A Letter to My Friends About Why I Can’t Attend a “No Children” Event

party without kids

What do you say to a friend who’s invited you to an “adult-only” event? Does this letter declining an invitation due to child care restrictions resonate with you?

Dear Friend,

When I received the invitation to your baby shower, your wedding, your engagement celebration, your birthday, my heart swelled with love for you. It swelled with excitement, with yearning to go. With wanting to be there for you. Then it cracked into a thousand pieces and fell to the floor when I learned that my children couldn’t come.

I wanted to write you a letter to explain why. But I didn’t, because that would make your event about me and my family when it’s supposed to be about yours.

So I sent you my regrets and my love. My congratulations, and my sadness that I couldn’t be there for you the way I wanted to be. And I talked about how excited I was for you. And I truly was. I danced away from giving reasons because I didn’t want you to feel bad, but I didn’t want to give a reason that seemed foolishly small. I tried to let you know that I loved you, that I wanted to be there. But that I couldn’t.

Then I cried.

I wanted to tell you that I was so sorry. That I tried to come up with a way that it would work. That I tried to find a babysitter that I trusted near where you were so that I could duck out to nurse the child that wouldn’t take a bottle yet. That I tried to figure out if we could afford a hotel room nearby where my toddler with separation anxiety could play with dad while I celebrated with you. I wanted to tell you all these things so that you would understand that I wanted to be there. But that would make it about my plans when it was supposed to be about yours.

I wanted to be there.

I couldn’t make it work.

I wanted to tell you that I’m so sorry that I’m not able to be that kind of friend for you right now. That I’m sorry that I’m putting my children ahead of our friendship. That it’s for a short time only, just these few years. That I’m so happy for you, and that I wish that your happiness had come first before my own, so that I could have been there with you the way that I want to be.

But I bit my lip and sent you my regrets and love and hoped that you would understand the unspoken.

I’m not that kind of friend right now. I’m a different kind of friend, now. I’ll be there for you in all the ways that I can.

I’ll be there to chat at 1AM when you’re a new mama and scared. I’ll figure out how to come to see you when you’re having a hard time getting your baby to latch on, and I’ll show you everything that I know. I’ll help you move your things to boxes and load them into the van while my children run and play and my baby naps in a sling against my chest. I’ll be there for you if you and your husband are fighting. I’ll come to the ultrasound that your husband can’t make it to, and I’ll hold your hand if something’s up and you are scared. I’ll tell you that the choices you  make as a mama are excellent ones, even if they’re different from my own. I’ll come and watch your kids for you so that you can take a shower.

I’m that kind of friend now.

My love for you hasn’t changed. My life has. Just for now.

I hope you know that, and I hope you understand.

<3  – Me.

Image Credit: Moyan Brenn


441 thoughts on “A Letter to My Friends About Why I Can’t Attend a “No Children” Event”

  1. I am coming from being a Mother of 2 1/2 year old twins. I am a stay at home mom, I live with chronic illness, I take care of an early grandmother and I don’t get your point of view at all. I have friends simiular to you and I don’t get them but I accept it bc I love them. It completely boggles my mind why for one day you cannot plan for an event like a wedding. You would choose to skip a once in a lifetime event because little Joey can’t be without you for 4 hours. I believe it’s selfish and rude.

    Just one moms opnion since I was given the forum.

    1. So she should abandon her child to scream for hours because an adult can’t be told no? Yeah, that’s not selfish at all.

      1. Just because you have a child doesn’t mean you must cease to be your own person. It’s okay to leave your “uniquely precious” child with a sitter for a couple of hours, even if he’s crying. Children cry. It’s normal. Your child will be fine. Over-protective, helicopter parenting causes children to grow up with stunted emotional maturity and ill-equipped to handle many situations in the real world. Think about how immature the typical 25 year old is now, compared to two generations ago. Parents revolving their entire lives around the whims of children is a relatively modern concept. Back in the day, having children was just something adults did; it was not some momentous achievement that consumed all of the parents’ lives and attention.

        1. I absolutely agree that you shouldn’t stop being you. However, you are someone else when you become a mother. Whether you realise it or not, that’s what you sign up for when you decide to become pregnant. You have different responsibilities and you (should) have different priorities. A young baby needs to feed roughly every two hours. So does the mother need that stimulation to continue milk production. This is not being selfish, it is a priority over a friend who could very easily allow you to bring your baby to a wedding but is being selfish.
          A crying baby is indeed common yet absolutely not normal. There is always a reason for the crying, yet often we don’t find it so come up with the excuse that babies need to cry for their own psychological development. How cruel. Recent research all points to one thing; those children that are left to cry and not given the attention they need for healthy development become the most needy and dependant. Perhaps the youth of today are the way they are because of the fashion of ‘convenience parenting’ in the 70’s, letting their children cry it out and be left with a babysitter at 3 days old. This is a modern concept. Back in the good old days we did the same as many other cultures and slept in the same room, stayed at home with the children, had big extended families so always had a family member around to help with the children. These babies that grow up knowing they have a strong support network are the independent adults equipped to deal with daily modern stressors.

          1. First of all, a wedding is no place for a child; nor a funeral, a wedding or baby shower, a bachelorette party, a rehearsal dinner, etc. If you want to fight from a “traditional standpoint”, that’s the regulation. A couple that’s getting married that do not already have children, and wish not to have the interruptions caused by small children present, should have the right to do so without criticism. They plan, they pay, and they throw a party for their guests. That’s Selfish?? No… That type of thinking is selfish on your part, that on THEIR big day, they should ony be considering you and your child’s needs. It’s only for a short time. If you’re “mom of the year” concerned about it, they make breast pumps that allow you to leave enough food for the child and take a couple small bathroom breaks for stimulation. It’s a ridiculous notion to call two people getting married selfish. The problem with weddings these days is that’s it’s no longer about the bride and groom, it’s about what everyone else wants and expects. Then just stay home if you can’t be that kind of friend or family member.

          2. The youth today were not brought up in the 70s, they were brought up in the 90s, so that era of parenting style would be what you have a prob with.

            Kids brought up in the 70s are in their 40s now.

          3. Dear Informed. You do have an interesting idea of what it means to remain true to yourself, while becoming a mother. How your entire comment actually reads is “stop being yourself and ONLY be a mother.”

            I’m a mom of a toddler and a baby. My first kid spent weeks in the NICU. Didn’t get that personality-defining, all-important, sacred time after he was born that they say makes or breaks the mother-child bond. Nurses gave scheduled care in an environment that seemed to be the antithesis of nurturing. Baby received feedings through a tube. Devastating, when you’re forced to read how important breastfeeding is in the maternity ward during your recovery, whilst going through a hormone crash, and you’re baby is downstairs hooked up to monitors, a feeding tube and oxygen. When I was with him, I spent as much loving time with him as I could, just like any mother who leaves for a few hours here and there can do (make quality time count with their children!) AND even more shocking – those first important weeks didn’t screw him up being separated from me most of the time. We’re attached, he’s a normal toddler AND he’d be a hot mess at a wedding like most toddlers. By your account, all kids who begin life in the NICU, or who cry for any length of time, or are left with caregivers other than their extended family, especially their mother, would be sociopathic, people-hating, freak shows. Your argument insinuating that a babysitter at 3 days old is akin to neglect is freaking nuts, basically.

            About your comment that mom needs stimulation to keep milk going. GOOD LORD. Yes, mom does need regular stimulation to keep milk going, but are you serious? Milk production won’t grind to a halt if the mom leaves for 2 hours to pop in for a quick hello at a baby shower or birthday dinner.

            A mom visiting other loved ones without her children isn’t neglect or abandonment, nor is it “selfish” of the other party to host a kid-free event. Further still, it doesn’t mean that the mom’s priorities are out of whack. Don’t you see how selfish it is to expect to be able to bring your kids anywhere and everywhere, because it works best for YOU? Kids left to cry because their mom is ACTUALLY neglectful will end up with issues. But a child left with a well-chosen caregiver (family or otherwise) will not suffer in the long run. I fail to see how a mother taking some time for herself is a mis-prioritization. Talk about mommy-shaming.

            Babies can’t EASILY come to weddings, as you say. They’re disruptive by nature (not to a fault – that’s just life). Unless you have the easiest, most pleasant kids in the world. And for that, I salute you. But some people don’t want to hear crying or shushing during ceremonies or speeches, or parents fretting about where the soother fell, or have to hear a blowout in progress, or smell it, or have children crawling under the table or have their germy hands in the candy bowl.

            And. “A crying baby is indeed common yet absolutely not normal.” WHAT??!?!? A crying baby IS normal. Did you leave out a bunch of words there or did you actually mean its not normal for a baby to cry?? They cry when they’re hungry, they cry when they’re tired, they cry when their tag is itching their neck, they cry when cold or hot, they cry when their leg is caught in the rungs of the crib, they cry when they roll over on their side and can’t get back, they cry when you turn off the light, they cry when you turn it on, they cry when you put them in the car seat, they cry when it’s time to leave the playground, they cry when you won’t read them the 5th book before bed, they cry when you won’t let them play with the knife. They can even cry for NO REASON. They cry because their prefrontal cortex isn’t developed like an adult’s and they just. can’t. even. sometimes. It’s absolutely normal.

            And seriously, no wonder the author of this blog article has sensitive children…she sure is a sensitive one herself.

          4. I agree with the other women. I am a mother of a small child who also recently got married. I don’t bring my child to other people’s weddings because I consider that a date for my husband and I to enjoy away from our child. I also know how it feels as a bride to have to pay all this money for a perfect day and to have someone be upset because you request no children! I love children but kids usually end up being pretty bored at weddings and that’s when they start to misbehave, talk when it’s inappropriate, or babies cry. I have been invited to several weddings since I have had my child and I have gone to every last wedding. Did I leave him with a random babysitter? no. I left him with my mother or my husband’s mother. Geez. It’s only a couple of hours and this is why people need to stop spoiling the hell out of their children. Let the child breathe. By the way I also breastfed my child for a year and it was quite easy to pump and freeze to plan for events such as a wedding.

          5. I love this, Informed! So well spoken. And thank you to the author of this article. I haven’t missed any weddings with my two babies, but I went through heck to get it all arranged to be there.

            I have had to miss other events, however, if they were in the evening as I couldn’t afford a qualified babysitter due to my families extremely low income. I switched to doing day time events when it was easier for my babies to cope and they were used to being left as I work. Nights are tough for little ones! My husband and parents try very hard, but they were never able to get my babies to sleep at night, so they would just cry and stay up late. Now my oldest baby is 3 and she is a dream to leave with someone if I need to go out, leave for a weekend, etc. Easy as pie. All of that hard work paid off and I now have a very independent and competent 3 year old big girl. I feel bad for all the parents who took a different route with their babies and now struggle daily with power, control, and tantrums with their young children.

            I agree, babies don’t just cry because of nothing, there is a reason and their biology is working, telling them they are scared, to find mom, etc. Babies are born with survival instincts native to man, we just slowly grow out of the unnecessary ones in today’s modern era. To force a child to go against their biology is cruel I believe.

            By the way, I love weddings/showers with kids and babies. These are events to celebrate life, families, and love and isn’t a wedding all about that? But I respect the choice of my friend throwing the event, just as I would expect her to respect my choice in respecting my child.

        2. I absolutely agree that you shouldn’t stop being you. However, you are someone else when you become a mother. Whether you realise it or not, that’s what you sign up for when you decide to become pregnant. You have different responsibilities and you (should) have different priorities. A young baby needs to feed roughly every two hours. So does the mother need that stimulation to continue milk production. This is not being selfish, it is a priority over a friend who could very easily allow you to bring your baby to a wedding but is being selfish.
          A crying baby is indeed common yet absolutely not normal. There is always a reason for the crying, yet often we don’t find it so come up with the excuse that babies need to cry for their own psychological development. How illogical and cruel. Recent research all points to one thing; those children that are left to cry and not given the attention they need for healthy development become the most needy and dependant. Perhaps the youth of today are the way they are because of the fashion of ‘convenience parenting’ in the 70’s, letting their children cry it out and be left with a babysitter at 3 days old. THIS is the modern concept. Back in the good old days we did the same as many other cultures still do today and slept in the same room, stayed at home with the children, had big extended families so always had a family member around to help with the children. These babies that grow up knowing they have a strong support network are the independent adults equipped to deal with daily modern stressors.

        3. Condescension party of 1. Get real. When you have kids you just can’t do as many things as easily as you once did. It may get better but I’d choose my kids over leaving them at a baby sitter I am not used to. I’m a disciplinary mom, my kid has slept in his own bed from 4 weeks old, but your thought process is broken.

      2. Prep for a sitter. Express breast milk and pack it so it is safe to consume. Lots of supplies for the sitter. Screen sitters well in advance. These tasks are habit forming and babies will be fine when parents make arrangements ahead of time and develop social habits to include not being surgically attached to infants and toddlers 24/7. I disagree with the author on so many levels. I nursed 3 children to nearly age 18 months each, but I also did not give up my grown up social life. Since the dawn of time women/mothers have been able to separate from their infants while nursing for several hours at a time. It can be done with planning and is not difficult when that planning is made a habit. “Abandon her child to scream for hours?” Yikes. Whoah. No.

          1. its not about being surgically attached to kids 24/7! You people are missing the point!! It is our ridiculous uptight culture that is not natural and not promoting the growth of the birth rate in North America. Would this even be an issue in Latin America? I think not. Are people happier there? maybe so..

        1. Oh yes, just express some milk like its NBD. This must come from someone who had success pumping or has no nursing/pumping experience at all.
          There are plenty of moms who don’t respond well to a pump, myself included. I have a well fed 7 month old who gets it directly from the source and her rolls prove she’s getting plenty, but as soon as I’m on a pump…Nope. Nothing. Not at all. My baby is with me always. I’m never gone for more than two hours if I do have to leave her.

          So no. Expressed milk isn’t always easy to come by.

          And don’t get me started on babysitters…”just find a sitter” they said…

          1. Exactly! Everyone’s always got the answer for someone else’s life. I couldn’t agree more with you! Also just because you receive an invite doesn’t mean you have to say yes. Sometimes no is the best answer for everyone.

        2. And for the moms who have an enzyme that makes their milk rancid as soon as it leaves the body? What about those kids? What about kids with Asperger’s/autism who can’t handle being away from their mother very long? Considering one out of 50 persons are on the spectrum, that should be considered.

          1. You have ways to fix excess lipase. http://sdbfc.com/blog/2012/9/4/battling-and-resolving-excess-lipase-in-breastmilk.html#.VMU2kv7F93g

            As for those who has children who are significantly isolated because their child is on the spectrum, there are programs that allow for relief sitters. Strange how mental health organizations understand that parents need time away from their kids but others act like it’s a crazy, crazy idea.

            I’m sorry- I fall on the side of there comes a time that you have to live a life outside of being a mommy, if for no other reason than you have to practice for the day that you aren’t your child’s most important person. Small steps like a few hours out, even if you just leave them with a spouse became date nights, as your marriage is the thread that gives viability to your family. Then comes sleepovers, camps, mission trips, college, and maybe the day that your child leaves your family and creates a new family with someone else, perhaps takes a chance on something halfway across the nation/world/down the street and then becomes entangled with the work/kids/life balance themselves.

            Or it may be that i see parenting as a time limited job that I need, for the sake of my girls emotional, spiritual and mental wellbeing to understand that I must diminish so that they can become more.

          2. On that same note, imagine what kind of implications come with trying to tend to a child with those needs while trying to be at a big gathering intended for celebrating two other people. Does that seem fair? Why is it so evil to ask for no children allowed when that has been the norm for all traditional events in the past? A wedding, funeral, showers, etc. is no place for a child, with special needs, no needs, newborn, toddle, child, or young teen, or what have you. It takes away from the primary focus. And if two people decide they don’t want the distractions, why can’t other people respect their decisions? It’s not that we don’t care about you or your child, we’re just asking for one evening where everyone can enjoy the atmosphere and celebrate our event without worrying about children running around, crying, knocking over things, tripping over them on the dance floor, talking too loudly over the recording of the ceremony. Why aren’t those things thought about?
            People aren’t going to stop celebrating milestones because their guests can’t attend due to that one clause. It’s not that we don’t sympathize with you, but we want our 6 hours that we paid thousands of dollars and spent a ton of time planning. Why is THAT part so hard to understand?

          3. I have two children, one who is autistic. I have been invited to several weddings and only turned down one invite, and that was only because I didn’t want to go to that one. Wedding invites coke with plenty of time to interview sitters, and have them come for a few hours two or three times so your child gets used to their presence and having them be part of the routine. I found sitters by asking my daughter’s therapists and teacher, and they helped me find people with experience with autistic children. Yes, it’s harder with an autistic child, but it’s not impossible and I wish people would stop acting like it is.

          4. And I’d like to feed off AME for a moment, getting a sitter for my autistic child is actually a lot easier than trying to call her down in a loud, crowded, stimulating environment like a wedding reception

            And I sincerely feel like it is extremely important that she learn others can care for her. God forbid something happen to me and I’m in the hospital or worse, the last thing she needs is to be unable to adapt to someone else caring for her because I’m not there.

        3. I had a 5 month old that goes to daycare daily that is exclusively breastfed. Some babies refuse bottles. Mine does. I leave work at lunch to go feed her. She takes only a small amount in the afternoon bc she hates the bottle. The daycare has tried and tried to get her to take more. She has been there for 2 months now. If I left my child for an out of town wedding, even with my mother (who she refuses to take a bottle from), then my child would be without food for a very long time. Even though I do pump almost daily.

          1. (Not arguing, just an observation.) It may not necessarily be that she is rejecting the bottle, though I obviously don’t know your particular situation. My daughter has been mostly bottle fed, and she refuses to take a bottle at daycare. Luckily for me, she is only at daycare for a couple hours, 3 days a week. My daughter just won’t take the bottle because she is just having too much fun with the other kids, and doesn’t care to eat from a bottle (they can sometimes get her to eat solids, but not much). When I pick her up, she is usually ravenous and devours a bottle right away. She has been in daycare for 4 months and it is the same.

        4. I came to say pretty much exactly this, Diane. So I will just say, Yep! Totally agree with you. There is no reason to abandon all semblance of your former self just because you had a baby. That’s why there are breast pumps and baby sitters!

          That being said, I am deeply opposed to Mommy shaming. (Not that you were, I just mean in general!) So, while the author’s choices would never work for me, I don’t think she should be beat up or scorned for them. Different strokes for different folks and all that jazz.

        5. I agree with you too Diane! I feel the author is just wanting a pity party because her friend had a “no kids” event and she didn’t want to leave her kid at home with a sitter or family member. Life happens….and it doesn’t always revolve around kids. I’m sure she wanted to go to the shower, but it was the authors decision not to leave her kid somewhere. That isn’t her friends fault. At all. It isn’t wrong that her friend doesn’t want kids at her adult event. She has that right and it’s perfectly ok. My daughter was left with a family member/sitter every once in a while so I could go to an adult only event, and she turned out just fine. She is a fantastic mother now and I keep her children sometimes so she can have time to herself. Her children are well adjusted, just as she was, and they love the time that they get to explore life without being attached to their mama’s hip 24/7.
          Now if you’re a mama that has made the decision to not leave your kid with a family/member, you have that right as well, but it is YOUR DECISION. So suck it up and don’t complain or pity party when someone wants to do something that doesn’t involve kids. You signed up for it, deal with it. She should just be glad her friend invited her.

        6. At our wedding, we paid for a professional sitter so that those who had children wouldn’t have to go through the trouble of finding one themselves.

          1. When my children were small they went to the church but at the reception (totally inappropriate for kids). The bride provided great babysitters and rented rooms just for babysitting. I was able to go check on them every so often and everyone was happy (including the kids who made new friends). This poster is narcissistic and tries to shame her friend with false love. Give me a break! My kids are in their early twenties and would probably also welcome kids at the church but not the reception.

      3. YES! If the kid can’t handle being away from mommy for a while, that means mommy isn’t leaving it alone nearly enough. It needs to learn to be its own person, just like mommy needs to keep being her own person. It will NEVER develop right if mom is too afraid of a little whining to cut the dang umbilical.

      4. If you are unable to leave your child for a few hours, because your child can’t be told no, you are in for a rough life and a spoiled brat of a kid. Your friend is better off without you there, you are the selfish one.

      5. Any child who cannot spend a few hours “abandoned” in the company of a caregiver other than mommy or daddy without screaming is going to have a very tough go of life indeed. It’s scary to think of what this next generation is going to be like as adults.

      6. How is it healthy for a little child to be coddled that much? How is it healthy for their parents to completely cater to its tantrums? Kids NEED to learn how to be without their parents. How will it go to school, make friends, or become a functioning adult if its parents can’t bear to teach it how to be confident enough to go without them for four short hours?

        When parents REFUSE to tell their children no— that’s when they create these codependent brats who completely take over the rest of their lives.

      7. Perhaps this is a good time to teach the children that Mommy isn’t attached to them 24/7.

        Worked with my child, who is now a fully functional 22 year old who doesn’t need me to hold her hand every moment of the day.

        1. Holy shamwow this entire thread is full of assholes like you. Go Mommy-shame somewhere else, why don’t you.

          My Dad thinks my son will become a terrible kid if I breastfeed, you guys think he’ll be terrible if I want to be always close to him.

          You know what? He’s not a screaming brat. He’s a great kid. I try my best to be a good mom.

          But YOU and all the other parents pissing on a mother for writing down her feelings? Crapping on someones parenting ideals because they don’t match with yours?

          If I have to hold my sons hand at 22 then so be it, but I’ll be DAMNED if I watch him grow up to be the kind of person making snide, nasty little comments to others.

          Your kid might be fully functional but if she’s anything like you, she’s not a nice person. My kid will grow up to be KIND.

      8. That’s silly to think the child will suffer because his mother wanted a few hours. Where is dad? Grandparents? Friends? Nobody is an island.

        What I’ve seen from my own “if I go my kids must go” friends is that they don’t want to. Biggest reason seems to be the assumption that their kids need to be automatically invited. They want to be around their kids and can’t understand why others might want just a few hours of adults only time. Then they take it personally that someone went out of their way to mention no kids, as if it was done specifically to insult them.

        Come on! Most of us women hold jobs. We can somehow get away for an hour now and again if only for something like a haircut. Unless you’re exclusively breastfeeding a newborn, I don’t buy it that you can’t find some way to attend your dear friends important event.

      9. No, it’s the writer of the article who’s selfish. This is the most simpering, ridiculous post I’ve ever read – not to mention the most fake apology ever. Suspect her friends made the event adult-only knowing she WOULDN’T go. Who would want her there? And talk about over-protective, obsessed parents – she sounds like she needs a shrink, no kidding.

    2. Thank you!! I also have a young child (he just turned 3) and while I don’t go out every weekend like before I had a child I still attend special events and my son isn’t traumatized because he spend a few hours with his grandma. Moms like this make being a mom sound terrible!

      1. So, you have a grandma to watch your little one. Lucky you. Not all of us have family or close friends nearby to watch our little ones or even anyone around willing to watch our little ones. Sometimes, the logistics of trying to plan for something like this are a nightmare neither our nerves nor our budget can afford. The judgement by one mum of another is truly mind boggling. How dare you accuse a mother who knows what her child can and can’t handle of being selfish? And even if you couldn’t care less about the trauma a nursling might experience being separated for an extended period from his/her mother, how about the discomfort to the nursing mum who can’t nurse her child when/as frequently as she needs to during the event due to the separation? Oh, I know, I’ll just bring my pump and hope I can find a good place and time to pump as frequently as I need to. Oh, and then there’s the pumped milk? Anywhere I can stash that? Or maybe I should just dump it down the drain while my child screams in hunger wherever I’ve left him/her because s/he can’t or won’t take a bottle? If you can make these events, bully for you. Go for it and I hope you have a good time. But stuff your judgement of others’ choices. You may think you know what it is to walk in another mother’s shoes, but none of us truly knows the circumstances and challenges another mother deals with.

