As a kid you learn to follow the rules, but as a parent you quickly learn some rules are made to be broken.

All I ever wanted was well behaved kids in restaurants.

That shouldn’t be too hard, right?!  As a young (and naive) mom, I thought this should be so easy to accomplish.  All you need is a toy or a coloring book and crayons,and then your kid should be distracted and happy.  It all seemed to obvious and easy… hahahahaha.  I had NO CLUE.

Before the kids hit their “I don’t listen to authority phases,” the husband and I decided we would make dinners out “iPad free.”

Ipads shouldn’t be needed at a family dinner.

No, we banned them.  Out came the crayons and the fighting and the whining.  Next came the coloring on the booths and not the adorable action figure coloring book.  Soon followed the crazy “mom glares;” you know the kind where you contort your face in a scary way in order to signal to your offspring that you aren’t kidding.  You mean business.  You’re kid isn’t going to make you lose your shit in public because they are afraid of the glare. Clearly that didn’t work, and soon the yelling would ensue.

I quickly turned into the “crazy mom,” and restaurants weren’t always worth it with kids in tow. (Obviously, an exhausted parent invented take-out, delivery and drive thrus.)

Fast forward to kid number two being 4…. the “trying fours” as I lovingly refer to them.  Fast forward to a tired mom who craves adult interaction during the day.  All of this quickly pushed this momma to embrace breaking the iPad rule we had foolishly put in place years ago.

I broke my rule and I regret nothing!!

I met a friend for sushi and I was ready.  Mentally, I was ready to have a conversation without interruption, and without having to spell every other word.  Emotionally I was ready to enjoy a lunch and not lose my mind on my mini-me.  Well, of course physically I was hungry too!!

Out came the iPad with the preloaded Netflix shows.  Quickly after came,a smiling mom and an appreciative friend.

Did I care if strangers were judging my parenting?

NO.  I’ve quicky learned now that I’m closer to 40 than 30, that it doesn’t matter what people who don’t matter think.  I’ve learned to be true to me and to what works best in the moment. Yes, sometimes this includes screen time and bribery.  Guess what?!? That’s okay and honestly, it’s awesome.

Here’s to embracing parenting and breaking the rules.  Stay strong and remember, there’s a mom or dad nearby secretly applauding all your parenting hacks and rule breaking.

Lunch with a friend