to not understand the obsession so many mums have with pushchairs?

(109 Posts)
SamuelAndOscarsMummy Wed 07-Aug-13 10:30:25

I probably am as it doesn't actually affect my life at all but I don't get why some mothers feel the need to get 5 or more different pushchairs in the time that their baby needs one or to spend a ridiculous amount that they cannot really afford on a 'designer' pushchair?

It's not really the money side of it, I just genuinely don't understand the appeal of it? it's not like the baby cares? I have had two pushchairs in the time I have had my children, one travel system that converts to a stroller and when I had my second I got a double, as far as I knew the purpose of a pushchair is to transport your baby.

I guess the reason it has wound me up today is seeing them all on those free gifting sites on facebook and seeing people I know who already have a decent pushchair asking for another one when there might be someone who genuinely cannot afford a pushchair or theirs has broken or been stolen or something that needs one, not just because that one is prettier than the one they already have?!

Would be interested to hear what others think about this and whether I am the only one who really doesn't give a fuck what my pushchair looks like or what brand it is as long as my kids are safe and comfortable..

VinegarDrinker Wed 07-Aug-13 11:27:04

It's not true that everyone has "something" that they get obsessed by or splurge on. Some people don't have the money, for starters. And some people just don't give a monkey's about material "stuff".

TruthSweet Wed 07-Aug-13 11:28:16

Just to put the 'why have so many pushchairs?' thing in perspective - how many pairs of shoes do you have? Would you wear court shoes to go for a run, or hiking boots to a cocktail party? How about cars - would a Lamborgini Gallardo be a great option if you were a carpenter and needed a works van or a Smart if you had 3 children? Or a bedsit in a tower block as a home for the 3 children?

Sometimes needs must and you do end up wearing hiking boots to a cocktail party because it's the only party you'll go to for the next 10 years, but if you go to parties every week why wouldn't you have something suitable if it was affordable?

Case in point, I have a fair few pushchairs atm -

A small light parent facing one for DD4 who's 10m for quick trips and buses,

Silver Cross coach built for walks and for DD4 to sleep in the garden in,

Britax B-Dual for DD4 and/or DD3 and/or supermarket shopping or days out,

Graco Citisport for DD3 in case she is taken out by friends/family (though I will sell it soon as it is pretty surplus to requirements),

Pedigree Twin Sport which is a NZ built tank for off roading, very large shopping trips, or for DD2 if she is in pain (she has HMS). As DD2 is nearly 120cm, 20kg and 5y 9m she can't just sit in any old thing grin so a pushchair that will take 45kg per seat is a must for my family. It was also useful on a day out on the train to a park with a water play area (so picnic, swimsuits/towels/spare clothes, usual change bag stuff for 4 children), then a trip to the supermarket and I ended up with 3 children on the pushchair as DD1 twisted her ankle & couldn't walk so sat on the hood/handle. A Maclaren Quest just wouldn't last a week for me!

It's taken me quite some time to find what I needed to have to work for my situation - non-driver with 4 children including 3 with HMS (DDs 2, 3 & 4 have it). I could get rid of a couple but it would just make my life more difficult. As I haven't bought a brand new pushchair since 2007 I'm not a label queen who's after the latest thing wink

£1000 shock

My last car didn't cost that much! grin

I suppose despite not being interested in it myself, I concede that I probably spend money on stuff other people wouldn't be interested in, so each to their own I guess. But £1000!!! shock

TempusFuckit Wed 07-Aug-13 11:31:16

MaKettle - that's hilarious!

I don't get it either, but then maybe that's because I lucked out by choosing a really good one first time round - the Micralite Fastfold, Professor Brian Cox's buggy of choice, haha.

smug

unsmug as realises is probably a pramhun after all

Dd got a new stroller/buggy every season until she was 2 and a half blush we had 14 in total. Mostly 100 and under though I wouldn't spend extravagantly on them, I loved seeing the new ones coming out and choosing the colours of her 'Summer' pram etc plus I'm tall so extra effort went in finding something taller than 102cm - standard at the time and before so many adjustable handles.

Now I couldn't GAF - ds has 1 buggy now which I can bump about and not break, had plenty of room for him and has his beloved bumper bar <petite star bizzi> we've had it a year now and it's still in great nick and I really do batter it up and down stairs etc.

We've bought a chicco nunu for dd2 as it's --so pretty- wide and has a Bumper bar That'll do her until she most likely goes into the bizzi.

