Unspoken Truths About Parenthood…

    Last night, I took my family to the movies to see the new Captain America movie.  My husband and I had planned it all week and I waited with my boys for Hubby to get home from work so we could head out to the multiplex.  We were all looking forward to this outing and we chatted excitedly in the car on the way over there.  To add to our excitement, I had picked up my nephew that afternoon and he was accompanying us to see the film.

    As usual, we were running a few minutes late and arrived at the theater just in time to quickly purchase our tickets and head to find some good seats while the coming attractions were playing on the screen.  About ten minutes into the movie a couple walked in with a stroller containing an infant and two toddlers in tow.  They proceeded to sit right near us and, I have to admit, I predicted that bringing such young children to the movies would not turn out well for them or for the rest of us who were trying to watch the movie.

    Sure enough, one of their toddlers proceeded to cry loudly while his mother held him and pleaded with him to stop screaming.  Eventually he stopped crying and the infant in the stroller took her cue and began to fuss so much that the mother took her out and held her to keep her from getting more upset.  After a while, mom took all the kids to the back of the theater while the father stayed in his seat and she allowed the two toddlers to run up and down the aisles while they laughed and screamed.

    Let me preface by saying that I kind of felt badly for this mother because it was obvious that she was completely overwhelmed by three young children who were clearly very close in age.  Additionally, I felt annoyed that the father was just sitting there watching the movie without a care in the world while she struggled to keep the kids together and urged them to try to stay quiet.  That’s the mom in me empathizing with her plight.

    Honestly, though, why would you bring three children that young to a movie theater?  Believe me, I know all too well what it is like to be stuck at home with infants or toddlers and to even cry because of the sheer frustration of having cabin fever and longing for some adult company or even conversation.  I’m sure most of us who are parents can relate to having these emotions.  However, it’s also important to be realistic about how our lives change when we have children.

    My husband and I probably did not go to the movies for about five years because by the time our firstborn was three, we had our second child and just would not dream of taking children that young to the movies with us.  Aside from the fact that doing so would be very inconsiderate to the other moviegoers, the loud volume and darkness in a movie theater is just not appropriate for kids that age.  Did we want to go to the movies during those years?  Of course!  The fact was that it wasn’t a very family friendly outing for us during that time, in my opinion.

    Writing this post is important to me because I think that, as parents, we are afraid to admit sometimes that we long for some of the freedoms that we had before we had children.  Due to this, we sometimes make the wrong decisions and allow our desires to supersede  what’s best for our children.  I’m sure we are all guilty of it in one way or another, and to some degree.  It could be something as simple as watching the television show that you want to watch instead of putting on cartoons or something like taking three young children to a dark and crowded movie theater because you really want to see that movie when it comes out.

    What matters is that we recognize that we didn’t stop being human just because we became parents.  While we will make these lapses in judgment many times during our tenure as parents, we need to learn from these experiences and make sure we always regroup and focus on the priority which is our children.  So, I’ll admit, I was annoyed at these parents in the movie theater last night but I stepped back for a moment and realized that I’m in no position to judge them because God knows I’ve made my own parenting faux pas over the years.

Let’s Discuss:  What is something about your life before having kids that you miss but have never really admitted to before?

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  1. I feel your pain. I dig needing to go out and do something but why make everyone’s experience bad? I really think that there is a time and a place for kids and a almost three hour movie, despite how familiar they are with the characters, is not it.

  2. Rebecca Bryant says

    I don’t really miss anything. But that may be because I was already housebound due to a medical conditio That having my son was my escape I now had someone to talk to all day even if it was baby talk.

  3. Robin Rue says

    Naps. Honest to god, one of my favorite things before kids was putting on a Law& Order marathon on a Sunday afternoon and drifting off.

  4. Ashley Bunker says

    I truly do not understand why people insist on bringing young children to the movie theater. It’s loud and dark, two triggers for young kids. I waited until my children were old enough and able to handle it. I feel bad for that mother as well, but it was also kinda her problem since she decided to go.

  5. Sleeping till noon on a weekend? LOL that’s about it and every once in a while I do get to sleep in till noon so it’s not all that bad. I can’t think of anything else.The only time I took my son out to the movies was when he was still breastfeeding. My son was never a crier and when he would cry all I had to do is pop a breast in his mouth and he would stop! When he got older we only took him out to short movies for his age. I can imagine how overwhelmed the mom must have been especially if the dad just sat there.

  6. I truly miss time to myself. I get almost NO time alone and it doesn’t always make for good mental health for me. 🙂 I do have to say though, that i have never taken a child to the theatres~ except for a children’s movie. I try so hard to be respectful of others.

  7. Nothing. I wanted kids all my life and am grateful to have them.

  8. Amy Desrosiers says

    I miss way too much! I love my kids, but I also love peace

  9. Amanda @ Erickson and Co. says

    The only thing that I think I miss is how easy it was to do stuff before having kids. Now it seems like in order to go somewhere it takes me forever to get everything ready. Before all I had to do was grab my purse and go.

  10. kristimaloney says

    I’ve definitely had some moments when I longed for that freedom that I had before kids, but like you, never, ever would have taken my two at that age to a movie like that. And for that Dad to just sit there while she struggled? And that’s in public? Shame on him. I just imagine how hands-off he is in his home. Uggh!

