Kids not invited....

tammyJuly 17, 2001

I need some advice...I have a 2 year old & a 5 month old. We live about 3 hours from my dad and his wife (they live in my hometown). We got an invitation to his retirement party from his wife. We had already known the date and several months ago had made hotel reservations for the weekend. Coincidentally, it is the same weekend as a softball tournament that I have always played in, so we figured it would work out well that we would be in my hometown for both the party & the softball tournament. The invitation reads "due to the length of the program, we ask that children not attend". It is a luncheon (from 12-4 pm). My DH and I are kind of offended. What do they expect we will do w/ our 2 young children for 4 hours, out of town? Should my DH sit in the hotel room for 4 hours or find something else to do? As I am playing softball up there the same weekend and we are going to see friends as well, my DH was planning on coming. Now he is thinking of not coming at all. We don't have anyone to watch our boys either where we live or in my hometown. My feeling is that, these are his grandchildren, how can they not be invited to his retirement party?

So, here is my question, should I just tell them we will celebrate w/ them a different time or should I really offend my DH and tell him he has to stay in the room w/ the kids or do something else (or stay home altogether) so I can go to the retirement party?

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It is not always appropriate to have children attend adult affairs.

Since it is your dad's party perhaps our dad could help you find a local babysitter or your friends that you are visiting could help out. Or, you could hire someone from home and bring them with you. At any rate I say either you and your husband should go as a couple, or not go as a couple and explain your decsion to your father.

However, I do not think you should be offended because children are not welcome everywhere, nor should you expect them to be.


    Bookmark   July 17, 2001 at 11:37AM
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12 to 4? That's nap time! You don't want them there! And really, they don't want to be there, either.

Ask your hostess or your hotel to help you find a babysitter. Since it's your hometown, it might not be so hard to do, if you still have links there. Start putting out some feelers.

I was visiting my mom and best friend in Des Moines, and we wanted to go to a dinner theater. My friend, who has no kids herself, asked around at her job and found the son of a friend from work who also attended her church. Worked great!

I told my son that his treat was, a boy was coming to play with him. Wow, was he excited! They played in the backyard, ate dinner together, and I explained to my son how important it was that he listen to the boy. With that responsibility on his shoulders, my boy was no trouble at all, the report was.

In a hotel room, a babysitter won't have much to do during naptime, since the whole room needs to be dark, but with some planning ahead, the babysitter could bring a book and a flashlight, etc., and perhaps read while the kids nap.

Or you can find out from the hotel what sorts of things the babysitter can help the oldest do in case naptime is blown by excitement or unease (play video games, even if they do lose quarters), plus bring a game (Candyland), some kids' books, etc., in case they just need to stay close in the room.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2001 at 1:43PM
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My family and i traveled from florida to new york city for my cousin's wedding a few weeks ago. they made it very clear they do not want children at the affair. i went with my mom and brother and my DH and DD stayed at the hotel. the next morning they went to the brunch that was being held. It a hard situation, but we did not want a babysitter with her that we didnt know and she would not like that at all,she is 21 months and would be unhappy and we would have a bad time,so that is the arrangement. p.s. we had a wonderful weekend in the city and it was well worth the trip.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2001 at 2:44PM
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As the daughter of the party "honoree" I don't blame you for being offended. Basically, your father's wife is telling you not to come if you can't get someone to watch your kids. I would guess she has no kids of her own. What grandfather would not want to see his grandchildren at a party for him? Isn't he going to ask why you didn't bring them? You obviously live far enough away from them that he doesn't get to see the kids very often.

What's the big deal anyway? A 4-hour daytime party is not unusually long.