I love my pushchairs and have had many. I have now found the perfect one and am sticking with it. Couldn't give a toss about making a statement, it's all about me and DD2 and our comfort and convenience. What you're also overlooking is that most of these pushchairs are sold on and the high end ones hold their value very well. I bought a Bee+ for £350 new and sold it 6 months later for £350.

I don't get Mulberry bags and stupid high heeled ugly shoes that costs thousands. But hey, each to their own.

clarequilty Wed 07-Aug-13 11:34:05

I think ScottishMum has hit the nail on the head. Part of it is to do with getting the ephemera of parenthood 'just right' to show the outside world when inside one feels they lack control.

At its most extreme it points to a personality disorder.

But I know nothing about prams or pushchairs, have never had one for either child (4 and 2) and no, I don't obsess about the many colourways of Didymos's either (some of those people on babywearing sites with their 20 slings are just as bad)

BrokenSunglasses Wed 07-Aug-13 11:34:08

If things are being offered on a website for free, I don't think you have to be in real need for it to be acceptable to take them.

Some people just like buggies. The days with a baby can be fairly mind numbing, if a new buggy is something that will float your boat, then why not?

Me, I got a bit of an obsession with changing bags when mine were little. I'm a handbag fan anyway, so changing bags seemed like the natural progression. No harm in it at all.

We're on our third, because the damn airlines keep breaking them.

I suppose it's for the same reason as kitchen appliances coming in different colours, or couches in different styles, when we could all just sit on piles of cushions.

I have noticed that it's only women's spending and items for children that are called in to question when it comes to practicality.

Pushchairs are something you use every day and for at least two years, if you haven't got one that you like, it gets annoying.

Unless you are getting into debt etc, but walk past any pub, betting/game shop etc and you will see men spending much more money over those two years, than a woman will spend on all the things that she does that do have some practical use, but are heavily criticised for.

KingRollo Wed 07-Aug-13 11:37:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

peanutMD Wed 07-Aug-13 11:39:41

With my DS I had 5.

1. emmaljunga , £495, grew out of at 18 months.
2. Jane Energy , £110, lightweight option - awful to push!
3. M&P 03 Sport, £175, loved but mahoosive.
4. Maclaren XT , £60 (used), awful to push.
5. Baby Jogger City mini , £80 (used), loved until no longer needed.

For DD (now 5 months).

1. Babystyle Lux, £80 (used), suspension fell apart after 10 Weeks.
2. Baby jogger city mini, £100 (used), love lightweight option.
3. Graco swift fold travel system, £125, bought and returned whilst pregnant as felt really plasticcy.
4. Mutsy 4Rider, £312, bought and returned after replacing Babystyle but it had a faulty jandle and folding mechanism.
5. Emmaljunga, £465, love it and don't intend on buying any more.

I have had a fair few but circumstances ruled out one out another so I had to go through sine to find what worked for us, no issue. I also sold all of DS' as I wasn't planning anymore and there is a 7 year gap.

VinegarDrinker Wed 07-Aug-13 11:41:41

No, I say the same about men and cars, bikes, gadgets etc too.

ShadeofViolet Wed 07-Aug-13 11:45:23

I had a pushchair with DS2 that I kept and used for DD. I got it for £50 on ebay and I adored it. It was mothercare 3 wheeler and a dream to push.

I bought a stroller when we went to greece when DD was a baby as the airline wouldnt accept my big buggy. It seemed clunky in comparison and I was happy to get back to my beloved pushchair.

Rooners Wed 07-Aug-13 11:52:11

I just really, really like pushchairs. I don't know why. It's not anything to do with 'getting it right' or what other people think (if anything I am embarrassed when people comment on it). I've been like it since I was little - anything like pushchairs or swings or bicycle seats for dolls, I found very exciting particularly where you had to sort of configure something to fit.

I remember having my first proper bike at about 7 and spending ages hooking a doll's seat onto the back, I can't remember what I made it out of. I just liked transporting small 'people' in any way I could grin

Now I have moved onto proper babies and pushchairs (and bakfiets!) and still have the same fascination - more about the engineering than the style tbh - if something looks pretty but is crap to use, it goes back. A lot of mine have been second hand. I once drove quite a long way (for me) to meet someone selling a discontinued, filthy, very used buggy just to buy it for £15 and see what it was like as I'd seen so many great reviews of it blush
I should probably open a museum...I can't part with the classics.

