I’ve just read this article by Janet Street Porter in the Daily Mail.
So, as a mummy, what do I think? This might be controversial but I think she has some excellent points, and, I wonder if I’m just a more considerate parent than others. Did she write it to incite an uproar from mumsnet and netmums? Who knows, but I’m sure there are many child free adults who’ll agree with her. Am I one of the few mummies who actually agrees with some?of her points?
What do I agree with?
- Why would I take my baby to a cafe or restaurant where the buggy blocks the paths, where I feel awkward at cramming a buggy into a cramped cafe which is obviously not designed for children. No I wouldn’t, as a new mummy, I’ve been known to walk out of many such establishments. I feel awkward, self conscious and spend the whole 5 seconds I’m in there willing Baby H not to grab the nearest jacket/chair (from her buggy) and hoping I can get back out without some unwitting diner coming the opposite way giving me dirty looks for even considering dining there. Seriously, could you not just smile and say something like, ‘it’s a bit tight for pushchairs in here?’ Believe me, I’ve learnt my lesson, I’m not going back there with a buggy or little one.
- Janet mentions kiddies breaking china in certain tea rooms…. Erm I don’t know why on earth?I would take my child there. That’s the epitomy of adult only! Definitely not somewhere I’d dream of taking a little one!
- As for posh restaurants, do these parents not want to save these for the very odd night they might manage to commandeer a grandparent/aunty/uncle/nanny/babysitter to give them a date night? Hubby and I have been out on our own three times this year. Twice we were paranoid and went to the pub two minutes from home, ready to gulp our drinks and run home if baby so much as squealed for her granny or aunty who were babysitting. However, on one occasion we were braver and went to the yummy Jamie’s Italian and then the very lovely Montpellier Wine Bar, both about 15 minutes from our house. But my point is, we now have a list of places we look forward to going to when we can have a date night, restaurants on a par with the Ivy.
- Airplane child zones…. This is exactly what would make me fly with a baby. I’m paranoid, I clearly remember last July, sat listening to kiddies on the plane to LA thinking, that’ll be us next time we fly. Thinking how will it go, how will we occupy baby. Needless to say H will be one this weekend and we’ve not flown anywhere yet, it’s the longest we’ve not?flown. I think we would have by now if there was a child zone, it would easy that pressure of being quiet, the pressure which babies pick up on and upsets them.
- I also have to say baby poo does smell, it stinks,?parents do admit that. We’re the first to comment and run for the baby changing.
However, in agreeing with Janet on?the above points, I have to say, children are a part of our society too. For that matter parents are as well, we all have rights. My baby WILL cry at undetermind times, she will poo, she will squeal, that’s what they do and society should be considerate of them. I’m more than happy if caf?s and restaurants and other places we might frequent aren’t suitable, let’s face it, our fireplace at home isn’t suitable for baby to play with, and neither is the china cabinet. So why would we think everywhere is ok when we’re out?
Janet you were a child once, you might not have any, but I can assure you us parents are doing our best trying to be considerate. We all remember what it was like before children. Our kiddies would end up rather insulated and would not learn if they were kept couped up inside. They have to see other people, interact with them, watch how they eat and drink. It’s all about learning how to act in different situations.
I’ll also add that I have made mistakes, found a restaurant or cafe with high chairs and room, but it just doesn’t have decent changing facilities, or it was quiet when we arrived and then as it’s filled up,?it’s not quite as child orientated as it first appeared. I learn from my mistakes.
I think parents are a lot more upset when you walk straight for our buggy demanding we move or we get it wrong and visit a cafe we don’t feel welcome in. We feel terrible if baby cries disturbing others, but it’s life and we do our best to calm baby down. We don’t want a crying baby either!
Really, I think all parents have to be considerate of others, and where they take their pushchairs and little ones. However, non-parents, please be considerate of us, don’t tut, don’t give us death looks, one day it might be you with the pushchair. Considerate parenting is vital to our society, but so is society being considerate of everyone else. I’m more than happy if certain restaurants want to have an age limit or an area where kids are and aren’t allowed. Let’s face it, it makes date night more special!
What do you think? Please remember we all have opinions, this is just mine, and it’s clear they’ll never all be the same!