My first memory of eating out with kids is with Miss K – she was about 9 months old, well around that age. It was the crawling stage, not quite walking but definitely not sitting. Miss K being the firstborn, I was still so naive.
One Saturday morning we decided
We woke up one Saturday morning with a twinkle in our eyes and the hubster suggested we go to our local coffee shop for a breakfast. Thinking it was a fabulous idea, I imagined us sitting at the table chatting and laughing while sipping elegantly on our Americano’s with not a drop of food on my top.
To make a short story long, we sat down, we ordered coffees and breakfast and then reality hit making us get out of the restaurant in record time. When I think back to that day it haunts me.
This was the first and almost last experience of taking a baby to a restaurant. Oh the naivety in thinking life would just carry on where we left off.
Eating out with Kids. Do you even get to eat?
Miss K managed to sit in the chair for a whole 5 minutes and then decided she needed to be set free to lick and explore chairs and especially the floor throughout the restaurant.
It was that day that I perfected the art of inhaling a meal. (Not proud of this at all). Thank goodness it was still early in the morning so we managed to leave relatively unscathed, our table not so much.
My anxiety level was a healthy 8. I am a mom with ADHD I always have an anxiety level hovering at 4. Needless to say, it was a very long time before the hubster wanted to be in public eating /relaxing with Miss K again.
The point I am getting to is that while I am only now able to slightly relax at restaurants, the hubster chooses Spur (yes for the kids area) as his go to place for a family outing.
My preference of restaurant when eating out with the kids.
I, on the other hand do not choose based on the play area available, although, this does pull a big drawcard.
I need a place with good coffee that has child friendly décor and a good vibe, so when my girls start their obligatory screaming “whispers” and eating soup-with-a-fork table manners I need to feel secure that my anxiety levels can remain a cautious 6.
Tips for eating out with Kids
A general rule of thumb is if there is a play area and/or a kids menu then a cheerful sorry to the patrons around me is all I need to calm down. By this I mean, calm down to a slow panic and not fuss too much, because my kids are loudly and enthusiastically telling me for the millionth time they burped “oops sorry!”.
It is always lovely to tip the childminder and waitron if they have gone over and above to making it a joyful experience (as experiences go).
Tips for when you aren’t eating out with the kids
When the hubster and I go to a restaurant without our monsters/snotflickers (insert you collective name for your children), we have a few unspoken rules to calm our excited selves.
These are, especially if we cannot get away from the kid-friendly eateries:
- Do not sit near the kiddies area
- Make sure we have a certain look of disdain at parents not being able to control their children.
For now, I shall happily stick to drive throughs… by myself.
Because up until they are like 12 is there really any eating when it comes to eating out with kids?