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 07-Aug-13 11:52:49

Never understood the pram obsession either, choose one and use it. Mine went various placers and never had the urge to buy another should we fancy popping to the supermarket or for a weekend away.

i think its a status thing for many i believe. Some want the latest colour and wont be seen with last years colour (yummy mummies) whilst others go for brands to match their branded clothing.

Completely lost on most people though who simpy pop to Mothercare, look for comfort and fit in their car and just pick one without examing brands or seasons fabrics.

VinegarDrinker Wed 07-Aug-13 11:55:14

Rooners I REALLY want a Bakfiets! (DH is more keen on a Christiania though). My inner skinflint is winning out at the moment (have a perfectly serviceable second hand trailer which does the same job) but I'm open to being convinced....

Rooners Wed 07-Aug-13 12:02:10

Oh Vinegar. Don't get me started!

I first knew about them when I saw a Christiania somewhere (probably linked on here tbh!) a few years ago. I really wanted one...then I did some research, bought a crappy old second hand pashley, which I thought I could collect and bring back on the train across London.

It fitted on the train but I couldn't ride it blush I'm a lifelong cyclist but a trike? Straight into the nearest wall! I don't know why, apparently that happens to people a lot.

Anyway that went on ebay and then someone advised trying a two wheeler, and I got our first one and it was wonderful. The worst thing about them is that everyone wants to talk to you, including tourists, drunk people and builders. I get asked directions a lot (should probably get a subsidy from the council!) but also you meet a lot of proper cyclists who are a nice bunch.

Do you live somewhere flattish? Cambridge/Norfolk have a lot so you would get less attention there.

Wallison Wed 07-Aug-13 12:02:45

For me, I think my hankering after pushchairs when ds was small was because there was so little else I could reliably control. His father had left me, I lost my job while on maternity leave and we got evicted from our home (not because of anything we'd done either). Life was pretty much tumbling down around my ears and looking at buggies on the internet had almost a narcotic effect on me - it was soothing, somehow. And when I did finally get the buggy that I really wanted, I was so proud of it - crackers really.

Rooners Wed 07-Aug-13 12:05:29

Wallison, I've said before about that - something to 'contain' the baby, make it as confy and safe as possible - it's a deep psychological instinct I think. I also buy 'things' (have to be of a reliable sort, thus the qualirty aspect) when I feel like my life is out of control, or I'm alone, you know, properly alone and unsupported.

The draw of having a nice, solid, well built thing that you know is going to be 'there for you' isn't to be underestimated.

Wallison Wed 07-Aug-13 12:09:54

Rooners, yes, I'd agree with all that. I felt that I'd failed ds in so many ways but he could have a 'posh' pushchair, and I would look at him all snug and cosy and think well at least I can get that right.

ImNotBloody14 Wed 07-Aug-13 12:12:52

i think it's vanity tbh. like people who have to have the latest [designer name] bag or boots- i think pushchairs is just an extension of that.

VinegarDrinker Wed 07-Aug-13 12:13:00

Rooners I like the social aspect of them. I always grin at people riding them when I see them.

We don't have a car, so trying to justify it with the money "saved" from that... It would be used daily (we cycle everywhere).

We're in London, in a not-hilly bit with loads of cyclists.

I haven't tried a trike yet, rode a bakfiets for the first time a month or so ago and it was a tad hair raising to start with but I reckon I could get used to the handling. DH, otoh, found it terrifying and it put him right off! I think we are going to hire both a trike and a 2-wheeler for a week each and see how we get on <sensible hat on:>

Pobblewhohasnotoes Wed 07-Aug-13 12:26:42

I have two pushchairs. A Bugaboo Bee which I love. We bought it because it's a lovely lightweight practical city pram not because of the name (as so often spouted on mn) and we had a maclaren quest as I wanted an umbrella fold for taking on holiday. I guess if we have no.2 we might buy a double but it breaks my heart slightly to think I won't using my Bee.

At least if I ever sell my Bee I can get almost all the money back on it.

I still like to vaguely look at pushchairs if I'm out, I don't buy them. Who cares, really? Some people own a lot of handbags.

Rooners Wed 07-Aug-13 12:27:38

Ooh Vinny, where you are sounds perfect smile good luck! The handling comes quickly. It's a bit like a wheelbarrow.

But I don't tend to take it in heavy traffic - I stick to pavements (wide, empty ones) and cycle paths as much as possible. I drive too and don't want to be the bike with the long line of cars behind it!!

Let me know how you get on smile

Wallison - yes, me too. I know exactly how you feel x

Nothing about vanity for me, I'mnot... Not at all, honestly. Perhaps for some people.

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