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.
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.
Raccoon eyes October 16, 2017, 9:05 am
WWS to both!
Also, LW1 – it is sh*tty of your “baby daddy” to put this disagreement on FB. You all should have a (mature, adult, non-accusatory) discussion about this.
Skyblossom October 16, 2017, 9:38 am
Neither of them sounds mature enough to parent a child. He took it to FB and she seems to not understand pregnancy and wants to claim a day as belonging to only her child.
Cleopatra Jones October 16, 2017, 10:54 am
I don’t think she realizes that a child is born every.day. somewhere in the world. So technically, it’s someone’s special day every.single.day.
Boo Berry Waffles October 16, 2017, 9:05 am
Speaking as someone with a major holiday birthday, you’re kid is probably never going to have a special relationship with their birthday. It just isn’t practical. As an adult, it’s actually kind of a relief since I can easily dodge all the awkward attention.
And that’s only assuming you even have the baby on Halloween. I can’t think think of a single woman I know who actually delivered on her due date.
Your child’s father sounds like he’s attempting to do something special for his existing child to let her know she’s still worthy of consideration and effort from him with this new addition on the way, especially when the mother of said addition seems to have a vein of testament towards her. Your behavior and attitude could easily make yourself and your child by association pariahs in this family and you’ll have no one to blame but yourself.
Boo Berry Waffles October 16, 2017, 9:07 am
Vein of resentment*
Typing on a phone, it seems, isn’t very cooperative.
Skyblossom October 16, 2017, 9:37 am
LW1 Only 3% to 5% of babies are born on their due date. I don’t know anyone who gave birth on their due date. Your baby is as likely to be born on the weekend before the due date as on the due date. Most women go into labor during the night so if your son was born on Halloween you would probably go into labor the night before or early on the morning of Halloween and your boyfriend would have time to work something out for the party. The only way to be certain that the party didn’t conflict with the birth of your son would be to have no Halloween party. That would be a great way to cause conflict from the very beginning between the two children and help to insure they don’t get along.
You are a woman who is having a baby with a man who has another child. There will always be some time/event conflicts. Even if both children were yours you would sometimes have conflicts. If you have a second child you will have time conflicts when each has something happening. You can’t prevent conflicts. You do your best to make them work for all of the children involved. His due date will likely only be relevant to your son as Halloween but not as his birthday. His special day will probably be some other day and he will be sharing it with lots of other people.
Cleopatra Jones October 16, 2017, 10:58 am
And first babies are notorious for taking a long time. With my first kid, I was in labor for 12+ hours from water breaking to delivery. By kid #3, it was a around 4.
LisforLeslie October 16, 2017, 10:02 am
LW#1 – you call him your baby daddy – are we to assume that you two are not currently together romantically? Is he still married or with mother of his daughter? He may be trying, in his own way, to let his daughter know that she’s still very important and a new baby isn’t going to change that. He could be trying, in his own way, to tell you that you are pretty much on your own and you’re going to be a single parent without help from him. As Wendy said – your baby won’t have any sense whether his father or anyone else is present. He’s a baby. However, if this is really about you and knowing that this guy is going to be there for you – then say it.
LW#2 – There are a lot of non-traditional relationships and people are increasingly open about it. You don’t need to explain your choices to anyone. They’re not going to dismiss or dislike you because you’re unmarried. They’ll only dislike you if you’re a jerk. You don’t sound like a jerk, so I wouldn’t worry about it.
Ron October 16, 2017, 12:28 pm
Yes, society is much more accepting of unconventional relationships than in years past. It can work well if both partners have good jobs, especially if no kids involved. But, there is less legal protection and often less commitment from your partner than in an actual marriage. Unmarried couples who have kids have a significantly bleaker economic future than married couples who have kids. It’s especially bad if the mother is not economically independent. If like LW#1 you are about to be baby mama #2, you should reasonably expect that their will be, possibly sooner rather than later, a baby mama #3. Then you are really into the sort of intrigue of the Ottoman court of who is the favored baby mama and who is the favored offspring. If LW#1’s baby daddy doesn’t appear to care a hell of a lot about her feelings and what she would prefer he do, it likely is because he doesn’t care.
