This week we welcome Alli from Motivating Mums with her guest post on 'The Etiquette of Eating Out' with baby.
It was a couple of weeks ago that we were all out for lunch one day when the baby started crying a couple of tables over. That was fine, babies cry, you deal with it.
Then the baby continued to cry and cry and then even screamed for a bit. It was about this time I started to get annoyed.
I have kids so I can understand that sometimes you need a bit of time to settle them but that’s also the point – I’ve got kids, I listen to them scream all the time, do I really have to also listen to someone else’s scream while I’m trying to enjoy my eggs?
As a mum, diner and part-time waitress of nearly 20 years I like to think I’ve experienced it all when it comes to eating out with kids – from every angle – so I thought I’d put down my top tips to the etiquette of eating out.
1. When your baby cries, it’s great to take a little time to settle, but if it continues to cry you might think about trying to take your baby outside or away from other diners until it stops crying. Even as a mother myself, it can get a little annoying when you’re out for a brekky or lunch and it’s interrupted by continuous crying. Actually, it’s probably more annoying than if I was childless as I rarely get the opportunity to go out!
2. Leaving a whole load of food under the highchair for waiters to clean up is not fair on the staff. At least offer to clean it up or use a wipe to pick up the bigger pieces. You wouldn’t leave all that mess at a friends so why in a restaurant?
3. Take colouring books, pencils and other items to engage your kids, you can’t assume that the restaurant will have those things and kids need to be entertained.
4. Restaurants and cafes are not places for kids to run about and waiters are not babysitters. Dodging kids with hot food or coffee is hair-raising for staff and can be dangerous for your children.
5. Sometimes items like high-chairs can be double-booked – these things happen as cafes are run by people and people make mistakes – and some cafes don’t even offer them. If you really want a high-chair, take one of your own (the little portable ones) and take a towel to change bub on, as there may not be a baby change.
So these are my top tips. I guess it’s hard to think about anything else when you’re kids are running amok or bub is crying but these are the times you need to be considering others the most.
What about you? What are your thoughts or top tips?
Alli Price runs Motivating Mum, a website and events service offering support and advice to Mumpreneurs (or those wanting to be). Set up in Oz and the UK, she provides networking lunches, brainstorm sessions, phone mentoring, articles and features, an online forum and more. She also runs the Biz Mums Blogging Carnival. Join Ali on Facebook and Twitter!