So we, as the in royal we, have entered London on our own (with Peaches) finally. We have also managed to navigate across London with the pram via the underground (and bus and train) on our lonesome. AND stayed overnight in a hotel .
Okay. So, it may not sound so impressive to some. But to those mothers/fathers out there who might have to travel into or through a major city while solo and who are a little trepidatious about it well I say to you : YOU CAN DO IT.
If I can, you can. Yes, it will not be fun at first but as with many things it does get easier.
- - My Pros and Cons of Solo London Travel - -
It sucks. It just does for many reasons (see my posts on commuting while pregnant). You are going to get sweaty and you are going to get stressed. People are not going to take your pram into consideration and they will glare at you even if your child is behaving. Most stations are not so friendly to wheelchairs/strollers/mobility chairs. At least with a buggy you do have the option to plan the friendly route (thus adding at least another 40 minutes to your journey) or carry (struggle with) it the normal route.
Makes your world feel a little less isolating. Gets you out the house and out of your comfort zone for a day. Gives you a little boost of "I got this city parent thing" briefly. Most people would rather not sit near babies/kids, so if it is not rush hour you may get some breathing room.
***Mad props to any wheelchair users who have to commute into London on a daily basis. Seriously. You are amazing/patient/super hero.***
- - - -
As to staying overnight in a hotel, well, Peaches and I loved it. I got to watch live television, have an entire bed to myself and enjoy some air conditioning for a change. She got to sit, play, eat and watch mom constantly from a bed. (Sounds awesome to me!)
The only thing I need to remember for the future is to make sure I get food for myself too. I assumed we would be out for the afternoon and ended up with no dinner. We all now where assumptions lead us, so thank goodness I over packed on baby food!
It's not too disgusting.
I was going to write specifically about public transportation commuting woes (or more likes whoas! Air five to myself) but now want to delve into the main problem.
It is not the exertion of constantly walking from stop to station trying to make connections. Or the extraordinary amount of waiting I do if their are delays, strikes or cancellations.
It is commuters who are stressing me out but more specifically women commuters.
Men may altogether ignore my presence - if I don’t exist they do not need to make leg room available, allow me time to pass or give up their seat on crowded transportation (unless it is a designated area for those less able to stand when they will schlep their lazy butts out of the seat).
This is typical male behaviour I have been experiencing since wearing my “Baby On Board” badge.
Females exhibit slightly different behaviour. Women will glare at me, give me an up-and-down look and verbally make their disapproval known. Oh, some do ignore, do not get me wrong but more often my presence becomes a mental burden that they must communicate to the environment we share. Women will also maintain eye contact as they refuse to share leg room, give up their seat on crowded transportation (including designated areas) or allow me enough space to pass. They whack me with their bags/purses as they pass by, crowd me to an uncomfortable intimate proximity and bump into me hard without apology.
This is not to say that all women exhibit these behaviours, that, would be an ignorant and grossly inaccurate statement. The unkind and unnecessary stress inducing commuting incidents I have experienced have all been caused by women. (So far.)
An example: I asked a women to allow me access to the empty seat beside her which turned into being trapped window-side by an irrate individual who yelled at me the entire 30 minutes. That was the first time I feared for this growing life as she also showed me a large and deep scar on her stomach in the midst of her shouting. (We ended up getting off at the same station, she followed be out and I lost her in a crowd of tourists.)
What was she saying? Cannot say. I did as everyone else in that car and ignored her as I increased my headphone’s volume.
Well, this is a bit of a bummer to end on (believe me, I wish my revelation was not so!) but I just hope women reading this will actively decide to be kinder on our sex. Give ourselves a break and exhibit a smidge more kindness.
Or I could mention the pigeon that flew into my face (yes, smack into my nose like an aggressive tickle with a dense balloon covered in feathers) as I was walking to work.
We both pretended it didn’t happen.
Not an instructional blog but the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth - so help me Mom.