        1. I would just come with your child regardless. Ok, maybe it’s a “Chutzpah” thing to do, but I would do it if I could not find any other child minding solution. I doubt if anyone would say anything or tell you to leave because you brought your child.
          I was invited to a shower once where “no mobile kids” were allowed but I brought my 2 year old anyway and people were understanding. She didn’t bother anyone and when she got excited or restless I just took her outside on their deck and played with her. No big deal.
          Sometimes you just have to break the rules to make a point and then others will follow your example. Our North American society has become so uptight around issues like this, it is just crazy and I have no problem challenging this attitude. Ok, if I show up at a wedding with my child and I get asked to leave then I know where I really stand with the friend, but nothing like this has ever happened to me.
          I even took my daughter to an opera dress rehearsal and was told that no kids under age 5 were allowed in the theatre. I challenged these ladies and told them if they want the future of opera to survive then they should begin early with very young kids. I offered to sit next to an exit so that if my daughter started fussing we would just leave. Anyway, in the end the ushers let us in and my daughter sat through a good 45 minutes of a Mozart opera. When she started fussing, I simply got up with her and exited very quietly. No incident.
          People, you all need to relax. RELAX. Kids, babies, toddlers, octogenarians are all part of the life cycle and should not be excluded from life event celebrations. Go to Bali and see this for yourselves. You will never see a ceremony where there are no toddlers and elderly side by side. You need to open yourselves up more. Look at older cultures to learn from!

          1. So hold on- you say that it’s ok to crash someone’s wedding or other event with your child even when you’ve been told no? Wow, talk about rude. The world does NOT revolve around you and your child.

          2. Special occasions are about the couple being celebrated, not the guests. The special event will not crumble without you there. Just send your regrets and stay home. It’s much more rude to change the entire atmosphere of an event by bringing your kid when asked not to.

            Your friend’s wedding is not about you. It is about them. The only people really needed there are the couple.

            Not everyone wants a family friendly event. It is perfectly acceptable to say no kids and expect people to comply. Some people don’t want toddlers stealing the spotlight with their little dances for the couple’s first dance. Some don’t want screeching during the vows, especially since not every mom has the presence of mind to remove a crying child. Some want a drunken, raucous party as a reception without worrying about little ones running around hearing bad language and getting in the way of the dancing. Some don’t want the couple’s day to turn into showing off a new baby.

            Their wedding will survive without you.

          3. You brought your child even thought you were asked not to? Why do you think your child is more important than an event?
            People have their reasons to have child free events.

            It is absolutely obnoxious to bring in invited guest.

            We wonder why so many young people have no understanding of manners. Well, who could teach them at home?

          4. Oh dear Lord.

            The amount of self-righteousness you posess is absolutely oozing from your posts. Especially this one.

            I had a child free wedding. Not only do I stand behind that decision, but I will defend it till the day I die with zero shame. Because there is NOTHING wrong with that! Jesus H. you do realize that when people get married… At least people who marry for love and not possible future procreation… Do so with the hope that this day will be something special that they can always look back on? That flutter in your heart when you lock eyes with your spouse to be, that feeling as if you are the only two people in the world… Things like this are important. Sometimes, when the eventual ebb and flow happens in a marriage, these kinds of memories can even save a marriage. It is absolutely PRICELESS.

            If I were to have had that moment (or others) taken away, rocked back into the real world while a crying baby crashes through my consciousness like a hammer through glass, I would have resented the loss of something so irreplaceable. Something that was stolen by YOU. Yes stolen.

            The fact that babies cry and toddlers ask loud questions, etc does not mean we don’t WANT them around. It simply means that we don’t want to play chicken with the unpredictability of a child. If these things happen at a moment where simply stepping away would not minimize the jarring nature of the interruption, it’s not the baby’s fault. No one is saying that it is. Because the fault falls on you alone for being so heartless in your inability to care about anything that is important to anyone besides yourself.

          5. Good luck ever having friends who want anything to do with you after pulling a stunt like that. Of course they weren’t going to say anything to you, to keep from making a scene (that you would have instigated). That you can actually rationalize your behavior to other people shows how disrespectful and thoughtless of a person you are.

          6. So, by deliberately taking your child to places where she wasn’t invited, you’ve taught her that it’s okay to take advantage of her friends (like you did to yours at the shower by bringing an extra, uninvited guest), or that it’s okay to argue and protest until she gets her way, like you did with the ushers at the opera. Part of being a parent is teaching your child that there are some rules they’ll have to respect in life, and that we should always treat others with consideration. Maybe it’s time to think about the example being set, versus the lessons you want to teach?

          7. If you came to my “no kids” wedding with your child, I would definitely be asking you to leave. Even if you were my mother, my aunt, my BFF.

          8. It is possible you’re mistaking everyone’s kindness at not pointing out your rudeness as “understanding”.

            I also threw an adults only wedding, but it was not about not loving kids, it was about throwing a grown up party in the evening for adults. We made accommodations for our special guests from out of town, but we made those overtures.

            We didn’t say anything to the local couple who brought their two uninvited kids anyway. We were thankful that we had a couple who cancelled at the last minute otherwise there would have been nowhere for them to sit. Several years later – I still think of it as rude and am careful about where I invite them. If it’s adult only event, they may not hear about the party.

            Of course, now I have my own kid. I accept “adult only” invitations as they are sent. My kid rocks – but if you didn’t invite her, I’m not bringing her. If I can’t work out care for her (or we’ve been out too many times that month) we send regrets. It’s our choice and our loss. NO DRAMA.

          9. Maybe no one mentioned it at the time, but I can guarantee someone grumbled about it later. No one wants to be the one to make the scene in telling you to get your kid out of there.

          10. I had a “friend” like you. A friend who showed up at my adults-only evening wedding (ceremony and reception) with her two kids in tow like it was no big deal, expecting that we would accommodate them. Uh, no. We won’t. We did not have seats for the children. We did not have extra meals available for them. They were not invited, and that’s not a difficult concept to grasp. She was asked to leave and I haven’t even attempted to contact her since. You say that being asked to leave would tell you where you stand with a friend? Well, likewise. I have no use for someone that selfish.

          11. You are what is wrong with parents these days. It is okay for people to not want children at their events. You have ZERO right to bring your child anyway. DO NOT GO IF IT SAYS NO CHILDREN. I am a mother, if I can’t find a sitter I trust, I don’t go. Have a little respect for crying out loud, the world does not revolve around YOU.

          12. “you just have to break the rules to make a point and then others will follow your example. Our North American society has become so uptight around issues like this, it is just crazy and I have no problem challenging this attitude. Ok, if I show up at a wedding with my child and I get asked to leave then I know where I really stand with the friend”

            Wow, talk about feeling entitled !!!!

            I think the point you’d be making is essentially “I know you didn’t want a child at your wedding. YOUR day. But I’m going to be a petulant child myself and bring one anyway to ‘teach you a lesson’ about respect and friendship”.

            This is just so immature, rude, and unacceptable. Get over yourself. Being a mother does not mean that you have the ‘right’ to take your kid to someone’s child free event.

            It means that you either make the sacrifice of NOT ATTENDING, or the sacrifice of leaving your kid with a sitter for a few hours. NOT THAT SOMEONE ELSE HAS TO SACRIFICE THEIR WISHES because of your choice to have kiddos.

            The fact that you expect your friend to sacrifice her wishes on a special day shows what type of friend YOU are- if she got upset that you disrespected her wishes and put her out because you think you have some sort of extra privilege to break the rules because “oh, I’m a mother, I have priorities” I would totally understand! Stop being an inconsiderate mother-everyone doesn’t want to come in contact with your kiddos, you are making the rest of us look bad.

          13. Well my friend and I (and many other people) still remember the asshole who brought his child to my friend’s no-children wedding. He hasn’t been invited to any significant events since. Those people at the wedding might not have said anything, but you better believe they will remember. My friend spent a significant part of her wedding making sure she told her invited guests with kids that he ignored the couple’s request for no kids because she felt so awful that her friends might think it was only their kids who weren’t invited. What a way for the bride to spend her reception. And, to add insult to injury, the jackass was the mc and even mentioned his daughter in his speech (which is what prompted the bride to do the rounds to all the parents individually). We’re still talking about this five years later.

          14. If you brought your child to my child free wedding, that I shelled out thousands of dollars for, you would be gone before the ceremony started. Ditto a party. Ditto anything, really. You sound like a nightmare to deal with.

          15. your child DID disrupt the opera! she started fussing to the point you had to leave. So, do you suppose the people near you who paid to be there and enjoy the opera and do not know or care about your child enjoyed themselves?! and before you reference other cultures: I’m from the middle east where families are often together and it is understood that there is a time and place for adults only.

          16. That is very rude of you. Yes, children are apart of life, but if a couple are paying the money for a wedding then they have the right to invite or not invite whoever they want. If you’re the one paying then you make the rules. If you showed up to a no kids wedding with a kid, you are showing your friends that the money and time they put into the wedding and their feelings don’t matter to you and they are probably better off without you as a friend.

            Also, your children may not be a distraction to you, but they may be to other people. You are the one who chose to have children, not the people around you, it’s your job to make concession not everyone else’s.

          17. It is absolutely not rude to invite people with kids to adult only events. Sometimes people want the company of the adults who are the invited guest(s) and not the company of their kids who are NOT INVITED.

            How horribly rude and entitled to think it was ok to show up at someone else’s even with your child(ren). Who do you think you are anyway? Not everyone gives a rats a$$ about your precious little snowflake(s). If someone showed up at my ‘adult only’ event they would be asked to leave.

          18. Emm, READ MY POST before saying my daughter DID disrupt the opera!! It was a dress-rehearsal, not an actual performance with paying guests!! And for your information we were sitting near the back on the end of two completely EMPTY rows of seats!! She started fussing very quietly and not a single soul noticed as I was out the door with her in a split second!!
            And, by the way, I have also spent significant time in the Middle East and I have never been to a wedding there where children and families were not welcome.
            We were even allowed to bring our child to the symphony hall during rehearsals which in North America, unless you are the artistic director or the conductor you can’t even dream of bringing a child to rehearsals or even the premises of the building where you perform.

          19. solnyshkele, you keep bringing up other countries and cultures (not that it even really matters because people from the same country can be totally different) and I thought I’d throw my 2 cents in. I’m Latina and come from a very family-oriented family. When there is a wedding or other event and we are told it’s no kids, we leave the kids at home, because we respect each other enough to listen to each other’s wishes. Everyone deserves their day without someone else making it about them.

          20. So, wait – you bought an extra ‘guest’ with you? Would you bring a friend along who was not included on the invite? That’s just so unbelievably rude! As to the opera, someone standing up and leaving would have been distracting to those people around you. Someone really needs to step out of the mommy zone and look around her!

          21. Beck, READ my original post before making asinine assumptions about if I disrupted people during a DRESS REHEARSAL! Yes it was a DREASS REHEARSAL and in the back it was PITCH BLACK!!! Do you think people were turning their heads to see if there was anyone sitting three rows behind them when they were completely EMPTY because I did not want to be near anyone in case I did have to leave!!
            For Krissakes! Many people often leave the opera in the middle of actual performances for various reasons:
            urgent nature calling, coughing fit coming on..

          22. Your friends are clearly far more considerate than you are. You crashed their wedding with your child; you should never be invited to another. Terrible example to set for a child.

          23. Oh my gawd. Seriously?? “Chutzpah”? No, it’s nothing to do with ‘chutzpah’ and everything to do you being extremely ill-mannered and disrespectful of others.

            I don’t understand this obsession of having to take your kids everywhere. I’m a mum of three, and wouldn’t hesitate to remove someone who decided to bring along their uninvited child/children in the manner of which you did. In fact I did have them removed from my sister’s childfree wedding. This uninvited child caused a ruckuss at the ceremony, and was disruptive, whilst the “parents” sat their proudly beaming at their offspring, ignoring it’s poor behaviour. No-one was impressed. No-one thought it was “cute”.

            The mother of this kid was put out that nobody mentioned how (apparently) adorable the child was in its little outfit. In the height of arrogance, this mother had decided to use someone’s wedding to garnish compliments about her ability to produce an outcome of engaging in unprotected sex Such attention seeking narcissism and desperation for validation!

            Oh, by the way – it was an Indian wedding. Not a Western wedding. And of the 264 guests, there were no other kids as none were invited.

            As an employer, I see time and time again the results of over-parenting. Young adults and uni graduates who cannot cope with criticism, have no resilience, no spine, and are shocked if they are advised their work output isn’t up to the required standard. Society can only expect more maladjusted offspring of “breeders” (not parents, parents understand that children should be resilient and have coping mechanisms) who refuse to instill a sense of independence, can bounce back, and realise the world does not revolve around them.

            Another couple’s wedding is NOT about you. Nor is it about your child. It is about the couple – who many not even want to have children at all during their marriage. There is nothing wrong with that. That is their choice, and it’s sad that you think you have the “right” to make their day, their event, all about YOU. Talk about the height of selfishness. You and your sense of entitlement is what gives the rest of we parents a bad name. It’s why more and more people refer to those of us kids as “breeders”. And with your attitude, I understand why.

        2. My mother worked Looking back i think it was a good experience. Being away from mommy and daddy. . Kids these days are spoiled as were their parents. We wonder why there are such problems. Even back in the ‘good old days’ as someone said above, people found time to attend events and they often come from miles around had 4+ kids and no internet, phone,s or even cars! Please people grow up.

          1. Lol, my mother worked, too. While I was in school. And when I was at home, so was she. And these “good old days” you are referring to INCLUDED CHILDREN. My mom never was asked to leave us at home for a family’s wedding. There are circles of people who ask parents to leave the kids at home for everything they do. I know… I was a nanny for one of these families, and have friends who are like this, too. Message gets through really clearly “I want you around, not your kid.” And I’m talking about the message receive by the KIDS. Mom and Dad like being friends with people who don’t like you. But don’t take it personally. ??? Plus, this particular article isn’t about kids living their entire lives chained to their parents. It is about a mom with LITTLES at home, who can’t dump their child just to please every child-sensitive singles-life friend.
            Please, A.Roddy, grow up.

          2. “And I’m talking about the message receive by the KIDS. Mom and Dad like being friends with people who don’t like you. But don’t take it personally. ???”

            Tonya M, When I was a kid I barely knew my parents friends and I did not care whether they liked me or not. I certainly don’t remember, because I WAS a child! It’s not a traumatic event. Really, I don’t think kids care or even are aware whether their parents friends like them or not. Besides, it’s a good lesson, not everyone has to like you.

        3. So kindly deny attendance without saying you aren’t making it about you, while you write a rather long public letter making it all about you…

        4. GET. A. SITTER.

          IT IS NOT THAT HARD PEOPLE.

          Is it difficult to get a sitter? Maybe in some areas, it is. Is it expensive to pay for a sitter? Sure, it’s certainly not cheaper than staying home.

          But this is the life you sign up for when you CHOOSE to become a parent.

          Come to freaking terms with the fact that you will no longer be able to go out every weekend, fine. But don’t you DARE suggest that you can’t find the time to vet sitters between the time the wedding date was announced to you and the actual wedding. That’s typically MONTHS. Literally MONTHS of time to talk to your other Mommy friends, or your daycare, or your relatives, to line up childcare. You can trade childcare with another parent (you take theirs one night, they take yours the next) for FREE and not pay a dime. If you can’t leave them the whole night, go to the ceremony, go to the reception dinner, and leave early.

          And if you really, REALLY can’t afford to pay someone to watch your child for six hours, then fine, stay home. But that’s hardly the marrying couple’s fault. I have exactly zero sympathy for parents who won’t plan ahead for a big event they “want” to go to. We all understand that you probably can’t make last minute events. A wedding is NOT last minute.

    3. Did you read it???? It boggles my mind how so many people think like you. I mean you are being inconsiderate of your friends when it comes to weddings, showers, etc. when you ban kids from coming. I mean, obviously going OUT to party, or having a Bach. party are different but I would never exclude children from events if I truly wanted all of my friends to come… its hard being a mom and given that not everyone’s circumstances are the same in regards to Finances once a mother stays at home (if she ever worked before) and an infant that ONLY nurses (no bottle AS mentioned) you literally CANT leave the child for very long…CANNOT because they need to EAT. You are the selfish one… there is no selfishness when it comes to an infant dependent on your care to survive.

      1. Let’s examine this idea of “selfish” you’ve created in your mind. Someone pays, let’s say, twenty thousand dollars (conservatively) on a wedding. And they’re afraid that something unpredictable might happen. Maybe they’re having an outdoor wedding and there is no place where a mother/crying child could slip quickly. Maybe the bride and groom place special significance on the walk down the aisle or the exchanging of vows (as most people who are in love do), and no amount of sprinting by the mother could remedy the fact that the initial onset of crying could be forever cemented into her lifelong recollection of those precious moments she walked down the aisle.

        So, do you mean to say that someone who wanted to play it safe in order to try and prevent something like this, for an event that they paid for, planned for months and months”, and probably even cried over out of stress at some point…. Is the selfish one?!?!

        How hard is it to wrap your brain around the fact that your children are not what is being avoided. It is the unpredictability for which a child is blameless yet famous. For those of us that marry for LOVE and not the prospect of future procreation, we deserve to protect the importance of these memories which are priceless no matter how many thousands of dollars we she’ll out for it.

        1. How BORING and STERILE!! I’d probably fall asleep at this idealized, “perfect” wedding where nothing unpredictable would go wrong.
          What if elderly relatives that have mental challenges or dementia start talking or making noises? Did we forget to mention elderly free as well?
          Gee, what if someone farts?

          1. Why should everyone else conform to YOUR idea of what is enjoyable? I’m not telling you what you should enjoy. You’re free to prefer events with children, no one is telling you that you can’t. Yet you have the audacity to turn around and tell everyone else what they should prefer. I don’t care that you like something different than me. But I’m also not wigging out trying to tell you how awful you are for enjoying events with children, am I? Because I respect the fact that other people are entitled to OPINIONS. But at some point, you convinced yourself that your opinion is doctrine and anyone who fails to fall in line is a myriad of whatever insulting adjectives you can think of at the moment.

            The lady doth protest too much methinks.

          2. I had a child free wedding, and I did it because I knew my wedding want going to be sterile. My friends like to drink, the jokes get very blue with more alcohol, and I even had an impromptu drag show during our reception. No need to explain anything to the children, well, except the children who were dragged in from the other wedding and bar mitzvah that was going on because our party got crashed hard.

          3. Another rude comment from the wedding crasher. Nobody I know would EVER be idiotic enough to bring an adult with dementia to a wedding – partly because it would be cruel to the person with dementia. They would likely be disoriented, confused and possibly in great distress if it’s a loud event with a lot of strangers, which most weddings are. And, oh yeah, not everyone finds your kids anywhere near as entertaining as you do. MOST adults would have more fun at a party where they can eat, drink, dance, and laugh freely over things that might be inappropriate for a child. Stop trying to make excuses for your utter rudeness.

          4. Get that slippery slop nonsense out of here of “what if someone farts” and all that noise. Adults have the awareness to keep things like that managed, children do not. Children have no filters, no off buttons, they are loud, self centered, and generally don’t understand a lot of the basics of social interaction. The fact that you wish to teach them that they can just do whatever they want suggest your children are going to grow up with some serious social short comings.
            I have every intention of having a child free wedding. I never plan to have kids, and young children give my fiance serious anxiety. Every\ stop to think about that? Beyond the already stated unpredictability of children, there is the very serious fact that children make some people uncomfortable. You may not like it, you may not agree with it, but you should damn well respect it. Just because you love your children doesn’t mean everyone else does. Bringing your children somewhere they are explicitly not invited is rude, inconsiderate, and indeed, incredibly selfish. Not only are you showing disrespect for just doing things you way, rather than respecting the wishes of others, you risk greater offense by making many people simply uncomfortable, should there be people that get anxiety or other things around children.
            Bare in mind, also, a lot of things say ‘No children’ for a reason. It’s not to offend you, or any other parent, it’s to spare you, and your youngins, things that they do not need to be around, such as drinking, harsh language, and many other things.
            Imagine if you decided to just bring you child to something they weren’t invited to, and it turned out to be something incredibly inappropriate for them to be at, such as a horror movie night, or a fetish themed wedding? Then what? Not only do you scar your children for life with things they shouldn’t have even been around, but you also make yourself look like a right-fine jackass for bringing them in the first place.
            Not to mention something stated above, about how incredibly messed up it looks to all the other parents that respected the request to not bring their children, and then the host of the even looks like a jerk, or they have to spend a bunch of time apologizing for the fact that you were so inconsiderate and didn’t follow the rules.

          5. My sister in law left her kids home when we invited her family to our wedding, so she could have a holiday with her husband.

            So much for us having a nice family wedding that go in hand with our beliefs that joyous occasions should include all the family…

            Thankfully we had other children there that lightened our wedding up with bubbles and chatter.

            My child is family. Family stays together.

        2. I love how you are so adamant that you married for Love and not for procreation, yet you believe that a small cry or murmur would have ruined your wedding, and your vows would have been less special or intimate. Give me a break. People have deeply meaningful marriages all the time, whether a kid dares to make a peep or not. It was your choice, and I’m glad you’re happy with it, but take the condescension down a notch. Your wedding was no more meaningful than anyone else’s. I dare say that MOST people marry for love, not procreation.

          1. Her wedding was more meaningful than someone else’s to her – as is every wedding to every bride. She has every right to have it the way she wants it, and if there’s a little hyperbole in her comment, it’s nothing compared to the nonsense spewed by the author of the article: “my heart swelled with love for you. It swelled with excitement, with yearning to go. With wanting to be there for you. Then it cracked into a thousand pieces and fell to the floor when I learned that my children couldn’t come.” And I laughed out loud at the “most people marry for love, not procreation”. Dream on. Most children are accidents, and many, many weddings are the result of that. The divorce rate gives some indication of how well that goes.

            PS Might I add that I am, however, VERY impressed with most of the parents on this page. They offer useful, practical solutions and are not crazy helicopter parents. There are a few exceptions, the author included, but overall I’d say the next generation is in good hands.

          2. Dala-
            I agree that the author was over the top. I also agree that it was J. Hugh ‘ choice to have the wedding she wanted, as I clearly stated. I’m happy that she had a deeply meaningful day. I merely pointed out that her condescending tone, provided in her many posts in this thread, could be taken quite offensively by the overwhelming amount of woman who had meaningful weddings with children present. Simple. And if you truly believe that the MAJORITY of people walking down the aisle do so while believing ” I don’t really love this person”, I feel sad for your pessimistic view of love and marriage. If that makes me a dreamer, then “dream on” I will.

        3. Likewise, what if the venue is not child-friendly? My friends were married in a lovely outdoor setting surrounded by lakes; their wedding was also child-free. What would happen if a small child were to slip away and fall into the water?

          This couple was on a budget and already spend a significant amount of money on their wedding and honeymoon. Like most couples, they had to limit the guest list based on their finances. Should they have excluded some of their own friends in favor of someone else’s kids?

          This couple completely understood when some intended guests were unable to afford childcare and politely declined. Such is the sacrifice that one sometimes makes when having children.

          Recently I attended an adults-only Halloween party. The décor and ambiance was definitely NOT child-friendly. Much time and money went into the planning of this party. The alcohol was flowing rather freely, and the attendees were acting in a manner definitely not conducive to children being present. One guest decided to bring her 6 year old, who was terrified within minutes. This guest did leave almost immediately, but had the nerve to be upset with the host. The invitations were VERY clear and specific. This guest, however, felt it “rude” for her childfree friends to not take into consideration her child. Other guests did arrange for sitters.

          To complain that it is rude or selfish to not want children at an event, whether it is a wedding or a house party or even a girl’s day out smacks of entitlement, expecting everything to cater to your and your children’s needs.

      2. No one is forcing anyone to go to a wedding. It is possible to send your regrets.
        For every parent who is complaining about their kids not being invited there is at least one who is stoked to get out of the house without the little ones for a while.
        If you can’t or won’t find a babysitter, don’t go. It’s that simple.

      3. So basically, all the other parents who followed the rules and left their kids with sitters or relatives or didn’t come are just less special than you, right?

