Ever since my kids were born, my husband and I decided that we would do everything as a family. We'd take our kids everywhere, and just have fun being together.
Obviously when you don't have kids you don't realize it's difficult. The hardest job on the planet. Kids will behave how they will, when they will.
But I can tell you that kids are very adaptable. When the babies were five weeks old Will and I took the babies with us out to eat. From that moment on we didn't give up, no matter how difficult it might have gotten.
One time it took us three hours to get out the door to go to breakfast. (The babies were about three months old) I remember crying after the meal and saying, "I'll never go anywhere!" 😭
But my husband said, "You can't stop living, and our babies deserve to be taught how to act at all places and they deserve some fun out of the house too!".
So, from that moment on I didn't ever cry no matter how hard it was getting two babies out the door. I was nursing and bottle feeding too, so logisticaly trying to plan around those two things alone would give me a headache.
Now our kiddos our four years old, and we still enjoy every moment out with them. Is it always fun, always perfect? Of course not! But we laugh and have so much fun with them. And my husband and I just laugh at each other when things get super stressful.
Before we go inside anywhere, we lay down the rules in our minivan. We make them repeat them now back to us too. No screaming, no wrestling, always listen. (Or whatever the rules should be for wherever we are going)
Letting them know what's expected of them before getting out of your car is key. It's really worked well for us. They then know if they break one of the rules there will be a consequence of some sort.
I can honestly say taking the time to teach my kids how to behave out in public, at restaurants, the library, and yes, even antique stores has been the best thing for my kids. I think we forget when they have tantrums, knock something off the shelf, etc.... we forget that no one has taught them how to behave in public. That's our jobs as parents. Don't be impatient with them, show them grace when accidents happen, be consistent in discipline. This means you might actually have to leave early from the party or dinner. This is the hardest thing to do because, "How dare my kid ruin my night out?". But how else will they learn that their bad behavior isn't okay?! YOU have to teach them.
So just because you're parents now, doesn't mean your life is over. Love your child and family times enough to take them everywhere with you! Enjoy them! They're only in the house for 18 Christmases!!! 18! That's not a lot.
Love them enough to teach them, even when it's difficult. You got this. Don't give up. You're raising a human being, it's tough work. But your consistency in not giving in to bad behavior will be quite rewarding. I promise.
My mom and I took my four year old twins antiquing a few weeks ago, and when we walked in my mom said something to the clerk like "We'll be with them" or something reassuring the lady like "We won't let the littles break anything".
The ladies response was amazing, "Oh, honey, let those little ones walk around and explore. That's the only way they learn!"