My name is Suzi, and I’m a pramaholic

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 Photo: Getty Images

My name is Suzi, and I'm a recovering pramaholic.

It was during my first pregnancy in 2004 when I was hit with a lightning bolt. Waddling along a footpath one day, I spotted my dream pram. It was the Mountain Buggy Urban. Many mums were pounding the pavements with an Urban but I was alarmed to discover they were about $700, so it was an extravagance I couldn't allow.

I pushed down the desire and kept my hulking 14kg pram... for a while anyway. I actually couldn't use it for ages because I had an emergency c-section and couldn't lift it up my apartment stairs nor into the boot of my car for storage in the weeks before I could drive again. 

The first minute I could drive, I bid on an older style Urban on eBay, picked it up and got on with things in the very best way - by getting out and about with my baby. I felt truly renewed and my physical strength returned. I felt a growing bond with my son after our challenging start.

My pram obsession was born, and the pattern was set.

I then saved up for a brand new Urban. With an adjustable handlebar, more comfortable seat and new suspension system, we took it on a glacier in New Zealand, across fields, dirt roads, gravel and up to the supermarket where it fit through the checkout just fine.

Then I got curious about the first edition of the Bugaboo Cameleon, so I saved for one and waited for a sale. I brought the Bug home and happily switched between it and the Urban.

My second son arrived, so I bought the Phil and Teds tandem. The boys loved it, my youngest perched out there in the back and me loving the ease of walking with two kids close in age. I sold my Urban at what I call 'the sweet spot' of its value; I'd had good use out of it, it was still pristine thanks to the liners I used, and fetched a good portion of my money back.

I had thought I was alone in my devotion, but I became a founding member of an online group of self-confessed pramaholics. We convened regularly and revelled in (then) unusual makes such as the Stokke Xplory, the hybrid Micralite, the zippy Quinny Zapp while still loving the hardy, practical Maclarens. We were a community... friends.

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Skipping some years, a few prams, and the arrival of a third son, my very last pram - the GB Pockit - took us all over Japan with our three children. That handy travel stroller meant my 3-year-old could sleep on a huge day out travelling. That rest meant we could focus on our older children; precious moments spent with them, not dominated by the demands of a toddler. 

Being a pramaholic wasn't about status. I was careful with our money, only bought when we could afford it and I maintained my prams for best resale value. We did things we enjoyed, went places we otherwise may not have with spirited young children. I indulged my interest in product design and gadgets.

The right pram gave opportunity for reprieve for both parents and children. They kept my active sons safe while still seeing the world and I got fitter. The truth is that those prams allowed me to access life.

If you are also a pramaholic and feel guilt about it, or think it isn't a "real" interest, then think about me; I've made friends that I still have. I have employment thanks to my obsession, spending the last decade parenting product writing. And in my first days of motherhood, it gave me a lighthearted escape from a very serious task.

If this gives no comfort, then have heart - it doesn't and can't last. One day, you'll look back with fondness at the prams that cradled your beloved babies on their very first adventures.