Am I a bad mother?

Am I a bad mother? This is probably a question I ask myself at least once a day. I don't question myself for any obvious reason but just because of small things like:

'I'm doing the washing rather whilst Bubba plays in the jumperoo...should I be playing with him? Am I a bad mother?'

'I've left bubba playing in the lounge whilst I start dinner, should I just wait until Hubby's home? Am I a bad mother?'

'Bubba is refusing to eat his home made pureed fruit that I loving made for him so I've given him a cheesy spread sandwich...am I a bad mother??'

This is just a selection of the doubts that run through my mind each day. Yesterday, though, I learnt that I am not alone!!
Me and my Mummy friends (and the bubbas and hubbies of course) all went to a local buffet Chinese restaurant for our monthly meet up...Yes it was a buffet, don't judge us, we just looove our food! I called ahead and warned the restaurant we were coming with 4 babies and all their crap in tow but luckily we were the only ones in the restaurant for the whole 3 hours we were there. Now, the reason I am telling you all of this is because of this....

This photo was taken in the last hour of our restaurant stay and let me give you a little back ground info.

  1. The four babies (was only 3 in this pic as 1 is a little younger) were all a little tried..Bubba was particularly tired as he decided that the Chinese restaurant experience was too exciting and he could miss any of it by having a sleep
  2. It was towards the end of the meal and even though we had all brought lots of different toys with us, the bubbas were getting a little bored. 
  3. All of the Mummy's and Daddy's had been trying to hold the babies, entertain them, bribe them with snacks and/or milk to stop them from getting whingey and let us just stuff our faces that little bit more.
So, because of all this, Hubby came up with this little make shift baby cinema and we plopped the babies down in car seats/bumbos. I have to add that they did all have toys as well so they weren't just glued to the screen but were watching for a minute then playing with their toys (or playing let swap toys and pull each others hair as the case actually was). It was when they were all sitting down watching baby TV that I dropped my head to the table and muttered in shame to my hubby 'we are such bad parents!'. My Mummy friends overheard and a discussion then started about the makeshift baby cinema and it dawn on me: I am not a bad mother. 

My son was fed, watered, clean bum, a little tired but contented. So what if he was watching a little bit of Baby TV on the iPad for 10 mins whilst we finished off our meal. It saved me, saved the people around me and saved bubba from having a melt down all because he was tired and bored. So what if I used the iPad to distract him for that short amount of time. Before we went out Hubby took him for a walk in his pram to see his great nanny (which he loves to do) and he had spent the rest of his time playing with us, being played with by the other M & D's we were with and playing with the other babies. I then decided that I wasn't going to feel bad. The only reason I was feeling bad was because I thought I was being judged by others (not the people around me I hasten to add as they are all awesome and totally non judgmental) or would be judged if they knew that we had created baby cinema but why should I care?! I was happy and more importantly my baby was happy and that is all that matters. I am not a bad mother just because I let my son watch 10 mins for Baby TV for distraction whilst we are out. Bubba goes for walks, he does messy play, we sing songs and have cuddles and, do you know what, I think I'm doing a pretty good job so far!

What do you do when you go out for meals with baby's in tow? Do you avoid restaurants all together or do you have distraction tactics? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading :)

This post is linked with the following: 

Modern Dad Pages


  1. Lovely post and I am so with you! I call myself a bad parent all the time, when in relaity I know I am not, it's just darn hard sometimes! We've been there with Monkey watching something on a phone or portable dvd player so we can eat our dinner and I have felt that judgement but we aren't bad parents - if we were then we really wouldn't care whether we were bad parents or not.. if that makes sense! Thanks for linking with #MaternityMondays xx

  2. You're definitely not a bad mum! Great idea I say. Might try it myself...

  3. Thanks Caroline :) it is difficult but we just gotta do what we gotta do :)

  4. Thanks so much for dropping by Molly.
    I might have to patent my baby cinema :)

  5. I love light bulb moments ... there's room for diverse ways of parenting and there are so many parenting tools that we need at different points for different duration. It's important to be alright with whatever decision we make about our children and it's definitely good to consider why we feel the way we feel about our decisions. Screen time has its value and people use it or don't use it for different reasons.

    I go to restaurants and I've reacted differently with the age of my child; mummy's milk - my usual go-to - doesn't work as well anymore. He likes looking around and that helps; and sometimes another adult on the table holding him makes a difference. I just do whatever comes to me at the time really. :-) #MaternityMatters

  6. I often turn to Herself and say we are such bad parents.

    The kids are clean, we take them to after school activities, play with them, help with homework etc etc. So what if on occasion we have let them eat a bag of crisps whilst v doing the shopping. We always keep the packet and pay for them, it stops them asking constantly for junk and running amok.

    The fact we ask ourselves the question means we realise it may not be textbook parenting, but at least we know and it is not a regular occurrence.


  7. I often find myself thinking I'm a terrible parent. But then I stop myself. So what if my little one watches a bit of tv. Or eats McDonalds. Or chocolate. He is loved and cared for.

    People that judge often don't have kids!

    Thanks for linking to #effitfriday

  8. You are most definitely not a bad parent - I'm sure pretty much everyone has used a smartphone or tablet as a distraction method for their child at some point or another. The last time we went out for a meal I gave my 3yr old my smartphone to play a duplo game for ten minutes while we all finished our food - it was either that or deal with a major tantrum.

    But, I think I say "I'm a bad parent" to myself about ten times a day! Xxx

  9. It's funny isn't it how we are so worried about this. I said that I wouldn't put my child in front of a TV and yet three months in, and she is fully acquainted with Timmy Time! And it doesn't make me a bad mother, it probably makes me a slightly better one in fact. In those 10 minutes of Timmy Time, I can have a quick shower and wash away not only the poop/puke that I have in my hair, but also some of the stress and tension that builds when home alone with bubba all day.
    As for restaurants, she is not at the age yet to really have this affect us, but no doubt there will come a time when I will be getting that cheeky iPhone out just so I can eat my steak before it gets cold!

    Screw those people who judge, and don't ever question hun. It is your job, no one else's therefore your business and not theirs x x