        How is it that all our friends who currently have kids still find time to have a social life? How is it that they understand that some events are not child appropriate? These friends I’m speaking of? Most of them have full-time jobs– they juggle childcare every single day. One of them is even a single mother who is working AND going to school. They ALL find time to attend special events without their children, they ALL respect the parameters of the event set by the hosts, and they are all still good friends to those of us who don’t have kids. And guess what? When it comes time to celebrate their little ones’ birthdays, or baby showers, or what have you, we all attend those parties with smiles on our faces, gifts in hand, because that party is THEIR time to shine.

        You should have learned how to take turns in kindergarten.

      4. We allowed our friends/family to include their kids in OUR wedding plans – as a result there were months of my having to change dates, locations, numbers because they wanted us to plan OUR wedding when and where it would be convenient for THEIR kids to come (and honestly, we never particularly wanted kids there, anyway.) We postponed the wedding indefinitely, and when we finally have it, it will be child-free. And so will we. I cannot imagine having to spend time with PTA parents, soccer parents, etc – too many obsessed, nutbag parents like the writer of this article in the world these days. They’re actually worse than their kids could ever be.

        1. PS I should add that the annoying parents are not the majority. Most of the comments on this page have been wonderfully clear-headed and constructive. The exceptions must make life just hell for the sane parents.

    4. The entire point of this post is how a woman who has become a mother chooses to sacrifice part of her personhood, part of her independence to honor and respect the natural and normal dependence of the children she birthed and is now responsible for raising. She has told us here how she cannot attend her friend’s wedding but will be there for the marriage. She may not be able to celebrate public acheivements in the flesh but offers her support for private struggles. Please explain how that his selfish or rude?

      1. I agree. Seems she was just writing about the reality of how friendships are redefined post motherhood and yes, I relate.

      2. As a woman who had a child free wedding, I can tell you the author is not rude at all. She did not come off as patronizing or critical and seemed sincere.

        However, some of her commenters… I cannot say the same for. If anyone is claiming someone to be rude, it is probably directed at those who insist that their children be allowed at every event, no matter the consequences to those who the event is most important.

      3. She’s acting a martyr. And it’s getting old.

        I’m so tired of hearing about how much better mommy’s are than the rest of us selfish monsters who can’t or don’t have children. I’m so tired of parents complaining that the life they chose is SOOOO HAAAARD and we all need to accommodate them. We are not selfish for wanting to have at least a few special nights be adults-only.

        This mother has chosen to live in a false dichotomy. She maintains that the wedded couple must either allow children, or she can’t go. In reality, the mother has PLENTY of other options- she can leave the kids with relatives, she can hire a sitter, she can trade babysitting with another parent for FREE, or her husband can stay home to watch the kids. Plenty of choices, and PLENTY of time to make said choice– I’m assuming she wasn’t invited to a wedding at the last minute. She has MONTHS to come up with a solution that doesn’t involve either dragging her kids to an adult venue or staying home and missing her friend’s special event.

        But instead, she whines and says it “breaks her heart” that she “can’t” go. Clearly, we are meant to feel guilty, “oh poor you, you’re so brave and selfless.”

        Bleh. It’s all just an excuse for laziness and entitlement.

        1. I’m sorry, did the author at any point ask anyone to accommodate her? I am so tired of being judged by self righteous childless/child free people. Sometimes my life IS frustrating to me as I’m sure yours is to you. It doesnt mean I don’t usually love it and it doesn’t mean I would ever change it. I ask no one to accommodate me, I don’t take my kids where they are not welcome and I don’t ask people who don’t like kids to hang out with mine. But for the love of God, can I not get on a PARENTING website without hearing somebody bitch and whine about how much they don’t like PARENTS! Yes, I made the choice to become a mom. Does that mean I have to think it’s all sunshine and rainbows for the next 18 years? Does that mean I can’t ever be sad or upset about the things I have to miss (for whatever my reasons are)? You are a class A entitled jerk, sweetie, and I would hope that you one day have kids, but then I would have to feel sorry for them.

      4. She can’t come to the wedding – fine. It was an invitation, not a command and you just rsvp – no. Not a BFD. However, telling a person that you will not be her friend until she reproduces is beyond rude. Does she even know if her friend wants kids? Even if the friend does, their is no guarantee that the friend can. No fetus to ultrasound or baby to dangle off your book? Well, can’t be friends. Yeah – a real twunt.

    5. I would never tell a breastfeeding mom to leave her baby at home for an all day event like a wedding, I would tell her to leave her other 2 toddlers at home though. Many parents need to understand that while people love you and your children they may not want your child to disrupting an event like a wedding ceremony, its not an unreasonable request. Furthermore, when invited your friends want YOU to have fun at their parties! Taking care of your 2 year old at an adult party is no fun. Trust me I’ve been there done that. You’re children should be first, no doubt, but letters like this annoy me because she is basically saying “You not wanting my kids is making me into a bad friend and if you will let me bring my kids I won’t feel bad about missing your big day” which is basically laying a guilt trip on her friends. I would just think, I love you but I understand why you need to stay home with your kids, you don’t have to lay it on so thick lady.

    6. I’m also a mother of 2 1/2 year old twins, and I am also a stay at home mom. I do not live with chronic illness and I’m not taking care of an elderly grandmother, but aren’t we all dealing with our own issues? It is shocking to me that you would, simply because you were given the forum, stoop to calling another mother’s decision (one based on doing what is “right” for HER family) “selfish and rude.” I completely understand and applaud the author’s decision to forgo the wedding to take care of her family. If we as parents always did our best to safeguard the trust we work so hard to build with our little ones, they and we, would be better for it. Our friends, those people who understand who we are at the core, they understand. Saying she shouldn’t “skip a once in a lifetime event because little Joey can’t be without her for four hours” (aside from being incredibly condescending) is akin to saying that when her favorite cousin turns 21 she should pawn off the kids to whomever necessary so she can be there to hold her hair while she’s vomiting in the toilet after a night of drinking. After all, we only turn 21 once!

      Mama “R,” you said you have friends similar to the author and that you accept them because you love them, but I have to question that. Your comments don’t sound accepting or loving. The next time you are given the forum (and anonymity) of the internet to post your thoughts, I certainly hope that they’re a bit more gentle and loving. We mamas need as much support from one another as we can get.

    7. R: Seriously? Did you find it ‘selfish and rude’ if friends couldn’t make your own wedding? I know that, although I wanted my friends at mine, I also accepted that people had other things going on in their lives and some people just weren’t going to be able to make it.

      If this poster’s baby won’t take a bottle, that baby is going to be doing a lot of screaming if she’s left for four hours. If her toddler has separation anxiety, that’s another child who’s going to be distressed and screaming if left with someone else for that length of time. So, if this poster goes to the wedding, it’ll be at the cost of both her children being distressed for hours, some poor adult having to deal with two screaming children in a hotel room for hours, and the poster probably being pretty stressed out as well. Would you seriously have wanted one of your friends to put herself and her family through that just so she could come to your wedding? I know I wouldn’t.

    8. Have you never nursed a child? Obviously not. You can’t just leave them to starve. Some babies will take bottles, many will absolutely not. My granddaughter never could. Ever. She had too many tongue and lip ties. It was quite enough that she was, with great struggle, able to master nursing. In addition, her mother’s milk couldn’t be pumped because it contained an enzyme that made her milk rancid no sooner than it was out of her body.

      Regardless, babies parented in a natural way (attachment parenting) can’t be left. Many experience serious anxiety when separated from their mother. My daughter was that way until she was 4 (Asperger’s). It happens. It’s fine. Adults should be adults and realize that children will be children.

        1. For my edification:

          If your friends are TRULY your friends, they will plan their weddings (and any other events) based on you and your children. This includes budgeting so that your children may attend, even if it means leaving our their own friends/co-workers/family. The menu, of course, should include child-friendly foods. The venue should be suited to children as well. Any noises and disruptions should be welcome, as after all they are coming from your wonderful, special, unique offspring. They should feel so honored to have your child’s crying in the background, in fact! Of course, the adult guests should act in accordance. This means refraining from becoming inebriated or in any way inappropriate that may be upsetting to you or your children. This also includes making sure that your children have equal space on the dance floor, and being extra-careful not to step on one if it gets underfoot. In fact, if your child feels the need to run around, the adults should all clear a path!

          This makes perfect sense. After all, you have children and therefore everyone else must adjust accordingly. If you find a childfree event boring, your option is to NOT ATTEND. Which will make it much easier for all of the other guests to talk freely about what a rude (expletive deleted) you are.

      1. That’s great, no one said there weren’t reasons people can’t leave their children. But the commenters saying “JUST BRING THEM ANYWAY” are the problem. I’m a mom, if I can’t go to something, I don’t go, and I don’t give the world a guilt trip with my sob story.

      2. “In a natural way” lol. I love how all the AP promoters find ways to imply that other ways are unnatural. Honestly, adults should be adults and realize that if their super special situation doesn’t work with someone else’s event, that they can be mature enough to stay home without their hearts breaking into a thousand pieces.

    9. Well said R. It’s lovely that the author gets to vent her deep emotional struggle with becoming a mom. The rest of us get to have a lovely time replying to the contrary. There is no need for the moping. If there is a will there can be a way. And if there is no way, then please don’t cry a river. It’s not like the friend is crying.

    10. Did you even bother to thoroughly read the parts about not being able to find a trustworthy babysitter? I’m coming from being a singly mother to three boys with no family in this country and no friends I would trust with my children who has had to turn down invitations – thus losing friends – for the same reasons this woman’s listed here.

      It’s heartrending, to be quite honest, and not at all selfish or rude.

      1. I’m a single mom too, and when I decided to have my son I knew that going in. I don’t have the right to feel sorry for myself or give my friends a guilt-trip as to why they should all feel sorry for me.

      2. Can’t find a sitter? Then you don’t go. Your issues because of your kids are not everyone else’s problem. Don’t even care if they are being nursed, have autism, whatever, it doesn’t matter they are still not everyone else’s issues to deal with. At some point in our lives most of us learned that you can’t always have everything our own way all the time. Sometimes we have to make sacrifices and compromises. It’s part of the deal with being a grown up.

    11. You made me smile. My views align with you, but we all have our priorities. The thing you prioritize tends to monopolize your time and all other things fall away. Kids won’t be babies forever and your friendships might not last through their toddler years…..

    12. Amen!!! I am tired of all this special snow flake parenting! When my kids were small, I had no problem leaving them with the grandparents (either my parents or my husband’s parents) so my husband and I can attend things like weddings and go on vacation. Never once did I feel guilty because they were bonding with their grandparents and I knew that they would be well taken care of!

      I had to work crazy hours when my oldest was a newborn, my husband and I worked opposite shifts. Did my world feel like it was going to collapse because I wasnt with him? NO! He was with his father!!!

      I agree that “Precious” will live if she/he is left with a trustworthy sitter for a couple hours will survive. If she cant find a sitter, I sympathize, but it she cant go because she is just ridiculously attached to her kid, then I just cant.

    13. No. No. No. Put me on the NopeTrain to NoFknWayVille. You’re NOT a “friend” any longer. You’re a mombie who has an attachment issue. What if your “friend” opted to be child-free??? Would you still offer your “friendship” even AFTER she told you she didn’t want kids?? What if your “friend” didn’t come around for any of YOUR big old family parties – “Sorry, I can’t make it – your child still craps in his/her diaper and I can’t stand the smell of baby feces” (even though this is a 24-month *milestone*) OR “Can’t make it for [insert holiday] because I’ll be FAR too busy giving my pet rat the attention s/he deserves.” Even better… “My dog has diarrhea and you should just SEE our carpet… too busy to make it to the bar/bat mitzvah or [fill in the religion here]”.

      Yeah. Go on and tell yourself that your bloody tadpole is worth giving up your identity, your life, your friends, your co-workers, and possibly your husband. You are delusional. And may you get pissed on by the people you SAY you care about. I call BS. And if you REALLY thought about it (outside the cracked nipples and little to no sleep), you’d realize that you’re a moo in the wrong.

    14. Many wedding festivities aren’t just 4 hours…reserve judgement. Every Mom is doing the very best they can at that moment!

    15. I feel a bit similar to you though I wouldn’t say selfish or rude. I am a mother of one but I have friends who will not leave their one child alone even if it’s with their husband. I’ve heard from: my baby will miss me and I need to nurse. I exclusively breastfed my son and have been able to 1. step out and have some adult time (much needed) 2. work full time 3. gone to weddings and other big events.

      It is quite annoying when I hear things like: well can I bring my baby (to a lady’s night event) or I can never go with you guys.

      The truth is, even though your baby behaves well, a lady’s night is a night to hang out with adults only. We love your child but we want ADULTS only for a reason. I don’t want to coo or tell you how cute your baby is. I want to laugh and be loud and talk with women my age. I don’t want to hear you complain when you choose to never leave your child at home w/ a responsible adult. I don’t want to be burnt out, I don’t want to miss out on a few hours every few months hanging out with some friends and having adult conversations. I LOVE being with my child but yes, we all need a break. I don’t go out every day, not even every week, heck, not even every month! So when a bunch of friends want to get together, I am there. I come back home and am even happier than I was before. It feels great to have a date night with my husband and no kids, it feels great to go out with my lady friends. And it feels even greater to come home to my baby after having a great night out! I’m not bashing on you moms who don’t make time for yourselves, but sometimes a few hours w/o baby is needed. Bring your pump or feed your baby before you leave, have some fun, come home and feed the baby when you get back.

    16. Hear, hear! Agree completely, Christina. I find this post indulgent and ridiculous. How’s about having a little respect for the people who have chosen an “adults only” event. Just because you’re a Mom doesn’t mean you trump everyone else and their wishes and responsibilities.

    17. 1. I don’t think the author is bashing people who exclude children from weddings and other events. I think she feels bad she can’t go, that’s it. And 2. I think it’s fine if people exclude kids from a wedding, I don’t expect them to due to preferences and additional cost for extra guests. But I love it when people include my kids. I don’t always take my kids, but I do take the baby if nap/feeding time/babysitter availability don’t work.
      3. I have never missed a wedding due to a child, but I have due to the additional expense required to attend the wedding. Hiring a babysitter, buying airfare for the entire family…so dad can babysit the baby in the hotel room, etc.
      4. i work at home so I don’t have a lot of excess stored milk. it’s hard to build a large enough stash to leave for a weekend. if you aren’t regularly missing feeding.
      5. number one reason i missed smaller adult only events..good babysitters that can read your babys cues and respond well are expensive and we have little money. relatives try but cant read cues well. i have no issues leaving my 3 year old, just the baby.
      6. i think its awesome if you were able to arrange for a trusted sitter and expressed milk so you can go, its tough!

    18. From the sound of the author’s letter, it appears that the wedding she was choosing not to attend was a faraway wedding, one that requires a hotel room and airplane ticket. So leaving all your children with a caregiver for the weekend is more difficult than coordinating care for a few hours.

      There is no reason why a healthy older child can’t be left for a few hours with a trusted caregiver to attend a function, but young babies are different. Some young babies…younger than 6 months i mean…just take to new people and situations easily, and take the bottle easier, and go to sleep for other people easier. Many others do not, however, and feel heightened levels of stress in situations where they are separated from their mother. Studies have shown that very young babies cortisol levels rise significantly when left in certain care situations the babies are not ready for yet…check out Dr. Sears website, he has a lot of research written about this. Adult people are individually different and so are babies.

      Over time, babies and young children can be adaptable, but it has to be at their own pace. To force them when they are not ready, can have very negative long term effects for the child. A child that has a secure base and attachment formed when they are young learns to be confident, secure, kind, and giving in the world when they are older. They have had the example set for them to show compassion to others, hence they know how to do it themselves. Respecting the child’s limitations and considering their needs when making travel and social event plans is one way of doing this.

    19. Right on!

      The mother wants to play Pity Party Martyr and cannot hire a babysitter? She needs to get over yourself and count her blessings. Your life isn’t that tragic, woman.

    20. Agreed! I hate this whole post. I think the original poster expected a collective …”aweeeee” . But I too find it selfish and annoying. Little Johnny needs to ween and so does mommy it seems.

    21. I think everyone is missing the real point here, we don’t know all of the facts but she did say that her baby will not take a bottle yet! Do you know how stressful it is to get your baby to take a bottle? Do you know that as moms some of us feel selfish to make them take one for our own needs? Do you know some babies have never taken a bottle because the mothers may want their children to drink from the breast only? There are many different scenarios at play. It may sound ridiculous to some but if you have never been a breast-feeding mother or parent at all. Sounds like her friend is not a parent because she said she will be there for her friend when she’s going through “x,y,z” for the first time. She said she didn’t want to make it about her and that’s why she didn’t explain why. That is very unselfish! If it was that important to her friend maybe she should’ve dug a little deeper and tried to help or atleast counsel her friend about her situation. Her friend could’ve made an exception to bring the baby. It’s selfish to expect a mother with a new baby to rearrange her whole life just for a few hours without giving her the option of bringing the baby. The baby is obviously very young if he or she has not had a bottle before. Yes your children are your life and your parents are your first relationship you ever have so yes, mom’s and dads are that important! Why do new moms or moms with young kids get punished and abandoned by friends or relatives because you’re temporarily out of commission or God for bid choose their children first?! And she did say temporarily for now or the next couple of years, and she did offer herself and her friendship in all the ways she knew how in what she could contribute to their friendship while still being a mother which is her first priority and rightly so! We all have different morals and values so maybe we can just accept that and move on!

  2. Can you please edit most of the “that’s” out of your article. It is painful to read. “That” is something you say, not write. I don’t say this to be mean, I don’t mean it that way at all. But you could become a great writer if you remove this word from your vocabulary.

    1. Actually, her use of “that” in this article is a stylistic choice and perfectly correct. The English language is cool like that.

      1. True, but deleting “that” from articles makes for better storytelling. When I worked in newspapers I always edited out my “thats” because more often than not they were filler words and were rarely missed. In fact, doing that trained me to be more creative with words.

  3. A wonderful letter! My children have shared every important event in my life with me and I am not really interested in going anywhere that they wouldn’t be welcome. If you are a parent who embraces attachment parenting,if your babe won’t take a bottle, then going anywhere without them for a while is very difficult,anxiety-causing, & more trouble than it’s worth. I enjoyed reading this very much.

    1. Luckily, the author was able to express herself without demeaning the desires of anyone who cares enough to invite her to an event they organize and pay for. Keep “not being interested” in anything that doesn’t cater to your lifestyle and see how many people will continue “being interested” in having you around at all. You shouldn’t have to speak so condescendingly of an event in order to make yourself feel better about not being able to go. Because all that really shows is while you’re trying to convince yourself you’re better, you really just show everyone that you’re bitter.

    2. What will you do when your children are grown? Hopefully, you make a mom friend with kids similar in age to yours, otherwise you’ll have a mighty lonely life once your nest is empty. Too bad you threw away all your other friends because they had the nerve to think of you as your own entity, rather than mama.

    1. The actual real-world exchange between this woman the and the “recipient” of this melodramatic treatise went something like this:

      Friend: So are you coming to our -fill in name of event-?

      Mom: *mournful sigh*
      *wiping away tear worth more than a billion dollars because it is the priceless tear of a true mother*
      No. Sorry. We can’t.

      Friend: Aw. Damn. Maybe next time.

      END SCENE

      1. Slightly different adaptation:

        Friend replies using the self-addressed stamped RSVP card, “So sorry that we cannot attend. Hope you have a lovely day! Congratulations to you both! Love, us”

        END SCENE

  4. Wow, lots of harsh words out there. Seems to me, just a mama expressing her feelings and making a choice that works for her. Doesn’t mean she thinks everyone else is crazy for not doing the same thing. Did I miss something? So easy to be mean on a comment, a lot harder to open your heart and mind to the different ways we love our children…

    1. Once again it seems instead of accepting the different way we mothers choose to do this beautiful job we’ve been blessed with, it’s again about tearing one another down and criticising them.

    2. I agree 100 percent, Miranda! Well spoken. I respect the fact that other’s parenting choices are different than mine and would like the same respect back.

  5. I do get where you’re coming from. There were many things I missed that I wanted to attend because the needs of my child come before my own or anyone else’s. I chose to not cause trauma and drama for a little one who does not understand. Now that she’s older and can understand and feel secure even when mom is not there I am able to attend to other needs and wants. I’m grateful I had someone tell me it was OK to invest so much into my child. The payout is great, not just for me but for my child. I’m glad I didn’t have someone shaming me for my choices, though there were many who didn’t understand. We already feel so inadequate as mothers. We have our own internal voice telling us we don’t measure up. Thank you for sharing and validating our choices to care for our children first.

    1. Love that, Jackie! I agree. People are really being cruel here. I thought this was supposed to be a supportive environment? I thought it was really brave what the author said. She wasn’t being mean to anyone, but everyone that is vehemently writing long angry paragraphs back are being cowards. Don’t shame others for their choices, I think all the choices you made sound fine to me, let’s just play nice everyone. This truly disheartens me about humanity.

  6. If we could all embrace a nonjudgmental attitude and allow ourselves and others to make choices that feel right in our hearts, it would not be necessary to apologize or write long letters about this.

    It is okay to say no, and it is okay to say yes. There is no right or wrong, and there is no apology needed.

  7. I thought her point of view was so normal and understandable that I was kind of puzzled as to why it would need to be written at all. But the comments here make it clear why! Do you people really think some ceremony is more important than her children?

    1. Nope. There was a comment up top that thought the author was unreasonable for not going, but I can tell you that as a woman who had a child free wedding, simy sending her regrets would have been completely acceptable and in no need of apology. What is rediculous are the women who get so riled up over the fact that someone would have a child free wedding at all. As if it didn’t matter what the desires of the bride and groom were on their big day. It’s not a rejection of children, it’s an insurance policy against important-moment-stealing unpredictability.

      1. You nailed it! That’s North America for you! Insurance policies!
        “I do!” (…just as the senile and deaf uncle in the third row starts hacking up phlegm)

        1. You like to say how your children are so important to you… But it sure does seem like they are the ONLY thing that is important to you.

          Like, you’re really going to harp on a preventative measure and my choice of word “insurance?!” You’re really reaching here.

          And quit with your “senile” diatribe. Seriously, I don’t know any elderly who are that unpredictable who are well enough to go to Luby’s, much less a wedding. Not only that, but in a numbers game, your comparison loses, too. How many disruptive senile people are at a wedding for every young child? Well considering the fact that there likely won’t be ANY disruptive elderly while at least a small handful of unpredictable children are all but inevitable, I’d say you’re comparing a molehill to a mountain. Same goes for someone clearing phlegm. Where do you come up with this stuff? Are you really so dense that you don’t realize the decibel level between your average “inside voice” throat clear and a crying baby? Do you really need explaining that very few things besides a crying baby or a toddler speaking in full-volume, shrill toddler voice will potentially be heard above things like music?

          The problem is that you don’t WANT to know these things. Even though it’s common sense. And at this point, I can’t really tell if you’ve actually convinced yourself that these “disturbances” are in any way similar OR you’re just being willfully obtuse and hoping that no one will notice.

          1. After reading this other individual’s comments, at this point I believe that she delights in bringing her child to places that are child free only to pitch a fit. I now doubt that it is to celebrate someone’s special event or expose them to culture. It’s only to throw a fit and make it all about her. And it’s really sad.

    2. P.A., the author “cried” over not getting to go to the ceremony, so if the friend is worth it, yeah, “some ceremony” is important enough to spend a few hours apart from your kids… If the friend is not worth it, why the tearful martyring diatribe?

  8. So, you chose to be a parent. You’re probably happy with that choice. And, it will mean you can’t go to some stuff.

    I chose NOT to be a parent. That you decided having kids was more important than spending time with me is your choice, and that’s ok. What’s not OK is this guilt trip because I won’t decide that spending time with you means everyone else who spends time with me will now be forced to spend time with kids.

    1. Children are a normal part of life. Before the Industrial Revolution, everyone in society understood that. The sooner everyone chills out about having ooky-gooky KIDS (shudder! the horror!) around, the better off everyone will be.

      1. Who do you hang out with that people shudder around kids? I think its your own insecurity. Children dont belong at certain events and some people choose not to include them.. Its as much a personal choice as yours is to have kids and stay home with them. You seem to counter your own point…you don’t want to be judged by you will judge others.

