I don’t have children, so admittedly I haven’t a full understanding of a parents’ need to be in contact with their brood at all times. I do know however, that when I was a child, my parents, who were very social people and went out often, had strict rules about my ability to interfere. Typically the sitter was given the contact number, one only to be used in an emergency.
Even when Mom and Dad went on their much loved week long vacations with friends, contacting them wasn’t an option. The sitter had a 911 itinerary sheet just in case disaster struck. I don’t remember ever needing to make that call.
An emergency “back in the day” involved hospitals, pools of blood, broken bones or houses burning down. It was a short list with tough criteria. Anything less than these traumatic events was not cause for parental interruption.
Today I find myself out on romantic dinners, at five star restaurants, with divorced men AND their offspring. The kids aren’t actually there…they have them in their pocket. The emergencies that frequently interrupt our conversation are about soccer practice tomorrow or questions like “Dad, have you seen my running shoes?”
It seems in this day and age impossible for two adults to have an uninterrupted meal. When did parents stop having independent lives? It begs the question “who needs who?” I just don’t get it.
I will say that if the Blackberry comes out during a date with me for anything less than a true crisis, I’m out.
For those of you who are considering re-entering the dating scene, take heed; have you created appropriate boundaries with your children so you can get back in the game?
Caird Urquhart is Founder and President of Newroad Coaching, a boutique coaching firm providing one-on-one personal and business coaching services and also author of 30 Ways To Better Days: How to Rally After You’ve Been Dumped. Find Newroad Coaching on their blog and on Twitter and YouTube.