Children at parties - how do you say no? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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First, I have no idea where to post this. If this is wrong, please let me know!

~~~

Ok, as an AP parent I love my son. Truly I do. But I also understand that sometimes we all need adult time and adult activities and that some environments are not appropriate for children. However, some people are rather sensitive about not having their children invited places that should really be adult only. How to not invite but not offend?

Here's the situation:

So I'm hosting a baby shower with 2 friends. The guest list is looking to be a bit bigger than we originally thought. We were thinking 25-30 and it is looking like 40-45.

It is going to be at my house! That's a lot of people.

We're doing a traditional (think formal, elegant, china, candles, etc) ladies afternoon tea party and to accomodate that many people I'll be renting china, possibly using my own china to fill in, etc. Plus, my house is not child proof (my son is only 6 months) and 40-45 adults is one thing. Adding their children makes it way too crowded - everyone simply will not fit.

Additionally, I should add that many of the children who would be included are generally NOT supervised at parties and generally run all over without supervision from their parents. You know, mainstream parents who gather in a group, chat and drink and ignore the kids until it is time to go home? Yeah. I am NOT ok with that in my home. Especially around lots of hot liquids (I have those coffee urns with the pour spout right at child level that will be about the house at different tea stations) and very breakable dishes.

I've told my co-hosts that I would prefer no children for these reasons. I back up to a very busy street with no fence so outdoor activities is not practical. I do not have space in my basement or other area to accomodate a play area. I thought of hiring a babysitter and doing children's activities somewhere but I simply don't have the room.

Am I a monster? My "no-children" thing is not going over well so I offered to find an alternative venue but this will significantly increase the cost which has already almost doubled and I'm carrying the bulk of it (supplies & food).

What would you do or what have you done?
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#2 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 12:36 PM
 
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I've never heard of such a formal baby shower before - is that normal where you live?

Ime, baby showers are very casual, definitely not fine china and coffee urns. It just strikes me as odd to have a baby shower (as opposed to a bridal shower or other adult type party) without children, especially since it'll be in the afternoon on a weekend.

To answer your question, no I don't think you're a monster, I just think your idea of a baby shower is very different than most people. Either cut the guest list or find an alternate venue.
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#3 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 12:48 PM
 
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For that type of party, I think no children makes sense (though you could, perhaps, make exceptions for babes in arms).

The other option would be to have a different type of party (but with that many people, even that would be tricky).

nothing more to say I guess :
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#4 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 12:49 PM
 
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I would have allowed children--but---I would have made it clear that if anything- including your own personal property was broken or damaged, replacement is the responsibility of the parent. Also, I would be sure to mention that the house isn't childproof. If a parent would rather chase after their child than enjoy the party, I wouldn't get in the way. On the other hand, if, as you mentioned, you are worried about mom's just ignoring the kids as they run amok, I would say that. You have already said no kids, so if you do decide to say "ok" I would tell them- I am making a concession here--please don't take advantage of that by sitting there as your children destroy my house or possibly hurt themselves!

Another idea is to hold it at another guests home. Maybe they have room for the kids to play?

Whatever happens- good luck!

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#5 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 12:59 PM
 
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We didn't have kids at my baby shower. I had about 20 people there. A few of the guests had older teenagers that were also invited. Some of the teenagers attended, and the others watched all the children at a home. But it was only about 10 children, not as many as it seems like you will have!!!

Maybe you could do it at a church with a nursery? Or just hire sitters to work a nursery and still do it at your house?

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#6 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by whateverdidiwants View Post
To answer your question, no I don't think you're a monster, I just think your idea of a baby shower is very different than most people. Either cut the guest list or find an alternate venue.
We do throw some formal parties around here I guess. We're even encouraging hats and white gloves

We're already taken on a larger guest list than originally planned because the other shower (family is hosting a mostly family shower, we're doing mostly friends) wanted to basically not invite half the people to keep the cost down --- making for a very unhappy mom-to-be.

We want her to be surrounded by those she loves and she simply has a lot of special people in her life.

Laura, if many of these children didn't have a history of getting out of control I might be more inclined to try it.
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#7 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 01:05 PM
 
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I've never been to a baby shower that included children (except babes). I wouldn't dream of bringing my kids to an adult party. I don't see why it's a big deal.
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#8 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 01:07 PM
 
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What would you do or what have you done?
The way I see it is that you can't please everyone.

