Jen Brister On Getting Out and About with a Buggy

Today's blog post is an extract taken from The Other Mother by Jen Brister. Written from the non-biological parent's point of view within a same-sex relationship, Jen's writing is eye-opening, wise and hilariously relatable. Here, she writes about her experiences with navigating the streets with a buggy which every parent will relate to, no matter the family set-up. The Other Mother is out now and available from Amazon and Waterstones.

Or, if you'd like to be in with a chance to win a copy of The Other Mother, we are giving away five copies to five lucky winners. All you need to do is comment with the right answer to the question at the bottom of this page. Good luck!

We are lucky living in Brighton because, as long as you are prepared for the assault of plentiful and vertiginously steep hills, you can pretty much walk everywhere. I don’t know how we’d have managed, though, had we still lived in London, particularly with the buggy we had. It had actual tyres that, naturally, got frequent punctures, which meant I was often pushing a buggy up one of the hills with two babies, a load of shopping hanging from it, and a flat tyre. If nothing else, I told myself, it was great for my glutes.


We’d got the buggy second-hand, and from the get-go bits of it were falling apart. It was hard to rock a ‘I’ve-totally-got-this’ look when the hood of one of the buggy’s chairs kept collapsing into the bigger one’s face. I’d hear a muffled cry and think, ‘WHAT NOW?’, then look down to see him sitting there with the black hood covering his head. Who knows how long I’d been powering down the street with him crying for help before I’d noticed it.


It was no easy feat to maintain a ‘serene’ look with a buggy that resembled something that might have been used during the last moon landing, much as I tried to pull it off.


Before the birth of our boys I used to be easily irritated by people with kids and I’m ashamed to say that I found women with buggies were the worst.


‘Don’t mind me! You just take up THE ENTIRE PAVEMENT and I’ll take my life into my own hands by stepping on to the road to let you past!’


Well, that woman is definitely me now. I can see the look of utter contempt on people’s faces, as I try to navigate my spaceship on wheels and they’re obliged to let me past; I smile and thank them, occasionally widening my eyes to assure them I’m aware of the inconvenience. Often nothing is said; every so often I may even get a smile, but more often than not they look like they’re about to throw their shopping in my face and I can hear a muttering under the breath…

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