Dining With Our Darlings

Justin and I really enjoy going out to eat, especially dinner.  When we became parents we were not willing to give up this activity and didn’t want to pay a sitter to watch our kids while we went out to dinner every single time.  We want going out to dinner with our kids to be enjoyable for all of us.

I have not mastered being a parent, and I NEVER will, but I have listened to advice, used trial and error and after a few years of being a mom I have discovered a few things that make life easier and keep me sane in public situations.

Here are a few tips that make dinning with our darlings easier and enjoyable:

1. Bring Snacks

We always are equipped with lots of snacks.  Some restaurants are VERY kid friendly, while others not so much.  Also, some waitresses are WONDERFUL with kids, while others are not.  We have had waitresses who bring out little snacks for our kids just because they understand how hard it is to have kids in a restaurant, these waitresses ALWAYS get a good tip! Bringing snacks keep the kids busy, happy and pass the time.  Snacks also provide food just in case the menu is not appealing to your little ones.

2. Order their food when you order drinks

We have learned this over time, but what a LIFESAVER!  I always order the kids their food right away.  It provides them with less wait time.  It also provides Justin and I time to cut up their food before our food comes out, win-win.

3. Bring extra activities

Restaurants usually provide kids with crayons and paper of some sort, but with Lincoln he eats crayons so we have to find alternatives.  Also, Emersyn gets bored of the same activity every time we go out to dinner.  We always have the LeapPad, along with books, and other trinkets that both kids can play with as we wait.

4. Share

My kids are both still very young (2 and 10 months), so they get what I order for them.  I have them share meals.  Now, I realize that this will most likely not work in the future, but for now it is perfect and usually they STILL have leftovers.  Another tip is to order an adult portion and get an extra side, this could actually feed you and your kids!

5. Not so fancy, extra noisy

We have found that going to family-friendly restaurants is a must – obviously, but going to bar-restaurants is also a great choice with kids.  These types of restaurants are louder and have a less intimate atmosphere.  I do not feel like we are bothering people at noisier restaurants with our kids if they decide to be a bit loud.

Like I said, I have not figured everything out, but we get a lot of compliments on how well behaved our kids are when we are out in public.  I do think you NEED to give them these experiences and face it, you NEED to get out of the house.

Thank you for stopping by!

~Kelsey~

How do you handle public situations with your kids?

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