Just to lay a little groundwork, I will start with a little anecdote. Before we had our daughter, my husband and I were regulars at a local neighbourhood pub. The servers knew us by name. They knew our favourite table. They would bring us our drinks of choice without us having said a word. If our favourite sports team was playing the TVs would be flipped to that station as soon as we walked in. It was fabulous.
Then I got pregnant, we stopped going out for drinks, and that pub went out of business. True story.
No, I don’t actually think that the loss of our business that made the pub go under. I can hold my liquor pretty well, but I can’t drink that much. My point is simply that my husband and I are pub people. We like sitting down for a pint and some relaxing conversation in the cozy confines of a local watering hole. And having a baby has not changed that in the slightest. In fact, at just over 18 months, I can proudly say that my daughter has been to every pub in our neighborhood.
When we were pregnant with our daughter, my husband and I decided that, to the greatest extent possible, we were not going to let the fact that we had a child change who we fundamentally were. Now, going out to a pub is obviously not a defining characteristic of who either of us are. However, so many people spoke about the imminent arrival of our child as if she was some kind of anti-social atomic bomb that would decimate all our previous fun-loving ways, and lay waste to any thoughts of engaging in traditional “adult” pastimes.
We were determined not to let that happen. Hence, my daughter’s pub-going ways begin when she was just a few months into the world.
At first, I was quite nervous to take my daughter out. There was, of course, a bit of the fear of the unknown, since you never know exactly how your child will behave in such a new situation. Even more than that, unfortunately, was the worry over how other people would react. I’ve read the articles lambasting (sometimes justifiably, undoubtedly) parents who bring their loud children to restaurants and spoil the experience of all the other patrons. However, I also knew that after going through my horrible postpartum anxiety it was extremely important for me to start resuming some of the patterns of my pre-baby life, and to feel like life could be “normal” once again.
So, to the pub we went, gainsay us who dare!