Including kids in your normal life - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It seems very natural to me to include DS in my normal daily activities. I've gotten some bad looks and some flak for including DS in such normal daily activities. A lot of people seem to think that kids should be, I don't know, 'put somewhere' so adults can just live their lives without inconvenience. And I am honestly offended by people even THINKING that I should leave my son with some babysitter just so I can write a check faster or whatever. It takes a village... I will raise my son to be a productive and active member of society. I don't want him to think that it is his place to just sit quietly cooped up somewhere because he isn't important. I don't think his toddler mind should be occupied with just toys alone. My parents failed miserably at teaching me how to 'live'. Like kids are so inconvenient and unimportant it's better to not have them with you at any given moment. Then when they turn 18 just kick 'em out the door. I think the point of childhood is to learn to be an adult. He needs to see adults in action and know how people interact and the practical side of survival in modern America.

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#2 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 04:27 PM
 
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There are very few places I would not take a child. Children should be included in society. They are part of it. I get frustrated with people who treat children as inconveniences or status symbols.
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#3 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 04:29 PM
 
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Emily, you are exactly right.

~Nay

Reneé, 34 year old mom to Antonin 8/04 and Arianna 9/06  (6 weeks) 5/08. Married to Matt since 6/03 .  
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#4 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 04:37 PM
 
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I agree, I always get people acting like I'm some super mom for ataking 2 kids to the grocery store...ummm...this is part of my life, I'm not going to pay some babysitter just so I can do it a little faster...besides, the trip is so much more fun when I have someone to talk to. (I actually start talking to myself if I go without my boys! )

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#5 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 04:40 PM
 
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yes, yes, yes, yes and :

I love bring Little H out and about with me - and more importantly she really loves it. She loves to see what people are doing, how different things are done. I find I have become more focused on what really needs to be done when I know I will be doing errands with her. Plus no matter how the day may head down hill I tend to stay in a better mood because she will do something funny to make me laugh.
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#6 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 04:47 PM
 
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I got this just this morning at the post office. God forbid I had to fill out a custom form also...you would not have believed the dirty looks I got. I turned to one woman and said I wish they had a drive threw!
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#7 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 04:48 PM
 
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Very much agree. But it is hard sometimes to deal with the negative looks. There are some things that I would keep kid-free, but for the kid's sake as much as the adults (e.g. subjecting them to an attempt at a long, sit-down dinner at a nice restaurant). However, I whole-heartedly agree that kids should get to be part of all the usual activities of daily life. I wish more things (like banks) were set up for that or at least expecting it as normal.
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#8 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 04:50 PM
 
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I totally agree with you ladies. Involving your kids in everyday activities not only ensures you more time with them but they learn so much when they are out and about. Also, if I had to pay for a babysitter/wait for my dh to get home to run errands and grocery shop I would be crunched for time and money. Besides dd loves the hustle and bustle of the outside world and if people don't like it so what - it's a free word and dd is entitled to explore it with me!
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#9 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 04:55 PM
 
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wow, that really stinks!!! in my town, kids are part of every daily activity- you can't go to the post office, supermarket, dry cleaners, etc. without seeing kids. i never even thought about it until your post. sooooo sorry!!
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#10 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 04:58 PM
 
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Well yes, to a point... While I believe that children can and should be included in trips to the grocery store or whatever, I don't think they are necessarily a good part of an expensive meal out or an adult-directed movie or the opera. At least, not until they are old enough to sit still and quiet for such an event and appreciate it for what it is. My husband and I had a very rare "date" the other night which was spoiled by a toddler throwing pasta all over my silk jacket (you know, the one piece of clothing I never wear anymore because I have toddlers at home...) at dinner -- at 9 PM! I don't blame the poor kid who was completely miserable, but I was pretty miffed at the parents for having the child in a non-child friendly restaurant at a non-child friendly time and not taking any steps to keep the child entertained and happy.

