to wonder why people don't help parents with prams etc

(51 Posts)
Pongwiffy Wed 05-Dec-12 09:07:20

As the title suggests. I was in a busy coffee shop yesterday, I got up holding 6 month old DD three times to hold open the door for people struggling to get in with prams and babies. Other people were sat by the door and people next to me commented upon how one mother was struggling. I'm in my 20's so am still fairly young. The coffee shop clientele was mainly people my age or younger. Is this a common thing now or just in my area?

I've noticed it in other places. I was raised to hold open doors etc, am I hopelessly out dated already?!

Icelollycraving Wed 05-Dec-12 09:09:33

Being kind is never out of date.

WorraLorraTurkey Wed 05-Dec-12 09:11:49

Plenty of people do help.

If you kept getting up, that's probably why no-one else felt the need to.

There are some ignorant bastards around but there are also plenty of helpful ones.

adeucalione Wed 05-Dec-12 09:13:02

I would always hold a door open for the person behind me, and have helped people carry prams up stairs etc but I probably wouldn't get up from a table to open a door tbh.

First of all, I wouldn't even notice them if I was in conversation or reading, and if I did notice them I would think 'they are having a minor difficulty that will be resolved by the time I get there'.

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 05-Dec-12 09:14:26

I do. I was really narked a while back that I held open a door for someone with a pram coming the other way, and people walked around me to push past while she and I stood there looking at each other! angry

OTOH I do occasionally notice people who don't like you to try to help because they know what they're doing and just want to do it slowly.

Someone offered to help me this morning to get off the train with the pram. I don't expect the help though to be honest. I presume they don't notice, they may even be incapable of helping. In general I find people are very polite and helpful. I'm up north :-)

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 05-Dec-12 09:15:21

(Yes, ok, if that left me 'really narked' clearly I have few problems in life/an over-active Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells complex)

Mrsjay Wed 05-Dec-12 09:16:04

I always hold doors open for prams and buggys and people behind me not everybody is rude maybe they saw you get up and do it that they didnt bother , but some folk are just rude or dont notice people sturggling ,

PuffPants Wed 05-Dec-12 09:16:50

YABU - I find the majority of people are lovely about helping with doors/steps etc. However, I see it as a courtesy not a duty. It was my choice to have a baby not theirs.

In your situation, people let you hold the door because you kept jumping up to do it. It doesn't take a swat team. Do you think we should all be on permanent pram-watch as we go about our lives?

Pongwiffy Wed 05-Dec-12 09:19:38

I didn't jump up straight away as they were approaching! But only after it was clear they were struggling and there was plenty of time for others to help. I guess I just like common courtesy.

FeckOffCup Wed 05-Dec-12 09:25:49

Before I had a baby prams and buggies didn't really register on my radar, I probably would have been pretty oblivious to someone with one unless they actually asked for help in which case of course I would have helped them. Now I have a young child I am more aware of how it can be difficult to get through doors and up and down steps so I would try to catch the parent's eye and see if they could do with a hand if I don't already have my hands full with my own DD. Sometimes it's just that people don't really notice rather than being deliberately rude.

redskyatnight Wed 05-Dec-12 09:28:53

... but on the flipside I've got up to help parents with prams/young children and got an earful that they can manage perfectly well thank you. I'm now more likely to take a step back and wait to be asked to help or until it is obvious that the person really can't manage.

AppleOgies Wed 05-Dec-12 09:31:18

I found that I always had help and cars always stopped to let me cross roads etc... I was obviously very lucky!

BlueberryHill Wed 05-Dec-12 09:34:42

I get lots of help, mind you I have a double buggy with twins so it is difficult to miss me. I'm also up north in a small town / village which I think makes a difference. I notice more now if people need help, not just prams etc, maybe it is an age thing here. I do ask if they need help too.

Try Switzerland, on holiday with DH, DS and loads of luggage travelling by train. We had about 3 / 4 mins to change train and two teenagers leapt out of their seats, helped us get the pushchair plus luggage off the train. Really lovely.

