All throughout my pregnancy, whenever hubby and I would go out for dinner or on an evening out, I was constantly faced with comments such as 'make the most of it now' or 'you won't be able to do this when the baby arrives'. It got me thinking, surely having a baby doesn't have to be the end of your social life for the next 10+ years?
Obviously, we have had to make a few adjustments but I can honestly say that my social life now with a 4 month old baby is pretty much as good as before. Plenty of pubs and restaurants in Walthamstow are baby friendly, so we just take the little one out with us and half of the time he will nap in his buggy while we eat dinner. I have also mastered one-handed eating for the times when he doesn't want to be put down! For the less baby-friendly evening activities, we each go out about once a week with our friends while the other stays at home on baby duty. And of course there are friends and grandparents happy to babysit every now and then while we have a night out to ourselves.
|Screen on the Green - Upper Street|
Going to the cinema is a bit of a tricky one, definitely not appropriate to take a potentially screaming baby to an evening film, but it also seemed a bit of a waste of a precious babysitting offer. I found a bit of a compromise solution recently in the form of 'Parent and baby cinema'. Quite a few local cinemas have special baby-friendly screenings where you can go along and not worry about disturbing the other patrons as everyone is in the same situation. You can also watch up to a 15 rated film (or up to a 12A in some cinemas) with a baby under 1 year old as they are deemed to young to understand the content of the film. For my first parent and baby cinema experience, I went to see Batman: the dark knight rises at Screen on the Green in Islington. I had never been to this cinema before, but it makes a welcome change from the normal faceless Odeon-type places that I would normally go to. Screen on the Green is small and intimate, with just the one screen. It has comfy looking sofas down each side which had already been taken by the more clued-up mums who had arrived early. There is a bar at the back of the seating area, and the staff came round to each of us to take our orders and then delivered drinks and cakes right to our seats! (refreshments were even included in the ticket price!). I probably picked one of the hottest days of the year (and one of the longest films!) which was a bit of a mistake, 3hrs+ with a hot baby on your lap gets a little tiring.
I will definitely go to more baby-cinema sessions, the only downside really is that there is usually just one showing a week, so you have a pretty limited choice of films.
Baby screenings are usually on Wednesdays at midday at the Screen on the Green, you can find out whats showing on the website
Other local cinemas with baby-friendly screenings include Stratford Picturehouse, Hacnkey Picturehouse, and the Dalston Rio.
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