Hey mama. Yes, you over there, scrolling Facebook pretending to be buried in work emails. And the mom actually buried in work emails. And you, right there—snapping the same picture of your kid going down the same slide for the 15th time in a row. And you, the helicopter mom rolling your eyes at the wild kids playing tag. Even you, mom over there not paying attention whatsoever.
Parks come with a whole slew of rules for kids—age limits and size limits and proper slide form. But what they don’t come with are any rules for moms. I have come up with a few ideas, and I think they’re surprisingly simple.
First of all, there is a reason we’re all at the park. It is more often than not to escape (aside from the occasional birthday party). We go to parks to escape the toy bins being dumped out for the 47th time in a row and the snack crumbs ending up on the kitchen floor and hearing “I’m bored” for the 123rd time and to escape yelling “INDOOR VOICES” in the least indoor voice we can muster.
Rule #1: Be understanding.
Secondly, we have all come to the park with children. GASP! Did I just say children? Yep! We have all brought children to the park to P-L-A-Y. Some are slow and wobbly children. Others are fast and nimble. Some are shy and love to watch. Others are social and want to play. Some run up slides, and others hold up the line at the top mustering the courage to take the plunge. Regardless of the age or stage of your child, remember all the kids deserve to have fun.
Rule #2: Be patient.
And finally, hello. I’m a mom, too. In fact, I’ve been every single mom I described in the introduction above. I think we’re far more alike than we are different. And I think we’ve lost the art of friendly hellos. Next time I see you there, I’ll leave my fear-of-judgement pants at home and say hi.
Rule #3: Be brave.