Fakebook Wed 05-Dec-12 09:35:00

I've always had help on buses, lifts, even in the London Underground when my husband is with me we have loads of men and women offering to help us up or down the stairs. Must be where you live.

WorraLorraTurkey Wed 05-Dec-12 09:39:49

I used to have lots of help here too (London)

Sometimes it's a matter of the other person guessing at what point you actually need help because plenty of people struggle for the first couple of seconds, and then manage perfectly well.

Talking of that, when I had a buggy and I was at the point where I could actually get through the door...I used to 'struggle' for a second or two longer if I saw someone leaving their table and heading towards me.

Just so they didn't feel embarrassed at getting up for nothing grin

EasilyBored Wed 05-Dec-12 09:42:57

I always hold the door for the next person, regardless of pram issues, it's just polite.

A couple of months ago, a lovely man helped carry my pram up 2 flights of stairs and broken escalator (lift also broken) at a train station, while also carrying his own suitcase. I hope the universe was extra nice to him that day. A stranger also helped me carry my pram onto the train on the way home that day (as DS was asleep). There are more nice, considerate, people in this world, than there are rude ones, I've found.

ethelb Wed 05-Dec-12 09:45:19


I used to help people with their buggies when people went out with smaller buggies. It was a piece of piss to pick up one end of a Maclaren foldy up thingy. I remember men used to pick up the whole thing while the mum ferried her other children on the train/up the stairs.

Now there is no way I could even begin to lift up the buggies that people attempt the tube on. Not without putting my stuff down for example, which isn't an option on the tube (bus or train).

I do offer my seat to mums with children and offer to stand with the buggy while they sit at the back though. That's still possible.

threesocksfullofchocs Wed 05-Dec-12 09:46:53

I always open doors, but never help lift(am a carer so can't risk it)

choceyes Wed 05-Dec-12 09:46:54

People do help, especially on the tube. Less so in other places. I wouldn't expect somebody to get up from their table to help me though, and I wouldn't do it either, unless I was sitting right by the door, and not 3 times whilst holding a small baby! You are a better person than me smile

ethelb Wed 05-Dec-12 09:47:30

"I do. I was really narked a while back that I held open a door for someone with a pram coming the other way, and people walked around me to push past while she and I stood there looking at each other!"

Oh yes and if you stand back to let someone who needs it more room to get on get off, everyone just moves to fill the space!

MrsHoarder Wed 05-Dec-12 09:52:51

I find lots of people are very helpful. I can't get near a flight of steps or shut door with the buggy without someone offering me a hand. Yes there are a lot of oblivious people, but I generally assume that's not malice.

Frontpaw Wed 05-Dec-12 09:55:26

I do but not when by back is playing up! I'm amazespd at how many people don't know how to manoeuvre a pram - trying to go upstairs forwards with a small front wheeled pram is really hard!

SquishyCinnamonSwirls Wed 05-Dec-12 10:01:00

I think people in general are more busy/less community minded/more self absorbed and just don't give a monkey's about anyone other than themselves sometimes.

I'm raising my dd to be polite, say thankyou and to be helpful and considerate to others. It would be nice if the rest of the population did the same.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 05-Dec-12 10:25:11

I help with doors or stairs for people that are struggling, but I can't say I'd fancy getting up every five minutes to help while I was sitting in a coffee shop trying to enjoy an overpriced coffee. In that situation, lots of people will be distracted by their book/laptop/conversation with their friend/whatever they are eating.

I don't think someone can be accused of having a lack of common courtesy for not leaving whatever they are doing to help. If they are walking past someone who is struggling and they ignore them then maybe, but not if they are trying to do something else.

lola88 Wed 05-Dec-12 10:42:05

My neighbour sits in her car pretending to be on her phone whenever i'm struggling up the front steps with the buggy the second i'm in the house suddenly she jumps out the car it is so annoying especially as she parks in my space.

I find teenage boys are very helpful one took DN down an icy hill while i took the buggy down on sat and his friend walked infront of me saying 'incase the buggy goes flyin it will just crash into me not go on the road' it was very sweet.