I also think that this is a matter of personal choice and depends partly on the temperament of the both kids and parents. If the parent in question is going to drag a screaming child through the grocery store, puncutated with spanking to quiet said child, then I think everyone would be better off if the child was at home with a sitter, daddy or whatever. If the child will not stay close enough to parents to be safe, then its probably better to leave the child at home during outings.

Nor do I think that businesses should necessarily be expected to change their business practices to accomodate children if they aren't "family oriented" to begin with. By all means take your child to the bank, but don't expect the bank to change its set up to keep your child safe. Of course, a bank might chose to become child welcoming as a way to be competitive, but it shouldn't be compelled to do so. Parents who chose to take children "everywhere" should be responsible for that child's safety, comfort, and well-being at all times, not expect others to do so. Not saying that the OP or others do this, but I certainly see plenty of people who seem to expect the world to change for their children.

IMHO, this is definitely one of those "to each her own / do what works for your family" areas.
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#11 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 05:10 PM
 
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And I am honestly offended by people even THINKING that I should leave my son with some babysitter just so I can write a check faster or whatever.
I agree. As a culture, separating from young children has become expected to a large degree. We've lost "tolerance" (I don't like using that word) for having children around.

I homeschool, so my kids are with me nearly 24/7. I don't get as many looks now as I did when they were younger.
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#12 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree. As a culture, separating from young children has become expected to a large degree. We've lost "tolerance" (I don't like using that word) for having children around.
I agree too. Babies and toddlers are to be loved.

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#13 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom
Well yes, to a point... While I believe that children can and should be included in trips to the grocery store or whatever, I don't think they are necessarily a good part of an expensive meal out or an adult-directed movie or the opera.

I also think that this is a matter of personal choice and depends partly on the temperament of the both kids and parents. If the parent in question is going to drag a screaming child through the grocery store, puncutated with spanking to quiet said child, then I think everyone would be better off if the child was at home with a sitter, daddy or whatever. If the child will not stay close enough to parents to be safe, then its probably better to leave the child at home during outings.

Nor do I think that businesses should necessarily be expected to change their business practices to accomodate children if they aren't "family oriented" to begin with. By all means take your child to the bank, but don't expect the bank to change its set up to keep your child safe. Of course, a bank might chose to become child welcoming as a way to be competitive, but it shouldn't be compelled to do so. Parents who chose to take children "everywhere" should be responsible for that child's safety, comfort, and well-being at all times, not expect others to do so. Not saying that the OP or others do this, but I certainly see plenty of people who seem to expect the world to change for their children.

IMHO, this is definitely one of those "to each her own / do what works for your family" areas.
: Very well said. Thank you.
I do not have money for babysitters, but i do have other parents and non-parents that I trade time/childcare with. My kids are not sitting at home, but are at the park, at a festival/community event, having a lot more fun than a trip to the grocery store or bank.
My childless friend loves taking them to places like the Zoo, Children's Museum, Science Museum, all places I cannot afford and even if I did, I would go CRAZY1 In return, I house sit, help her with her college homework, clean her house when she is having family or friends visit(I am one of those claen freaks, like taking Q-tips to the corners and all that ), etc.
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#14 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 05:23 PM
 
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Many of my relatives think it's weird that we don't regularly leave dd with a sitter. dh's cousins leave their 2 year olds at least once a week to go out, and sil/bil leave their 5 months old (and have since she was pretty little) quite regularly, too. I don't feel right leaving dd when she's this little, so we just take her with us and we've decided to hold off on going to adult only events until she's older. dh and I like being with our little girl!!

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#15 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 05:30 PM
 
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If my children are up to it, I take them everywhere. Not all childen are up to all things. I see people yelling at tired children, or ignoring crying little ones in shopping carts. I think the way some people drag some kids around does show a disrepect for the child's needs, however.

