Petition asks Gillette Stadium to become friendlier to parents of young children
Kara Sassone, who has two young children, has started an online petition asking the Krafts to make Gillette welcoming to parents of young children:
Join me in calling on Gillette Stadium to allow necessary childcare gear through the gates, and provide a space for parents to feed their babies in privacy while still cheering on the team.
When I first became a mother to my twins, I was so proud to be able to breastfeed them, even though they were born 7 weeks premature. But it’s frustrating to know that if I had tried to take my babies to a game, breastfeeding them while at Gillette would have been difficult, with no private room other than perhaps a broom closet. And changing their diapers would have been equally as difficult.
I’ve heard stories from moms who couldn’t even bring breast pumps into the stadium, and parents who were turned away for bringing diaper bags. Moms have even been forced to nurse their babies sitting on a toilet seat. Not only did they miss watching the game they’d come to see - and paid a lot to see - but their babies had to eat lunch in a bathroom!
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Babies should not be allowed at Patriots game, and even if you did bring them, go to one of the ramps and breast feed them there (where there is usually plenty of room, not in the bathroom). Space is tight at these games, and men and women using the toilets takes a huge amount of space and time with lines sometimes lasting 10 minutes just to go #1.
And don't bring a diaper bag. Carry in one or two diapers, and an extra set of clothes and 2 wipes and just keep them in your hands when you walk in. That shouldn't be a problem. And if you have to change your kid, I'd still go to the ramps and use the ground. Much cleaner than any of those bathrooms.
Breast pumps? Are you f'king kidding me? You really need to use those 3 hours to pump milk for your child and them put that milk in a bottle to use within those 3 hours? Just not practical and really no need for it.
Leave your babies (Age 4 and under should probably never go, Age 5-6 should be questionable) at home people. I can kind of understand if you are a visiting fan and had to bring your family, or you simply don't have anywhere to leave your kid and traveled from NH or Maine, but please, lets use some common sense on this one.
Breastfeeding yes, breast pumps no.
Not just Patriots games
But all events at the stadium, apparently.
Unless the event is a birthday party for the baby in question,
leave the baby home.
If you want to host an event that expects babies to attend, don't host it at Gillette.
Wow. Just ... wow. This
Wow. Just ... wow. This post certainly proves the old saw about opinions...
Do you have any clue about how breastfeeding works? Or about how long it takes to get in and out of Gillette Stadium? When my wife was breastfeeding, she may have needed to pump at the game even if we had left our daughter at home in order to keep up her supply (never mind the discomfort involved if she can't pump). I guess when we have our next child, I'll make sure she never leaves the home. Wouldn't want to offend anyone with her presence.
And yet, people somehow managed
to tackle these issues for generations without demanding special facilities from private venues.
Just another example of the increased attitude of entitlement our society is demanding from everybody.
And, with due respect to parents, events at large venues like Gilette are not appropriate for babies or toddlers. "Let's take the kids everywhere" is a very irresponsible attitude.
Back in my day, we walked
Back in my day, we walked from Boston to Foxborough and back for the games and we liked it!
Back in my day we saw the Pats at Fenway Park
And the limited number of men's rooms still had communal urinals with lots of splashing. The women's rooms had long lines.
The bleachers in front of the Green Monster were cool though.
Wow. I came for the misogyny, but stayed for the Grandpa Simpson routine.
Hint: "people" (by which I mean new mothers, by which I mean the majority of women at one point in their lives) managed these issues by never leaving the house because of a thousand little microaggressions like this. But sure, let's rail against those uppity women, demanding equal treatment! Such a rampant sense of entitlement will surely mark the end of western civilization.
Never leaving the house?
My mom and aunt, who raised the majority of their kids in the 70's, when most places were not "child-friendly" did just fine - and left the house frequently. I remember being schlepped off to museums, baseball, basketball, hockey games, concerts at symphony hall, etc.
