We all know that going out in public with small children can be at best stressful – at worst, utterly cringe-inducingly mortifying. So I thought I’d share some tips on going out with toddlers. All gained from my wealth of experience of being completely embarrassed by my own kids 🙈🤣 (NOTE – These are somewhat tongue-in-cheek so don’t shoot me k) 😊✌🏻
Tip 1. Don’t do it 😂
If you can avoid it, just don’t take your toddlers out in public. Stay inside like the social outcasts you are. Only venture out if you absolutely have to. For example, if you find yourself in a state of emergency – run out of Pom Bears, raisins, wine etc. Or if you find yourself rocking in a corner because you can’t cope with continuing the pointless cycle of tidying one area of the house only to find new carnage somewhere else. You probably do need to get out of the house then before you properly lose your marbles 😳
Tip 2. Stick to kiddie places
If you really must go out, stick to places frequented by other parents of mini-maniacs, such as playgrounds. Or even the hellhole to end all hellholes that is softplay. That way there is safety in numbers and hopefully fewer people judging the behaviour of your feral beasts. Of course you do then have the added joy of ensuring your kid doesn’t beat up or get beaten up by someone else’s kid though.
Tip 3. Bring ALLLLLLL the snacks
As much as you might think snack bribery is possibly not the best parenting technique, (rewarding bad behaviour etc) there will be a time when you find yourself in Mothercare, desperately hissing through gritted teeth at your planking, wailing offspring: ‘Look, if you just sit in the buggy and be quiet, I’ll give you a packet of Pom Bears ok!’ Unfortunately, the older they get, the more unhealthy the snacks need to be, to have the desired effect. (Think packet of Haribo instead of Pom Bears!)
Tip 4. Make an ally
If you’re out with your toddler(s) on your own in public and your little sweetheart is showing signs of imminent meltdown, take a quick look around you to see who’s there. Can you spot a friendly face? Preferably another mum also wrestling with an uncooperative toddler. Then when your kid is lying on the ground screaming the shopping centre down and you feel like chucking them in the nearest lift and legging it, at least you might have someone to give a knowing smile and an eyeroll at.
Tip 5. Keep your head down
There will inevitably be times when your child will have a massive meltdown, or a massive tantrum, or may just be acting like a massive tw*t, and NOTHING you do will work. You’ll have tried distraction, reasoning with the mini-tyrant, bribery, threats of consequences, everything you can think of… But nothing makes a scrap of difference. In these situations, there is nothing for it but to just keep walking and avoid eye contact with ANYONE. Even if you’re lucky enough to get the odd sympathetic glance from people passing by (other parents who are thinking thank f**k it’s not their little darling this time), rather than judgemental glares, you’ll still feel like an incompetent bellend who can do nothing to placate/discipline your own child. Sometimes it’s best to escape while you still have a shred of sanity left.
I hope you enjoyed my tips for going out with toddlers in public! Obviously not meant to be taken entirely seriously 😉 But hopefully they might have given you a little chuckle.
Thanks for reading!