July 27, 2009

I Brought My Baby To BlogHer Part Two

I'm afraid there has been a big misunderstanding.

When I was planning for BlogHer, I was excited about taking Ivy and showing her off. BlogHer is known to be very baby-friendly and at Blogher 2008 in San Francisco I remembered Julie and Catherine wore their babies at sessions and parties and I imagined something similar for us.

And for the most part, it was a great experience having my baby with me. I wouldn't have been able to attend otherwise. I wore her in the sling almost the entire time. Occasionally letting her crawl on the floor where she might have eaten crumbs from Social Luxe hors d' oeuvres and when I thought it might be getting too crowded, I picked her up. When I needed to nurse her, I found a couch in a corner and fed her. And when I had said my quick hellos, watched my friend win an award, I left without incident (and without swag.)

As for the actual conference, I did find it limiting to take a baby. Every single session I tried to attend was too full- I couldn't even stand in the back or the door way. If I hadn't had her with me, I might have tried to squeeze in somehow. I then decided to wait in line for 45 minutes to hear the last session I wanted to attend, and got a seat in the very back. Ivy napped and then nursed and when she wanted to get down and move around, I left immediately so that we wouldn't be a distraction (even though Jenny had told me beforehand she wanted her to make all the noise she could because it would be awesome. And then she said she was going to kidnap her. So I got the heck out of there.)

If there hadn't been a line to even listen in the doorway I would have tried to stick around once she quieted, but I couldn't get back in.

Yes, there is childcare. But I can't even leave my baby in the church nursery. That is not BlogHer's fault. That's mine. Also when I found that I had no cell phone reception in many areas of the conference, I was wondering if I had done childcare, how would they get a hold of me?

Even hanging out with friends was frustrating because I wanted to do things while she napped on me so that I could get the most out of whatever it was we were going to do but then there is a lot of waiting at BlogHer. Wating on people, in your hotel room, for the elevator. And it started to wear on me that I would waste a good nap just waiting.

The part where I started to feel like I was seeing things in a whole new light was after the parties.

I was a guest of Katja's at the Hanes party held at Rebar in the Trump Tower. It was a bar. When I first received the invite I immediately let her know I'd have the baby.
They didn't bat an eye at my bringing Ivy with me. The driver installed her carseat. The bar staff were incredible and brought her crackers to crush into their carpet. I sat with her on my lap in the back, on a couch. The Hanes people were gracious and entertained by Ivy's tricks. And then she slept in the sling the rest of the time.

In my head and heart, I want you and anyone there to know that I was thinking "blogger event" the entire time. I wasn't thinking "bar". I honestly probably wasn't thinking. Even though it was BlogHer weekend I was tired, and I was still Mom. I was me.

Looking back I am now realizing that maybe I should have thought it through a bit more and considered that while it was a wonderful gesture that they invited us both to come along, I didn't have to accept. Maybe they were outwardly smiling and sweet but on the inside thinking how annoying or inappropriate it was that I had brought a baby to a bar. Maybe they were scared off by what could happen if you upset a nursing Mom blogger.

That is not who I am.

Yes, I do nurse my baby in public but I don't wave my rights around like a gun. I know the right time and place. At least I thought I knew.

At BowlHer on Saturday night we had an absolute blast. In the music room there were mini concerts and plenty of room to chill and let the babies crawl around. Ivy was dancing and clapping and at one moment I turned and said this was the best moment yet. Only I didn't say it. I had to shout it. And I looked at Kim and asked if I was an idiot. If we had to shout to hear each other, what were we doing to the babies' ears?

The set ended and we took the babies out before the next musician came on. I felt like everyone was watching me and, although I am honest and make plenty of mistakes here on the blog, it seemed like in real life? I wasn't allowed to make any mistakes. Because shame on me if I just had a learning experience like any other Mother.

I started to question myself. On my way back to our hotel room I stopped in the Cheeseburgher party because I wanted to say hi to Isabel and Lindsay. I'm so glad I did because I also got to see Rick from Tiny Prints again and seriously if you were there this weekend you will agree with me at least somewhat that he was the happiest and most cheerful person there. He was taking photos and having a great time and I wished I could see the conference through his eyes. (And yeah, he was also my sponsor but that is a blessing that I basically just fell into.)

Anyway, as expected, their suite was packed. I made my way through with Casey & Emily and got my bag hat, burger, Dr. Pepper, with Ivy in the sling. I was able to say my thanks to the girls for the party, they were glad we made it, and then Ivy and I wriggled our way out to the hallway and back to our room.

By then, the weight of the weekend came crashing down. I was embarrassed if anyone thought I was being inconsiderate for bringing Ivy with me to a bar and concert. I didn't want to be thought of as some selfish nursing babywearing Mom that keeps her baby with her all the time no matter who it might inconvenience. All this time I had thought she was welcome. And I began to wonder about all the other times I might have given the same wrong impression. No event, no amount of friendship or networking is worth risking my reputation (and sanity), someone else's reputation, or my child's safety.

