Parent guilt. We have all experienced it at one time or another; I personally, feel some sort of parental guilt almost everyday! But the good news is, we’re not alone people!
Did you know 80% of mums and dads will admit to regularly doubting their own parenting decisions! Eighty percent! That’s ridiculous! Why are we torturing ourselves?! When it comes to the crunch, we are all just trying to do the best we can in the circumstances we have been given.
I know most of my mama guilt comes from wanting/needing to get shit done when the kids actually just need/want their mama. Even little things like sitting and playing Lego for ten minutes silently kills me on the inside as the whole time I am “playing” I am actually sitting there thinking about starting dinner, cleaning the toothpaste from the bathroom sink and hanging out the towels which have been sitting in the machine for the past two days. Oh how I wish I could just learn to relax and let it go!
Well, on Friday I did. I left the house with the breakfast dishes still sitting on the counter, the dishwasher begging to be emptied and the beds unmade (which admittedly, did gave me slight heart palpitations) and headed to the Melbourne Zoo for a day of safari fun and adventure with Stella, Lisa and Penny.
The girls are at a lovely age now where they are starting to really enjoy getting out and about and experience new adventures, so we were super excited when the opportunity presented itself to be able to ditch the prams for the day and push them around in smarTrike Explorer 5 in 1 trikes.
The look on their little faces when they saw their matching purple trikes waiting for them was priceless, they were so excited to have their own mode of transport for the day and it made a great change from having to sit in their prams.
Our girls were not quite confident enough to master the self peddling just yet so we locked the peddles in place and flipped down the footrests instead which allowed them to rest their feet comfortably without having to drag them along the floor as we began our zoo adventure.
The zoo was super busy due to school holidays but we still managed to get around and see most of the exhibits. The girls loved the tigers, giraffes and elephants the best (or ephalants as Penny pronounced them!) They also loved the orangutans, each making little monkey noises as they watched them swing from branch to branch in their enclosure.
Both Stella and Penny utilized the drink bottle compartment at the front of their smarTrikes to store their favourite beanie boo which was handy when it came to identifying who’s trike was whos after a lunch and toilet stop!
The beauty of these smarTrikes is that they grow with your child from 10 months to three years old (Lisa bought her first smarTrike nearly five years ago now and it’s still going strong!) so you really do get value for money as your child develops, eventually learning how to peddle for themselves.
We mama’s loved the zip pocket at the top of the parents handle which easily fitted our car keys, wallets, phones and cameras and the generous size bag which hung on the lower part of the handle was plenty big enough for the girls lunch boxes, spare clothes and sunscreen/hats. There is also a tub compartment located at the base of the trike which would easily fit nappies and baby wipes if you’re heading out for the afternoon and didn’t want to take a bag with you – storage galore!
Another great feature of the smarTrike is the shade canopy which, because we were blessed with a magnificent Spring day, came in handy to keep the sun off the girls faces when they had their “hat refusing” toddler moments.
This particular model of smarTrike was equipped with a 360degree rotating front wheel which meant we were in reasonable control of the bikes without the girls having to steer or pedal. This did, however, become a little frustrating at times as the wheel would lock sideways instead of flowing straight but a quick tap with our feet soon had it back in the correct position, allowing us on our way.
This feature shouldn’t be a problem though when the girls are old enough to steer and peddle themselves as you can easily lock the wheel so the steering goes from right to left (for the more advanced P plater drivers, our girls are still on their L’s!).
The Melbourne Zoo grounds are so well maintained and there is plenty of lovely grass areas for the kids to run about on when they need to stretch their legs. The seat belts on the smarTrikes were quick and easy for us to clip open and shut so the girls were able to get up and down with ease when they had enough of being pushed around. The reclining padded seats also came in handy as the afternoon wore on and the girls started to become a little weary from all the excitement!
Although Stella and Penny are that little bit older, we would have liked a brake to lock the trikes in place on a few occasions (this particular model did not have one although we know some smarTrike models do) as there were times when we parked them for a toilet stop or when we needed them to stay still for a quick photo where the girls thought it was hilarious to promptly plant their feet down on the ground and start “walking off” on us, trikes and all!
The smarTrikes were super comfy for the girls (they sat in them for over three hours on our zoo adventure with no complaints) and we look forward to watching their skills and confidence grow as they learn to peddle and maneuver themselves over the next few months.
The best thing is that once Stella has outgrown the trike, I will be able to convert it back to the 10 month stage for our new baby so you really do get value for money, especially if you purchase one early in your babies development.
After a massive day exploring and pushing (we mums were exhausted too!) the girls absolutely zonked out on the car trip home.
We all had such a fantastic day and we both agree that in the future, the dish washing and bed making can wait without us having to feel any dreaded parent guilt! There are much more important things in life, like getting out and about in the fresh air exploring and watching the smiles on our little girls faces as they experience new adventures.
For more information visit www.smartrike.com
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Mama loves to share was gifted a smarTrike Explorer 5 in 1 but all opinions expressed in this article is 100% our own words and true.