"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Baby Stroller Disparity

Now that the weather is warmer I've noticed men and women walking their kids in baby strollers.

People with money have some pretty classy strollers.

Welfare people and lower income people, not so much.

Just saying.

Cramped style.

Shabby doll strollers for poor kids.

Buy it now on ebay @ $984.

Song for this post here.


  1. in the holy parenting vocation1:15 PM

    A ultra-big sigh. really? I demand social stats, my man. Do we need to go there? Let me put it this way ... Our family owned 'nice' stroller for my children, certainly not the cadillac of strollers, but was well manufactured w/good safety record and it carried a price tag. The first child had the 'new' one, and the second child received the hand-me down. If I had another child, it would have been the same.

    As family we own the pencil-type stroller pictured above, it was left in the car for those unexpected stops with the kiddos... easier to maneuver with toddler and infant in tow w/o a hubby around. One can whip it out of the trunk and open w/a child in one arm v. the heavier and more complicated strollers that can be comfortable for the kiddies and parents while shopping or long hauls.

    Secondly, after my children outgrew them, as well as, their 'nice' car seats and transitional bumper seats—which is pretty quick given how quickly infants and toddlers grow—these 'fine' seats where donated in mint condition, as I believe many are ... so who is complaining? Really?

    Does one really need to create class warfare on this topic too? Isn't there enough 'real' issue burdens on families then this manufactured one? I bet'cha the lady in the top picture is the nanny and the stroller will be donated to a family in need once it is no longer need after their '1' child quota.

  2. Haha! I hit a nerve. I was wondering about this stuff. I see the welfare people from the motels on Lyndale with their 'doll' strollers as well as some of the freeway apartments white girls with mixed race babies at Cub with the same style. I see them at Walgreens too. South Minneapolis is what it is.

    I knew I made a mistake with this. Although I learned something about strollers I never knew before. At the finer stores like Kowalskis and Lunds I see the high class tandem strollers, which unlike the sleek jogging ones are so big you can't get through the aisles, but mom has room for her Starbucks cup and all the nursery items she needs. Yet now I know these are car seats for the entertainment/recreation room behind the back seat of the van.

    Don't feel guilty.



    1. SB back seat behind the driver's seat of the van, with the flop down television.

  3. Also consider the age of the child and transport used by parents.

    When my friend got a stroller, she had the convertible one that everyone bought; it had a cupholder, removable baby carrier that could be put into the car seat and would remain usable for quite some time. That's the top stroller. I think they now have cappuccino machines attached.

    The second stroller is known as the umbrella stroller and is for an older child (as shown in stroller) and meant for travel; you can throw it in the back seat or the trunk and it's easy to take with you when you go places with the kid who can walk but might be too tired.

    There are also jogger-strollers that are designed aerodynamically for parents to push when out for a run. There are also cabooses to pull baby on the back of your bike.

    Don't forget the fancy italian strollers that cost hundreds and are status symbols. My friend in CA had all of them; the first she bought when I described my other friends stroller and asked me to get the name and model number so bought the exact same one; she also bought an umbrella stroller but a lot of her kid things were from her husbands co-worker whose kid had outgrown them and another who wasn't having more kids.

    I don't think the stroller thing is about economics because there are a lot of organizations that provide for the children of the poor and make sure they have all the baby things they need. I expect the umbrella stroller is being used because the child is tired and it's a backup system.

    Where I live, people are discouraged from donating or selling used car seats and strollers due to the high number of factory recalls and ever-changing standards.

  4. "I don't think the stroller thing is about economics"

    No - it is. It's also about status, fashion, design, and wearing only the very best. It is a sign of real economic disparity and class. There really is an economy of exclusion.

  5. in the holy parenting vocation5:46 PM

    "No - it is. It's also about status, fashion, design, and wearing only the very best."

    Terry ... Yes, like so much today - even within the Holy Catholic Church, services, products and even people (MNVBFI-T-N) have become 'status and fashion' symbols ... that is our culture. But Terry, there is more the economic issue other than just pure 'status' and 'greed'. But I digress for a moment...

    So I am taking it now that you are with this column trying to 'evangelize' parents?

    Here is an idea, the next time you are at Whole Foods, Byerly's etc. ask one of the mothers or fathers how much they spent on their buggy or if it was a gift to them from a grand parent(s)/friend(s)/husband for their baby shower, or a hand-me down from an older sister/brother/relative, etc., or bought through Amazon or Toy R Us.

