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Going grocery shopping isn’t exactly a picnic at the best of times. There’s often long queues to deal with as you try and push your trolley around the vast endless aisles searching for your bits and pieces while desperately trying to avoid the chocolate or wine aisle for fear of filling your trolley to the rafters. Throw kids or even a small baby into the mix? And shopping becomes a Dante-esque manoeuvre filled with potential pitfalls at every turn. The only saving grace? Getting a wide parent and child parking space so you can get all your shopping, plus your kids and their accoutrements in and out without having to be a contortionist or bang the hell out of the car door next to you.

Yes, God bless those beloved parent and child parking spaces…. That is until some fecker with no kids decides to park there…

I really do believe there is a special place in hell reserved for those who park in parent and child spaces, when they don’t have kids with them.

No it’s not okay to park there if you’re just running in for a pint of milk. No it’s not okay to park there because you have a blue badge. No it’s not okay to park there if you have a car seat but don’t have the kids with you. No it’s not okay to park there just because it’s the only free space. No it’s not okay to park there if you’ve kids in the car seat but one of you is staying in the car, while the other runs in to the shops. NO, NO, NO, NO!

It makes my blood boil and I’ve nearly come to blows with more than a few people who have done it. Most of them in my experience have been crotchety old bags who think the rules don’t apply to them, or men who just couldn’t give a toss. Yep that might sound as un-PC as you like, but they are the majority that I encounter on an almost daily basis.

Sometimes it becomes like a Mexican stand-off, as they try to take the last parent and child space when they clearly have no kids with them. You see them casually park in one of the parent and child spaces and saunter out of the car as if they hadn’t a care in the world. The knock on effect is that a parent has to park in a normal sized space and try to somehow get a car seat or even just the child or children out of the car seat, plus a usually super full changing bag and arrive at the grocery aisle in a total lathered up stress-sweat before they even begin their shopping. And let’s not even mention the journey back to the car and the infinite fun of loading all the kids, their gear and the shopping back without being able to even open the bloody doors properly.

It’s not just inconsiderate in the extreme, it’s downright wrong and more and more parents are expressing the same sentiments.

So if you’re one of those selfish, ignorant, couldn’t-give-a-damn feckers who are reading this – Just don’t do it and if you do, then don’t be surprised if you get tackled by a very pissed off mammy who is at the end of her tether!

Niamh O'Reilly
Niamh O'Reilly
A full time feature and copy writer, Niamh is a dog-mad, shoe-obsessed, movie-buff, with a curious penchant for politics. Up until her son arrived in December 2016, she’d never changed a nappy, made a bottle or even held a baby for more than 5 minutes without it unleashing what she refers to as ‘the death roar’. Completely unprepared for this momentous change in her life, she’s now trying to navigate the brand new world of motherhood with honesty, grace, love and humour. You can also catch her writing about her journey over at www.themammyblog.ie