Parents with prams parking. You might be doing it wrong.

That's right. No small kid. No Park.
Not hard to understand.

I remember after the birth of my first child how joyed I was to discover the existence of "Parents with Prams" parking spaces at major shopping centres and selected supermarkets.
Not only did they allow me to park close to the shops but also prevented me driving endlessly in circles looking for a parking spot with a screaming baby in the backseat.

Now with a baby & 3 year old in tow these parking spaces are even more important in my world. They really do make the juggle of kids and shopping bags/trolley manageable.

Shopping centres recognise that in order to entice more customers in to their consumer vortexes, they need to make it as easy as possible for people to get in to the front door with as few steps as possible.

What the shopping centres fail to do is police these precious parks, allowing other folk to slide on in to them when they think no one is looking.

These blights on the shopping landscape seem to fall into 3 categories:

1. The person who has car seats in the back seat but no actual children with them.
Just being a  member of the parenting club doesn't qualify them to park there... they have to bring their  squirming, impatient, member ship cards with them. Like a car licence, these membership proofs need to be carried at all times.

2. The person who has children with them but all over the age of 10.
Really? Over the age of 10? People attempting to squeeze through this imagined loop-hole should be forced to push their 'babies' around in oversized prams or novelty shopping trolleys.
All children falling within this group would also be forced to wear bonnets.

3. The person who doesn't want to get wet in the rain, has no kids AND no car seats in the car ...
All of that AND they invariably take the last 'Parent with Pram' parking spot at the local supermarket. Perhaps a system could be put in place in the manner of a video sensor that, when detecting a lack of pram/appropriately aged children, immediately jets water at the miscreant equalling the amount of water that the perpetrator would have been in contact with had they done the right thing and parked where they were supposed to.

Lastly I would like to suggest the potential for a citizens arrest system for people who abuse the use of these parking spots. An automatic fine could be imposed along with community service whereby you have to come and baby-sit my kids for a total 10 hours if  caught parking in these spots without suitable child companions..

'Parents with Pram Park' abusers... you are on notice.

An adventurous spirit has ensured Linda Anderson has led a colourful life. Whether it is trekking in Nepal; travelling the world with her husband to be for 365 days without working; or braving sharks and blue bottles in ocean swim races Linda never does anything by halves. Linda is Mum to 2 beautiful daughters, Hannah & Maddison and the founder of Mums on the Go – 


  1. On the other side, if you are taking your young children shopping, then your day is probably already runied - you have to get them in the car, out of the car and suffer the tantrums inbetween. What difference does a few extra yards to push the pram really make?

    Perhaps the people that should get the spots near the stores are those that have genuine difficulty making the distance and those that will be able to nip in and out quickly and therefore allow them to get on with what may be one of the few days they get to spend without the children

  2. OR those that don't have their children with them, should just suck it up and move to another car parking place.

    Given that the shopping centre is under no legal obligation to supply such parking, it's pretty average if there is a perceived need for these spaces that people consider their position and inconvenience over that of the spirit of which the car park was made for in the first place.

    Perhaps those who are just so busy that they choose to ignore the reservation of these spaces and what they are for should request similar parks from the shopping centres.

    Call them "Parks for really busy people, who are likely to disregard the needs for others anyway so we pander to them..."

  3. I'm sure that you have had these spaces for a while in the US - you tend to lead the way in retail initiatives, but they are relatively new here. On the whole, I tend to park near the ramp to make it easier to get in and out - I don't really want to go nearer the shops as it takes longer to park and overall, its much slower. I don't really see that I need a special parking spot just because I've had children - I don't get to jump to the front of any other queues on the basis that I have procreated, so why car parking? Would you expect to walk into a coffee shop shouting "I know that you have all been here for a while, but demand to go first because I have offspring here with me"?

    Just take it when it is offered and available and don't stress about it - 20 years ago, you would never have had the option, it wouldn't have occurred to you and you wouldn't now be annoyed.

  4. What we need is more handicap spots, Parents choose to have kids, But disable people don't have a choose if they can't walk or not.


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