Get A Grip Moms, A Stroller Ban Is NOT A Baby Ban

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Sydney cafe stroller ban mom kicked outA Sydney mom is irate after being asked to leave a private establishment whose rules she broke. Gnome Espresso, Wine and Whisky bar has some clear directives etched into their storefront window: no dogs, no smoking, no public bathroom and no strollers. Those are the rules. Jessica Smith rolled into the cafe with her stroller and was told the cafe would not accommodate it. Facebook rant ensued, of course.

The Daily Mail reports that Smith claims her and her friend were the only customers in the bar at the time, and she pushed the stroller up against the wall. She says she was humiliated when she was asked to leave so she took to her Facebook page to report that Gnome was not family friendly: ‘Wow, just told we can’t have coffee at Gnome on crown because we have a baby with us! Won’t be going back there.” The cafe manager responded to some complaints about the incident on their Facebook page, saying that they welcome babies of any age, they just don’t have space for strollers. Hence the sign.

Having been in the service industry for years, I can really see both sides of this. I understand the mom thinking it was okay to break the rules because the cafe was empty. I also understand the importance of enforcing the rules of your establishment across the board so you don’t piss other customers off. Also – strollers are really annoying in small spaces. And – let’s face it – parents of small children are notoriously self-centered. Are we not? Can we at least admit that part? I’m including myself in that statement. When you are juggling a baby and trying to get some time out, it’s easy to see why being told your stroller is not allowed would be very annoying.

The thing is, there are plenty of places that allow strollers. The easy fix here is just to go to the ones that do, isn’t it? I worked in a very family-friendly neighborhood spot in Brooklyn for a long time and was always shocked at the parents who used to roll in with their huge strollers. There was obviously no space for them, yet they would always look at us like it was our responsibility to change the entire configuration of the dining room to accommodate their baby SUV’s. It was really quite amazing.

A stroller ban does not equal a baby ban. If you know you are going somewhere that doesn’t have the space or forbids them in general – don’t take one. Or go somewhere else.

(photo: Facebook)