      2. Right on the mark Sleeping!
        Yes CHILL THE F_CK OUT PEOPLE!!!!!
        Can you imagine kids not being welcome at a wedding in India? A country with some of the poorest, but happiest people on earth.
        LEARN from the majority of other nations and cultures on this earth who would probably would not understand why we are even having this ridiculous discussion and debate!

        1. What? This is crazy talk. So what if kids are at wedding in India? If you don’t want to go to weddings where your kids are not invited, don’t go! This isn’t about you, your kids, the nation’s kids or anything else. It’s just a party, not your personal campaign.

        2. India also has honor killings. Do you recommend we also adopt that practice? “Can you imagine him not killing his daughter for making her own life choices?” Clearly those women are the HAPPIEST people on earth. Nothing says happy like being dead.

          1. Oh Come on Tovah! Those honour killings were outlawed years ago and if they hardly ever happen anymore.
            I’d be more concerned about how many people in the US are allowed to possess guns.
            I

      3. So, making one event a childfree equals “our society hates the presence of children?” What?!!! Hosting one party without children does not mean that the host hates kids or can’t stand them being around ever and expects them all to be locked away, never to see the light of day again. Good, god. There’s no personal attack here. It’s just one option among many options, for one event.

      4. Children ARE a normal part of life. But those of us without children are also allowed to plan events that are child free. If you were a person I knew in ‘real life’ and you spoke so condescendingly to me when I plan a child free event, you and I would not be friends for long.

      5. Actually, back then the kids were in the workforce by the time they turned four (at the very latest). An advantage to that seemingly harsh life was that they learned at a much younger age how to conduct themselves at adult events.

      6. Likewise before the industrial revolution, the children of everyone who could afford it were largely sequestered from adult life (or at least the formal parts) and primarily raised by hired servants. The children of people who couldn’t afford it weren’t by and large, participating in any sort of formal occasions.

  9. This complaint and article are completely unnecessarily guilting both sides of the isle. You should respect that whoever is inviting you are at a different point in THEIR lives that they do not want to deal with your children at their once in a lifetime celebration and they should also understand that by wishing for an adults only event that they will quite possibly/probably be alienating certain people. Part of being an adult is making sacrifices and choices. You’re not going to please everyone.

  10. So if I never get married and never have kids, you’ll have nothing to do with me. Nice friend.
    Not many people actually say it… But I have heard it before.
    Since the dawn of time, children have been portable.

  11. I think everyone is different. Some mums are perfectly comfortable leaving their little ones to socialize without them. They refuel so to speak. Other mums are not comfortable with it. Each child has a different temperament as well. We should support each other because this time with little ones is busy and many decisions need to be made. This time is also fleeting & ever changing. It won’t last forever but for now this writer want to be with her children. Good for her! I think it is important to remember everyone is doing their best.

  12. If you really want to be there you will find a way. I exclusively nursed my three babies for the first year. As a new mom I made the mistake of giving my firstborn only the breast and as a result going to the movies, out on a date with my husband was impossible. I learned. With my other two babies, I breastfed them and stored my pumped milk. Teaching them to take my milk in a bottle created no confusion at all, they switched back and forth with no issues. This gave me the freedom to go out for an evening once in a while without anxiety, guilt and worry. Missing out on a good friend’s wedding because your toddler has separation anxiety? Please. Leave him once in a while, it’s good for them to learn that other people can care for them, too.

    1. So glad you had three great nursing experiences and found what worked for you. Remember, every case is different. Every child is different. What works for you, won’t always work for the next mom.
      I’ve EBF both my children. For my first, I was able to pump and give him pumped milk in a bottle when needed, but he was NOT (and still isn’t) easy for anyone. He would cry and cry and cry. He’s an intense kid (some call it high needs or Velcro). I could seldom leave him for those reasons although I did have to leave him for things such as a few court appearances I had to make in a court room a few hours from my house. During those times, my heart ached for him and the caregiver (my mother, thank god) as I knew they both had a difficult time. With him I made the choice to not leave him if I did not have to. Even now as a toddler, there are only three people I know can handle him with much difficulty. This isn’t for a lack of trying, it’s simply a high needs kid who few understand at this point. I see no need to leave him if I don’t have to. While some may judge me or my parenting on that, I’d say once you knew my kid, you’d understand.
      Now I’m here with my second and low and behold I can not pump. What once was easy for me to do with my first, does not come easily at all with my second. Shame because she is an easy baby. So incredibly easy and wouldn’t bat an eye at being left. Now I have no choice but to keep her near, for without me, she would not eat.
      So while you had an easier experience, remember that it’s not always the case for all and we all make decisions that are right for our families.

    2. Exactly. A toddler is plenty old enough to be left away from mom for a couple hours. A nursing is always welcome. The end.

  13. I love love love your letter and well thought out thoughts to explain to loved ones why you need to be home with your children! Perfect! I’ve missed girls night out, bachelorette parties, bridal showers, weddings, office parties, house warming parties, New Year’s Eve parties, and probably nearly my favorite Halloween parties when invitations excluded children or events were of an adult only nature. I have five, yes that is right haha, five children of my own and I nursed them all. There will be enough adult alone time way too soon and parents may have to hunt down their grown up children in the later. So don’t feel bad momma if we have to decide between the crying baby and the event. Currently I am trying to make excuses to get out of a mommy and daddy only cruise in May that would force me to leave four of my children with my aging and tired parents. We have never had an adult only vacation and I would rather stay home with my family and just do our normal everyday routine then leave for a cruise. I say there is plenty of time to be a child free adult later. So yes, send your letters of love and best wishes, they will understand, she will, he will, I do, you do! If not and sad feelings develop, invite them over for breastfeeding parties and diapering parties, truly an “all-nighter” one won’t easily forget. Cheers!

    1. I had a child free wedding and also, will be having a child free life. And coming from my perspective I just want to let you know that you “get it” my friend. And also, after I’m done with my child free wedding and a week in Mexico finding whichever hammocks were farthest away from the kids pool, I would gladly come home and keep you company on an all nighter.

      You seem like the kind of person I like to surround myself with… And my circle includes parents and forever childfree people alike. We are allowed to be multifaceted! And even though the fear of blameless kid noises kept me from asking them to the wedding, that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy reading a Cosmo on a friend’s bed while she pumps breast milk and jokes about the rediculous noise it makes.

      Seriously, those things make the most hilarious noise.

      1. Oh, my god, J. Hugh. THANK YOU. The voice of reason here! I’m not sure why this is even a debate.

        As you pointed out, it’s up the host to decide what kind of party or event to throw. It’s up to the invitees to say “yes” or “no” based on whatever personal reason applies. Kids? Fine. Conflicting event? Fine. No money? Fine. Hate parties? Fine. Don’t have a date to bring? Fine.

        Are all the other guests who can’t make it publishing screeds on why they write “no” on the RSVP card? Probably not. Because they understand that it’s not about them. It’s great that you love your kid and choose to parent they way you do. How is that anyone else’s business? Should a recovering alcoholic who was invited get up in arms over the open bar? No. Their job is to decide what’s right for them, attending or not attending. Just because children are involved doesn’t make this some sort of moral issue.

      2. Brilliant! Thank you for being sane, rational, and non-condescending. I am a stay at home mom who understands that there are some occasions and some people that just aren’t up for an overly energetic 3 year old. Hell I have days *I* don’t even want to hang out with her. If I get a Kids-Free invite, I send my sincere thanks for thinking of me, and my honest regrets at not being able to attend. Unlike the tone I got from the original post, I have never kidded myself that my absence from the event is going to be a cloud hanging over it with everyone noticing how much more awesome it would be if only I had been there. Everyone else is going to have an awesome time without me, and I’ll be hanging with my kid hoping my friends are having an amazing time. That’s how grownups act.
        As for the commenter who brings her child anyway, I would have no problem showing you the door and asking you to leave. If you have so little respect for me and the structure I choose for my party that you would intentionally disregard an “Adults Only, please!” invitation, then you are not really my friend after all and I would be happy to remove you from my festivities and my life.

  14. This is potentially the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. Equal parts condescending and unnecessarily dramatic (although unintentionally funny). If you can’t go, don’t go and I’m sure no one really cares.

    1. This! And I’m sorry if spending time with your kids is deprivation. I bring mine almost everywhere because I enjoy their (short, sticky fingered, chatty) company. Friends who do adult only events regularly aren’t going to be close to me at this stage. For a wedding I totally went anyway, bringing the nursing infant, leave early for bedtime, and enjoy a bit of time out. But staying home with the kids is what I do all day. It’s not something to cry over.

  15. Please don’t cry because I don’t want children at my wedding. Just politely reply that you cannot attend. Please do not post a enormous guilt trip on the internet in the form of an open letter. It is almost as if you are saying “poor me, I can’t go to this event. I am a mom so now I am incredibly selfless, spending every waking moment with my child, not telling you personally that not inviting my children to your events made me sad, offering to be there when you have children and your husband isn’t there for you (because both are obviously inevitable? Every woman must have a child and if they don’t or don’t want to the are clearly freaks).” Are you upset that I didn’t apologize for not inviting you children or that I didn’t award you a medal for supreme selflessness ( or martyrdom) for not complaining to me about it in your RSVP. It is a shame you couldn’t make it to my wedding because it was pretty fun but lots of other people did. I barely noticed that you weren’t there because I had to hug, kiss, and interact with so many people. I even had to meet new people and remember their names. It is not like we would have spent quality time together during the whirlwind that is a wedding. I would however appreciate it if you would just get over it. I have. We can just hang out on other more kid-friendly occasions.

    It sounds like you are mourning your life before children and the fact that your friends all haven’t made the same life changes or made them at the same pace. This is understandable and even normal but please do not present it as our problem. You decided to have kids and raise them a particular way. This is a choice. We all make choices. For everything we choose to do, we are essentially choosing not to do something else. I am guessing that you aren’t going to as many movies in the theatre (unless that was you with the crying infant during Dallas Buyers Club, in which case you are just a jack ass) going to get pizza and beer at the spur of the moment, or attending weekend long music festivals. I am not judging you for your choices, but please own your choices instead of crying about how my choices don’t mesh with yours (to the world via the internet no less) and how apparently we must all make choices for ourselves that enable you to feel included while parenting the way you want to– you self- absorbed phony martyr. Just so you know, it isn’t all that selfless if you need to make a post to point out all the “selfless” choices you have made; it is actually pretty narcissistic.

    Another friend and I are taking a road trip to some of our favorite micro breweries and plan to catch a few of our favorite bands and eat at some fairly exotic restaurants.. Should we not do that because you now have kids? Should we change it to a museum and zoo road trip? Should we trade in the bands and restaurants for early bedtimes and Kid friendly restaurants (because little Owen will only eat chicken fingers and grapes)? If you want to remain friends, I might have to eat at Friendly’s and watch Owen play with his food occasionally and
    you might have to get a sitter once in a while; or you may spend more time with other moms and my new husband and our childless friends may spend more time together. We may just grow apart, particularly if continue to make me feel guilty for living a different life than you.

    So, I am New Year’s Eve party this year. It will also be “adults only”, as it is my gathering and therefore my choice ( and although I like my friends kids, I don’t care to entertain them after 10 pm). I understand if you can’t make it. It will be a bummer if you won’t be there to regale us with tales of your selfless acts, but we will manage. Since inviting you might make you cry and apparently fill you will guilt, should I just skip inviting you this year?

    1. Exactly. Sacrifices come with being a grown-up and making grown-up choices. Stop whining. Commiserate with other moms privately if you need to (I recommend it actually), but then count your blessings and get over it. Recrimination isn’t any part of being a friend.

    2. Wow so glad I don’t have friends like you…… I have never been in this situation before because I really don’t know anyone who doesn’t like kids…….or excludes them …. I would probably do the same thing as this woman ………. kids come first in my world…….and i don’t like to leave mine….. because I actually like them…..and want them around me…..they are spontaneous and refreshing in life …… keep me on my toes …… I’m glad I have awesome people around me who feel the same about kids…….I feel bad for you……being so judgemental and mean …… she had the rite to feel the way she does and expressed it wonderfully …. I don’t think he guilt tripped anyone …… she didn’t even tell the person it was because of rhe kids…….and yes people cry …….sounds like you should do it sometime …..oh wait your probably way to busy drinking your micro brews

      1. There was nothing judgemental about that comment. She was simply responding to the blatantly martyrstic post of the writer. It’s an excellent response. There are always two sides to a situation and this is the other side. Just bc someone has a child doesn’t mean that the world stops turning for others bc it now revolves around the new mother and her child.

      2. The people getting married did not do anything wrong, and you don’t get to play a martyr for tending to the specific needs of your kids (that make you unable to attend and require you to be with them). It’s life. People don’t have to build an important event around everyone’s needs. If they decide the event is unsuitable for children because of their expectations (as few interruptions as possible, etc.) then so be it, it’s their day. You will be friends for much longer than those 6 sweaty, stressful hours where you only get to talk to the couple for 5 minutes, trust me.

      3. Considering your spelling and grammar, I can only pray you are not planning to home school. If you can not leave your child for an event, you may want to reconsider having more kids. Also, does your husband lose a wife because you add a child? Surely, your marriage deserves some mommy daddy alone time?

      4. Keegan, TRUST US. We are doubly glad not to be friends with you. You sound like a sanctimonious and more importantly, BORING drag.

  16. Welcome to the internet. Where everyone gets to be critical behind a keyboard. Remember that phrase from grade school. “If you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all”. OK you read it? Does not give you the right to criticize someone because they do things differently than you. Besides the fact I guarantee you what you are saying here is not going to change her parenting style. Yikes…..

    1. Yes, it does give people the right to criticize, you idiot. No one wants to change her parenting style. No one cares enough to do that. The point is, don’t write an open letter being dramatic and pointing out that your life has changed. I’d bet good money on the fact that no one cared if this moron went to any of the above mentioned events, or not!

      1. Well it seems *you* care about whether of not she attends these events, since you’re continuously writing screeds of hateful comments to anyone who agrees with the author..

        Just sayin’

  17. Ok, this mom is over reacting. Poor thing, she is totally hurt because she got an “ADULT ONLY” invite, bohooo and now she is sad and think she is a bad friend, seriously???

    There are many events where children DON’T BELONG! I am a mom and I completely understand and respect invitations with the ADULT ONLY words. When I host adult only events, my general expectation is for parents with kids not to attend, if they do attend, then GREAT. If they can’t attend because of their children, I don’t give a crap on the specifics on why they can’t attend. I don’t care if your kid has autism, I don’t care if you don’t have your mom to take care of the kid, I don’t care if you are breast feeding the kid, I don’t care if your kid is sick. Just RSVP “no” and that would be completely fine. The bottom line is that I won’t think you are a bad friend because you can’t attend an adult only event.

    Before I had kids, I threw a party and my friend’s kids destroyed my living room and made the night of the parents and the rest of the guests very stressful. That’s not the idea of a party, people are supposed to have fun, don’t come to my party to be stressed out and take care of your kids in the party.

    I attended a wedding where this kids messed up a couple of tables, wine all over the place and destroyed decorations. This, folks, is the reason why adult only weddings are becoming more popular.

  18. I loved this. Have felt this exact way before. Exclude my young children, and you exclude me. Thank you for writing it. It resonated with me.

    1. Actually, nobody cares that her baby is more important to her. No, we EXPECT that, in fact!

      What we are challenging is the idea (pervasive in the comments) that the host of an event is morally remiss if THEY don’t value YOUR kids more than any hopes for enjoying *their own* (possibly super important and expensive) event.

  19. Heidi, We just want to drink adult beverages, discuss adult topics, and use colorful language once in a while. We don’t want you to blame us when your kids come home from our place parroting our colorful language. We only invited you to be polite; we knew you wouldn’t come if you couldn’t bring your kids.

  20. you guys are taking this too seriously and taking the authors letter too deeply-as a new mum i too am feeling bad at rejecting invites as i have noone and no money for a babysitter, and childless friends seem to think i can just put my child in storage. The author just wants her friend to feel that she isnt rejecting her by rejecting her adult only invite, and that this is how its going to be from now on. Maybe she felt her friend will think shes forgotten about her now she has a child but thats not the case.
    I do agree with adult only events however. Parties and events where children are allowed to attend end up becoming childrens parties, with kids running around in packs, making noise, and making the event stressful not fun. They touch and sneeze all over the food and their parents, who went to the event to have fun and support the host, just end up running around after their kids all day, getting stressed out themselves, and spend the whole time with one eye on the kids rather than focusing on the event at hand. Id invite kids to a christening, but not to a wedding. Also, inviting peoples children can also end up costing hundreds and hundreds of pounds more as often venues charge catering per head.

  21. Wow!
    Ladies!
    What is that rambling?
    Time to evolve and leave the bitchy girl stuff behind .

    So much judgment !
    It’s scary to think that you have children on your own , really!

    She needed to express herself and she did well !
    Now if you don’t share her view , it’s ok but no need to judge and be harsh like so many of you writtung these comments have been !
    Wow!

    Time to evolve really .. For the sake of your own children !

    1. Not judging. She gets to share her opinion. But it’s the internet. I get to share mine. And I love kid events, I wish all events included kids. But I don’t cry me a river when someone asks me to take a couple hours away from my toddler. I either go or don’t. The author makes motherhood sound so saintly and full of self deprivation. It’s a great calling, but it’s hardly deprivation to play games and read with my toddler if I can’t find her a sitter for the night.

  22. What a load of sanctimonious, self centred tosh! If your friend had been that desperate to have you at her party then she would have accommodated for children. She wasn’t, so she didn’t.

    You won’t make the wedding, but you will find a way to go round whilst she has a shower? Bit odd.

    So you are still feeding, everyone knows that you need to be near your child and understand that it will rule you out of social events, no letter is needed.

  23. So… Here’s what I don’t understand. You’re able to showup for an ultrasound – where are the children then!? Oh you’re presumably bringing them so they can cause chaos during someone’s ultrasound and overtake that important event, but you dont want to tell that very same friend that the reason you’re unable to attend her wedding is your children because you don’t want to make HER special day all about your extremely special children.

    Furthermore you’re going to go over when she has a newborn, presumably hauling along all your children -who simply cannot not ever be left with a sitter – so she can shower because that is EXACTLY what a brand new mother wants: your children running all around while she’s exhUsted and overwhelmed. Cause you’re not selfish makin her life events all about your children at all and getting a sitter for two hours is too much of an imposition. Ok yeah this makes no sense.

    1. Well, if her friend isn’t currently pregnant, then we’re looking at a minimum of nine months before she has a baby, and probably quite a few weeks before she even gets to the ultrasound stage. That’s enough time for a breastfeeding baby to have grown up enough to start taking some food/drinking from a cup, and for a toddler to have gone through all sorts of growth and development. So, yeah, maybe it will be a lot more feasible for her to get away for a few hours by the time her friend has children. On top of which, maybe her friend lives nearby but got married somewhere out of the area, adding travel time to the difficulty of getting to the wedding but not to the difficulty of dropping round to her house to help for a bit.

      1. Because her anxiety ridden toddler will all of a sudden be free of his anxiety when her friend gets to the ultrasound stage. give me a break. Got a feeling she’s the cause of the kid’s anxiety, being such a sensitive one herself. Never letting your child be safe with anyone but mommy will make him feel unsafe with anyone but mommy. Kids aren’t stupid.

  24. Love how you’re all so quick to jump on your high horses. You’re totally missing the spirit behind this article because you’re all so self-righteous. Why don’t you get off the internet and go live that life that you’re so adamant about preserving in spite of your children instead of bashing someone who is obviously just sharing her heart and inner conflicts?

  25. I love this. I was invited to a luncheon about a year ago that was “women only, no kids”. Todd was out of town that week. I searched and searched for a daytime sitter but no luck. I ended up putting my kids in the kidzone at the gym for three hours (very expensive) so I could attend the luncheon. My other friend was not so lucky to get childcare so she couldn’t attend the luncheon. She received a nasty, scathing email from the hostess calling her a selfish horrible person. I showed up to the luncheon and there was another lady there WITH HER CHILD. In a community with many “out-of-towners” and husbands who travel, other moms become our family and support. Sometimes kids show up to events and we still have fun. We do make time for GNO and date nights but those are planned and local events – other, out of town events, are planned a LONG time in advance and require airfare for in-laws to come in, airfare for us to go the event…in the end we could have all gone to Hawaii. I have decided if someone doesn’t like being around kids they aren’t going to have much in common with me at this time in my life. I had 36 years where it was just about me – I traveled the world, met many people, spent a lot of selfish time alone. For these next few years it IS about my family because that is what makes me happy and the people who love me love my kids.

    1. Sometimes parent-friends are wonderful and sometimes they wallow in self-righteousnes. the same is also true for the childfree, as evidenced by your pleasant friend. The letter was uncalled for.

      We are not all (or even mostly) like that 🙂

    2. Which means you’ll grow apart from some people, and that’s ok, it happens. Everyone gets to choose how they want to live their own life.

  26. I understand this completely. I’ve missed a few events that my infant couldn’t attend and also skipped my high school reunion. Of course I wanted to go, but my baby isn’t the type that can be left with someone else for 5 hours as he wont take a bottle and I don’t do well pumping. Those first few months he nursed every 1-2 hours due to various reasons. I’m happy to choose him over a party but I do feel there are friends who don’t understand why I didn’t go. I’m thankful I was able to exclusively breastfeed even though it was a huge sacrifice on my part. I’m bringing him to a baby shower today. Thankful we can go but understanding if we couldn’t. I’d love to talk to any of the mean spirited people here in person. Mean people suck. Every parent knows what their child needs.

  27. I would never apologize or feel guilty for not attending a “no kids” events. If you setting those ground rules you should be willing to accept that some people will not be able to make it. I have never been to a kids free wedding, nor would I want to attend. Besides, who is going to open up the dance floor if that footloose toddler isn’t there?!

    1. Perhaps they don’t want their dance floor “opened up”.

      I think the big thing people are missing here is that different people have different preferences for what makes a satisfying on enjoyable event. There is no one right way to have a social event. It’s the host’s prerogative to organize an event that’s likely to be enjoyable to them. That’s ok, and if that type of event is unappealing to you, declining to attend is ok too.

  28. This is so typically North American in nature: having a baby shower but not welcoming children, or having a wedding with no kids allowed..
    This stratification of ages is very unhealthy and very unnatural. Take example from the book “Hold onto Your Kids” by Gabor Mate and Gordon Neufeld who warn of not having events where all ages are welcome and the warm feeling of “the village” is present. By not allowing kids to events, especially baby showers and wedding (where the theme of kids is part of or will become part of these celebrations..maybe not all weddings..) just doesn’t make sense! Maybe not allowing kids at an engagement party is more understandable, but a wedding or a baby shower?! Come on!
    I am sure this type of exclusion is UNHEARD of in most Latin American countries, African nations and Asia, Israel and many Southern European countries where family ties are much stronger and people have a much better “joie de vivre”

    1. Perhaps it is more that North American children are not taught to behave well at events where they are not intended to be the center of attention.

      1. Good point, SnowflakeMama, so by not taking children to events when they are really young, how do you expect them to learn? Isn’t it a bit of a catch 22?
        My daughter has been going to musical events (rehearsals) with my husband and I since she was 5 months old and I was also nursing on demand for over a year. She knows how to behave in a theatre 95% of the time. I still always sit on the end next to an exit.

    2. You seem to think that wedding=future children.

      Also this is at least the third time you have referenced a developing country in your effort to ram kids down everyone’s throats. If you like South America so much, why don’t you move there?

      You bring your kids to adult-only events? You’re an asshole. It’s not your job to indoctrinate other people in your way of thinking. If you did that to me, I would definitely ask you to leave. Unfortunately your friends are too nice to do that.

    3. Yeah, weddings have nothing to do with kids.

      The only reason a wedding is happening is because two adult people have decided to get married. These people may or may not want children eventually, but that’s largely besides the point. Their wedding day is not about kids- it’s about them and their love. It’s certainly not about YOU and YOUR KIDS.

      Judging by your horrible attitude, they probably didn’t even want to invite you in the first place.

