In my first blog post, one of the things I mentioned is how simple public outings can be a very different experience when kids enter the equation. Going to dinner, a movie theater, shopping, etc., can seem like an all-day event – no more get-up-and-go on a whim when you have small children. Everything takes longer, and requires more planning and preparation when getting ready to go somewhere, and half of it is before you’re even able to get yourself dressed! Not to mention, some plans revolve around what kind of mood your kids are in that day.
Once you do finally make it out of the house, a bunch of anxieties kick in – will my kids start crying or throwing a tantrum – what if my toddler has an accident – what if people feel uncomfortable about me breastfeeding in public, did I forget something importang at home, and the list can go on. These fears also seem heightened if we go somewhere that is meant to be quiet and/or more of an adult atmosphere. A good example of this is the movie theater – it seems like a lot of new parents will only go to the movie theater if they get a babysitter. Of course this is understandable because you want to be able to enjoy the movie, and your time together. But at the same time, becoming a parent does not mean you have to sacrifice going out and doing things you enjoy, or only doing certain things if you have a babysitter.
Don’t get me wrong – having adult-only dates is definitely needed (and important) from time to time. But this post is more about stuff that involves family outings.
So, back to the movie theater topic. Like I said, I completely understand why people are hesitant to take babies or toddlers to the movie theater. But if you’re anything like my husband and I, going to see movies was one of our favorite things to do together before we had kids, so when our son was born, we didn’t feel like we couldn’t go anymore (or only go if we had a sitter). Of course we knew that we probably wouldn’t be going as often as before, but I’ve heard some parents say things like, “We haven’t been to a movie or a nice dinner since our baby was born a year (or more) ago.”
This might sound crazy, but my husband and I have been taking our, now 3 year old son, to the movie theater since he was a month old. Yes, we have had 2 or 3 movie date nights, just the 2 of us, but other than that, our son has been to the movie theater countless times since he was born. Our daughter, now 4 months old, is going on her 3rd trip to the movie theater tomorrow night (Wonder Woman🌟) Obviously, it’s not a perfect outing very time, but it has definitely been worth it to introduce our kids to these types of activities at an early age, so we can do them as a family, and we are able to enjoy it. If a child is exposed to public outings such as shopping, going to restaurants, movie theaters, etc., they will learn very quickly how they are expected to behave in these environments. Granted, they are kids, so each outing is still somewhat unpredictable, but don’t be afraid to take a chance.
I know my husband, and I definitely do not regret taking our kids out to places at an early age. Of course it’s easier to go to places that might be considered more kid-friendly, so you don’t have to feel as nervous if your child starts throwing a fit, or is being noisy and active. But like I said earlier, it’s okay to still do things you and/or your spouse enjoyed doing before you were parents, that people might not necessarily think you can do with kids (as long as it’s appropriate, of course). I also think it’s good to start doing things in public at an early age, because I feel like waiting too long to teach your child how you expect them to behave in certain settings, can make it more challenging to teach them later on. This can make it harder to enjoy your time out as a family, which will make you feel less motivated to continue doing these types of things with your kids.
Obviously I’m no expert on the subject, and these are just my personal opinions, but I feel like it is an important subject. Especially for first-time parents, and parents of young children. Taking your kids to a new place, or environment might be intimidating at first, but don’t be afraid to keep trying! The same goes for traveling and taking trips! It’s worth it to be able to have fun together as a family❤
How do you have fun as a family?
Leave your thoughts and experiences below! Like and share!