To say that women just didn't leave the house is ridiculous and such falsehoods really don't strengthen your argument at all. Of course if you really believe women didn't leave the house, then you are delusional. Women did leave the house - they just didn't expect the entire world to stop for them because they.......drum roll, please......had a baby.
People have been having babies for years now - you're not having some earth-shattering event - millions of people have been doing it, and quite well, for thousands of years. You're just not that special and it must hurt to acknowledge that,
If you remember...
If you remember all that, you were probably not at the breastfeeding stage, old-timer. And if you were breast-fed, which seems unlikely, your mother wasn't going to museums, baseball, basketball, hockey games, concerts at symphony hall, etc.
If by doing it "quite well" you mean largely banning nursing mothers from the public sphere, I'd say you've got a weak-ass definition of "quite well". But as long as it doesn't affect you personally, I suppose it's all good.
Oh, the irony. I guess there's just no fool like an old fool, huh?
And if you were breast-fed,
So why should people be any different today? Simple. Because of these selfish and childish sense of entitlement, the world revolves completely around me, etc. attitudes people have these days. Parenting is a responsibilty. And if part of that responsibilty means you have to stay home with your baby or toddler instead of attending a Patriots game (hardly the biggest NECESSITY in the world), then you should just SUCK IT UP!
So why should people be any different today?
Possibly because the old way of doing things was stupid. Sorry, STUPID. HTH, HAND.
No - Insisting on having special facilities
provided for you just because you feel so self important that you NEED to take a baby to a Patriot's game is STUPID.
"demanding equal treatment"
No they're demanding "special treatment" via a private room/space.
I couldn't quite parse your comment -- I'm entirely familiar with the concept of microaggressions. If you are referring to the snarky comments posted here, then by all means carry on, but if, on the other hand, we're going to expand the term to encompass a private venue's business decision not to allocate expensive real estate to a special purpose facility, then the term has pretty much become so broad as to have lost much significance.
Please stop dramatizing
Oh, do stop going on. Really. You have no knowledge that the Patriots have even considered the matter, much less made a decision not to make an accommodation, and even less that the only solution they could come up with is a "special purpose facility", and even less than THAT that it would have been "expensive". You're just waving your arms and screeching your imaginary stories in desperate fear and dread that they'd even consider the matter.
Read my comments, then your comments again, and ask yourself seriously if "waving my arms", "screeching," and "imaginary stories" are even remotely applicable.
And, "Dread?" Seriously? I think it would be awesome if the Patriots provided family-friendly restrooms, changing rooms, breastfeeding areas for those who aren't comfortable feeding at their seat, or anything else that their paying customers reasonably want or need.
They already have family bathrooms
Maybe they don't have a couch or a tv, but lets get real. If you require a couch and a tv so that you can breast feed you should probably just stay at home.
If the already provided family restrooms aren't enough for these entitled women, who are in fact not looking for equal treatment, but rather are looking for special treatment, then they can easily choose not to be a paying customer. The NFL instituted a league wide policy in the wake of the Boston Marathon that restricts what can and can't be carried into the stadium on game day. All other events you can bring a bag into the stadium, so graduations and conferences aren't an issue.
Given your use of five question marks in your subject line, I'd say that's a solid "yes".
How people somehow managed
Indeed, and people also managed to tackle all kinds of other issues, like wheelchair access. They did it by building stairs and saying FU, stay home if you don't like it (because, of course, being able to use a facility is simply a matter of "liking it").
Just because it was done in the past isn't a reason to be proud of doing it today.
Sorry to burst your bubble
But providing accessibilty for the disabled is not even close to a request for breast feeding facilities for self-important mothers who insist on dragging their babies to a Patriots game because "how dare I miss the game".
Not even in the same galaxy for that matter.
That's nice dear
However, the Roadman Universe is not the real world that we live in, where special needs of humans are accommodated - including feeding of infants.
Nice attack on mothers you got there. What other ways do you make yourself feel special?
