Did you hear that there's going to be a royal wedding this weekend? The couple is so super private and not at all famous, so it's totally easy to have missed this quiet event that's definitely not all over the news. Anyway, you may remember that the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, had a baby boy last month. While mama will be among the royal wedding attendees, the littlest royal will not. But every postpartum mom should go to a wedding without her baby if she has the opportunity. So you go, Kate. You put on a nice dress and get dolled up and have a great time.
The first time away from your new baby is always An Event, no matter what the occasion (and whether or not you're a duchess attending the royal wedding of Prince Henry of Wales and American actress Meghan Markle). It's easy to feel emotional or guilty or reluctant about leaving your little one with someone else but, as someone who has done the newborn thing twice now, it's so, so, so necessary. What's not necessary are any feelings of shame whatsoever.
And so, Kate? Kate-inator? Princess Pretty Hair? I know this isn't your first rodeo, but I just want to reassure you that you (and, indeed, all moms) should flounce merrily along to this wedding without an ounce of worry or regret, for all of the following reasons:
It Gets Everyone Used To The Idea That Baby-Free Outings Is A Thing That Will Happen
Getting away can be difficult, especially in the early days. A friend of mine recently had a baby and one of the attending OB-GYNs in her hospital was like: "You have to go on a date every week as soon as you get home." My friend and I just laughed over that one because LOLWUT?!
However, even if a weekly date night isn't feasibly with a newborn (it's really, really not and I feel like a doctor should be smart enough to know that), it is important to get away from the mom thing for a little while from time to time. In my experience, the longer you wait on making that a priority the harder it is to make that a priority. So I think it's a great idea, if you can, to have at least one small but significant event sans baby early on.
It's A Good Test Run For Other Outings
A local wedding (as Prince Harry and Megan Markle's will be) is a great test because you're home pretty quickly in an emergency, but you're still necessarily out of the house for a significant period (especially a royal wedding, what with all their lengthy and ceremonious traditions). It's sort of like having a safety net.
You Don't Want Your Dress To Get Messy
If you bring your baby your dress will get messy, either because they have a massive blowout (their timing is always impeccable, so you know they would) or they spit up on you, or you can't juggle both them and your drink and you spill something, or simply because having an infant in tow will rumple (what promises to be) your fabulous ensemble.
Why Stress About Your Baby Possibly Crying At A Bad Time?
I once brought an infant to a wedding and the intricacy of my escape route was a source of a lot of anxiety. What if he cries during the vows? What if he cries when my friend walks down the aisle and I can't use my escape route? Would it be better to nurse him or usher him out? Which would cause the least amount of disruption? Should I ask my friend? Does she already have enough to worry about or would she want to be consulted?
Avoid all that and just leave the baby at home.
You Can't Enjoy It Otherwise
Caring for an infant is a full-time occupation. You're not going to be able to really take part in a wedding when you have a child in tow. It'd sort of be like trying to enjoy a wedding as you were putting together an Excel spreadsheet for work or something. (I don't recommend bringing one of those, either.)
Who Wants To Bring A Diaper Bag To A Wedding?
A good clutch is, well, clutch, especially at a wedding: I've been rocking the same one for about 15 years now (that thing goes with every wedding outfit I've ever worn). It fits my ID, keys, credit card, lipstick, phone, and cash to tip the bartender at the end of the night. That's all I need to have a good time. In fact, anything more would weigh me down, and for the first year or more of a child's life they require so much crap. A bag that big is not a good look at this kind of event.
The Bride(s) And/Or Groom(s) Deserve Your Full Attention
Well, it's not so much that they deserve it (they're not accomplishing anything), but you deserve to be able to celebrate them as fully as you'd like (I'm one of those optimistic spirits who believes that if you're going to a wedding it's because you love the people involved).
When your infant is present, everyone and everything else is only ever going to be a runner up.
Your Baby DGAF
Seriously. This baby doesn't know they have toes yet, so they're not going to be bummed that they're missing out.
Get Your Drink On, Mama
If you like a drink every now and then, of course. (If you don't, that's cool, too.) But time away from your newborn means you don't have to be as responsible for the next few hours (and, if you're breastfeeding, you're going to have time for alcohol to go through your system before you have to nurse again), so go ahead and grab a cocktail or two.
Good Time To Reconnect With Your Partner
TMI: weddings make me super horny. Like, to the point that a wedding once got me pregnant. (My husband helped.)
If the Duchess is anything like me (and I suspect she is: we both have very shiny hair) then weddings will also remind her of the love she has for her husband and their magical wedding day and it will provide a lovely opportunity to reconnect romantically... and also maybe bone. (Do royals bone? Or do they keep it formal and offer calligraphied invitations to perform coitus?)
You Need Both Hands For Hors D'Oeuvres
A baby will only slow you down in this regard, and everyone knows the best wedding food happens during the cocktail hour.
If The Baby Is There People Are Only Going To Want To Talk About The Baby
Certainly that makes sense, because babies are adorable and a lot of these people probably haven't seen you since you've give birth. But, girl, your entire life is (necessarily) baby at this point. It's nice to have one day where you can talk about something else... like, literally anything else.
You Don't Have To Miss Anything
Bringing an infant to a social event basically means missing at least half the event as you disappear to change a diaper, feed the baby, calm the baby, ensure that the baby is somewhere quiet where they can nap, etc. Even if you have a partner there to help you, you're still going to miss a pretty big chunk of the party. Don't. Just leave the baby home!
All the relatives and friends will want to kiss your tiny, maybe-still-unvaccinated baby and it's like: "YOU'RE ALL CRAWLING WITH COMMUNICABLE DISEASES! PLEASE NO!"
This is, incidentally, the best excuse for when people are all disappointed you didn't bring your child.
"Sorry, but they don't have all their vaccines yet so we couldn't bring them to such a large gathering. Doctor's orders!"