I am Still Giving Out About This Mum

I wrote this 3 years ago.

Unfortunately, it seems to be an issue that is never going to go away.

“Symbols are simple. The reason we use symbols is to avoid misunderstanding. They transcend languages and general capabilities, allowing for easy communication.

Universally, red means stop and green means go. We know which toilet to use because of the shape of the symbol on the door. We can understand symbols on road signs, on advertisements, on everything. But there is a verrrrrry special breed of person who has great difficulty in understanding a certain symbol…the parent and baby parking symbol.

why-do-non-parents-use-allocated-child-parking

This one seems to cause great confusion.

MORE than once upon a time (unfortunately), I have witnessed a seemingly fit and healthy 20-something male, bounce from his car and pop into a local supermarket. There were plenty parking spaces in the massive car park. The weather was perfect for a little amble from car to shop door.

He had absolutely no sign of child in his well kept Golf and he wasn’t pregnant, as far as I could tell anyway. And yet, he felt the need to park in the space.

Now, maybe he wasn’t taught symbolism very well in school. Or, maybe he was taught it too well by one of those wonderfully talented teachers who taught him how to see hidden meaning and to think outside the box. In this case, the box is the very clearly lined parking space, and his metaphorical musings probably allowed him to interpret the blatant symbol as “a space for people who hope to one day have sex and make a baby in the future, so save your energy for the action and don’t walk unless you have to.”

Or maybe, he’s just an entitled plank.

Either way, I followed him, tutting disapproval and shaking my head. He saw me. He carried on, probably wondering why the crazy lady was glowering at him. I was angry. I was furious and I was quite happy to let him know it.

But, I didn’t.

When someone doesn’t see that this is wrong all by themselves, it seems that explaining it to them would probably a waste of breath.

He upped his speed and moved away from my disapproving glares as fast as his non swollen ankles could carry him. And I carried on into the shop, getting over the episode by the time I reached the meat section.

Then, I returned to my car. Non-pregnant man’s car was still in the parking space. Another car had just parked in the one beside it and out popped a middle aged lady and her daughter. Now, granted these spaces are reserved for Parent and Child, but when your child is in her late teens, you’re taking it a bit too far!”

It’s as relevant today as it was three years ago. And it’s something that is getting worse. It seems that some people have simply been brought up to disregard the needs of others. I recently posted about a similar experience on my blog. It seems that most of my followers have witnessed similar events. And it’s NOT simply young men who abuse these spaces. It’s men and women of all ages. Discrimination is indiscriminate it seems…

What really surprised me was the fact that some people will defend themselves passionately.

There is a section of society who truly believe that they are every bit as entitled to park in these spaces as the lady who is 8 months pregnant and whose pelvis is threatening to fall around her ankles with every painful step. Some fully believe that if they are “only scooting in” quickly, then it is perfectly acceptable to make the Dad with the buggy and the toddler park at the other end of the carpark. And there seems to be some misconception that just because you drive a fancy newish car or jeep, then you are more entitled to the wider spaces. Saves your doors being bumped you know? Never mind the woman with the actual bump who can’t park there now because of you.

This is an issue that is ongoing. It happens EVERYWHERE, every day. It happens in Wheelchair spaces too. Despicable…

How can we stop it? Well, short of waiting for our legal system to step in, the only hope we have of removing the dismissal of the importance of these spaces is if the supermarkets become proactive and begin clamping or fining (or whatever is in their power on their property) to deter people from parking their lazy arses in these spots.

If it isn’t something that bothers you, chances are you’re the twat who’s parked in that space.

It’s simple. Do you have a Baby in your car or in your Belly? No? Well park somewhere else. Simple as a symbol really.

(There is currently a petition circulating started by Niamh at The Mammy Blog which will be shared with major supermarkets. If it’s something that grinds your gears too, go sign it.)

I am Such a Royal No-No Mum

(Today’s Thoroughly Modern Mammy column
“When are you going again?”
The Royal NO NO!)

So the royal family are expecting another Baby.
Good for them.


I’m as happy for Kate as I would be to hear of ANY pregnancy, but Holy Gemima, if I see ONE more headline or comment about how she’s “completing her family” or she’s now got “the magic number”, I shall scream.

Now, of course as an international celebrity, she will have every moment of her pregnancy and birth and life scrutinized and spread over the interweb and newspapers. That’s part of the job she signed up to isn’t it? And I don’t mind the reports of her pregnancy. It IS a matter of interest to our neighbours in the UK, and I’ll bet the Fashion bloggers and maternity shops are rubbing their hands in glee at the guaranteed content for the foreseeable future.

But like all things Mammy related, people are far too quick to jump to assumptions and conclusions, assuming to know inside information and writing anything to gain clicks and sales. To the journalists who wrote such rubbish as “Her family will be complete” and “Three is the magic number”, I ask some questions.

Will it really? Will her family REALLY be complete with 3 kids? Says who? How do you know that she will only have one more child? How can you guarantee that this little child will even be born? How do you know that she isn’t carrying twins? How will you cash in on this theory is suddenly her magic number is 4!? How do you know that she planned this one? For all you know, little Prince/Princess was a little heart attack for poor Willy and Lovely Kate.

Such statements and assumptions beg other questions too.

Why do people insist on telling you that you should “be going again” or “getting a move on”?
Why do people think it’s OK to assume that everyone wants to have more Babies? Or actually, even A baby for that matter.
Why, oh WHY, do people think that it’s OK to ASK why a couple aren’t “going for number 3, or 4, or 8?

Here are 6 reasons to NOT comment on a couple’s NON pregnant state:
1. It’s none of your business.

2. You don’t know their situation. You don’t know if they’ve had a miscarriage recently. People don’t generally go around announcing that do they? In fact, we good Irish still fall into the trap of thinking that we aren’t allowed to tell anyone until the sacred 12 week mark, and so when things go wrong, couples often have no one to share their grief or help them through it.

3. 1 in 6 Irish couples currently struggle with fertility. How do you know if the person you are innocently teasing about “going for another one” or “getting a move on” isn’t one of those couples? You don’t know if they’re trying everything and being constantly heartbroken. You don’t know if she’s injecting herself to try to help matters. You don’t know if he’s struggling with the fact that his sperm count is low. You don’t know if they’ve put every penny they have (and don’t have) into rounds of treatment, over and over again. You don’t.

4. Not EVERY couple WANTS to have a baby, or another Baby. For their own reasons. That they don’t have to explain to you.

5. Maybe that couple are in the process of adoption, or surrogacy. Maybe that couple are at breaking point, physically and emotionally and maybe…

6. …it’s NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!

Of course people mean no harm when we joke about “filling that big house” or “getting them a wee brother”, but like all things Parent related, innocent comments and harmless questions can cut through people like a bolt of lightning. We shouldn’t comment. End of.

So when the headlines tell us that because the Princess, (or Duchess or whatever she is), is now perfect because she’s having another child, we should try not to let them convince us that what they think is perfect, is right.
Because it’s not. YOU know what is right for YOUR family.

I like Kate’s style and her hair and her shoes… but will I be following suit and having number 3 to make my family “perfect” or “complete”?
Eh, no.
We’re “practically perfect in every way” already thank you very much, not that it’s anyone’s business! 😂