  11. My kids were born when I was fairly young- 19 and 21. I definitely don’t miss my life before them. I am looking forward to my 40’s when they are grown up so that I can travel more and have a clean house! 😉

  12. Terry My Journey With Candida says

    That is my question too… Why would they bring these kids to a theater? Obviously they are too young to understand to be quiet. Maybe with all those kids, they just can’t afford a babysitter.

  13. Oh gosh, I have a 32 year old and a 28 year old so that has been a long time for me. Even though my kids are adults, our lives as parents are still impacted by our children. Mostly in good ways, of course but you also still find yourself offering your advice and financial support. Being a parent never stops until the role reversal happens which I am experiencing with my 85 and 90 year old parents.

  14. I miss going to the movies. Mine are still too little. It is just not feasible these days to pay for a sitter to see a movie. Too spendy for us.

  15. I miss having money! Kids are more expensive than they tell you.

  16. I miss quiet. I feel like there is always someone talking to me and I know how important it is to listen, but sometimes I just don’t feel like it.

  17. Lawna Young says

    I have been thinking of taking my five year old to the movies for the first time. He is really going to enjoy it. I don’t take my kids when they are too young for fear of being that same lady your talking about.

  18. I’m not a Mum so this is a question I can’t answer I’m afraid x

  19. I’m not a mom, but I can empathize with all the mom’s that have to venture out with kids in tow. It’s not uncommon for a kiddo to have a meltdown or get bored, etc. But boo on the dad for not helping at all!

  20. Jennifer Williams says

    My youngest son is 4 and every summer when the theaters have their summer $1 movies we try again but he hates the noise level and we leave before the movie even starts (yes we have tried ear plugs). I would NEVER bring children that young to a movie. I would have also asked for the keys and left my dear sweet husband there if he did not assist me as well as changed the locks on my doors at home before his movie was over. I have known people who bring young ones into theaters and they are good, they usually nursed the little ones and they slept through the movie after that. Interrupting someone else’s night is not okay, especially with the price you pay to see the movie. Sorry to rant on your page but that just irks me.

  21. Amber Nelson says

    Kids are so expensive and I’ve love to be able to do more things like that with them.

  22. Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell says

    I’m past all that now, but I’m thinking that it would have been nice to be out past a child’s bedtime occasionally. We were always trying to get back home so they could maintain a good sleep schedule.

  23. Amanda Smith says

    Oh I feel bad for her! Obviously dad wanted to see the movie and mom went along and hoped for the best. If dad doesn’t help much in public maybe he doesn’t help much at home either? Perhaps she needed a night away – but it doesn’t sound like it worked out to well for her. Sorry you couldn’t enjoy your movie in peace! :/

  24. I would have went crazy if I didn’t go places with my toddlers. I think as parents we need to sympathize with them and be happy they are taking time for themselves as a family.

  25. Well, we don’t have kids yet, but these types of conversations are ones we have often. Would we do this if we had kids? Would we take them here or there? Or we couldn’t do this if we had kids. I guess it’s healthy to talk about it now!

  26. I could not see taking that many kid to the movies. lol I dont see how my daughter does it with her three.

  27. Robbie K says

    I think that is unbelievably rude and selfish of those parents. It’s not fair to the young children or the other movie goers. I would have been talking with the manager. I have 3 children and would NEVER dream of taking them to a “non kid-friendly” movie.

  28. Twingle Mommy says

    I started taking my kids to the $1 summer movies when my twins were 2 and my oldest was 4. BUT my kids were fine at the movies, they sat there and ate their snacks quietly. I figured we spent $2 to see the movie (kids under 3 are free) so I was fine to leave. I think you have to know what you and your kids are capable of handling.
    I miss quiet dinners when no one complained about the food I was serving. Some nights our family dinners make me want to cry.

  29. I agree, and would only take my kids to a movie if I knew they would behave. I would REQUIRE the help of daddy. What do I miss? I miss uninterrupted me time!

  30. Babita@BabsProjects says

    You were right to be annoyed at those parents. Like you after I had my kids we never went to the theater to watch a movie either. I think we only started going after my older one turned 3 and then wait another few years for my little one to turn three. Being parents means you have make sacrifices sometime.

  31. amanda ripsam says

    knowing me and my redheaded self ok now blond but still redhead at heart I would have walked up offered to help and then remind the father to help the mother she didnt make those kids herself and say if he wanted to see this movie so bad he should have waited till they could get a sitter. the kids probally acted out because they felt the tension of the parents.

  32. Amanda McMahon says

    Parenthood is interesting to say the least. I can’t believe the things I have been unprepared for.

  33. Melanie Roberts says

    Well Parenthood sure is a different chapter and has it’s ups and downs but in the end we love our kids and always want whats best for them

  34. BohemianBabushka says

    Being totally carefree and without responsibilities- missed that part of myself when The Trio were little.

  35. Tiffany McClary says

    My husband and I have 3 children, however we are a blended family, and have not had one biologically “together” yet. So that means we have every other weeknd without our children. It truly is a blessing, because I do feel for our friends that have had to give up little life pleasures like movie going. On the other hand, our weekends with our children are more important than anything, due to them being limited to 2 per month, so we’ve missed weddings, parties, and many other activities and events due to them either not being kid friendly, or us just wanting undisturbed family time.

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