Yesterday I posted on FB about my lunchtime adventure to the supermarket, sometimes I try and walk given how close the supermarket is to my office – however with my walk turning into a waddle and even my fast walk is turning into a dawdle, jumping in the car was the easier option.
I parked in the supermarket car park and headed inside, I was already a little tight for time but it wasn’t impossible. Checking to see if Marvin the Gerbil had decided to get back into his cage and also to pick up a post office delivery card to collect a parcel that had been delivered while we were away last week needed to be done too.
I tend to park in a particular row in the supermarket – I’m sure other people do too. I came out of the supermarket and there was a car parked in the bay next to me. It’s not usually a problem but the car was parked over to one side in it’s bay and not straight so where my driver’s side door opened was really close to the passenger side of the car next to me. Had I not been in a rush I’d have probably gone in and asked for them to tannoy the customer – then again I’d have probably done what I did anyway which was to wiggle and bend carefully around the door and frame and get into the seat and headed back to work.
Later in the evening I posted a yellow sign 0n FB that exclaimed “Wide Load” in big black letters on a yellow background like you’d expect to see on a wide vehicle along with the caption.
Beginning to think I might need this warning. Was in the supermarket earlier and the car next to me had parked that close that I almost couldn’t get in the car. Are “pregnant lady” spaces something I imagined or are they not a done thing here in the UK?
I had various comments returned from friends on my FB account. This morning I googled about pregnant women parking in the spaces and then wondered where the supermarkets stood on the matter. I tweeted Tesco, Morrison, Asda and Sainsbury’s as they are the local ones or ones that we might use. Minus the relevant @ account, my tweet went something like this….
I’m 30 weeks pregnant. What’s the rules about parent and child spaces for pregnant ladies?
@girltaristhan Hi Hannah! You are more than welcome to park there 🙂 Have you checked out our Baby Event? Thanks
— Asda Service Team (@AsdaServiceTeam) April 23, 2014
Tesco and Morrison’s are two of our local supermarkets, Asda is a little further away but higher on the list of choice that Sainsbury’s (even before their response below)
And the not so positive response from Sainsbury’s:
@girltaristhan Hi Hannah, sorry but parent/child spaces can only be used if you're accompanied by a child under 12. You can however…1/2
— Sainsbury's (@sainsburys) April 23, 2014
@girltaristhan …speak to the customer service manager who can give approval in certain circumstances. Liz. 2/2
— Sainsbury's (@sainsburys) April 23, 2014
I responded to Sainsbury’s saying that it was interesting that the 3 competitors that I had tweeted had all said it was fine for expectant mothers to use the space and they said that they’d pass on my comments.
Now I get if I was 20 weeks and was only showing a little bit, it would make sense for me to use a normal space – and I’m happy to continue doing so if that is the rules. However, when other motorists park too close to my car, I’d then rather make sure I do have that room to move and not contort myself to get back into the car, especially if I’d injure myself or damage the other person’s car while trying to get in. But also, when pregnant you’re encouraged to protect your baby by giving up smoking and drinking as well as eating certain foods, you’re encouraged not to carry heavy objects or move furniture etc. But what about the way you hold your own body – I know that when I first started showing I kept getting an achy back because I kept trying to hold my tummy in like i did before I lost a bunch of weight. When I googled it, I found a bunch of articles where people had been fined for parking in a Parent and Child space even when heavily pregnant. So are we allowed to use the spaces or not?
A response I got while discussing it was the following: As a parent with a child I completely agree with Sainsbury’s and would call out anyone without a child using a parent and child space without a child. I wouldn’t care if they were the other end of the car park it’s the extra space that is useful. They are parent and child spaces for a reason. You could have walked back into the shop and asked them to put out an announcement asking the person to move their car. (In here, I pointed out that some customers with blue badges use the parent and child spaces when all the disabled bays are in use. I would have also pointed out about not having the time to go back into the store but was replying on my way back to my desk) If Parent and Child space customers should have to share then so should disabled spaces be shared. When you have a child/children to keep safe, a pram or buggy and shopping the extra space is needed not for pregnancy.
So how do I get in my car when other motorists park to close? I discussed with a colleague of mine who actually finished for maternity leave today (and is due imminently!) and she could see where I was coming from and agreed with me. I can just about touch my toes if baby is in the right position but it involves me holding my breathe and probably going a funny colour – so if I get in the passenger side how to I get my legs/knees high enough to be able to get them over the gear stick and the hand brake?
BTW, Happy St. George’s Day and today would be Shakespeare’s birthday (hence the title I thought it worked lol).
Apparently someone out there thinks that this is a good parking spot? Do you see a child seat?