Most arguments I've heard
in favor of this proposal are of the "to enable mothers to take their infants to Gillette events." nature. My counter is "Why is it NECESSARY for anyone to take an infant to a Gilette event and "Why should we actively enable this behavior?"
With respect, pointing out that parenting includes responsibility and ocassionally sacrificing something you might otherwise do (like attending a Patriots game) is COMMON SENSE, not attacking mothers. And saying "I'm going to take my six-month old to a Patriots game" is not responsible parenting, it's selfish and smacks of "me first" entitlement.
50 years ago, you could swap in "black people" and make the same argument about public restrooms. Why is it necessary? Why should we actively enable segregation? It was just as asinine and tired an argument then as it is now, but it was the same argument. Creating a group of second-class citizens is a really shitty thing to do, regardless of whatever insane justification you want to dress it up in.
Do please keep beating that "entitled generation" drum, though... it's useful to the rest of when you proudly pin on a badge that lets us know who we're safe ignoring.
No you didn't
compare the lack of nursing facilities and various restrictions on nursing mothers at Gillette Stadium to, say, the inability to live in a certain house, work at a certain job, swim at the public pool, or even vote due to someone's race.
The last I checked, mothers of newborns are still allowed to use the same restrooms as the childless. Heck, they are even allowed to use the same water fountains.
I'm not going to say this woman doesn't have a point, or even wade into this discussion (except to say Pete, you have to admit you've never nursed), but the issues brought up do not rise to the level of civil rights.
"(except to say Pete, you
"(except to say Pete, you have to admit you've never nursed)"
I don't know why, but that really made me chuckle. I think it was the mental image...
And I don't think anyone thinks mothers are second class citizens - we're mothers and our responsiblity and concern for our children usually takes precident over our own wants - naturally.
But, I'm all for nursing rooms. Why should a baby eat in a bathroom? Do you want to eat in a bathroom? Bathrooms are disgusting. Providing a comfortable chair in a clean, quieter environment is all thats required for mother and baby. I don't think that's asking for a lot.
I have nipples Patricia.....
Can you milk me?
No comment.. okay I could have a sick and twisted comment ;)
Who's got the bubble?
So, you are making up a bunch of stories about people you don't know, about how they're "self-important" and that they're "dragging their babies...because how dare I miss the game" -- in other words, you're manufacturing a bunch of bullshit out of your ass -- and I'm the one with the bubble that needs bursting? I'm not the one making up stories, son, you are. Sorry to burst your bubble, on several counts.
You know how people managed?
1. women stayed home with the kids (always the women, of course)
2. people brought in what they needed
3. security didn't prohibit people bringing in what they needed.
As a Guy
I don't think i could "stay home" and breast feed. Well i'v never tried, so who knows!
Don't know about you Swirly,
Don't know about you Swirly, but my mother often took us out, even as infants. I asked her one time how she drove (way before car seats). One hand on the wheel, the other holding the baby from sliding and rolling onto the floor of the car (she'd bundle her babies up next to her in the front seat).
I'm sure I was let go more than once for a drag off a Chesterfield though.
Man, when you think of it.....
Mom was a terror in her old Valiant. Seat belts? What are those?
(unfiltered Camels too. And none of it was a good idea)
It's like a Mad Libs...
...that they mail you when you reach a certain age, and it has this exact script in it, but you just fill in your particular generation's cultural stumbling blocks.
We - by which I mean you, too - laugh and shake our heads at the older folks who used this exact same script to try to argue for their particular bit of backward wrong headedness. We grew up in a society that had moved past their ideas (whatever they might be - racism, slavery, whatever), and we never questioned the more enlightened views we were raised with.
Doesn't it give you pause, though? What are the odds that this is the time where this script is actually right? What are the odds that this time the status quo is totally on point, and the rabble rousers really are just entitled, and you aren't just making the same tired mistake that every out of touch person has made throughout history?
(The odds are super bad, if that wasn't already clear.)
