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  • Writer's picturethudds

Excuse me, who do I speak to about pregnancy parking please?


Ooof I needed to get that off my chest.

Sorry if I missed it you misogynistic lot, but why exactly are there no spaces that can be reserved or used by pregnant women? Admittedly I am fortunate to be still in good shape and mobile, no swollen ankles and the like. However, much as I might try, I cannot squish this bump in and shimmy through a car door when there is no room to open it properly.

The one place I have seen Mum spaces is supermarkets, and most of them are only designated for post birth, or they have been parked in by other looking for a shorter walk.

Offices, train stations, pubs, restaurants, cinemas and theatres, (to name a few); do you assume that we sit home patiently waiting for our bundle of joy? Do we not need to go to the office or out for a little entertainment?

It's time this stopped.

Copy of Sheryl Sandberg's Book Lean In, with perfume bottles and fashion jewellery on a white faux fur background.
Photo by Lena Kudryavtseva on Unsplash

When Sheryl Sandberg wrote her book "Lean In: : Women, Work, and the Will to Lead" in 2013, one of the stories she included detailed the struggles with pregnancy parking when she worked at Google. I say struggle - she asked for parking and they sorted it. THAT WAS IN 2004, very little has changed...

To this day, I’m embarrassed that I didn't realize that pregnant women needed reserved parking until I experienced my own aching feet. As one of Google’s most senior women, didn't I have a special responsibility to think of this? But like Sergey, it had never occurred to me. The other pregnant women must have suffered in silence, not wanting to ask for special treatment. Or maybe they lacked the confidence or seniority to demand that the problem be fixed. Having one pregnant woman at the top-even one who looked like a whale-made the difference.

Honestly, it has been 10 years since Lean In was published and 7 years since I first joined a lean in circle. I have participated with little consistency since my first 2 years, having been put of by "glory leaners" and the standard tribe of middle class entitlement that permeates all successful women's circles.

But with a little girl on the way I am firmly leaning back in, and nothing is going to put me off.

But first, seriously, how do we start moving the needle on the problems, chauvinism and lack of provision for pregnant women?


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