LW #2 is feeling some of the uncertainty/difficulty of being sort of, but not actually married.
Bree October 16, 2017, 10:34 am
LW 1 – While I agree that it is highly improbable that she will deliver on her due date, her baby daddy (and boyfriend?) is being insensitive at best and emotionally abusive at worst for calling her names and going to FB. I don’t have an issue with holding the party on her due date. I’m pregnant and currently taking a childbirth class. The instructor actually recommended doing things to distract yourself right around your due date, so you’re not obsessing about it. However, assuming she is in a romantic relationship with him, she might want to think about ending it and co-parenting. Has he dismissed her concerns in the past? I strongly suspect he has, and that she is in an emotionally abusive relationship.
Bittergaymark October 16, 2017, 10:53 am
Oh for FUCKS sake. NEWSFLASH! Calling somebody selfish, irrational, and jealous when they ARE exhibiting said behaviors is neither abusive nor is it even calling them names.
wobster109 October 16, 2017, 2:23 pm
I just finished my childbirth class. While distracting yourself was mentioned in my class, it was more reading books, playing card games, and going for walks. As in, “don’t stay awake at night thinking about labor”.
It was not recommended for one parent to have a big commitment that they would not be able to leave. If the “baby daddy” and LW are in a relationship, he should find some backup people to take over the party and care for his daughter if he needs to leave in a hurry.
ele4phant October 16, 2017, 11:15 am
I dunno – I kinda see her point.
Although I say this as someone who has no kids and hasn’t gone through the process of waiting around to give birth, so maybe my opinion doesn’t count.
Sure, the chances of her giving birth on her due date are highly unlikely, but sounds like she’s in the range to give birth at any moment. I feel like I’d be pissed if my partner wasn’t accessible around that time period.
Does he have contingency plans for if she were to go into labor during the party? Is the 8 year old’s mom, or another parent, going to be there and able to take over if he needs to go to the hospital? Or is he solely going to be responsible for a bunch of tweens and not able to leave?
I think maybe the answer is not that he not have the party, but that he demonstrate to the LW that yes, if she goes into labor he can and still will be able to get her to the hospital and be present for his child’s birth. And if he can’t assure that there are contingency plans, then maybe this year no party. Sorry, host one next year and every year after.
And as aside, I also agree it’s kind of stupid to have a Halloween party on Tuesday. Have it the weekend before.
Dear Wendy October 16, 2017, 11:49 am
Oh, yeah i think it’s totally irresponsible to plan a party on or near your partner’s due date (with your child’s birthday party being an exception). But the LW wasn’t so much offended that the guy might not be accessible if she were to go into labor while he’s hosting a bunch of kids at a halloween party; her problem was that the party would detract from her unborn son’s “special day.” That’s what sounds irrational here.
ele4phant October 16, 2017, 11:55 am
But I feel it’s nitpicky to tell her the reason for her objection is irrational and selfish (and therefore imply the whole objection is out of line), when the objection itself (please don’t host something that will make you inaccessible on or around my due date) is totally valid.
Dear Wendy October 16, 2017, 12:20 pm
She actually argues that the party could be held on the weekend before halloween (which would be 3-4 days before her due date), thereby keeping the due date special just for her son. I’m sorry, but that really doesn’t sound to me like she’s saying “please don’t host something that will make you inaccessible on or around my due date,” as you seem to think she is… Beyond that, he asked if she was being irrational! And, yeah, having a problem with a party because it distracts from your unborn baby’s “special day” is irrational.
