As most people who have a baby know, the world revolves around your baby. But the reality is, we all actually know that while the world should revolve around your baby, really it’s just your world that revolves around your baby. Still, sometimes it’s hard to imagine how other people don’t care that your baby had a solid burp or slept for 3 consecutive hours without requiring anyone’s attention. After all, that can be earth-shattering, life-changing information. To you, anyway.
Many women who have babies get married before giving birth. And if you can think back to a time pre-diapers and pre-bottles, perhaps you’ll remember being a bride. Many women who are brides think the whole entire world revolves around their wedding. When, in fact, it’s just their world revolves around their wedding.
So what happens when bridezilla meets momzilla? That issue is addressed in today’s New York Times.
In the Social Q’s column, a reader asks:
A close friend is getting married. When he invited us, I was pregnant and said, “I hope we can come, but it depends how new parenthood is treating us.” Since then, we’ve accepted and booked nonrefundable plane tickets. Now it occurs to me that our baby might not be welcome at the wedding. But I’m afraid to ask, because if we can’t bring him, we’ll have to miss it and eat the cost of the tickets. My plan is to feign ignorance, bring the baby and hope for the best. Is that wrong? Melanie, Boston
My first Diana Ross mash-up: “Stop! In the Name of Baby Love.”
You’ve made your call, Melanie: bring the baby or stay home, rejecting other options like hiring a local sitter or switching off with your husband. This is your right.
But what you don’t have the right to do is make decisions for Groomzilla. And burying your head in the sand is just a passive-aggressive form of decision-making. You don’t want to be that guest, do you?
E-mail your pal: “I’m writing because I don’t want you to feel pressured to say yes. May we bring our baby to the wedding? We’ll understand if it’s adults-only, but we’re not comfortable leaving him with a sitter yet.” Then wait for his reply.
Try not to take it as a referendum on babycakes. You aren’t the only guest with children.
And here’s the thing. I kind of couldn’t disagree more. You’ve been invited to the day that’s revolving around the bride (and groom, too, I guess. But let’s be honest, just the bride.). If you don’t think emailing the bride (or the groom, but believe me, he’ll just forward her the email) and asking if you can bring a baby will put pressure on her, you are sorely mistaken. Chances are good that the bride already had to tell her third cousin once removed that she couldn’t bring her kid, and her college roommate that she couldn’t bring the guy she knows she’s going to marry but has only been dating for three weeks. Chances are also good that the bride is good at math; if she wanted to you to bring your baby but knew you were pregnant when the invites when out, she would have found a way to invite your baby.
I’m a mom, and believe me, there’s something very wrong with a world that doesn’t revolve around my kid. I mean, anyone with two eyes can see what a remarkable, clever and adorable specimen of a toddler she is.
But anyone who invites me to a wedding already knows that I’m a mom and either chooses or doesn’t to invite my kid. And I make my decision to attend accordingly. If I can’t bear to leave my little one — whether it’s because I’m nursing, prone to suffering from separation anxiety or just think I need to bring along a sidekick for entertainment — then I just don’t go. And even if my little one is invited, I still need to weigh carefully whether she has the ability to act appropriately, i.e. not make the ceremony all about her by screeching throughout or eat what’s actually served to her instead of dumping it on the floor before I mail in the R.S.V.P. card.
Some people invite kids to their weddings and some don’t. You have a lifetime with your kid and (most) brides have just one day in their white gowns. Make sure it’s about them, not you.
Do you think it’s OK to ask if you can bring your uninvited kid to a wedding?
Image: Creative Commons