    And, then ask what they plan to do with it afterwards? If you find out that they spent $900.00 plus tax on the contraption, ask them if their credit card bills are all payed up ... or money put aside for the kid's college education ... or if they donate to charity. I think they will get 'the' point or at least 'a' point.

    Then you can go to Cub foods, Walmart and Rainbow and ask the same questions ... Report back ... really ... the researcher in me would like to know.

  6. in the holy parenting vocation5:53 PM

    Nan, I share same sentiments about the 'umbrella' strollers because it is how we used them and they served a good purpose.

    To make parents who are poor or less privilege than those who can afford other models, seems ill advised.

    We used our 'umbrella' stroller more than the other we had purchased because of convenience — living in the heart of a city. Toys R Us is where we shopped ... or Target for items. [NOTE: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/09/realestate/strollers-not-welcome.html]

    In some states there are laws for garage sales regarding toys and other baby items due to recall notices. One selling & buying need to check the recall information. None of our items at the time of donation had ever been recalled, people donating do need to check for the well being of those families that might receive these items. It is a moral duty, don't ya think?

  7. in the holy parenting vocation5:59 PM

    Lastly, strollers are not the only way to transport kiddos around town, Terry. -

    But if you are a single young mother with three toddlers and a infant, carriers are going to help much.

    Regarding economics, again ... the industry has been set-back ... bad economy ... smaller families, and LEGISLATION issues have hurt the industry (& local employment). Niche marketing ... is what you may be seeing too, Terry, there are economic forces at play. I cannot begrudge a parent(s) who enjoy a healthy life style and by one of those rugged strollers for running with their child. I would do the same thing if I was in their running shoes and thank God that such a thing was invented! But back to economics and downturn in stroller sales ...

    Countries covered: United States

    Baby on board: A rise in disposable income and the national birthrate will help restore industry revenue

    Baby Stroller & Car Seat Manufacturing

    Baby on board

    Since purchases of baby travel equipment are largely based on necessity, baby strollers and carriages have been consistently in demand even during tough economic times. However, as disposable income decreased, new parents bought used goods or shied away from more expensive options. Over the next five years, the birthrate is expected to slowly increase, along with disposable income, which will boost industry demand...

    This report covers the scope, size, disposition and growth of the industry including the key sensitivities and success factors. Also included are five year industry forecasts, growth rates and an analysis of the industry key players and their market shares.

    ... to be continued...

  8. in holy parenting vocation6:04 PM

    oops housekeeping
    missed a word: carriers are NOT going to help much
    typo: and bUy one of those..


    The Baby Stroller and Car Seat Manufacturing in the US industry struggled during the recession, but the tides have started to turn. During the five years to 2012, revenue is expected to decline at an annual average of 0.8% to $332.2 million; most of the fall off occurred in 2008 and continued through 2009. The economic environment has been improving in more recent years, elevating disposable income and the birth rate. ... Sales have also benefited from evolving regulation and laws that encourage consumers to buy new products with more advanced features to comply with standards. [READ this last line again and connect the dots... raising prices, perhaps too? It continues below ...]

    However, tighter regulations have also increased manufacturing costs, as operators shift to improved materials or are forced to change vendors in order to procure certain parts. Mounting costs are expected to pressure operating profit margin, which in turn will lead to most US car seat and stroller manufacturers moving production offshore. [some legislation hurts the poor]

    Few firms remain that manufacture baby strollers and car seats and in the United States. [loss employment - economics]

  9. I think a Father Z admonition about not dominating the com-box is in order here. Lighten up there "researcher" Terry is a much more gracious host than I would be.

  10. I know people with the nearly $1000 model and they live way beyond their means. I know a young couple that bought all their baby furniture second hand (except for the car seat which has an expiry date) and the only debt they have is their mortgage (which is within their means). Strollers are TOTALLY about showing off. As for me, I got a fancy (for 1983) stroller back in the day but my kids always went in the umbrella stroller - so much easier to transport, set up, etc. And back in those days car seats were not much better than buckets with a pillow in them. You can thank helicopter parenting for all this nonsense.