  29. Kids do not belong at all events. It’s just the way it is. It’s my wedding. Not your kids daycare. I love and miss my friends with kids. But I understand if you can’t go. How dare you make my special event all about your kids?! And then to “woah is me” about your life choices. Have kids. Great. It’s not all about you.
    This is one of the most selfish articles I’ve read. I hope all that venting helped you. But don’t be surprised with the voices of reason who can hit “reply” on your very passive aggressive stance do so.

    1. No wonder the birth rate is on the decline in many Anglophone nations..This type of mentality where kids are not allowed or welcome at “life events” (event where children are usually a high possibility on the horizon) just makes no sense and is probably partially responsible for the decline of the birthrate in Canada and the US.
      You want democracy and our Western ways to survive? Well, keep on with this ridiculous mentality and soon we will be overrun by radical Islamists like ISIS. We NEED children to be seen and be reminded that our future depends on them and if we eliminate their presence then we essentially eliminate ourselves in the end..

      1. Kids do not belong at every event . It shows the narcissistic attitude of ‘me’ generation. You had kids great, Not everyone thinks you are special for it. Comparing not wanting kids at events to ISIS is well inane and off mark. The reason for decline in birth rates is because maybe people are finally being responsible and stop bringing unwanted kids in the world. I will gladly take a decline in birth rates instead of unwanted kids in orphan homes. Ironic those who harp about the declining birth rate do nothing to help parents.

        1. The comparison to ISIS was meant to show how many Arab nations are having a huge increase in the birthrate which inevitably means that sooner or later than you think radical Islam might come to Western nations such as ours. Look what is happening in France, the Netherlands and Belgium.

          I also think that the decline in birth rates is the result of the “me” generation who don’t want to be inconvenienced by
          disruptive little kids. the less kids people see, the harder it is to tolerate them and in many cases, want them.

          Well, these lavish “no children allowed” weddings certainly do nothing to help the parents who might not be able to even attend the wedding because having a baby sitter might just set them back financially. It really is asking a lot to expect people with kids to attend a wedding, fork out a gift (not a cheap one) AND have to pay someone to look after the kids?! What kind of message is this?!
          So if vows are being exchanged and a kid starts to cry, you take the kid outside for a bit. What is the big deal? Or if you are in the reception hall and someone is making a speech and your child starts to have a tantrum, you take him outside! Just do the logical thing and there will be no harm. Or bring some activities for your child: a few markers and a colouring book usually does the trick.
          You North Americans are too uptight! Be a little more flexible for goodness sake!

          1. Simply removing the child does nothing to remedy the initial jarring onset of certain child noises. And there are many points within a wedding and reception where those jarring noises have the capability of spoiling a priceless memory. You could be an Olympic sprinter and it still wouldn’t matter if the moment in question is the bride’s walk down the aisle. Are you so cruel that you truly do not care if you steal the priceless once in a lifetime memory from her/them? And yes, it is a big deal. Maybe you got married because you wanted to pop out babies. But some of us get married because we fall head over heels in love. And these moments are memories we want to cherish forever, not an afterthought so insignificant that a baby’s cry wouldn’t be cemented within that memory forever, causing me to lose my presence in the moment. I don’t know how deeply you feel for your husband, but I feel like anyone who claims to love their spouse should completely understand how important these moments are. But the fact that you so easily dismiss this importance in favor of an invite for your kids tells met hat you see children as the purpose of love instead of a byproduct of it (sometimes). And that is a really sad way to characterize love.

          2. No Hugh, I prefer real life to sterile, perfect control-freak occasions which is what child free weddings seem to be more about; the parties wanting to control the atmosphere or thinking that they can.
            What if one of the guests turns out to have Turet’s Syndrome and starts blurting out inappropriately during that ceremony where those oh so precious words are exchanged? Maybe people should start screening all the guests to make sure they won’t cause any distracting commotion during the ceremony.
            What if someone has a coughing or sneeze fit. The onset of that will also do nothing to remedy the jarring onset of THOSE noises either..

          3. Again with the totally out-there comparisons. I’ve never actually even MET someone with Tourette’s syndrome. And I’ve met a lot of people. Hell, maybe I have met someone with Tourette’s but they had it under control enough to where I didn’t even notice! In either case, it’s still somewhere on the spectrum of “doesn’t apply to anyone I know” and “.025% chance someone with Tourette’s syndrome will be brought to the wedding without asking or informing us.” Please, tell me again how this in any way compares to the amount of unpredictable-aged kids that would end up at your wedding if unrestricted. I used to help a friend out with her catering business so I have seen my fair share of weddings. And my good-faith estimate for kids at risk of disturbance is around four… At every wedding. At least.

          4. You’re really going to have to learn that other people are allowed to like things you don’t someday. It doesn’t matter how many times you call my tastes sterile and lifeless, you’re not going to convince me that they were. I walked down the aisle to REO Speedwagon, had the guitar solo from November Rain as our procession, entered the reception to The Final Countdown, filmed guests doing their bed Axl and Mick Jagger dances, and my sister’s wedding toast was a series of “real men of genius” adaptions. So, no. My wedding was not sterile and lifeless. It was full of the best kind of DIRTY ROCK N ROLL, and our guests had a ball! I feel like the person you’re trying to convince here is yourself, not me.

          5. Ok Hugh, I agree with you that in my “numbers game I loose” in coming up with comparisons about the elderly making noises or someone with Tourette’s Syndrome suddenly having strange outbursts. I just wanted to illustrate the point that just because you have a child free wedding doesn’t guarantee that there could be other disturbances coming from the adult guests.

            People like you Hugh, who seem to really be allergic to children baffle and fascinate me. I am trying not to be judgemental here but it is hard. When I was in my 20s I couldn’t stand children, wasn’t interested in them and wanted to strangle the baby that started crying in the middle of a live performance of “Pirates of Penzance” but I get the impression you are older than this, so as a woman it is difficult to relate to your point of view.
            You say you will be living a child free life going to Mexico and finding the hammock as far away from the kids as possible. Why live in a cocoon? If you were to even see and experience the “real” Mexico it would be very inconvenient for you because there are children everywhere running around making noise and having fun.
            Maybe North America is really a safe haven for people that want child free places, events and even apartment buildings…

          6. Well your wedding sounds like was amazing with great live music!
            You see, now this brings to mind another point that I never even thought of. Most people assume that toddlers and little kids can’t sit through good music, whether it be jazz, rock ‘n roll or classical without making noise, fidgeting and disturbing the whole experience of listening and watching, and for the most part they are right, but both my husband and I are musicians and our child has been brought to many rehearsals right from the age of five months so she already knows instinctively not to make noise in the theatre and to whisper.
            I try to take my child to as many quality musical events as possible, including our own performances. It would be a real shame to have my child miss something like this because the host was worried about, unpredictable outbursts.
            Now certain theatres don’t even allow children under the age of 6. It took lots of arguing and persuasion on my part to finally convince some ushers to allow my child into a dress rehearsal of Carmen last fall. Of course in other countries we’ve performed in this was never an issue..

          7. First, I want to thank you for toning down your response. It can be hard to do that when you get into a heated discussion about something you’re passionate about. I would love to answer your questions as I actually enjoy teaching people about the childfree point of view, which is actually pretty diverse among those who call themselves so.

            As far as other noises, of course there is always that risk. However, the risk of audible or disruptive noises from your average wedding guest is just far lower than your risk from children. I don’t vilify children for this, I am simply aware of it. It would be silly of me to expect anything from a young child except for the universal truth of “kids will be kids.” Although some kids are more well behaved than others, it would be worse if I went and cherry-picked “acceptable” kids. THAT would be hurtful and insulting in my opinion.

            I know that it is sort of a new concept and can be hard to understand, which is why it’s important to me to keep talking about it. (Btw, I AM still in my 20’s… By the skin of my teeth, and my husband is approaching 35, don’t let the classic rock fool you, I just have good taste in music!)

            While some childfree people actually do hate children, there are just as many, if not more who still like children, even if we don’t want to raise them. But it’s all about being true to yourself in what you honestly WANT in this one life we get. I feel very strongly that people should live a life that will make them happy (or at least try to). I wouldn’t dream of trying to tell someone that they SHOULDN’T like or have kids. Because getting people to agree with me isn’t important. I WANT people to be happy. But I also want to have the same courtesy extended to me as well, to be allowed to live a life that makes me happy.

            The way this relates to my interaction with the outside world has to do with two things: 1) things that I can control and have the right to control, like my own wedding day or seeking the most relaxing spot on my vacation and 2) mutual consideration. What I mean by mutual consideration is, for example, on an airplane, while a crying baby might be aggravating to me, I know it is no ones fault and can show compassion to the parents by refraining from assholery like rolling my eyes or sighing loudly. I can’t blame a baby for the confusing and painful situation of popping ears that they can’t remedy. But on the other hand, I’d like to think I deserve a bit of consideration in public spaces, too. There are a lot of things that parents can control or at least attempt to control for the sake of others around them. I think one of the lost arts in this world is actually giving a damn how you are impacting the people around you. I am 100% willing to do this for parents since they deserve to be in public places just as much as I do, but I find that today’s parents are less willing to reciprocate that attitude and instead EXPECT that others make concessions on their behalf, yet remaining rigid in their belief that they shouldn’t have to do this also. When childfree people act in this same way, I find it equally discourteous and do not count them among those I identify with.

            As far as living in a cocoon, that just goes back to things I can control. And some amount of control in your life is perfectly healthy and reasonable. I don’t ostracize children from my life. The idea of the Mexican culture is actually something I quite admire and there are times when I really enjoy that level of child interaction. There are some really cool things about kids and I can totally understand why someone would enjoy raising them. But for my personal tastes, the benefits do not outweigh those parts that I do not enjoy. One of those parts that I personally do not like are child noises. Yelling, playing, laughing, loud toys, children’s TV… All of that just sort of grinds my gears. I don’t hold that against them as the people they will eventually grow into, but since I don’t HAVE to to endure these things, I take steps to enjoy myself (or maintain my peace of mind) where I am able and find it appropriate to do so, so long as it doesn’t involve me seriously impacting the wants and desires of someone else when it is appropriate for them to also be concerned with their wants for enjoyment.

            Apartment buildings…. Is another topic I have more to say on but that could be a post in itself.

          8. No kids at my wedding and it was spectacular fun. It sounds like you are the one who needs to be a little more flexible. If I’m spending money on a large celebration, I’ll be the one deciding who will or won’t be there — don’t like it, you are welcome not to attend! Maybe take your own advice on not being so uptight?

          9. France has one of the highest birth rate in the Western world, it doesn’t have anything to do with having them at every social gathering (thanks God) and it has everything to do with the many incentives that exist here (financial help for childcare, free education, cheap social security).
            Your idea of the way children are considered in third world countries would be hilarious if it weren’t so sadly misinformed (children aren’t going to that many parties in India because a lot of them has to, you know, go to work).
            From this side of the Atlantic you’re the perfect caricature of the insufferable North-American mother who thinks her insufferable, ill-behaved kids are so very special.

          10. I might also add that
            – the recent massacres in France were perpetrated by French-born-and-raised terrorists, who had nothing to do with ISIS
            – I happen to like children very much, which is why I wouldn’t drag them to an event where there are not welcomed. As a grown-up I endured some very boring weddings, I cannot imagine how tedious it could be for a kid. I have very fond memories of the nights and the week-ends spent with the fun babysitter while my parents attended social events and I am grateful that they didn’t make me attend things that would certainly be very boring for me.

      2. The birth rate in developed nations (not only the US, Canada, but also most of Western Europe and Japan) is down because birth control is now cheap, reliable, and readily available, and because infant mortality is low enough you don’t need to keep having kids just to make sure most make it to adulthood. Kids belong at events where they are old enough to behave themselves with parents who are willing to discipline when necessary and enforce proper behavior, up to and including ‘seen and not heard.’ Children should be brought to events to socialize them in correct behavior, not because there’s any need to fetishize breeding. They can’t learn how to behave if they’re never put in the situation, but it doesn’t work if parents let them run riot and laugh it off with ‘they’re just kids.’

      3. Ah, and the truth finally comes out. She doesn’t actually care about our opinions of children. She’s a rabid racist who’s concerned that those awful brown people just might outnumber white folks.

        1. ILYSSA that is not true at all that I am a racist! I was talking about Muslim radicalists such as ISIS just to make the point that maybe their attitude about having kids more present at events might be directly related to their rapidly increasing birth rate.
          I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to see North America to become a caliphate in the next millennium, granted I probably won’t be around to see it if it happens. Maybe I am totally off base in the comments I made yesterday as some people pointed out that the decline of the birth rate in Western nations has more to do with more easy access to birth control. Probably that has more to do with it than the point I was making.

      4. The birth rate is not declining due to a lack of family-friendly events. There are plenty of those. The birth rate is declining because women have been educated about birth control and they are in control of their fertility choices and can make rational choices about how they want to spend their time. Unsurprisingly, an increasing number of them have decided that they would rather not spend their time wiping the world’s asses, and many more have decided that they only want to wipe a limited number of asses, those they can afford and are willing to spend the time raising properly. I don’t think we should be looking to countries where women do not have adequate access to birth control, education, health care for social cues.

      5. It’s a bit contradictory to decry the declining birthrate in the same sentence where you insist children are a “high possibility”. (presumably in regards to a wedding.)

  30. “I wanted to tell you that I was so sorry. That I tried to come up with a way that it would work. That I tried to find a babysitter that I trusted near where you were so that I could duck out to nurse the child that wouldn’t take a bottle yet. That I tried to figure out if we could afford a hotel room nearby where my toddler with separation anxiety could play with dad while I celebrated with you. I wanted to tell you all these things so that you would understand that I wanted to be there. But that would make it about my plans when it was supposed to be about yours.” You wanted to tell your friend all these things but you didn’t want to make it all about you? Instead of explaining it your friend (perhaps after her events) when you interacted with her in person you make an internet post to show how selfless you are. If you are really that good friends you will chill out about not making it to her “no children” events and she will understand why you don’t make it; and you will both find other ways and places to connect.
    I suppose you had hoards of children at your wedding?

    Your life has changed, that doesn’t mean everyone in your life has to change their lives completely too. There are plenty of reasons people do not attend various events. They can’t afford the time off from work, they don’t feel well, the are having car trouble, they have a sick kid at home, they are in the midst of a major renovation, they don’t want to spend an entire day making small talk waitpeople they hardly know, they have another wedding to attend, they have to harvest their crop, they don’t enjoy Karaoke, whatever. Having children is a normal part of many peoples lives just like any of the other choices people make. It isn’t a special excuse, it is just part of life. Don’t go to the wedding if it doesn’t fit into how you have chosen to live your life but also know that your children will not be the center of others lives. You may find it worse if your friend does have her own kids. Her focus will likely be even less on you and your children.

  31. To the Moms:
    That is perfectly okay. I feel bad that you need to leave your 3 kids at home for a night with a sitter, or send your regrets. I do feel sorry that I’m forcing you to choose between your family, and your future family.
    However, its either invite you and your kids (and by extension the other 9 kids of the appropriate age so we don’t hurt MORE feelings), or I have an ENTIRE TABLE free to invite other adults who I would really love to have at my wedding.
    We are planning a fairly intimate wedding, at a fairly small venue. That 12 kids under the age of 10 would mean that I would be unable to invite any of my co-workers, or college friends. Those 12 kids, by having a chair, would cost me and my lady a shade under a thousand dollars, for food I almost guarantee they would never eat. Instead they will be eating cheerios off the table cloth. 20% of my guests would be eating dry cereal and milk instead of the food that we spent weeks planning. By extension, the parents of those 12 kids (a total of 9 adults, plus another 5 grandparents) will be far too busy fussing over their kids to, actually pay much attention to us, the Groom and Bride throwing the wedding.
    We see your kids 3 times a week, and I love them to death. They make us want to have one or two. But we also really love that rare one night a year out we get with YOU guys. You guys without kids are wonderful, and remind us why we started getting to become friends with you all those years ago.
    It boils down to this. I’m so terribly sorry that we didn’t get married when we where 25, when you didn’t have kids. But please afford us the same level of courtesy that we extended you 10 years ago. Before you had kids.

    This is exactly what is going on in my life right now. This is a combination of every conversation I have had with the 6 couples that have all said “But I cant leave ___ at home, why cant I bring them?

    1. it is also a question of economics.
      Many families can’t afford to pay for a wedding gift AND a babysitter to attend a wedding. Can’t people be more understanding of this at least? I know that the hundred dollars it would cost to pay for a babysitter would set me back

        1. Get the hell over yourself.

          My god are you this much of a nasty person in real life? Are you just projecting the fact that no-one wants you around onto internet commenters? How is your comment in any way constructive or helpful?

          Do you exist to upset people who disagree with you on the internet? Is that your legacy?

      1. You’re so right, the people planning the wedding should take the financial hit or be unable to invite their own friends, rather than you either leaving the kids at home or if that’s not possible, you staying home.

      2. Attending weddings is usually expensive for everyone (not saying it can’t be more expensive for people with special situations like parents who need a sitter), but it’s part of the deal in attending (or not attending).

        That said, not everyone expects an expensive wedding gift (or any gift at all)

    2. John, if we couldn’t afford a babysitter and gift, we would buy you a gift, not come, and invite you to dinner after the wedding to watch you open it. No guilt john, none.

    3. John you have to be more creative. So don’t order meals for the kids. They never finish them anyway and it is usually a big waste of food as well as money. Maybe talk to the place where you intend to have the wedding and negotiate that they make mini sandwich square all on a tray with veggies that they nibble on and pick themselves and mini cupcakes for dessert. I’m sure you can find a solution that will make everyone happy.

      It is really really sad to see what is happening in this “me” generation with more and more events where children are not welcome that 20-30 years ago would have been unheard of! I guarantee you that if you exclude your friend’s children bitter feelings will brew below the surface. Even if you didn’t have kids when you were 25 it doesn’t matter. That was then. This is now. And their lives are different now because they have their own children.
      Something is just WRONG with our culture when one is forced to chose between our kids or our close friends.

      1. Why are you trying to convince everyone how they should plan their events to include kids? It’s not your money and it’s not your business. No one is forcing anyone to choose between kids and friends — we’re talking about ONE EVENING here. Get a grip.

      2. Yeah, don’t order food for the kids. Then listen to their parents bitch and moan about how RUDE you were to their children, I mean, can you imagine, the bride didn’t even FEED our precious babies!!!!!

        You aren’t making any damn sense.

  32. I took the nursing baby, left the toddlers at home, had a nice time, and came back to tuck everyone in bed. Boom. If there was no sitter, I wouldn’t cry a river, or apologize, just explain and express regret. Or ask for an exception if it was important to me.

    Yes motherhood changes most people. But hopefully not into self absorbed mops who can’t be away from their walking children for an hour or two.

  33. I had a baby that wouldn’t take a bottle, but I still managed to get to some child free events. Maybe you can only stay for 3 hours and not 6! Or maybe you do need to skip it and send your husband alone to represent! Also, these poor husbands of these women who never leave their houses? You need some alone time once in a while to keep your marriage strong. Last point, if I invited 60 couples to my wedding and figure each has 2 kids (as an average), I need to invite 120 extra children to my indoor wedding? That’s nuts! Fine if you have an outdoor tent wedding, but lets get real. Just live your life and roll with the punches! It is nice to get out without your kids now again and will do you and your and relationship some good and the kids will be ok!

  34. Reading comments on articles like this makes me sad! Every parent is different! Sure, I would have gone to the wedding, but my children have babysitters they know well and are comfortable staying with for hours at a time. I am fortunate enough to be able to pump and save so my youngest and I can be apart some even though I’m nursing. And we are able to afford hiring a babysitter, but I certainly remember a time when we couldn’t! But just as I know that I could go because my kids would be fine, this mama knows she can’t go because her kids can’t handle it. In a couple of years, it may be a whole different story for her! Every family is different, so good for her for doing what she felt was best while expressing love and support for her friend as best she could. Rock on, lady!

  35. I could barely get through this article.
    “Then it cracked into a thousand pieces and fell to the floor when I learned that my children couldn’t come.”
    The drama would likely be far less if your children attended and left you home. I nursed exclusively, pumping didn’t work and my child wouldn’t take a bottle – though when I did go out, he was terribly excited to take small sips from the glass his grandmother held for him. Where there’s a will, there’s a way – if you don’t figure out a way, you obviously haven’t the will to attend, but why carry on so?
    What is this about four hours? No wedding ceremony I’ve ever attended has lasted four hours; isn’t the actual ceremony an hour or so? Isn’t the ceremony the important part? If you did want to attend, there are regular breaks between the ceremony and dinner, and the dinner and reception that would allow you to nurse your baby; if it’s an event that’s not close to home and you’d have to stay in a hotel, you could get back there during those breaks. If it’s now about the cost of the hotel, it’s no longer about children not being welcome.
    If it’s your friend and it means enough, your husband should make a gallant offer to stay with his child so you can attend this once in a lifetime (fingers crossed) event.
    I suspect there’s far more to this story than children not being welcome and you absolutely, unequivocally being able to attend because of a nursing baby and clingy child (this is not an insult, my child is clingy too); being left for a few hours won’t kill either one them).
    Not attending is your choice. Put on your big girl panties and realize you could attend if you really wanted to.

    1. I agree with what you said. If its about the cost of paying for a sitter and a wedding gift, that that’s a separate issue! It’s not every weekend that you would have to spend a few hundred bucks. Kids are expensive and you have to save for what’s important. (Hopefully a good friend is worth $200 or so) just wait until you see how much college tuition is for 3 kids, then you’ll have something to really complain about!

      1. I’m sorry, but $200 is A LOT for many families to pay who are making less than $10,000 a year and on premium assistance.
        I would not fork out that kind of money for someone if I also had to pay for a babysitter, and my friend or relative should understand this and make exceptions!
        Luckily I only have one kid and for college/university I am already paying into a monthly scholarship trust fund..

        1. I thought the same thing! I certainly wouldn’t be shelling out $200 on a friend’s wedding. No thanks. That’s actually a lot of money to some people. Just another example of assuming you know someone’s situation. Speaking of, the comment about sending your husband in the previous comment, not everyone has that luxury. Count your blessings that you do and quit thinking you could live someone else’s life better than them.

          1. I meant $200 total like $100 for a sitter and $100 for a gift. That is not a lot of money for a wedding for most people who can afford to have kids. Maybe you shouldn’t have kids if you can’t afford a basic wedding gift or a babysitter for one night. Maybe families think nothing of spending $2,000 to go to disneyworld! I only offered the husband going as another alternative to neither going at all. I live in NY, so maybe I’m so bombarded with everything being extremely expensive that $200 doesn’t seem like a lot. Maybe in Nebraska sitters cost $5 an hour and $30 is a reasonable wedding gift.

          2. in reply to SHAZZ’s “if you can’t afford 200 for a wedding gift and a babysitter maybe you shouldn’t have kids”
            That’s just a mean thing to say. Maybe we prefer to save the $100 that the babysitter would have cost for some quality, organic food.

          3. Lol, I love that you think I must live in Nebraska to think that’s expensive. Yes, if you live in NY you probably don’t have a good idea of what expensive is to the rest of America. As far as not having money to have kids, that’s a personal choice. Many people take good care of thier children on very little money. Kids don’t actually need that much.
            It’s silly to think you need to be able to maintain a certain lifestyle to have kids. People have been raising happy healthy kids for centuries without having what you might consider “enough money”. Personally I have plenty to spend on my kids, but I still think $200 is a lot to spend on a friend’s wedding.

        2. So $200 is an exorbitant amount of money to expect a parent to pay, but you think nothing of the extra costs somebody would have to pay in order to accommodate your children at a wedding, shower, or some other event/party? Not to mention paying for any damages your children may cause because since you’re the kind of snowflake that would just show up with your children to an “adults only” event, nobody can depend upon you to pony up.

          1. Yes yes Automne it all comes down to MONEY MONEY MONEY and liability!! What if this happens, what if that happens? This is what North America has come to: the making of idiotic rules to protect from liability! Even those posh Las Vegas hotels with their beautiful pools don’t even make them deep enough to actually SWIM in because, God forbid, somebody MIGHT drown!!

        3. No offense, but if you’re trying to raise children on $10,000 or less a year you probably have much bigger worries than being able to attend a wedding.

