Author Topic: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?  (Read 8196 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

MrsJWine

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8748
  • I have an excessive fondness for parentheses.
    • Wallydraigle
Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2012, 12:51:26 AM »
I think, though, the problem is that the guests knew that baby reminders would be too painful and did the polite thing of declining the invitation.

This is my thinking. Offering to get the baby out of the house was way overboard; you did not have to do that at all, and I think your friend would be rather self-absorbed if she demanded it, or even hinted at it (was it a hint, or did she offer that explanation sincerely without trying to get something out of it?). However, now that you've told her you're doing this, I think you need to do it all the way. If the play pen is extremely hard to move into another room, that's one thing. But if it's not, I think you should.

For example, I hate fish. I can't even stand the smell of it. It makes me physically ill, and it taints the flavor of anything I'm eating if I have to smell it. If a friend invited me over for dinner, and the main dish was seafood-free, but lots of other things had shrimp or fish or crab in it, it would not be a great meal for me. I keep my mouth shut about it, but if a friend reassured me that I wouldn't have to eat fish, and then I ended up having to smell it strongly all through dinner, it would be a little ??? about it. I would never expect someone to change meal plans on me. I wouldn't even hint at it. But doing it halfway would be almost as bad.


I have a blog.  I hate that word.


Utah

YummyMummy66

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 639
Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2012, 07:20:52 AM »
I might put away what I could, but for the playpen, I would not break down.  I might put a large sheet over it or something though and put it somewhere in a corner.  Maybe move a chair in front of it if possible.

HermioneGranger

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2490
Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2012, 08:25:08 AM »
I would toss loose toys, etc. into the playpen and then either shove it into a corner or move it into an out of the way location, like the kitchen or den.  You've already gone above and beyond your requirements as a hostess.  You shouldn't have to redecorate your home for one evening. 

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6097
Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2012, 08:46:24 AM »
I don't think removing baby items out of the party room areas is hiding you have a child.  To me it is ridding the area of things that will not be of use.  And honestly, a playpen would be the first to go even if I wasn't doing it to accommodate a friend sensitivity.  We have a large dog kennel in the family room.  When entertaining it is broken down and moved to the garage. 

But I would leave out photos as that is more decor.

Winterlight

  • On the internet, no one can tell you're a dog- arf.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9453
Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2012, 08:56:07 AM »
I'd move the playpen, but not things like photos.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

Ambrosia Hino

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1165
Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2012, 09:45:01 AM »
How hard is your playpen to take down? I know our's takes some effort, and good wrist strength, but isn't that hard. I would also recommend taking it down and putting all the baby stuff (toys, large items) back in the nursery/bedroom. Pictures would be left in place. Your friend is in a really sensative place emotionally right now, although I'm sure you are too.

I say this from several angles. I have friends suffering infertility and trying to hang out when my son was tiny was hard on them. I went through infertility myself to finally have him, and pregnant women and small babies were awful for me. Right now, I'm recovering from a miscarriage as well, from about the same timeframe as your friend. Small babies and especially my own son have been big comforts this time, but seeing pregnant women (especially ones that I know have due dates close to when mine was) is painful. I keep quiet about it except to close friends and my husband, unless asked point blank "why aren't you wanting to hang out lately?!" because its my issue, but its still there. Luckily, in my case, the only currently pregnant friend was one of the ones with previous infertility, so she knows without me saying anything.

I think offering to send your child out for the evening was extremely gracious of you. I think taking the large reminders out of the public space is implied with that though, since you do understand why this is hard for them.

CakeBeret

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4216
Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2012, 10:30:52 AM »
I think you have already gone overboard in accommodating this couple.  Sending your kid out of your house because they find her existence hurtful? It is not something I would have even entertained the thought.  I would be worried how long you are going to have to hide her from them - is this going to be something you need to arrange her vanishing every time you want to see them from now on? What about pictures of her, are those too much to handle? Where will this stop?
 
 Do a normal tidying, but don't go beyond that.

I think this is overly harsh.

The guests knew that they were too sensitive and raw to see others' happy bundles of joy. They did the proper thing and declined. The op OFFERED to send the baby elsewhere for the evening--and I bet she'll enjoy having some adult time too. The guests obviously need time to heal from their devastation, and I'm sure they will get better as time goes by.

