When I'm looking for a place to park at Whole Foods, I typically see two empty parking spots right by the entrance. The signs over the spaces reads, "For Expectant Mothers." The majority of the time these spots are empty. Why?
Expectant Mothers don't need parking spots. Specifically, first-time pregnant women. I never once parked in those spots while I was pregnant. I would have felt like I was an impostor in a handicap spot. I mean I was pregnant, not incapacitated. I'm the person that never accepts the grocery clerk's offer to help me to my car. I always say, "No thanks. I'd rather just struggle with a toddler, grocery cart, and a week's worth of groceries myself. I got this." Of course, no one ever asks if I need help at Whole Foods.
I felt great when I was pregnant. I was going on long walks every day, and sleeping whenever I pleased. I had plenty of energy to park the extra 30 feet away from the entrance. But now...
I have been parenting for a year. The thought of exercise seriously makes me tired. I eat an embarrassing amount of sugar. My husband had to have a sit-down conversation with me about the whereabouts of a dozen cookies. Whole Foods, I pay good money for a quality shopping experience. I want that damn prime-parking space. The sign should read,"For Tired Mothers Only"
I thought I was alone in my anger over those two empty "Expectant Mother" spaces, but I'm not. A friend of mine, who is also a mother, brought up this very valid, serious point. Two tired moms, two parking spaces--problem solved.
I mean, there are spaces dedicated to: electric cars, tiny cars, tiny homes, and handicap people. Where are the spaces for the "tired, forgot your grocery list, coffee isn't working Moms" or the, "I'm not cooking dinner just here to pick up a roast chicken so my kids don't have to eat cereal for dinner Moms"?
The parking lot layout will never be fair. You're always going to have someone that gets stuck with that weird spot where the passenger has to climb out the driver's side. I propose we do away with all labels. Then we can all drive around the parking lot in tiny circles dodging the maniacs backing out of their space without looking. And we can all form a line behind the person sitting in their car with their blinker on waiting for a someone else to leave their spot. Only to find out that while it looked like they were getting in their car, they were actually getting out.
Expectant mothers you don't know how good you have it. It's not just your fancy parking spaces. People ask, "How are you feeling?" and shout, "Quick, a chair for the pregnant woman!" Now, that I'm a year into this, I think people assume I've got it all figured out. Or, that maybe my baby is sleeping through the night. Please, stop asking women if their baby is sleeping through the night.
I remember when I was pregnant and well-rested. My skin was glowing, my hair was thick and luscious. Now, I have bags under my eyes and something is seriously wrong with my hair. I write to you from a state of sleep deprivation.
I'm a woman who is just trying to go to the store during the small window of time between lunch and my toddler needing a nap. I'm trying to get in and get out. I'm going through the bakery section to get a loaf of that delicious Rosemary sourdough, while trying to avoid the 300 dessert offerings. I'm still trying, and failing to get back to my pre-pregnancy body. If these Whole Food's people knew the night I had, they would not only give me a parking space, but some sort of VIP treatment. Perhaps, free coffee. Hey, if kids are going to be getting free college. Moms should get free coffee.
First time expectant mothers, you get nothing. You have freedom. The freedom to meander around the grocery store for as long you please. You can walk the extra 30 feet. Leave the parking space for the woman carrying a toddler under each arm.
Whole Food's you aren't all that bad. At least you give me tiny mouse morsels of expensive cheese and little slivers of bread. That should hold me over until I get through the store, check-out, put my groceries in the car, take the grocery cart back, wrestle my kid into the car, drive home, unload the kid, unload the groceries, put away the groceries, put baby down for a nap, and order a pizza.