Halloween is on a Tuesday this year. In my opinion 8-year-olds shouldn’t be at a party until 9:30 p.m. on a weekday regardless of whether it’s Halloween. He could choose to have the party on the weekend before Halloween and it would be actually better since the kids wouldn’t have school the next day. Instead, he has chosen to make me feel bad, calling me selfish, jealous, and irrational, and has even aired our business on Facebook so his friends could put in their two cents.
I honestly think it’s inconsiderate that he has chosen to throw a party knowing it’s my due date on that day. He made the decision to throw a Halloween party about a month ago; we have known about my due date for months. Am I being irrational? — Trick Or Treat Mom
You do realize that your “due date” is mostly an arbitrary date — a guess, really, that your doctor has made based on the date of your last period — for what would be exactly 40 weeks of gestation? Rarely is a baby born on its due date. Even women who have scheduled Cesareans — and since this is your first baby and you don’t mention any high risks, I’m going to assume you don’t have a Cesarean scheduled — can’t be certain that they won’t go into labor early.
I mean, I can certainly appreciate not wanting to host a party near your due date or not wanting your baby daddy to be distracted by hosting a party near your due date when there’s a chance you’ll go into labor and need him to be present and focused on you, getting you to the hospital, etc. But, come on — the due date is not your unborn baby’s “special day.” Hell, even if he’s actually born on his due date, do you think he’s going to have any idea or concern that his dad and big sister were enjoying a Halloween party? If he’s actually born on Halloween, he’s going to spend the rest of his life sharing his “special day” with an occasion that is celebrated around the country with parties, parades, costumes, trick-or-treating, haunted houses, and all sort of shenanigans. You — and I mean he — may as well get used to the idea that most people will be distracted on his special day and not 100% thinking about him.
All that said, I don’t think it’s irrational to be upset that your baby daddy is planning a party on your due date. But you yourself actually say, verbatim: “I am offended not because he’s deciding to throw a party so close to my son being born, but because he is refusing to change the date and is taking away from my son’s special day.” You express zero concern about getting to the hospital, dealing with party guests if you go into labor, or what the plan is for the 8-year-old daughter while you’re in the hospital. All of these are reasonable and rational concerns. Concern about taking away from the specialness of an unborn baby’s due date is totally irrational and absurd. And I have to agree with your baby daddy — if that is seriously your worry here, then you do sound jealous and selfish.
Are you, on some level, worried that your son is going to be competing with his big sister for their father’s attention and affection? Do you see this Halloween party as a sign that your son has already lost? THAT is irrational. And you need to get over that really quickly. I don’t know what your relationship is with the baby daddy, but at the very least you’re going to be co-parents together, and you’re going to have to make room for him and his daughter in your son’s life. You’re going to have to appreciate that your son’s father also has a commitment and responsibility to his daughter and that that doesn’t take away from the love and responsibility he will have toward your son. There’s plenty of room in a parent’s heart and life for two children, and there’s enough special sauce in this world to even celebrate two occasions on one day, should that ever be necessary.
You’re about to be a brand new mother. You’re going to have enough to figure out and deal with and adjust to and get used to – especially with a blended family. Pick your battles. This Halloween party falling on your due date and taking away from your unborn son’s “special day” is not one of them. Let it go, and have a plan in place in case you happen to go into labor that evening.
If he didn’t want you to go, he wouldn’t have invited you! YOU were the one who made things awkward by suggesting it might be awkward if you went. How would you feel if you invited someone to do something and that person was all, “Well… I don’t know… it could be awkward…” Yeah, NOW it might be. Tell your boyfriend you were being irrationally insecure and, of course, you would like to go to the Halloween party because you are part of this family (I mean his son lives with you!), and you are honored to be included in these family activities. Then use this as an opportunity to have a heart-to-heart with your boyfriend about your role in his son’s life, both now and in the future. And consider whether getting married might make “defining” your status to outsiders, as well as your boyfriend’s son, a little easier, and if that might make it worth it to you guys to take that step.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.