Healthful Mondays: Walking with babes (and moms behaving badly)

 - by Sarah Lipoff

© Sarah Lipoff 2010

Walking is the way I lost about 20 pounds after the birth of my daughter. I try to walk every day, whether it’s just around the block or along one of the great trails in my area. There’s something about spending time with your child while they are safely tucked into a stroller and sharing the wonders of the world. I invested in a great walking stroller when my daughter was born, and haven’t regretted it since.

Taking a walk is a great way to relieve stress, get the heart rate bumping, and create long lean muscles in the legs, which us women are always dreaming of. Walking is nice and safe, low impact, and doesn’t involve hurtling or hitting moving objects (which always makes me flinch). And, it’s free. WIN!

I’m always on the lookout for other walking mums, ready to hook-up with others that enjoy bonding with their babes while enjoying outdoor exercise. Sometimes I luck out, other times, not so much.

Yesterday, I headed out for one of my favorite walks ready for an interactive experience with my daughter full of stopping to look at leaves, waving at dogs, and general human interaction with strangers.  It was a lovely day – all crisp and bright. The leaves were all shiny and blowing around and it created a cool juxtaposition with the sporadic palm trees. The wee one and I were having a great time enjoying some waving, babbling, and strollering.

I was coming up to another mom walking with a stroller. Could this be an opportunity to make friends – to start a conversation with a fellow mom? As I got a bit closer I could hear her talking and thought how awesome it was that she was chatting away with her child (just like I do!). I walked a little faster trying to catch up. As I got closer I got my smile ready and made sure I didn’t have anything stuck in my teeth that would scare away my future best friend.

I was ready to pass. I came along side and said a quiet, “hello.” She didn’t turn her head, so I said it a bit louder. My future best friend turned to me, raised her hand in the air, and gave me the “one minute” gesture. It was then, at that sad gut wrenching moment I realized she wasn’t chatting happily away at her adorable child, but into a small hidden obnoxious and ridiculous earphone.

I looked down at her small child and smiled big and gave him a super large wave. So did my daughter. I looked back at his mom, who was still talking into her phone, and then back to the boy. I shrugged my shoulders and passed him by.

I was so sad. I understand that sometimes mommies need to make important phone calls or listen to their iPods, but does it have to be when they are spending time with their kids – especially in the great outdoors? What an opportunity to share something special with your child, and encourage her development, wasted.

I decided not to let it bother me and sang the ABC’s with my daughter instead. She doesn’t really know the words yet but she likes to yell along.

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