I esp hate to see little ones being castigated for being overwhelmed by overwhelming situations. Huge crowded and noisy shopping malls, for one thing. Not all kids can deal with that. Not all kids can deal with strangers in public, either. I feel bad for children in crowded restaurants that take forever to serve food where their parents expect them to 'behave'. For another, long waits in places like the DMV. That said, some people have no choice and must take children along. I don't mind helping to entertain the bored. I will often invite a bored child over to hear a book I'm reading my own child-- this has been true at the DMV, the dentist and the pedi. I don't like it when i see people treating their tired children poorly.

We all lose it sometimes, but I notice many people have wrong expectations of small children--insisting that they sit still or be quiet (often times i think the paretn is creating more of a fuss controlling than the child is being a child). Lots of folks don't bother to bring food or other items along to keep kids occupied. I hate to see people hitting or grabbing children rather than offer to read a book to them, or play a little game etc. That's why I *never* judge any mom in a public place with a kid chowing down a bag of fries or sitting in grocery cart with an opened box of something. Maybe it's that or a meltdown. Never think bad thoughts about the mother of a child eating Lucjy Charms in public.
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#16 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 05:46 PM
 
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It's funny that you should make a post like this on a day that I had to bring my daughter to work with me, due to a combination of urgent work needs and a babysitter mishap. She spent a couple of hours sitting on a blanket on the floor next to my chair, playing with toys and flirting with my research assistant. Now she's in the sling napping. It's not optimal for either her or me, but today it's what had to happen. Fortunately, everyone around me here is baby-flexible.

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#17 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 08:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mpeel
There are very few places I would not take a child. Children should be included in society. They are part of it. I get frustrated with people who treat children as inconveniences or status symbols.
I agree. With some caveats. I think it is rude and inconsiderate to take children to appointments where you will be occupied and someone else will need to "watch" the child for you in order for you to participate in/conclude the appointment-- or where it will otherwise interfere with the appointment, cause delay in the persons schedule, etc. The type of thing that comes to mind is - dentist appointment, eye doctor, accountant, tax, etc.

Another scenario is I disagree with taking children to adult movies or nice restaurants -- in the late evening no less. In these scenarios it can be (often is) disruptive to those trying to watch the movie, eat the expensive meal (for us - usually some sort of celebration - anniversary maybe?), -- AND, not appropriate for the kid to be up soo late? watching something totallly inappropriate for the age? scary maybe? sexually explicit? suffering through a late evening meal of expensive food they probably don't even like? asking them to "sit still", etc? I'm all for taking kids to restaurants - not saying that - just a familly friendly place and at an appropriate time.

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#18 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 09:02 PM
 
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we are all night owls and stay up pretty late. We have a different schedule than most and you might see us at at applebees some night at 11 pm on a weekday..
movies I wouldn't take my kids to period. i don't do theatres anymore and they don't need to be there anyway ( personal preference)
However we have had many moons ago ( my oldest is 18 and youngest is 7)
our 3 yr old in nice Japanese resteraunt where he tried sushi
Dd was in places like Red Lobster at two ( before family cut off)
Now would I take the duo to cafe matthew if I ever went NO WAY


Not everyone can reschedule dr appts that have been several times due to lack of sitters.

I am like the pp poster and don't mind entertaining the bored
I keep a ton of stuff in my bag for mine and usually have enough to share.
Dry erase markers and boards, map pencils, coloring sheets, card games etc..
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#19 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 09:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by QueenOfThePride
I
faster or whatever. It takes a village... I will raise my son to be a productive and active member of society. I don't want him to think that it is his place to just sit quietly cooped up somewhere because he isn't important.

Which is fine, if the village loves your kid.

"Cooped up'. Like when my sister and I trade taking care of our kids and they have fun, so the other doesn't have to subject the children to boring shit?
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#20 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 09:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sometimes the parents realize that it will be hard to have a child present for certain situations, but have no other options. I guess I'm calling for a little understanding when children are difficult in public. Everyone on this thread probably already understands that. I think it is the non-parents in society that are so intolerant, and unfortunately this thread won't be reaching any of them! It does seem to be the default setting that children are not often welcome to participate in much. I feel that children have just as much of a right to participate in society as adults do (as determined by maturity and ability). And that children ought to be encouraged to get involved in conversations and such. That's a good way to keep them occupied instead of yelling at them.