I've been invited to things before where children were not included. I either found a sitter or I didn't go. It's pretty simple. Personally, I think it's quite rude for someone to complain or demand that the host change things around. Maybe one of the co-hosts or guests who have issues with this should offer to open their homes for this event.

If a majority of the guests are the sort to ignore their kids for the entire time, anyway, I don't see why they just can't leave them with someone else while they attend the party.
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#9 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 01:08 PM
 
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I've never been to a baby shower that included children (except babes).
Neither have I.
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#10 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 01:09 PM
 
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You really see a baby shower as an adult party? Wow. (I'm not being sarcastic, it's just totally different than how I see it)
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#11 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 01:09 PM
 
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I think that is a great idea. Its so important to have grown up time. Perhaps you can phrase your invitations to indicate it will be a formal event? Maybe you could also arrange for child care at someone else's house if someone is unable to find childcare?

It sounds like a lovely party
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#12 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by cgmom
I've never been to a baby shower that included children (except babes).
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Originally Posted by 2tadpoles View Post
Neither have I.
Ditto

Trying to do the right thing with three kids and a hubby. 
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#13 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You really see a baby shower as an adult party? Wow. (I'm not being sarcastic, it's just totally different than how I see it)
Yep. And come on, how many kids really want to sit through an English tea service? They don't. They'll be bored out of their minds.

It is about the mom-to-be getting ready and being surrounded by her female friends. One last adult party.

And we are serving alcohol as well which also strengthens my "no kids" rule idea.
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#14 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 01:17 PM
 
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I guess the big question is what does the guest of honor want? My shower, as well as the one I'm hosting for my best friend both included dads and kids. That's just how we wanted things. I would never want kids to be not invited for something for me. If the mom to be is the same way, then she'd probably be more than happy to give up the fancy party to have something more accomodating. I'm sure she doesn't want you to go broke throwing her a party. If she feels strongly about not having kids there, it will be a bit easier to explain to the guests, as it would be the mom's wish. But, you still have to be prepared for hurt feelings or some people deciding not to come.
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#15 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 01:21 PM
 
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Yep. And come on, how many kids really want to sit through an English tea service? They don't. They'll be bored out of their minds.

It is about the mom-to-be getting ready and being surrounded by her female friends. One last adult party.

And we are serving alcohol as well which also strengthens my "no kids" rule idea.
Can I come?!?

Do you think the invitation will be clear enough for most people? From the description alone, I hope I'd be clued in enough not to bring my kids!!

secular classical-ish mama to an incredible 5 year old DS and an amazing 6 year old DD.
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#16 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 01:24 PM
 
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Yep. And come on, how many kids really want to sit through an English tea service? They don't. They'll be bored out of their minds.
Sorry, I'm still trying to wrap my brain around this, and have decided this must be a class issue. No one in my family or close circle of friends would even know what an English tea service is, much less throw one for people and encourage them to wear hats and gloves.
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#17 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 01:34 PM
 
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Neither have I.
Nor I - maybe it's a regional thing?
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#18 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 01:39 PM
 
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I am throwing a shower for a friend. I also prefer no children (though small babies are totally welcome), and for me it's just a matter of two things. One I have a small home, and if children could come then that would totally limit the number of moms who could come. Second, it's much harder to get that supportive woman atmosphere with kids there. While I love having my child at most things, when he and others his age or older (he is 3) are present I would have a hard time focusing on the thing at hand, a mother about to give birth. She deserves my full attention, and if my child isn't there I am much more able to do that.

We are going to do another shower for her where her daughter and everyone else's children are totally welcome, but she really wanted a traditional shower, and a traditional shower (at least in my area) does not include children. So we are doing the traditional shower, and the one including children. Having no children present will also make having more elegant food and beverages possible. As well as like I said, putting everyone's focus on the mother to be, and not so much on the well being of their own children. At this point in my mothering career a little woman only time is definitely needed.
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#19 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 01:42 PM
 
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Sorry, I'm still trying to wrap my brain around this, and have decided this must be a class issue. No one in my family or close circle of friends would even know what an English tea service is, much less throw one for people and encourage them to wear hats and gloves.
Most of my friends would love it. How often do you have an excuse to dress up with hats and gloves? It's like children playing dress up and having a tea party It sounds like a great party to me, wish I was going!

I have no problem wrapping my brain around the idea of a child free party. I hope the day never comes when I do.
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#20 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can I come?!?

Do you think the invitation will be clear enough for most people? From the description alone, I hope I'd be clued in enough not to bring my kids!!

you can come if you want to make the drive!

