Moms Would Get More Respect if They'd Stop Being So Whiny


strollerCity planner Alyse Nelson wrote a post yesterday about how she about died of embarrassment the first time she rode the bus with her son. The bus driver had the audacity to tell her to fold her stroller before coming on board! The rest of the post is all about how this rule discourages people from riding the bus, and wouldn't it be nice if we could be more like Copenhagen, where their aircraft-carrier-sized buses allow un-folded strollers and priority seating for parents of tots. 

Is this for real? This complaint, I mean, not Copenhagen. Lord have mercy. In all my years of riding the bus all over Brooklyn, where we have the same rule, I've only seen a certain type of privileged, entitled parents complain about having to fold up their strollers. I know getting around a city with a toddler can feel like an acrobatic feat. I lived it! And you know what? Then my kid got older and life went on.

So okay, let's get into it. Let's talk about why this post just makes my nostrils flare. First of all, I actually think the folded stroller rule makes life easier and safer for most of the people who ride the bus. It's a sensible rule. And it is NOT what keeps people from using public transportation. To imply as much is insulting to those of us (majority of ridership) who have no choice. I don't own a car! Would it be nice to have some sort of stroller parking on the bus? Sure -- but even better would be if the freakin' buses ran on time! And if the city would stop cutting crucial bus lines that people rely on. In my mind, unfolded stroller accommodation is pie-in-the-sky. We're lucky there's wheelchair accommodation.

If you're a real environmentalist, and you want to ride the bus with your toddler, you just make it work -- for you AND FOR EVERYONE ELSE! And this is the part that drives me crazy. I know that our society makes parenting unnecessarily difficult sometimes -- take our inadequate parental leave policies. But if you want the non-parenting public to respect your decision to have children, if you want people to give you a break every once in a while if your kid cries in public, if you want everyone to get on board with family-friendly policy -- then you need to act like a sensible person.

That means, act as if you recognize that you and your little darlin' are not the center of the universe. Sometimes you have to cramp your style a bit to help make your city a peaceable kingdom. Sometimes you need to use a lightweight umbrella stroller, take a few seconds to fold it BEFORE the bus arrives, and maybe not bring so much crap around with you all the time. (Ask me how -- I turned minimalist parenting into an art.) Because the wheels on the bus do NOT go round and round just for you.

Do you use public transportation with your toddler?

Image via Graham and Sheila/Flickr

gear, toddler activities, travel


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mande... manderspanders

Amen to this. Thank you for saying it

Ohmys... Ohmyskittles

Exactly! I swear mothers are so entitled. "we want special parking, we want special seating, my kid should be allowed at your child free wedding, waaa waaa waaa." mothers these days whine more then their screaming babies. Being a mother is a respectable thing but they need to get over themselves. Mothers think the whole world revolves around them and their child. Stop raising equally selfish kids. Airplanes and restaurants can not allow kids if they want to. Stop whining and accept kids can be a little annoying. I'm sure your precious little angle is fine, but there are terrible kids out there.

Zyva Zyva

My husband drives a transit bus for a living, so yes, we do take the transit bus to get around while he's at work. Course it's free for my children and me.  However all of the drivers are required to get off and FOLD your stroller for you, and then load it on, and then likewise when you stop they get out and unfold it for you. It's a joke with one of the drivers that usually take us home as he's a bit older and is "All of these new strollers are difficult some don't fold the same as others etc.." it was terribly cute. 

The ones to watch out for are the mentally interesting people that ride the bus. 


Which of course has nothing to do with your post heh. 

nonmember avatar zizzler

If you have a baby, you should be carrying it (sling/bjorn/arms etc) and if you're going on a bus, use an umbrella stroller for a toddler. They fold up with ease and take no space. I can't believe people and their huge suv-like strollers!

orang... orangetree

Kind of sounds to me like you are the one who is whining

ArmyW... ArmyWife8297

A lot of your bloggers are annoying!

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

The stroller folding rule bugs me so I don't use buses in this country. Trying to hold a baby and a stroller and your bags is ridiculous. I will however happily use a bus while traveling in the UK where buses have a section for strollers. It makes far more sense. Better to take out a couple of seats and have kids sitting safely in strollers than to delay buses while people try to disassemble and get settled. It's not about entitled mommies, it's about doing what is best for all concerned.

eeyore13 eeyore13

I agree.  It isn't just the buses.  It is at the mall, on the sidewalk, in a resturant, etc.  Why do stroller moms feel the need to take up so much space?  I have twins and didn't feel the need to take the stroller everywhere we went nor to take up as much room as a small car when we went places.

PonyC... PonyChaser

That's a great idea, Rhonda, but people are already complaining about the price of public transportation. Removing seats from existing buses, or worse, purchasing a whole new fleet of buses to accomodate parents who don't understand how to pack light and be considerate of others would cause massive price increases.

MegTh... MegTheGem

So far, I'm very lucky not to have had to. That isn't to say I haven't used public transport before; from the time I was 11 to just about the end of my first year of marriage (only a few years ago; hubby was in Iraq), I relied solely on public transport.

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