Go pump in the parking lot before and after the game.
And yes I do know how breastfeeding and pumping works. I have 5 kids, some of them were breastfed, some my wife pumped for, some were born premature and spent time in the NICU where my wife pretty much had to live and pump, and then some of them rejected my wife's nipples/milk so we used formula, etc, etc.
You wife would not have needed to pump at the game, and when you have your next child, you don't have to keep her at home.
And the issue seems to be letting the pumps into the game, not actually being able to pump. Hell, you can pump from your seat if you want (or breastfeed), that wouldn't even be a problem, and shouldn't offend anyone these days. Changing a kid is more difficult than that.
And I wouldn't say my opinion is old saw, it is just a reaction to those in the "entitled generation" born from 1980-2005 who think every situation should meet their standards.
I was actually surprised by this
Because this is how I roll, too. It does not take a mountain of equipment to take care of a small child - at least it shouldn't. One of the advantages I found with breastfeeding was the LACK of crap that had to be towed along.
No need for a special room - that further stigmatizes the practice. Just feed. I fed my two this way and never made an issue of it. As for pumping, well, I don't see why someone can't go three or for hours without doing it, either (but also don't see what the bullshit is about carrying in the pump, either).
My biggest concern with sporting events and small children: noise damage to their ears.
Not just about the games
Pete, it's not just about the games. It's about the conferences, graduations, high school football tournaments, concerts, and all other events at Gillette.
But in terms of the game... As a fan you know people make a day out of going to the game. Tailgating, watching warm ups. It's not a simple three hour jaunt to Foxboro. I'd have loved to attend a game while my twins were still nursing (they nursed until 17mo) without them. The baby doesn't have to be with you to need these spaces.
Thank you for thinking about it and conversing. It's a great first step!
She specifically mentions games, not graduations, conferences, concerts. Security is much stricter for Patriots games vs. high school football games.
Ok, I didn't read the petition that way.
It seemed geared towards Patriots games.
But in terms of going to the game, you should only be in the stadium for 3 hours, 4 at the very most. Tailgating you can find room to do all of the above family activities.
I didn't know they had graduations there, and HS football playoff games should also have plenty of empty seats to do all of the above as well. And I also don't believe they use the same security at those other events and they should let you bring in diaper bags/pumps if you wanted to. NFL games have standard security measures, and even the Kraft's can't budge on those.
You should never had anyone under 10 at a concert so that point should be moot as well.
I also know the Patriots pretty much use all the extra space possible that a permit would allow for family bathrooms, change rooms etc.
"One or two diapers/two wipes
"One or two diapers/two wipes"
You have no [email protected] clue what you're talking about. Agreed that nobody should demand to be accommodated with a breast pump and a 2-month old at a football game, but you have no clue.
That was in response to the bag check.
They don't allow any bags over the size of a stapler in the stadium during Patriots games. They don't even allow cameras.
The point was to show them what you want to bring into the game. They make you empty your pockets, so you should only need those 5 things in order to enter. They may not allow you to bring in a container of wipes, and they have wipes in the family bathrooms anyway.
no, are you f'king kidding ME?
Taking a stab in the dark and here and guessing you've never breastfed a child because you obviously know absolutely NOTHING about it.
As Adam pointed out, this complaint is not strictly limited to families bringing their children to games, Gillette also hosts tons of conferences, concerts, events, etc. Is it really your position that no child under the age of 1 (or 2 or whenever they no longer nurse) should be allowed at Gillette? Do you think it's really that much of an investment to convert a room or two into a mother's lounge and install a few changing tables? Are you really that offended/angered that there are families that want to go places outside of their home with their infants and expect some basic child-friendly facilities?
Also, there are plenty of women that pump exclusively for medical reasons -- so for them, breastfeeding necessarily entails breast pumps.
Of course, you're entitled to your opinion but you may want to educate yourself about a topic before you post a ridiculously ignorant and mysoginistic missive.
