Recently I have read several blog posts that question the trend of banning children from weddings. Most of the posts and comments seem to echo the same idea: it’s their wedding their choice, but not having children is silly. (There is always of course the commenter who knows everything about child behavior despite having never had children personally. He or she has seen every episode of Full House, damn it. What else is there to know?)
On my drive in today, I was thinking about how we approach not just weddings but most events when deciding whether or not to take our children. I will begin by saying this: I love my children. I think they are hilarious, brilliant, special little people.
I don’t expect everyone else to think so. It was our choice to have children. Neither of my pregnancies were accidental–my husband and I decided we wanted to bring these tiny versions of ourselves into the world. We also knew, when making that choice, that we would be changing our social lives. Many of our friends don’t have children. Several of these people are married and have made the choice not to have children right now or perhaps ever. That is their choice.
When we receive invitations to weddings, parties, or even casual gatherings, unless the invitations come from another parent, I never assume my children should attend. Many of the weddings are for my husband’s friends only, so sending him off on his own isn’t a big deal. If it is something I want to attend, I will ask if it is appropriate to bring the small fries. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. I don’t take it personally either way.
Because while it’s all well and good to say children are a blessing and bring joy, sometimes children are a pain in the ass. That doesn’t mean they aren’t a blessing and don’t bring joy, but anyone who has spent a few hours with a two-year old can tell you the switch between blessing/joy and pain/ass can come instantly. If my son is tired or bored or hot or hungry, he is not the best dinner guest, no matter how cute he was kissing his sister three minutes earlier.
Perhaps I feel this way because my children are still young. When they get older I might change my mind. But right now, I don’t feel that it should be the rule that my kids go where I go. If really want to go and can’t find a sitter, so be it. I decided to have children. Sometimes I want to scream this at parents in the movie theater. If your child still needs a bottle, maybe The Dark Knight Rises isn’t the place for them.)
Some brides I know provide childcare during the actual wedding. Excellent idea. However, I’m not going to feel offended just because someone doesn’t want my kids as part of their event.