Etiquette for Parents

September 25, 2009

Just found this in my diary and I still feel the same way. Some parents need to know two things: babies are not an accessory and not everyone cares as much about your baby as you do.

At our Halloween party way back in …. was it 2002? …. the one thing that annoyed me was the appearance of friends who dropped by with their baby. We had not seen them since well before the birth so they decided it was a good occasion to bring the baby. Well, all right, they stopped by earlier than other guests and left before it was really packed, but it shocked me. I was unprepared to deal with a child while I put last minute touches on food and prepped the bar. I will never understand parents that bring their kids everywhere, including inappropriate venues meant for adults only. Don’t they want to get away from their kids for a while?

In my opinion there is proper parent/baby etiquette and every parent should get a rules book when they leave the hospital. Or someone like Peggy Post or Kate Spade should publish a charmingly witty little handbook and it should be a mandatory gift at every baby shower. Here are some things I’d include:

  1. Your baby may be the center of your world, but it is not and should not be the center of everyone else’s world. So don’t foist him or her on unsuspecting friends.
  2. Friends without babies still want to be your friends, but it would be nicer if you hire a sitter and make time to do adult things with your adult friends.
  3. Babies are are not appropriate accessories at adult parties where loud music, drinking and dancing are involved. They’re not welcome at sophisticated cocktail parties or dinner parties either. If a guest isn’t old enough to have a cocktail, that guest doesn’t belong. Again, get a sitter.
  4. Don’t bring your baby to expensive restaurants at which your friends had to painfully reserve a month in advance.
  5. Do hold a “welcome our baby to the world” party if you want to show him or her off to your friends — at your place.
  6. Don’t invite your friends for dinner before you put your kid to bed, and then spend the first hour trying to get the kid to sleep. Otherwise, you might notice your friends arriving an hour late on subsequent invites.
  7. Lastly, don’t walk your SUV stroller side by side with another of your mommy-friends-with-SUV-stroller. That’s just plain arrogance.

We are not going to be these kinds of parents, the husband and I agree.

Well, that was then. This is now and I still believe in these maxims but I wonder just what kind of mommy I will be. Will I be simply oblivious to others and deliriously happy after such a long journey (that is, if it works)?