Monday, July 27, 2009

Would I Take My Baby To Blogher?

Baby, say what? Yes, my girls are my babies, but they are no longer babies. My daughters are two and five and rarely allow me to call them such a term of endearment. Now let me be clear, I didn't attend the Blogher conference this weekend, nor have I attended a Blogher conference in the past. I could give you a long story or I could just simply state, I don't think it's for me. Period.

Over the weekend, a big wave of excitement swelled on Twitter during the conference when a woman and her baby were turned away from a Nikon sponsored cocktail party. As I have gathered, this event was not a part of the conference, but rather a branding event put on by Nikon to wow and schmooze the A List Bloggers of all disciplines, not just mommy bloggers. Even more technically speaking, "Nikon" didn't actually turn these women and their babies away, the restaurant did, silly 21 and under laws.

Then posts were written, by wonderful writers may I add, debating the issue. Who's right and who's wrong? Should I throw away my Nikon right now because they #hatebabies?

This whole controversy left me feeling one way, no matter which side of the story was presented. I would NOT take a baby to Blogher. I wouldn't. Would I judge mothers that did, NO. Would I snub my nose at them or elbow their babies in the head as I was trying to snag a gift card from McDonalds, definitely not. Would I raise an eyebrow if a woman brought her baby in a sling to a cocktail party, no.

Why?

When my daughters were babies, I put many things I wanted to do on hold. It was my choice to do so. I nursed my first daughter for over two years and my second for twenty months. During that time as well as my pregnancies, I refrained from drinking alcohol. On a rare occasion I would have a glass of wine or a sip of beer when I was nursing, trust me when I say rare, I mean it. For over a year, I even went on a crazy elimination diet to help clear my daughter's skin of eczema. I made sure what I put in my body was pure and nourishing. Did I feel like a victim, no. It's what I wanted for my girls. I never traveled with the girls on my own for a function I wanted to attend. It's just how it was.

Call me selfish, but if I attended Blogher I wouldn't want to bring my children even if they were babies. I'm one of those people that would want a new found friend at a conference to use hand sanitizer after I knew she washed her hands, before picking up my baby. I'm not good with the passing the baby around in a crowd thing, it scares me and makes me super nervous. Plus, my girls create a different level of anxiety for me. I would be overly concerned that they would be making noise and disrupting others, among a laundry list of other things.

When I think about Blogher, I think about packed rooms with informative sessions. I think about having a fun time with fellow bloggers, out to lunch, late night parties, maybe catching a show or having a few too many to drink. At Blogher I would want it to be about me, the best way I know how to relax in such a setting is with out children. Would I feel guilty for taking a weekend away with out my children, not for a minute. Would I care if someone's babysitter backed out and they brought their 5 month old, not for a minute.

I'm easy to please. Maybe i'll feel differently if the stars align and I think Blogher will actually be for me next year, if so see you in New York. I'll bring my hand sanitizer in case you want me to hold your baby...

Want the real scoop, try these blogs:

Motherhood Uncensored

The Happiest Mom

Mamapundit



10 comments:

  1. I brought my baby to BlogHer this past weekend. But I brought my husband too - and he was on baby duty. I had the best of both worlds! hehe. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wasn't there, but would have welcomed it instead of house remodeling. :> I wouldn't have taken my son to BlogHer as an infant because I couldn't handle the flight with him. We did take our infant to tons of places in my sling---design conferences, work, work & friend parties, concerts in the park (away from the crazy speakers)...but no action packed parties or anything. (And, not too much baby passing to people.)

    My son was super portable in my sling (and mostly sleeping) until he turned one and became Mr. Squirmy. Now, I scrutinize every situation & we tend to only go to really kid friendly restaurants, parties (back yards with other kids), parks, and grocery stores in the morning (where he can push his own little cart without hurting anyone).

    Of course, I've had some judgment fails where I think a situation is kid friendly and is not. In those cases, I pray to the patron saint of clueless moms and try to get the hell out of the situation as fast as possible. :>

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well i never went, as you know, and quite honestly i wouldn't have taken either kid to it unless someone backed out last minute and even then i would question taking the girl. the boy would have loved it and all the attention but the girl woud have freaked.

    I do not however have any issue with people taking a baby to it, why should someone be deprived of an event because they have a baby. Perhaps they should have a 21 and older disclaimer on the invites??!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I didn't go but even if I had a very small baby that I needed to bring, I just would not go to that event. Bars are smokey and full of well, drunks. It's not the place to take a child.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well, I do dream of the day -- maybe next year -- when I might get the chance to attend BlogHer without any of my kids, so I can tie a few on at the after parties. So far it hasn't happened that way, but that doesn't mean I have missed BlogHer.
    The first time I went to BlogHer, I sent my 3-year-old to my parents' house and put my 5-month-old in the daycare so I could breastfeed her during breaks. I was able to bring her to the cocktail party at Navy Pier and then we headed home.
    Last year, I brought BOTH my 4-year-old and 1-year-old to San Francisco with me -- no husband. Crazy? A little, but since we used to live in SF we had lots of friends out there who wanted to see the kids, and I was still breastfeeding anyway and didn't want to leave the younger one. Also, the grandparents were busy, the husband was working. Some friends helped me out so I could go to a couple private dinners for blogs I write for.
    This year, I have a 2-week-old baby. So of COURSE he came with me in the sling -- I also brought the stroller w/ car seat so I could lay him down occasionally. It was much nicer than having a kid in the daycare because I was able to go to all kinds of parties -- yes, including private parties at a nightclub and a bar/restaurant.
    Smoking is not allowed in Chicago bars so that is not an issue. If the place was really crowded and I thought the baby might get hurt I would not have gone in, but really, a babe in arms is not a "child" who needs to be protected from the sight of people drinking. He was just happy to be where he belonged -- with mom.
    I don't think women should be expected to sacrifice and sit out of life while our children are nursing. That kind of attitude just discourages women from choosing to nurse. I try to live my life as normally as I can while I am breastfeeding -- and that includes having a drink or two, which my pediatrician has told me is fine.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I like your common sense. I'm just saying. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yeah, I am with you, bringing a baby there is not my deal - I want to hang and not have the deal with baby stuff. I am SELFISH. LOL. But I also understand why some mothers decide to bring them, and cool, whatever floats your boat - but like I said in my post, you also need to be prepared.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You are quite diplomatic; I'd like to say I agree wholeheartedly but with my selfish need for the experience to be just for me, I also wish the other mothers would find childcare for toddlers during the bulk of the events.

    Babies are relatively easy with the feeding & changing & soothing; walkers/runners are more difficult and become distracting for instructors, attendees, and the kid's mom who paid big bucks to get some info.

    Hope we can see each other there next year :D

    ReplyDelete
  9. There were cute babies everywhere...and I was glad they were not my responsibility! Babies are a lot of work. It was a lot of work to navigate Blogher. Wigh a baby...no way!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I also would not bring my children to BlogHer, and I plan on going next year, if I can manage to be apart from them for more than 24 hours. I've only ever been away from them for two nights - once this year, once last year. Anyway, I also put lots of thing son hold when I was pregnant, and nursing, etc. They come first - their comfort, their routines, etc. I will travel with them, but only on flights no longer than 4 hours, because they are so young and I know they'd hate it after that many hours, and also, my sanity. ;)

    ReplyDelete

I always appreciate the gesture to stop and take a moment to comment. Thank you!