Skyblossom October 16, 2017, 12:22 pm
Then you get into questions like does his daughter always have a Halloween party? Is this a family tradition and one that will continue for years. If he always hosts a Halloween party for his daughter on Halloween then he should do so this year so that she will know she isn’t being replaced or valued less than her baby brother.
Dear Wendy October 16, 2017, 12:38 pm
ktfran October 16, 2017, 12:28 pm
WWS. I get not wanting your partner, or baby daddy, or whatever unavailable around your pregnancy. What’s weird is that she’s ok with a party a few days before, but not the due date.
Either she doesn’t have a basic understanding of how pregnancy works, or she is irrationally jealous about this guy’s daughter.
ele4phant October 16, 2017, 2:22 pm
Okay, I could be wrong here.
I guess I’ll I’m saying is I’m inclined to be sympathetic to the LW here – even if she is having some irrational thoughts in how she is viewing the situation.
Not being invested in the situation at all – I still read a lot of these responses as rebukes and that she’s selfish and wrong for having concerns about the situation (regardless of whether or not the concerns she’s articulating are the right reasons). I can only imagine how she read it.
dinoceros October 16, 2017, 2:33 pm
But the reason does matter. If I asked someone not to eat a pb&j near me because I think it’s gross, that’s irrational. Saying that it’s irrational doesn’t mean that I’m also saying it would be irrational if a person who was deathly allergic made the same request. This is especially true when the LW makes it very clear which potential reasons matter to her and which do not. If she said that the baby daddy lived far away and couldn’t come to the hospital on time, then I would be much more understanding. But she’s fine with the party being on the weekend, which has the same likelihood of her giving birth as the due date.
LisforLeslie October 16, 2017, 12:24 pm
@elephant – I think the LW is hiding her feelings behind irrational arguments and it’s simply not getting her what she wants. If the LW wants to say “I’m worried because I am about to expel a human and I need to know that you, the father, are present and will be by my side – then she should say that and not hide behind “parties are for weekends, 8 year olds shouldn’t stay up late and it might diminish the specialness of a baby’s big day out (of the womb).”
wobster109 October 16, 2017, 2:27 pm
That sounds likely to be correct. I wonder if “baby daddy” has a history of dismissing this kind of honest vulnerability as weak emotional stuff. I kind of think he might have, since he calls her names and airs their personal arguments on Facebook.
MaggieB October 16, 2017, 7:46 pm
Totally agree. Looking back on the dysfunctional relationship I was in, I can think of so many stupid, irrational complaints we would throw at each other, that were really just a bullshit way to express our frustrations with each other without addressing the real important problems.
GertietheDino October 16, 2017, 11:35 am
LW1: My birthday falls in the week of Thanksgiving every year. I have never, I repeat NEVER, celebrated my birthday that week (except with family, cuz I’m there for the holiday. PS – I was 2 days past my due date (as were both of my sisters, due dates mean nothing).
Northern Star October 16, 2017, 11:59 am
LW 2, a relationship that’s “hard to define” becomes less so when you’re simply “husband” and “wife.” Just sayin’.
Skyblossom October 16, 2017, 12:18 pm
LW2 For someone who feels like they have always been married (what does that even mean when you’ve only known each other for five years) you don’t sound confident in your relationship. You don’t sound like someone who feels married. You sound like someone who feels very unmarried in a married world and is strongly feeling that unmarried status.
He invited you to attend with them. You are the one who said it might be awkward. Why say that and then be upset when he agreed with you. Do you really think it will be awkward? If you do why be upset when he agreed? If it will be awkward it will be awkward. Instead of worrying about what he really intends why not talk directly about it being awkward and how to handle that awkwardness. That’s what married people do if they want the marriage to work. Start acting like you are married and use some words to discuss the situation.
You made it sound like you didn’t want to go because it may be awkward. What is your boyfriend supposed to think? Maybe that you don’t want to be out with him and his son. Maybe you want to avoid awkward. Maybe you don’t really feel like you are married. Learn to talk to your boyfriend.
