July 4, 2007

When your friends become parents

When you are young and single, it's not all that uncommon for you to go on vacation with your friends..... that's what young, single people do.

When you are coupled-up (married or not), it's not all that uncommon for you to go on vacation with your coupled-up friends..... that's what couples do.

When you have a family, it's not all that uncommon for you to go on vacation with other families... that's what families do, right?

We go on vacation in groups all the time -- as a matter of fact, we just got back from a trip to Disney with my sister (Aunt P), her husband and my mother. In August we are heading to CA with my parents, my sister & her husband to meet up with some extended family for my cousin's wedding. In the spring, we have a couple of trips in the works -- one with the Big Dubya's parents, and another with my family -- and yet another trip in the works for next fall. It actually seems like we do more group trips than "just us" ones -- and that's okay with me.

Here's the part that gets tricky.

When your friends have children and you have children -- yet, your parenting style/philosophy just doesn't synch up.

When we go away, or when we stay in the home of another family -- we are, understandably, in unusually close-quarters. So, I try to over-compensate -- make sure that my kids are, to the extent possible, on their best behavior.

My rationale is that they are my kids, and cleaning up after them and correcting them shouldn't be a burden for anyone else to shoulder. In the event that someone else does need to correct my child for mis-behaving -- then, the adult is always right. Most of our friends feel the same way, and so -- there's no issue.

But, what about when your friends who (despite their claim to be very strict) are much more passive with their children?

Their kids can watch TV (regardless of content) as much or as often as they want -- they use fresh language with adults, and it's considered "cute," they eat their meals.... wherever they want... kitchen table, living room..... whatever.

When their kids get up in the morning, these parents remain in bed assuming that you'll take care of them.... or that they can busy themselves.

They have no problem leaving the morning breakfast dishes (remaining partially chewed food and all) on the table (or the couch) when they leave for the day...... all the while using the excuse "it's okay to relax the rules, they are on vacation"

These are also the parents who say "oh, kids do that" at birthday parties when their kid rushes over and starts opening all the gifts.

Makes me think we won't be vacationing with these friends again anytime soon.


TastesLikeCrazy said...

WTF? When I recently went to the zoo/museum with some friends, I was super careful that Cara was on her best behavior.
I've had "friends" in the past who would let their children get way with whatever and would expect me and Tucker to monitor their kid.
Totally annoying and a really uncomfortable place to be.

Kara said...

God, Jenn, if you feel this way about us I wish you'd just tell us to our faces....


Nuestra casa es su casa. I like to think our parenting styles are more alike than not.

Aunt P said...

I know who you're talking about and after this post and the post about not liking your friend's husband, all I can say is that you're lucky they don't read your blog!

In the Trenches of Mommyhood said...

I'm with ya. Thankfully we vacation with friends who have similar parenting (and drinking) styles...

Anonymous said...

Don't forget those parents that allow their kids to brutalize your kids' new, undefended, toys at birthday parties. A cute, meek looking plastic puppy comes to mind.

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