You're Invited to an Event. Your Kids Are Not. Do You Go?

This issue came up in Dear Abby recently. I don’t know the particulars, but the gist of it was that the writer was invited to a wedding, and the invitation made it clear that kids were not invited. She had called the bride and pleaded her kids’ case, and the bride stood firm, and the writer decided not to go.

Anyway, here’s the question: If you are invited to an event, and the invitation makes it clear that kids are not invited, will you go anyway? Assume that arranging a babysitter is not difficult or financially burdensome to you or emotionally burdensome to your kids. Do you believe that you and your kids are a package, and to exclude your kids is to exclude you?

No, we’re not a package. I’d have no problem going under the conditions you stipulated. I should say, though, that every adults-only wedding/reception I’ve ever been to has been dead boring.

Of course we’d go. They’re children, not intestinal parasites. There are plenty of entertaining functions for adults where children would not be appropriate.

And hell - not having to worry about bringing them to the bathroom, keeping the youngest away from peanuts, preventing fights, making sure none of them wander off into traffic, etc. etc. a kid-free night can be much more relaxing than bringing them along.

Right – the last wedding I went to was my daughter’s, and there were young children (offspring of cousins, etc.) there from both sides of the family. But, back when I had children young enough to need babysitters, of course my wife and I sometimes went out to events without them.

Under the circumstances you described, absolutely I’d go. In general, my child goes to most events with me and my husband but I can understand that some people might not want a tempramental toddler around, particularly at a wedding.

Absolutely. The umbilical cord was broken at birth, they can live for a few hours without parents. That’s what babysitters are for, for og’s sake.

Now, I did once wangle an exception, because the wedding was several states away and we didn’t have anyone that could keep the girlchild for a week. She was, however, an older child (I don’t remember exactly, 10 or so?) and knew how to behave.

I admit I have no children, but I don’t see a problem here.

Especially for a wedding - I have been to less formal weddings where kids are invited, as well as friends of friends. I am talking about people who have a fun, family event at the local Elks Lodge Hall or wherever.

However, some people pay a fortune to rent expensive ballrooms and plan a very classy, elegant affair - each place setting in these locations can cost a small fortune as well. I can understand them not wanting to have children running around and babies crying, as well as other uninvited guests at their wedding.
And cut the Bride (and Groom) some slack - it is THEIR day.

To be honest, I get royally pissed off when I go to a nice restaurant and there are a couple of screaming brats at the table next to me. If you can afford to eat there, you can afford a babysitter or else just go to Olive Garden. My parents took us as kids to nice restaurants, but we also knew there would be the Wrath Of God if we so much as burped inappropriately. My mother made sure we knew which fork to use, how to place a napkin on our laps and how to order from a menu.

Unfortunately, I see parents at restaurants blythely ignoring their screaming brats running around the place. If we had tried a stunt like that as kids, we would have been packed into the car and taken home immediately.

I’ll take “boring” any day over the sound of a screaming toddler interrupting the wedding vows or the dinner toast.

I have no children, but I don’t see the dilemma. If someone invites you to an event, you are their guest, and your host sets the rules. No shoes in the house? No pets? No wedding gifts? Don’t wear perfume, the bride’s allergic? No flash photography? Don’t tell the groom’s biological (divorced absentee) father? Don’t bring children? Their rules.

If I don’t agree with those rules I’m free to excuse myself, politely, and say, “We cannot arrange for a babysitter on the date of your wedding, but we wish you well from afar.” Then, if the host feels my presence is important enough to make accommodations, so be it. (I would never make such a statement as a bargaining chip.)

I have young children. If I am invited to an adults only event, whether wedding, dinner out or lunch in the park, I very much appreciate being told up front and enjoy taking advantage of adult conversation.

The only holdback I can think of would be if I could not get a babysitter, but then it would be a logistical problem, not my refusing to attend out of indignation.

Did Abby take the reader to task for being so rude as to attempt to pressure the bride into changing her mind about this?

Of course I’d go. Perhaps it’s just me, but I vaguely recall jumping at any chance to get out of the house without my daughter when she was small. Not that I didn’t adore her, but seriously… I am More Than A Mom.

Not only do I have no problem going someplace without my kids, sometimes I actually enjoy it. I love my children with all my heart, and love spending time with them. But I also like doing stuff without them sometimes, you know, time just being grown-up, not having to cut up someone else’s food, etc.

What if the event is an orgy… and the invitation specifically says, “Bring the kids!” :eek:

You know, we have been invited to events that I would have felt uncomfortable bringing my children to – and happily left them at home. I know that some people get pissy thinking that their little angels should be allowed to go wherever/whenever, but I don’t follow that mentality. I prefer child-free events as much as those to which my children are invited (and to which I would actually bring my children). I think throwing a fit and insisting that your kids should be allowed to come along is just rude and I would be glad the woman didn’t show up to ruin my wedding in the OP’s story.

Oh hells yes! Last fall I was invited to a relative’s wedding. I noticed the absence of the kids’ names on the invite, and just to make sure sublty checked with my aunt to make sure they weren’t invited. I made sure she knew that I was in no way put out - I was thrilled at the excuse to get a sitter and have some grown-up time. It wasn’t an adults only fancy affair, but the couple was trying to keep their guest list down and rightfully figured a baby and a 2.5yr old wouldn’t have gotten much out of attending anyway.

If you can’t stand to be separated from your kids for that length of time, then stay home.

I can tell you my SIL was extremely upset when someone ignored her No Kids rule at her wedding. My kids weren’t invited, and they’re her own blood! (We had no problem with it, they were fairly young and probably wouldn’t have understood) Someone brought their daughter, her new MIL had a quiet word with them at the reception, and they left early, IIRC.

My kids are teenagers now, so it’s not a big deal for Ivylad and I to head off somewhere sans kids. In the past, if we couldn’t get a sitter, we didn’t go.

Mrs essell and I had a no kids rule at the wedding. I nearly didn’t invite my nine year old brother. It turned out he was chatting during the vows but thankfully I didn’t hear him or I’d have used my powers to turn him to ash.

My older brother couldn’t get a sitter for his two year old as all the normal sitters were at the wedding, and so had to miss it.

Them’s the breaks.

Had he turned up with the kid I would have had the ushers turn into bouncers.

I just have to say how incredibly tacky it is to ask to bring your kids when they’re clearly not invited.

We are declining an invitation to an out of town wedding in part because we’d have to leave our daughter 700 miles behind, as everyone who would normally babysit her up north will be at the wedding, and she’s having a clingy stage where 2-3 nights away from Mom would be torture for the people watching her here. But I’m not annoyed she’s not invited, and under other circumstances I’d go.

Otherwise the only time I wouldn’t go would be if I was nursing a very young baby. (Heck, you can even get off jury duty for that!)

I don’t have kids so it’s not an issue, but a friend of mine had the sound on her wedding video rendered totally useless by a baby screaming during the entire ceremony. I guess the mom was too clueless to realize that maybe the bride and groom would have liked to be able to hear each other and the preacher. Glares from the preacher, all of the attendants and all the other guests didn’t seem to get through to her. My friend said the only thing you can hear in the video is this brat screaming.

I just want to say in reply to SCL, that a baby is not capable of being a “brat”, and if he/she is screaming, then his/her PARENTS are the “brats”(or worse) for not dealing with their child more appropriately.