Disclaimer one: I find hen dos stressful at the best of times, and that goes for both organising and attending.
One million things go through your mind: 'Will everyone be okay with the ridiculous I-could-go-on-a-beach-holiday-for-that-price-and-still-have-change-for-a-bag-of-chips budget? Should the hens pay for the bride? Is a stripper a tad too far if Great Aunt Helen is coming? Will Jane be okay sharing with Karen because her and Tracey fell out two years ago and still aren't talking? Will the bride like ANYTHING we have planned?'
It's an emotionally draining, stressful (and usually far too expensive) minefield. So why, WHY would you want to be 'that person' to add a child to the mix?
Children complicate things, finances, libidos, your new spring wardrobe choice - they might be cute little cherubs, but there's no denying that they make everything that little bit... trickier.
Disclaimer two: I'm currently 7 months pregnant with my first child so feel free to take everything I'm about to say with a huge pinch of very naïve salt, but... once you have a child (I hear) that you lose your identity. That the 'you' you used to be takes a backseat to make room for the new neurotic, anxious, nappy-content dissecting version of the 'mum you'.
Time you used to spend Googling 'images of Michael Fassbender' is replaced with 'what does chicken pox look like', your idea of an all nighter is now with Ewan the sheep and a pleading look as you silently beg your child to sleep, and your friendships? Well now they're merely Timehop memories on Facebook, a cloud of fog in your baby-addled brain.
With all of this in mind when you get that hen do invite, here's why I would go without the baby (and think you should too).
1. It will give you a chance to kick off the maternity pads and enjoy a night in clothes that resemble, well, clothes instead of oversized duvets hanging from your shoulders.
2. No one else wants your child there. Now hear me on this, NO ONE. ELSE. WANTS. YOUR. CHILD. THERE.
It's not that they don't like your child, it's because a hen do is really no place for a child.
The dynamic of a hen do is a distinctly grown up one. Regardless of whether it's a raucous night out including tequila shots, the Full Monty and excess baby lotion or an afternoon tea with enforced fascinators, cream buns and polite chit chat, neither of these events are meant for babies. Babies are, quite frankly, NFI.
While I'm all for doing what is right for you and your family, sometimes - primarily if your little one is too fussy to sleep through or your other half is scared of looking after the tot on their own for fear of them swallowing the family terrapin - just sometimes, you need to say no.
Sometimes, trying to bring your two worlds together just won't work.
Be the best mum you can be, and the best hen do you, 100% - otherwise you end up giving 50% to both and feeling guilty that you're falling short of the mark every time. Otherwise, you're setting yourself up for failure and a night on the sofa with hormonal tears and family sized bag of Wotsits... And no one wants that.
What do you think? Would you take a toddler or baby to a hen do? Let us know in the comments box below.
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