A message for people who misuse parent and child parking spaces

Family life

(Update 6 February 2018 – this article is one of my most popular ever on Cardiff Mummy Says. It went viral when originally published in February 2015… and resulted in me getting all kinds of threats and vile messages. It’s suddenly started getting lots of views again – in part I think due to this week’s news that Tesco looks set to roll out fines for people for who park in disabled bays without a blue badge and in parent and child spaces when there are no children under 12 in the car. Three years on and it’s still in issue. In fact I had an incident earlier this week where I parked in a regular space and two cars subsequently parked either side of me… too close to the lines meaning I couldn’t open the doors wide enough to get my children into the car. In the end I had to reverse out of the space before helping my children in. Not exactly safe in a busy car park! )


Dear people who continually misuse parent and child car parking spaces and don’t really understand why parents get so irate about it,

Please allow me to explain a few things to you. We do not require these spaces because we are lazy and can’t be bothered to walk very far to the store (although pot, kettle and black spring to mind because ummm you are obviously too lazy to walk very far by virtue of the fact you are parking in these spaces when you do not have a child in your possession).

We do, however, require these spaces for the following reasons:


  1. To stop our toddlers damaging the car next to ours when they accidentally push the car door open while climbing into their car seat by themselves as they insist on exerting their independence.
  2. So we have enough room at the side of the car to be able to do our children’s seat belts up as dictated by law and to, you know, prevent them from flying around in the back of the car when we start driving.
  3. So that we can open the car door wide enough to take out or put in a baby in a car seat, again mandated by law. And again, we’d also like to do this without damaging the car next to us.
  4. So that we are located near to trolley bays, pavements and walkways that lead us to our desired venue, rather than having to navigate toddlers who are yet to learn road sense across a busy and therefore dangerous car park.
  5. So that we don’t have to have a moral dilemma over whether our kids will be safe if we leave them in the car while we trek to the other side of the car park to put money in the parking meter or get a trolley, or try to carry a wriggly baby, toddler and change bag etc with us across dangerous car park to trolley or parking meter.

We don’t care if these wider spaces are at the back of the car park. We don’t care if we have to walk an extra few yards. Even in the rain. It’s all about the space around our car so that we can get our children in and out of the car safely and without damaging the vehicles around us. It’s also helpful if we have a safe walkway across the car park to the store and trolleys nearby.

Now that I’ve explained where we parents with small children are coming from, I thought it would be handy to outline a few commonly given excuses people give as to why they misuse parent parking spaces and why these excuses are not good enough.


