Parenting : The Pram Code

So, what does your pram say about you? Sounds ridiculous. But apparently, it says a lot.

Before I had Max I had little understanding of this ‘pram code’. I explain it simply as the unspoken stereotyped perception between mothers, that your pram says something about what kind of person, and mother you are.

Pre-baby, I had eyed off the stunning Bugaboo enviously. I watched mums happily walking their babies around leafy streets, in their pretty pram, as I was driving off to another day of same same work.  So when I became pregnant it was effectively a fait a compli, a done deal… I was having the beige bugaboo.

Even before buying the pram, I found resistance in baby shops about the bugaboo. “oh, you want to look at that one… do you?’. I was confused. One shop owner even said bluntly. “look, I will happily sell it to you, as I have some stock of it out back. But I think its rubbish, and overpriced, and I would rather sell you a better, cheaper brand.’ Huh? This was just the beginning.

As I spent the remaining weeks of my pregnancy with other mum friends, each would ask at some point the leading question. “so – which pram are you getting?”. Like a new cub, entering the lion’s den, I would respond naively. The bugaboo. My answer was received with a wide variety of responses. From nodding knowing agreement, to shocked “NO! – you cant be! ”. I was making a statement.

Once the baby was born, I was far too focused on my recovery and new care of my baby boy to worry about my pram. I barely pushed in the first 4 weeks. But once he got to about 3 months, I started to feel uncomfortable. After new mothers group meetings and alike, it was clear that a bugaboo mum was considered (by all other pram owners) as a bit rich and flash. Was I comfortable making such a bold statement to people I didn’t even know?

Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of ritz. Give me the good life and expensive things. So I ummed and ahhed for a few weeks about what to do. I told my husband about ‘the code’, and as men tend to do, he was confused, and advised me worry about more important things. Like if we were ever going to get a full nights sleep again. And when a normal sex life might return.

So, you probably want to hear a bit more about this so called ‘code’. As I mentioned before, its generally unspoken, so my code may slightly differ to the next mums. But from what I have gathered here are just a few of the typical stereotypes…

Bugaboo – Wealthy, design conscious mum, Phil & Teds – Multiple children, time poor mum,Mountain Buggy – Elite yet practical, potentially active mum, Silvercross – Old money mum,Maclaren – Travelling & functional mum, Mothers Choice – The ghetto mum.

From choosing to sell the dream beige bugaboo, to waving it goodbye out my front door, only took about three hours from start to finish. I photographed it carefully, adding multiple angles, wrote a brief description of how ‘new and sophisticated’ the pram was. Then posted it on ebay. Within half an hour, a lady living round the corner had eagerly offered me a quick cash sale, and by the time my husband returned home that evening, we were pramless.

The next day I set off to baby bunting, to purchase a second pram. They had a special on their older model floor stock, which was ideal as the idea of putting together another new pram was unappealing at best. It was a third of the price of the original pram, and after 5 minutes learning how to fold and unfold it, I popped it straight into the boot, fully assembled and off we went. 

I want to be clear, I am not insulting bugaboo mums. Nor does every Mum suit their allocated stereotyped  ‘pram code’. Many of my close friends have the bugaboo pram and they love it. Some are even really down to earth. Maybe they don’t buy into ‘the code’, or maybe they just don’t care. It is hands down the nicest looking pram on the market. It is also the lightest and one of the most compact prams available.  I think for me, I just felt like a phony. All those years of dreaming beautiful prams, perfect motherhood, and once it was here I realised it was about much much more. Dirty nappies, vomit stained carpet, but also first little giggles & smiles, and your own flesh and blood being here, loved and treasured. Enjoying those moments.

This is the real dream. And for me there is not beige bugaboo in sight.

xx Amanda