So my basic question is, obviously the new baby is expected, but are other kids welcome or OK at a baby shower?
Also, is it rude to request in an invitation that children dont come?
Here is the background to my asking. I am part of a community of women due to our husbands jobs. Though I am friends with a few of them, in general, we are 'friendly' with one another. One thing we always do is throw a baby shower for any new moms. Generally the only other kids there are other babies, but the last one was full of kids, including the hosts children and the big brother. I know for a fact that it was asked if kids could attend on the facebook page and given the OK. I am pretty much joined at the hip with my nursling at the moment, though I can get about an hour or so on my own if I plan with DH. There is another shower (for different baby) coming up in a few weeks, and the hostess preemptively posted on the event wall, 'in order to keep focus on Mom and Baby on their special day, please arrange for child care.' I know the hostess does not have kids of her own, so is not equipped to entertain a large number of kids, but I find this really rude, as I dont know anyone who would bring a child without asking first. I was really tempted to snap back that I wouldnt be coming then, since I cant be gone from babe for long, but I have restrained myself, mostly because I am pretty sure this request is not coming from mom, and I really do want to celebrate her baby, and I have to socialize with these people at many different event for the next few years at least I am wondering though if I am over reacting because this request effects me, and feels a little bit directed at me (though not JUST me)? I also thought of just posting a note that I would stop by, but couldnt stay for long cause of baby, but I think if someone else posted that I would think they were just fishing for an exemption?
Anyways, just wondering what you ladies think, and willing to listen to any suggestions to how I can get my unhappiness across without looking like a huge ***** (pretty sure that word will star out)? Or should I just keep my mouth closed, do a cameo at the party and deal with my disappointment in private?
Mom to Arianna (5), Conner (3) and Trent (my baby)
Most baby showers I have attended had children at them. In this case though, since it's specifically requested I would not say anything. It doesn't sound rude (to me) and voicing your disappointment probably would not accomplish much. I mean, if you did say something and the lady said it was fine for you to bring baby how comfortable would you be there, ya know?
I have been to baby showers where kids were welcome, and I have been to baby showers were it was adults only. I have also been to baby showers where childcare was provided. I have recieved wedding, shower, and birthday party invitations saying that children are not welcome. I do think it is a little off putting. Something I have done in the past, if it is something I really care about and want to be at, I bring a babysitter with me and have them nearby. For example at BIL's wedding, my mother came and stayed in a room out of the way and watched my children. I have also gone to baby showers where I paid a babysitter to watch my children on the premise, but out of the way. Now that my children are older, they normally stay at my house with a babysitter. I would only hire a babysitter for an event (That DH was not available to watch the kids), if it was for someone very close to me or very important to me.
I've never been to a baby shower with a baby older than, say, three months at it. Even then I've only seen a handful. I brought a baby to one once- it was for a first cousin and my dd was only 2 weeks old- too young to make a bottle an option. I've NEVER seen kids at a shower - that would be strange in my area as the focus is all about the new mom to be and kids would distract from that . People in my area are also very fond of babysitters.
I think with an invitation to any kind of gathering it depends on what the host is willing to accommodate. Nobody should assume that kids are okay to bring. IMO though, an understanding host should make a concession for a guest who is bfing out of consideration, but I think the mother should still ask if it's okay to bring the baby. Like, I wouldn't just show up at a no-kids-allowed shower with my bfing baby and figure the host should assume that's what I was doing.
Still, my baby shower was thrown by my MIL who invited all the relatives and her friends, and never asked a single one of my friends if they wanted to attend. Not one. It's best if I don't get too deep into the whole shower thing. It always raises my hackles.
Most showers I have been to have had kids. We're just laid back like that around here. With that said, I have never brought kids to a shower unless I didn't have a reasonable option or they were fairly young. It's just not that fun to try to "shower" someone else while chasing my hoodlems around. But I'm one that never left either kid with a babysitter until they were close to a year old, so if I had a baby that would sit in my lap the entire time (and certaintly a bf-ing one that needed me) I would ask if I could bring them, or in this case where it has been made clear that kids are not welcome, I probably wouldn't go.
I will say that I have rarely been to a shower where the new baby was there (they are typically done 2-3 months prior to due date around here) and if that was the case I would be MUCH more cautious about bringing babies/kids around. I also think if the new baby is present it is more understandable to request no children, due to potential illness, etc.
I don't think it would be rude at all to say that you won't be able to make it since you are still bf-ing very frequently, or to just stop by for a few minutes if that works out for you and your little one.
CARRIE and DH 7/14/07
Thanks ladies. I kind of thought I might be over reacting Now that I have had time to think about it I will do what I can and maybe stop by for an hour or so.
There were a few things about this particular request that got to me I think. One is that I have participated in a number of activities over YEARS with the same group of ladies and no one (to my knowledge) has brought a child along without confirming it was OK first, so it feels completely unnecessary to state it. But the wording of this also gets me. It really leaves no wiggle room. There are 2 of us who bring our babies to practically everything (her baby is younger than mine) and then there are another....3 with young babies. I just feel like the baby moms, in particular me and this other mom have been singled out with this request. Maybe that wasnt her intention, but if she had said she didnt have room or toys to entertain the kids so please leave them at home, I would have at least felt that I could ask if T could come, but stating it this way, I would look like I was trying to steal attention from Mom and baby if I ask to bring him. Oh well.
For the record T is 9 months old and doesnt need me to constantly nurse. I thought by now I would be able to leave him for longer times (and I have), but he starts to cry after about an hour and DH cant console him. He will stick it out the best he can if I am at something with the bigs, but DH just cant handle the hysterical baby and the big kids at the same time, so I get called home if I am out alone. He is really good though, and I try to time his naps around when we are at events, so he actually slept through the last baby shower we went to.
Mom to Arianna (5), Conner (3) and Trent (my baby)
IMHO a nursling is pretty much an extension of me so there's no question of whether baby will attend. If I'm there, baby is. It wouldn't even occur to me to ask. At nine months my decision would probably depend on baby's disposition. Both of mine were happy to nurse & go to sleep wherever they were, whereas they would drive DH batty if I left at a time they didn't expect me to go to work, kwim? It would be easier on everyone to take them. But if they were the kind to demand everyone's attention or if they would be fine at home and if I had someone to watch them, then I'd leave them if asked. That said, every single family baby shower I've ever attended has had kids because we are welcoming the new baby to the family.
Most of my friends have had "Blessingways" which are focused on the mom rather than the baby, so children aren't welcome. The few friends who had traditional baby showers, some welcome kids because they play together and stay out of our hair, while others like your host don't have the room for a bunch of kids or don't have toys because they are still childless or their baby is tiny. I'd ask around and see what others are thinking. Maybe you could find an outside-the-box solution. You could all go together & hire a couple of teenagers to babysit the bunch at one house, or hold the shower at someone else's house while she's still officially the host, so that the others could bring their kids. ITA with you that it's an awkward request, especially given the relationships and history of the group.
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I have been at showers with kids, without kids, I have been the kid at showers (the joys of being the youngest in a large family). I don't care either way. I do tend to think nursing babies as an exception to the "no kids" rule unless at a really fancy event and then I would ask.
As an aside, when Sean's nephew got married 7 years ago Robbie was 11 months old. The invitation had just our names and so I asked if Robbie was included. The reply I got back was "of course" but they almost sounded offended that we would ask. Then again, in our church people tend to think they can bring anyone to a wedding - neighbours, relatives of relatives, etc...
Sean (38 )
Robbie (8 )
Bailey (April 2, 2011)
"The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind." Caroline Myss