3/13/2016

To the Parents in Public Looking for a Break

I get it.

All of us need a break every now and then.

Trust me. I understand.

But lemme tell you something...

If you're a parent and you need a break, it may be a good idea to hire a babysitter rather than expect others (like me) to take on your parental roles in public while you scroll through your phone and your child runs around like a maniac.

Let's back up...

The hubbs and I recently took our daughters to the mall.

Mother Nature left us cooped up inside the house, and we needed to get out.

'Cause we were going slightly crazy.

So we went to the mall's indoor play place (yes, I know, germ-central) for the girls to run off some energy.

Apparently we weren't the only parents with the same idea because there were LOTS of kids there. It was packed.

The girls were having a ball. Chris and I were busy chasing after them as they hopped from the "train station" to the slides to a larger-than-life sized "hippopotamus."

When I sat down with our oldest for a drink break, a little girl about her same age went up to her, looked at her and hit her.

Literally point blank hit her in the face.

What the what?

Olivia looked at me confused.

I asked if she was okay, and said in my overly loud teaching - slash - momma bear voice, "It's not nice when people hit, is it?" fully intending for the little girl to hear.

The girl skipped away, but found her way back to our corner only minutes later where she walked up and grabbed a pack of fruit snacks out of my daughter's hand.

Literally just grabbed them.

I looked at that girl and said sternly, "No. Those fruit snacks are not yours. It's not nice to take other people's things." 

The girl looked at me like I was some crabby know-it-all and reluctantly gave them back.

But the entire time these interactions took place, I wondered where on earth her parents were.

Who was watching her?

She was clearly spending way more time assaulting and stealing from my daughter (okay, I know. That's an exaggeration, but you get my point...).

Was she here by herself? Did she have free roam of the place? Were her parents looking for her?

About 15-minutes later I realized her mom was sitting RIGHT NEXT TO ME.

The entire time, you guys. This woman was sitting feet away from me with her head buried in her phone totally oblivious to the way her daughter was acting.

I was so put off by her lack of effort in caring and watching after her daughter.

I try hard not to point fingers and judge other people's parenting decisions, and I'll be the first to admit I'm a far cry from a perfect parent... but this? This was completely unacceptable in my book.

I honestly feel like someone could've taken her daughter to the other side of the mall, and she would have never noticed. And that's terrifying.

So here's my PSA/gentle reminder: Watch your children. Don't depend on others to do it for you (unless they're getting paid as your babysitter, of course). Your child's safety and behavior should take priority over the social media feeds you're scrolling through on your cell phone. And, perhaps most importantly, your child is missing out on a lot of fun with you because you're so preoccupied. Put your phone down, and have fun with them. They're only little once.

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