I always help, with doors or stairs and off trains.

I have also been helped too when I had the pram, especially by business suited people on the underground smile

Because it was your choice to have children and why would you expect people to put themselves out for you... or summat like that wink

Actually i find most people very helpful when i'm out and about and i aim to be helpful too. And my left shift key isn't working... sad

TwasTheDawnDeeforeXmas Wed 05-Dec-12 10:49:23

yy to teenage boys being the best (or ime most prolific) helpers.

They hold doors open, help lift the pram on and off buses, move out of the way to let me pass. Don't know what it is but mums/dads of boys are doing a damn fine job round where i live smile

hazeyjane Wed 05-Dec-12 10:51:02

I once had 2 lovely old ladies help me lift ds in his pushchair onto a bus. He was asleep and I was trying to get him out, when one of them said, 'oh don't wake him up, we'll help' they took the front end and I hoiked up the back. They were lovely.

If no-one offers to help and i am struggling, then I always ask people, because most people aren't being rude, they are just in their own little world, and quite happy to help if you ask them.

5dcsandallthelittlesantahats Wed 05-Dec-12 10:52:58

I often have people offering to help - apart from oddly on buses where I have asked and been refused quite a few times. It really seems to depend on the situation how many people help. Holding doors fine, helping to hold baby while folding buggy is not.

I also have to agree in teenage boys being the ones who usually offer.

WorraLorraTurkey Wed 05-Dec-12 11:35:42

Actually thinking about it

When my kids were little, it was nearly always men and boys who offered to help

Hardly ever women? confused

WelshMaenad Wed 05-Dec-12 11:39:20

It's been a rare occurrence that I've not been offered help when out with the pram, or Dd's wheelchair. On one occasion I mistakenly thought a train station had a lift when it didn't, and two teenage boys carried my pram up about 100 steps whilst I followed carrying baby dd.

I think people are still intrinsically kind. Maybe it's where I am, though, Cardiff/valleys folk are pretty friendly by nature.

Frontpaw Wed 05-Dec-12 11:47:54

I once gave a new mum a masterclass in bugaboo manoeuvres and folding in the park! She had locked the wheels and was bashing it to get the carrycot bit off. She was getting annoyed, and we had had one similar, so I had already had my John Cleese moment with mine.

LadyMaryCrawley Wed 05-Dec-12 12:04:44

Re the boys/men being more helpful, well... last week at antenatal class we were all in the waiting area beforehand and there were at least three very pregnant ladies standing while various accompanying men were sitting... maybe they all had mobility issues, but it didn't look like it.

Then again, we had a dance rehearsal here a couple of weeks ago. I had to go up to the stage to speak to our techie, and just as I opened the stage door to walk through it a stream of teenage girls scampered past me as if I didn't exist and two of them managed to smack into my (prominent, unmissable) baby bump and didn't even apologise, let alone say "thank you" as I held the door open!


PrincessScrumpy Wed 05-Dec-12 12:34:41

I have twins and never expect help but I am lucky enough to have experienced lots of very kind and helpful people in the West Country. Some people may have back issues, be post op etc that stop them holding heavy doors etc - never assume people are in a position to help, you don't know what is going on in their lives. Most people are lovely imho

I helped someone with a buggy trying to get on a train in South London yesterday. I have carried buggies up tube stairs. I have also carried a 4?? yo boy off the bub (Mum there, but v pregnant with another small child).

JingleBellsRawSharkSmells Wed 05-Dec-12 12:49:35

I was very ignorant and never offered. Since DS i have seen the error of my ways and am now double helpful to make up blush

MrsMarigold Wed 05-Dec-12 13:06:19

I 've always offered to help and it seems like karma people always offer to help me - I have two children under 18 months and live in London - I go everywhere - tube, trains, bus etc and have never had a problem.

