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By blissed On 02/24/04  

I don't know if politics are taboo in this forum, but this has been on my mind...

A California legislator is proposing allowing women to park in spots for the handicapped during their last trimester and their first three months as parents. The placards, of course, would be pink; he says such a law would demonstrate "honor" and "respect" for pregnant women.

I hate this idea, but since I'm enjoying a reasonably easy pregnancy and I have a reliable partner who can help me run errands and such, I'm in a privileged position. I'm curious what others think of the idea, and open to perspectives that could change my view.

My reasons for my knee-jerk reaction:
Pregnancy, in and of itself, is not a disability.
This would increase demand for limited spaces by 15 to 20 percent -- and I know too many people who have a hard enough time grappling with people parking illegally, or filling the wheelchair loading zone with shopping carts. If I can spend 45 minutes chugging through a grocery store, and then carry those groceries in several trips up several flights of stairs, I can waddle the extra 20 feet to my car and save that spot for someone who really needs it.
This is an important issue: Can't pregnant women who are having physical difficulties get temporary parking placards? I thought they could. If they can't, then they should.
And finally: I'm so tired of government trying to legislate rewards for traditional marriage: one man, one woman, legally bound to each other and producing children, with one parent staying home. If they really want to "honor" and "respect" pregnancy, they could open up their eyes and stop making things so much harder for unwed mothers, single dads, overworked parents.

That said: I'm all for businesses that voluntarily set aside parking spots for pregnant women. It doesn't take away from handicapped spots, and I'm sure pregnant women who are getting along fine, like myself, would happily leave them free for sisters who would appreciate them.

End of rant. Any different points of view?

By senorcoconut On 02/24/04  

There are mommy-to-be spots at grocery stores here.
I have a dislocated hip injury from childhood and had tremendous difficulty walking and standing. I worked at Disney, where the cast parking is about the size of the parking lot the guests use. I got a temp. permit to park in the management lot because I was in so much pain.

By pomly On 02/24/04  

I am 8 months pregnant and I ceratinly don't need a special spot. I've seen special spots at some grocery stores, but they have huge parking lots and they put those spots after teh handicapped spots, so there is still plenty of parking to go around. I agree with you that if you have an especially difficult pregnancy, maybe you should apply for the handicapped temporary ticket. I am not sure why you would need a special spot after you have the baby, but I haven't been there yet.

By jane_bond On 02/24/04  

A few malls around here have the pregnant and parents of young children spots around here and they are a godsend.

The thing about the spot is not so much that it's close to the door, but that it is a wider spot (to account for wheelchairs in the case of handicapped spots). I absolutely needed more room to get out of the car when I was in the last trimester and after I had the baby, my need for extra large parking spots increased.

I would think that California should legislate that there should be a pregnant and parents spot or two in every lot, instead of impacting the handicapped spaces.

By luci_mama On 02/25/04  

One of our local chain groceries also has "Pregnant Moms and Parents of Toddlers" parking, in similar positions to the Handicapped spots, but in other aisles.

The thing is, with toddlers who are prone to running away if they get the slightest opportunity, parking lots are TERRIBLY dangerous places, so I really appreciate being able to park closely with my little guys.

But I don't think it's right to take places away from people who are permanently (usually) disabled. AND I don't think that parking for pregnant/parents should be legally mandated, either. But you can bet that I REALLY love to shop at the stores that offer it!

By looloo On 02/25/04  

I agree with all of you even though this morning at work I was wishing I had a close up parking space...but then I felt much better when I was walking from timbuktu with a big ole belly and a sore hip when I saw perfectly "healthy" people taking the shuttle bus...Walking is good for pregnant ladies, and unless you have a real physical reason, you shouldn't need an upfront parking space.

By melmelon On 02/25/04  

I have yet to see someone who is actually pregnant use those spots....and I remember when the man and I would go out and I would be terribly tired and have the monster to deal with, he would still not park in those pregnant/new parent spots....however, now that the littlest monster is here, he will actually use them on occassion, but ONLY if the back 40 has been filled up. The wider spaces definitely is the bonus for me, not neccesarily the location. Its alot easier to get those babies buckled up without having to worry if my doors are in danger of hitting the neighbouring cars.

By jennymeg On 02/25/04  

I appreciate the spaces, but they certainly aren't necessary.

A couple of points -

Sometimes it's hard to say whether someone using the spot is pregant, just as some people never seem to look pregant until the last month or so. of course it could be a man, and that would give it away, huh?

One thing I suffer with to some degree, although it is not insurmountable, is severe braxton hicks contractions upon even just standing up from my car. The moment I start to push a shopping cart, one sets in, and there's this big-time pressure and I feel like I just have to stop for a minute until it goes away. So yeah, walking is good exercise, and bh contractions won't kill me, but they are no fun.

By senorcoconut On 02/25/04  

I've seen men (no children) use them. I've also seen those same men come back to their cars and scream about the mysterious scratchmarks on their doors... (bitchy when I am pregnant)

By hushabye On 02/25/04  

I use the new family ones all the time when I sit the Bean. It really helps when he has fallen asleep while being carried and I need the extra time/space to get him in the car with a dead arm. Here they are behind the handicapped spots too.

By Melynn On 02/25/04  

I really liked them when I was pregnant and with a new baby. Here there are blue signs with storks on them that say, "this parking space is reserved for new and expecting parents'.
I didn't always use them, but there were somedays my feet were so swelled and hurt so bad, I didn't want to go anywhere. Then after I had my babies it was nice to park close, recovering from a cesarean and all.
I don't think that being pregnant is a handicap either, but it is nice that if you need a closer space, it's there.

By glamarama On 03/07/04  

I think those preggo parking spots are brilliant. I had the WORST preganancy ever, had non-stop migraines, had to have a catscan for what they thought was a ruptured appendix, and went into premature labor and had to be on partial bedrest at 26 weeks... I was only able to be up and about for an hour at a time before I would start having severe contractions, so when I had to go to the store parking close-in was really important. I was one of those people who really needed it - but you were really lucky to not have a difficult pregnancy.

One time I was waddling back to my far parked car and saw an asshole chick park her BMW diagonally in two spots close to the supermarket entrance - so if she can do that and not get a ticket, I think preggo moms should be able to park closer legally!

Also, it makes a lot of sense for postpartum moms too because you can rip out your stitches from lifting heavy things after delivery, and those baby carseat buckets are wayyyy heavy. My husband had to carry it for the first month and not all new moms are lucky enough to have a helper with them.

I really don't think this has anything to do with the "government trying to legislate rewards for traditional marriage" - where does it say that only straight moms can apply? I'm sure lesbian moms count!

By moondance1 On 03/10/04  

I must say that I would have LOVED those spots. Not necessarily taking up the handicapped spaces but one or two reserved behind the handicapped ones would have been nice. I was so hormonal during my entire pregnancy that I just wanted to kill anyone who snarked a parking spot from me. They didn't know I was pregnant but I felt like they should know it... and I was PISSED that they didnt! I would get out of my car and try and waddle by them and just hope that they felt bad.

I don't know if that makes me lazy or just mean.


By looloo On 03/10/04  

okay, I was against it last time, but now that I am in month number 9, I am so sick of looking for parking while I have a foot or something in stuck in my bladder!!!!

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