Dear Father Hood: should we take our baby to our friends’ wedding?
I’ll start with the good news. Having been to eight weddings in Shakil’s first eight months on this planet, I actually feel qualified to answer this question. Now for the bad news. Said answer is more complicated than a celebrity uncoupling. Subsequently, I am going to divide it into sub-sections.
This is a relatively easy starter for ten. If your partner’s solely breastfeeding and she’s not able to express enough milk to cover the time you’re away then there’s no decision to make. You’re either not going, or the baby’s coming with you.
How many nights do you have to be away from home for? If the answer is more than two, suck it up and buy your baby a smart outfit.
The other guests
Is it going to be a wedding where you know just about everyone, or almost no-one? Have a think, because the more people you know, the less you’ll enjoy having the baby with you.
Eyes on the prize
This is a slight caveat to the entry above that takes account of the possibility that you may have a lot of good friends who’ve only seen the apple of your eye in 1,000 or 2,000 pictures you’ve uploaded to Facebook. If this is the case, make a few pre-wedding calls to gauge excitement levels. If more than 50% of your mates gasp about how they ‘can’t wait to meet ‘the bubster”, then the choice has been made for you. Give the public what they want and take the baby.
Choose your poison: joy with crap…
The positives of taking your baby to a wedding include: interaction with other tots, awesome photos with friends, smiles, bonding time and compliments about how good they look or well they are progressing. The negatives include: stressing all day, arguing with your partner, getting sick/drool/unidentified liquids on your best clothes, changing nappies in the back of your car, not looking as good as you could of done if you’d left baby at home, not being able to hold a conversation with anyone, and singing ‘the wheels on the bus’ more times than anyone else in the world ever.
…Or fun with emotion
The positives of leaving baby include: relaxing with a glass of wine (0r 15), eating when you want, catching up with some people you’ve not seen for ages, actually having time to iron a shirt, having a little boogie and locking lips with your partner for more than a nanosecond. And the negatives include: constantly being asked where the baby is, worrying about whether baby is okay, missing baby way more than you thought and, if you don’t reply quickly enough, getting stuck on a table with all the other new parents and their kids.
See, I told you it was complex. But there you have it. Those are my learnings from taking Shakil to six weddings and leaving him at home for two. Now, I’ll stop rambling and leave you to make your decision. Don’t look so worried. There is no right or wrong answer, just do whatever you think is best for you.