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Do I have a right to feel this way?

2085 Views 58 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  MamaBug
My boys were invited to a small sleepover party, 5 kids in all. The woman throwing the party will be taking her 2 kids, plus my 2 and one other boy to a McDonald's playland for dinner. The thing is this is the kind of mother that would think nothing of sitting in the playland with one kid and letting her other kid go to the bathroom alone. I am not comfortable letting my kids go there with just her. I have something planned for today but my dh is planning to tell her when he drops the boys off that when she goes to McD's he would like to follow as he is not comfortable with them going with just one pair of eyes.

Am I stupid to be worried? Am I within my rights if she gets mad or offended to say, listen these are my kids and I need to make sure they are safe? I KNOW this woman is going to get pissed just based on past experiences. Before I knew they were going to McD's I had called to say that if they did plan an activity outside of her home that dh was willing to tag along to help her out ( her dh is out of town) and she got very offended. Not until later did I realize just how strongly I felt about her going to a crowded place and being in charge of my child's safety.

Thoughts? And btw we plan on being very polite when he talks to her
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She probably feels as though you don't trust her to take care of the children. But, those are chaotic places. Four eyes are way better than two. Besides, McD's is a public place. She cannot tell your dh he can't be there. Hey, maybe he was craving a double cheeseburger with extra onions and only those dehydrated diced pieces of onion could satisfy the craving?
I would go to McD's too. I don't think that its unreasonable for you or you DH to go.
How old are these kids? Also is the bathroom right in the play area?

The chances of our kids getting stolen from the play area is slim...............But personally if I had 5 kids the same age in tow I would want some help.
I can see both points of view, but they are YOUR children so you do what's right. Even if your DH doesn't go right in the Playland, like a PP said...what's stopping him from getting a burger or coffee?
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I totally see your point. Maybe your DH could bring it up in a way like he is trying to help her out. Maybe say that he knows five kids are a lot to keep up with. Would she like an extra set of eyes? That way she isn't offended.
There is no way in he!! I would let her take the kids given the example you gave. I'm not sure how old your boys are, but there is no way in the world I would allow my boys to walk throught any restaurant by themselves and go into a men's room. WOW. WOW! I just can't imagine. My son is 12. Do you have any idea how quickly anyone could grab him as he walked through the dining area while I'm stuck in the sealed off play area with other kids? How close are outside doors to the restroom? If this lady wouldn't let that bother her, then how closely would she watch any behavior.

Listen, I know I'm way overprotective. But your boys sound a lot younger than mine and that is just completely unacceptable...... Send hubby and darn the consequences. You haven't spent this long protecting your kids to let it go now.....
My first thought was that if she is truly a friend to your family, then she would understand if you had concerns about the 5 kids in Maccas with one set of eyes. I once refused to let my 2 year old go to a 3 yr old friend's place because I knew mum was busy with a twin pregnancy, dad was busy building in the backyard, & they had an unfenced fish pond. I was afraid that my DD would slip away un-noticed & drown. I told them my fears, they were (mostly) okay with it, & they are still our very dear friends 5 years later. But I get the sense that this is just a mama of your children's friends, not necessarily a family friend, right?

How old are your kids, mamabug? Age would make a difference here to me, tbh. ANd of course you have a right to express concern for your children's safety! No matter how someone else might react to your concerns- to me this is a very basic right.....
I'm iffy about sleepovers, but then again, what age is your son? That is really going to make a difference in my mind. But if you don't let your son go into restrooms by himself, then no, he shouldn't be able to when he's with someone who is even less vested in his interests than you. I would just tell her that you may be overprotective but you don't let your son go to the public restrooms by himself and DH will be there to help and give an extra eye should he need to go.

You're definitely not being unreasonable.
How old are your dc? That makes a difference, I think. The playland near my house has a family bathroom right in the play area...the children don't need to leave to use it. Is yours like that?
I think it would depend on how old the children were. I don't think I'd be freaked out by it if they were 7 or older.

Originally Posted by cmd
I think it would depend on how old the children were. I don't think I'd be freaked out by it if they were 7 or older.
For me, it's be more like 12, perhaps even 14, I think. Weird stuff has happened in men's public restrooms in this town and I don't wish any young boy to be privvy to it by themselves.
I agree it depends on the ages of the dc.

