Always something there to remind you……………..

Published January 12, 2014 by thefamilyof5

Last night Mr Familyof5 and I were given a rare opportunity to go out, just us, no kids!

We chose a meal at our local Frankie & Benny’s. We go there often in the day time with the girls, they love it.

It was a really lovely evening, we ate far too much delicious food and chatted about all sorts, I was also impressed that we didn’t spend the entire evening talking about the girls like I’d anticipated, I did however think about them the entire time.


This was totally yum!

We’d booked our table for 8pm. I noticed as soon as we arrived that there were a number of families with children in the restaurant. I’m used to seeing children enjoying a meal in Frankie & Benny’s, but that’s usually in the day time so I was quite surprised to see so many there, whilst my own children were at home in bed.

Whilst chatting to Mr Familyof5 I couldn’t help watching these children, children of ages ranging from around 3 to 12 I estimated. They didn’t have the complementary activity packs that my girls usually demand, busy themselves with, perhaps they’re only for the day time!? They didn’t have toys to entertain them, they weren’t clung to an adult demanding their undivided attention in the absence of some sort of toy or activity, they were not rolling around on the bench in their booth or rocking manically on their chair in desperate boredom. I heard no whinging, or moaning or bickering. They were content to sit and chat to their family. No one cried, no one got told off and no one died of boredom!

Example of the brilliant activity packs!

Example of the brilliant activity packs!

When we left I pointed out to Mr Familyof5 how I felt quite sad because as lovely as it was to see these happy and content children enjoying an evening meal, it reminded me how such a late night meal would not have been possible with our girls.

I discovered that i don't like cinnamon chocolate waffles :(

I discovered that I don’t like cinnamon chocolate waffles 😦

Mr Familyof5 wisely pointed out to me that tomorrow morning, unlike our girls after a late night, most of these children would not be awake at the crack of dawn and spend the entire day tired, bickering and crying, they’d most likely sleep in, even if only for a little bit and more importantly he reminded me that none of these children felt the need to busy themselves with activity packs, toys, endless nonsense chatter, noise and pointless questions in order to avoid the chaotic and difficult thoughts inside their heads.

There’s always something there to remind me how our reality is quite different to other families.

5 comments on “Always something there to remind you……………..

  • There will always be something to remind you of how your family is different. Don’t look at those. Look at where you were compared to where you are now. The fact that you are even able to go out to eat at all is pretty awesome, even if it isn’t yet what you hope it may one day become. Comparing ourselves with others typically sets us up for either discontent because we “lack,” or a superior smugness because we are “better” than others. Neither is really a great place to be, but I find myself doing both at various times. But when I look at where we’ve come from, I think my perspective is about right. Congrats on an evening out!!!

  • I agree please do not compare yourself to other families. Look at how much growth you have had in your own family. Every family is different and even in this setting it might look appealing but they too have their struggles.

  • The other day I met a new mum with two little children at the park. My boys happened to be having a pretty calm time (well, racing around, climbing all over the equipment, but not fighting or screaming), and this mum said ‘oh, it must be so easy with boys!’ I didn’t tell her what our life is usually like, I just sympathised that she was having a bad day.
    Sometimes we all think that other children are much calmer than ours. Sometimes we worry that our families are too unlike other families.
    The truth is you are not alone. There are plenty of families out there who couldn’t cope with an evening meal out. And some of the families who can cope with that can’t cope with other things like going to bed or brushing teeth.
    You never know what’s going on inside another family, so try not to think about it!
    You are doing your best and you are moving in the right direction. Parenting is not a race.

  • I need to go to this restaurant and see this marvellous sight of children sitting, eating and chatting with their families! Every time I go out to a restaurant with mine, the only quiet kids I ever see are those glued to their tablets and phones. Are you sure all these kids weren’t watching something on Netflix under the table?! 🙂

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