Monday, 27 January 2014

An open letter to my local supermarket

Dear Local Supermarket,

I am 34 weeks pregnant and the mother of one under two. I am exhausted, my hips hurt and feel as though I am wider than a bus. Getting my toddler (replace with slippery fish out of water) in and out of the car at the best of times is hard, but it's even more difficult when this belly is in the way. It requires me to open my doors as wide as possible, else I (we) just don't fit.

I am grateful that you provide 'parent and child' spaces for parents like me, they make getting my slippery fish in and out far easier, without risking damage to my car, or anyone else's. However, I am begging you to relocate your spaces away from the very front of your store. Please let me explain.

Today I made two visits to your store and while strapping in/un strapping the slippery fish, I saw three cars pull up in these spaces who had no baby or toddler with them. In fact when I looked in their cars, there was no evidence to suggest that they even had a young child.

I confronted one man, who claimed that having had two hip replacements, he was entitled to park there. His wife looked at me like I was dirt while making sarcastic, patronising noises at me.

Another man had gone by the time I was able to say anything. I left a note on his windscreen.

The ironic thing being that there were empty spaces in the disabled bays... And can you imagine the uproar if I had parked in a disabled space? After all, pregnancy and motherhood are not disabilities. We just don't fancy denting our neighbours' cars while we go about our weekly shop with our kids. I have no care for the space closest to the door. I will happily walk across the car park in the rain. I just want a wide space and I don't want to lose out to those who aren't entitled to use them.

While your spaces remain so close to the door they'll continue to be abused by the childless, the lazy, the people who don't seem to understand their purpose. Move them away and our struggling double hip-replaced colleagues won't fancy the walk. You won't enforce the rules, you don't have parking attendants. So please do something to help us parents out.

I'd love to know your thoughts on my idea and would be thrilled to discuss this with you further. You can email me at thursdayschild.fridaysthoughts @ gmail.com.

Yours,

Thursday's Child




19 comments:

  1. Well said! Sorry you had to deal with such a rude couple, it would've been stressful enough having to mention it to them without getting a load of backchat. I agree wholeheartedly with your idea.

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    1. The cheek was unreal, talk about getting caught in the act, they looked SO ashamed but weren't going to admit to it!

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  2. I'm 32 weeks pregnant and completely agree! I don't care if I have to park at the opposite end of the car park so long as I can get a parent and child space. Where we live, we have 2 small supermarkets (one of which has only 3 parent and child spaces) and lots of elderly people. I've lost count the times I've tackled people about parking in the spaces. I've also taken it up with my local Tesco who told me if there was a disabled badge displayed there was nothing that could be done about it, although they don't seem very keen to do anything about it when one isn't displayed!

    Sorry for the mini essay, as you might gather this is something that I also feel very strongly about! x

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    1. Essay away, join me in my campaign... This isn't the end!

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  3. I completly agree. Its even worse when there are no parent and toddler spaces at all only disabled. I think in that case we should have a rigjt to park there as getting a pram unloaded is the same size as a wheelchair and pushing a baby in a pram is no different to pushing someone in a wheelchair neither person (child or disabled person) is capable of walking in to the shops so whats the difference or harm if they fail to provide adequate spaces xx

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    1. I agree, but you'd probably end up with a fine if you didn't have the badge, unfortunately!

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  4. would just like to say I totally agree with your comments, I am no longer the mother of young children but having been their when they didn't have parent child spaces. I can see where you come from I struggle to walk far these days but am not classed as disabled and will not use either parent child or disabled spaces, so I struggle along the best I can xx

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  5. I completely agree. I have two under five to get out of the car every time I go somewhere so trying to help one without the other climbing through to the front and launching the door open into another car is an absolute nightmare! And I have also witnessed these people with 'hip replacements' taking up the parent and child spaces which infuriates me to the point where I actually feel like running them over whilst they get out of their car!! Parent and child spaces should definitely be moved away from the doors to stop these lazy people wrongfully taking them up!

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    1. Amen. I'm going to get a stack of "inconsiderate" cards to leave on the cars of folk I miss in future :)

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  6. Hear hear!! Mom of 12 month old and also dont mind walking across the parking as long as i can get a bay. It infuriates me when childless ppl park here!!!

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  7. Oh this makes me so mad! It happens all the time in our local supermarket too and it drives ma nuts. Some people are so inconsiderate. I really think someone should be employed to watch these spaces and fine those using them without children.

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    1. I agree, they're happy to fine you for overstaying your welcome, so fine the people who park illegally and use the proceeds to pay the parking attendant! Thanks for stopping by x

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  8. I get so annoyed seeing people park im these spaves with no kids! Especially if I'm on mu owm amd strugging with the car seat/parm in a normal space, it's nearly impossible x

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    1. Quite, I need an extra hand to stop me knocking the door of the next car... And that's when I'm not sporting a bump the size of a beach ball! Thanks for stopping by and commenting - this isn't the end!!!

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  9. Our local asda has a barrier access only for disabled drivers, they need to register the car and the barrier will open for them, maybe more supermarkets should invest in something similar for parent and child or ticket people that park in them with no young children. My dad is registered disabled and parked in a p & c space in local sainsburys and got a ticket, private car parks can enforce their own parking restrictions.

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    1. That sounds like a very sensible idea!

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  10. Fabulous post! Well said! I can't believe someone would dare to defend themselves against you at any time, but least of all when you're so heavily pregnant. I experienced this when my children were little too - older people think they have a right to those spaces and would be the first to moan if anyone dared to park in the disabled spaces. Really good idea to have the spaces away from the store. As you say, proximity to the store isn't the key thing - it's the space around the doors that is needed.

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