I know I'm not giving you any solution to your problem, but it just makes me mad. I don't expect to be invited everywhere with my 1 year old son, and there are many events (especially evening events) that I wouldn't dream of taking him to. But a 4 hour, daytime party for their grandfather is not out of the realm of appropriate events.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2001 at 1:41PM
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Thanks for the responses. After a couple of days and talking w/ others, we are going to play it by ear. My dad actually left me a message last night that it would be ok if the kids came (I haven't spoken w/ him directly, I had left him a message that we were kind of in a bind b/c we didn't know what to do w/ the kids). I think what were are going to do is find out the specifics of what the program entails. I don't want my kids to disrupt the party, but like I said before, we were kind of offended. I think we may just attend the lunch and then leave after - so at least we attended, but didn't disrupt the program. I am assuming they will be doing some kind of presentation - or talk about his highlights (he has been at his same job for 30 years), which is the part of the program that I think they were worried about the kids being to loud during. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2001 at 10:00AM
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You make it sound like your father had a lot of say in this matter. Is it a retirement party being given to him by his employer and his fellow workers? If this is the case, the only say your father had was in choosing the restaurant and whether it would be a luncheon or a dinner. He has no control in whether it is appropriate for you to bring your 2 year old and 5 month old. There are some events in life where very young children and infants just are not appropriate guests as they would be a disruption to the event and to the others in attendance. 4 hours is a LONG, LONG time to ask a 2 year old to be perfectly behaved and not a disruption to others around. By the way, the invited guest list is usually limited to the employer and bosses, the fellow workers (and sometimes but not usually their spouse) the honoree and his/her spouse and the honorees children, which you can assume are not very young children, since it is a retirement luncheon.
I never have been able to understand why a parent becomes so upset when their child is not invited to some social events that are just not age appropriate. You wouldn't give your child a toy take was far too advanced for them to play with would you? Then why thrust them into a social situation too advanced for them? Finding a sitter in a different city would be far easier than trying to entertain a 2 year old at a retirement dinner for 4 hours.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2001 at 10:44AM
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I guess I wouldn't be comfortable leaving my 2 young children with a stranger out of town...but that's just me. There are other things that have gone on w/ my family, and this was just one more...I don't want to get into it, but there is some difference in the way certain grandchildren in our family are treated vs this was just one more time where my kids were left out, so to speak. Also, the party is being put on my my stepmother, and she created the invitations and the wording on them. I don't think it is unusual to expect my father's grandchildren to be a part of his retirement party in some way. If they didn't feel it was appropriate for them to attend the program, they should have said that, there is no reason why a 2 year old & a 5 month old couldn't attend the lunch. That, combined with the fact that it is out of town and we are going to be there all weekend for other commitments (that they knew about)...let's just say, they knew they were going to leave us in a bind with no one to watch our kids if we both attended the party. That is the part we were offended about, not necessarily that the kids weren't welcome...if it was in town, or we were just going to go up for the day, it would have been a different situation.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2001 at 2:22PM
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Oh, don't be "offended." Put in a bind, yes. Offended makes it sound like someone was out to get you, and this certainly is not the case. Someone wanted an adult party, and you have kids.

Well, as a parent of three young children, I just know that I will miss out on a lot during this time of my life. That's just part of the sacrifices we make to have family.

Be graceful about it, and either have them help you find a reputable babysitter, bring one with you, or stay home and send a nice gift. Then let it go. Goodness, this is not worth getting angry over and hurting relationships.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2001 at 3:57PM
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Hi, Tammy!! Been there, done that!! (Or at least almost!) A number of friends have gotten married in the past year (at either hotels or convention centers),and I either brought my child and a babysitter (I was still nursing!) or one of my friend's provided a room and 2-3 babysitters at the hotel where her wedding was. She also didn't want any children so she thought of the most convenient way to accomodate her friends with young kids! Depending on where the retirement party is being held maybe you could bring a friend's older child or friends of your father's could bring one, to occupy the children while you enjoy yourself. If you are needed, you are available. I brought my stroller, food, toys, and diapers to occupy them while the party was going on. Good luck! : ) Laya

    Bookmark   July 24, 2001 at 9:48PM
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Tammy -

Are you also offended by the bars who don't allow your under-21 children in? I'm afraid I don't have much sympathy for those who whine that their children aren't welcomed at activities better suited for adults.

