There is a time and place for everything.
Recently I was on a date at a restaurant with my hubby. It was a fairly nice place and we arrived for dinner around 8 o’clock. We were seated and instantly regretted where we were sitting – at the table next to us were two mothers with their four children who looked as though they were under six. I have no problem with parents wanting to enjoy an evening out with their children but this was just inappropriate. The children were jumping all over the booth, knocking things down, running around the aisles. One of the kids nearly ran into a server with their hands full of hot food! Where were their mothers? Sitting at the booth enjoying their third martini (seeing as the other four empty glasses were still sitting on the table) seemingly ignorant to the ruckus their children were causing.
I understand people need to go out and have a good time with their friends. And I also understand that sometimes its hard to get a babysitter but pick a more appropriate time and place if you’re choosing to bring your children. Go to dinner at 5:30 or 6, instead of 8 when they should be in bed. Go to an age and food appropriate restaurant. Chances are if there isn’t a kids menu, kids shouldn’t be eating there. Its not fair to your kids and it sure as hell is not fair to the other patrons.
Oh, and another thing. Don’t bring your child into an inappropriately rated movie. Never mind that the movie is rated that way for a reason but most children cannot sit through a movie. I once sat through Avatar with a child (who was under one years old) screaming nearly the entire time. The parents? Sitting there, letting him cry it out. Yea, look, I’m paying to be here just as much as you are but I’m not choosing to have your child ruin my movie watching experience.
People need to understand that their lifestyles change after they have kids. You can do things like go out for dinner or go to the movies, you can even bring your children along, but make sure they’re behaving themselves. If you know they can’t, or if you aren’t sure, leave them at home. Want to take them to a movie? Bring them to Tangled where the target age is appropriate.
So, parents, remember there is a time and place for everything – including where to eat and what to watch with your children. If you didn’t expect your life to change after you had children you were mistaken. Act accordingly.