Next year I'll hopefully still be nursing her and so it doesn't look like I'll be going. It's just not the right season in my life to be doing these things. And if I hadn't already committed to another blogging event coming up next month, I wouldn't be taking her to that either, even though she was clearly on the invite with me. I'm looking at everything a bit differently now.

It's my choice to keep her with me at all times even if that means we have to stay at home. And I won't be moping around about it either.

Photo by Beth.

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  1. If it makes any difference Steph I thought I could barely keep my eyes off of Ivy when she was dancing to the music at Blowlher. SOOO cute. Makes me look forward to this baby in my belly even more, even though I was sick almost the entire time at Blogher with 24 hour morning sickness. bleh.

  2. How sad that you were made to feel that way. It makes me sad that others would not see you and Ivy for what you are and that no you do not want to be separated. I am thankful now that I did not attend the sessions and this makes me really reconsider Blogher 2010 for A and I.

    Be strong :)


  3. I'm not really sure what happened to you at Blogher and I for one thought it was awesome and wonderful for you to bring Ivy. She is a pure delight to be around and beautiful and joyful. I was with you at Bowler and LOVED every single minute of watching her dance and crawl and eat food off the ground. She is part of who you are, many women at Blogher are MOTHERS too and I thought it was only right for you to have her there with you.

    Forget about everyone else and do what is right for you.

  4. Steph, even after reading this, I still think with 100% certainty you did nothing wrong. Maybe you shoul have had some earplugs for Miss Ivy, but I bet she as fine.

  5. Wow great post!

    I can speak for myself, I do the nursing, babywearing, co-sleeping never leaving baby behind thing!

    And yes I do have some well meaning Mother trying to convince me that I'm not doing what is right :-(

    I never take time off from the kids, but what a reward it is! God is letting me be able to see then grow while being with them I don't miss a thing.

    Sure sometime I'm tired but only in God I find rest. I've learn that while I sacrifice my social life (for the benefit of my husband and children) I'm more and more content.

    I love being home and taking care of my family.

    Thank for sharing this post!


  6. Stephanie, thanks for your transparency! I've always loved your honest-to-goodness style of writing but this piece may take the cake. Thank you for "laying it all out there" and being 100% purely authentic. It's hard to find 100% pure authenticity these days with mommy bloggers, so thank you. As for BlogHer, you live, you learn. It's unfortunate that it wasn't a more positive experience for you and Ivy. (Although years from now you AND she will probably get a good giggle about how you took her to a bar when she was tiny!:)) I just love how you put your children first (in spite of your bloggy fame). You go girl!

  7. I cannot reply as a Mom, but as a friend. All I can say is, only you know what is best for you and your baby. It sounded to me like a very baby-friendly event. Especially because most of these people flock to your blog because of your writing style and your adorable babies! They are the main attraction, right?! Why turn them away? But yes, when it comes to bars and musical events, I guess you have to exercise caution. I was a bit shocked to hear that women would bring a baby out and about as young as a month or two, but who am I to say what is or isn't right for them? I understand why you bring Ivy, and I bet most of your friends do too. But I also see what you mean about having consideration for the moms who were looking for a weekend away without the kids. But you can't keep having considerations for everyone, you have to do what's right for you. It sucks that you feel you can't have it all. Because you work hard and you deserve to feel at ease. :) xoxo

  8. HI, Stephanie! I don't think I have ever commented before, but I've read your blog for a while. Part of the reason I read is that I'm fascinated with your parenting style which seems to be so different from what I did with my own kids (4 of them, now ages 8-13). The other reason I like your blog is because you are happy and enthusiastic about what you are doing, but don't seem to be pushy about insisting that others do what you do--as you exhibit so beautifully in this post.

    You make it clear that your choices are your choices but you don't expect the entire world to agree or to do whatever it takes to accommodate your choices. What comes across to me is that you are grateful when people accommodate you, but you don't expect it. You are willing to make the sacrifice for your baby, not expectant that everyone else does.

    This is not, and should not be interpreted as, a commentary on what should or should not have been at BlogHer--I wasn't there. It's just my long way of saying that I really admire you.

  9. I find this post interesting. When I was considering going to BlogHer I too thought it was momma friendly. Which in my mind meant baby friendly. I would have too had to have taken my 1 year old and would have been disappointed to miss out on everything because I had him with me.

    At this point I'm glad I didn't go.

    I don't think you should feel bad, or think you did anything wrong. You didn't.

    If you had been drunk and carrying around your sleeping infant at 3am.... it might have raised an eyebrow or two. As it is, I think your guilt is unfounded. It didn't work out and that is too bad, but NOTHING for you to feel bad about.

    Can I also say this, I will be showing this post to my husband. There is a 1 week photog workshop that I want to attend, but I can't talk myself in to leaving my then 18mth old for a week. I keep telling him that this just isn't the right time and there will be more opportunity. He thinks I'm crazy. Only Moms truly understand that our job really is 24/7. Even when things we want to do come up, momhood trumps that.

    Love from another Mother. :)

  10. Stephanie,

    I wouldn't have done anything differently. If I were attending Blogher this year, I most definitely would have been wearing Kayla the entire time, no matter what. No exceptions. I hate to say it, but I dont' trust a soul, but myself and my family to watch my daughter and that's that. I don't blame you one bit, I bet she had a great time and that's all that matters, right?