        4. I am quite confident that most people would be very understanding if you skipped the wedding gift because you had to spend a lot of money on a babysitter. Much more understanding anyway than if you crashed the wedding with your uninvited kids.

          1. Why can’t you people even settle for compromises for people with kids such as maybe not having them at the ceremony, but inviting them later to the party or only to the ceremony if someone is in a sticky financial situation?
            Why does it have to be an all or nothing situation?

          2. Solny,
            I am completely understanding of the author here. I have been a situation where I couldn’t go somewhere I wanted because I had a small child, I didn’t have the money, my husband worked 3 jobs to make ends meet and I didn’t know anyone around to help. Maybe I could of figured it out, I don’t know. But at the time I was sad. Still, it wasn’t the fault of the person inviting me. I wouldn’t have brought my child anyway. It wasn’t my place to complain.
            I completely understand being sad like the author, but I don’t understand trying to change people’s minds about child free events. If they don’t want kids there, that’s thier choice. The same as it was my choice not to leave mine this time. Everyone should have the freedom to have the type of wedding they want. So while I agree that kids can be great at weddings and people shouldn’t feel guilted into leaving thier kids if they don’t want, no one should be guilted into allowing kids at thier wedding/event if they don’t want them either.

  36. i was recently invited to my friends wedding and was overjoyed! That was until I read the dreaded “no dogs allowed”. I couldn’t have children and mitt is my whole life! He has seperation anxiety and can’t be left alone. I just don’t understand how your wedding, this once in a lifetime event is more important than mitt?! So he might disrupt the ceremony by crying , barking or running through the isle…it’s only your vows.. And the ceremony how it is culturally accepted to not have animals at weddings. Stray dogs attend in India all the time. That’s all for now as I need to attend to mitt and cry a river!

    1. Oh yes, the classic “dog in place of kids” substitute. Because dogs are so similar to kids. Except that maybe kids are human beings and dogs are animals and are therefore completely different. But otherwise you make an excellent point here!

      1. This recent “no dogs allowed” mentality is not only limited to weddings and baby showers I noticed. There is a vacation company called “Leave the kids at home” as well as certain child free hotels, restaurants that don’t allow strollers or children under a certain age (in the US of course, but Canada is not far behind!)
        There is a whole school of thought that says parents should “stay home” for the first five years of their child’s life; meaning not take your children on any long-haul flights because other passengers might be disturbed. I think even some airlines have now banned babies from business class…

        1. Oh, please, on the whole, very few businesses have gone completely childfree. How is it that there are nine million businesses that allow children, but as soon as one doesn’t, you all lose your minds and act like your children aren’t allowed anywhere?

          You enjoyed the same adults-only businesses and parties before you had children, but now that you’re a parent, it’s suddenly unfair and nobody should get to enjoy the same freedom you did before children.

          1. Automne, have you been to France? as your name suggests? or any other countries that have a Latin language? You would not encounter such businesses that are child free! Europeans and for that matter, most of the other non-Anglo Saxon countries in the world have never even heard of child free places!

          2. Solnyshkele, In France people have the social grace to not bring young children who cannot control themselves yet into restaurants and other places that require more quiet behavior. It’s absolutely not-done.
            People teach their kids to become ‘restaurant-ready’ by going to burger places and McDonalds, which are less strict. When they consistently behave properly and can be more easily corrected or distracted from doing loud things, they get taken to restaurants. But not before. At least not in this area.

          3. So, Person, in France what you’re saying is there is no need to have signs saying “restaurant interdit aux enfins moins de _- ans” because nobody, except maybe some loud tourists would bring a toddler into semi to high class restaurants?
            I studied in France but never really paid attention to this because I was in my early 20s and was very indifferent to children at that time, plus did not have the kind of money to go out to expensive restaurants.
            I did read a book called “Bringing up Bebe” talking about the differences between American and French parenting and it seems that toddlers are “educated” from a very young age how to behave so if a family does go into an expensive establishment the kids are quiet, well-behaved and their taste buds developed to a level of sophistication in that they will eat the same foods as the adults, none of this kids menu stuff.

            Does the same apply to weddings? Do you find kids there, or are they left with a sitter usually?

          4. You’re nuts. As someone who is not from, and who has never been to, North America, I can say children were not welcome at my wedding. Hardly any of my friends have children yet, and the ones who did really enjoyed an evening away having adult time. My two young cousins attened the ceremony, and were whisked home by their parents before the reception. But they were 8 and 6, and were well-mannered enough to stay quiet. Most toddlers? Not so much. And my reception was definitely not child-appropriate.

            If one of my friends had brought their children we would not have been happy. There were no seats for them, and I had not arranged for extra food with the caterers, and it would have been unfair for the parents who had the manners to find a sitter.

            solnyshkele, if you want to be that rude to your friends and make “a point” by bringing your children where they were not invited, then that’s your choice. But don’t be surprised if you’re left with no friends at the end. I’ve never seen a parent bring a child to a childfree wedding, as it would be seen as a serious faux pas in my country. You seem to be pretty obsessed with this topic, you might want to take a step back.

            Adult events are for adults. There are plenty of events that welcome children and the chaos that accompanies them.

  37. This article was beautifully written and clearly expresses the feelings of many mom’s out there. Will all mothers identify with it? Of course not. Some mom’s routinely leave their children because they know that the break is necessary for them. Some moms are readily able to find and afford a dependable babysitter. Some mom’s use formula or are able to pump. Some mom’s have family nearby. If you are in a situation where you can leave your children and go enjoy yourself, that is great! Go have fun, but don’t judge those in a different situation from you. Someone whose situation you don’t entirely know and may not be in a place to understand.
    We made a choice to become moms. Does that mean that we are never sad at the things we don’t get to do now? Just because the author currently feels it is more important to stay with her child, doesn’t mean that she isn’t feeling conflicted about missing her friend’s special day. She doesn’t say that she is upset with her friend for making the event adults only. She doesn’t say it is wrong. She only says that she is sad because it means she cannot go, due to the place that she is at in her life. She wants to tell her friend these things, to express how much she would love to be there, but the truth would draw the attention away from her friend at a special time and that wouldn’t be fair. So she expresses them in an unsent letter that I’m sure many mothers with similar situations will relate to and appreciate.
    These comments are sad. I sincerely wish that mom’s would stop judging each others choices in raising thier children. Not one of us will do it perfectly. No one has the magic formula. We are all just doing the best that we can. All mom’s are different, all kids are different, all situations are different. It is completely illogical to assume that you understand someone else’s life and choices better than they do, especially from a post on the Internet.
    As far as the commenting childless/child free people, if you don’t want kids at your event, don’t invite them. The people who can’t come and feel conflicted like the author won’t be there. They will be a little sad, and then they will move on and have a great day with thier family and you will have your event just the way you wanted it. Everyone wins. Someone expressing thier feelings on the Internet about the limitations of thier current situation should in no way be offensive to those who don’t want kids at thier event.
    I realize that some people really don’t have anything else to do but criticize well meaning posts that voice an opinion different from thiers, but maybe someone will realize that we are all different and that is just fine, good even, and stop judging the way others raise thier kids.

  38. Wow! I’m always so confused when I see women, moms, bashing each other. Why does this topic have to become as volatile and/or polarizing as breast-feeding and leaving a child to cry-it-out? I love that “Mothering” was able to write an honest letter about her experiences and a view that many other moms feel. Not one place in the entire blog does she mention any ill feeling or opinions about the many moms who can and do attend events without their children. So then why the attack on her and others like her? Some women, for whatever reason, are able to attend events sans child(ren). Opportunities such as free or affordable child care, lack of or manageable illnesses and disorders, confidence in separation, and more makes that possible. Kudos to them. Circumstances such as inability to find a trusted sitter, a child(ren) who are medically fragile, disorders that make it incredibly difficult or unreasonable to leave a child for an extended period of time, postpartum depression and general anxiety, breast feeding difficulties, and more sometimes make attending events without her child(ren) hard and barely impossible. And then there’s just some women who are offended by the lack of opening the invitation to her child(ren) rude and/or offensive. I applaud both of these types, as well. You see whether or a helicopter mom, a satellite mom (my phrase for hovering from a little further out), or all about the free range…the beautiful thing is your a mom and for better or worse, as long as you are not abusing your child, I only ask you to be informed and honest with yourself about your values and expectations and then be respectful of another person’s right to do/be the kind of parent they wish. Btw, with 3 still at home, there are some situations I may try to make arrangements for; but by and large there’s not much that I would leave my children for. For those that referenced parenting from generations ago….there weren’t that many social events where children were excluded from the guest list either, especially of a relative.

    1. Right on MomTo5!!
      The concept of “child free” weddings harldy even existed back in the day. For that matter play dates didn’t exist either. You just spontaneously knocked on your friend’s door and went outside to play! Simple! Things are too complicated when you have to fret over if you own children are welcome at a close friend or relative’s wedding!

      1. Hey, it’s yet another nasty comment from Kristen! What is this, the fifth nasty comment? The Tenth?

        I bet she has so many friends! And so much free time to spread hate on the internet!

    1. Me neither. I don’t have any friends without kids though, and don’t really want any after reading through these comments! If you don’t like moms who are really into thier kids, perhaps you shouldn’t read articles on natural mothering sites.

      1. The nature of the internet is such that articles that have a broader appeal, will circulate beyond the standard readership of their host site and that will be reflected in the comments.

        1. Oh ok. Thanks for the lesson on how the Internet works. I just assumed that everyone else has better things to do than read an article on a site that will likely be from a different perspective than your own opinions or beliefs, due to the nature of the site, and then condemn those different opinions or beliefs. Nevermind, I guess that’s why it’s called trolling. Bunch of miserable people just looking for an argument and someone to look down on.

  39. If I received a letter like that, the author would not be my friend anymore. Did you mother teach you that it is OK to put guilt trips on people?

    It is your choice not to use bottles or babysitters. How you mother your children is your choice and the rest of society does not have a duty to accommodate you.

    People have good reasons to have kid free events. Your kid, my kid or the rest of the children in the world are not some special snowflakes to are entitled to be everywhere at all times.

    I missed plenty of events when my children were small. It is part of motherhood and being an adult.

    Please, grow up.

    1. No, YOU GROW up and get out of your protective little hedonistic, self-centred bubble where the slightest inconvenience bothers you!!
      Children are people too, so GET OVER IT!!! Why do you think the rest of society even hast to have a “duty” to “accommodate” another human being?!! My child is there with me, my husband, not YOU or the other people at the event. He is primarily interacting with US and most of the other people barely notice or are bothered. If he acts up during a quiet time or when someone is speaking, one of us takes him out of the hall for a few minutes. What is the big F–kn’ deal here?????
      You want a child free world? You might just have one soon if too many people like you exist!

      1. This whole piece is about how the “slightest inconvenience” regarding where children are invited bothers the author. Sonyshkele, you really do protest too much and your arguments are amusingly hypocritical.

      2. Please, do not be delusional. I have kid free and kid friendly events in my house. Kids do not just interact with parents. They definitely interrupt adult conversations, parents get distracted, things get broken, food accommodations need to be made. Pee, vomit, diapers….as you know part of parenting.
        Kids are people but they are not adults.

        You do not think it is not a big deal when your kid acts? Great for you. I get bothered. I have party specifically to relax. Tantrums are migraine inducing. I have parent who love coming to my child free event. Why? Because they are tired of potty ranting conversations and want to have a break.

        Sometime I want to play Cards Against Humanity or drink and discuss adult topics. It is not good times for kids.

        Other times I have BBQ and little pool. Good times for all.

        I had my kids very young. All my friends were child free and often had child free events. My kids are almost adults now and my aging friends all had kids. And I noticed that a small percentage of them suddenly thinks their kids should be welcome everywhere because they are not special snow flakes with kids. Ironic and ridiculous!

      3. Wow, so whenever you go out with your kid he only interacts with you or your husband and is supposed to be quiet as a mouse so you can parade him at events where he’s not welcomed and where there is nothing interesting for him to do. Must be a blast for him. Way better than playing while enjoying the undivided attention of the baby sitter.

    2. Umm…did you miss the part where she didn’t actually send this letter or tell her these things because she didn’t want her to feel guilty. She also never says that her kids should have been invited, only that she’s sad she can’t go. Pretty much everything else you said isn’t in there either. Except the part about this being a part of motherhood and having small kids too, which she said as well just a lot nicer.

      Maybe you should read an article before you post a judgmental reply.

  40. I have said plenty already in response to this letter and also in response to other’s response, but I will make one final point here:

    Something is terribly WRONG with what has become with the North American society in that people even have to argue or discuss if a child should be welcomed at an event such as a wedding!!! I see this as the gradual demise of our civilization as we know it with the declining birth rates of many Western nations. We have to be more tolerant and become the happy Greek or Italian village where newborns, excitable kids, adults and lame octogenarians used to colour the wedding scene and made it memorable for EXACTLY those often comical moments when the 4-year-old boy pulled a rose off the wedding cake to the hysterical scolding of his mother, and that tipsy grandfather falling over in his chair after waltzing with his grand-children…you get the idea! Read “Hold onto Your Kids” by Gabor Mate and Gordon Neufield to get the gist of what I’m trying to articulate. Kids need to have the experience of being together with people of all ages! Call me selfish or whatever, but I would just bring my child along with me anyway. We all need to band together and stand up to this nonsense!

    1. While I would prefer to not take my kids where they are not welcome and in fact don’t have any friends who wouldn’t welcome my kids, I agree completely with your sentiment. It is very sad when weddings, vacations and all so focused on perfection and “adult fun” and no longer on families, but it is a reflection on the culture we’ve created. I find it amusing all of the comments about how people used to not worry about leaving thier kids and we need to go back to that. People didn’t worry about it because no one expected them to. All family and friends were welcome no matter how old. Kids slept in the bed and babies spent all day strapped on mom’s back. No one would have ever expected a breastfeeding mom to leave her baby. Gatherings and celebrations were full of noise and messes and fun. But things are different now. And kids don’t fit in that world. I live in a different world. If someone doesn’t want kids at thier celebration, no problem. I would much rather send my regrets and spend the day laughing and playing with my kids and my friends kids having fun, then sit through a stuffy party. Which is probably why I don’t get invited 🙂

    2. If you showed up at my child-free wedding with your spawn, I would show you the door. The world doesn’t revolve around you or your special snowflake! Grow up already!

      1. I would never bring my son to a child-free event out of respect for the host. Their event, their rules, even if I don’t agree with leaving children out of family events.

        But if you called my son ‘Spawn’ to my face I’d break your nose and leave you to bleed all over your tacky wedding dress.

  41. It doesn’t matter what her reasons for declining are or whether you agree. If you send an invite that excludes children be prepared that some will decline because of that. You have no place to be offended or cry ‘selfish’ or ‘rude’. Accept it for what it is…. An invitation declined for reasons valid to the one you invited sans children.

  42. I got married at a fancy hotel and the wedding didn’t start until 6pm. The room only fit about 130 people and we couldn’t have invited another 30 children. It wasn’t to exclude our friends with children..it just was a space issue..and it would have been $30 extra for a child’s meal. I wish the author would take these thins into consideration. And not be offended that we couldn’t manage more people. Of course small breast feeding babies were welcome..that’s a different situation than a while brood of children.

    1. At no point did the author say she was offended that her kids weren’t invited. She never even said she was upset with her or didn’t understand. She was just sad that it meant she couldn’t go. Just like you had limitations and couldn’t invite kids, she had limitations and couldn’t go if kids couldn’t be there and that is sad. That is all. No offense on either side needs to be taken.

      1. If she wasn’t at least slightly offended (perhaps a better term would be upset), she wouldn’t have felt the need to write a piece such as this.

        1. There’s a big difference between being offended and upset. You can be upset about the reality of a situation without being offended at anyone. Offense is feeling that you were treated wrong by someone. No where does the author say that her friend was wrong to not invite kids, or argue that she felt her kids should go. She was just upset that she couldn’t go.

  43. As a grandmother born in the 40’s, I understand where the author is coming from. This is a “now” comment. When I was a mother of 3 in the 70″s things were different. If invited to a wedding with a nursing infant it was understood you would be bringing your infant. It wasn’t even necessary to mention “no children”. Everyone knew you didn’t bring your children. That was then…..it’s very different now! Neither are wrong, just different. In 30 years from now there will be a totally different “norm”. Do what feels right at the time!!

      1. I believe that says more about the circle of family/friends you grew up among than it does about the era in general. I’m of a similar age and didn’t really go to formal events until my pre-teen years.

      2. You were probably invited to the wedding. What Lola is saying is that only the people named on the invitation attended the event, the exception being nursing infants. Mr and Mrs Smith are invited or the Smith family is invited. The first is just the adults while the second is the whole family. Children and plus ones are at the discretion of the hosts.

  44. I’ve never heard of any of those events save a Bachelorette party that were no kids allowed. Of course you may try to find a sitter for small children or babies, but if you told people no kids allowed, I’d doubt you’d have anyone show up.

  45. Wow, I just can’t let go of looking at this site and posting more and more responses to people’s posts!

    I’m getting inspired to do my own research and write about it in a blog
    It would be interesting to find out what other countries in the world besides Canada and the US (and probably Australia and the UK) have child free events such as weddings, showers, and certain restaurants.
    Here are a list of countries and regions in the world that I am almost sure of 99 % that don’t have child free weddings, but please correct me if my guesses are wrong and please forgive me for countries or regions I fail to mention:
    India, Thailand, Myanmar, China, The Philippines, Indonesia, most other South East Asian nations except maybe for Singapore, Mexico, El Salvador, Israel, most countries on the African continent except South Africa, Italy, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovania, Greece, Spain, Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Rumania, Mongolia, all of the “stan” nations such as Turkmenistan and Khazakstan, Turkey, Armenia, all Poleynesian Island nations, Brazil, Chile, Uraguay, Paraguay, Peru and other South American nations, probably all Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Yeman, Oman, Quatar and Syria (maybe the women and men are separated in certain strict Islamic nations but the children sure ain’t), Iran, Papau New Guinea…

    Now here is a list of countries I am not sure about at all:
    Northern European nations such as Germany, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands, France (could be divided between North and South?), Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Malaysia and JAPAN. Particularly interested to know how it is in JAPAN??

    1. I grew up in China and you are just wrong. People don’t bring children to weddings because they understand that it is an adult event. I wonder which other countries on your list that you are wrong about.

        1. LOL. Rolled. Just let it go, Sol. You’re making such a fool of yourself. Maybe if you spent more time working instead of on the internet you would be able to afford to get a babysitter…

        2. It’s becoming clearer with each comment that your “research” skills are perhaps not as “solid” believe them to be.

          Any thoughts about children at weddings on Mars? Venus? The moon?

    2. “India, Thailand, Myanmar, China, The Philippines, Indonesia”, such kids friendly nation where they are also welcome in the field or in factories ! We have to integrate kids to the workplace, just like they do !

    3. I grew up in Poland and there are plenty of child-free events. Weddings can be child-free events quite often. We are a very family-oriented culture but people understand that not every event is appropriate for children. I have to say that I never knew about the whole ‘attachment-parenting’ business until I came to Canada.

    1. K just cause u found a couple of photos doesnt make you right. The person that replied to you did live in China, u just looked at a website. I’m from El Salvador and while yes family is of great importance, so is being respectful of elders and other people and my parents attended both weddings, with and without children I remember vividly them going to childfree events without offense. Why r you so hellbent of forcing ur opinion on others? You dont like that ur kid got invited, just dont go, and dont be friends with said people. But bringing ur kid anyways is not gonna change their mind but resent you

      1. My step-mother is also from El Salvador and I’ve visited a few times. I never attended any wedding there but assumed that children would naturally be participants at wedding over there. Are you saying they don’t? or that it is 50/50?
        Are the child free events over there more in wealthier urban area such as Santa Tecla? or everywhere? Do you think the child free events are more of a recent trend since many Salvadorians are influenced by the States, have relatives there or have lived there themselves?
        Fascinating. Thanks for the insight

        1. I think you”ll find that most of these trends correlate a lot more with things like wealth and urbanization than to nationality.

        2. solnyshkele, it sounds like you’re assuming a lot about other countries. Most countries are pretty similar – some weddings/events have kids, some don’t. it’s up to the people hosting.

          Let it go, woman!

  46. This just reminds why I will never have a traditional wedding. I’ll be damned if I drive myself half mad with stress over trying to please everyone only to end up with everyone pissing and moaning anyway.

    1. Completely agree! Mine was in a small church and all who could attend were welcome. Im not sure how many kids were there besides the ring bearer ( who ran to his mom which was really cute!) and the flower girls, because I was having too much fun to care. Downstairs we had punch, cake, pictures and a great party. I came away with minimal stress, great pictures, even better memories and having married the love of my life (which was the only thing that really mattered). I’m not saying this is for everyone, but it’s certainly a lot easier, plus we had more money for our first home since we didn’t spend it all on the wedding.

  47. There was a terrific response article to this here: http://www.mommyish.com/2015/01/26/open-letter-people-children-allowed-events/
    However, the best thing happens in the comments where an astute, openhearted commenter with children demonstrates how to write this kind of letter without coming off as a patronizing, self-involved narcissist. This is the kind of thing that is a pleasure to share:
    “Dear Childless Friend,

    I’m so happy for your awesome life event and was really stoked to find out that it was child-free, meaning that there would probably be booze and I could wear something dry-clean only without fear of it getting slimed and dangly earrings without fear of them being ripped out by little fingers. But then I called every babysitter I trusted but no one could work that night, or I looked at my budget and realized that it couldn’t do a night out and a baby sitter and a gift and replacing whatever the kid broke this month, or realized we had some non-negotiable kid obligation that no amount of fanageling could get us out of. So I bit my lip and I sent my regrets and I hope you understood the unspoken: that my life is more complicated now with a kid, that I’m still trying to get my bearings as to how to be a good mother, wife, friend, worker and everything else at the same time and that shit’s on me. My logistics problems have nothing to do with how important this is or how much I want to be there for you. So let’s find a day where I can take you to lunch and tell you how happy I am for you and then listen to you talk the entire 45 mins about your thesis or your wedding colors or whatever’s on your mind and generally celebrate.

    Because, Oh My God, you deserve it. When I told you I was pregnant, you jumped up and down in the middle of Starbucks and hugged me because you knew I was so excited. You came to my baby shower. You helped me think of insanely stupid names to deflect nosey people. You asked how I was feeling when I was huge, but didn’t ask to touch my belly. When the kid was born, you came over with another little gift and some food and awkwardly held the little bundle even though what the hell do you know about babies because you saw I needed a break. When I didn’t call you for 6 weeks after that, you just picked up the phone and went on like it had only been 6 days and when we finally went out to lunch, you looked convincingly interested when I just word vomited about the baby for 25 mins straight because I’d forgotten how to talk to adults. And now you never forget to ask about the kid when we see each other, and look happy to check out the latest pictures and get the 5 min update. And we still talk about all the things we used to talk about before that made me love you. You are an awsome friend. You’ve been there for me even though we’re not in exactly the same place in life right now and nothing would make me happier to be able to do that for you, in any way I can.

    Someday, if you decide to have kids, I’m here for any advice you want. I hope I can be as great a support for you as you have been for me. If you decide not to have kids, then I’ll save up all of my best kid-related horror stories for you, and will definately brake them out if we’re at a party and someone tries to feed you the “but kids complete you” bs. You’re already complete. Completely awesome. But fuck kids because this isn’t about kids, it’s about your thing and we need to CELEBRATE. I’ve got the babysitter on lock for 12 on the 13th, or I can do an evening on the 21 or 25th. What works for you?”

    1. No one needs letters like these. No one. All they do is passively aggressively outline how awesome you, the mother goddess is now. Actaully, this types of letter are the reason why child free stop inviting parents to their events.

      I do not care and not one cares. RSVP is all that needed. You can’t attend? Bummer. Maybe next time.

      Call later and set up a lunch date or whatever.

    2. Honestly this letter isn’t any better. All she does is complain about her kids. She comes off as a miserable martyr who doesn’t enjoy being a mom and can’t go to an event because her life is a wreck. This is a really bad representation of motherhood and I would be shocked if the person who wrote this is really a mom, or at least a mom who doesn’t regret being one.

