Do you think being pregnant means you should have more convenient access to the places you need to go? Does having a baby on board give you the right to cut in line?
I wouldn't say that the world is exactly brimming over with opportunities for pregnant women to receive preferential treatment. Pregnancy is a normal physiological process, after all, and most of us are expected to carry out our usual duties when we're expecting a child. But the idea of a "pregnant ladies don't have to stand in line" policy made me think of a teeny, tiny pet peeve of mine.
Stork parking. You know, the parking spots—usually at Babies 'R' Us—that are reserved for pregnant moms. Nothing against pregnant women, but ... I kind of hate that stupid freaking sign.
I know, I know, I sound like a bitter old crank who's just jealous she isn't pregnant right this very instant. Oh, you got me there—I SO wish I were lumbering around with itchy hemorrhoids and missile-sized boobs just for the thrill of parking next to the handicapped spaces. Not.
It's just that if any able-bodied person on this earth could use a closer parking spot, it's the mother who has one or more children on the OUTSIDE of her body. I mean, come on, a fetus might be uncomfortable, but at least the child is self-contained. Pregnancy is a cake walk compared to the logistical ass-painery of ferrying children through parking lots once they're born. If you're not chasing them down to make sure they don't blindly run out in front of a moving vehicle, you're wrestling them into strollers or hefting them in arm-cracking carseats. Even now that my kids are 6 and 3, I feel like a bug-eyed Border collie whenever we navigate a parking lot, because children can be—well, there's no nice way to say this: CHILDREN CAN BE STUPID AS HELL.
In comparison, a pregnant woman typically only has to worry about whether her ever-increasing ass will fit between the parking spaces as she waddles in to survey the burp cloths. I'm just saying: I may have been Michelin-sized when I was pregnant, but it was a damn sight easier to get around than it is now that I have two kids in tow.
I realize some pregnant women have health issues that affect their mobility, but ... well, is that not what a temporary handicap placard is for?
It's pretty obvious that when Babies 'R' Us puts up a stork parking sign, it's just a customer appreciation effort—something that markets to their target demographic. It makes sense there, even if it does irritate me a bit. But when stork parking shows up at grocery stores and other places, it seems a little ridiculous to give preferential parking to someone who isn't handicapped.
I'd rather see a store focus on making the aisles wide enough and the carts safe enough. Or better yet, if our society would like to provide a more convenient situation for pregnant women, how about more flexible work situations, better maternity leave, and health insurance that actually covers our medical expenses?
What do you think about stork parking? Have you used it?
Image via Flickr/Zcopley