  1. Your child is an adult
    Oh, I know you think it’s hilarious when you say, “Well, technically I am a parent shopping with my baby so I am entitled to use this space”. Let me give you a clue: not funny at all. If your child is actually an adult then you’re just being selfish. Does your ‘child’ have a car seat that requires the car door to be fully opened so that you can actually get it out of the car? Does your ‘child’ need help to climb into their car seat and to do up their seat belt? Is your ‘child’ prone to tantrums that see them arching their backs and refusing to get into their car seat, while you stand outside the car in the rain and the cold, trying to reason with them? No. I didn’t think so. So stop abusing these parking spaces and leave them for people who can answer yes to these questions. We really don’t want to be doing our weekly shop with our kids in tow. But guess what? Often, we don’t have a choice.
  2. You are only going to be five minutes
    That really doesn’t make any difference to me because if I see all the parent parking spaces are full, I’ll go and park at the far side of the car park where I can hopefully guarantee an empty space next to me so that I can get my children out of the car safely and without damaging other vehicles around me. Seeing you hopping into the car without any children, while I transport three kids and a trolley over a busy car park in the rain, makes me want to cry. You have no idea how stressful and worrying car parks can be when you have small children with you.
  3. You have young children but they are not currently with you
    Yes, I can see you have three car seats in the back. Do your children have magic powers to make themselves invisible? Oh, what’s that? Your kids are at home with another responsible adult? Well, you don’t need this space then, do you? Enjoy the fact you are shopping alone. Enjoy the fact you don’t have to get children in and out of the car and guide them across the car park. You know exactly what it’s like to go shopping with children so have some empathy for people who are in that position right now and please, please park somewhere else.
  4. Your partner is staying in the car with the kids while you pop into the shops
    If you have no intention of getting your offspring in and out of the car, then you really don’t need the space, do you? You know what a mission car parks can be when you have children with you so leave the space for someone who does. Simple.
  5. You are a disabled badge holder but there are numerous empty disabled bays available nearby
    Of course I appreciate that there are people whose needs are greater than mine. If all the disabled bays were full, but someone with a blue badge genuinely needed a wide space with easy access to the store, then I would be the first to move my car out the way and offer them my space. However, I have been in the position where a disabled badge holder took the last parent space in a car park, despite there being a FULL ROW of disabled bays available opposite the one and only available parent space. I mentioned this to them as politely as I could, because I know what a contentious issue parent parking spaces are, and was met with a torrent of abuse. In front of my kids. I would never dream of parking in a disabled bay (and I think people who misuse them are vile) just because there were no parent spaces available. Unless you have no other choice, please leave the parent spaces to those who have young children with them.
  6. Because it’s raining and I don’t want to get wet
    Is one of your hands holding that of a small toddler and is your other hand carrying a car seat? No? Well, use one of those spare hands to carry an umbrella or put your hands over your head. I don’t especially like the drowned rat look, I would love to have freshly blow-dried hair, but my wet hair is way down the pecking order after the safety of my children.
  7. Because we never had them in my day
    A lot of people who are older than me say this. And yes, it is true, I think it’s wonderful and admirable that people of my parents’ and grandparents’ generation had children in the days before washing machines, disposable nappies etc. We are truly lucky to have so many modern technological advances. However, back then, there were not so many cars on the road, cars were not so wide and baby car seats were not invented. Therefore, car parks and roads were not so busy, meaning you were more likely to find a decent space. And even if you didn’t, you had more space to get children in and out of the car because your car, and all those around you, were narrower. You also didn’t need room to get a baby car seat out. Car parking spaces don’t seem to have changed in size , but I’d like to think we live in a progressive society where we can accommodate the needs and safety of other people.
  8. Because it’s not illegal
    No, it’s not actually against the law to park in a parent and child space, unlike parking in disabled spaces without a permit. But have a heart, some moral values and please use your common sense!


What do you think about people misusing parent and child parking spaces? Have you ever confronted anyone for parking in one when they shouldn’t have been? I’d love to hear your comments, either below, on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page or on Twitter @cardiffmummy

*If you liked this, you may also like my post on 46 simple things you did this week that make you a wonderful mum or dad.



92 Comments to A message for people who misuse parent and child parking spaces

  1. I totally agree. I get doubly irate – as a parent and as someone who has relatives with disabled badges. If I could do so with no consequences, I would happily spend entire days spotting offending people, towing their cars to the furthest corner of the car park and then let their tyres down. Oh, and if I could arrange for a small localised rain shower to follow them all the way back to their car, i’d do that too. It amazes me how selfish some people can be and how little decency they have when confronted with something they know to be wrong.

  2. Well done for highlighting this, please could you send it to all the national press and tv stations! I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve seen cars parked in these bays without children or babies travelling. In 1 well known upper class super market I sat in the back of my car feeding my baby & saw 3 top of the range motors park up with no children. grrrr. (Maybe larger spaces for people too precious to use parking spaces some where else might be the answer?) this issue really hacks me off, can you tell? #brilliantblogposts

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      It does seem the fancier the car, the bigger the sense of entitlement someone has. Very frustrating. x

  3. Amen! We have identical triplets and a 4 year old, just finding space to set the triple pram up so it is not on the road is a task in its self! If a fine was introduced or move the parent and child away from the front of the store where everyone parks would help!

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Oh, how wonderful that you have four children including triplets! I can only imagine how challenging getting them all out of a car must be at times. I think you are right that if the parent spaces were further away less people would misuse them and us parents would have more chance of finding one x

  4. Oh this is utterly brilliant! Makes me want to print it, laminate it and stick it to my car. This is one of the things that really gets me irate I can’t stand it!!!

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Oh, I know! And these are people who should really know better, as they know exactly what it’s like.

  5. I totally agree with everything you have said here! Except for the disabled spaces! Personally I think they have way to many spaces for the disabled and not enough parent and toddler bays. I too have had countless arguments with people with blue badges stealing the last mother and toddler space!. I think all car parks should have regular checks to stop this from happening and start dishing out the fines!.

