This Is Why You Should Never Judge the Family With the Screaming Kids at a Restaurant

 

tova leigh
tova_leigh/Instagram

You know when your own kids are doing their best angel impressions at a restaurant, and you see that one mom who's struggling to make it to dessert over at the next booth? Maybe her kids are flinging french fries at each other across the table, or she's trying to save the meal by screening cartoons on her phone. Either way, the temptation to judge that family (or post an obnoxious #blessed post about your own kids online) is powerful. But one mom reminds us just what happens when you judge a family based on one public outing

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Mom, writer, and all around kick-ass person Tova Leigh loves to keep it real when it comes to discussing all things parenthood. But even as someone who knows full well how hard parenting is, she explained in an Instagram post about how during a recent lunch outing, she was tempted to judge two other parents for their kids' behavior. (Spoiler alert: In the end, she didn't.)

mom writer
tova_leigh/Instagram

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"We were out with the kids for lunch the other day," she writes. "At the table next to us was another family (mom, dad, and two boys) who were having a bit of a nightmare time. Food flying in the air, kids screaming they 'don't want this!' and one mother all flushed and sweaty and about to lose her sh*t." Raise your hand if this sounds like you and your family whenever you decide to get brave and try a meal in public. 

Leigh says the struggling family reminded her how those perfect families enjoying milkshakes (somehow the kids always share without complaining or spilling) online aren't at all what happens in real life. She breaks down what a meal out with kids under age 6 is really like. 

"Takes less than two minutes for someone to say 'I'm bored' (despite the coloring books and sticker pads)," she writes. So true, plus whatever three crayon colors they give you, your kid's favorite is never one of them, so cue the tears.

And let's not forget the "field trips" that go along with such outings: "You got the endless trips to the bathroom (why do children love pooing in public places so much I will never know)."

Then there's the fun that comes when your food actually arrives. "... there is a lot of mess making and the general playing with the food but not actually eating it, and there is always that one child who says he doesn't like it (even though he bloody well does like it every other day of the year)," Leigh writes.

tova leigh mom
tova_leigh/Instagram

It's true. We love to go out to eat because we don't want to cook. But with all this family "fun" awaiting us at the restaurant, it's no wonder we order pizza in all the time. The secret is that we don't even like pizza all that much. We just like that there's no audience watching our family while we eat it at home.  

She said that in that moment her own kids happened to have their acts together, which is why she almost made the biggest mom no-no of all -- judging a fellow mom. "... I sat there chewing my chicken and feeling kinda smug that my kids were actually behaving pretty good," she writes.

Luckily she realized that it wasn't that her parenting skills were any better than that mom's, or that her kids were more well-behaved. It's all about timing. "I reminded myself that in about ten minutes we will be getting into the car to drive home and the kids are going to spend a good few minutes arguing over who's gonna get into the car first as I mumble in the background 'Who the hell cares?!'"

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Instead she offered the other mom the only thing we can give each other when our kids are having a public meltdown -- the knowing nod of solidarity. 

"I looked over at that other mom, who had by now already lost her sh*t royally, and I gave her a knowing smile of recognition, hinting that although my kids may look like perfect little angels right now, they can be real assholes when they want to," Leigh writes. "And isn't that balance between feeling 'blessed' and wanting to run far, far away what real momlife is all about?"

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