I hadn’t thought to ask …

Read a letter on this newspaper by a mom arguing for the case of allowing open strollers on board buses on the Straits Times. (see below)

When i read the letter, i thought the mommy brought up a very valid point for me. Even with wheelchair friendly buses, the rules are we are not allowed to board the bus with open strollers and babies inside. Parents are to carry the babies in our arms and fold up the strollers.

This really poses a very big inconvenience to our lifestyle.

As a Stay at home mom, I need to do grocery shopping, and need to travel- often alone with no help with hubby at work. Sometimes even with a preschooler in tow. With this bus rule, we are very much grounded because any moms would agree that rousing the babies from their sleep by digging them out of a stroller is itself a huge inconvenience. ALL of us know how difficult babies fall asleep so when they sleep, you do not touch them!

As it is, it is no mean feat trying to carry a loaded stroller up the steps of a bus. With wheelchair friendly buses, one would think the problem is solved. Only to be told open strollers aren’t allowed on a bus which allows for wheelchair! Hello, you look at a stroller- wheel, check. Chair – check. So why the double standard?

As a mom whose life and work are greatly limited by this rule, I am surprised I never thought to stand up and ask for a change.

Deep in my heart, i know I have no strong case against the safety concern. Although buses are generally safe, as they travel slower. I also feel that people generally will not listen to our points.

If you are not the person going through the hardship itself, you will not feel the pinch. To most people reading the letter, they will just think mommy is spoilt and thinks the world revolves around her, and nothing of the inconvenience it causes to other bus users just waiting up for her.

But we, mommies own this space too, and have as much right as the others who demand for spaces. I can argue that we perform a great service to the nation by caring for the next generation and should have our travel needs attended to as well. This is no ostentious need. We are not needing it so that we can go gucci shopping on a bus when baby sleeps.

Moms need to go places too. Run errands, buy groceries and other household items. Dads are rare commodities since it became vogue to work past knock off time at work. Mommies carry the load of the whole household alone .

The reality is, resources are scarce. No matter what bothers you, if you want change hard enough, you have to LOBBY for it. Everyone fights for his or her own interest and we just try vaguely to sound right.

As a homemaker, I realise I have subdued a lot of rights in asking for a change to circumstances which makes my life more difficult. You just find a way around it. I can’t remember how many times I have groaned at having to push the stroller home a couple of bus stops after grocery shopping.

If you can make mom’s life a little easier, why won’t you?

But nope, as far as I know, I don’t believe people will be sympathetic here. Not in Singapore when everyone feels squeezed enough themselves.

#########

Mum seeks clarity on stroller rule aboard buses the wheelchair-friendly

ON JUNE 18, around noon, as I was about to board the wheelchair-friendly SBS 5117R with my baby asleep on a stroller, I was told by the bus driver I had to fold the stroller and then board the vehicle.

I requested that I be allowed to board with the stroller unfolded as my baby was asleep but it was turned down. I pointed out that I had boarded other buses without folding it, but that cut no ice with the driver.

Before I could take my baby out of the stroller, the driver started to move off. I had to ask him to stop the bus, which he thankfully did, before I could do as instructed. After that, I looked around for signs prohibiting open strollers but there was none.

I urge the authorities to confirm whether strollers can be taken aboard buses, without folding them, especially when children are asleep. That would help women who have to single-handedly manage their strollers from being caught in the same situation.

To be fair, I would like to take the opportunity to thank the many friendly bus drivers who waited patiently for me to manoeuvre the stroller up their buses over the last five years, whether my sons were asleep or not. And kudos to those who even got off their driver’s seat to offer their help to carry the stroller up their buses.

Tan Suat Lay (Ms)

This entry was posted in Housewife Tales. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to I hadn’t thought to ask …

  1. Youlgo says:

    你不说我还不知道手推车不可以上巴士。nz巴士,都有特别给轮椅和婴儿手推车的位子。没有用到椅子可以放下来,普通人可以做。

  2. earthtone says:

    nz – first world; singapore – second world.

  3. Youlgo says:

    新加坡不是2nd world啦。马来西亚可能不要给你上车呢

  4. earthtone says:

    Definitely 2nd world to me, youlgo.
    Infrastructure is first world, but culture and graciousness and maturity all 2nd world. Note i didn’t say 3rd world. We are better than 3rd world but talk about first world in those aspects? So not there yet.

    Malaysia is 2.5 world to me …hehe.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s