  48. Alenushka, just wondering if you are Russian speaking or come from that area of the world (Ukraine, Russia, Belarus).
    If so, what is the attitude of kids at wedding over there? Do they stay at home as well or are they considered family events where everyone comes?

    I was at a play centre this morning with my child where there are quite a few Iranians, so I asked them what they do over there. As I had imagined they told me that the kids do indeed come to weddings in Iran, but Canadian Iranians are starting to incorporate some kid free ones now. These older women were not too happy about the current trend either..

        1. you don’t have an interest in different cultures, you’re just obsessed with bringing your kid to every event and you just desperately need a country that only does pro-child weddings so you can prove your point.

          You look insane. Take a step back!

          1. Chica errante, Who are you to tell me I am not interested in other cultures?! Quien esta Usted hablarme asi?!

            Believe me if I had the opportunity, I would jump at an offer to live and work in an exotically different country, especially Japan! I am trying to learn the language now on my own with books and Youtube because I dream of moving there one day… I also put my daughter in a Japanese language class offered at the community centre where they do arts, crafts and some music. These two older very traditional women run the program and the children learn manners and grace in a way that I couldn’t dream of teaching my kid – Yep I can step back and see myself and realize just how nuts I probably sound, but I am not afraid to speak my mind and I feel very passionate about my stance and nothing and none of you is going to change my feelings.
            Correct, I am obsessed with finding countries that only do pro-child weddings because before I saw this article I had NO IDEA child-free weddings even existed in North America ( I had only encountered this with baby showers)! So for me it was kind of shocking!! Luckily to this day I have never been invited to such a wedding and if I were I would certainly do what I could to try and convince the host to make exceptions. Not sure I would crash the wedding with my child, but certainly in fantasy..

            I was talking to a woman from Uganda today who used to have a flower business here in Canada so I asked her about weddings in her country. Naturally as I’d assumed, they were all-inclusive with babies to great-great grandparents in attendance. But here she noted, they were very different right down to the number of guests to the exact number. “It is a fairy-tale ideal they have here because they want every detail to be perfect and many of them are afraid of young kids running around spoiling photo shots” she noted. “Here in Canada it is all about the couple getting married while in my country it is about the families,” she noted. I think I would be much happier going to a wedding in Uganda.

      1. You know why it is so hard to LET IT GO Ruth?
        Because had no idea that so many people, seems like way over the majority, agree with the concept of child free weddings!! I really had no idea. If I had not seen this article the was posted on a Facebook page I would never even be having this “conversation”.
        I knew that North Americans were more strict in regards to having kids at restaurants and even some apartment buildings, but didn’t know it also applied to weddings. Last year I was “awakened” when I got my first ever invites to two showers where kids were not wanted, one which I brought my child to (which almost everyone on this forum has been bashing me about and trying to make me out as the most selfish, self-centred, rude person on the planet)
        I cringe to read how unforgiving and rigid they were in treating other guests who came to some of their events with their children by asking them to leave or by severing relations just because they didn’t blindly follow the rules. I wouldn’t want to have “friends” like that. Maybe some of them had no other option or the baby sitter got sick? Why are they so harsh on those people?

        1. Apparently, you are unable to see that you are terribly rude for ignoring the explicit wishes of your host. Your disregard for your hosts’ wishes affects not only you and your host, but your hosts’ relationships with other guests who respectfully honored the hosts’ requests.

          It doesn’t matter how you “feel” about it. It is rude and obviously thoughtless. Until you move to your idyllic dreamland nation, it would be best for all involved to politely adhere to your hosts’ requests or decline the invitation.

        2. Solnsyhele , you seem rather clueless about your rudeness what with your actions at the opera and your responses to the majority of these people. I wonder if you even notice the dwindling invitations from your acquaintances.
          You would be a disaster in Japan. I have lived and worked there. Inconsiderate and selfish people as yourself would be quickly ostracized .

          1. Well, I respect Japanese culture much more than I do North American and I would probably defy to the customs and rules much more than I do in my own territory.
            If I was invited to such an event there, I would obey even if I didn’t like it because it is not my country or my language. I would feel more like a guest and just be gracious and grateful to have the chance to be there..
            I would NOT want to be “the nail that sticks up” in Japan! Probably would do be good to live there. The ultimate lesson in humility.

          2. and other thing:
            ALEX, I may be rude, but I am not stupid.
            What the hell are you talking about regarding my actions at the opera!! IF I believe a rule to be wrong I will do anything to break it. I could care less about those “Fuddy duddy” people who assume a child has to be 6 and older to hear live classical music in a DRESS REHEARSAL setting!!!

            If I am in another country I immerse myself in that culture in order to learn the language, customs and culture. For example, I don’t go to France and say, “Hey why doesn’t anyone speak English?” and try to expect everyone to change their ways just to suite me if I don’t speak their language like so many clueless North American tourists. It is ridiculous and hilarious to see at the same time.
            Equally, I would not go to Japan (I went once as a tourist) for an intended long-term tourist-working visa without learning basic Japanese and Hiragana, Katakana and maybe a few hundred Kanji. When I was there the last time I noticed that people in Tokyo don’t speak English very well compared to other Asian capital cities I visited such as Beijing. Why should they? Good for them for not feeling pressured by the world that knowing English is so important! All the easier and faster for me to learn their language..

  49. A friendship, no matter what phase of life should have a mutual understanding that comes from communicating and knowing one another. If you can’t attend the wedding of a friend, then there are so many other ways to celebrate her. Many people can’t attend weddings for various reasons & life goes on.. Where I feel like this changes depends on how close the friendship is. If this was one of your very best friend’s getting married, then I feel like that would be worth it to figure out- even if it was crazy, because it’s that close of a friendship. If you couldn’t attend, (ex: pregnant and not able to travel) that’s out of anyone’s control & maybe you could try being there for the dress shopping or bachelorette party? If that didn’t workout, and you couldn’t attend the wedding, with most friendships- not saying anything is worse than explaining where you’re at.. Life happens for everyone, we do the best we can.. you never know how people will react, but again – a close mutual friendship should be able to work this out. I also want to add that this was really a good picture of what most people feel to some degree, and where people get a bad wrap in this is in the complaining that it’s a child-free wedding, or acting like it’s absolutely stupid for someone without children to include you in a child-free wedding. The ongoing attitude of some that implies that those who invite a friends with kids to a child-free activity are total morons who have no ideas what being a parent is like.

  50. I personally am getting married in May, and explicitly requested that only adults attend, unless there are children in the bridal party. This isn’t because I’m being a raging asshole, I have a 6 year old daughter myself. However, we are paying a lot of money, for a very nice venue, and food that most young children wouldn’t appreciate. Thank god for fruit! That being said, I don’t want to spend money feeding someone’s kid, which then increases my costs out of pocket. I also don’t judge my friends who have babies, or kids that cannot make it. I get it, I have no pressure on either side of it. Friendship is about understanding. I don’t know if I agree with the author of this post, but I most certainly don’t disagree or feel like calling her selfish. I am not an adult in her friendship, but I can appreciate the sentiment all around.

  51. Interesting. But, when you had an engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette party, wedding, baby shower before this “friend” in your article, I’m sure she came to celebrate all of your life’s milestones. You can reciprocate? You only will when she’s a new mom? What if she doesn’t choose to, or can’t, have children? If this is how your friendship changed, then I don’t really think you were a true friend at all. I understand you love your children more than anything in the world, but what about the social norms of friendship? I’m sorry, you weren’t the first woman to birth children, and you won’t be the last. Those milestone events only happen once and you can’t be bothered to be there in person if it’s not on your terms? That’s not friendship.

    1. Thank you! Came here to say this, actually! Reading this piece, I could only think of how sad it was for the friend getting married that she was probably there for most of those events for the author, and isn’t getting that same support back. The part about being there at whatever time later when she’s pregnant or in labor or nursing or whatever just seems like wind to me, totally unlikely – she’s always going to have a reason to fall through, as well as it being weirdly dependent on the friend having a baby herself and needing her already-a-mother experience.

      I know there’s always good reasons why the friend can’t attend, so I would personally understand, but I would be disappointed and sad. And maybe a bit resentful when I get invited to the nth baby shower or birthday party or gender reveal party. But I’d probably still go, because I want to be a good friend, even if she isn’t there for me.

      I feel really lucky that all of my friends who married and procreated before me were excited to treat my wedding like a date night and leave the kids at home.

  52. ok take it from a mom of five . I tried to leave my kids with baby sitter and her 16 year old shot my boys with mini blow darts. I tried again and my son was shoved at a dog that bit him by the babysitters son. I tried yet again with someone else . And my child was left to cry for the 2.5 hours I was gone . So yes I agree with that Mother my kids do and will come first no matter how much I love my Friend my sister my brother. When it is made no children allowed. It tells us that maybe we really aren’t to be there. Thanks for letting me state my opinion

      1. I find it hard to believe the only choices are bring my kid or let the kid be abused by the babysitter. Surely there are some other, better options.

        1. Some of you are so closed minded and entitled it astounds me. You can’t possibly fathom that someone else might have a different life, a different set of circumstances than you. So if you cant relate, then surely they must just be an idiot who can’t manage thier own life. Because it couldn’t possibly be that you just aren’t in thier shoes and you don’t know. Please grow up and expand your horizons outside of your own little world.

  53. These comments are wild! The article was definitely dramatic, but I would guess that her intentions were pure. I’ve personally never been to a child-free event, wouldn’t go if I was invited, but don’t care that they exist… Hey, I know! Let’s tear each other to shreds for absolutely no reason at all! Sounds like a good Monday evening… In all the weddings I’ve ever been to none of them were child-free. Maybe it’s a big city thing? In any case, it’s the bride and groom’s choice, I don’t think anyone is disputing that, including the author. I don’t even know how many children were at my wedding, tons, and they probably made a lot of noise, but I was so honored to be surrounded by my complete circle of family and friends and so lost in the moment with my husband that I don’t remember hearing a single thing from the audience (a person on this thread actually suggested that you might not love your husband that much if there’s any possibility of distraction at your wedding, wth?? How about not letting anything distract you?). We spent hours dancing with adults and little kids, the girls in awe that I was the “princess” that day. Those memories make my heart so full. I’m not saying that you’re wrong to have a child free wedding, I’ve read the bazillion comments about “insurance” and cost and whatever, that’s your prerogative, but the pendulum swings both ways. Nobody is right or wrong. Just different. We should get over ourselves, seriously.

  54. This is a general point of view from someone who can still remember being a kid.
    As much as I love my mother, I do wish she would get her own life and leave me alone.
    She just has to hurt her knee and she is like I need you to help me go shopping and I live like 4 hours travel away and that is if its a good run, it can be up to 6 hours travel with delays along the way. Just to help her go shopping and she gives me the guilt trip of ‘Oh, I thought you like helping your mother’ when I tell her I can’t just drop everything right away and rush there.
    She never gave me support like when talking to her about some problem I am having with a girl friend, only saying get rid of her, she is to much trouble and I don’t want you to get hurt blah blah blah.
    Now I don’t talk to her about stuff like that anymore so she is now missing out on parts of my life I am trying to make outside of just being her son.
    I was too young to remember this but I overheard my mother talking to another mother about sometime my mother took me out of daycare because some other kid was jabbing me with a pencil and I was crying. I do wish she left me there so that I could of learned to fend for myself. It took me years to be my own person and still trying to cut the apron strings.
    Always the boy, never a man in her eyes. So much so I feel better dressed as a girl if I cant be a man. btw my parents divorced when I was 10 and I hated what my father did driving me to dislike males so much and hating being one.
    Enough of my rambling. I guess I am being an asshole for not dropping everything and taking the trouble of hours of travel to help her go shopping. I have been a bad boy, so sorry. Now where is that bottle to suck on and sulk.

    1. Wow. That’s a lot to deal with. I would guess it’s difficult for the people in this forum can fully understand what you’ve been through. I hope you have a lot of support wherever you are. If you haven’t already, find someone who is equipped to walk with you as you deal with this.

  55. Well I fail to see the point of this article. And although much ado is made about the fact that we don’t want to burden the bride with the reasons why the invitee can’t attend, I would have thought that the friend probably reads her friend’s articles … so there you go, the bride will know why you couldn’t make the wedding 🙂

    You know what we all make choices once we become parents as to what sort of parent we want to be so if you want to be a parent who has your child by your side 24/7 go right ahead, but don’t make others feel bad that they don’t want to be around your kids if they invite you somewhere. If you do then your next whinge will be about how nobody invites you anywhere since you had kids.

  56. Attended a friend’s wedding some years ago, where the groom’s brother was his best man; his wife was sitting in the front row with their 4 year old daughter. In the midst of the couple’s vows, the little girl leaves her seat and runs up to her daddy. Does mommy step forward to scoop the kid up and take back to her chair? Nope. She just sits there, no doubt thinking her little precious is adorable as she starts babbling and dancing around daddy, and looking back to the crowd for attention and approval (because that’s what she *always* gets from a mother who *never* disciplines her). Upshot: the child distracts everyone’s attention at the ceremony’s most important moment, and no one can hear the couple’s vows over her prattle. It’s these kind of incidents – which are less the fault of kids than of their parents – that lead to “no children, please” invitations.

  57. To everyone who thinks I am such a selfish asshole for having brought my daughter to a shower where it said “no mobile kids please” this was the situation:
    The person having the baby shower was a very distant acquaintance, not really a friend, from a community centre where many people with low income go where they have playtime and free family dinners on Saturdays for which I am very loosely connected. One of the organizers of this centre had sent everyone on the list an email saying something to the effect of “Help Annie out with the soon coming of her new baby”. I forget the exact wording, but the impression it made was that ‘Annie’ could benefit from some needed items for her baby. Annie did not personally invite me, it was one of the ladies who works at this centre who was hosting it for her. Since I liked this person Annie and had had a few pleasant encounters with her at the centre beforehand with my daughter and her other child I just thought it would be nice to contribute something to help her out.

    It was a VERY chill, low-key event (nothing fancy) and if I had not been able to bring my child I probably, most likely would not have even gotten a gift for this lady precisely because she wasn’t really a “friend” at the time.

    Anyway, we actually ended up becoming closer after this event with her kids and mine organizing play dates and attending our children’s birthday parties together.
    So I don’t get why everyone is accusing me of being this horrible, disgusting, selfish bitch that should show an example to my child about rules.

    I was; however, invited to another shower a few months ago of my step-mother’s daughter-in-law and it was clear from the beginning that it would be a “no child” event. As much as I disagreed with it I had no choice but to come alone. I was not about to put close family relations at peril for this.

    1. OMG, Sonyshkele, please JUST STOP !!!!! Why don’t you realize that every time you post, it just further establishes how rude you really are ? If the person inviting you and the person of honor were “distant acquaintances”, it would not have been a big deal to anyone, including yourself , if you hadn’t attended. Why would you possibly ruin an event for people you hardly know? And do you care about the feelings of the other attendees whom you said were low income and likely couldn’t afford the babysitters they hired in order to be respectful to the hosts? Do you care that there were those at the party who thought you were a selfish brat?
      I don’t think having an adults only event is selfish. When one has an adults only celebration, they realize that this is at the risk of people not attending. For that night , that event , celebrating a peaceful, cheaper , ( insert whatever reason why the event is childless ) is more important to the host than your being there. That doesn’t necessarily mean you are not important to that person. But, if your absence would be devastating to the host, the event would not be adults only or an exception would be made for you. Solnyshele, it seems we have to be crystal clear with you. Unless that host SPECIFICALLY has a pre-celebration personal talk with you about how the adults only party might affect your presence, you are NOT in the core group of this person’s life. So bringing your child to this adults only celebration is a dick move, even if nobody tells you to your face. It’s rude to the host and rude to ALL the other guests.

  58. Hey Solny — everything thinks you are such a selfish asshole for having brought your daughter to a shower where it said “no mobile kids please” – because that is exactly how you phrased it to read. That you were an asshole. Congratulations, it worked.

    As for the folks who think that “back in the day” mothers had time to worry about attachment parenting: no, they did not. They were doing 12 hours of manual labor on the farm and such; the wee little baby likely spent quite a bit of time crying it out because mommy was busy. Or the baby was being cared for by the toddler and the family dog. And PS: if your baby doesn’t suckle every 2 hours, it if has to go 4 hours without breast milk, it won’t starve to death.

  59. if you are so selfish as to require your child to attend an event where a mature adult prefers not to have any screaming, crying, running around like animals, pooping, puking, barfing, booger eating, breaking things little shit ruining their special day, then you are a problematic parent.

  60. If you’re a married, engaged or even a common-law mother then not only are you lucky to have a spouse but that spouse also comes with his own special title. It’s called “Dad”. Amazingly enough, although he is lacking in a womb, he is often not lacking in a heart filled to the brim with care and love for his own children. He doesn’t always get to behave like one but he is a parent just.like.you. Even if you’re exclusively breastfeeding on demand, to a child that refuses the bottle you can leave the house sometimes for one or two hours at a time without them. I know it’s a novel idea for some but Dad CAN watch the kids without the Earth imploding. They will all survive it, I promise. What’s more, it might strengthen their mutual bond to have to get on without you and it’s good for a child to feel safe and secure in the company of either parent.

    Re: party etiquette. An invitation might give the hours from say, 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm or 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm or the like. However, this in no way obligates you as the invitee to stay the ENTIRE time. Amazing huh? You actually don’t have to show up early and shut it down by staying to the end. You can go for one hour, two, three or four and then go home.

    You can be a GOOD friend and be a GOOD mother. Knowing how to wear different hats… such as switching between mother, friend, daughter, sister, niece, workmate and WIFE actually makes you a more interesting person and actually – better at all of those roles as each experience helps you bring something unique to the table.

    1. So your theory is that all these women who say they can’t go are just ignoring Dad? Sorry, but that’s awfully close-minded. If you have someone to do that you are lucky, but you shouldn’t assume everyone has the same. There are a lot of reasons that Dad wouldn’t be a option, besides that the mom doesn’t trust him to watch the kids.

  61. It’s really interesting that the posts I’ve read here imply or explicitly state that the reason for having a “no children invited event” is solely due to the couple or individual not wanting the “annoyance” of children at that event. I was married last year, and our wedding was a no children event and a destination wedding for many. At our venue, the cost of inviting a child, even a suckling child that would not even consume a drop of juice at our event, was 75% of the cost of an adult plate. We were very fortunate to have saved enough to be in a position to invite about 150 guests; however, as we sat down to make our list, we quickly realized that including the children of even our closest friends and family on our guest list would halve the number of close friends and family we wanted to invite. It was a difficult decision – we wished we could have had children there. At the very least, we wished that in planning the wedding, we could have figured out an alternative for our friends and family who are parents. There are so many expectations around weddings today – it’s not just throwing a party – it’s considering food allergies and restrictive diets, hotels, welcome packages, parking, transportation – it is so overwhelming and so expensive.

    Maybe the next time you receive a no children invitation, instead of thinking of the sender with disdain, consider their predicament. We would have gladly accepted an offer from any of our friends who knew how to go about identifying and screening babysitters to set up babysitting for our event that parents attending our event could have used. Unfortunately, we did not have the expertise or the capacity to handle this ourselves.

    For everyone who made the effort to come to our wedding, I am sincerely grateful. For those who could not attend our event because we could not host their child, I sincerely wish we could have. At the end of the day, I am very happy with the decisions we made. Any guilt that I felt about not inviting children was more that compensated by the overwhelming joy I felt when I turned the corner to walk down the aisle and saw all of the faces of 150 people that I loved looking back at me.

  62. Wow! There are always exceptions but if you cater to every whine your child is learning NOTHING. Some events are NOT meant for children. It’s your choice to attend or not to but to not because your child will cry for hours?! Really?! I don’t know too many kids who cry for hours because moms away. We all (well most) make sacrifices once we have kids to make sure they are our number 1 priority BUT children have to learn they can not be catered to 24/7, that’s just absurd. A newborn? Ok that is different especially if you’re breastfeeding, but after a couple months it is ok to leave them with someone else (a family member) so you can enjoy a once in a lifetime event for a dear friend. And unless it’s a shotgun wedding you have plenty of time to plan for the day I’m sure.

  63. I understand that sometimes it cannot work. But you seem to be making it all about the fact that your kids where not invited, when in fact the issue is you cannot afford a hotel. Not being able to attend an out of town wedding is not that uncommon, kids or not.

    I also notice that all the things you “will” help her with are child/baby related. What if she does not have kids? Is your relationship over if she takes a differing path? What if she chooses to bottle feed?

    When you were in the wedding stage and she was not, where you as accommodating to her needs as you want her to be now? Was she given a plus one so that she did not have to attend your wedding alone?

    Lastly, to all the commenters who seem to feel that their children should be invited everywhere they are: You and you children are not a social unit. I understand wanting them around and at times not being able to bring them means you cannot go. That is just a fact of life. I was a child in the 70’s and I attended family weddings where I knew the Bride and Groom. Weddings of my parent friends or their friends children, I was left home with a sitter. It helped me learn to be more independent.
    Leaving for college 7 hours from home where I did not know a soul was hard as hell. And I called my Mom a lot. A LOT! And it was not a fun experience. But I knew that I needed to be there to learn what I wanted and that I could not expect my mother to come with. Part of those lessons start early on- knowing that Mom and family will be there for you even when they are not physically there. One of my relatives never left her child with anyone. We kept thinking it would get better as she grew up. It didn’t. Mom moved across the country to attend college with the daughter. The girl is very sweet, but I worry what will happen to their relationship if the daughter meets someone and starts wanting more freedom.

    As far as my own wedding, I did invite kids, but not the kids of everyone we invited. We invited our nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews. We invited aunts and uncles and first cousins. We both have large families. We did not invite the children of our first cousins and some were surprised (if any had been young enough for nursing we would have talked to them directly and probably made and exception.) Our wedding was already nearing 250 people. If we added on all the cousin’s kids as well it would have made it over 400 and we would have needed a different venue. Plus while I knew the cousin’s well when we were growing up, many of their kids I have never met, or only met once or twice- not the same as the nieces and nephews that we see several times a year. We didn’t leave them off the list because we didn’t care, it was more that you simply have to draw the line somewhere or you are just hosting an open party (which we could not afford to do.)

  64. So… as someone who has chosen to remain childfree… you’re basically NO kind of friend!! You can only be a friend if it’s to do with babies or kids. Nice to know. Enjoy your future friendships which will consist solely of mummies. It’s obviously time we went our separate ways, all because I don’t wish to be a mother!!

  65. Love your post Sarah! And beyond disappointed at the negative comments. I went to a child-free wedding out of town before I was ready, when baby was 9 months. He stayed with my parents, who I’m so thankful to have nearby. But even though he was with familiar caregivers, he cried all night and barely slept. I had to go back to the hotel to pump in between the ceremony and the reception, and then before the reception was over, and then at 3 AM, and then early in the morning. People laughed at me for missing my child. I was heartbroken to hear how much my son missed his mommy overnight when I called my parents the next morning. It was a horrible experience and I wish I hadn’t gone. Now as an experienced mom, I know better. Sometimes you just aren’t in the same season of life as your friends, and that’s OK. True friendships will remain.

  66. If others are wondering: “I’m sorry you can’t go to the wedding” is the appropriate response to this (and really all the author had to do is check “No” on the RSVP).

    But while we are saying things that don’t have to be explained away. Allow me, having had a no-children wedding a few years ago to illuminate my reasons:

    #1 I don’t think it is fair to expect any child under 5 to behave themselves during a 6 hour formal event. It’s not that the disturbance bothers me as much as it will bother my guests, many of which will choose to get a sitter so that they can feel like an adult for a few hours.

    #2 I can’t trust those who don’t watch their children and I can’t hand pick the good ones and not invite others, it’s bad etiquette. Things children should be watched around: Bunsen burners, glass flutes, candles, large fancy cakes, heavy chairs, electronic DJ equipment and drunk people. See the problem?

    #3 I’m also not going to supervise whether parents have one drink or six before driving their children home. Enough said on that topic

    #4 Go ahead and call me cheap. Even at half price I would have had to pay for 30 extra plates at my already small wedding because all of my cousins are a few years older than me and have 2-3 children. That’s 30 children when the total guest count was 125!