I agree that it is poor manners to spell out who is not invited on an invitation. It is very unfortunate that people feel the need to resort to this, but the fact is there are many people out there who don't seem to understand what an invitation means. An invitation means that the people to which it is addresses are invited. If it doesn't list your children's names, or your boyfriend or girlfriend's name, or your best friend's name, or your dog, they aren't invited. No one should have to come out and tell you this. And no, being offended isn't justified. You should feel honored that your presence is requested. You may choose not to go to this adult activity because it is too much of a hardship to find someone to watch your children, but the inviter has committed no offense.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2001 at 3:33PM
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No one can tell you how to feel. I don't think your "whining". Honestly, my initial reaction would have been the same as yours, simply because, I don't make a habit of going where I can't take my children. Now, after you think about it and I'm being honest again, a 4 hour reception is not someplace I would want to take small children. It isn't fair to them or to you and others who may or may not be around fussy kids.
I wouldn't want to leave them with strangers as well. I've missed out of town conference dinners because I wouldn't leave my children (very young) with a hired sitter and then leave the site. Not that I expected to be able to take my children, it was one of those sacrifices. If you can take them to the luncheon maybe your dh could then take them to a park or to the hotel or somewhere else while you enjoy the rest of the program. I wouldn't feel like your cheating anyone by doing things this way.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2001 at 5:57PM
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Ruth....She is talking about a function for her father that is 3 hrs away. the family knows that they have small children they will be traveling with. This is not a distant reletive or a friend it is her father and his grandchidren are not invited and there is no arrangements made to help thme with the situation. Sounds like the Step mother just want the gift and for them to not attend.

I have a big problem with people who send ivitations to those out of town and then put unmeetable restrictions on the attendance. It is only a ploy to get a gift.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2001 at 12:59PM
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Maybe your father wasn't aware of that restriction? Is it possible his wife just came up with it by herself...I would see if you could possibly take your father out to dinner with your family *kids and all* no step-parents allowed!! :0

    Bookmark   October 29, 2001 at 3:24PM
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I agree with CCass....
Weddings and parties for friends and distant relatives are one thing...but it's YOUR father. You didn't mention how the relationship is with his wife...if it's rocky and she doesn't have or like kids herself it may be her issue, not your dad's. If it were me, if my kids aren't welcome I'm not welcome (please note here--if it's an event of my parents/brothers/sisters--not distant relatives or friends.)

    Bookmark   November 1, 2001 at 3:27PM
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You can be offended, but why would you want to take your children to something they won't understand, won't enjoy and will probably prevent your enjoyment of? If Dad wants to show you & grandkids off, go for a bit and leave (a great benefit of small children is the excuse that "it's their nap time"). It's way too long of a time. If you can't handle letting a stranger sit them for that period, let the DH handle it. Kids put a strain on some things, but so what? We're parents. We signed up for this deal.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2001 at 1:28PM
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Some imes kids are not invited and as a mother you should not take offense. I have 3 children, and wouldn't bring them with me to the luncheon, because it would not be enjoyable for me, or for them. I remember when I was getting married and everyone wanted to bring their kids to my shower, I told my sisters "NO CHILDREN" I also had the same response for my evening wedding, and for my baby shower. The parties are for the person being honored, not the cutest baby, the loudest screamer, or the kid who won't stop running around. The hotel should be able to help you find a sitter, or one of your friends in your home town could watch the kids for a few hours while you go to the party. You can always leave early.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2001 at 11:17AM
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You should not be offended. It's not a slam against your kids. I don't understand why some people perceive an "adults only" event as an insult against them and their progeny. Children....are...not...welcome...everywhere. Some people prefer that the ambiance of their soirees not be spoiled by the crying and screeching of young children, no matter how close the relation. I went to a wedding this past weekend that was specified "adults only", yet some folks, thinking that couldn't *possibly* apply to their little angels, brought their kids along anyway. We couldn't hear the wedding vows over the constant carrying-on of at least three young kids, and the reception was a joke -- constantly trying to keep the kids out of the food and gifts, with the obligatory toddler tantrums and screeching every 30 minutes. PARENTS, PLEASE RESPECT THE WISHES OF THOSE WHO SPECIFY "NO CHILDREN" ON THEIR INVITATIONS.

This is why my husband and I eloped. I did not want my wedding spoiled by kids, and some guests became irate that their l'il pweshus wasn't invited. It was impossible to deal with this and keep these entitlement-greedy sorts happy, so we just thought f*** it and eloped.