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      It’s so frustrating that the stores don’t monitor the situation, for both parent parking and disabled spaces. Even if you complain, they don’t care. x

    • I’m sorry I dnt agree I am disabled and have 3 children whilst parent and child bays are convenient if one wasn’t available it didn’t stop me going to the shop we parked further away. However if I have been unable
      Close enough to the shop so that I could struggle in pain to get inside so
      I cud use the scooter I would have to leave or sit and wait in car until a bay came free. Severe pain and safety against convenience and yes I accept safety I’m going for the sever pain one every time. I will use whatever bay I can to access a wheelchair or scooter as they are alarmed and can’t leave the shop. How ever did parents cope before ? Disabled people were isolated on the other hand

    • WTF?? ‘Too many disabled bays’??? How ignorant, prejudiced and narrow minded is that statement?! You might want to rethink your views about disabled people!
      Having a child is a lifestyle CHOICE… Being disabled, sick or physically handicapped is NOT!

  6. Ah it is annoying and lazy of regular people to do this. My husband recently got told of by another customer for parking in the parent bay but he was coming to collect me and the baby! They didnt believe him walking around the shop with a 6 month old! #brilliantblogposts

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Yes, exactly, it’s impossible to get a car seat in and out when there is no space. Wish people would realise this! x

  7. oddsocksandlollipops

    Oh yes, totally agree with all of these points. It really makes me see red when I see people parking in those spaces that don’t need them. I wish I had the guts to say something when I see it happen.

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      It’s difficult to confront people because you know they’re the kind who are likely to give you a mouthful of verbal abuse, no matter how polite you are. x

  8. I completely agree with everything you’ve said here. Car parks really could do with patrolling these spaces as they are so frequently misused.
    I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve just given up on the idea of going shopping because I can’t squeeze 4 children including 2 in baby seats out the car.

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Yes, it’s so frustrating that the stores never monitor the misuse of spaces. Even if you complain, they never do anything about it. I have the same difficulties with three children, so I can only imagine what it is like with two car seats (how wonderful to have four under four, by the way!). x

  9. This is one of my biggest bugbears as i have a one and half year old and a six month old so i need the parent bays as there is noway i can carry a baby in a car seat and a wriggling toddler across the car park to find a trolley . Every single time i go shopping i see people parking in the child spaces with no young child in the car and they don’t care. I think they need to implement some kind of system to stop people misusing them. I would happily park further away from the store if it meant i had a parent bay with more room and trolleys to hand x

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Yes, it’s totally about the extra space needed around the car. I would be really happy if the spaces were at the back of the car park too if it meant people would not misuse them. As you say though, trolleys nearby and a safe route to the store would also be helpful. x

      • The Yes I car bar near me have their parent bays the furthest from the store with a walkway leading to the door and people still use them with no kids just can’t win x

  10. It all comes down to laziness, these people are too lazy to walk a few more metres, they are the same ones who block pavements by parking fully on them or drive their kids to school even though they live three doors down etc. and like you I hate them with a passion.

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Yes, the pavement parkers and people who park over dipped kerbs so wheelchairs and buggies cannot safely cross the road are so very selfish. Do they not see that they are putting people’s lives in danger?!

  11. You’r post is spot on, I’m not a parent nor am I a driver but I’m someone in a wheelchair. While you’re right it’s more publicly frowned upon to abuse accessible parking I share your frustration… keep up the good work. I found you through #BrilliantBlogPosts

  12. I don’t drive yet so I don’t have much experience of this, but I can imagine it is pretty annoying! Winds me up when I see people parking in the disabled space without a blue badge too x

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Yes, I think it is so selfish to park in a disabled bay when you shouldn’t be there. It’s hard enough getting a baby car seat or a toddler out of a car, I can’t imagine how difficult it would be for someone who uses a wheelchair or who has mobility difficulties. Some people just seem to have no idea about the consequences of their actions.

  13. I have two small children and I never look for parent and child spaces, I immediately go to the back of the car park where there are ALWAYS spaces with plenty of room to get my kids in and out. Yes it’s a 5 minute extra walk to the shop…how will you manage! But it’s far less stressful than trying to find a parent space! I find these articles so annoying, walk you lazy beggars!!!