    So I very much apologize for this authors perceived slight but some things are very much thought out and done for a reason.

  67. Our author claims she doesn’t want to make it all about her, obviously she does or this sanctamonious article would never have graced the Internet.
    I can’t help but feel that her friends extending invitations to major life events don’t care one lick if you can’t attend or not. They’ve just saved $120 x 2 missing out on you and your spouse and have also spared themselves and their guests your smug mommyness. It’s THEIR wedding/shower/funeral/party and not YOUR opportunity to show your parenting skills to the world and let us watch you nurse your 5 year old and pre-chew its food. I use skills with hesitation because this sounds like the kind of mom who “doesn’t believe in No because it will crush her child’s spirit.” Do us all a favor, keep it to yourself and just send a damn blender. WITH the gift receipt.
    You chose to have a child. They chose not to include it. END. OF. STORY. Everyone has exercised their free choice here. Time to deal.

    Oh and you are so sorry your happiness came before theirs? Maybe they got advanced degrees or solved the Sunday Times Crossword IN PEN or maybe made a cassoulet, all things that took longer than the 5 minutes it took to conceive your kid and all things that made THEM happy. You didn’t set the standards on happiness, and saints be praised you didn’t because if I were you I would probably be as miserable as you pretend not to be.

    And yes, I have a child, but I didn’t mention that until now because being a mother is a part of who I am, it doesn’t define it. If it would help I’ll write a smug e-book called “waiting it out: dealing with attention craving mothers.”

    1. I still can’t believe all these heartless responses towards the original person who wrote the letter!!
      How can you people say such mean-spirited things? You have NO RIGHT to judge the OP! You never met her in person. She is not your friend. Can’t you show a little bit of compassion for her? For her feeling? what she might be going through?
      As for me, well, I know most of you already hate my guts anyway…

      Another thing: HOW DARE YOU make crass comparisons as to how long it took the OP to conceive her CHILD?!!! Maybe she had to go though expensive treatments to conceive!!

      Regarding everyone fretting about having to order extra food plates for kids: So much unfinished food, including plates of food that were not even touched gets wasted and thrown in the garbage anyway which probably is more than enough to feed those kids or even a few extra adults, for that matter!! If extra plates are such a problem why not just share your meal with your kid (OHhh! I can just see flood of nasty comments the will come my way telling me I am even more insane for saying this!) In my experience of weddings, usually there is way too much food anyway, at least at Indian and Jewish weddings, ones I’ve attended the most.

      1. I would be totally for kids eating off of adult plates- if most venues didn’t charge you for a child’s plate regardless. I was told point blank by several different venues if more guests came than I had quoted them- I’d be charged twice the price per adult plate for additional guests. So yeah, good theory but like everything else wedding related they squeeze every dime.

        1. Same. They always charge. And are the kids supposed to sit on the floor? If you don’t want to come because your kids are invited, don’t come.

    2. Sorry no, that’s not what everyone wants to say. You sound like you think you are this awesome person who has got it all together and has a right to be an awful judgmental witch as a result. Please don’t even begin to presume that you speak for anyone but yourself. I would hope that even most of the people who didn’t necessarily agree with the artice wouldn’t feel the need to be so hateful.

  68. Her friends are probably thrilled she’s not coming, for reasons other than her kids. The self-absorption comes through in the overblown apology – not to mention the assumption that all her friends will go on to have kids. Many people have no interest at all in having them, and even if they love kids, may not want them interrupting their special day or adult event. And the sheer ridiculousness of that “separation anxiety” ka-ka – I almost laughed out loud. I actually cancelled my wedding plans and we are considering elopement – we wanted a very simple ceremony and gave A YEAR’S advance notice. The DAY we announce the engagement, we immediately got e-mails from the parents: “Don’t forget that little Johnny is going to Europe with his school in April so don’t plan it for then” (from a close relative), that kind of crap. Uh, SERIOUSLY? We were expected to keep their kids’ plans in mind, despite the fact that we only invited kids at all because the parents wouldn’t come otherwise. Too many over-indulgent, overprotective parents out there, the flip side of our equally horrible neighbours who call their kids “idiot” (and much worse) on a regular basis. Half the reason we don’t want to have kids is we don’t have to deal with their nightmare parents.

    1. You are right. You should definitely not have kids. The last thing we need in the world are more “perfect” people like you procreating.

  69. I would find it hard to forgive a friend, if it’s a really good friend, who will not be there at the most important day of my life, if I really need her there, just because she thinks her children have to be with her at all times, and she is trying to make a point, Maybe thinking I ignore her children, or forget who she is now, just because I don’t want that specific day to be ruined.
    Also , I think happy well balanced moms who have some time for themselves are more patient and better moms.

    1. First of all, you are assuming that this “friend” and you have really bad communication skills. If she has kids and you have been there for her, then you have an idea of whether or not she’s going to want to leave them. You know whether she’s going to be there for you. If it’s really important to you, you can tell her so and then you can try to figure out a solution together that works for everyone. If you can’t communicate together and find a way to be there for each other, it probably wasn’t a friendship worth either of your time anyway.
      Secondly, a happy mom doesn’t fit a “one size fits all” solution. A happy mom is one who is doing what she feels is right for her, whether it is going out or staying with her kids, and has family and friends that support her.

  70. I think it depends on if your child knows how to behave around adults and what kind of personality they have. I was an only child. Very quiet and shy, but knew how to interact with adults and got to know many of my parents friends. I think I had a babysitter once, but my parents would take me everywhere, weddings included.
    My cousins who were three very rowdy boys who probably wouldn’t have been as welcome at weddings today. In my experience usually people with more than one child have a totally different dynamic than if it is an only child.

    1. They’re also considering the price of the event. When I got married, it was $30 for every child’s meal. Then they needed a chair, a place at the table including a charger, a napkin, and each additional child increased the number of tablecloths needed as the guest list increased. Add enough of those quiet, single children, and the cost adds up. Cost is just as important as their behavior.

  71. The arguing over this issue is both sad and somewhat pointless. Here’s some perspective: I’ve been to a family wedding where the bride’s own nieces were not invited. (whether they were invited to her first wedding I have no idea, as this was her second (yet semi-extravagant reception) marriage. The point is the nieces were practically adult-aged, the oldest about 17 at the time. I can’t imagine how (or if) left out they might have felt by being excluded. But the “no children” part literally meant NO children, as in anyone under the age of 21. I couldn’t avoid this wedding because it was an inlaw, but on other occasions, I’ve quietly declined kid-free events and just sent a gift because life is short, and I’d rather enjoy family time with my kids then burn up my free time. Actually, there are also a number of non-kid worthy pursuits I could do in that time, so unless it’s a very close friend or family member, it’s easier to decline. You don’t have to accept every invite inline. But I’m not one for excess socialization and celebration, so I wouldn’t struggle with the “impoliteness” of declining or whatever internal conflict the author seems to be suffering from.

  72. What shocks me most about this article is the copious amount of judgmental, bitter comments women feel entitled to make towards each other about how to parent. It’s obvious how society lacks any sort of empathy or ability to view another’s perspective in this day and age. Unless you are this woman’s friend to whom she is addressing, commenting on her viewpoint is unproductive.

  73. “I’ll be there to chat at 1AM when you’re a new mama and scared . . .”

    Oh, trust me, Sarah’s erstwhile friend, if you do have kids she’s not going to be there for any of that either. She’ll have plenty of excuses why she can’t tear herself away for just a moment from her gradeschoolers or teens. A letter with this degree of passive/aggressivness should make that pretty clear.

    1. Yes! What the author means is she will be there to make condescending comments about how her friend “Didn’t try everything” while her milk supply is drying up or that “It’s just a phase” when her friend laments she hasn’t slept in 3 days. She will most definitely not be answering any phone calls at 1am- she has her own family to worry about- and she will not have time/money to travel and sit with the baby while that new mama gets a few hours in a row because if she can’t be bothered to give up a few precious hours to attend a wedding, she certainly won’t be willing make that sacrifice simply as a friend.

      1. Wow. I hope that you feel better about yourself now that you have sufficiently judged someone that you don’t know. Not that it will matter to you since you’ve already made up your very prejudiced mind, but the author of this has personally been there for hundreds of suffering mom’s offering kindness, understanding, encouragement and support at 1am and otherwise inconvenient times. I am one of those mom’s who has been inspired and encouraged by her. She would never be condescending as you suggested. I formula fed two of mine and let one CIO and I have never once been made to feel like I did anything wrong or have the slightest thing to feel bad about. It makes me very sad to see people judging someone who is such a kind and generous person, but it makes me glad to know that she is also secure and confident enough that not one of these comments will rattle her or make her second guess her choices.

        Everyone on here has made so many assumptions about the author’s situation, never stopping to question if thier limited world view could possibly be wrong before passing judgment. There is a bigger world out there than the one that you live in, try to be open minded enough to see that you might not understand or be privy to everything that’s going here. Realize that you don’t know this person, or her life. Don’t be shallow enough to lump her into a category of people you “don’t get and don’t like”, just agree to disagree and move on. The world does not need anymore negativity, snarky comments, and judgment than it already has. Promise.

  74. Wow! The comments on this blog just blow my mind. You manage to ruin a beautfully honest article that clearly took a lot of courage to write.
    Why is it wrong for a mother to rather be with her children than at a party?! Not that she didn’t try, but even if she just decided she couldn’t, why does it bother you so much?!
    It’s a bit ironic how people are all about ‘having your own identity’ (which really means going out and getting trashed like before the kids were born), kids need to be left to cry, dumped with whoever, etc and then once you have a difficult, uncommunicative teenager it’s someone else’s fault again.

  75. Respect everyones wishes. Bride doesnt want babies there, mother doesnt want to leave her baby. End of story. You both have a choice and have chosen. Stop with all the emotional carry on. The bride has a right to choose what she wants for her day. And the mother actually has a choice too, to go or not to go. So choose and be happy with that. The article sounds like the mother has made a choice that she is miserable and depressed about. It is what it is. If foregoing the wedding to nurse your baby feels right then do it and be happy. But if you are doing this because of guilt, and you feel like some kind of victim, then go to the wedding. You are a better mother as a happy person. Let go of the guilt and the feeling that everyone should accomodate your new role and choose your happy place. Your children will only benefit from this. Its a hard thing to learn, I have been a mother of three for 21 years now. Just let go of the guilt. Enjoy being a mum.

  76. A lot if these comments are ridiculously judgmental – it’s a mother’s call what she feels comfortable with, and that shouldn’t automatically make another mother’s decisions wrong.

    If a mum feels that to preserve her insanity and identity she needs regular little breaks from her baby, then so be it. She’ll be happier if she gets them, which in my opinion is good for the whole family. If you’ve got a little one who won’t take the bottle or is very attached (or any other reason), and that makes mama uncomfortable leaving them, then there shouldn’t be any judgment if she chooses to sit out certain events. Mothers should do what best preserves their bond with their baby and their family’s happiness. And guess what? It’s not going to be the same in every family.

    Every baby is different, every mother is different. I hated leaving my ebf baby to go back to work, but I had to. My daughter loves spending the day with her nonna and happily takes a bottle of my milk, so now I feel fine about it. But that’s because my relaxed little baby gives me that luxury. Not all babies are like this, and if they’re not, I don’t believe it is because the parents have done something ‘wrong’. Babies have their own personalities.

    I wish we could all just respect each others choices and stop being so arrogant as to assume we know what is best for a total stranger and her baby. The author has made a choice and is obviously just trying to respectfully convey it to childless friends, there is nothing remotely offensive about it.

  77. Wow, so many strong, judgemental opinions! How about everyone just agrees to do what feels right to them and be done with it.

    1. Sadly, some people feel that doing whatever feels right for them involves taking their children along anyway.

      In general though, I agree; it really needn’t be a big deal. If you really want to go you find a way and if you really want to stay home with the kids then you stay home.

      1. There is one commenter on here, I believe, that feels it’s ok to bring your child anyway. I think most people, parents and not, would agree that this is poor etiquette and likely to get you uninvited in the future. In that case you are putting someone else’s special day at risk for your own wants and opinions and that is not right. However, that in no way excuses the horde of hateful and judgemental comments aimed at the author, who never said an unkind word about her friend in her post or even mentioned taking her kids anyway.

  78. Was it the pope, or someone else, that said, a society that views children as a burden, is a depressed society. (I heard it on NPR this morning)

    Let them have their depressed wedding. I mean, at the very least, allow babies. If there was an extra cost involved, as one poster mentioned, i would have been more than happy to pay it, so i could have my baby along.

    But what do you expect of newly weds? Most of them know nothing of children, and they are products of that depressed society.

  79. Time and place for everything. Your wedding, party, event –invite whomever you want. My wedding, party, event — I will do like-wise. No one is forcing anyone to abandon their kids for a good time, and if you cannot attend w/o the kids, then STAY HOME. I don’t care what the Pope says — it’s about time the Catholics got off their high horses anyway. People with kids and People w/o kids — neither is “better.” I am relieved to see so many people with kids posting that the “evil” person who requested “no kids” at a life event is not so evil. Everyone makes sacrifices, and you can’t do everything you want — sometimes you just have to stay home.

  80. 100% respect people who do not want children at their events. Sometimes children are just NOT appropriate. I find VERY few children I delight in having to dinner, over to play, etc. I have two kids (19 months apart) and both wouldn’t take bottles. BOTH nursed until age 15 months. I just didn’t go to certain over night events–FOR YEARS. It was hard at times but it’s SUCH a short time in the big picture. However, I am a event photographer, and there were times I HAD to photograph a wedding for 10 hours, twice out of state. My husband would come along and bring the baby to me to nurse. It’s wasn’t perfect but it taught us two things: 1) My husband can manage it. 2) The babies were fine. Eventually they were old enough to eat and drink more than just breast milk (around 9-12 months) and I could leave them all day with my husband.

    MOM’S OUT THERE: It’s okay to be away from your kids. If you practice this often or even sometimes, it will get easier and you and your partner will figure it out. If you choose NOT to practice being away from you children, enjoy the time you have at home with your babies– but let’s be honest it’s a choice. There will always be more events and social opportunities in your future.

  81. So don’t come. When people invite you to these events, it isn’t like they’re doing it to spite you. When they plan events, they think about the venue, what they want it to be like, who will be there, and whether or not it’s appropriate for kids. If they don’t want kids there, they don’t invite them. If that means you can’t come, then don’t come. Instead, you lay that guilt-trip on thick, on a message board no less, so they feel bad when they have to say that your special snowflakes aren’t invited?

    Here’s a newsflash: Your kids are not welcome everywhere. Deal with it. You say that the world doesn’t revolve around you, but by writing this you’re contradicting yourself.

    That friend who invited you to her wedding likely Did consider that you may not be able to come if she didn’t invite kids, but she made a decision for herself, her budget, and her other guests. Her decision was that your kids aren’t welcome. Don’t like it? Don’t come. The only thing worse than posting some passive aggressive rant like this on the internet would be if you did it in person, thereby adding more stress to an event that is.not.yours.

  82. I got an invitation 30 years ago from my favorite, dear little brother’s fiance for their wedding, stating that children were not invited. I was nursing an 11 month old at the time. I got on a Greyhound bus with Rachel and arrived in Chicago from Minneapolis at my hotel, not telling anyone I was coming. My family had not seen her yet. They all came from Seattle. I washed us up, dressed Rachel and I in matching outfits and got ready to arrive at the synagogue on time that evening. Of course the couple had gotten wind that crazy Auntie Stephanie came with her baby. About 10 minutes before I was planning to leave my room, a hired nanny arrived at the door, announcing that she was there to care for my baby. I thanked her copiously, but declined her services and proceeded to the wedding. Just before the service, the couple sent a friend to the back pew where I was sitting, by the door, asking that if my baby started screaming, would I please step out. I promised I would.
    It was past her bedtime, so she slept. And nursed. And slept some more.
    At the reception which started at 10 p.m. the bride commented that she had never met such a quiet baby before. I wanted to eat at that point, so I laid her on the carpet on her quilt, out of the way, under the gift table in the reception hall and sat nearby her. At one point the couple came over to view their gifts and my brother bent over to look at Rachel sleeping under the table and commented, “I wonder if we can return that gift?” They both marveled and said they had NEVER met such a sweet baby before.
    see info about my forthcoming book, “Ma Doula, a tour to the land of birth” at callthedoula.blogspot.com, coming this May, North Star Press, St. Cloud, MN
    Blessings,
    Stephanie Sorensen
    Author, Midwife, BLF ’89, CCE, CLC, CLE, CPD, CD(DONA)

  83. I’m fairly certain most of the commenters have never been in the Mothering forums… or maybe Mothering has changed? @Nurshable (Sarah), Thank you for this lovely blog post. I can absolutely identify with it. My first child was very attached, and I was afraid that I was encouraging co-dependent behavior (like some of these commenters seem to suggest) but, she is 7 now and very independent. I have no doubts that early attachment like you describe is perfectly healthy if it’s mutually agreeable. My son is a little over 2 now and I will be spending my first day and night away from him in a couple of days. He’s going with daddy. I’m nervous (he still nurses.) Anyway… I hope you read this and know that at least one person is thankful for your post. 🙂

    1. Samantha,

      I can only agree with you. I was also questioning the mothering commentators. I surely hope this is not the new mothering community of 2015. Almost all of the comments in this thread are terribly judgmental, insulting and shaming. This is not the mothering forum I know.
      We are here – as mothers – to support each other and appreciate each other, and not shame each other.
      Everybody has the right to share their worries, concerns and anxiety. No need to insult!

      Eva

      1. Ditto! I can’t believe I wasted so much time reading through the comments–so much negativity. People have all kinds of circumstances you can’t possibly know just by reading a post or a comment. Be nice.

  84. I’m not going to yammer on about being ones own self and having a separate, balanced healthy life with time for yourself and your kids. It’s been said a thousand times. Is it ridiculous that this woman believes her children should consume every fibre of her existence? Yes. Do many of these children become emotionally insure and have no self assurance? Or conversely become narssassistic adults who think the world should bow at their feet? Pretty much,
    What boiled me…
    Is that she had an issue leaving her toddler with “separation anxiety” alone to play with their FATHER for a couple of hours in the hotel room! As if he’s some stranger she brought in as hired help!
    So not only is it just absurd to hire a caregiver, it’s also absurd to leave a child in the care of their father lol. (This is the toddler im referring to, not a newborn who isn’t bottle feeding) so I either feel really sorry for you that you married a man who thinks its 1950 and his roll should be to pat little Joey on the head and then retire to his study for a scotch, or, I feel sorry for the husband who you have deemed unfit to care for your children without your supervision.
    And just for the record. If I ever told someone I couldn’t go somewhere for two hours because my husband wasn’t able to care for our children, he would be absolutely insulted. Because it’s 2015, and he changes as many poopy diapers, hosts as many tea parties, has mastered the balet recital bun along with every other day to day duty of a parent- not just a mother.
    And we go out.
    By ourselves.
    Without our kids.
    And for those nights, and afternoons and moments of “adult only” activity, I am so grateful. Because
    We won’t wake up in 25 years and realize we have lived only for our kids and are now complete strangers to each other.

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  86. My child is now a young teenager, but I do understand the author’s point, I think. When I became a mother, we lived in a rural community with no neighbors, family 700 miles away, and my husband traveled all but 2 days of every month. For his first 9 years. We also homeschooled our child. Playdates and social events for my son required 20 mile drives each in direction, but I did it because he needed that socialization. If an event had come up that I was expected to attend, whether local or far away, that children were not invited to, I would not have been able to attend. Period. There were no babysitters to rely on. No family to rely on. No husband to rely on. He was traveling. No ‘girls nights’ or anything of that sort. I would do as the author did…send my love, send a gift, and send regrets. It’s really that simple. At the age of 9, hubby stopped traveling, and we had a talk about social events where children were not allowed. Communication is so important in a marriage. We both decided that we made a commitment to become parents, our parents had never left either of us with sitters (children of the 70’s), and if an event came up that our son could not attend, we simply would not go, and we didn’t. We would send our love, send a gift, and send regrets. Know what happened? Nothing did. Our friends and family completely understood, loved us regardless, and are close to us to this day. Our son? Happy and doing very well, very well-adjusted and as outgoing and friendly as can be. Now he is at an age where I ‘could’ attend an event with my husband, such as the gala he’s going to this weekend for work. Am I going with him? No. We now have a 14 year old dog who we have been told could suffer a mitral valve tear at any moment. No boarding facility would take him when he is so near euthanasia. So my husband will attend, and he will share my regrets. Those that know our situation have already offered their support to me in staying behind. Every family is different. If you can’t understand why someone would refuse to attend a childless event, be thankful you’ve never had a reason to find out first-hand. Then be kind and supportive of their choice.

  87. Wow get over it. You can’t go a child free event so just send your regrets. A friend will understand and will not spend half as much time thinking about it as you did writing this.

  88. I can’t believe she is serious. If you can’t even make it to an event planned WEEKS in advanced how are you going to make it to your friends ultrasound…..they usually don’t allow children in there either. No the truth is you feel ostracized because you have small children and they were not invited to a special EXPENSIVE event. Children are not welcome not because people don’t love them its because they want their friends to have GROWN UP ADULT TIME for a few HOURS. Don’t send this letter. It makes you sound selfish and out of touch. You are not a special snow fake and neither are your kids. Send your regards, a gift, and say you’ll see them when your kids move out because apparently you only have time for yourself and your children and no one else no matter how special the occasion.

    1. Agreed. I was thinking exactly the same thing. You can’t make an effort to come and celebrate with me, but you’re going to put your kids in danger while moving vans and trucks are around? This part of it made less than zero sense.

  89. This may be the most overly dramatic thing I’ve seen. Either go or don’t and the spare the world your passive aggressive “heartfelt” theatrics.

  90. This essay certainly did stir emotion and conversation, which I think is great and it has been really interesting to read all of these passionate comments.

    I am curious as to why the author didn’t feel she could be more transparent with her friends, more able/willing to be honest about the real reason for her declining the invitation. It seems there is a way to deliver the love and the real reason without upsetting the bride or making it all about you and offer a time/way that you can both meet your family’s needs AND make time to celebrate the start of her new journey.

    Maybe something like “We adore you and Mark and love you dearly. So thrilled and excited for you two! Thank you for inviting us to your celebration. Right now we are in an era of our life where we can’t pull off attendance with an adequate level of grace or sanity. But I’d love to find a way to celebrate together, to mark the start of your new chapter together. After the wedding, I’ll connect so we can set something up so we can continue the fêting! Have a marvelous wedding day. With love and hugs”

    I think the more we share the real truths of our own states (parents or childless), the more we help build compassionate for BOTH groups. Instead of these two opposing camps, why not build a bridge through sharing the full truth and also acknowledging her full truth?

    When it comes to the parents/childless “divide”, I come as close to having a foot in both worlds as one can, I think. I am a child-adorning single 43 yr old, I’ve lived the doting aunty with a corporate career life and then given that up to retrain as a postpartum and sleep doula. In the process I also nannied and cared for two different families for 2 years each. Now I spend all my time supporting families in their tender months of new parenting.

    Those moments when I am looking at the world through my childless woman glasses, the world seems so family-centric, so obsessed with motherhood and children. In the moments where I am looking at the world through my nanny/postpartum doula glasses or seeing it through the eyes of my clients, the world doesn’t seem very user-friendly for parents and kids, with the needed support and inclusion lacking. Straddling these two worlds has taught me that the more I know about each side, the more I don’t feel slighted or take personally the choices that others make. Sharing the truth and making time to celebrate your friend’s big milestone in a meaningful way with her that also works for your family seems like a great way to reach across the divide.

  91. I don’t have kids, so I know that I am not actually allowed to have an opinion, BUT… I am planning my wedding and we are only have a few children – I would have none if it was my choice, but my partner wants his nieces and nephews. I am aware that by discluding kids I am going to have NOT ONE of my friends turn up. And you know what? If the baby was a baby and/or breastfed and physically couldn’t be left alone cause otherwise they would starve, then fine – and I may be able to negotiate. But all of these kids are between 4 and 8. If you can’t leave a 4 and 8 year old with someone for 4-5 hours then it’s about you, not them.

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