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Don’t Treat Me As a PARIAH If I Bring My Pram Into Your Shop!

A beach-side town. A series of cutesy, quirky little stores. A sleeping baby in the pram and a desire to ‘browse’. All very normal, very peaceful elements at play.

Imagine, then, that every store you attempt to enter is either stocked so full of items that the pram (let alone a bigger mobility vehicle like a wheelchair) is impossible to negotiate. Imagine that there are, for reasons unknown, STAIRS throughout the store. Imagine that staff members and fellow shoppers roll their eyes, sniff with disdain and make soft ‘tutting’ sounds about the parent who DARES to try and act like a NORMAL person.

Imagine indeed!

child sitting in the pram in front of the shop doors, eating ice cream and waiting for parent

A series of closed doors in your face

When you cross the line from ‘not-parent’ to ‘parent’, it’s commonly accepted that things are now very different. Demands on time, ability (or desire) to take place in different activities and budget are often hugely different.

However, does that mean that it’s acceptable that you’re excluded from simply browsing in stores? That your very presence (and that of your pram) are treated as utterly offensive by both the people in the store AND the design of it?!

Accessibility

Think about this.

If a pram cannot fit into the store, cannot go up stairs into the store or cannot safely move down the aisle – how would a person in a wheelchair?

Stores are being designed to encourage customers to BUY, BUY, BUY at the expense of space. The flow-on effect of this is that, unless your body is a very certain type of body, you’re being PUSHED OUT of the store and told that you’re not a valued customer. That your money, presence and individuality are ‘no good here’.

It’s not on

We’re often told that the answer to many issues to do with mental health (including postnatal depression) is to become an active member of the community. To get out and about, see new faces and participate.

If, by nature of being a parent who uses a pram to travel, you are EXCLUDED from entry into those communities then that very advice becomes completely redundant. How can a mother, out on her own with a number of small children, take a minute to feel human if she cannot get into the store by nature of its design?

What are your thoughts?

Storm in a teacup or right on? What are your thoughts about being treated (or treating) parents with prams like second class citizens?

 


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9 Comments

  1. 23/10/2017 / 5:58 am

    Great post! My first two were twins so you can imagine the reactions I used to get with a twin pram. It just did not fit in so many situations!

    Ingrid

  2. 23/10/2017 / 6:37 am

    For me it isn’t a big deal because it was never really something that bugged me. but you are right, if a wheelchair can’t get in then it’s something that should matter to us (I’ve been learning about Ableism and realise it’s an area I never think about). So maybe there do need to be rules…

  3. 23/10/2017 / 6:47 am

    We still push our youngest about and do notice this issue. Generally we avoid these places altogether as they are obviously hostile to parents with prams, plus I don’t want to pay for any breakages.
    As for disgruntled customers who tut-tut, I did something once that still makes me giggle even now! (Ssh!)
    Two older ladies in the supermarket were chatting mid-aisle smack-bang in the middle. At the time I was pushing my huge twin pram. (Affectionately named the ‘crowd parter.)
    After waiting patiently for these two to budge, (they knew I was waiting), plus enduring filthy looks from one in particular as well as them ignoring my several ‘excuse me’ attempts, I just rammed my pram forward and ploughed them both, running over the witch’s foot as I did!! 😀
    Funniest thing I ever did as a mum and I can still hear the disgust from the witch and it makes me so happy still!

  4. 23/10/2017 / 7:24 am

    I’d find it annoying and frustrating! I remember this did happen to me a few times when my son was younger. I’ll link up later as I’m having trouble uploading the last photo for my post.

  5. 23/10/2017 / 7:46 am

    Oh god this really grinds my gears. I’ve always thought the same thing about peaks and wheelchairs too. It just doesn’t make good business sense to cut down on your potential customers either.

  6. 23/10/2017 / 9:19 am

    Very annoying and discriminatory! Sorry it happened and it probable happens far too often. D x

  7. 23/10/2017 / 11:17 am

    To be honest, it’s never really bugged me, if there’s ever been a shop like that I’ve just thought, ‘their loss’ and move to the next one. But, the snooty behaviour from store holders is uncalled for and a different kettle of fish.

  8. 23/10/2017 / 11:48 am

    Yes, I remember feeling frustrated with the lack of consideration sometimes. I avoided places that were like this. I also used to just get frustrated at the general public because I found i was the one always giving way to people when they could have easily moved aside…

  9. 23/10/2017 / 4:23 pm

    I was lucky when my son was little I didn’t have too much trouble shopping with my pram. My biggest issue was public transport. Most bus drivers were patient with me getting on and off, making sure we were settled before driving on, some were even nice enough to get up and help me with the pram, but every now and then I would get one that would insist I fold up the pram and sit with my son on my lap. Who on earth expects someone to fold up a pram while balancing a nappy bag and holding a new born baby (and later on a squirmy toddler)?!

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