Something I’d never thought about before having a baby was how awkward pushchairs are. Now looking back – I feel I took for granted that freedom of being able to go into any cafe and sit anywhere, to walk freely around any shop, using escalators without a second thought. Now my life is filled with working out whether I can manoeuvre the pushchair around the clothes stands in shops, which tables have a space big enough for a pushchair, which doors I can get through without needing a helping hand and of course working out where the lift is! What was once a quick dash into the shops has become a planned out military operation.
When visiting a cafe or restaurant with friends who don’t have children I actually ended up texting ahead to check they’d booked a table with room for the little man as well as me! In fact on the one occasion I went out for a Sunday lunch without him I found myself scouting out which tables were suitable if I happened to visit again.
This problem extends to baby changing facilities. Don’t expect to be able to go for a wee if you are out and about with your baby on your own. Admittedly, some places do have baby changing rooms with a toilet in them, however I have been shocked by the number of places that don’t have separate baby changing rooms and only have a table that pulls down within the normal toilets. This may mean baby can be changed, but unless you plan to leave your baby outside the toilet while you go for a wee or leave the toilet door open you don’t stand a chance!
Surprisingly, my local mothercare is one of the culprits! They have a baby changing table within the main toilets but if you need a wee yourself it’s out of the main toilets and off to the disabled toilet. This might seem like a really trivial niggle but I find it so frustrating when I’m dying for a wee!