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Public Transport Anxiety with toddlers

Tuesday, 23 August 2016  |  Mummy and Little Me

 
I think it started back when I was in college I used to spend a lot of time travelling on the bus to college or to meet friends and I always remember seeing parents struggle to keep their child quiet and occupied in their pram. If the child would make noises as children do I could hear passengers behind me start to comment and get aggravated by it.
 
Now that I am a parent myself I don't judge as I know what it's like to be in that situation now and I heavily sympathise with them as I've been through it too. Sometimes no matter what you do your child will just cry. You can try all the tricks in the book but it doesn't always work.
 
I think back to this one time on my daily bus journey where a familiar young mother was on with her little boy. He looked about 18 months old and he was very cute, I believe the mother worked as I saw them on the journey often and she used to have what looked like a work uniform on. This one day her son was screaming very loud on this busy bus and everyone was watching what she was doing, I could see the mum getting more and more worked up and even shouting at the boy to be quiet but he wouldnt and she actually got off at a stop in the middle of her usual route I assume just out of embarrassment and I felt really sorry for her. It's awful that she felt like she had to do that just for other people's sake.
 
Since then I've had anxiety about getting on the bus with Sophia, but it's my only mode of transport because my husband has the car all week for work. My husband went back to work after 2 weeks and I honestly didn't leave the house alone for 3 months due to this fear. Now that she is a toddler it's worse as she doesn't like being sat in the pram for very long and I can't let her out to run around as it's not safe. I will try to bribe her with snacks and YouTube but it doesnt always work. I also have a fear of waiting for the bus and when it comes its full so I have to wait of another all while my daughter is getting more agitated in the pram. This does happen as I live in the middle of a very busy bus route. My mum lives in a different town which is 2 buses away and I admit I avoid getting the bus if I have to and I feel awful because of my anxiety. I feel that if I could get over it we would travel more.
 
Usually it all goes fine but sometimes she has kicked off and I just sit at the front and breastfeed her (if there's room) as this always quietens her but then she doesn't want to get back in the pram so I try not to as one problem leads to another. I'm sure it's just worse in my head as anyone who has had children knows what it's like and I'm sure no one judges really. Usually a nice old man or woman at the front will take a liking to her and talk to her which keeps her occupied for a bit.
 
If anyone else has any tips for me or suffers from similar anxiety please let me know. We do go out on the bus but maybe only once per month as we luckily live in a busy little town that has everything close by.  I know in the past I've mentioned that she is travel sick but she has never been sick on a bus but I don't know if it makes her feel unwell and unsettled whilst out. Would it be easier without the pram and her on her reins? any advice would be welcome. In the mean time I will do my best to get over my fear and get out more - Jodie x