You did it. You managed to piece together some semblance of an outfit that doesn’t include a t-shirt stained with child excrement and the pajama pants you have been wearing for the past two days. You even smeared on some make up before your toddler decided to use your eyeliner for his latest art project. You stealthily escaped from your home and are now ready to enjoy a child-free evening.
Then by some cruel twist of the universe, you soon discover your night out will not in fact be “adults only.” You spent so much time trying to get away from kids only to discover you and your partner will be enjoying your 10 p.m. dinner next to a family with four-year-old triplets.
Many adults without kids complain about seeing children on their nights out. Well, let me fill you in on a little secret: parents aren’t always thrilled to see them out either.
1. They remind us of our own kids.
Once you have kids, they are always in your mind. However, it is still nice to have some time when they don’t dominate your thoughts. As soon as we see an adorable baby or funny toddler, we immediately want to get home to our own brood.
2. They make us feel guilty.
Convincing ourselves we deserve a night out is hard. So when we see kids while we are away, we wonder if we should have stayed in, or brought the kids with us. Do they have a children’s menu at that Michelin-star restaurant?
3. They make us question our choice of venue.
In my old neighborhood, you will see kids out almost anywhere. Wine bar? Check. Irish Pub? Definitely. Insanely expensive eatery? There, too. Maybe next time we’ll try the biker bar. (Though that’s probably not kid free either.)
4. They turn us against other parents.
When we see kids while we are out, especially somewhere we would never take our own children, the judgements pour in. Did they really take their seven-year – old to an R-rated movie? They are the worst. Or maybe the best. They are totally the cool parents, and we are totally lame.
5. They cause conflicting internal monologues.
We aren’t sure if we should despise parents for bringing their kids out, or feel sorry for them. We know how tough, and expensive, it can be to find a sitter. We may even feel compelled to offer to watch the kids ourselves.
On the bright side, parents are excellent at dealing with distractions, so if we do see kids on our nights out, we can usually ignore them and go back to enjoying our adult time.