  11. In prayer before Mass tonight I had the impression this isn't my concern.

  12. I hate to think about how much money we went through over the years purchasing high priced strollers trying to find one that was actually easy to use, only to discover that the best stroller is the simple $25 umbrella. My favorite is the umbrella stroller with are extensions.

    While children's stores would go out of business if we were the average consumer, we did get caught up in the glitz of slick stollers.

  13. We had an umbrella stroller that we kept in the car. It was cheap but it worked fine. Someone gave us a big fancy stroller, too. It was great for longer walks.

    1. We used to have a running stroller for walks, but once again, it turned out to be more nuisance than useful in comparison to to simple umbrella because the little ones were forced to ride even when they wanted to walk because its difficult to push a stroller and hold a little one's hand at the same time, where as an umbrella can be folded up and pulled by with one arm while hold a little one's hand with the other.

  14. I have learned so much with this post.

    Come to think of it - one woman I saw in my neighborhood was a grandmother using an 'umbrella' stroller. I bet she is the day care lady for her grand daughter.

    I'll call welfare and report her.


  15. Call welfare and report those awful pants in the photo - my grandma's couch from 1974 called and wants the fabric back!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Haha! Angela the photo is from a fashion-trend blog.

  16. Terry, you're at 300!

    1. I know, but I'm trying to get it down - also a couple of followers are dead now, so they don't count.

  17. Anonymous3:54 PM

    I had one of the best strollers for all of my children. Why? Because it was seriously easier on my back to push. Because it held more kids. Because it wore like iron. Because I could afford it. Because I went to medical school. Because I got the highest grades I could. Because I didn't go out partying while in school and studied non-stop and with lack of sleep and no social life most days of my young adult life. Because I wanted to work with the sick AND make a good salary so I could have more children and afford to do whatever the hell I wanted. So I did. I earned that carriage.

    You write as if there would have been some sort of nobility in not using my God-given talents to make a good salary and use it for what I believe best for my family.

    And yeah, afterwards I donated it to someone who couldn't afford one, who didn't go to a large-salary-making school and who didn't have a husband. Because I could.

    Mom MD

    1. You are a wonderful woman and mother! Thanks for letting me know how totally wrong I was in suggesting anything else.

      I was so thoughtless.

    2. What pray tell is a "large money-making school" and why are these people so hyper sensitive about their toys, er uh, baby carriages? I think a nerve has been struck. Some real Catholic humility going on in that last comment- NOT!

  18. Pardon, "salary-making school". Good grief!

  19. Sigh. Really? So you're one of those people who thinks if everyone can't succeed or provide good things for their families, no one should be able to?

    You can sneer at "Anonymous" all you like, but she makes a good point -- assuming things about people because of the stroller they are using is pretty darned unChristian, not to mention moronic, especially coming from you. What's it to you, anyway? This is not going to be an issue in your life. Mind your own business. Worry about what God puts on your plate instead of heaping BS on someone else's. You don't know them, you don't know what they paid for their stroller, or how it ends up being a financially wiser purchase than buying five cheaper strollers because they all break down after a while. You don't know if it was a gift, a second-hand purchase, or a loan (my sisters-in-law and I shared many items such as strollers, high chairs, even maternity clothes, for example).

    Also, the same person who is pushing that high end stroller may also be incredibly generous when it comes to supporting charities that help families in need, or mothers in crisis pregnancies. You don't know, and you can't tell just from looking at them.

    Seriously? What are you, the gay Jennifer Fulwiler...? One of the "New Evangelism" Prosperity Catholics? Sheesh.

    Catholicism is deader than a dead thing that's been dead for a very long time.

    1. Catholicism is dead? Really? You might want to have a chat with Harvard's Cultural Club or NY's Satanist Temple.

      In our culture, typically those with high-end consumer goods worship at the mall.

    2. So "typically" gives you the right to judge and condemn others based on the assumptions you've made about them because of an item they happen to own? That's Catholicism? Yep, I stand by my words. Deader than a dead thing that's been dead for a very long time.

  20. Seriously - you know what is so nuts about some of these comments? The people with the state of the art, expensive baby strollers think this post is about them. It's all about you - everything in the world is about how it affects you and what people think about you. My point here was calling attention to the poor people I see who use the cheap umbrella-doll-style strollers. I was noting the difference, not condemning posh people.

    And it isn't a Catholic thing either.


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