parent opinion

'It's my idea of hell!' 19 mums share the things they hate doing with kids.

A debate kicked off in our Mamamia Outloud Facebook group this week when a mum posed a question about why some parents took their kids along for the weekly grocery shop. 

She said she couldn't understand it, but there were other opinions about why you might have to (or wish to) take the kids shopping. It got me thinking about some of the other things parents don't enjoy doing with their kids.

For me, I get the fear about taking my kids scooting on the busy path along the beach because I worry someone will crash into them, or they will crash and injure themselves. Am I overthinking it? Probably. But it led me to reach out and ask our wonderful Mamamia community for their thoughts on what they don't like doing with their kids. Here is what 19 of them had to say.

1. Going to playgrounds.

"I don’t like taking my daughter to the playground alone as I find it really boring or I have to spend the whole time helping her as the equipment is usually too big for a toddler. Meeting friends at a playground, however, I’ve found enjoyable. I love taking her out to cafes and having a meal out with her, alone or with others, which I understand many parents don’t enjoy with kids." – Hanna.

2. Swimming.

"I will not take the two kids swimming by myself. It makes me anxious and I start to think about all the 'what ifs' way too much! Their father loves to take them and it never bothers them. So I don’t do it at all. Maybe I’ll feel better when they are both older and very confident swimmers, but for now, it’s a no from me." – Kate.

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3. Visiting a friend's house.

"I don't take my kid to one of my friend's houses because she is always so uncomfortable with the potential for her stuff to be touched and/or broken and I spend the whole time watching to make sure she doesn't. I only visit her on my own, we've been friends for more than a decade!" – Claire.

4. Heading to big parks.

"Taking one kid to the park was fine but two is a nightmare. They just run in opposite directions. Now that they are a bit older (ages three and five) I don't mind taking them both to a small park where I can see the lot, but never a big park." – Asten.

5. The shopping centre.

"I will take them grocery shopping if I really need to but I absolutely will not take them to a shopping centre. The four-year-old wants every glittery piece of junk and the two-year-old wants to walk everywhere. Until she doesn’t and then she wants to be carried. Nightmare." – Rhiannon.

6. Waxing appointments!

"I won't take them to a Brazilian waxing appointment EVER! It's enough for me and I ain't taking an audience." – Sarah.

7. Posh restaurants.

"I’d never take my kids to a supermarket or a shopping centre. I don’t understand how people wander around the mall with kids! It's my idea of hell! I’d never go to any kind of appointment, be it the doctor, hairdresser, nail technician, beautician etc. with a child in tow.


"I also only ever take my kids to family-friendly pubs or clubs for a meal out. I would never take them to a cafe or restaurant where it’s not a known family-friendly place. Even though my kids are relatively well-behaved when we eat out, I still wouldn’t inflict that on anyone!" – Ash.

8. Pap smear appointments.

"For a pap smear! Not with a fan belt that's stretched like the Nullarbor!" – Helen.

9. The post office.

"We don't have family nearby, and my husband often works away, so there are many things I have to do with kids in tow that I'd prefer not to but I will only take the kids into the grocery store with me if I absolutely have to. I'll click and collect instead.

"I also avoid taking them to the post office because there are way too many things they want in there and it's a nightmare. Or just shops – my kids act like they've never been let out of the house before (they also act like this at the doctor's surgery, why!?) Also, I'll never take them to one of my hairdressing appointments. I attempted this once when my son was eight weeks old. I thought I could feed him and then he'd sleep the remainder of the appt. Except he chose that day to cluster feed." – Nicole.

10. Watching big kid's sport.

"I won't take my toddler to my seven-year-old's sport alone. I end up chasing the toddler around the playground and not watching the sport, and then my seven-year-old gets upset that I didn't see the awesome thing he just did. If we have both parents, we have both kids and we usually rotate who chases the toddler for 10 minutes." – Breanna.


11. Balconies.

"We are currently staying in a hotel with a balcony on the 21st floor. Amazing views, but we are looking from the window and I check the sliding door is locked every time we enter the room because I am terrified of my toddler even knowing that going out onto the balcony is an option. She climbs everything." – Gabrielle.

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12. Fire pits.

"We do fire pits at home but I feel hyper-vigilant and don’t love them as I have a three- and a five-year-old." – Mary.

13. Waiting in lines.

"I will not go grocery shopping with my 18-month-old and my husband and I do not enjoy taking her out to cafes. Much more enjoyable to get takeaway and eat it on an open field so our daughter can run around like a wild animal. I will also try to avoid anything that involves waiting in line – if we stop moving I am in trouble." – Hannah.

14. Personal appointments.

"I don’t take my kids to any personal appointments for me. Whether it’s medical, cosmetic or administrative – I can’t concentrate or get my money’s worth with kids in tow. It always amazes me when parents take kids to things like nail appointments (and the kids behave!) – credit to them!" – Rebecca.

15. Fun fairs.

"I don’t take my kids to those big fun fair things with all the rides. I hate big crowds, waiting in lines and wrangling three young kids where it’s super busy!" – Brodie.


16. The Melbourne Royal Show.

"When my kids were little, l never took them to the Melbourne Royal Show or Moomba (and they did not know it existed). At the time we could not afford it plus my husband does not like crowds. In early teen years, we went and then they could enjoy it better." – Michelle.

17. Going out for dinner.

"I have two toddlers. We don’t go out for dinner with our kids. It’s a horrible experience for us, them and everyone around us. We probably won’t have a family dinner until my youngest is three or four. He’s 16 months at the moment. I also don’t take them to personal appointments like the doctor, accountant, etc. They’re a huge distraction, I don’t need the stress and the people we’re seeing probably appreciate not having to talk over noisy kids and a nagging mum." – Kirsten.

18. The library.

"Going to the library is a nice idea in theory, but not when they hurl books and loudly demand ice cream." –  Lucy.

19. Staying home!

"I hate shopping but oddly I prefer it with my four kids in tow than on my own. I also find it hard to be at home with the kids but love being out with them at the beach, park, library or just wherever!" – Kate.

Are there things you don't like doing with your kids? Tell us in the comments below. 

Laura Jackel is Mamamia's Family Writer. For links to her articles and to see photos of her outfits and kids, follow her on Instagram and TikTok.

Feature Image: Getty / Canva.

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