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      That’s great to hear your local car park always has plenty of spaces at the back. I wish mine did! I’m not sure if you read the article, but as I said, I also go to the back of the car park if I can’t find a parent space and try to find one there, sometimes without success. Sadly, a couple of times, when I have returned from the shop, people have parked so close to me it has been impossible for me to get my children back into the car! Once, a random passer-by could see me getting upset as I couldn’t open my car doors wide enough to get the car seat back in as people had parked so close to me. He offered to hold my baby’s car seat so I could move my car out of the space in order to put the car seat in. I was petrified he would run off with my baby, but I didn’t see what else I could do, as I had to pick up my daughter from school. As I said in the article, it is nothing to do with wanting to be close to the store and everything to do with being able to get my children in and out of the car safely, without damaging the car next to me, and not having to either leave them in the car to get a trolley or walk three children over a busy car park where people come whizzing round corners at 30mph despite it having a 5mph limit!

    • Louise, READ the article and don’t be so rude. It’s not only about proximity to the store (which is about safety NOT laziness) it’s about space on either side of the car – even if you find an empty space with spaces in either side, there’s no guarantee that someone won’t park next to you.

  14. Yes, Yes, Yes to all of this! It’s SO annoying. It’s not like it’s easy, with a small baby, trying to get them and their car seat in and out of the car when you’re wedged into a normal space and are trying to avoid denting the door of the car next to you… it’s so inconsiderate. So often at my local Sainsburys (Thornhill) I see the limited family spaces full of disabled badges (when there are disabled spaces free) and parents with the kids in the car while one of them runs in to grab whatever they need to – Eurgh, such a bug bear. I’m proud to say we’d never parked in a family space before having a baby, even when I was 8 months pregnant and needed extra room to get in and out.


    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      You are right it is definitely not easy getting a baby car seat in or out of a car when someone parks right next to you. The lack of compassion and empathy some people have amazes and saddens me. x

  15. Donna Pridham

    I don’t have children and I live next to a Tesco Metro so I don’t need to park anywhere. I have , however confronted people on a few occasions for parking in inappropriate spaces. I always try to be polite( difficult when they are aggressive ) but sometimes it works and they move. Unfortunately people can be selfish.

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Good on you for tackling these people. You are right that it is difficult to remain polite when they are always so rude and aggressive, but I think that’s because deep down, they know they are in the wrong. It’s not parent and child spaces, and disabled spaces, it’s double yellows, corners of junctions, anywhere that causes danger to other people.

  16. Twice now I have had to park at the far end of car parks and as I’ve walked past the parent parking bays seen cars pull out with DOGS in the front seat. Not even a child’s car seat in the back. DOGS. I know people love their pets but this is ridiculous.

  17. As much as I agree with this post I would like to point out that I have a daughter age 10 that has learning disabilities including developmental delay (at least 5 years younger than her actual age) she does not qualify for a blue badge because she can walk. Among many things my daughter has visual impairment and no sense of danger, so I would hope that I am not tarred with the same brush when I use these spaces. Like many toddlers / small children my daughter will run into the road or hit the car next to us when opening the car door or have a melt down if we’re in a noisy, busy area. So although I agree with this post please think twice before giving that disproving look when a tall, older child steps out of the car, it’s not nice for my daughter and I don’t want to have to justify why I feel I have the right to park in these spaces.

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Thanks so much for your comment – I think you have raised a very valid point that people should be careful about making judgements when there could be a whole host of reasons why someone might genuinely need a bigger car parking space. I think it’s terrible that children with learning disabilities are not given any kind of badge or permit to allow their parents/carers to park in accessible spaces.

  18. I’ve started making up new flyers for said vehicles ….. I have a disabled parent and having spent time in wheelchairyself know frustration re parking …. I even asked a hospital if I could Clamp the Ferrari parked in a disabled spot seeing as they wouldn’t – it belonged to a consultant who’s parking space had been taken, hmmm because the people who pay his salary didn’t require that space!!!!
    Anyway I digress …. I made up flyers – which are quite legal to pop under wiper blades, as I checked – that had the disabled sign on and the words you have taken my space perhaps you would like my disability ?!?!?
    Now have some nearly ready that have parent/child sign and words you have taking this space so perhaps you would like my child too?!??!!?
    I’m dithering about the wording though, hence why not currently being out under any wiper blades at the moment

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Good on you with the flyers! I love this idea! Brilliant.
      That’s terrible about the consultant parking in the disabled spot though.
      How about “You have taken this space so perhaps you’d like to take my children shopping with you too, change their nappies/deal with their tantrums”?!

