Post # 1
This weekend my friends and I got together for dinner and to see Magic Mike. Our one friend (we’ll call her E) has two kids and one on the way. Myself and our other friend (we’ll call her F) are childfree. We don’t get very many opportunities to hang out together so we decided to go to the ballet this summer. Frankly, we don’t give a crap about the ballet but we plan to hang out on the lawn (we have a local venue with both lawn and inside seating), drink wine and socialize while watching the performance on the big screen. E said “That sounds great. Daughter will have such a great time, she’s been wanting to go to the ballet.”. “F” and I looked at each other and informed “E” that her daughter wasn’t invited. “E” didn’t take it well and seemed pretty bummed. Oh fucking well, is all I have to say about that. When a group of friends want to get together to drink wine and hang out, children are not invited. I would have thought that my friend would grasp that without having to be walked through it but I guess not.
Now, I’m sure some will say that childcare could be a concern for her but it’s not (she still has another kid at home who she would have to find a sitter for). She has tons of local family who watch her children constantly. My friend was simply looking to kill 2 birds with 1 stone and in turn, ruin the experience for the rest of us. We put our foot down (err, feet?) so the kid will not be coming but I’m annoyed that my friend would even think it was okay to assume that she would be invited. Unfortunately, this is an issue we’ve had with “E” in the past. We get together for lunch every few months and she brings her kids along. Again, she has plenty of babysitting options but sometimes she chooses not to use them. It would be one thing if we all had kids and got together for one big fat play date but that’s not the case. The experience that we have when we’re together sans children is totally different when there are kids at the table. We normally have to bust out the “quiet game” just to have an uninterrupted conversation but everyone knows that doesn’t last long. It get annoying when I have to spell out words instead of speaking them like a normal adult just to spare the ears of the little tyke at the table.
Anyone else want to commiserate?
Post # 3
I am guessing she thought that her daughter would really like the ballet, that is something that little girls normally do like. If you don’t want her kids to come to things then you should just say so, maybe she doesn’t want to get a babysitter just for a 30 minute lunch with you.
Or she is absolutely out to destroy any amount of fun you might have?
ETA: I would never expect people to play the quiet game with my children present or expect them to spell out things, that part is a little rediculous.
Post # 4
You could always do what an aquaintance of mine used to do. She would treat the children like little adults if they were not in a kid-friendly situation. That meant NOT spelling out words or limiting subjects/profanity just because innocent little ears might be around. Eventually everyone learned, that unless it’s a kids event, not to bring the kiddos around.
Post # 5
@ieatunicorns: I’m sure her kid would like the ballet but that doesn’t mean that she gets to bring her when a group of friends without children make plans to go. We’re not even going to watch the ballet, just hang out on the lawn and drink wine. Her kid would be miserable and so would we. If you want to bring a 5 year old to see the ballet, that’s not the way to do it. Like I said, she just thought that she could kill 2 birds with 1 stone.
@Sugaree: Maybe I should try that! Bet it would solve the problem pretty quickly. lol
Post # 6
its a difficult issue really- i’ve got a 3 1/2 year old son and i’ve been in positions where I KNOW my friends would prefer to just hang out with just me and not my son (I mean I do sometimes as well) and feeling awkward when i have to bring him along
but also I’ve been in a situation before where I’ve just wanted my friends to get the hell over it and just accept that I’m a mother now, i cant always hang out with them just by myself and leave my kid in different places. Sometimes my friends without kids just dont understand that even though there are options for baby sitting we cant keep using them so often cuz lets face it-baby sitting is a pretty hard job and its a little rude to keep asking friends and family over and over and over and over and over again.
I do see where you are coming from though… I think you/;ve got to do a little bit of both -understanding she is a full time mother, and also telling her its not that you dont want to see her children-its just that sometimes you want her all to yourself so you can have adult conversations
Post # 7
@jellibeanism: Finding that balance is really hard, I completely agree with your post:)
Post # 8
I think a lot of it depends on the family and what they are used to. As kids we went a lot of places with my mom- including “adult parties”. We were expected to behave, and usually brought a book or a deck of cards or something and would find a spot to sit and play. We would have never dreamed of running around crazy, butting into adult conversations or causing trouble. We probably did here a curse word here or there, or a story not really appropriate for a kid, but nothing worse then what we could find on tv.
I know other families though who would never have thought about bringing their kids to something. In fact I’m pretty sure I recall comments about how well behaved we were and that their kids wouldn’t be able to come to something because they couldnt behave.
Post # 9
I do not have kids. But, I have attended (in my mind) “adult events” where it just becomes exhausting to be there b/c of the kids. I truly wonder why some parents want to bring their kids to these types of outings when all they end up doing is having to watch over, redirect, feed, scold, etc. their child(ren). Especially for times with friends…. that is the last place/time I would want to have my kid hanging around.
I feel like all parents need their “me” time too, and nothing is wrong with that. Maybe some people just lose that sight of this or feel bad when they have kids and just need a gentle reminder of when it’s an adult-only time ???
