Another parent vs. person identity crisis

25 October 2011 at 6:54 am 1 comment

Ever since my husband and I have been married, we’ve had an annual Halloween party. When we moved to our current place just one week before Halloween, we still pulled it off; when our son was just two months old one Halloween, ditto. Now, though, with more of our friends having toddlers, I’m in a mental quandary about how to think of this year’s party: is it a party for adults, at 7:00 or so in the evening, which kids are welcome to attend? Or is it a party for kids, at 5:00–if not earlier!–in the afternoon/evening, with some childless adults there (awkwardly?) as well? For me, personally, I didn’t see the conflict at first until our friends started RSVPing to this year’s party, saying “oh, that’s too late for so-and-so’s bedtime.” Barring work, we bring our son everywhere with us–we bring him to weddings (even black tie ones, assuming he’s invited), and hospitals to visit sick friends or relatives, and dinners out and other evening excursions. I don’t have in my mind a hard and fast division between my life as a person and my life as a parent–I see them as complementary and overlapping, almost exclusively so–but I am getting the impression that other people do. So, on the one hand, this throws me back to my dilemma about the Halloween party, but it also raises all these identity questions in my mind.

Thoughts?

–Christina

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Sarah  |  27 October 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I’m sure that some people think that it’s inappropriate to bring a toddler to an evening party. I’m happy to bring my 2 year-old out in the evening, but increasingly she’s skipping her naps and then needing to go to sleep for the night before a 7pm party. It’s not that I am being strict about her bedtime or trying to keep her in kid-only spaces – it’s that she’s an exhausted, tantrum-throwing mess by then and nobody’s happy until I can help her sleep. This need to turn down a lot of evening invitations can certainly make me feel like I’m losing parts of my identity that aren’t Mom, but it’s not because I want to keep things separate.

    Reply

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