I Want to Attend Your Wedding, But I Have Kids

Weddings and Kids

Wedding season is upon us, and whether you receive many invitations or only a few, if you’ve got kids, (specifically the kind that can’t manage themselves for more than a hot second) each invitation you receive results in some major decision making and planning.

While I personally would genuinely love to attend every wedding we get invited to (and not just for the open bar), I’ve got four kids that I can’t just drop for an all-night soirée. Even if the happy couple is one we adore, getting our butts to the church on time can be a real challenge.

So even if I really want to attend your wedding, here’s all the reasons I probably can’t:

My kids aren’t invited

I realize it’s your wedding, your checkbook and your choice on who you want to invite. I understand the whole idea of having an adult-only, child-free wedding. I get that you think a night without the kids is just what I need. And you’re probably right. Unfortunately, I have kids and not dogs, so leaving them behind presents challenges you haven’t thought of. So, unless your invitation is addressed as “and family,” you might not see my smiling face there.

We don’t have a babysitter

Finding a babysitter that is not only willing but competent enough to care for four kids under the age of 8 is like searching for the holy grail. And if we could manage to find one, it would cost us a small fortune. So usually when we want to go out, we’re left with separating the kids out: the small ones at home with a babysitter; the middle one at a friend’s house a half hour away and the bigger one at her best friend’s house a half hour the other direction. Not only does this involve the logistics of getting everyone to their appropriate wedding-time destination, it also involves retrieving each of them at a later time. My schedule, patience, gas tank, energy and pocket book are not big fans in any way of this arrangement.

Your wedding is not local to us

Don’t get me wrong, we love to travel. In fact, it’s one of our favorite family past times. But did I mention we have 4 kids? So, either we have to find one of those magical babysitters mentioned above that is not only willing to babysit, but night sit for days or those 4 kids have to come with us. Plus, there’s hotel rooms, rental cars and who knows what other expenses my little cherubs might accrue.

My kids have a show

I know every bride dreams of that glorious spring wedding, June is the most popular wedding month after all. But you know what else is popular in June? End of year performances. My kids have worked their tiny little tushies off all year for their 2 minutes of fame up on that stage. And I’ve worked all year driving those tiny little tushies to classes so I really can’t miss seeing their smiling faces up on stage. (Plus, you’ll eventually forgive me for missing your wedding but my 8-year-old will make me suffer for the rest of my life if I miss her ballet recital.)

Weddings are long

Even if your wedding is local or I can manage to get my whole family to where you are. And even if I have family who can help watch the kids, everyone wants a wedding where their guests dance the night away and that’s just totally not my kids’ style and they’ll still be up at two-damn-early o’clock the next morning. Plus, if I’m breastfeeding (which it seems like I pretty much always am), being away from my baby from the start of an afternoon ceremony until the wee hours of the morning means many missed nursing sessions and full, angry, leaking boobs or the need to pump. Neither of which makes for a night of carefree, adult only fun.

I am definitely not saying that every wedding should cater to my kids. It’s your day and your decision how you want to spend it. Just know that if you choose to have an adult-only event, there’s a good chance this parent won’t be able to be there.

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