Guest Post – Five For Friday: 5 Places I’d Never Take My Kids

photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc
photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc

This week, Ilene Evans, writer of Fierce Diva Guide to Life blog, is handling 5 For Friday duties while I work on a batch of garlic and Parmesan wings and a Philly Cheese steak. Ilene writes an awesome an inspirational blog, and is a closet New York Mets fan. She is unafraid of the board of education, Sarah Palin comparisons or life as a cheer mom.

She’s highly-recommended reading, amigos. Add her to Google reader before time runs out. On Google reader, that is.


I have a confession to make. Attachment parenting was never my “thing.” There are times I felt a bit criminal over this, coming of age as a mother during the era of Dr. Sears sensibility.

“Breastfeed on demand and let the baby take the lead on weaning!”

“Keep your baby close at all times by wearing her in a sling!”

“Never deny a child the chance to co-sleep if they ask.”

Fail, fail, and fail.

But there were more failures on top of these. My kids went to day care, which made me a pariah in some circles. They didn’t always get that requisite hour of floor time with me at night when I got home, and the dirtiest confession of all:

When I’m not working and have the opportunity to spend time with my kids, there are still times that I prefer to leave the house alone.

Let’s face it, even if you are the most hands-on, attached parent in the world, there are situations where children don’t belong. For me, these are five instances where I’d prefer to leave my kids behind.

1. Costco

photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc
photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc

Living in New Jersey comes with its own brand of crazy. We’re the most densely populated state in the union, which is never more apparent than when I try to navigate a New Jersey wholesale club on a Saturday with three children. In a store like Costco, we literally have to elbow our way through Snookis and Pauly D.’s to get to the produce aisle or the bakery.

Want to score some cheesecake or pizza from a sample cart? Fuggedaboutit! The certainty of your getting to the front of that line safely is about as certain as my fellow New Jerseyan Tony’s fate in that final episode of “The Sopraonos.”

Keeping my kids out of Costco is simply being protective of their well-being. Back in the day, I walked out of mosh pits with fewer injuries.

2. Yoga Class

Yoga Class

If I get stuck without a babysitter on a night I teach yoga, I plunk my kids down in the back room of the studio while I help you get your zen on. Honestly, you’ll have a better chance of finding your zen in Costco than performing sun salutations with my unruly brood raising hell down the hallway.

My kids will find anything to fight about, and they fight loud. While I want you to get in touch with your enlightened side in my class, enlightenment can easily be upstaged by three boisterous children.

3. School

School Bus

I know this one sounds counterintuitive, but I should never have to take my children to school, since they are supposed to ride the bus…unless of course they miss it, which is often. The problem is that any minor attachment parenting skill I have is at its worst in the a.m.

I wish I could tell you that I spend my mornings cooking my kids organic spelt waffles from scratch for breakfast followed by a group meditation session to set good intentions for the day, but you’re more likely to find me screaming at them from the shower to brush their teeth and my running around in circles trying to find clean clothing to wear to work.

4. The Nail Salon

photo credit: AlaskaTeacher via photopin cc
photo credit: AlaskaTeacher via photopin cc

A few months ago, I decided to “squeeze in a pedicure” between Saturday afternoon errands with my youngest daughter in tow. Except, the experience wasn’t the same while trying to entertain a 4-year-old. When it comes down to it, a pedicure is about more than maintaining your feet.

It’s time to catch up on People Magazine and US Weekly or have uninterrupted texting chats with your best friend. Is it not?

5. Dora Live

photo credit: clevercupcakes via photopin cc
photo credit: clevercupcakes via photopin cc

I’m not here to knock Dora. She’s an excellent role model for young girls. She’s a great problem solver. She’s clean cut. She’s clearly the product of good attachment parenting. Yet, after nine years of having Dora in our lives, I’ve given her enough money.

There have been the DVD’s, the backpacks, the action figures, beach towels, sippy cups, puzzles, coloring books, the tent and lawn chair set, and the Dora themed birthday parties. In my rough calculation, I have spent almost eight hundred dollars on Dora merchandise, so purchasing Dora Live tickets at upwards of $40 each for three kids plus myself is not high on my priority list.

Don’t get me wrong. I love live concerts. But the $120 price tag is beyond what I’m willing to spend for just about anyone. Not even the Black Keys for that matter, or Jack White, or Justin Timberlake. OK, maybe for my beloved JT…

I’m not a perfect mother. I’m nowhere close. But for all of the places that I’d rather not take my kids, there are many places where we’ve gone. There’s bowling and the movies, and mini golf, and the self-serve frozen yogurt shop.