When I interned at a vet clinic this summer, I loved sharing what I was doing with kids. Like if a kid (and parents) came in with their pet, I explained what was going on in kid language. If I found ear mites from their pet, I invited the kids to come in back to see them crawling around in the microscope. On the farms, I explained to the farm kids about what the vet was doing. I showed them where to press their hand against the side of the cow to feel the calf inside. I explained how we need to get the fluids out of the lungs of newborn calves, etc. I loved it!

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#21 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 09:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mpeel
There are very few places I would not take a child. Children should be included in society. They are part of it. I get frustrated with people who treat children as inconveniences or status symbols.
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#22 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 09:42 PM
 
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I guess my post really gets to "respect for others" and "appropriateness" with respect to your own unique kids.

If you are night owls and so are your kids - and they are totally cool at dinner in an expensive restaurant at 9 pm and can totally hang, not making inappropriate noise or running around -- than I'd have no problem with it at all. Or if DD or DS is so calm and mellow that they can sit in a corner and quietly read a book for 45 minutes while you are having your dental work done - and not interrupt, need to be taken to the bathroom, get into the dentists things, etc -- also, no prob. Not my kids - but maybe other people have kids like this. No caveats for kids in adult movies though.

BTW - what does ROFL mean?

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#23 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 09:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom
Well yes, to a point... While I believe that children can and should be included in trips to the grocery store or whatever, I don't think they are necessarily a good part of an expensive meal out or an adult-directed movie or the opera. At least, not until they are old enough to sit still and quiet for such an event and appreciate it for what it is. My husband and I had a very rare "date" the other night which was spoiled by a toddler throwing pasta all over my silk jacket (you know, the one piece of clothing I never wear anymore because I have toddlers at home...) at dinner -- at 9 PM! I don't blame the poor kid who was completely miserable, but I was pretty miffed at the parents for having the child in a non-child friendly restaurant at a non-child friendly time and not taking any steps to keep the child entertained and happy.

I also think that this is a matter of personal choice and depends partly on the temperament of the both kids and parents. If the parent in question is going to drag a screaming child through the grocery store, puncutated with spanking to quiet said child, then I think everyone would be better off if the child was at home with a sitter, daddy or whatever. If the child will not stay close enough to parents to be safe, then its probably better to leave the child at home during outings.

Nor do I think that businesses should necessarily be expected to change their business practices to accomodate children if they aren't "family oriented" to begin with. By all means take your child to the bank, but don't expect the bank to change its set up to keep your child safe. Of course, a bank might chose to become child welcoming as a way to be competitive, but it shouldn't be compelled to do so. Parents who chose to take children "everywhere" should be responsible for that child's safety, comfort, and well-being at all times, not expect others to do so. Not saying that the OP or others do this, but I certainly see plenty of people who seem to expect the world to change for their children.

IMHO, this is definitely one of those "to each her own / do what works for your family" areas.
:

Oops - should have read this post before I posted. Pretty much sums my thoughts up too.

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#24 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 10:29 PM
 
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I'm right there with ya!

I think it is very important for children to be involved in daily life stuff. Sure, it goes a little faster in the grocery store if DD isn't with me, but when she does come, she gets to be a part of helping our family. The "looks" I get are positive ones - people smile like crazy when they see her helping me smell peaches or feel the weight of grapefruits! And all the other tasks - laundry, bill paying, etc. - well, how will she learn to be self-sufficient if she's kept apart from this stuff until she's grown up?

