As parents we often feel judged. We feel judged by other parents, grandparents, teachers and pretty much anyone who’s eyes wander over to our children. Some days you feel like a mum or dad who has it ALL together, and other days you just want to crawl back under your doona and hide. With a million parenting books, blogs and just general ‘advise’ being thrown your way, its no wonder we are confused!

Let me tell you about an experience I had recently. We were on holidays at my parents beach house. We go there pretty often, and actually lived here for a period of time for my husbands work. Its safe to say we feel like locals, and know all the places to have a coffee or lunch etc. We had been invited out to dinner with my parents and their friends. A 7pm dinner is always tricky with 4 year olds who are usually in bed at this time, so we prepared. They had a long afternoon nap in exchange for coming out to dinner. They were beside themselves with excitement. We had colouring in books, sticker books and snap to keep them happy, and you know when all else fails, there is always the promise of icecream.

At 9pm, we had all eaten, enjoyed a glass of wine or two, and the kids had behaved phenomenally. No tantrums, no tears, just fun. This is when a waitress came and asked them to keep their squeals of laughter down. Um… wait what? There had apparently been a complaint that their laughter was too loud. The look on my little girls faces said it all. They were devastated. They cant win. What a way to ruin a fantastic night. The restaurant was not full. There were plenty of tables the annoyed party could have moved to be away from the irritating laughter. I was gutted and furious all at the same time.

I’ll explain why I have a huge problem with this. If they had of been crying, I would have received those “looks” from everyone. “Why are they out so late. Take them home to bed, etc etc”. If I had of shoved an ipad under their nose, I would have been judged for not interacting with my kids. So how do you win? More importantly, how do THEY win? They had as much right to be enjoying their time out with their family and friends as much as anyone there that night. They should have been treated with the same respect as any other person who was laughing loudly and not being shooshed.

Why are children not respected? They are so often seen as inconveniences. I actually love socialising with my children. They are great little conversationalists, and are at an age where they want to learn about everything. Last night they learnt that some people in this world think that they are more special and important than them. Their answer? “We are special and important too Mummy.” Yes they are. We paid and left and I assured them that they had done nothing wrong and how proud I was of them.

At Petite Chique, your children genuinely are our priority. I NEVER want you to feel your child is too loud, too quiet, too impatient, crying too much, laughing too much etc etc. They are perfect EXACTLY how they are, and they are most welcome. We respect your children, with all their perfect imperfections that society turns their nose up at. My wish is for you and your kids to come here and feel comfortable to be just you. For you to not be embarrassed or cringe if they cry. We will laugh with you, and spoil them rotten.

Be LOUD and PROUD, and most importantly let them be little.