There have been the flights to California to visit family, the trip to cheer nationals with my oldest daughter, the warm winter days that we steal away to the beach as soon as they get home from school, and the lazy summer afternoons at the town pool.

There are many more places I wish to take them. Disney World, New Zealand, Tampa for spring training games, surf vacations, cruises, tropical islands, and the list goes on.

If I can get in a pedicure first – alone? I’ll be good to go anywhere.


Ilene Evans, the Creator of The Fierce Diva Guide to Life, is a writer, yoga teacher, soccer mom, foster parent to over a dozen rescue dogs, and a believer in tough love advice as much as she believes in love for all mankind. Transparent, perhaps, to a fault, there is practically nothing Ilene does not blog about.

You can find Ilene blogging at The Fierce Diva Guide to Life, as well as Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus.


  1. AnnMarie says:

    Yes, five times yes! Our mornings are the exact same way (but you know that already) and Gia has a Dora backpack and about 15 episodes on the DVR and two DVDs but she’ll never see a live show. I was cracking up about Costco because it seems that our medium sized suburb outside of Chicago is pretty much the same on Saturdays. Pedicure? What is that? Is that something you can do when you pry a three-year-old off of your leg? Yeah…I think I remember those. That was right around the last uninterrupted conversation I had with my BFF. Seriously funny post and I needed it right now.

    1. Ilene says:

      My kids are just about “done” with Dora – now that my youngest is 5 – so I have a ton of merchandise I’d be willing to send you?

      One day when you and I get to meet in real life, which I will make certain of, I say we have a pedicure date. Leo can watch all the kids, right? Mine included?

      1. Chris Carter says:

        Hey!!! I WANNA COME!!!!! Leo can take my kids too!!! (He owes you that AnnMarie!) Lets definitely do lunch or Starbucks after K? 😉

  2. Costco on a Saturday? Whoever attempts such a feat deserves mad kudos – and with children in tow? A full-out medal. I am mentally and physically exhausted just thinking about it. 🙂

    1. Ilene says:

      Mad kudos or my head examined? I’m not sure which! I will say that when we can actually make our way to the front of those sample carts, it’s always worth the trip. Have you ever tasted the cheesecake they sell there???

  3. Ilene says:

    Thank you for having me over! It’s a little daunting taking over a 5 for Friday post. You own that stuff! I kind of feel like the rookie pitcher standing on the mound the night after Santana crushed that no-hitter. You’re a tough act to follow.

  4. Chris Carter says:

    Oh Ilene this is ABSOLUTELY AWESOME!!!! I am with you on all of these five!!! You just fit RIGHT in over here at Coach Daddy’s place… you have the same gift of using words as a true ART form. Man, I am totally falling in love with you!!!! We would soooo b BFFs if I we lived nearby. And then we could go do all those things ‘alone’ together!!! 😉

    1. Ilene says:

      Chris, oh, my Gosh I am completely falling in love with you too! I think I need to take a road trip out your way some time to meet up with all of my mid west girls, you, Ann Marie, Missy from Literal Mom, Mary from Teachable Mom, have I left anyone out? We would all totally go to Costco together and get pedicures. xo

  5. The Dose of Reality says:

    I…AM…DYING!!! You have to elbow your way past Snookis at Costco! BWAHAHAHAHAHA! I can’t even catch my breath! hahahahahah

    When I think of all the money I’d spent on Dora or watching Disney characters ice skate, I could have seen Jack White several times. *sob* –Lisa

    Ps. I do sometimes take my 9yo daughter when I get a pedicure….but only because she can get one now too. She doesn’t like to talk or interact as she is being pampered. She’s all about the massage chair. I have raised her right. –Lisa

    1. Ilene says:

      Lisa – I truly do have to elbow my way past the Snookis! I literally live at Jersey Shore ground zero! As a matter of fact, Sammy Sweetheart grew up in the town where I live so there is a very good chance that I have elbowed her before while trying to get to the front of the four cheese ravioli sample line.

      I say we both hold garage sales to sell our Dora and Disney toys (not trying to be a scrooge here – we can wait until once everyone has grown out of them) and use the money to start a Jack White concert ticket fund!

  6. I would pay $120 to go see a concert, oldest in tow. I feel tremendous guilt that I was attending concerts in utero while she has not been to ONE yet at 9 1/2 years old. And I’d like to make it something kickass and memorable, like Alabama Shakes or Black Crows or Black Keys or … well, I can think of a lot. My husband thinks the noise would overwhelm her. He forgets that she’s the one who makes me blare the music just below ear-damaging levels in the car. And I’ll take her ear plugs for pity’s sake!!

