This will be the first of many posts in a series I am calling “Things I won’t do when I have kids”. No, I do not have children of my own at this point in my life. But while not having kids, I do notice the many, sometimes irritating, behaviours of parents and their children. Perhaps one day I will write another series called “Things I said I wouldn’t do when I have kids…but am now doing”, hahahaha.
My posts are not in any particular order, I’m just writing them as they come to me. So the first, ‘Things I won’t do when I have kids: expect restaurants to change for me’. Although I focus on restaurants in this post, what I say will be true for many other locations/situations.
If you are a parent attending a restaurant, and that restaurant is not specifically targeting children as part of its clientele, should that restaurant be forced to accommodate you? Let me pick a more specific example, as this first statement is too broad and will definitely get people fired up for every reason under the sun.
If a restaurant does not specifically target children as its clientele, and you as a parent show up with your baby and pram, should that restaurant have to accommodate your pram? And what about the other clientele, should they be forced to accommodate your pram also? These are not legal questions, they are questions of etiquette and manners. They are questions about the society we live in and the unwritten rules we follow which allow us to live together without killing each other.
Have you been in a restaurant when a parent rolls up with a pram, doesn’t collapse it, and simply presumes that a parking space for said pram is anywhere that it fits. Whether that’s blocking the passage to the toilet, or pinning you in your seat for the rest of the night. I am sure you have seen this, and if you haven’t then maybe you were the “guilty” party.
So who is in the wrong here? Is it the restaurant’s fault because they do not have enough space for prams and sitting customers? Is it the restaurant’s fault because they have not allocated space for things such as prams? Or is it the parents fault for not thinking about the comfort of others and not leaving the pram in the car or at home?
It is the latter of course, isn’t it?
I believe people should try to inconvenience other people as little as possible. I believe if you have made a life choice, that choice is your own choice, and you yourself should have to deal with the consequences, not the rest of us. I understand that most children grow up to be upstanding and contributing members of society, and I thank all parents for running the gauntlet of child raising for the sake of continuing the human race, but that does not give you the right to inconvenience the rest of us. Don’t forget, we’re upstanding and contributing members too.
If you are a parent with a baby, you should be doing your best to ensure your choice to have a baby does not inconvenience, annoy, or infringe on other people’s personal space.
The issue is multiplied when you have many parents with babies getting together. It becomes a pram parking nightmare, and all other patrons just need to deal with it. But it’s not right. It doesn’t help either that prams these days are large enough to pack a month’s worth of baby gear!
I believe parents are putting others around them in awkward and unfair positions. Why should everybody else be uncomfortable because of your decisions. They shouldn’t, plain and simple.
But just as parents are able to ignore their child’s annoying crying, so too they seem to be able to ignore their own annoying behaviour. It is amazing how parents are able to block out certain behaviour, be it their children’s or their own, while the rest of world cringes at both.
This raises another point, why is it the non-pram person who feels they need to say something to the parent? The non-pram person should never be put in that situation in the first place. Am I right? (related post Achoo! Bless you, or excuse me?)
The moral of the story for parents is, “be aware of others, the world does not revolve around you and your baby”.
Oh, and leave the pram at home!
Be aware of your actions. Be aware of the effect of your actions on others. Just because a baby has disrupted your life, does not mean you need to share that disruption. Just because your baby turns your life upside down, doesn’t mean it needs to turn everyone else’s. You know how the world works, don’t pretend you don’t for your own convenience.
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