1. Remember that you are here for the kids to play. Fussing at them about getting dirty is pretty silly, given where you brought them. If you think it’s the end of the world for them to get a little dirty in whatever you brought them to the park in, you either need to chill out or leave the park and come back another day, in another outfit.
2. If it’s possible for a child to climb up on something and jump off, he will probably attempt it(this one might be just for boy moms, I’m not sure). So, keep your eye out….even if you decide you will let him try, just don’t be surprised that it is attempted.
3. If you bring snacks and drinks to the playground, do not leave them lying around after your child wonders off to play again. A random toddler will view an open juice box and cookies sitting out on a picnic table as an open invitation for his own personal snack time. Do the other mamas a favor and put all of that away so that they don’t have to spend all their time keeping their children away from the open snacks.
4. If you must bring your dog to the playground, that dog is your responsibility. It is not okay to tie said dog to one of the few park benches available and then go to the other side of the playground. Someone might want to actually be able to sit down. And now you’ve forced other moms to be the ones to stand guard over your dog to keep their children from playing with him.
5. It is expected that if you are near a child who is about to fall you should step in and catch them instead of letting them tumble to the ground at your feet. HOWEVER, that’s not the rule here. The rule here is that if you see a mom standing near her child and SHE is not concerned enough to step in to stop her child from doing whatever he is doing, then you shouldn’t either. Maybe you wouldn’t let your 2 year-old climb up the rock wall, but maybe the 2 year-old in question is perfectly capable of this. If mom is within catching distance, it is not your problem.
6. No comments about other people’s children. Unless they actually do something to harm yours, remember that no child is perfect. Also remember that they are there to play, so if you are loudly complaining about a child making noise or running around…um, they’re outside at a playground- they need to get that all out somewhere.
7. Yes, I know it’s tempting to talk on your phone, check your blog comments, or even read a book when you are on the playground- especially if it is a fenced-in playground and you are sitting right beside the only exit…but remember that you do need to actually watch your kids. That also helps with the snide comments about your kids mentioned in #6. But, if you aren’t paying attention to your kids, you should expect snide comments about you.
8. Do not bring sick children to the playground. They might be driving you crazy at home, but that is no excuse for bringing them out to share their germs.
9. Be nice to the other mamas. If you expect your kids to play nice, you better play nice, too. Otherwise, we might call you a motherbitch.
10. Just like kids don’t follow all the rules all the time….us mamas probably won’t either. And sometimes, having your children run around a fenced-in area is such a relief that we forget about everything else.