Post # 10
@jellibeanism: Totally agree. There has to be a balance and compromise from both sides.
Post # 11
While I understand the sentiment of not wanting kids around when you’re trying just to have a day with adult friends drinking wine and such, I think you’re being a little harsh on your friend. At least if her reaction was of “seeming pretty bummed” and not of insisting to bring her daughter. I’m CBC too, but since your friend is a mom of course it would cross her mind to bring her daughter to a ballet event at the park. I say give her a break and try to understand that when she’s bringing her kids to your get togethers its probably a signifier of caring about both of you.
Try to think of it as a similar role to being engaged/married- at some events I think an invite to me is the same as an invite to my fiance. I want him to meet and get to know my friends, because I care about both of them and want them to like eachother. Sure, I want to have female-only nights but sometimes I’d think it were rude if my friends insisted I not bring him to a party. Try to sympathize that this is probably how she feels about her kids.
Post # 12
As a parent, I actually think it’s kind of hard to know whether or not my son is invited along to something. I’ve actually assumed my son was not invited to certain things & then had friends/family a little upset that I went through the trouble to find a sitter when they either a. wanted to see my son or b. didn’t want me put out & thought it would’ve been find to have brought him. I generally just ask whether or not I should bring him, now. Although, sometimes I’d prefer to leave him with a sitter even if he would be okay in that situation. I think she probably should have asked you guys if it would be appropriate for her daughter to be around. I also think that, in adult settings, it’s inappropriate (of her) to try to modify your behavior. If it’s a kids’ bday party- fine. But, when you’re going to bring a child to an adultish setting, they’d better act like an adult, and you’d better remove them at the slightest sign of them acting otherwise. I think it sends a bad message to kids to make adults dance around them in that manner. They need to learn to be part of society, and that means training the *kid* to act appropriately, not making the parents play silly games. I can play silly games with my kid when I’m at home with him.
ETA: I actually had someone upset that I declined an invitation to dinner because I didn’t have a babysitter for my son. It was actually a high end restaurant, and I assumed the couple wouldn’t want him there, but they wanted me to bring him along. And she is the poster child for CBC lol. So, I think just cut your friend some slack as long as she’s not arguing about the fact that her daughter’s not invited. She probably just didn’t realize your intentions.
Post # 13
@jellibeanism: Yea, I get that. I honestly don’t really care all that much when she brings her kid(s) to lunch with us but I always prefer that she doesn’t. Sometimes it is a sitter issue and she genuinely doesn’t have anyone to watch them which we totally understand but other times, she brings them along for the hell of it. Sometimes she’ll just bring her daughter along so that it’s a “girls” lunch but that doesn’t change the fact that there’s still a kid there and we still can’t act like ourselves. There are plenty of conversations that a group of “best friends” will want to have when they only see eachother once every few months that aren’t appropriate for little ears.
My real issue here is the ballet and her just assuming that her daughter was invited and then acting all dissapointed when we told her otherwise. She’s pregnant so she can’t drink but that doesn’t change the fact that the rest of us will be. We’re planning a special event beyond just the normal lunch date so children are absolutely not welcome and she should have known that.
Post # 14
I have a friend like this. When her son was little and she brought him out to lunch or dinner it was no big deal because he slept through everything, but he’s grown up to be a very unpleasant toddler. And she feels that he has to come along for everything. Most of the time, she doesn’t mention it, just shows up with him in tow.
We decided that we would go out of town for some shopping. I thought it was just going to be the two of us, but she shows up with her kid and says she hopes it’s ok she brought him. We drove two hours only to be able to shop for about 20 minutes before kid had a tantrum in the store and wouldn’t let up. He screamed the whole way home. I told her that bringing him shopping didn’t seem like such a good idea anymore and said that next time, shopping should just be girl time.
She’s always been this way though and I’ve never understood it because she has a line of people offering constantly to watch her kid so she can go do her own thing.
ETA: But to relate more to your post, I don’t think she should just assume that her daughter is invited. I don’t have kids, but I certainly wouldn’t want to spend what should have been adult gathering with friends having to watch a child.
Post # 15
I realise this is a vent but I don’t think it was that unreasonable for your friend to think she could bring her kid along. It’s not like she insisted after you told her it was an adults-only event, and it seems pretty natural that she should feel disappointed. I don’t have kids myself, but “watching ballet in the park” seems a pretty family-friendly activity; it’s not like you told her you guys were going clubbing or something. Your complaints seem to stem from the fact that you expect her to still have the same values and priorities as you and your other childfree friends, but that’s not realistic.
Post # 16
I had to laugh at your topic, because I identified so well with this.
My wedding was no children except those that were in the bridal party. It just wasn’t an appropiate situation for children with all the drunk wild guests and the large swimming pool being smack dab in the middle of the whole thing.
Yet, I got several people trying to sneak their children into their RSVPs. I got one from a couple that wrote 5 in the space. 5?! Um…sorry but no.
People just like doing invite their LOs to places and not think its a problem.