Life

Lynette Fay: Discovering the meaning of #pramlife but not sure it has anything to do with weapons

It's amazing to watch how other people react to prams. Some look admiringly at the baby, while others don't even see us. I have been extremely grateful to those who have opened doors for me as I struggle to do so

Lynette Fay – Gerry Anderson used to say women in Derry used prams as weapons but I'm not sure about that. Picture Press Eye/Darren Kidd
Lynette Fay

I FINALLY watched Gerry Anderson's love letter to his beloved Stroke City a couple of weeks ago, which marked the sixth anniversary of his death. I cried watching it. His wit, his intelligence, his use of language, always impressed me, and even when he was extremely ill, he gave a master class in using the voice as a storytelling tool.

He will forever be my favourite broadcaster, and I was very lucky to have known him.

I now push a pram most days. My daughter lies up showing off her core strength by pulling her toes, and pulling her socks off, and my job is to push her along.

Gerry used to comment on how Derry women used prams as weapons. He would often mention how they pushed them out on to the road in order to stop the traffic, and clear the way.

I often think of him when I'm out pushing my pram. I think that I would have had to pull him up on that one. What a conversation that would have been!

#Pramlife has made me see the world in a different way. I hate using that term. It's one I associate with the #instamoms who are #blessed and love every second of #momlife. To me, it's just something else I have to get used to as I navigate my way through motherhood. It's just another chapter.

The pram is a huge consideration for anyone expecting a baby. I remember the day I decided that I was ready to accept the fact that we needed to buy a pram. We walked into Mothercare for a nosey, and walked straight out. I was overwhelmed. It was another world, there were so many different styles and models and every pram cost more than my first car.

I have absolutely no shame in revealing that we bought a second-hand pram. Having a baby is expensive and the social pressure to have the most up-to-date mod cons is ridiculous. In my opinion, it out of control. It was really important to us to take a stand against this pressure. It's nonsense. Epic fail on the #momlife front.

As a new mother, the first time I took the pram out is one I will never forget. That venture out made me realise that I had completely underestimated how long it would take me to physically heal from the emergency section. Almost 10 months later, I'm just about feeling human again.

That first day out, I managed 10 minutes from the house, 10 minutes back – 10 days after having the baby. She slept the whole time. The joy of the trip was mine, I was delighted to get out of the house. Being cooped up indoors was driving me mad. Little did I know what was coming four months later!

#Pramlife has now progressed to stroller stage. Neansaí loves looking round her and I listen to podcasts or make my phone calls for the day. (Yes, I like to actually verbally communicate with the people I care about). My family and close friends now know when to expect a catch-up phone call from me.

#Pramlife is limiting and I have had to get used to it. Working out an easy route is essential. I now consider where the best tarmac, or smooth paths for walking are. Parks are my best friends, as are shops, and coffee shops with automatic doors.

At this point, may I say that the lifts in most shops are disgustingly dirty and look and smell like they haven't been cleaned in a very long time – pre-Covid, never mind during the pandemic.

It's amazing to watch how other people react to prams. Some look admiringly at the baby, while others don't even see us – which is fair enough. I have been extremely grateful to those who have opened doors for me as I struggle to do so.

As for using the pram as a weapon when crossing the road – I just don't know about that now, Gerry. Last week I had a very close call when a 4x4 flew through a red light at a pedestrian crossing. This week, I have lost count of the number of cars who have stopped to give way and wave us across the road. To those people, I say thank you. This #prammammy is grateful for your kindness.

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