Thursday, October 04, 2007

And the sign said long haired freaky people need not apply...

So we were supposed to go to a wedding this weekend...the 4th and final one of the season (the "Wedding Season" that is.) We were going to take Griffin with us to the ceremony and to dinner, and then leave him with a babysitting already in progress for the remainder of the evening. Last night I decided I should call just to double check it was OK that we bring him, never thinking for a moment that it WOULDN'T be OK. Well I was wrong. It's not OK. Children are not welcome, full stop.

Now maybe I'm over-reacting, but I was hurt. My child is part of our family, he goes where we go. The last wedding we were at, frankly I think the Bride and Groom would have been offended if we DIDN'T bring our kids. I suppose we live a bit of a differest lifestyle where our children are a part of all we do - they are active participating members of the family. As a result, our children are very mild mannered, personable, and rarely an interuption at any of the events we bring them to. If we can't do an event with our children, generally we don't do it. Sure there are exceptions, but they are few. I suppose it was silly of me to assume it was cool, and leave it to the last minute to check.

This was kind of the straw that broke the back last night...OK, maybe there were a FEW straws yesterday, and it was the last one in a long day. Aside from the logistical nightmare that it presents to make this work (and let me tell you , it's more than I can handle right now) I don't know if I want to be somewhere where 1/3 of my family isn't welcome.

Am I over-reacting? Or should I just accept the fact that our "hippy-dippy" lifestyle is our own, and not necessarily that of others.

Thoughts?

6 comments:

gretel said...

I wouldn't go so far as to characterize the Jansen-Lucas lifestyle as 'hippy-dippy'. You do, however make time together a priority and feel happiest when you are all enjoying life together - same at the Meyer Odell house. I do run into these same situations from time to time - and they always leave me feeling cold. Where I'm at is that I can respect the right of someone holding an event to dictate the terms of my attendance (ie: no kids) HOWEVER, conversely - as the attendee, I have the right to decline if my attendance terms put me out of my comfort zone. For years our staff Christmas gathering has been a no-kids event - something that just made me feel icky. This is the one time in the year when I can share my family with my colleagues and vice versa. I stopped attending as there was no enjoyment for me and it just seemed wrong to be getting a babysitter and leaving my kids alone for something that would be no fun for me without them. So we have to accept that not everyone thinks it's a good time to have a bunch of kids running around...and curb our attendance when it just doesn't work for our FAMILY. You can and should be honest most times about why you decline - but do avoid making people feel guilty or bad. Their time will come.

Alicia said...

I think it's more than fine that you include your child in everything you do. Really great actually. But I also sympathize with those who prefer to hold certain events sans children because I am one of those people sometimes! I love my kids to bits but every now and then I just need a break, so I completely understand why someone would chose to nix kids from their guest list. Personally I did allow kids at my wedding and loved it but I would also respect a request to leave my children at home. If I couldn't find a sitter (or in my current situation, I have a nursing baby so he goes everywhere with me), I would not attend the event and would expect the hosts to respect that as well.

Jenn said...

I totally respect that there are events that those prefer to hold without children, and there are certainly plenty of situations where it is perhaps inappropriate to have children running amuck. It is absolutly the perogative of the hosts to decide who is included on their guest list. As this would be an "away from home" event for us, which involves 2 1/2 hour drive, a sleepover, and a dog who's babysitter is out of town, adding a toddler who needs to be babysat (by a virtual stranger to him...whoever the hell that would end up being) to the mix is just too much for my fragile brain (or lack thereof) to handle! I just hope they can respect that.

Gretel, maybe you wouldn't characterize our family as "hippy-dippy" and frankly, neither would I, but I'm sure that some of our ways have caused a raised eyebrow or 2 in my family circle. Midwives? Labors without Drugs? Breastfeeding past 6 months (or at all, for that matter?) Babies in the bed? TOTAL hippie!

Alicia said...

Ah yes, with that far of a drive I wouldn't want to leave my babies or have complete strangers watch them either! I am with you there. I hope the hosts are understanding!

Anonymous said...

this is an interesting comment. first I have no kids so I am basically talking out of my ass...but here goes. I AM French and my mother always found it wierd that English Canadians NEVER invited kids to weddings, it WAS a big no no. She never got it, "Kids MAKE weddings" she said. I think we are that in between generation that is shifting and so the old traditions are still around and that is sometimes difficult to manoevre. In the meantime do what YOU want. you are a mother for chrissake and so I think your free time should be spent as you wish. Of course by the same token I just came from a girl's weekend where all the kids were left at home, specifically so the mom;s could have some quality ladies time. I don't mean to sound selfish, but it was nice to hang with the gals and only them. Again I am talking out of my ass as a non parent. and..... again whenever I read Kate's blog I peruse your's and BOTH of you should be publishing in today's parent or some much cooler publication as far as I'm concerned.
Mary
xox

kodeureum said...

I'm English Canadian and as much as I can remember children have always been welcome at any wedding my relatives have held. That's the whole reason to get married in most cases: the couple wants to have witnesses and a support network ready for when they have kids themselves. Of course, weddings and marriage mean different things to different people but it's not like you were invited to a formal black-tie dinner party or an opening night. I'd feel offended myself.