Traveling with kids in London

I overheard a rather interesting conversation today at work, obviously two blokes in their early 20s without kids. They were fuming about mums on trains/tubes with prams, saying that they should have to pay for the prams, just like cyclists have to pay to take their bikes. Is that actually true?

I have had the pleasure torture of taking Madame on the train and I can assure you that it wasn’t pleasant; I liken it to chewing my own arm off. On one occasion I was travelling to Gatwick during rush hour, when she was ten months old on my own and you can imagine the paraphernalia, as we were going away for a month. I did plump for a 1st class ticket to guarantee we had our own seat. But the evil stares, if looks could kill.

I’m really sorry but if I had any other choice I can assure you that I wouldn’t travel with a toddler during rush hour, but think about it would anyone? The next time you get the arse with a mum and pram stop and think about it for a minute. We do it because we have to and not to inconvenience you. It’s not like we can chain her to a sign post like a bike!

What do you think?

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Author: mediocremum

A slightly older mum of one, who drinks far too much red wine and has an unhealthy obsession with her slow cooker. During the day she's an ICT Trainer, Social Media/Online Marketing consultant and does a bit of public speaking. Full Profile on Google+

12 thoughts on “Traveling with kids in London”

  1. In Feb half term we took the kids to London on the train! 5yr old, 4yr old & then 4mth old….never again!

    On way back hubby was trying to stay out of people’s way with the pushchair, so he stood at the back of the carriage. At our stop he went to get out the door & some impatient man in too much of a rush, decided to push past the pushchair! It was a single door and hubby was half way out. He nearly fell on my baby!!!!

    Who can’t people just be a bit more patient!! We’re entitled to use the service too!!!

    So not only did I have to sell an organ to pay for the actual tickets, my 4mth old nearly got squashed!!Grrr

  2. I don’t think bikes usually have to pay extra – I never have anyway! You do have to put them in a separate carriage often and commuters HATE bikes too! In fact most people hate most things I think…! I take school kids on tubes and trains for school trips and sometimes people are SO rude – and we have some really really well-behaved children, so I totally see how you feel.

    1. My hubby commutes into London everyday and I can appreciate, to a degree, a level of grumpiness as they have to continually deal with inadequacies of our public transport system. But, they shouldn’t take it out on us. :-)

  3. Absolutely not! You can hardly choose not to take a pram/pushchair can you, particularly if you have more than one baby at once. I just dont understand this all pervading hostility towards babies & children in this country. It’s in evidence everywhere. It’s as though mothers shouldn’t dare venture from their houses until their children are big enough not to need equipment.
    What these selfish beings fail to realise is that it might just take two hours to get ready to take a baby out. It might also have been the first time a new or nervous mother has taken her baby out.
    It’s enough of a challenge to brave the public transport system never mind the underground. Rude and unhelpful people just compound what is already a very stressful situation.
    I have had people literally walk over the head of one of my twins to get out of a lift in a station as my pushchair was too wide to get past. The contempt shown to what are essentially little people is mind boggling sometimes!
    Fran x

    1. But weirdly, I find, once I’m off the train and in the stations, so many men in suits have stopped to help me negotiate the stairs……

      1. Ha ha yes, had forgotten about that. Have had people literally take over and carry the whole thing while I follow behind. Lots of clucking from people “poor dear, two babies”

  4. I always try to park the pushchair in the disabled section as it doesn’t get in the way so much.
    No way should you have to pay for prams. I never travel at rush hour to avoid the added stress of cross commuters.
    Oh and I don’t know about the tube but you don’t have to pay for bikes on the trains. My SIL travels with her bike fairly often.

    When those men have children they’ll change their tunes lol

    1. Interesting you mention that, I was having a chat with my friend whose daughter is severely disable and she was moaning about kids taking up this section of the train??? But I’m sure most parents, if they saw a disabled child then they would move.

  5. I have been commuting in and out of central London with my son from around 7 months old. We use buses and trains. Largely speaking we havent had any problems. And thats rush hour every work day. I have found that I get more stressed than the other passengers to be honest, as I have never been the sort of parent who is comfortable in a confined space if my lovely child is being loud, crying etc. When we first started, I actually got off the bus a few times, miles from home, just because I couldnt settle my son. I just felt everyone was hating me etc. Now hes older & Im over that new Mum stage, I wouldnt do that, put myself out for the odd one or two that are bothered. Anyway to go back to original point, commuters are parents too, and quite often cannot avoid having to use daycare near their office.

  6. It’s amazing how quickly our skin gets thicker. I used to stress when she was little as well and have walked out of many a place.

  7. Its a tough one – I pay hundreds of pounds to commute into London each week and bikes are (unless they are folded) banned in rush hour and I often have to stand and there literally isn’t room for another person let alone a buggy so if people can avoid travelling with children in peak hours then yes, they should do

    But if people do have to travel then they will generally find people willing to help them BUT they have to understand the pressures of commuting – that it is crowded, that screaming children can make it hard to take the calls you have to and that it is because the train companies need to invest more in their service rather than that the commuters are to blame

    And by the way, slings rather than buggies are so the way forward for travelling with kids – I’ve not had any issues taking mine into town but I am anti-buggy and make them walk lots

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