Morning sickness can make you move off your ever expanding behind and say all hail to the porcelain goddess faster than Sarah Jessica Parker can hightail it to a sample shoe sale. But, that’s unfortunately true no matter how close you are to her hallowed porcelain greatness. So, to take the edge off, some grocery chains have made it easier for us baby makers, and given us two less feet to walk into the store. Thanks. While I greatly appreciate it, when it is available, (closer to the store in the rain- yeah!), I have to ask, why? One of the problems is obvious. When can I use the coveted space? Is it when I start to show, because let’s just be honest here, most people tend to look down at the ladies who don’t ‘look’ pregnant as parking thieves just stealing the innocent pregnant lady spots. They just assume we aren’t ‘pregnant enough’. That’s a toughie……as we circle and circle…to park or not to park. Explain on the way in and yell to everyone glaring suspiciously, “hey, it’s okay! I’m Pregnant!” Or, do we just ignore and assume that it was intended just for us because that is the only way it could possibly make any darn sense. After all, suffering through the first trimester morning sickness that extra two feet gives us a faster headstart to, that’s right, the bathroom. But, once the nausea, fatigue, and ‘is she pregnant/or chubby?’ phase is gone, we’ve got the waddle, toots, and elephant ankles. And, now I’m even more completely lost on it’s use.
Some pro pregnancy parking lovers, as I call them, say we need the space, because of the load pregnant women are carrying and might get tired. Are you kidding me? Common sense must not be perched on my window because I thought pregnant women walked around the grocery store (except for extremely rare instances when some pregnant women use the disabled carts). Certainly walking an extra two feet would be fine. In fact, the American Pregnancy Association suggests that a pregnant woman do the exact opposite. The APA says things like walking will alleviate stresses of pregnancy like cramping and other uncomfortable symptoms; therefore, in the long run I should want to walk the extra two feet (I know, I know -try telling me that at the end of a long day, but still….)The APA goes further, suggesting most of us should exercise during the week to stay fit. Not only will our body, in the long run look better, but we will actually be relieving stress from our body, and helping our baby- thus feeling considerably better. So this begs the question: How does encouraging us to park closer to a store, coincide with this healthy lifestyle- one that’s better for both better for baby and mother?
Now, by no means am I saying-” Corporate America, don’t be nice to pregnant women.” Far from it. I would suggest that society has taken a lazy approach on the way they deal with pregnant women. Giving them a parking space seems chivalrous. But, it truly it is not the respect that most pregnant women want or deserve. They simply want the ones that count. Open their doors. Offer them your seat in a fast food restaurant when there are no seats left, their feet are tired. And talk about an actual approach with real ramifications- block off a section in bus seats(heck, any kind of transportation), for the tired, the sick….oops, I meant, pregnant. Here, there should be no argument. After all, standing can truly painful for long periods (and harmful depending the length). All stores should make it mandatory policy that all pregnant woman have bags carried to her car. NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO ASK. Then we can truly say we care about you and your baby. Common courtesy is not replaced by a sign, especially when it has no real meaning. Hey, we’re all in this crazy jungle together. If we’re going to make real changes for pregnant women, let’s make actual, not some, like these, that are the “hobgoblin of small minds”.