OP, I think that since you offered to make the evening baby-free, yes, you should put the baby things away as much as possible. As a PP mentioned, don't think of it as hiding your baby's existence, think of it as trying to ease your friends' pain. And I think you were very kind to your friends.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

TurtleDove

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5248
Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2012, 10:34:23 AM »
As a PP mentioned, don't think of it as hiding your baby's existence, think of it as trying to ease your friends' pain. And I think you were very kind to your friends.

In theory, this sounds nice.  But nothing the OP does or not do will actually ease the friends' pain - that pain has nothing to do with OP.  If the friends cannot be happy in a home obvioulsy lived in my an infant, it is up to them to decline.  If the OP wants to hide the baby things, great, but this will do nothing to "ease" the friends' pain.

It's good to be Queen

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 819
Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2012, 10:42:43 AM »
Quote
Someone is bound to refer to your baby and ask how things are going.  Are you to ban all baby conversation. 

No, you don't have to ban all conversation, but think how nice it will be for the couple to have a baby free evening!  If the topic of the baby comes up, I would allow brief conversation and then steer the topic to other subjects.  If I were the host I would even mention how you are looking forward to an evening of adult company and conversation, because sometimes, people with new babies are tired of talking about feeding scheudles and day care and whatever else and would love to discuss their favorite hot guy in a new movie or whatever.

camlan

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8345
Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2012, 11:09:40 AM »
As a PP mentioned, don't think of it as hiding your baby's existence, think of it as trying to ease your friends' pain. And I think you were very kind to your friends.

In theory, this sounds nice.  But nothing the OP does or not do will actually ease the friends' pain - that pain has nothing to do with OP.  If the friends cannot be happy in a home obvioulsy lived in my an infant, it is up to them to decline.  If the OP wants to hide the baby things, great, but this will do nothing to "ease" the friends' pain.

How about thinking of it as "not causing them any further pain"? Maybe "ease" was the best word choice.

My point was that instead of thinking of it as  eliminating the baby, turn it to a more positive view--not causing the friend pain. No, removing the playpen won't ease the friend's pain of being infertile. But removing it might simply mean that she doesn't experience more pain.

I was just thinking that if the friends think the evening will be baby-free, to walk in and see a playpen, which is sort of large and un-missible, would come as a bit of a shock.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn

Rohanna

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2311
Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #25 on: December 18, 2012, 11:51:02 AM »
Imagine you have a friend who's a recently recovering alcoholic. They decline a NYE invite because they don't want to tempt themselves, but you promise them you won't be drinking either. Imagine how they'd feel to walk in and find that, even though you aren't drinking, you have a large, prominant liquor cabinet, and a stocked wine bar in full view. Wouldn't you want to move or cover those up, after promising them that the evening would be "safe" for them?
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. ~ Jack Layton.

TurtleDove

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5248
Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #26 on: December 18, 2012, 11:54:30 AM »
Imagine you have a friend who's a recently recovering alcoholic. They decline a NYE invite because they don't want to tempt themselves, but you promise them you won't be drinking either. Imagine how they'd feel to walk in and find that, even though you aren't drinking, you have a large, prominant liquor cabinet, and a stocked wine bar in full view. Wouldn't you want to move or cover those up, after promising them that the evening would be "safe" for them?

Nope.  I wouldn't.  It is not up to me to control anyone else's behavior or to pretend about my own life.

Rohanna

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2311
Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #27 on: December 18, 2012, 12:01:12 PM »
But then you wouldn't promise them that you'd change your drinking plans either. You don't promise someone a "safe" environment after they've declined for personal reasons, and then not make it truly "safe". They have the right to decline based on their triggers- it's not up to you to decide that they need to deal with it.
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. ~ Jack Layton.

wolfie

  • I don't know what this is so I am putting random words here
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6362
Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #28 on: December 18, 2012, 12:03:18 PM »
As a PP mentioned, don't think of it as hiding your baby's existence, think of it as trying to ease your friends' pain. And I think you were very kind to your friends.

In theory, this sounds nice.  But nothing the OP does or not do will actually ease the friends' pain - that pain has nothing to do with OP.  If the friends cannot be happy in a home obvioulsy lived in my an infant, it is up to them to decline.  If the OP wants to hide the baby things, great, but this will do nothing to "ease" the friends' pain.

And they did decline. But the OP said that she would change things around so they could come afterall. Now it is up to the OP to do so completely - otherwise it would be a bait and switch.

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28817
Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #29 on: December 18, 2012, 12:33:49 PM »
I'd want to break down the playpen just to get it out of the way!