I have a set of twins, and 3 other kids where I changed about 22,000 diapers. I've set up breast pumps and watched my poor wife get up 3 times a night to pump for these kids on hundreds of occasions. I know more about pumping and breastfeeding that you will probably ever know. Have you ever been to a Patriots game? Have you ever seen the space that is needed for restrooms at those games and the lines?
There are family bathrooms at every level of the stadium at each side (6 total I believe). In fact, I have changed kids in them myself (actually there was a line, so I just changed him on the ramp overlooking the practice fields during a non football game). There is no more room for "mothers lounges" at the stadium.
If you have a medical reason to pump (like my wife had), You still don't do it 24 hours a day and have to do it for a specific 3-4 hours that you would be at a game.
Look, I'm not offended, and respect the right of women to do anything they want in public, but the only issue here that I see is not allowing pumps into the stadium. Other than that, there is plenty of room outside to pump, including your seat.
Why do they prohibit these pumps?
I have found gillette security to be pretty ridiculous. If it is allowed on a plane, it should be good to go.
People in lift chairs have tons on pumps on the chairs - are they blocked?
Do they also bar people with insulin pumps? If not, they should let in breast pumps.
They may or may not prohibit them.
And yes, they let in people with lift chairs, and other medical devices.
This may have more do to with trying to bring a pump in through one of the main entrances, where most of the fans go in and they go through tight security. There simply is no time for the security to examine breast pumps (or any medical equipment for that matter) at these gates.
If they aren't allowed at special requests/gates, then I agree that may be a problem.
Baby or not..
...why would anyone want to be around 70,000 meathead, suburbanites?
I am so glad the city didn't let Kraft build a stadium in SoBo.
Because it's fun?
Guessing you may be one those young things who makes condescending comments about "sportsball" and thinks they're very clever indeed. If not, should you be cleaning out your fridge? I think I smell some sour grapes.
I got to go to a game at Foxboro courtesy of some great tickets my boss gave me, and it was fantastic. Er, well. The stadium was fantastic, the crowd, the view from our seats. The Patriots played perhaps the worst game they have played in the last ten years, and by the end of it I wanted a howitzer to take out the lighthouse. But if I could swing the ticket price, sure I'd go. It's a lot of fun -- maybe not for you, but it's ok to not like things.
Spoken like a true city boy
It's a big world out there, pal. Try venturing out sometime.
Dude -- it doesn't work that way
You clearly have not lived with a woman who was pumping milk. Women who are pumping *have* to pump every 3-4 hours. It can not wait. The ta tas will literally spring a leak.
That leaves three options:
* stay at home
* pump at the game
* leave early and not be allowed back in.
Surely the Pats can figure out a way to allow women to bring in their battery operated travel sized breast pumps.
As for diaper bags, there's no reason to turn away a diaper bag. If it can be accomodated by TSA, it can be accomodated by the Pats. And really, you don't want to encourage parents to come underprepared. Babies spit up. Their poop could escape a submarine hatch. They're needy little creatures -- if one is seated near you, you absolutely want the parent to have all the tools to keep the little grub happy and quiet.
Private nursing room? Not so much. Space is too valuable. Still, working with ushers to assist nursing mothers find a place in public that is a little more spacious (like a handicap seat at the top row of the lower deck, for example) so the mother can nurse at the seat with a shroud.
I'm a dad, and I've brought both of my infant children to Friendly Fenway. It's hard, but it's not hard to make it a little easier. Changing stations in *all* restrooms. Making sure security knows how to properly assist a parent get through security. That sort of thing.
is a mob and that's not a good place to bring small children. But I think if you could afford skybox seating, you could get the space and resources you need to nurse your babies at a football game.
Sounds like you need to be
Sounds like you need to be watching the game in the comfort of your own home..
With the million$ Kraft makes
With the million$ Kraft makes off of the Patriots franchise, much of which comes from families, you would think he could spare a restroom specifically dedicated to diaper changing / feeding. I seem to recall seeing plenty of Patriots merchandise aimed at babies. I'm actually quite surprised Gillette Stadium doesn't already provid this.
