Wednesday, 13 January 2016

The Parent and Child Parking Palava | Do you have a child, Madam?

I have been asked that question only once before, as I left my children in the car to quickly grab a two-seater trolley to load them into. I told the man in an orange hi-vis vest in the underground carpark of Sainsbury's that I did and what I was doing, but I still had his eyes on me as he followed me to the trolleys and watch me return to the car.

I haven't seen any active patrol in this particular carpark before and I thought it was mind-boggling that I should be scrutinised despite clearly having two children in the back of my car and all the usual child-related car products which would give a strong hint that I am not in fact just a childless person parking in the wrong bays for my own convenience.

We've all seen it, haven't we? On many occasions we will be behind another car hesitating to allow someone to leave a parent and child bay to then watch the car in front nip in and then wait for the owners to open the rear doors to start getting a child or more out. We begin our grumblings to ourselves when no children materialise as we then go round the carpark again, inevitably having to choose a space which is incredibly inconvenient to open our doors, so we certainly don't allow Lily to open her own door to get into the car as she would do some damage to the neighbouring car!

I have witnessed people park up who have empty carseats, but whilst that doesn't give them a license to park there even though they are quite correctly a parent, who knows whether they could be collecting their offspring from within the store. Pregnant ladies should be able to park there particularly when their bump is bigger and need extra space as bumps aren't malleable to squeeze round narrow gaps but I'm sure some of you have heard stories about ladies claiming they are pregnant even if it is not immediately noticeable. I have witnessed sports cars drive up and park in parent and child bays, probably to ensure noone will open a car door onto their beloved wheels, or could it be to allow their inept parking?

I for one would be very cautious about parking in a disabled bay because these bays are more easily patrolled due to the car owners having to show a blue badge on their dashboards. I bet that sod's law, if I brazenly glided into a disabled bay without a care that I would be on the receiving end of some harsh words by someone in the general public, a witness, a neighbouring disabled motorist parking beside me or returning to their car, or the lesser-spotted third-party car parking patrol. The fine is at least £60, but I have not seen a single person get slapped with a fine, or even heard of it for that matter. Which makes me all the more irritated that when there was a patrol, I was subjected to suspicion when everyday these parking bays are abused. Unfortunately I feel that if I were to bring this up with a motorist in Sainsbury's carpark I could be left with a flea in my ear. Although I read some good advice to just call, "I think you forgot your baby!".
Parent and child parking problems
Now was I getting in, or was I getting out?

What is your experience of parking with children?

Everything Mummy



  1. Very funny! And true! I actually had a conversation with a Tesco manager the other day as I was so outraged to watch someone nip in before me. It was pouring with rain and they had no children in the back. I had a quick glance at the other cars parked in the parent and child bays as I ran past, rain dodging, some time later from the other side of the car park and noticed hardly any of the cars had car seats. My child was poorly and we were only going in for Calpol but the manager was there so I stopped him, with my feverish little one in tow, and he said 'We only make it a suggestion that parents park there but anyone can really and there's not a lot we can do about it'. Although he agreed with me there was no point in having them then and said he has this all the time, he wasn't prepared to try and enforce it so what can you do?! :-)

    1. Thanks :) yes they seem borderline pointless for some stores especially if managers claim it is just a suggestion or if an invisible patrol is in charge. The experience is worse for parents with poorly children like yourself or mid-tantruming, or napping. Thank you for commenting :)

  2. Nothing annoys me more than people parking in these spaces and I always call people out for it. Its not because we're lazy (with the spaces usually being at the front) but for ease of access in and out of the car. Most people apologise but I've been sworn at on numerous occasions. We live in a small town with an ageing population - I always say if the spaces were at the opposite end of the car park there would be no issues! x

    1. Oh gosh. That reminds me, I did hear a corker - middle-aged man and his elderly mother got
      out of their car parked in a parent and child bay and she said, 'you are my child and I am the parent after all" I raised my eyebrows at that but have yet to say anything. It's a shame people have sworn at you. Precisely and if it is an underground carpark there are no worries about getting wet haha!

  3. This is one of the few things in life that really angers me now I have a child. I have been in many car parks over the last 2 years where it is very difficult to get a child out of or into a car in a normal space and so the bigger spaces are amazing! There has even been an occasion where I couldn't physically get Mia in the car due to the bad parking either side of me in a normal space and I have had to go back to the shop and wait for the person to come back! It really infuriates me when I see people use the spaces without children but I never feel able to say anything, I just say it under my breath so its my own fault really! Its especially annoying as there are never many parent and child spaces so your always fighting for them anyway! :)


  4. this has always angered me; and now that DD is old enough that we don't need to use them I have been struck down with disability and blindness which means we need the disabled spaces. and guess how many of those are used by people without blue badges!"! aargghh #sundaystars

  5. This actually really frustrates me!
    Just the other day, I saw a MOTORCYCLE parked in one of these spots. I know there is absolutely no way that person had a young child with them. I honestly just think this shows society's complete disregard and disrespect for others. I'm usually not brave enough to actually step up and say something, but maybe I will one day.

  6. Hmm see I am not too fussed about this even with three children I just park where I can park, I wouldn't park in a disabled bay no - thats too far but I am just guna say it.. I would still park in parent child if the girls weren't in the car with me. Eeeek I am going to get lynched for saying that. But at the same time I often just park in a normal bay regardless of a parent child bay being available. Thanks for linking up to #sundaystars x


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