Supermarket Car Park Battles

As a mum of four I have to say I do try to do most of my shopping online. It just makes life easier generally.

However, there are those times when I forget things or simply run out of things and I have to tackle the supermarket with the children.

Now, to some people the thought of going to a supermarket with one child is daunting never mind four, but I have to say that’s not what I find difficult…parking is what I find difficult. There is plenty of UK parking signage around the car parks which is very helpful in directing me, but it’s how people often behave in a car park that gets to me.

Have any of you ever challenged anyone without children who is parked in the parent and child spaces? I have done this several times…because it really bothers me. Just as much as when I see someone without a blue badge or mobility problems parking in a disabled bay.

I don’t know why I waste my breath on these people because they NEVER get it but I can’t help myself because there is such an injustice to it. So tonight,  I challenged someone…

I actually got a parent and child space tonight but had noticed another mum who hadn’t, struggling to get her baby out of the car in her car seat. I’ve been there, several times and it isn’t pretty.

You are in so tight to the car next to you that you have to tip the baby seat on its side just to get it out of the tiny gap, or worst, get the baby out first then lie them on the front seat to get the car seat out.

So, I shout over to the 60-something woman in the bay next to me without a child or child’s seat anywhere to be seen in her tiny sports car ….”Excuse me, do you realise you are parked in a parent and child space?” “Yes I do” she replies”. Oh right” I say “Is there any reason you are? Because if you have a blue badge there are about 40 disabled spaces free” .”I don’t have to explain myself to the likes of you” she said, getting quickly irritated with me, “What’s your problem anyway, you have a parent and child space”. “Yes I do, but I have just watched a mum over there struggle because you are parked in a space she needs” I reply. “You parents shouldn’t be so (insert expletive) lazy and just walk into the shop like everyone else” she said.

“Erm, firstly what you just said doesn’t even make sense and secondly it isn’t the distance from the shops that is the issue, it is the size of the space, I haven’t got a problem walking further but it is physically impossible sometimes to get children and seats out of the car in a ‘normal’ space” I respond. “You are just lazy” she ends with this, gets into her sports car and drives off as I stand there, one tiny one strapped to my chest and a toddler balanced on my hip.

These kinds of exchanges make my blood boil. This woman would be the first to complain if I scratched or dented her precious sports car because there wasn’t room to get out.

What can we do about this? Anything? I have mentioned it to the staff in shops before and they say they can’t do anything –  so whose responsibility is this to police?

Life with Baby Kicks
The Dad Network


  1. I agree it’s not the distance but the size of the space. I’d happily park at the back of the car park if it meant a space big enough to get carseats in and out.
    I found the woman’t response a little hypocritical too, parking there presumably because it’s a large space and close to the shop’s entrance. Lazy much?
    I have also mentioned it in shops when I’ve seen someone park in the spaces to be told they can’t “police” it or do anything unless they actually see the person parking. Yet they have signs up everywhere saying they do. Gaaaah!

  2. Oh my god! How f***ing rude! Bloody old people. You’re right, there are always about 5 times as many disabled spots and only ever about 2 people using them. So f***ing infuriating.

  3. I hate lazy people like this, they are the same ones who park as far on pavements as possible just so they can park outside their front doors, sod anyone with a push chair or wheel chair!

  4. I have had plenty of arguments about this type of thing over and over again and it just feels like I get absolutely no where with them. Good for you for standing up and saying something! #BigFatLinky

  5. Ironic that she called you lazy, when she was the one hogging a space needed by others because she couldn’t be bothered to find a standard parking space and walk further!

  6. I do agree that people should leave the parent/child carparks for parents with children. You are totally right and in your situation where there were plenty of disabled parks available then the woman was totally wrong.

    At the minute we have a disabled badge- however I can honestly say it is often harder for us to get a disabled park than an everyday one. Despite this we do not park in the child parking area (if our daughter is not with us). That’s nuts!


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  7. The nerve of that woman! Maybe the best solution is to put the parent/child spaces further from the shops. I was once leaving a busy shopping centre when a car pulled up and asked if I was leaving. Yes, I said, but this is a parent/child space. He looked a bit confused then drove off. It felt like a small victory! #bigfatlinky

  8. Completely agree with you, especially as a parent of an Autistic toddler. It’s so dangerous getting him in & out of the car as he’s got no awareness of danger. They have those spaces for a reason, if you’re not that reason then don’t use them #BigFatLinky

  9. Some people feel their entitled. I have found this sometimes with the older generation. I respect my elders but some can be so rude!
    If I saw someone in a parent space with no kids I would say something. Unlike blue badge I don’t think there is anything legally that can be done but it’s just damn courtesy! lol
    I don’t even do I have car seats in the car!

  10. To start, a blue badge doesn’t entitle you to park in a parent bay. It’s against the law and you can be find for it. It’s one of the few places you can’t get away with it. Just so you know 🙂 as it’s a common misunderstanding. Disabled people have their designed spaces for a reason. I learnt it the hard way after getting a fine.
    Anyway, this really annoys me!! I don’t understand why people can’t just park and accept there’s designated places. From a dad’s POV though I get a lot of abuse from mums for parking in the bays. Most places have a picture of a mum and child and can assume taht it’s for mums. That annoys me more. Despite that though I think that people shod be a bit more thoughtful of where they park. Parking in parent bays is as bad as parking in disabled bays. People sadly don’t think! #bigfatlinky

    1. Thanks Martyn – I don’t think I said that about blue badges. I understand your dads perspective point totally although I do see most areas near use labelled as “parent and child” some of the pictures match that and some don’t – either way it should be sorted out. I just wish everyone would respect the areas like you say.

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