see, I'm not ordering the invitations - another friend is, the one who said we should have kids there. agreeing on the wording is going to be tricky.
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#21 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 01:49 PM
 
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I would encourage you to stick with your plan of no children. I am related to a number of people that are of the mind set to show up to something and then just talk etc. while your children run around like wild animals. I was very disappointed that this was the case at my baby shower. One child went so far as to sit in the seat of honor where I was supposed to sit and made fun of me when I told him that he had to move. I would have much prefered a more low-key atmosphere where I was not being stressed out by other people's children and their lack of care when it came to what their children were doing.

Stick with your plan of no children at the Baby Shower, I wish you had planned mine as well.:

Mama to 9 year-old girl , and a 7 year-old boy :, and my big little 6 year-old boy, and a 4 year-old boy
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#22 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 01:50 PM
 
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I have no problem wrapping my brain around the idea of a child free party. I hope the day never comes when I do.
It's not something I had ever heard of until I started posting online as an adult - it's simply not done in my family/social circle. Everything is co-ed and casual and everyone in the family is invited. Period. That's the frame of reference I'm using. There's no need to be snippy about it.
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#23 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 01:58 PM
 
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At this point in my life I probably wouldn't go to a party like that where DS wasn't invited. Would you get a lot of no-shows because of the policy? Just something to think about...

Actually now that I think about it I was invited to something recently....I think the evite says she's going to have a babysitter there to play with the kids upstairs or something like that.

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#24 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 02:01 PM
 
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It's not something I had ever heard of until I started posting online as an adult - it's simply not done in my family/social circle. Everything is co-ed and casual and everyone in the family is invited. Period. That's the frame of reference I'm using. There's no need to be snippy about it.
Not snippy, just different experience than yours, I guess. Around here we do like to have get togethers that don't include children, where we relax and have uninterrupted adult conversation, nice food geared to adults, and nice drinks. I find it wonderful for recharging my batteries, and enjoy them very much.
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#25 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 02:06 PM
 
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I totally understand wanting to have the occasional adults only party, but I just wanted to weigh in as one who's never been to a baby shower that didn't include children--wait, that's not true. When I was 19, my college roommate had a baby and we threw her a shower. She was the first of our group to have a child, so there were no kids at that one, now that I think about it.

I don't understand the allure of a fancy baby shower at all.

What does the mom-to-be want? How about the other hosts?
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#26 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What does the mom-to-be want? How about the other hosts?
The mom-to-be has requested that two girls be invited. That excludes a LOT of children.

The other hosts do not, so far, seem to want to come out and say "no children"

I've replied that it is simply my comfort level with hosting an event in my home and that if they think it will be a problem I'm open to other venue ideas. I've said that twice now and no one is offering to host or pay for renting a place yet insisting that children shouldn't be outright excluded. :
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#27 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 02:15 PM
 
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The mom-to-be has requested that two girls be invited. That excludes a LOT of children.

The other hosts do not, so far, seem to want to come out and say "no children"

I've replied that it is simply my comfort level with hosting an event in my home and that if they think it will be a problem I'm open to other venue ideas. I've said that twice now and no one is offering to host or pay for renting a place yet insisting that children shouldn't be outright excluded. :
The problem shouldn't even arise if people could get it through their heads that the person whose name is on an invitation is the invitee - not the whole family or any random members of it they choose to bring.

This is a pet peeve of mine. It is so thoughtless and shows a complete disregard for the person organizing the event.
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#28 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 02:16 PM
 
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Baby Showers I have attended have always either been formal tees with only adult women or coed casual parties with children included.

I really think the other hosts either need to agree to having a much more casual party at another venue or just stick with the idea of a formal tea. OP, I don't think you are being the bad guy here.

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#29 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 02:50 PM
 
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i agree that if you're having a formal tea, it's not a place for children.
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#30 of 126 Old 02-01-2007, 03:39 PM
 
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If you don't mind babies, I think I'd word it something like:

"This is a very formal affair, so babes in arms only please - fine china, scalding hot tea and mobile children are not a good combination!"

or if not,
"This is a very formal affair, so only invited adults please - fine china, scalding hot tea and mobile children are not a good combination!"

and, it being me, I'd simply tell the mom-to-be that I'd love to host but only if there are NO children. You are already at capacity with the adults you have invited. Also, frankly, it is your home and you are being quite gracious to do this, it is reasonable to set some limits at the outset. In another venue the shower committee could discuss it ad nauseum but you are the one hosting. You set the limit to what people can demand you provide for them.
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