Am I a mother? Check. Do I have small children? Yes, three small gangsters, I mean three gorgeous children aged five and under. Do I need to avail of parent and child parking? Yes, very frequently.
Can I get a space when I need one? Hardly ever!!
The Parent and Child spaces are near the door which does help rather than trying to drag my children plus shopping across a car park. Especially with my nearly four-year-old who has no sense of fear and I’m afraid he will run in completely the opposite direction from where I need to go forcing me to abandon my girls. But in some ways, it would be easier if they were away from the door to discourage other people from using them unless they too have small children.
In a small car park, I have been known to drive around a few times to see if there is any chance of a Parent and Child space becoming available. The main purpose of these spaces for me is to get my children in and out of the car safely. If there is no sign of a space, then I try and get an outside space so at least I can open the door fully on one side.
They all need help with their seat belts still, so it’s not like I can just let them do their own thing. The other thing is I’m afraid that someone will park too close beside me leaving me not being able to open the door enough.
There was one time that I had to put my new-born into the front passenger seat in her infant carrier as someone had parked so close that I couldn’t open the door wide enough to get the car seat in. And another time that at nearly nine months pregnant I had to try and climb into the passenger seat and over into the driver’s seat. Which was loads of fun with a huge bump as I’m sure you can imagine!!
In a larger car park if there’s no Parent and Child spaces I just park as far away from other cars as I can and hope that no one will be parked beside me when we return. But then like I said earlier, there’s the hassle of dragging the three of them across the car park. But at least they can get into their seats safely. And I don’t have the fear!! The fear that is of them opening the car door that little bit too much and hitting off the car beside me. Maybe I need one of those cars with sliding doors!!
On days like today when I had the three with me and didn’t need to buy a lot I got a trolley and put them all into it! At least they were safe in the car park. It’s not always an option to leave them at home but it does make it easier when I can.
It is so annoying seeing people with no children using those spaces. Please don’t use those spaces unless you have small children with you. Just because you have car seats in your car it doesn’t mean you’re allowed. And if you know someone elderly that uses these spaces please ask them not to if possible. There are often spaces dedicated to the elderly that I would never dream of taking.
Please offer us parents the same courtesy. And if your children are old enough to safely get in and out of their seats on their own then please don’t use those spaces either. Leave them for someone who really needs them please.
And then there are days like last Sunday when for once I had no children with me at all. And do you know what, there was a Parent and Child space available. Typical!! Did I take it? Of course not. I left it for someone that really needed it…