They do provide it.
There are family bathrooms located at each side of the stadium at 3 levels.
my wife would feed the babies whenever and wherever.
no private room needed for nursing, frankly
Specifically regarding the complaint about the lack of a private nursing room: I nursed my son for a year, and he refused bottles so it all came straight from the tap. There was never anything stopping me from feeding him when we were out and about. You're legally allowed to nurse wherever you're legally allowed to be, and there exist several brands of nursing covers if you're squeamish about exposing your breast. If you have one of those babies who won't eat when there are distractions, you have no business taking it to an event space like that. Expecting any kind of special room in a place that isn't designed for children in the first place is silly.
Let's not forget old folks!
Let's not forget old folks! They slow everyone down getting in and out, and their parking skills are terrible. Don't even think of bringing in a walker or that oxygen tank on wheels thingy. And ever see how long they take in a stall? They're probably snoozing or breast-feeding at the same time...
So please, think of the rest of us before you bring anyone over 65 or under 15 that can't behave or needs any special attention.
I have two small kids and my
I have two small kids and my wife is breastfeeding and I would never take my kid to Gillette unless I had a suite. It's way too much of an inconvenience for them.
Must be nice to be able to
Must be nice to be able to afford to have a kid AND a patriot's ticket.
"I have kids!"
"Give me everything!"
that people bring infants to Patriot's games. I haven't been in a few years but with the loud sounds, music, people jumping up and down, etc., it wouldn't occur to me to bring a young child. It's no fun for the infant.
I'm not a fan of this
I'm not a fan of this attitude that every place needs to be baby friendly. Football games aren't really a good place for babies and small children, so why should the stadium make accommodations for them? And no, I don't think parents should have to stay home until their kids turn 18, but that doesn't mean every place needs to accommodate little kids. Some places simply aren't appropriate for babies/toddlers/kids. Part of being a parent is having to make sacrifices and deal with inconveniences. When you have a kid, you can't expect every part of your life to stay the same.
I don't know what I expected
I don't know what I expected in these comments. Pretty much it is as expected. Why can't people just say, "Hey, this doesn't really affect me but to those that it does affect it'd probably be great for them."
As a breastfeeder, I have taken my kids to MLB games with no problems. MLB Parks are making changes. I haven't taken them to football games though so I can't comment on stadiums. But it would go a long way to not have to feed my kid in a toilet or with 60 people in my section watching on.
But I'm just an entitled millennial who expects everything to revolve around me.
Great Idea, Kara
Holy moley guys... why is this even an argument? Kara (a friend - full disclosure) isn't asking for anything outrageous or even anything that would interfere with your enjoyment of the game. We're not talking about an "entitled" person here, we're talking about a woman who wants to practice the most natural act she can with her twins. Pumping is a modern and essential part of that. Ask any breastfeeding mother, and then tell them you know better. "She should stay home!"? Not your call. For how long? Suppose a woman has 3-4 kids. She should stay home for 8-10 years? Tell your wife that and see how well-received that is. Be a man... listen to the women.
Consider the other point of view
There's a lot of grumpy old men on here whose only form of entertainment is complaining about other people and managing their chronic constipation. A dose of perspective and Ex-Lax would solve both those issues, but they like their issues, and they'd rather go through life being sour and selfish than join the human race.
How is this not already happening
This seems like the most obvious change with little consequence. In the last 10 years the Kraft family has done a great job of making the entire area a destination for families. Obviously families include parents and children of all ages, some small changes (relative to the massive updates done yearly) would make it an even more welcoming experience. Family changing and nursing rooms, a few ticket entry lanes that will take the extra time to screen accepted parental needs (pumps, strollers, diaper bags, etc.)... all very small changes that would make a big difference! Fenway does a pretty good job of this and it is a much older and more space constrained park.