  19. So I’ve touched upon this topic on my blog before (The Complexities of Children and Cars), but I haven’t explicitly written about it on it’s own. And I’m not going to bother, because you’ve done so so perfectly. What I do feel to do is print a few copies of this post off, leave them in my car and pop them on the windscreens of offenders when I see them. It would be much better than the scribbled notes I leave at present.


  20. Please allow pregnant women to use these spaces. Have you tried to get in or out of a narrow gap between cars when you are 9 months pregnant? It can be physically impossible. My sister was unable to get into her car once, and had to wait until a neighbouring car moved.

    • Yep, I agree with you! Your poor sister! I had a few difficult situations when pregnant too, including once climbing in from the passenger side! Not easy when you are heavily pregnant.

      • I had this too – several times I had to sit in the back behind the hubby as someone had parked too close to the passenger side. A couple of occasions I couldn’t get in either side and the hubby had to reverse the car out for me to get in 🙁

        • Oh no! Good job he was with you! I think car parks in general need to have bigger spaces as cars are just getting bigger these days and the spaces seem to be too small.

    • I’m quite upfront so if it was like ansupermarket I would probably take their Reg and go in and get them to announce on the tannoy lol or out a note on my window saying I’m a bit round at the moment please leave me room to get in my car

  21. I like to call out to abusers as they leave their cars that they’ve forgotton something. When they rush back I tell them they forgot their children…

  22. joanna williams

    I say fine them or place them furthest away from the store, nobody but parents would use them then, funny how many of these car parks people can be fined for parking in them for too long or dropping a cigarette end, yet nothing is done to stop people parking in the parent and child spaces !!!

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      I agree, I think it would be great to see the spaces on the far side of the car park. It’s more about the space than anything else.

  23. I fully agree! Good post!
    I was greeted with abuse from a couple walking away from the last remaining parent and child space when I pointed out they’d forgotten their child! Apparently they were picking their niece up! Who picks up a child from Tesco when you’ve not taken them there in the first place? Very odd! & why be so defensive. I ended up in a tight space trying to squeeze my little one out of the car door… In the rain!

    • I fully agree with this blog also but I have been on the receiving end of some unfair and harsh abuse from a parent for parking in a parent and child space without having any children with me. People shouldn’t be rude and quick to judge as I was actually there to help a friend in need who’s double buggy broke at the supermarket. I’d gone to meet her at the cafe, she went to sort out the child seats whilst I entertained the children in the cafe then together we got the shopping, children and broken buggy safely to the car.

      • Cardiff Mummy Says

        Oh, your poor friend having her buggy break down. Good job you were able to rescue her. Sorry to hear the people jumped to conclusions and were rude to you. People should check the situation before making assumptions. x

      • So it’s OK to use the parent and child spaces even though you are not taking any children to or from the car park as long as you’ve driven there to meet and assist one of your friends who has a separate car that does qualify for parent and child parking? .

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Someone else who commented on this post said they ended up picking up a friend and her children from a supermarket when the friend’s double buggy broke, so although it sounds a bit odd, who knows! It is very frustrating when you can’t find a good space to park though, almost impossible to get little ones of the car.

    • Kat if the boot was on the other foot, you’d be defensive too. Shouldn’t be so quick to judge.

      On a holiday we were too early to get the keys, we did our food shop and sat in the car eating some lunch and were opposite the parent and child spaces, windows down as we were fortunate to have a glorious day.

      Some lady had a spot of road rage at a couple who had parked their Chelsea tractor in a parent and child space and walked away without children, there had child seats in the back. We heard the man reply to the irate lady that it’s got f all to do with her and walked off, this made us chuckle but we were being judgemental discussing how bad it was as they didn’t have children with them. We ate our words because they returned to the car some time after with two very young children, one with disabilities in quite a big wheel chair.

      You could argue why didn’t they park in disabled but for all we know they could have been giving a family member some respite and perhaps didn’t have a disabled badge to do that. It could be a half way point between them.

      They needed the space around them that was undesputable.

  24. Alan O'brien

    I just have this to say. How about all the people with kids who think they have the right to park In disabled bays, so it’s a little bit of a fuss getting your child out of the car, try being disabled like me and thousands of others who can’t park because of lazy people who don’t wanna walk far or they have kids.

