Every now and then, my husband and I are fortunate to hear the most magnificent question in the entire world: “Why don’t you let us keep the boys tonight?”
Don’t mistake me, my kids are my life. But every parent has their breaking point, especially when you have a potty-training (or not so much) 3-year-old. Occasional nights out, or some hours wasted away daydrinking, are needed to maintain sanity.
So we’ll gather up all the energy we have and head out for a much-needed beer. But nevertheless, as its the trend within the last five years, we go to our favorite watering holes only to feel like we’re still babysitting. Because I have that inevitable mom paranoia, I watch out of the corner of my eye and gasp as they almost fall off a stool and shudder visibly every time there is that ear-piercing scream, which always happens.
I know, I know: No one is perfect, everyone needs a break, and breweries and beer gardens are more baby and kid friendly than ever. But, hear me out and consider the following:
Babysitters really do exist.
Not like unicorns and fairy godmothers, there actually are amazing gluttons for punishment out there that will answer your prayers upon request. Hop on care.com, guilt-trip your parents or ask your neighbors to borrow their teenager for a couple of hours to entertain the kiddos. It’ll be worth the minimum wage and pizza delivery and will get you out of a couple of episodes of Paw Patrol.
Driving your toddler back home seems kind of … irresponsible.
I mean, I’m not judging, but it’s probably not the best idea to get behind the wheel with the little guys in tow after a few craft beers. And while it’s frowned upon to drink and drive, it’s probably worse to do it with a kid in the backseat who smells like hops and barley. And if you think an Uber or taxi is too shady for your kid, keep in mind that a DUI with child endangerment is much worse.
Some people go to bars to escape the younguns.
As stated above, I don’t want to worry about your child while I’m trying to get drunk and forget my week. I’m fully aware that at the butt crack of dawn the next day, I’ll be nursing a hangover when my own kids start to jump on my stomach asking for breakfast, so I’d love to be spared from tiny people for just a bit. While you may be able to tune out your kids crying/screaming, it’s very very noticable to everyone else. And it’s not always cute and endearing. Don’t kid yourself (see what I did there?)
But my kids have a great time there!
No they don’t. Unless they’re under 12 months and have no clue of what’s happening in the world, your kid doesn’t want to play 20-year-old board games with half the pieces missing. And if you haven’t noticed, they don’t like to sit still in one place for more than 10 minutes. Shoving a screen in front of them to shut them up is cool every now and then, but probably not the best idea on the regular. And if they’re learning to walk, you’re going to be bent over chasing them around, beer in hand, spilling the liquid gold along the way as you try to prevent them from running into people’s legs or falling on their sweet faces.
Bottom line, it’s convenient as hell to strap on a Boba or charge up the iPad and hit the pub every now and again. Your kids probably won’t remember it anyway so there won’t be any permanent damage. But do yourselves, your kids and fellow stressed-out parents a favor and get on your sitter’s schedule asap.
This opinion piece was written by a member of The Sway community who has chosen to remain anonymous. Send feedback and responses to firstname.lastname@example.org