Monday, 4 April 2011

Altered perspectives

A couple of months ago a friend and I were at London zoo with our two boys and got to talking about how we both used to be anti-zoo people before having children. We didn't like the idea of animals being kept in captivity, the small spaces they lived in compared to what they would experience in the wild nor the invasion on their lifestyle and privacy by having hoards of people staring at them day after day.

Fast-forward a few years and as mothers now, we both are members of the zoo and love to take our children there. It seems a wonderful opportunity for little boys and girls to see the animals that they have depicted in their books at home in real life, to understand that they really exist and are not just a fantastical character in a story. Of course, London zoo also does great conservation work and helps endangered species - it really does have the interest of the animals at heart.

This example of an altered perspective that comes with motherhood got me thinking about others. A mum I know told me how quickly she lost her love for the buzzing financial world after having her child. She told a story about going back to a busy City cafe to meet some old work colleagues with her young baby and feeling so far removed from the banking business to which she had previously belonged, completely out of place as she sat in a corner breastfeeding her baby surrounded by bustling high-flyers and not wanting to return to that lifestyle.

There are the 'family-friendly' restaurants that as adults without children you tend to avoid but as a parent now, I welcome their offerings: balloons, crayons or whatever it is that helps make eating out with young children more relaxed. Knowing you won't get sneering looks from fellow diners if your child has an outburst because the place is full of children, is nice too.

Can you relate to these examples? Are there are others you can think of where as a parent your perspective on something has completely changed?



  1. The world changes in so many ways. I can certainly relate to the zoo thing, but perhaps most particuarly, I don't judge harassed, shouting parents anymore, finding myself recently inforcing a 'timeout' in a Tesco's fire exit, when Miss B would not return the Pepper Pig Castle to the shelf, ahh happy days!

  2. all my perspectives have changed!

    but I agree with you 100% on the zoos I was almost militant in my avoidance of them and now *cough* I have an annual pass!

    I drive my worse nightmare - a people carrier!!!

  3. Ok. Here it is: the plane ride. I'm much more tolerant of families traveling with crying babies now because of doing it myself so many times. Still cannot stand older children who are unruly and loud, though. Because mine aren't.
    Zoos are now involved in rescue work too. They're not a circus. [that's one thing I still cannot stand. Kids or no kids]

  4. I agree with the zoo thing too. And the tantrums from kids in supermarkets and shops. Instead I just feel sorry for the parents and understand that children either can't communicate how they're feeling properly, or if they can, then after all they're just kids and that will likely be me and my little girl a few months down the line.

    I also now sympathise with those mum's who seemingly go on a charge with their buggies - after all much of the public are so rude to us that it's easy to take the offensive. I however am still apologetic, for the most part :) x

  5. Some great comments and other examples from everyone - thanks!

    Mrs B - I agree with you about harassed shouting parents. You certainly gain a whole new understanding of what's behind a tantrum and how challenging it is to deal with in a public place when you're a parent!

    northernmum - you made me laugh with your mention of the people carrier! It's something that's unavoidably practical when you have a family and yet there's the un-green stigma that comes with it!

    Maryse - families traveling with crying babies is a very good example that I can really relate to as well and I'm with you on the circus!

    Mummy Beadzoid - I know what you mean about the buggies. Some people look at you like you're trying to get in the way, when often you just wish they would move out your way and let you get by! x


Thank you for reading. I'd love to have your comments and thoughts!