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Does anyone get up to give you a seat on the bus/train?

(70 Posts)
Ivortheengine8 Thu 23-Jun-11 22:37:55

When I was pregnant with DD1 I lived in Hertfordshire and lots of times people offered me their seat when I started getting bigger. I now live in London and no one has ever offered me a seat.
I was always taught to get up for older people and if I saw a pregnant woman would do so too, its just the way I thought the world was. Here I see lots of young people sitting at the front of the bus who don't even move for old people or people who obviously have trouble standing, let alone pregnant women.

I'm not feeling sorry for myself (although it is a pain in the bum being pregnant on a busy bus with people sqeezing between your bump!) but it makes me wonder sometimes if I still live in the dark ages!

MsChanandlerBong Thu 23-Jun-11 22:46:00

I have had to travel on the tram in Nottingham a few times whilst pregnant, at no point has anyone given up their seat to let me sit down (even if they are sat in the 'priority seats' which are supposed to be for 'those less able to stand').

I too have always given up my seat for pregnant ladies/older people, but had noticed that I was in the minority, so I suppose I'm not surprised (although I am rather bemused that grown men will quite happily sit there and watch me standing with my very obvious bump!)

edwinbear Thu 23-Jun-11 22:57:30

When I was pregnant with DS and travelling in and around London, very, very occasionally somebody would, but it was the exception rather than the norm. The other day I saw a heavily pregnant woman, clearly uncomfortable, on a packed DLR, and not one of the young kids/men/other women offered. She was stood there with her bump virtually touching one man's paper as he carried on reading it. I was also horrified walking out of the office this week to overhear two men slagging off a woman one of them had given his seat to the previous evening, only for her to get off at the next stop. Honestly, it was disgusting, they were calling her a 'lazy fucking bitch', and laughing about pregnancy 'not being a fucking disease'. The sheer anger they were venting was really quite worrying. Sadly, I think it's a sign of the times, I also rarely see people offering seats to elderly people, which to me, is basic common courtesy.

SchrodingersMew Thu 23-Jun-11 23:08:14

I had to go to Maternity Assesment a little while ago and their waiting room is tiny with 5 seats. 2 of the seats were occupied by 2 women waiting on someone being treated, another 2 by a man and a woman who was waiting on her daughter who was being treated and the last seat by a man who was obviously a drug addict waiting on his GF.

There were about 4 of us pregnant and standing. Not once did anyone offer a seat. When I first arrived I had got a seat but gave it up to the girl who was with the guy I said earlier was most obviously a drug addict, when she went in she made sure he got the seat.

SchrodingersMew Thu 23-Jun-11 23:09:32

Oh and 1 of the women standing was in labour and waiting for a bed!!

moonferret Thu 23-Jun-11 23:13:40

It's like with so many things...a good number of people would open doors, give up seats etc etc, but you often get no thanks for it, and on occasion get insulting remarks from the "feminist" brigade such as "I'm quite capable of (whatever)". It's not worth the hassle...

SchrodingersMew Thu 23-Jun-11 23:19:20

Moonferret Not very nice are you? "Not worth the hassle." It's common courtesy to give your seat up to someone who needs it more than you. And yes maybe people should say thank you more but no wonder they don't when people have an attitude like that.

I am assuming you are one of those people who will sit in a priority seat on a bus and pretend to read the paper or something when someone needs the seat?

MsChanandlerBong Thu 23-Jun-11 23:19:51

Moonferret - I tend to agree with you. I think people worry about offending so pretend they can't see you.

Pretty frustrating really that this gets lumped under the feminism umbrella. No, I know pregnancy isn't a disease, and I don't want to retire to my bed for 6 months like the Victorian era. But I am carrying a baby, and have all the associated aches and pains.

I am ssooooo not a pregnant martyr - and having spent my whole life 'keeping up with the boys' I will quite happily admit that I find being pregnant pretty hard work, and "yes please I would like to sit down".


moonferret Thu 23-Jun-11 23:26:15

SchrodingersMew Did you read a word I said? I stated that I'd gladly give up my seat to any pregnant woman, old person, disabled person etc. But when it comes to women (other than elderly women) you risk the aforementioned attitudes. And no, I wouldn't sit in a "priority" seat. It's no wonder people don't thank me with an "attitude like that"?..Talk about making no sense!

SchrodingersMew Thu 23-Jun-11 23:31:21

I didn't read the part where you apparently said you would gladly give up your seat, give me a second to re-read... Oh no wait, that part isn't there. I see the part where you said it isn't worth the hassle though.

NotJustKangaskhan Thu 23-Jun-11 23:31:29

I've found people more willing to give up seats to me when I have a small children with me (particularly if I'm carrying one) than when I'm alone and pregnant. I've had many people change seats on a train for us as a group, far more than if I'm alone -- maybe they're afraid I'm fat rather than pregnant?

SchrodingersMew Thu 23-Jun-11 23:40:58

In fact, before any more comments are made I will apologise for my snappyness. I'm in a bit of a bad mood so apologies for the lash out.

candzsmum Thu 23-Jun-11 23:44:53

I must be very lucky (or look desperate) but for each of my 3 pregnancies I have generally been offered seats - on the tube, trains and when we lived in Boston in the US. I felt embarrassed as often I would be capable of standing, so felt undeserving, but didn't like to offend so would sit down! It was much appreciated though the bigger I got so thanks to those who did!

Have also been offered help on public transport when I've had my boys with me and no seat, so I can't complain at all (but obviously must look a bit helpless given the comments above!)