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      As I said in the article, I agree with you that people without disabilities should not park in spaces for disabled people.

  25. She didn’t say that someone in need of a disabled bay should not use parent and child. Only that if there a is disabled bay available they should use that as parents can’t park in those spaces for obvious reasons. People did cope before. However it is nice to be able to use them for what they are intended as opposed to people who probably don’t even know a child using them just because those spaces are closer to the front door.

  26. Will never forget the face of the guy with a flash car, no signs of a car seat who I offered the use of my mobile phone to – on giving me a completely blank look, I pointed out that he might need a call to the police, as someone seemed to have stolen his children.

  27. i must admit there have been times where ive to use a parent and child space for my mum who is disabled due to lack of disabled spaces, i dont like doing it but the alternative is parking between two cars so close to your lines that you need to escape through the boot

    so if ive irked anyone sorry about that, i hate the bigots who dont need them and use them though

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Goodness, I don’t think anyone would have a problem with you using a space for your mother. I’m sure that you experience people parking in disabled spaces when they shouldn’t all the time and it must be so frustrating. I think people who abuse disabled spaces lack basic human decency. As I said in the article, my only gripe is when people with a disabled badge use a parent space when there are loads of disabled ones available nearby.

  28. I’ve confronted people on 2 occasions but both times been utterly mortified when karma came and got me. The first time I left a pertinent note on a mans car after he parked with no child in it. I got back to my car and his was still there with the note. However, he was now accompanied by a small child and his other half. I then had to try and get the note off his car. I managed to get it off even though he saw me – his passing comment was “don’t assume anything”. The second time I verbally confronted a woman. She became abusive as her son was in the shop with another relative and would be coming back. She called me a do gooder.
    Your blog is brilliant and I totally agree but my confrontations have certainly so far been humorous!!!

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Oh dear! Doesn’t sound like the best of experiences of confronting people – but there are a lot of people who misuse these spaces. I’ve only ever once said something to a person misusing a space, I was ever so polite and non-confrontational, but I got a mouthful of abuse. I was quite upset by it, as my children were there too. I’ll never do that again! x

      • Rule of thumb: NEVER confront, because you don’t know the full situation. My husband is disabled and we suffer this problem continually – but never confront, because it can backfire – and yet I note that young mums can be VERY confrontational, without even checking the true situation. That’s the generation gap for you; a sense of entitlement from young mothers who think they rule the world…..

  29. Cardiff Mummy. I think you are my new best friend. I wrote a post on my blog back in April 2014 when I was pregnant after a car parked so close to me that me and my 30 week bump almost couldn’t get back into the car. Some supermarkets agree that as a pregnant mummy I could use the space but one supermarket was stingy and wouldn’t let me. My little boy is now 7.5 months old and when he was about six months I wrote a second post and a letter to the paper having sat in the car park of our local Aldi and watched two individual ladies return to their cars both parked in parent and child spaces when they didn’t have children with them. Yesterday when I went to the supermarket I threatened to park in a P&C space but as my foster son was staying in the car with baby I did the right/grownup/morally correct thing and parked in a normal space.

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Glad to hear I am not the only one who has written about it. Good on you for getting in touch with the local paper. It’s so frustrating when people park there unnecessarily.

  30. My children are now 10 and 7 so I no longer need these spaces but I do feel your pain. However on one occasion I had my mother with me and when I explained my frustration her comment was “I never had the use of these when I had you and your brother and you are both ok so get over it!” That put me in my place and made me realise that there are more important things to worry about.

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Ha, yes, I understand her point. I’m not sure how old your mother is, but I have spoken to quite a few people of my parents’ generation about this (early 60s) and what we have concluded is that cars were not so wide back then so there was more space between them in car parks; baby car seats were not compulsory so no difficulties getting them out in a tight space; there were not so many cars in existence; and also they had a lot more shops within walking distance. So while I get what she is saying, I do think we are living in a different world now and a progressive society that has become more aware of children’s safety. x

  31. Don’t really Understand the need for them myself I had 3 and managed quite well without using them so you have to hold a hand a bit tighter and you have to walk a bit further in the rain and God forbid you all get a bit wet – we all make the choice to have children and we all chose how we teah them to behave. Leave the special parking for those that really need it the disabled and just make all parking spaces a little bit bigger for everyone. Too much Molly coddling going on now. Parents managed to park shop and everything for years before us if you can’t do it then leave the little ones at home with someone shops are open later and later so no rush – you get some “me” time away x

    • Yes, very valid comment I agree with you kerry. It’s true that car spaces have shrunk and cars have got bigger, but people are also lazier, expect the stores to do too much and for some reason don’t see that disciplining their kids and setting rules for behaviour is important. I see both sides of this discussion, but the fact is it’s a totally two-sided thing, until there’s a law to stop people using these spaces then they will continue to do so, and the arguments will continue. Why not just relax a little and spend some time worrying about more important things.