It also depends on the area. For example in our area Mc'ds isnt a packed place so she could easliy watch while a child went to the bathroom and the group playing.
Our mc d's with a huge playplace actually has a bathroom (unisex, single door, for one person at a time) inside the playplace area. The others, with smaller areas, you have to go out of the playplace through the rest to get to the regular restrooms.

I am so NOT overprotective...when we go out with all the kids, ages 13, 9,8 and 1.5.........the baby of course i keep with me or the 13 yr old at all times. the older three can go wherever...bathroom? FINE!! out to the car to get your walkman? FINE!

We have taught them well, and they are big enough and old enough to know to look for cars and say no to strangers. Even the youngest, the 8 yr old, knows enough not to go off with a stranger, and to run and tell us if any inappropriate propositions/touching/advances/anytyhing etc happens. sounds like the op was probably talking about younger that case, I would not feel as comfortable...but for kids about 7 and up, i'm okay with it...
Also, we live in a smaller midwestern town with a down-homey kind of feel...other parents will help you out, point out if a kid is trying to leave the area, etc....would i feel differently in like..New york city? Of course!
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I never let my 5 yr old go to the bathroom alone. He gets all embarrassed, mom do I have to go in the womens?(i have actually let him go into the women's bathroom alone once, for some reason). It's not just snatching I'm worried about... And we do live in a safe, small town. I guess it's the big city girl in me.
By the way, of COURSE you have a right to feel the way you do! Youre the mama, it's your child and you have to make the decisions you feel work for you.
Of course you are within your rights to be uncomfortable and express that. It doesn't matter how old they are or where the restroom is located. If you have a rule about your child not going to the bathroom alone in a public place she needs to respect that even if she doesn't think it is necessary for her kids. If she gets pissy about your dh coming to help than I would just drop the kids off after dinner or maybe not at all.
Personally I wouldn't be thrilled with my dc getting in someone's car and going off somewhere else during a party. That in itself would make me uncomfortable.
You have a right to feel however you feel about it. These are your children, and if you're uncomfortable, you're uncomfortable.

Depending on the age of the kids, I'm not sure I'd be okay with my son attending a party like that with only one adult in someone's home, okay - but I really think that "outside" parties need at least two adults, especially if the kids are young.
You have every right to feel that way, they are your children! It is very natural to want to protect them.
No matter what other mothers would do in this situation, you and your dh have a responsiblity to do what *you* think is right. Personally, I would frame the issue of having dh come along as being totally about *our family*, not about her "needing help" or me being concerned about her ability to watch them carefully enough.

Perhaps you've been working very hard with the kids about how to behave in public, and until they get it down, you want to have a parent with them whenever they are in public?

Perhaps they've been fighting with each other a lot recently, and you would feel most comfortable having a parent there to deal with any conflict that may arise?

Perhaps your dh is wacko and gets hives whenever the children are in public without you or him, so could she please humor him just this once?

You get the idea -- make it about your family, not her lack of abilities or trustworthiness. I would try to think of a legitimate reason for dh to come along, and then tell her this is why he will be meeting them there. Don't ask her permission or ask her how she feels about it. That only puts her in an awkward position. Good luck. I hope it works out without anyone's feelings getting too bruised!
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I just want to say that we live in a big city. I would NEVER take my eyes off either of my girls, and I probably won't until they are well into their pre-teens. Not safe! Things happen to kids of ALL ages around here. I also want to say that I have been in some brutal confrontations regarding the way I do things with my kids. I've been called paranoid and overprotective. But the bottom line is my kids are my responsibility. No one elses. I can't expect someone else, let alone someone responsible for numerous other children at the same time, to do as good a job keeping an eye out on them as I. I have a new motto...if someone questions me regarding my parenting or rules, they don't get to care for my kids. Parenting is not a negotiation. They should automatically ASK you what your said rules are. Frankly, I think all of the parents should have at least been invited to go to the dinner portion of the party. BTW, if she is that laid back in a public place about supervision, how do you think she'll be at her home??
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