Kids in Cafés

“You’ll have to excuse me, I don’t hit or bully my children and as a result I’m raising these god damn free spirits.”

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“Hopefully your next customers have a couple of robots for you to feed.”

It wasn’t until recently that I learned what the majority of the general publics opinion towards kids at cafes was. And like usual, it differed to mine.

Doing my daily troll of the news sites through Facebook and more importantly the comments under the stories I stumbled across an article on children and how welcome they are in cafes.
The general opinion was quite shocking.
I learned that apparently children are welcome in cafes but only if they are well behaved. In other words, children who behave like adults are welcome in public and those who act their age must stay at home.
Now I’m a mother of 2 of Fremantle’s biggest turds, yet I still frequent cafes every single day.
Not once have I bought into the idea that maybe my tribe and I weren’t welcome. Yes I’ve had head shakes and we’ve even been kicked out of a few places for my sons nudity, daughter’s lack of shoes, my son killed a tadpole, daughter stole chocolate etc etc and the list goes on. The key, I believe to our cafe consistency despite all of this is one simple fact. I don’t care.
If I can get us all back to my car with a belly fully of soy chai and no criminal charges, it’s a win.

My personal favourite was a comment on this particular news site, by a clearly inexperienced 20 something year old woman who’s pride and joy was obviously her job as her profile pic was her in her ultra flattering FIFO fluro yellow outfit;
“I don’t mind mums bringing their kids to cafes, but when a kid is chucking a massive tantrum and the mum is just sitting there not doing anything to stop them I get mad”
Now this piece of parenting 101 had the support of 54 ‘likes’, a feeling I’m yet to revel in but can imagine it puffs the feathers nicely.
That mum that our FIFO goddess is shaming? That’s me. Actually I’m worse, I won’t sit back and do nothing while my child screams his head off ruining everyones morning paper, I’ll probably grab my phone and check my Instagram or text a picture of the tantrum to a friend and do my very best to ignore the entire situation. As most people with toddler tantrum experience will tell you, time is the only healer, soothing, pandering, pretending to give a fuck is all just to make you look like a better mum and will actually serve no purpose in shortening the time of said tantrum. You’re better off sneaking out and hoping your child doesn’t follow.

So if anyone’s wondering thats most probably the reason why mums look as if they don’t care, trust me, they do. We want our kids to enjoy their milkshakes and have a good time but when your 2 and you can’t find a slide or a tree or can’t have the 3rd chocolate you wants you tend to express yourself, vocally.

And why is this anyone else’s problem but yours? Because children are our FUTURE. They are as big a part of this community as we are and carry just as much importance. Children matter, they should be brought to cafes and restaurants and slowly taught the art of our culture. Mums count, the morning coffee and socialisation of a woman raising tomorrows generation of miracle workers is just as important if not more than that of a loser in a suit. Don’t get me started on the coin we part with in a cafe, a milkshake, piece of cake and coffee – trust me, we pay for our 30 minutes of public adulthood. Who the fuck wants to spend their entire day in a park? We don’t love it as much as our working husbands think we do.

Today I shall leave you with the idea that maybe the next time you see a new mum in a cafe just trying to down some hot liquid sanity, struggling while her little bundle of turd stress’s the crap out of her remember this one thing, its probably not the baby that is overwhelming her, its probably the thought that she no longer feels welcome or the judgemental eyes that are ruining her morning and when in that situation you’d never believe how far a bit of kindness can go. She’s a mum, she’s had no sleep, she doesn’t wee alone, she’s a hero and she deserves a free fucking coffee.

And here is my son, on the run after stripping off, spilling a milkshake and kicking a pregnant woman at our local cafe.

18 Comments
  1. Profile photo of trudooldoo
    trudooldoo 9 months ago

    Yes kids in cafes, its all about discipline, ” oh they must mot discipline their children” children have a mind of their owns, regardless of how many times we try to shoosh them, they giggle at the table ” oh that kid is so obnoxious they sniggle to each other” when is giggling something meant to be a happy emotion, considered abnormal. They have to sit at the table all gracefull and dainty, seen but not heard, acting like adults in an adults world. Kids not allowing to be kids, and wonder why they grow up so fast. Should have a library for kids and library for adults to, my kids see a boom and they love it and say out a bit too loud how wonderful it looks, ” wow” they say… But are almost kicked from the building. Children told to suppress real emotions and to be taught to be stiff and serious instead. Love your posts!!!!

  2. Profile photo of Petie
    Petie 9 months ago

    Omg, I would never be able to eat out. Mine goes into melt down thats it. I am at the point where I feel I need a “please do not make eye contact with my child” badge, the amount of times strangers walk up and say something to my son and then said situation esculates makes me want to cry😈.

