Note: Better Homes & Gardens has since apologized for this article on their Face Book page siting a lack of editor impute and vetting procedures for online articles. Now that this problem has been brought to their attention I certainly hope that steps will be taken to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Well Heather, I am sorry that we parents of the world have inconvenienced you, but you know what? Single childless people aren’t exactly the model of acceptable behaviour themselves. So I’ll make you a deal; I will take your incredibly offensive commandments under consideration if you consider my commandments for eating out with your lonely bitter self:
Yes it’s true that those parking spots are purely convenience, and are not protected by any sort of by-law. You will not be fined for parking there without children, but it forces parents of small children to find parking elsewhere and then navigate their small children across a possibly busy and dangerous parking lot. What's more, it makes you look like a total dooche bag.
Thou shalt not use the folding bathroom change table as a convenient place to set your purse.
It may look convenient, but if you had children, you would know that the festering microscopic germ farm growing on that public change table is not a place you would want to set anything without a quick wipe down and a change pad underneath. Not only that but it’s also really irritating for the woman standing there with a stinky baby in her arms waiting for you to get out of the way,
especially even if you flash a cheesy smile and say ‘oh sorry, just a second’ in a laughing tone.
Thou shalt not swear loudly enough for my children to hear you at the next table.
Regardless of whether or not there are children at the next table, it is just polite to keep your voice down if you feel the need to be crude. I totally get that it is often necessary, I certainly do not have the cleanest mouth in the world, but I have enough trouble trying to watch my own mouth, I don’t have the time or energy to shield my children from other people’s bad language as well.
Thou shall not smoke your cigarettes right beside the entrance of any establishment.
I didn’t work so hard to kick the smoking habit when I got pregnant just to have insensitive jerks blowing smoke in my baby’s face when I am coming or going from a restaurant, or any other building. If you must slip out for a cigarette in the middle of your meal please make sure to step around to the side of the building.
Thou shalt not stare/glare at me while I am nursing my child.
Yes I breastfeed at the dinner table. No, I do not cover when I do. Some babies just won't eat with a blanket over their head, my son is one of those babies, but that doesn't mean that I should have to go somewhere as unsanitary as a bathroom (no matter how nice it may be) to feed him. In fact, it is my legal right to breastfeed wherever I happen to be. I do, however, have that blanket handy if you would like to eat with it over YOUR head.
Thou shalt not sit around gossiping with your friends in the designated nursing area.
It is my right to breastfeed my child wherever I want, covered or not, but if I choose to use one of the few designated nursing rooms provided by some businesses the last thing I want to deal with is a giggling gaggle of obnoxious women distracting my baby while he’s trying to latch, or just taking up the space I need to care for my child.
Thou shalt not drink too much during your quiet adult dinner and then drive home.
It’s happened too many times for me to count. My family and I go out to eat and while we are enjoying our meal (despite the dirty looks and holier than thou attitudes of the childless patronage.) someone at the next table starts to get a little louder, and little sloppier, and well, just a little bit drunk. I have no problem with that; enjoy yourself while you can, if you do ever have kids you will look back on these days fondly. However, when you then get in your car you are putting my children, yourself, and the general public in harms way.
Thou shalt not bother your wait staff with complaints about other patrons.
Maybe I am crazy, but someone could walk into an establishment totally naked and I probably wouldn't say anything to the wait staff. It is their job to take your order and bus your table, not be your social babysitter. Deciding what behaviour is or is not acceptable, or who is and who is not welcome in the establishment is up to the management, human rights legislation and local licensing laws. By complaining about other patrons to your wait staff you are putting them in a really uncomfortable and sometimes impossible position.
If any of these commandments cannot be met for whatever reason, there are plenty of great recipes out there to recreate the dining out experience in your own home where you do not have to interact with anyone you find annoying, inappropriate, or distracting.