This was my life for the past year, which is why it's, well, sparsely documented. There is plenty to say about creating good urban form for pregnant people, mainly involving public restrooms and the same quality-of-life measures that apply for any more vulnerable user of the city. But pregnancy was frankly unpleasant and I'm slowly erasing it from my memory, so let's focus on postpartum.
Little Mitten is a squishy, chubby-cheeked, squeaky, lovable baby boy. Since my initial emergence from the cave after giving birth, our family has navigated the city learning about multimodal mobility in the age of baby. Let me share some of my findings.
|Cyclists at Rock to Rock. See that trailer there? Jealous.|
New mom & pops used to multimodal lifestyles are in for a bit of a shock - like everything else, it is so much harder with a baby. In warmer months, hubster and I rely heavily on bicycling. But you can't put your kiddo in a bike trailer until they're around a year old, and even then we're not thinking we'll feel comfortable exposing Little Mitten to most of the roads in New Haven (and the absurdly aggressive Connecticut drivers - more on this later).
We're lucky that we have a car, and that we also have some flexibility in our schedules and can often tote around bambino on the bus or the stroller. Still, the logistical maneuvering required with two working parents and one vehicle can leave us dazed.
|Not to be underestimated: the sheer weight of baby-laden carseat|
On one day I'm particularly proud of, I took baby to daycare on the bus, ride shared to a meeting, bike shared to a doctor appointment, walked to work, and carpooled home. It required meticulous planning and several bags with milk/pumping equipment/helmet/sunscreen/laptop/diapers and more. When there are so many variables, things will inevitably go wrong. On a much less successful day, I waited with Little Mitten at a bus stop by daycare for fifteen minutes before deciding to just walk home. That sunburned lady trudging down the sidewalk with an infant strapped to her chest and three bags on her arms, desperately trying to shield his bald head from the sun with one hand and feed him a pumped bottle with the other? That's me, multimodal mama.
I suppose it's a learning curve like everything else parenting. Our little family is muddling through as best we can, while dreaming of that bike trailer and a lovely, separated cycle track.