Bonjour lecteurs! Public transports… Hate it, love it, it is part of London. The expat in me still loves it. But when it is hot and busy, non merci! If there is one thing I really don’t miss since we moved out of London, it is the crowd, the buzz at rush hour. You know when you get on a packed train? L’horreur! Even more when you are pregnant. The whole experience can be uncomfortable and exhausting! Not fun! Even more shocking, a new research commissioned by Mama Mio showed that only 60% of people believe it’s necessary to give up a seat for a pregnant woman on public transport. Stand Up For Mamas-to-Be! Let’s all be behind the new campaign #ExpectingChange with Mama Mio.
Some Shocking Stats
Did you know that only 2% would give up their seat to an expectant mum in the first trimester? And what about these results that nearly half of the population does not see why they should give up their seat for mamans?!
The woman in me is just so annoyed while writing those lines! If there is something I have always loved about British people, it is how polite they are! I remember being a tourist in London and it was so refreshing to see how you folks were so polite compared to Frenchies!
Well, not according to this recent survey!
This is such a shame! Have we lost our manners? I remember many times when I was pregnant, people not offering me a seat. They would avoid looking at me or simply too busy reading the paper or using their phones.
I imagine I can sometimes be guilty of it too. And yet, I am a mama so I know how difficile it can be to travel on the tube or on a busy bus while being pregnant.
#ExpectingChange with Mama Mio
Mama Mio believes that all expectant mums should have the right to a seat, should they want it. And I could not agree more with this! After all, it can be exhausting at times and the last thing you want is to worry or get over-tired.
Plus there are many reserved seats on all public transport around the country. Shall I say that we should not need those really? In my opinion, it should be naturel to give up your seat when you see a pregnant lady boarding.
Le fameux ‘Baby on Board‘ badge was never part of my wardrobe. I did not feel the need to have it. But I get that in the early weeks of pregnancy, you can be extremely tired and it would be a good clue for people to offer you a seat. Later on, when you happen to have a prominent bump, it goes without saying that you should be able to sit down…
So next time you see a lady with a badge or obviously pregnant, offer them your seat.
Remember the #ExpectingChange campaign! After all, British people are famous for their public transport etiquette!
And if you are a mama-to-be, ask for a seat if nobody has the courtesy to stand up for you. Because who matters the most is your baby (and you!).
What Do You Think?
I would love to hear your thoughts about this whole campaign.
Some part of me just thinks that we are all in our little bubble sometimes and we don’t mean to be rude. But still, the statistics shared by Mama Mio are pretty shocking. If anything, it reminds of how self-centred our society can be.
A Lovely Afternoon Tea To Discuss It
As part of Mama Mio’s #ExpectingChange campaign, I was lucky to attend an afternoon of discussion about public transport etiquette and general manners towards pregnant women and mums with Mumsnet last week. Amongst Mother Pukka, Candice Brathwaite and Alison Perry on the panel, a group of mamans discussed the issue.
It became clear that people do not mean to be rude. But it is still a shame that mamas-to-be sometimes feel embarrassed to ask for a seat. It should not be the case! This is what we call manners!
#ExpectingChange – It’s Not Only for Mamas-to-Be…
And it goes further in my opinion. When was the last time you gave up your seat for a maman or an elderly person?
I just had the experience last week on my way to London. Some people had to stand up in the alley as there were no spaces available. The area with priority seats for less able people? Occupied by two youngsters stuck on their phones. An old man boarded the train and not a single soul offered him a seat!
Because I just attended the fabulous event organised by Mama Mio and Mumsnet the same week, I suppose I was more conscious of the whole situation.
When I offered him a seat, he was so apologetic. And even on the way out, he thanked me again. I was happy to stand up for someone who needed it. But another part of me was sad. Triste indeed that nobody else on the carriage thought it was the right thing to do.
Maybe we actually lost our manners…
Some seats are meant for pregnant/disabled/people carrying children on public transport for a raison! Because they need them!
#ExpectingChange with Pushchairs too!
Oh and more thing before I go… Because I could go on and on! The Frenchie in moi loves a good rant!
When you see a maman struggling with her pushchair to board a train or a tube, give her hand! Don’t tell her ‘Sorry, I don’t want to hurt my back’. Yep, it happened to me and eventually, an old man who could have been my grandfather ended up helping me to go down the stairs with Baba fast asleep in his buggy!
Was I crying? Yep! But not because I hurt my back… (I actually did 🙁 I did not want to miss my train so I tried to carry the pushchair on my own!) I cried out of rage that nobody felt that I needed help.
Let’s Stick Together Ladies…
And when I asked people their opinion about TFL‘s provisions online, I basically got told that I was a princess for even expecting people to help me. I was even advised that I should avoid going on the tube on my own with a pushchair!
I mean, come on woman! Why would you go on the train with a baby, right! FYI I actually checked that there was a lift at that station so I would not have bothered anyone with my little existence. But it was broken down! And the TLF staff refused to give me a hand!
Yep, a fellow maman told me so 🙁
And to that kind of mentality where it is absolutely fine to let a heavily pregnant woman stand up for her entire journey or being wrong for asking some help with her buggy, I say a big MERDE! You don’t need translation, right?
It is utterly S***! Feels good to get it out my system!
Thanks for reading #ExpectingChange with Mama Mio! I hope you will have this campaign in mind next time you travel on the TFL.
What kind of experiences have you had on public transport as a maman? Do you find yourself staring at people hoping they will offer you and your bump their seat? Do you think people have lost their manners?
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with Mama Mio & Mumsnet. With a huge MERCI to them both for organising such an important discussion! And merci too to B Bakery London for serving us such a lovely afternoon tea! It helped 🙂