DeWe Wed 05-Dec-12 14:23:10

Having been round lots of places with prams etc. for over 10 years, I don't think I've ever been in a situation where I've thought that I need help and it hasn't been offered. Even in London I always had someone offer to help up stairs and onto trains/buses. The bus drivers round here used to get off to help if no one else could.

I obviously just look helpless don't I? wink

YouBrokeMySmoulder Wed 05-Dec-12 14:27:56

Same as Ethel. Will always help with a Maclaren or similar but cant with a threewheeler etc as my back isnt up to it. Tbh when mine were in my maclaren techno I could lift the whole thing up with the toddler/baby in it and go up and down the stairs. Those were the days [looks wistful]

EverlongLovesHerChristmasRobin Wed 05-Dec-12 14:29:00

Tbf though if people are sat having a coffee they probably didn't want to be up and down every time someone came in with a pram.

It's different to helping someone on the train. You do it and off you go.

SantaisBarredfromhavingStella Wed 05-Dec-12 16:25:05

Not at all out dated, I'd always offer help-it's just rude not to really.
My experience has always been that males are more keen to offer assistance too.

racingcars Wed 05-Dec-12 16:37:40

I never really needed help when I had dcs in a pram and I assume most parents prefer to be independent and don't want to be treated as helpless or incapable. I have offered to help before but mostly they turn away help, unless they have an unusually large load, like twins and lot of luggage as well.

ethelb Wed 05-Dec-12 16:41:12

@youbroke the other problem with a three wheeler is that there is nothing to hang onto like with a mcclaren. You can just grab the foot board of that and head up the stairs while mum lifts the other end.

I think i would look like the clueless, childless individual that I am if faced with one of those travel systems that seem to have everythign short of an ejector seat in them, and imagine it would be v embarrassing when I realised I couldn't lift it as it was SO HEAVY.

Pixel Wed 05-Dec-12 18:21:09

I used to manage fine in most situations as I mastered the art of balancing the buggy on my hip to carry it, even with ds's SN buggy I could do this with him in it as long as I could hold a banister with my free hand (and going backwards through swing doors helps a lot smile). However, if I couldn't manage (perhaps if I had a lot of shopping) someone always kindly offered to help. We went to London a couple of weeks ago and a young man helped me get ds's wheelchair on a train as the step was higher than I expected and we were in a rush to get on. It did cheer me up after all the trauma of having to take the tube (am not a Londoner-was a bit frazzled and obviously looked it!).

I don't think things are necessarily better or worse than 'the old days' when it comes to helpful strangers. My mum has told me how she was trying to get home once up a very steep hill with our big coach-built pram in the snow. She slipped over but hung on to the pram for grim death as she had my newborn baby sister in it and me in a toddler seat on top and we were by a main road. She took all the skin off her knuckles and knees as we slid down the hill but not one person stopped to help her up! That was 40 odd years ago but we always imagine people were more chivalrous then.

Shenanagins Wed 05-Dec-12 20:32:48

I found people generally quite helpful but was shocked to read upthread from a poster who had received an earful for offering to help!

SproutsMakeRudolphPongwiffy Thu 06-Dec-12 09:01:36

I just think that a small thing can make such a difference to a person's day. But I hold doors open for other people if they need it.

2rebecca Thu 06-Dec-12 09:41:13

I hold the door open if someone is just behind me, but if I was sat having a coffee with a friend I wouldn't want to be getting up continually to open the door for people and when my kids were small wouldn't have wanted people to get up from their tables to open the door for me.
I never had a huge pram though and usually found I could open the door with 1 hand and manoevre pram/ pushchair (usually push chair if going into cafes) in.
Does the cafe need a differently designed door or to employ more staff to assist customers? It shouldn't be the job of customers sat down in cafes and restaurants to open the door for customers, that's the business's job.

SproutsMakeRudolphPongwiffy Thu 06-Dec-12 10:23:53

It's a very crappy Starbucks and has a stupid entrance, it's also very dirty. The regional divisional manager was by the door and didn't bother to help anyone. I was only there as my friend wanted to meet there. I've more than remembered why I don't go into that one!

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