Dining out with the kids and the trick that helped me get started.
Dining out with kids can be overwhelming for most parents and since I keep getting queries related to this I thought of sharing about our journey. In this post I have shared how it all began for us.
Being a Hotelier, Mr. Mehra (my husband) always wanted our girls to have good table manners, be able to place their own order, learn how to sit ‘Tameez main‘ (read: sophisticatedly) in a restaurant and behave respectfully towards the servers.
Years back Rishi was awestruck when he saw a 5 year old place her special order: ” I want penne pasta, Al Dante, with some olives and Arrabiata Sauce. Please ensure it’s Creamy”. ( Yeah I still remember the exact order and this was an Indian kid).
He came home and told me about it and said, ” When we have kids, I would love it if they are a Tameezfull diner? ( read: respectful diners). I would want them to know how to use a knife and a fork and be able to place their own order.”
Here’s How our dining journey actually began:
Rish and I love dining out. It’s sort of a tradition that on all his offs we step out for a meal.
When #mybigmuffin was a baby, it used to freak me out whenever we used to step out to dine.
I wasn’t comfortable breastfeeding in public even if I had a breastfeeding cover.
Because of this I used to either sit at a secluded seat or sit in our car to feed #mybigmuffin.
She was also a colic baby which added to the struggle.
Everytime we stepped out, one of us had to roam around holding #mybigmuffin while the other one used to gobble the food.
This became regular and I was loosing my cool (specially because I was also suffering from postpartum depression during that time).
I started making excuses everytime Rish would plan to dine out.
We started getting food delivered instead.
Rish didn’t realise I was purposely making excuses, until one day when I made it pretty obvious.
He held my hand and told me ,” We are a team and we will make this happen. Just because our baby cries, we won’t stop living our life the way we want. The baby has to adapt to our lifestyle and trust me it won’t be long enough that our baby too will start enjoying dining out. This is important because I don’t want us to loose ourself as individuals. We need to do this together”.
That was it.
That was the end of my fear.
We started going out again. We gradually learnt how to keep our little one calm at the restaurants.
The trick here is to not stop going out.
Everyone gradually learns to cope with parenting.
I’m so glad my husband pushed and guided me.
He was right! Parenting gets hard on us mostly when we give up what we love, just to adapt to the baby’s needs.
Today when we see our girls place their specific orders confidently and behave with the servers with great respect, Rish and I share a proud and content smile with each other.
It did require a lot of hard work and a few disastrous dining experiences but we are really thankful that we were successfully able to raise our girls the way we wanted. Dining out with kids isn’t that tough as it looks.
They learnt quite early in life the joy of dining with family. We follow strict no screentime and honestly, its quite doable because we have so many things to talk about ( thanks to the fact that all the 3 girls in our family are chatterboxes )
I really feel that it becomes easier for us to achieve our parenting goals because we work together as a team.
We divide our responsibilities and ensure that we back each other up.
This was just a beginning.
We do have times when our girls act crazy at restaurants, but most times they do enjoy the experience and make us proud.
The point here is not to raise kids with good table manners, it’s more about teaching the kids the joy of dining out as a family early in life.
It’s never too early to start. We started taking out our elder one when she was merely 40 days old. Thankfully it was a cake walk for us when our younger one was born.
You should start dining out with your kid when you are ready and everything falls into place gradually.
At no point am I suggesting that all parents should ensure that their kids should be trained to be sophisticated at restaurants. As parents we never wanted to stop dining out, hence we did what we felt was right for us. If you don’t agree with my thoughts I totally respect that. And since most of you wanted to know how we started, I thought of penning down our journey.
This is how our journey began.
I will be sharing more about the tips and tricks that worked for us.
Until then, keep spreading love and be around.
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