I am 6 months pregnant and living in NYC. I assumed that once I started to show
my baby bump that people would happily allow me a seat on the subway. I
was WAY wrong! The first time I really noticed it, I was standing on a crowded train
at 6:45pm on the 6 train after finishing teaching my class at Equinox 54th & 2nd.
There were 4 men sitting in front of me, all of different ages and sizes. And all of them had
found something different to do to avoid meeting my eyes or the bump that was in their faces.
One was busy digging into his iPhone. One was ‘pretending’ to sleep. One was reading
a paper and the other one was just a tired mess from another planet.
My response was to get angry and think they were assholes. I got home and posted
a question on Facebook to all the mommas out there asking if they had similar experiences.
I was AMAZED by the response! Most people said that women repeatedly offer their seats,
but men generally (specifically white men) do not. One woman said that while in her 36th
week with TWINS (that means, for those of you who do not know, that it pretty much looks
like a torpedo is sticking out of your belly), that a white man pushed her out of the way
so he could get off the train. Most of the other women agreed that men in general do not
get up and pretend not to see you.
After posting this, I realized that every time I got on the train, I was LOOKING for men
to be rude and not offer their seats. I was LOOKING for the drama! One man pushed
me out of the way because apparently I was walking too slowly
for him (he told me this when I confronted him). And it wasn’t just men. A large white
woman pushed me hard out of her way because she couldn’t get her ass into the train. I
pushed her back and asked her what was up but she ran away.
I realized I was asking for it. Some part of me wanted the drama, liked bitching about it
and having other people confirm my beliefs- that most men and a few women are terribly
rude and do not respect pregnant women and no one taught them right, and, and, and…
Then, after one non-seat-giving incident in particular, it occurred to me that most of the time I really didn’t
need a seat. A particularly sad group of men were practically falling asleep on each other on the train,
and did not offer me their seat. I thought, I am going to teach a fitness class and am clearly
in much better shape, even now, than these men.
Just because I’m pregnant doesn’t mean I NEED the seat!
Whether they are ‘rude’ or not is not really my concern. I decided from then on that if
I really needed a seat I would just ask for it.
How simple is that? If you want something, you should ask for it instead of expecting other
people to read your mind, or be polite, or whatever. Just ASK! It really makes life much more
And since I made that decision, the most amazing thing has happened. When I get on the
subway, people offer me their seats. It is still mostly women offering, but guess what- WHO
CARES! I get to sit because someone was nice enough to offer me their seat. And I have not
had to ask for a seat yet, because usually, I don’t even need it, and when I do, someone
offers it up.
Seems the universe is working for me as opposed to against me now. I think it’s just because
I changed my focus and took whatever responsibility I could for what I was getting. No
matter how crazy wacky that might sound, it ALWAYS puts the power back in your court.
Ask yourself, how am I responsible for what I am getting? How am I attracting this into my
life? You may say “But it REALLY isn’t my fault!” Ok, that may be true, but play along anyway.
It puts the power of the situation back in your court, and what is better than that? Do you really
want to be a victim? I, personally, don’t much care for it.
So as far as my judgement of the subway riders goes, sure I still think some people are
rude, and I also think some people are polite. And I’m not going to get mixed up in it.
If I need a seat, I will ask for it.
Your Fitness Coach,