    1. ilene says:

      I remember your post about Caroline in the Jungle Jim’s store, so you taking her to a concert totally makes sense and seems “worth it.” I, on the other hand, have a daughter who fell asleep in the middle of a Jonas Brother’s concert. I kid you not! All of her little girlfriends were gushing over those guys, reciting their songs by heart, and my daughter was out cold on my lap and snoring. I’d have to think twice next time. However, if you decide to go for kick ass and memorable, as in the Black Keys, I may have to break my “no $120.00 rule” and go with you.

  7. Love!! I agree with every one of these and love your descriptions. We’re almost done with Dora too so can I join your garage sale/Jack White concert fund? Here’s to undisturbed alone time and pedicures all around! Great post, Ilene. xo

    1. ilene says:

      Thank you, my love. Of course you can join our garage sale! And come to Jack White with us! And if you scroll up to my reply to Chris, I already have a trip planned out to hang with my mid west sweeties for a mom’s only Costco trip and pedicures! None of it would be the same without you! xo

  8. anotherjennifer says:

    Oh, I am so with you Ilene! I’m so not an attachment parent, and I fully take advantage of daycare. For my sanity. Luckily, I haven’t had to spend a ton of money on those live Dora shows. What my kids don’t know doesn’t hurt them, right? 🙂

  9. anotherjennifer says:

    I’m so with you, Ilene! Attachment parent I am not. And I fully take advantage of daycare for my sanity. Luckily, I haven’t had to deal with Dora live. What my kids don’t know doesn’t hurt them, right? 🙂

    Also, I’d very much like some of those garlic and parmesan wings.

    1. ilene says:

      You know what? When my kids were younger and in daycare, I did the same thing. If that meant dropping them off 45 minutes early to get a run in before work or stop at the grocery store before pick up so that I had the luxury of food shopping without kids? It didn’t kill them and it definitely helped keep me sane. And as far as Dora Live goes, what they don’t know certainly won’t hurt them!

    2. P.S. Those wings were *awesome*. I did as much damage as I could (in the classiest way possible), and brought a doggie bag of them for Elise after her soccer practice. She destroyed them.

      I’m all for that second batch, though. This time, get in while you can.

      (I definitely was going to stay on the sideline with all these comments on this great guest post, but when you start talking wings, I have to get up and get in the action).

      1. anotherjennifer says:

        Totally understand. I will admit, I was a bit distracted by the thought of garlic and parmesan wings throughout the post.

      2. Geez. Now *I’m* distracted by the thought of garlic and Parmesan wings throughout this reply.

        Thanks for that.

  10. Yes! But, I will submit that now that my kids are tween/teen age they are very helpful at Costco. They can be sent to get stuff for me and they have no qualms about pushing through the crowd. I also make them go find the best sample stations so that we can chart out a good course! 🙂

    1. ilene says:

      Rhonda – I love that you put them to work in Costco. That is awesome and something for me to look forward to – especially now that my oldest is approaching her “tween” years!

  11. Martha says:

    Ha! I don’t EVER do Cosco or Sam’s with my kids. I totally get this entire list.

    It’s funny, too, because I am desperate for a pedicure and considered taking my girls. You are right, though. A very bad idea! X

    1. ilene says:

      Yes, I walked out of the nail salon with pretty new feet, but I wound up playing Angry Birds with my daughter the entire time versus use that valuable 45 minutes to catch up on Elle and Cosmo and other required reading. It might seem tempting to let the girls tag along, but don’t do it!

  12. Andrea says:

    Lmao @ elbowing your way though Snooki’s and Pauly D’s. #sitssharefest

    1. ilene says:

      I have never actually elbowed Snooki to get to the front of one of those sample lines, but it’s possible, given where I live. I did, however, once run my shopping cart into John Bon Jovi by accident at Whole Foods. Welcome to New Jersey!

  13. I’ve never done Dora Live but I have made the mistake of going to Elmo Live and I seriously wanted to slit a wrist before we even got to Intermission!

    1. ilene says:

      The closest I ever came to Elmo Live was seeing the Live Elmo’s World show at Sesame Place outside of Philadelphia. Oh, how I wish I had that admission money back to go to a Black Keys show. Don’t get me wrong. I really do love my kids!

  14. juliejs says:

    With my first daughter I tried so hard to be what I, at the time, thought was the perfect mother. By the time I got to my fifth child nine years later, I had gotten it ALLL down… in my own way, thank you very much. Love your spirit! I’m visiting today from SitsSharefest!

    1. ilene says:

      Isn’t it so much nicer to “have it down” in your own way than to hold yourself to “their” standards, whoever “they” are? I can totally adore my kids but also know when to leave them home. Besides, I’m a *much better* mom after a few hours out alone for Costco shopping and a pedicure!

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