VioletV Fri 24-Jun-11 00:58:11

I've never been offered a seat in London. They're fucking rude. The tube is the worst. I've had people knock into me and not give two shits if they've hurt me or not. I'm so glad to not be commuting into central heavy pg anymore. I don;t care if people don't want to offend someone the fact they don't even bother to offer seats is disgusting. I used to give my seats up to the elderly on the tube. Londoners are ignorant barstards and I'm from London!!

MamaChoo Fri 24-Jun-11 06:50:44

I turf people out of the priority seats if they are not entitled to them. They are great for that reason because it makes it easier to ask people to give their seats up. But I must say people dont give them up for women who dont ask.

Ivortheengine8 Fri 24-Jun-11 07:20:08

Thanks everyone, there are some awful stories up there, how inconsiderate.sad
Moonferret, people generally do say thanks to me if I give up a seat/hold a door open, its only a minority of ill mannered people who wouldn't.
I am not one ounce an feminist either (nothing against those who are) I just thought this was a general politesse in our society.

A woman who 'may be pregnant but not quite sure pregnant' is a little different,especially the lady in labour up there - thats terrible.I agree sometimes it can be difficult to judge if someone is pregnant in the early days but not usually at later stages.

Violet I feel too like I don't even want to go shopping anymore at our nearest shopping center just because of that. I also have a toddler which makes it a bit more difficult a times too on the tubes/buses.

Ivortheengine8 Fri 24-Jun-11 07:25:18

Edwin, just read your post again - that just makes me shudder! I wonder how those two men react when they have a cold, I bet they stay in bed for two weeks expecting their DP's to pamper them! grin

Firawla Fri 24-Jun-11 07:27:39

I get a seat about 50% of the time i think? lots of people in london are helpful and offer etc although some are rude.
The other day one woman pd me off though, sat blocking the two seats next to the buggy area while I was stood there clearly heavily pregnant and with my other 2 aswell. didn't really like to say anything to her as had already had to tell her to shift her buggy that was taking over the whole area instead of just one space, so just silently fumed to myself.. some people really must be quite selfish or self absorbed, you would think another mum of a young baby would use their brain and free up the space especaillay when they are using double what they need!

dirgeinvegas Fri 24-Jun-11 07:38:11

I don't want to derail but feminists want equal rights for men & woman. If you don't want that obviously that's fine and your choice but it does baffle me when a woman says she doesn't.

Anyway, I like to think that most people are kind and would offer a seat but don't because they're afraid of getting it wrong (e.g. Mistaking someone who is overweight for pregnant).

In reality, how likely is that? Shape is completely different etc.

I am 22 weeks pg and commuting to Media City for work. I find standing uncomfortable even at 22 weeks. This week I got onto a packed tram, gave up hope of getting a seat but one became available. As I bent to get my bag a woman got on and pushed me out of the way to get the seat. The man in the seat next to her saw this, leaned across the carriage, tapped me on the arm and gave me his seat.

Now I had spotted him looking at my bump when I got on but perhaps my moving for the seat gave him the confidence to offer?

It's a bit ridiculous, people should offer a seat to those less able to stand - regardless of age, gender etc and for me, pregnancy falls into that category.

dirgeinvegas Fri 24-Jun-11 07:39:45

Just to add, standing is fine, its standing on a moving tram that's difficult. No core strength to cope with swinging around corners!

Boos75 Fri 24-Jun-11 07:43:03

I'm 32 wks pregnant and commute into London. Thankfully just train to Waterloo and then bus, so not the tube. I've found people to be really good at giving up their seats (though not so much on the local buses around Kingston, where I live - lots of young people just gawp a bit and don't offer to anyone old, infirm etc...). My tolerance levels are really low at the moment so I just ask people if I can sit down - that soon stops them pretending they can't see me. They can always say no if they like!

TransatlanticCityGirl Fri 24-Jun-11 07:46:50

Wow. I cannot believe how different everyone's experiences are to mine.

I've been consistently offered a seat on the tube in London since I was 19 weeks, when to be fair, I probably didn't even need to sit at that stage. At first, it was only 75% of the time, and mainly by women (I think men were too worried about offending me if I was just fat!) but gradually increased with time.

Now at the end of my pregnancy people are literally falling over themselves to offer me a seat - yesterday someone got up as soon as I walked into the carriage even though there was already a free seat available, and the other day one person offered, and I said many thanks but I'm getting off at the next stop, and 2 minutes later someone else also offered me their seat.

General consensus is that my bump is quite "compact" and many people are very surprised to learn I have just passed the 40 week mark, so I don't think I look especially in need of a seat. I've also never worn those "baby on board" badges either.

Looking back at my week by week photos I'm actually quite shocked that anyone offered me a seat at all between weeks 19-27, because even though I felt very visibly pregnant at the time, really, I could pass for having had too many cakes.

chocolatehobnobs Fri 24-Jun-11 07:50:55

My DH was coming home on a commuter train. A heavily pregnant woman got on and none of the men near her offered their seat.After a minute or 2 DH stood up and offered his seat willingly. To his surprise she just took the seat and snarled “about time too”. He was really upset and then had to stand for an hour home. What a bitch. No wonder some people have stoPped bothering. I old him I was proud though.

GwendolineMaryLacey Fri 24-Jun-11 07:56:11

Maybe she was really upset? Maybe she was in pain or dizzy or anything? If that puts your DH off offering then I wouldn't be too proud of him tbh.

PrettyVacant1 Fri 24-Jun-11 08:13:19

I ask!
Not many people will say no and refuse to budge.

I was I Paris a few weeks ago and we were only going a few stops on the train so I was fine standing, a lady glanced at me and tapped the Gentleman sitting close by, demanding he stand!

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