Mom Wants Stroller-Users to Get Special Privileges in Public

stroller on subway

So I've heard that a mom named Michelle Parker in Chicago has started a petition to get strollers treated like wheelchairs on public transit. Which sounds ludicrous, right? People in wheelchairs are disabled; moms with strollers are not. Yet at the risk of ruffling all those stroller haters out there, I've gotta say I'm fully behind this petition with all my Maclaren-pushing might.

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Here's why: Currently, in Chicago where this petition originated, moms with strollers are treated like second-class citizens. For instance, Parker was inspired to start this petition after a bus driver demanded she fold up her stroller once she'd boarded the bus. Which sounds fine, at least in theory. Strollers are space hogs. But the reality is quite different.

Think about it: if you're a mom who's boarding a bus with a baby, it's dang hard to take your baby out, hold him, fold up your stroller, then hold your stroller and your baby and your diaper bag and everything else you need to carry (add a bag of groceries to that mix and we are in serious trouble).

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This insane juggling act is even worse if you've got an infant, since they can't use a small, collapsible umbrella stroller until around four to six months. So you're stuck with one of those honking big ones. Unless you're husband's on the bus with you or a friendly stranger pitches in, there's no way you'll collapse that stroller on your own. And then, where do you put it? By now, of course, the bus is already lurching ahead, since unless how patiently he waits for someone in a wheelchair to get all nice and situated, he couldn't care less about you as you try to steady yourself, your stroller, your belongings, and hang onto your bobble-headed baby for dear life.

So in a way, I think moms with strollers ARE kinda disabled. And as such, I think they have a right to that spacious priority seating up front on the bus, where they can avoid this whole challenge of trying to fold up their stroller at all. Sure, I think the truly disabled and the elderly should get those seats first, but moms should have dibs on them if they're free.

There's so much stroller hatred out there, but you know what I say to them? Try carrying around an infant and everything else an infant needs in a stroller for a week and see how you manage -- squeezing through doors, getting up and down stairs, and yes, on the bus -- then come talk to me. This is a Rosa Parks-style moment for stroller pushers, and it's time to refuse to get pushed to the back of the bus!

Do you think strollers deserve the same rights as wheelchairs?

 

Image via Chubykin Arkady/shutterstock

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