Not so much right? There’s been a lot of media coverage as of late in response to such parent(s) who bring their babies out with them for a night on the town. And do really, really, stupid things. That could end up in tragedy.
There are debates. And opinions. Shocking, I know. Yet another way in which we judge each-other, based on the extreme.
Here’s the thing. These poor parenting decisions, leaving the child in an un-safe environment? They have occurred for many factors having not much to do with where they happened and more to do with the parent. Poor parenting decisions can happen anywhere, and while I agree that the potential for disaster escalates when alcohol is involved…bars aren’t the only place alcohol is consumed. Of this we know.
Back to those extremes. There is a difference between going to a dive bar and your groovy little local pub or microbrewery. There is a difference between going out for a pint with your little(s) with dinner, or for a set of some acoustic stylings. There is a major difference between lining up tequila shooters on the bar and doing rails in the bathroom with strangers and savouring an icy cold beer on a patio with friends and family.
We’d do better to judge each other less about these every-day life occurrences/activities and recognize the difference between the safe and the un-safe before we go wagging our judgey-mc-judgerson fingers.
I mean, either way I’m still going to have a juicy beer or glass of wine now and then, (maybe even 2! Gasp!) either at home or in a pub and my babies may or may not be with me, condemnation be damned. But still.
Most likely they will be with me because I kind of like them; we save getting a sitter for date nights (we have those too), and I have no desire to get plastered around them. To me, making sacrifices as a parent shouldn’t involve intense, constant martyrdom.
I remember as a child, going to the cottage with my mom and the cards coming out with the beer or coolers. Her and my aunties and their friends would have a grand old time, and we would get to run around like hooligans; dirty feet, sticky hair and bed-time far-missed. And we were fine. In fact, those are some of the best memories I have as a child, in addition to those of barbecue gatherings, going to music festivals, neighborhood block parties, etc. Wherein there was usually alcohol involved and I was always safe. Because the adults whose care we were under? They may have gotten a little tipsy (at times), but no one was self-medicating. No one was drinking away their pain or trying to escape life and deep penetrating sadness. That I know of, no one was an addict, fighting addiction or mental illness. That’s when things can get dangerous, out of control and bad decisions are made.
In a bar, or anywhere.
I also can’t get behind the whole avoidance of the ‘bar behaviour’ theory. A foul-mouthed person is a foul-mouthed person. Someone whose sense of humour doesn’t evolve much past toilet humour and misogynistic ‘sexy’ jokes is probably that way sans alcohol. Let’s be real, no? Of course, if you are in some seedy joint, then that’s what you are going to get. And a wealth of it at that. I do think that as a parent, if you are going to take your babe to a bar, then you should explore your options. The main-one being, is it kid-friendly? Many are.
The time of evening you are going also weighs heavily on this whole debate. Early evening? Big whoop. If someone is annoyed that you dared enter the ‘adult-zone’ during their happy-hour and that they probably should cap off the swearing and gratuitous joke telling, whatever! I don’t want to hear that drivel whether my babies are with me or not. Also? You can’t shelter them from such type of people’s existence forever, anyways. It’s our job as parents to lead by example and show them what being cool REALLY is.
And that, is my rant for the week. It’s been a while anyways. I’m interested to hear your opinion on the whole debate, let’s dissect this! Let’s be friends!
But mainly — TGIF, it’s almost cocktail hour! This momma is taking her babes to a music festival for the evening where she just might have a frosty cold one and dance in the grass with a babe on my hip. Amongst many, many others.
Top Image Credit: Late Night Parents
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