Q: Dear APW,
I hope you can help. I am Maid of Honour for my beautiful best friend, a wonderful and selfless woman who rarely takes time in the spotlight. Because of this, I want to make sure that while we’re doing all the bridal celebrations she is spoiled and appreciated; she is a doctor so she doesn’t get a lot of downtime to relax.
I’m organising her hen do at the moment (a long weekend away), and one of the other bridesmaids has recently had a baby. She has stated (not asked) that she will be bringing the baby along, who will be around six months old by the time we meet.
I don’t have kids, neither does the bride-to-be, and so can’t understand what it is like to leave your baby at home. I wonder if this is an idea that, by the time of the hen do, she will decide against as she won’t be such a new mum. In case she doesn’t, I’ve booked a separate room for her and her baby where we’re staying.
I am concerned, though, that this isn’t very fair to the bride, and have tried to kindly make it clear that the activities won’t be planned to be baby-friendly (e.g. the music will be loud, the drinks will be plentiful). I’m just looking for some advice on how to navigate this situation with minimal stress or hurt feelings.
—Maid of Honour Who is Treading Very Carefully
A: Dear Maid of Honour,
You’ve already let the new mom know that the night won’t be suited for an infant. That’s your only obligation and your only option here. Now: stop thinking about this baby.
Yeah, it feels a little thoughtless of this bridesmaid to just tack a kid onto an otherwise adult evening, but she’s likely looking at a bunch of imperfect solutions. Skip the party completely? Spend the whole night distracted and texting the babysitter and hauling a breast pump into a dimly lit club bathroom? The most elegant option just might be having a hotel room for herself (very thoughtful of you) so she can pop out with the little dumpling when things are getting raucous, and pop back in when you’re having dinner and the baby is passed out milk-drunk in a portable car seat.
It’s not ideal. But honestly, as a mom of four? Having kids in general isn’t ideal whenever there’s other stuff you’d rather be doing. But life calls.