People will tell you having a baby will change your life, it really does, and for the better. Except, of course, if you live in London and rely on public transport to move around the city. London is not the best city for a new mum. I have lived here since “forever” was invented and the city suited my carefree baby free days to perfection but as a new mum, I’m struggling. I’m talking here about the woman who works and is on maternity leave and probably doing it all alone or with very little help. If you are a millionaires, well, you can live like a Queen everywhere.
- Public Transport is Baby Unfriendly Transport for London is not only extremely expensive , packed with commuters and pretty claustrophobic , it is also baby unfriendly – neither pregnant friendly as you can see in my pregnancy videos where getting a seat was a daily struggle- On the bus, the story is similar, you may be waiting in a bus stop for a long time as there is only space for two prams. So you wait for the fifth bus hoping this time you do manage to get in and when you do, most of the times you end up lifting your pram solo as the commuters are pretty indifferent and egotistical.This world is already too overpopulated kind of look
- Life with a baby can be lonely Life with a baby can be lonely, you are not working and there is not much socially you can do particularly if are breastfeeding, or you don’t have much help and all your friends are still living the single life . Even if you do go out with your baby , chances that people will talk to you are minimal. Everyone is pretty polite and politically correct but if you really want a friendship, then you will find a wall difficult to bring down.
- There is more to life than London, there is LIFE This is the place where everyone is just doing their own thing and you can be whoever, whatever that no one will care. And if they care, they won’t show it . This is the city where you feel invisible. You go for a coffee to your local coffee shop, for lunch or dinner to your neighbourhood and no one,no one will ever talk to you except to say sorry if they bump into your pram or get in your way.
- Londoners think it’s cool to be indifferent You walk in a city in Europe and the story is very different particularly with a baby. If you go for coffee in Italy or Spain, people will talk to you . Not in London. You can be the most beautiful woman on the planet walking along the street and no one will pay much attention. Being so London cool is just too uncool . Human touch, human warmth is needed.I’m too young to live like a retired woman which is how many young women I know live; they leave work and they go to the gym -to full fill their emptiness /loneliness- or they go home , scroll through Tinder hoping to find a date and watch netflixs. There is more to life than that, there is LIFE. Samuel Johnson said: When a man is tired of London he is tired of life. Well he wrote that in 1777 and just notice the word “man” there. I would say “when a human is tired of London, the human is tired of paying rip off prices for old and small victorian houses without lift, the human is tired of living to work, living to survive, living to pay bills, the human is tired of transport for London and of pretending that living in London is amazing when the reality is that living in london is a pretty lonely and isolating affaire.
- Prohibitive costs of nursery As a working mother on maternity leave you will probably end up going back to work sooner rather than later but having had a look at nursery costs, particularly around my area in Hampstead/ Belsize Park, chances are I will work just to pay nursery , the house where we live and little more. Do people who run these nurseries think only if you are the child of super well off parents you are allowed in? That is how things work in London, your worth is based on how much you earn. In the surface we are all equal, but when you go deeper, the reality is very different.
- It is for all these reasons and more that I have decided my time off during maternity will be better spent in a place where my baby girl can enjoy the sea, the sun, the people, the human to human contact and where her mum can go out for dinner with her and there will be other babies to socialise with and other people to help and support her. Transport for London is too stressful , central London is just packed with people on a shopping spree and even if you live in a nice neighbourhood like we do, it feels like suburbia. Too nice, too polite but too lifeless, lacking the human touch and not a place where you can go out and talk to the baker, to the owner of the local cafe, to your neighbours, to your local girlfriends.People rarely mingle, and if they do, they mingle with their equal. This is a cosmopolitan city but it is a bit segregated. The communities stick to one another and even though they respect one another, they rarely mingle.
A happy mum makes a happy baby and us two we are moving away for a bit to enjoy life. To live life. To make memories for the book of our lives.When a woman is tired of London, she leaves. Her baby deserves better.