ELLINWOOD — Armed with double baby strollers and a sense of humor, five moms walk and talk through the streets of Ellinwood every week day morning.
And, by the end of the year, four of the five moms will be needing triple baby strollers, and building bonds.
They walk when the weather warms up after the cold winter, sharing snacks, everyday life and parenting tips.
The moms are Jessica Dewey, Julie Chamberlin, Sara Wesner, Dana Robl, all of Ellinwood and Amy Stinemetz of Great Bend. Plus, Robl has four boys at home.
The group started a couple of years ago with Wesner and Robl, and now, the group has grown to five moms.
In fact, Stinemetz drives over to Ellinwood from Great Bend to walk with her friends. “It’s nice to have adult conversation,” said Stinemetz.
The moms walk exactly three miles each week day morning on a route that loops through the community. “I thought it was longer,” said one mom.
It takes about an hour.
All five are stay-at-home moms and have no choice but to bring the babies, of course.
For Chamberlin, who moved to Ellinwood in January from Colorado, the friends have already become an important part of her life in the new community. “It means a great deal,” she said.
With babies and toddlers, all sorts of minor emergencies occur, and the kids are kept busy with snacks. They also make emergency stops at the park for the toddlers to use the facilities, staying flexible.
“The kids drop things,” and get restless, and no one minds, said Chamberlin.
The women became acquainted through the First Baptist Church at Ellinwood, forming a bond through mutual love of Jesus. They are all really good friends who socialize outside of church as well in small groups at church and on the occasional play date.
Joining friends helps the woman stay active. “A big group keeps us accountable,” one mom said. “We all have a good time every day.”
“I’d probably not walk,” without them, said Stinementz. “It is fun.”
Concerned about being good citizens, the ladies also said they hoped they weren’t inconveniencing traffic or were too slow about moving over.