  32. I fully agree but it is Parking Meter not parking metre. I have experienced all of the above. Worst thing is being a Dad who is nearly 50 I get out of the car and get evil looks from adjacent cars with kids. They think I am one of the evil space misusers until they see me extricate my 3 year old son.

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Oh my goodness, I am absolutely mortified to have made this mistake! I know it is meter. How funny though that almost 50,000 people have read this article but you are the first to point it out to me! I am going to change it straight away.

  33. I’m with other commenters – I’d prefer the parent & child spaces to be at the back of the car park. Walking across the car park isn’t a problem for me, I just need the extra space to get my boy in and out. If the spaces were at the back, lazy entitled assholes wouldn’t *want* to steal them. Of course, disabled bays need to be closer to the store for those with mobility problems – but they’re legally protected, unlike the parent & child spaces which rely on decency, something solely lacking in too many people these days.

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Yep, I agree. As I said at the start of the post it is nothing to do with being lazy, but everything to do with the space either side. However, if they moved the spaces, I would hope they would move the trolly parks and have safe walkways too. A few times, cars have come hurtling round the corner towards me without looking and that is really scary when you have young children.

  34. I don’t know where I was in the blogosphere when you wrote this as I see it’s (quite rightly) got a lot of love, but so glad I’ve found it! You sum it up so, so well. Does it matter that “it wasn’t like that in your day” etc? Is it such a bad thing that modern life makes things that teensy bit easier and a lot safer and more convenient for families now? I simply cannot understand why so many people get so irate about the allocation of these spaces for parents – what pleasure does it give to make things harder for others?! Very well said!

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Yes, you are completely right about people who deliberately make life harder for other people. It makes me sad that people would deliberately do that. This one certainly went a bit viral – most popular post I’ve written so far. Thanks for commenting x

  35. My partner argues with people who do this as it really bothers him that people do this, it’s not only that though because it is a parent and toddler and people park there with teenage children and think it’s ok as it’s a parent and child bay, us parents don’t choose where to park we go where it will be a little safer for our children just like we need the wider bays for our children, I especially need wider bays as I have 2 boys who tend to throw doors as wide as possible, quite a few times we have had dings with other cars as the bay isn’t wide enough but also the wider bays for me too as I am disabled, but people seem to misuse them bays too so I can win either way, the car park isnt controlled so no one can do anything about it

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      It’s so frustrating, isn’t it? As you say, it’s about safety and wider spaces when it comes to children, rather than being nearer to the store. It’s terrible when people misuse disabled spaces.

  36. Today I actually confronted a lady in the Sainsburys car park in Colchester avenue. Big fancy car, no child in sight whatsoever and parked next to my little car with prone to tantrums toddlers. I pointed out that it was a parents and child bay, and that I hoped she would be more considerate in the future. She didn’t know what to say, and actually look pretty sheepish. I hope it is a good lesson for her, I wonder if these people with money but no manners worry to have their fancy car dented by other motorists..you know what, if your car is so precious, maybe you shouldn’t use it at all! This really winds me up.

  37. Thinkbeforeyouact

    I park in these bays when supporting my nan shopping because my nan can’t get out without fully opening the door. She has bad legs, hips and back and can’t get a disabled badge. I used to drop her at the entrance, park up in normal and then go and get my car and pick her and the shopping up, since she’s had a stroke it’seems been trickier to leave her so I use the parent child bay for the space and closeness to the store. Some fella screamed at me and my nan today when we got back to the car. I explained my nans struggle with normal spaces and I got a hale of abuse and pictures took of us and my car. My nan is shaken up and reluctant to go back to the t35co store. There is no “elderly” bays, and I don’t care what any of you think, I will continue to park in these bays as it is safety for my nan.

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