As to how to handle the situation. Go to the party if it isn’t too late to add yourself to the RSVP and let your boyfriend introduce you as his girlfriend. They will all know he isn’t married and will assume he is dating. Why not get to know these people. Unless his son never mentions you they all already know that he is living with his dad and dad’s girlfriend. They already know. This isn’t a huge secret.
saneinca October 16, 2017, 12:30 pm
I don’t know how the baby daddy was going to have a party for kids on a working week day. ( unless both he and his daughter’s friends parents are unemployed stay at homes)
But it is totally inconsiderate of him to even plan something like that so close to his second child’s birth. LW, I am sorry you chose a total dick to be your baby daddy. Now you have to bear with that for the next 18 years.
I am also surprised at posters even supporting his party plan – remember this old post and everyone’s advise there ?
Anonymous October 16, 2017, 12:36 pm
Totally different scenarios. One was out of state, the other is in the same town.
Or course, a plan should be in place if she goes into labor, but is he also supposed to stop working on the baby’s due date? What about the week leading up and the week after? Is life supposed to cease to exist leading up to the baby’s entrance into the world?
I know quite a few women who had uncomplicated pregnancies who worked up until she started going into labor. Most fathers I know do as well.
ele4phant October 16, 2017, 2:24 pm
I mean – he’ll be in town, yes, but if he’s solely responsible for a bunch of tweens, he’ll be just as inaccessible, yes? Unless he’s planning contingencies, he can’t up and leave a bunch of 8 year olds by themselves to rush to the hospital.
Northern Star October 16, 2017, 12:39 pm
I don’t think LW 1 “chose” this guy to be her baby daddy. She doesn’t seem to be romantically involved with him. Screams accidental pregnancy to me. I’m betting he isn’t going to be present at the birth at all, since she doesn’t mention that as a reason not to have the party on her due date.
I don’t think it’s all that comparable to the letter you linked—for one thing, because she has no real leverage to ask him to do anything. They’re not committed, as far as I can see.
ktfran October 16, 2017, 12:49 pm
I agree with this. I had a similar impression about their relationship.
Another difference is one party is out of state, whereas this seems to be in the same town.
So, buy your logic, saneinca, are people supposed to sit around and wait for the baby’s entrance into the world? Are they not allowed to go about their day as long as a plan is in place? I really don’t see the harm in going about business as usual, as long as it’s not harming the mother or baby and as long as you’ve talked and communicated about your plan once you go into labor.
saneinca October 16, 2017, 1:05 pm
Well, whatever the relationship is between LW and her baby daddy, she elected to continue with the pregnancy so that implies she did choose the guy to be her baby daddy.
saneinca October 16, 2017, 1:10 pm
I don’t know the relationship between the LW and the guy. I am not even talking about the special day stupidity the LW went with.
I am saying the baby daddy is still a nonsupporting jerk for planning parties around his second baby’s birth.
dinoceros October 16, 2017, 1:29 pm
Choosing the baby daddy would be planning a pregnancy with your partner. A person who wants a child or does not want to have an abortion is most likely not going to terminate simply because it’s not the guy they would want to parent with .
dinoceros October 16, 2017, 12:46 pm
I don’t really see how these two letters are that related. One was about a destination bachelor party and the other is a (presumably) local party for his kid. One is somewhat frivolous and means the dad-to-be is going to have a very difficult time canceling or returning from the trip if the LW went into labor, and the other is planning an event for his kid as a parent that sounds a lot easier to cancel or leave. Folks can debate whether the party is a good idea on a school night, but I can’t fault a parent for canceling all their kids events over the several weeks that another baby could arrive.
dmarie October 16, 2017, 1:35 pm
Yes! My husband stopped going out of town about 3 or 4 weeks before my due date but we for sure didn’t stop planning other things. I think the only real consideration is what is the plan if she goes into labor, assuming he is coming to the birth. But really you need that for everything in the weeks before your due date. We actually had a birthday party at our house for my middle son 2 days before my youngest was born. They were 2.5 and 1 week early. We knew I could go into labor that day but we figured the guests would just have to deal.