Plus, don't most children enjoy being made a part of things? I know my DD does. She actually asks to scrub pots and pans...I told her I want it in writing to show her when she's 13!!!
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#25 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 10:33 PM
 
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I grew up in a home where my Dad would send us to our room when company came over. He was a firm believer in children should be seen and not heard. I do not believe that at all. I love taking DS with me places. He is 5 1/2 months old and I have only left him three times all for about 2 hrs. One was a dr's appointment and twice DH and I went out to grab a bite to eat, the first time with friends and there were no kids allowed we were told and we got there and they had their 10 month old with them, so I was kind of irritated, and once when dh was having a stressful week. Most instances I do not go anywhere where children are not allowed, so it is not usually an issue for me, but DH is more likely to want to leave him with a sitter than I am.
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#26 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 10:51 PM
 
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I agree. My kids go with me everywhere . . . it actually doesn't occur to me to find someone to watch them when I have a dr appt or go to the bank or grocery store. I always have food and water in my bag, as well as books and things to entertain. We also never go out to expensive restaurants or movies . . . I guess we really don't go anywhere that children would not be welcome or appropriate. So it's never an issue.

I'm a firm believer in including kids in your daily life, making them a part of the fun and the boring stuff. That's life. And what's wrong with being a little bored once in a while? Gosh, I don't want to have to entertain them all day long. I don't even want them to be entertained all day long everyday! They'll become adults who constantly need to be entertained too. Each day has ups and downs, fasts and slows, excitement and calm, fun and boredom. Mixing it up with kid-centered stuff and adult-centered stuff. It's all family stuff.

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#27 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 11:03 PM
 
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BTW - what does ROFL mean?
"Roll on floor laughing"
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#28 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 11:47 PM
 
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I take my son with me pretty much everywhere, with the exception of doctor's appointments, unless I've cleared it with the doctor first. My son is 2.5, and he just can't handle waiting for hours in a tiny waiting/exam room. This is why I can't ever get to the doctor . Other than doctor's offices, he goes everywhere with me. I just have to respect the fact that, hello, he's two, and he's going to have tantrums/behavior problems occasionally. He loves to go out with me, and it's usually not an issue.

Honestly I wish there were more stores like IKEA. IKEA is truly child-friendly, they have those little play houses everywhere and nobody cares if the kids climb on stuff. My son loves IKEA when we go there.
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#29 of 105 Old 11-01-2005, 11:54 PM
 
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oh i wish you could have met this fabulous grandmotherly (none of her own, yet) French painter woman in my town. she said what PP's have said - that they have to be in life to learn how to live in life. she was so wonderful and it made me feel good to be around her. and to just snidely (in my head) think, "oh you silly unworldly american" when someone acts like i shouldn't have kids in tow at all times.
truthfully, i am sad that i am not allowed to take DS (although i understand) to the gym with me. he would LOVE the machines and we could do the treadmill together and stuff. oh how fun that would be! and what better way to learn the "american way" of fitness for so many of us! and gym etiquette. he LOVES to learn this sort of thing.
keep doing what you are doing and think in your head, "you're welcome for what i am doing to make the world a better place for you when my kids' generation inherits it."
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#30 of 105 Old 11-02-2005, 12:44 AM
 
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You know, when Iam out and about with my 3 toddlers either I am too busy with them or doing my thing, but I have never noticed any type of subliminal attitude or pressure or even idea that I shouldnt have come with my kids.
Maybe it is where I live. Now I do get comments about my hands being full. But I dont blame them. Most people wouldnt dream go to WalMart with 2 2 year olds and a 3 year old. But I have never even gotten the message that kids "dont belong" at the post office, grocery store, pharmacy etc. . .
But then again my dh does call me "oblivoline" Because I am so oblivious.

Unfortunately I do do a lot of my stuff at night or when I can get somebody else to watch my kids too. But that is only because there are three of them, and it just IS so much easier for me to go by myself. If I only had one it would never have occurred to me to have my mom come watch him so I could do errands. How lazy would that be?

Oh and even Drs appts. My DS1 came to every prenatal appt with me. He even sat on my chest during a pelvic! Again though, I couldnt have done that with two or three.

Joline
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