    I am a parent that figures I need to pick and choose my battles or I would be in a constant battle with my son. ☺

  3. Profile photo of Tamara
    Tamara 9 months ago

    Hah! My almost 3yo has just started undressing himself everywhere we go! And I don’t care! Let’s leave kids undomesticated – they’ll have years of dealing with all the adult crap…

  4. Profile photo of Linda-Ire
    Linda-Ire 9 months ago

    Thank God I found your blog, cos honestly, I’ve been feeling like I’m a total weirdo cos anytime I come with an jokey (but honest!) “isn’t motherhood shit?” comment I get looked at like there’s something wrong with me. You are amazing.

    I LOVE this. I’m afraid to take my kids to cafes cos I feel so judged, and you’re so right, I find myself pretending to be trying to calm them down when all I want to do is ignore them until they start being civilised, it’s the only way! And I didn’t realise how much all of this gets to me until recently I was in a store and as usual my giant buggy was in the way of other shoppers and I was doing my usual, apologising for keeping the human race going, when this middle aged lady (usually the worst “tutters”) stopped me and said “you have nothing to apologise for, your children are beautiful and you have every right to take them wherever you want”. I almost burst into tears, and I realised how ridiculous it it to feel like I have to hide away with my children until they are “civilised”. My kids are awesome, and hilarious, you’re lucky I let you see them!

  5. Profile photo of SamLinde
    SamLinde 9 months ago

    Love this!! Up way too late thanks to some hectic insomnia due to next day dread and fighting with hubby (yay😐) and this made me lol as I lie in my 6 yr old bed cos he woke up after a nightmare whole I was sticking on fake nails. Fuck. I would prob unch someone If i went in to a Cafe at the moment. I get the worst social anxiety my 2 1/2 yr old has epic tantrums. The loud screams and violent thrashing… The whole lot. I die a little inside every time. Love what u said about kid seeing the future and that it’s the communities responsibility to help raise them and culture them. So spot on. Society is fucked.

  6. Profile photo of Emily Jane
    Emily Jane 9 months ago

    Love it! <3 I remembered getting stared at a lot when my two were younger! I often take them out for dinner to restaurants..not a huge fan of cooking and i enjoy being cooked for, but People do tend to look at you strangely when you are a single parent sitting at a restaurant…sometimes they behave..some times they don't..sometimes they even make their teddies guests at our table lol…you get the odd people..couples..looking at you like you shouldn't be there..but fuck them. Kids are people too and completely right…they need to learn how to participate in social situations, these things do take time.

  7. Profile photo of Queenintraining
    Queenintraining 9 months ago

    I could sit and read these comments and blogs all day long. I have three kids aged 1, 6 and 9 and have only realised since having them how much we are judged as parents, especially when we’re out and about. In most areas of our lives what we do and what we think isn’t really anyone else’s business ……. but when we have kids suddenly everyone has an opinion and the way you raise them is up for discussion by anyone and everyone!! I wish i had the confidence you have and could say ‘screw you’ to other people instead of wanting the ground to swallow me up!! Reading these comments is definitely helping though 🙂

  8. Profile photo of Gosia
    Gosia 9 months ago

    Whoa there! I actually noticed yesterday on a bus (little dude is out of pram for few months now) that I don’t go OUT OUT anymore: parks, cafes, little trips because of fear. I’m scared of him having tantrum and me sweating and people looking and judging. You know what.
    FUCK THIS SHIT.
    STARTING FROM TODAY (well maybe tomorrow, pissing down with rain here) I WILL BE OUT WITH HIM ALWAYS AND FUCK IT ALL. LET’S HAVE ADVENTURES.

  9. Profile photo of Jennifer
    Jennifer 9 months ago

    When my kids were little and I took them out in public, in the beginning I wanted them to “behave properly. ” As the kid, turned to two kids, I cared less. Then once kids three came along and they started fighting as siblings do, they thought they could get away with it cause we were in public. Well until one day, not my proudest day, but they were having a meltdown, so glad it was before Facebook popularity, but I was on my monthly visitor, feeling like a big bag if shit cause I was moody and cranky and just a bitch, so I decided to take the kids out as kids of a break for me apology for them. Anyway, they were having their meltdown, then I had my meltdown only they were bickering and I was crying. Totally shocked them. Of course it only took a few mins for us all to see how funny it all really was then start laughing. After that if they wind I wined too, just louder, ppl looked at the kids more so than me, like ah poor kids. Happened enough times that anytime we went out, they were on their best behavior so mommy didn’t make them looks like they were taking care of their mom visiting from the “home” lmao