LisforLeslie October 16, 2017, 1:32 pm
@Anonymous & @ktf – you’re making false equivalencies between doing nothing and planning something.
Expectant parents (and / or whomever may be a part of the birth plan) typically put their world on notice they may have to go to the hospital in the middle of the workday or event. They may make plans but usually with the caveat “I may have to cancel, you understand.” They typically do not offer to host a party.
dmarie October 16, 2017, 1:38 pm
I don’t know. I have been to a few parties at someones house where they were within a month or less of their due date. I think if it is a yearly thing if she is up for it you still do it. I went to a friends annual 4th party when she was due on the 10th.
LisforLeslie October 16, 2017, 2:00 pm
Right – that’s why I said typical. You’re talking about exceptional. With a toddler at home, you have to have someone who’s going to take care of the kid. With an annual event, you have your trusted friend who, if need be, will clean up, take out the garbage and lock the house if you have to leave suddenly.
ktfran October 16, 2017, 2:34 pm
I believe I said “you should communicate a plan” if the LW goes into labor. Meaning there should be a backup plan.
Skyblossom October 16, 2017, 3:22 pm
The baby daddy will be around if needed as far as we know. The baby could easily be born any time during the two weeks before the due date to the two weeks after the due date. People don’t put their lives on hold for an entire month just in case. They do let people know they may need to leave if the mother goes into labor.
dinoceros October 16, 2017, 12:41 pm
LW1: Wendy’s right. The chances of your son being born on the due date are very slim. The main thing is that if the baby daddy plans to be present during the birth, he needs to understand that if you do happen to go into labor during the party, he needs to have plans in place for leaving and going to the hospital. I don’t agree with one partner calling the other names, but I think that your argument that it’s your son’s special day doesn’t make a lot of sense.
carolann October 16, 2017, 4:02 pm
I agree that LW 1 is being a bit irrational about her baby’s “special day”. Two of my 3 kids were born on holidays (none on their due date) and I was in labor over two days with two of them. There was definitely plenty of time to finish a party…or two.
In fact with those two long labors my husband was sent to go get sleep. It was a really drawn out thing. Of course some people have their kids quickly, but I don’t think that is the norm especially with your first baby.
In her defense, she is pregnant and some of us start to blow stuff out of proportion the further along we get. I was one of those super sensitive moms the first time around.
I think it is nice of the father to want to make everything as easy on the older child as possible. I think there is some jealousy there and she could end up causing trouble. (which may effect her son and his relationship with his family) She will hopefully mature with life experience.
Ron October 16, 2017, 7:03 pm
I think this has nothing to do with the baby’s special day and everything to do with the status that being the latest baby mama in this guy’s life makes her feel entitled to. I doubt it’s about the specific day. I think she wants him in attendance upon her for the couple weeks leading up to her due date. Giving priority to kid’s Halloween party is the same thing to her as shunting her aside in her shining moment for baby mama #1. It is insecurity and perhaps a loss of bragging rights of some sort.
Ange October 16, 2017, 4:53 pm
The second letter is strange to me. Nobody in Aus would blink an eye at this. Is there something I’m missing? Perhaps LW 2 is sad she’s not married yet and this is how it’s manifesting because I really don’t see how being the live in girlfriend is some shameful thing that would make the party awkward.
dinoceros October 16, 2017, 5:03 pm
I got so caught up with the first letter, I forgot to read the second. It’s weird to me too. It’s not uncommon for single parents to date someone else and eventually live with them, so I don’t know why she’d think this is so odd. I also think that a person shouldn’t state an opinion they don’t think is true in order to have someone disagree with them, a weird version of fishing for compliments.
Anonymous October 16, 2017, 5:44 pm
hasn’t the second letter been published already, or am i crazy?