Thursday 16 October 2014

Swap 4 wheels for 2 feet for National Walk to School Month

For any working mum, morning traffic can be a bit of a nightmare. Trying to drop off your little ones and get to work on time can be made much more challenging if you have a toddler that refuses to wear his shoes or if you hit the school run traffic, as everyone has somewhere to be and everyone seems to be running late.

This week the RAC in fact announced that the average person spends more than 120 hours stuck in traffic - and I bet a good deal of this is spent on the school run or on the way to work in the morning!

So, with the roads often a no-go area, it's a good thing that it's National Walk to School Month is this month as now is as good a time as any to try leaving the car behind and to pound the pavement instead.

I was fortunate when I was young to live just one road away from infant and junior school, so walking to school from an early age was something easy for my parents and I to do. Things became even easier when I went to secondary school as I lived right next door but many people I knew walked every day or cycled in. I guess we were fortunate in my home town as everything was easily accessible by foot and from a young age it was just the norm to walk or cycle everywhere. I loved it.

Now, living in a suburb of Birmingham and working in the city centre, our lives revolve around my car. We have plenty of things nearby, including Ethan's nursery, but they're all just that little bit too far to walk to most of the time. Particularly when time is the very problem. A trip that takes five to ten minutes in the car can take up to half an hour to walk. If I was working from home, it wouldn't be such a problem but my journey to work takes up to an hour and I just don't have enough time in the mornings as it is, let alone to consider leaving my car behind.

That all being said, I think the message of National Walk to School month is very positive and something that we should all reconsider when and where we can. 

When I was younger, the walk to school was the chance to catch up with friends, and the walk back to talk to my parents about what I had been doing that day. It was also my daily exercise and if I think of my habits now compared to then, I cringe.

As it's my favourite time of year and I love seeing the seasons change and the leaves turn beautiful colours before they fall from the trees, I was keen to leave my car keys behind and try to go out and about with Ethan more. He's still not walking unaided so unfortunately I'm still doing the hard work ofpushing  him or carrying him around but getting outside, taking in some fresh air and making the most of the opportunity to actually look around and enjoy our surroundings, rather than looking at a car bumper, was really refreshing.

My husband even picked Ethan up from nursery a couple of times this week, as I have the car, when I was stuck in traffic. With the darker nights and rain that we've had over the last few days, the roads have really been affected and I've been late getting to Ethan and one day I was 40 minutes late for work - and it's only a seven mile journey from nursery to my office!

Kiddicare kindly sent us a Buggy Snuggle to use with our Chicco stroller (the snuggle is universal and can be used with almost any pushchair) so that we could do our best to get outside more with Ethan for National Walk to School month. It's a really nice fleece pram liner and foot muff which has a handy pocket, for toys or snacks, plus a two way zip so if Ethan's got muddy feet, they can stick out the end rather than getting the snuggle all dirty. It's a great addition to our stroller and has given us the chance to enjoy the new season without worrying about Ethan being cold. The universal rain cover we bought has also come in pretty handy!

It's usually out of necessity we rely on our car which I'm sure is the same for a lot of people. We don't have the time, sadly, to walk Ethan to nursery as the distance is just a little too far when I need to get to work but, when he's school age, there's much more of a chance that walking will be part of our daily routine. I think it's good for us to think of ways in which we can get out and about more on our own two feet rather than four wheels and with a bit of forward planning - getting ready on time and having the right pushchair and accessories - certainly makes it much more possible.

* Thank you to Kiddicare for sending us the Buggy Snuggle to help us get out and about more this month!


  1. What a great idea - I'll try walking to school one day next week.

    Lizzie's Daily Blog

  2. Our school is taking part too. I walk quite often but not since having the new baby. I did on Friday. Our walk is a 1.6mile there and 1.6miles back.

    1. Good on you! It can be hard to do but if you can, then it's a good idea!


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