  10. Profile photo of Jo
    Jo 9 months ago

    LOVE THIS! Every parent-to-be should be given a login to your website and instead of spending all that time online shopping for pristine-white cuter than cute little onesies that will be ruined by the first back crap your precious little terror does, they need to spend the time reading what will REALLY happen! Wish I’d had this to read 4.5 years ago when I was blissfully pregnant with my first and under the illusion that I could control what was about to happen! Thanks Constance for being real x

  11. Profile photo of Sophs
    Sophs 9 months ago

    This is my favorite post! This is also how I spend my Saturday nights! – and actually enjoy it 😀👐

  12. Profile photo of Cherry Tree
    Cherry Tree 9 months ago

    I’m terrible when it comes to this, because I find tantrums kind of…hilarious. When it’s your own kid, and they are in the aisles or in the shop beating the ground screaming it feels like the world is going to end because people are fairly quick and harsh in their judgements, but I just can’t help but feel sorry as well as have a giggle about it when I see another kid doing it. I know it drives everyone else mad lol, but it’s like watching one of those videos where the person misses the plane so they throw an adult tantrum at the airport. I used to throw the worst tantrums, so I guess my inner child relates a bit. Kids don’t know how to act appropriately in public, it has to be learned, and taking them out in public and doing the whole cafe thing is how they gradually learn to do it. Shit, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a Queen (or King) has to lead by example to show the young ones how the adults do it. Keep going to the cafe folks, one day it will be your child doing the same with their little one 🙂

  13. Profile photo of Kristyn
    Kristyn 9 months ago

    I have to admit that I am one of these people who don’t want to give a shit what others think, but I actually do…
    I’m sure this is what has partly contributed to battling postnatal depression. I have and still do avoid going out alone with my daughter, for fear that she will start crying, crack the epic shits or start that half whine half cry she does… And won’t stop.
    I don’t know what’s harder to deal with: the looks you get from non breeders and old people that read “what are you doing to that poor child” or other mothers that read “my child is perfect, I’m perfect, you must be fucking up something”…
    I beat myself up bad enough and have suffered enough social anxiety in my lifetime to deal with all those fucking critical stares so I just stay home and isolate myself and my daughter, making it worse… When I see other mums with a child cracking the shots I always give them a smile which says “honey, I’m not judging you, I’m in that same leaky fucking boat!”

  14. Profile photo of Adele
    Adele 9 months ago

    I love eating out but I must admit I prefer it without my kids, not because they cause havoc but because I think at some point im entitled to a kid free meal, we usually call it date night and hope for the best, I tend to think the meals with have out with the kids are a fail if there isn’t food all over the floor, a meltdown and my 6 yr old hasn’t got up and entertained everyone with her singing and dancing routine x

  15. Profile photo of Lilly
    Lilly 9 months ago

    That picture nearly made me die laughing. Love it! Love everything you said! I have two kids aged 11 and 2 and my first born was what I call a trick child. She was such an easy baby and toddler that she tricked me into thinking “oh I got this whole parenting thing down, I think I’ll have another” then BOOM I was blessed with this little miniature wild crazy loud hyper tornado child. As my daughter slept through every night from the age of one month on and never had an illness other than a cold, my son spent 31 days in the NICU after birth, has me in and out of the doctors office every other week, still wakes up every few hours at night and still has the energy to run me ragged like I’m caring for 6 toddlers instead of just him. So I can definitely sympathise with other mothers of strong-willed, wild, wonderful children. Because that is what they are, wonderful. Yes, he has given me more grey hairs than I can count and stressed me out more in an hour than his sister did in 11 years but I see the amazing individual he will become. I know he is the type of kid who will never blend into a crowd but stand out strong and I love every bit of him for that, even the tantrum throwing, 90mph going, wild part.

  16. Profile photo of Kat
    Kat 9 months ago

    Ohhhhh I love all your story’s and the way you tell them Constance, you tell the real stuff the way it really goes lol x

  17. Profile photo of Leanne lilly jake
    Leanne lilly jake 9 months ago

    I’ve only just found you but I’ve fallen in love….. Yes girl crush lol!!!
    I’ve got a 7 yr old girl Lilly and jake who’s 3.

    My dream would be to open a coffee shop for parents of children under 5!!!!
    To stop all the judges n juries of this parenting world of coffee shop etiquette, so us mommies can meet chill whilst your kids can get on and explore!!!!
    I’m a bit shit with maths so have crumbled at the financial part of the business plan…..after reading this I’m getting some help and going to make this happen!!!!

    Yes I’m gonna Queen ♕ it up!!!

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