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No, Your Kid Can't Come to My Adults-Only Party

Photograph by Twenty20

Mardi Gras is known for its excess, particularly eating and drinking—and the party I had planned was no exception. The menu standouts? Hurricanes and hand grenades—New Orleans' strongest signature cocktails. I posted updates on the alcohol I was buying, the spicy seafood, the heavy menu and the decidedly adult playlist.

Despite the invitation's heavy focus on drinking, the texts and Facebook messages came almost immediately: "Can I bring my kids?"

The next weekend there was another party, another set of invites, this time for an adult's birthday party that promised, among other things, a night of "debauchery." And just like with the Mardi Gras party, came the inevitable question: "Are kids invited?"

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As the mom of two younger children, I get it. Finding a sitter is a pain. And even if you can find a sitter, it’s often a toss up between your desire to have fun and your desire to not spend even more of your paycheck on childcare. Add in the cost for gas or an Uber, and yeah, it can add up.

But, no, you still can't bring your kids to my grown-up party.

I don’t subscribe to the notion that once you have kids your life becomes all about them. Adults-only time is not just fun, it’s a necessity. Hell, I’ll go so far as to call it self-care. Sometimes it’s critical that you have time to be a grown-up hanging out with other grown-ups.

I understand that asking my parent friends to leave their kids at home is a gamble. They may bow out or feel offended. But in the end, it's for their own benefit.

To have the opportunity to enjoy yourself without worrying you’re neglecting your kid. To have that second (or third) drink. To sing gangsta rap during karaoke.

To simply have fun without that ever-present knowledge that at some point, you may be running to wipe a kid’s butt or refill a cup of juice or referee a fight over who gets to choose whether they listen to the "Trolls" soundtrack.

And dear Lord, that sweet, sweet feeling of being able to let loose and catch up with friends without the inevitable “Oh crap, is that my kid crying? No that’s your kid,” moment that ALWAYS happens when you get a group of kids playing together.

Now that kind of freedom is priceless.

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I understand that asking my parent friends to leave their kids at home is a gamble. They may bow out or feel offended. But in the end, it's for their own benefit.

So next time, I’ll be more clear: Sure we’d love to have you, but no, we’d rather keep this event for the adults this time. Because while I know we are parents 24/7, I’d love it if for just a few hours, it can be just us adults. We’ll do something kid-friendly another time, as long as you do one thing for me: Come and have a good time.

You won’t regret it.

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