I know the original post wasn't about a wedding, but these are valid examples of why invitees should respect the wishes of the host/hostess regarding a no-kids affair.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2001 at 6:17PM
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I personally prefer the type of affair where kids can be a part of it. I specifically invited people's children to our wedding. Most said they were amazed since most weddings these days are "no kids". We just went to a wedding a few weeks ago for the son of a neighbor and our kids weren't invited, even though they see them everyday. I was offended in the least. I got a sitter and we went and had a fun night out.
I do think people have no right to act insulted when the invitation doesn't include kids. And when people bring kids to these events, they should be asked to leave. The host/hostess has the right to decide what kind of party it will be.
If it were me, I would not be comfortable leaving my children with a strange babysitter at a hotel, so I think I would go solo, let DH stay home with the kids, and enjoy your weekend of peace and quiet and acting like a grownup.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2001 at 1:44AM
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I haven't been able to post for a long time - too busy at work! I thought it was funny that the post was still around.

First of all, I have to say (again), that I understand when it is a friend's wedding or whatever, I can choose to not attend. But, being that is was my DAD's retirement party - his one and only - I felt obligated to be there. Also, to whoever said something about being offended because I can't bring my kids to bars b/c they are not 21, that is ridiculous, this doesn't even compare.

I will tell you how it turned out. We were out & about in the morning and timed our return to the hotel (we stayed at the hotel that the lunch/party was at) so that our kids would be napping. My DH stayed in the hotel room and I went to the lunch alone - so my DH missed the program and the lunch. To my surprise, my stepsister was there w/ her new baby and my other step sister said to me "we were going to bring the kids, but at the last minute, my MIL volunteered to babysit, so we didn't have to bring them". Hmmmm, doesn't sound like their kids weren't invited. My son woke up w/ about 10 minutes left in the program, so my DH came down and joined us. My kids sat quietly and didn't disrupt anything and all of my dad's friends were happy to see them (since we live 3 hours away, many of them hadn't seen them).

Anyway, it all turned out ok, and to those of you who have readily available babysitters, I envy you. This would have been a whole different situation if we had someone to leave our kids with. Believe me, w/ a toddler and an infant, I would be more than happy to go out w/o them, but I also want my DH w/ me!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2001 at 10:03AM
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I'm glad things went well. It does sound strange that the 2 step sisters children appear to have been invited although you did say your dad said it was ok to bring them.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2001 at 12:23AM
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Loretta NJ Z6

I know this problem is long gone but I was very annoyed at some of the attitudes here. This is not a soiree. This is a party for the life achievement of a grandfather arranged by the (step)grandmother. Your not talking about the children of a friend invited to a wedding, your talking about the children of the daughter of the guest of honor. And who live 3 hours away. Plus I would like to see how many grandfathers would have a big wedding without their grandchildren there. Was it right her husband had to stay at the hotel room? I wouldn't leave my kids with a babysitter I didn't know, what kind of option is that? Too bad if you are annoyed by the noises children make. Especially if they are part of the immediate family. That outranks you. I know my father wouldn't pass up that opportunity to show off his grandchildren to all his friends. The option should have been yours Tammy. If the children were unruly, you had the option to take them outside for a while. Sounds to me like Grandma is selectively grandmotherly or her daughters are more comfortable at standing up to her.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2001 at 5:49AM
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I have to disagree with you. It is up to the person throwing the party to decide who to invite. If the kids aren't invited then it is clear that the person throwing the party does not want them there. They do not have to tell you why they do not want them there. It is very rude to show up uninvited for a party no matter who the guest of honor is. Of course little kids are not rude it's the parents who bring them that are being rude.

I have 3 kids. If the kids are not invited then hubby and I have to decide whether to go or not. Sometimes the person is not that important to us or it is to inconvenient to go and we decline the invitation. Sometimes we get a babysitter and go to the affair. When I have a party I get to decide who to invite, including whether kids will be part of the affair. When you have a party you get to decide. But no matter who is throwing the party it is rude to bring uninvited guests along with you.


    Bookmark   November 30, 2001 at 9:06AM
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I have to say that I agree with Mommabear and others of the same point of view. Have yu ever been to a retirement party??? It is *NOT* a place for children. It is very much like a wedding reception, actually.
We chose not to invite *any* children to our small wedding. My brother came, and that was ony because he was the ringbearer. I think that taking small children to affairs such as weddings, retirement parties, anniversary parites, engagement parites, wakes, baby showers, bridal showers, etc. is cruel to the children and disrespectful to those hosting/grieving/celebrating. Please don;t get holier-than-thou thinking that you're children are wondrful and should be the exception to the rule - when put into inappropriate situations even the best of children get bored/tired/hungry/cranky and cause scenes.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2001 at 11:27AM
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