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'We're a couple as well as parents'

Burrell PR boss Rebecca Burrell (42) from Dublin dotes on eight-year-old daughter Layla -- but cherishes her 'me time' in child-free hangouts too.

'There isn't a parent on the planet who hasn't been annoyed by someone else's children at some stage. There's nothing worse than going out for a nice meal or to the cinema and having children kicking your seat, screaming or running around.

"At eight, Layla is very much beyond the tantrum stage -- and has always been a quiet child anyway. But my husband Peter and I don't haul her around everywhere we go, either.

"Peter and I are a couple as well as parents, so it's important for us to get to spend time together alone too.We've just come from a weekend break in Istanbul, during which Layla stayed with her aunt and cousins -- which she loved. If it were true, Ryanair's child-free flights would be a good idea.

"A lot of business people might have crying babies of their own at home, so it's the last thing they need when they're on the way to a meeting. And let's face it, nobody wants to be sitting next to the person with a baby on a plane. But I think they could put a more positive spin on it.

"Instead of saying children will be excluded from certain flights, the focus should be on alternative child-friendly flights where parents don't have to worry about their child kicking up.

"I don't have a problem with businesses advertising themselves as either child-free or child-friendly -- but I think putting up signs that remove that choice from the customer would be a step too far. Every parent knows there are certain places you should bring your children and certain places you shouldn't. For instance, we'd bring Layla to Eddie Rocket's but not Shanahan's -- apart from anything else, I think she'd be bored in a fancy restaurant.

"It really bothers me to see parents dragging their kids into pubs when there are so many great child-friendly places around the city. It's up to parents to use their cop-on."

Irish Independent