Well, the other week I overcome my nemesis….”A busy restaurant, on my own with babino”. You know what, we did lunch and it was actually fun! If you read my last blog post “5 things they don’t tell you about, how you might feel, when you have had a baby” you will know how your confidence seems to vanish over the most simplest of tasks when you have a baby.
I knew I had to do this one day, we both would need to eat when we were out and about. I can’t just grab and a sandwich and give him a bottle at the back of the car anymore….we need to start eating together, out, out! I’ve done coffee shops, a hotel lounge for a quick cuppa, but not a WHOLE MEAL. I mean how do you eat, keep him happy, feed him, go to the loo, escape when it all falls apart!
I admit, I didn’t just stroll in to Wagmamma like I do it all of the time. I walked past a couple of time to suss the land and even went to the M&S cafe across the way, but that was busier. So back tracked back to Wagamma, trying to look like I was holding my shit together!
My top tips for taking your baby out to lunch if you are feeling anxious about it
*Get the bag prepared before you go…food pouches that you know they love, spoon, sippy cup/bottle, bib and wipes all at the top of the bag and ready to set up quickly
* Do it on a day when they are a happy chappy if possible, but as we know they can turn in a flash
*Plan what place you would like to go
*Avoid places where you have to carry a tray or order at the till after getting the table ie. Nandos! They may well have a different way of serving “lone parents”, try this on another outing unless you are an adrenaline junkie.
*Once in, go into detective mode and find the nearest loo and exit
*Take a couple of distraction toys, maybe not really noisy one if you are worried about looks from strangers., you know that side look to each other “uh, we have come for a nice meal, now we have a baby next to us”. I’ve seen it, I hate it, give them a smile and the side look of “don’t be an A hole”.
*Order something easy to eat with one hand in case of melt down -you can still eat and hold baby/toy/head.
*Order something cheap, in case you get a desire to leave quick…no one likes to waste food or money!
*Start to feed baby ASAP! Keep ’em happy and amused, an eating baby is a happy baby..er, normally!
*People may well look and talk to you…either avoid eye contact with ALL diners OR drop a toy/food/yourself on the floor to stop awkward conversation in mid flow OR just enjoy that people are actually interested in your messy eating baby, as it reminds them of when theirs were little!
*If you know you aren’t going in for desert get the bill as soon as you can.
BREATHE – enjoy this time with baby and know if shit hit the fans…gather all your stuff and simply leave (after paying!) That’s the worst that can happen…you just leave!
ENJOY it and it really isn’t that bad! Let me know how you get on!