroller wouldn’t fit on the sidewalk. It was wider than a Mack truck.
So we ordered a double Baby Jogger to go with our single, and once the twins were born, I squeezed in a run as often as any mom with three kids under 2 could. When Chris got home from work, I’d quickly nurse the twins and take any combination of kids out for a run. In those days, running was my sanity, and as long as I could take one or two tots with me, life was easier at home too. Sometimes, we’d all go together. Sometimes, I would go alone.
We used the heck out of those strollers, but they weren’t as multifunctional as jog strollers are today. They didn’t fold up and fit in the car and the front wheel didn’t pivot — so they weren’t very maneuverable for places like the mall.
That meant we had a corral of strollers on our sun porch. We had umbrella strollers, regular strollers, jog strollers and the big daddy — an inline triple Peg Perego stroller that I got at a yard sale for $75. That was even more cumbersome that the double job stroller and it took a rocket scientist to figure out how to fold it up. But it’s how I managed to take all three kids to the zoo and keep them contained. It was a bear to push up hills, and sometimes I had to get a running start. Other times, I had to make Maggie get out and walk.
Moms with tots these days have it much easier. There is a multitude of amazing strollers to choose from that can do the job of all the strollers we had. With one stroller today you can lock the front wheel and head out for a jog and then fold it up and pop in into the car for a trip to the mall. We ran a story this month on all the amazing jog strollers out there today. Check it out if you are in the market.
I used our single Baby Jogger up until Jonah, went to kindergarten four years ago. I would pack him with books and a lollypop to keep him occupied while I got my exercise fix. I’m pretty sure our Baby Joggers saved my sanity when my kids were tots. And they’ve all grown up to be pretty active kids. I’d like to think the time spent running with me contributed to that.
FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 14, Lilly, 13, Adam, 13, and Jonah, 9.