“I’ll count to 10 and you hide!”
“That’s not fair, I WAN TO COUNT!”
“I’ll count and you can count next time?”
“1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10! Ready or not, here I come!”
The kids ran around the conference room looking for each other, oblivious to the fact that their mom’s and dad’s were in the other room getting information and building on their skills in order to raise healthier families and better futures.
However, it wasn’t all rainbow colored ponies. As I took a small break from the conference and made my way to the bathroom, I caught a conversation between two of the guards on the floor. Both were annoyed at the children. The screaming, laughing, jumping and overall awesomeness was too much for them. Complaints were exchanged about several things. Both agreed that the work environment was being disrupted because of the presence of children (I’ll mention that it was Saturday).
Were the kids really bothering anyone? No.
They were simply being kids. How do moms and dads get work done while raising a kid? Easy. They’re super heroes.
Maybe, if you opened up your mind and watched these kids laughing and playing you wouldn’t be so quick to complain. I had a headache from all the screaming but was able to function perfectly fine. Maybe, a notice should have been put up in the hallway that there was going to be kids on the floor that day. Maybe, if event spaces and public spaces were as welcoming to families as they are to food and drinks, organizers wouldn’t have to get creative and turn offices into day cares. Unsafe spaces shouldn’t have to transform into play areas only because most spaces are dominated by patriarchy. Bringing a child to a conference or event is not wrong. And feeding your child at an event or public space is not wrong. C’mon. In a country where women exhibit breasts on almost all ads, is breastfeeding really that disgusting?
Maybe, if resources were made available to young mom organizers and supporters, spaces where families are welcome would be accessible. If everyone just stopped for a moment and opened our minds and hearts to something new. To all the haters, keep in mind that young family gatherings are not about you but about the future of the kids in front of you.