  11. I just want to hug you right now, Steph.

    I like what you said about it not being the season for these things right now.

    I feel the same way. Although I wrestle with my personal desires a lot, I often don't do what I'd like because I realize that now is just not the time.

    And for what it's worth, I would have loved to meet Ivy at blogher09.


  12. thank you for sharing your thoughts. i have been reading a lot about what blogher was like for people as i try to decide how i feel about going next year. at first it seemed so great and i was sure i wanted to be there but now i am wondering if it is yet another thing where my parenting style will mean that i feel judged. i don't mean to say anyone did judge you, or that anyone was against your parenting style. i just mean that it makes me deeply sad to hear you express regret based not on what it was like for you but what you think it might have made some other people think.

    i am all for taking other people's feelings into consideration and i am also for people being able to openly and kindly share their feelings and their needs in order to find a way to work things out.

    the thing that is making me saddest in everything i read post blogher 09 is how much it feels like name calling and finger pointing and saying a lot about what should not be. it feels like it would be more productive if folks would use "i feel" statements (like you have here) and focus on what they want to create - not what they would like to see destroyed.

    sorry to go on and on. i feel safe commenting here.

  13. OH and a huge P.S. --- you look absolutely stunning-amazing-drop dead gorgeous in that photo. And your daughter is giving you a run for your money in that shot, too!


  14. Steph, I wasn't there, but what you described sounds almost exactly like my BlogHer08 experience while wearing Oliver. It was exhausting for me and definitely wearisome for him, but we did what worked for us - including stepping out and stepping back when it made sense.

    I'm really sorry I wasn't there to see you again.

  15. I can understand why you have mixed feelings, I'm sure I would too. But I never had a second thought about you having her there with you, especially since she is such a part of you right now (meaning she's with you to nurse AND she's a baby) and your BLOG. I think it's wonderful that she was there with you and clearly she was enjoying herself too, from what I saw! : )

  16. Whether or not you decide to bring your daughter to another event should not be dictated by what a handful of others think, but based on what you think is best. AND I trust that is what you would be doing if decided not attend with her again. I just find it terrible that you & other women are being made to feel like the mothering choices they've made are not acceptable. There was nothing wrong with bringing Ivy with you.

    I have never been made to feel that way at a professional conference or it's related events before or after. I am wondering if perhaps it's because we don't twitter during or post about it after like what has happened with BlogHer. It seems like there's a lot going online that has caused women to question themselves after the fact. But seriously if women are ever going to be able to change the way things are done, it has to include mothering as part of the experience this means babies too.

    I agree with what Megan Francis (I think it was in her comments section) wrote about the regional aspects to some of this. I wonder also wondered if some of the judgment mothers are feeling for bringing their babies to (gasp!) a setting with alcohol isn't related to some particular regional/cultural/ socio-economic norm that isn't applicable to all women’s experiences. I can honestly say that I've been to Baptism parties with booze. Seeing a baby at a bar (particularly like at an event like you describe) wouldn't fase me unless the baby was the one doing the shots.

  17. Aww shoot hit the enter button too fast. Meagan NOT Megan.

  18. So my experience with a baby at BlogHer was just a small fraction of yours. I left him at home with my husband to go to one party on Thursday night and I skipped the rest because I didn't wan to bring him or leave him home again.

    He was with me at the conference on Friday and the only person who it really affected was me -- it was just hard to really focus on too much with a busy baby on my lap. I was exhausted at the end of the day and glad I was not returning for Saturday's sessions.

    For me, I think that I was able to strike the right balance for both of us.

    Even though I thought everything went just fine, all of the "baby at BlogHer" talk is making me wonder if other people were looking askance at my choice to bring my son with me on Friday. If that is the case, I am glad I didn't notice at the time.

  19. love your perspective. i commented telling you that i am in a wedding where i can't have my baby with me at the shower or wedding. baby will be 6 weeks old at the shower. instead of complaining, i am learning my lesson. i won't have a frown on because i'm not happy about it - i just won't put myself in that situation another time.

    good for you.

  20. I agree with you about this season of life. With my nursing, co-sleeping 2YO, I have decided that I cannot attend conferences. It was a difficult decision. But at least for another year, she needs me to be present. And at first I felt bad about this decision. Not any more. It's just a season in my life. I don't care if other moms are able to leave their kids or have someone watch them overnight at 2 weeks old. I cannot. My daughter needs me and I need to be with her. And if that means making some sacrifices, I am willing to do that. She's that important.

    It's just a season of life. Your kids are more important than the opinions of strangers. Do what what your kids need you to do, not what others might falsely expect of you.


  21. This makes me so sad Steph. I am sorry you were made to feel this way. I agree that you have to do what makes you feel good... what feels right. I just wish you hadn't been made to feel this way during that process.

  22. I'd echo what everyone else is saying. Make your decisions about what to attend events or not, and whether or not to bring Ivy based on what's right for her (and you), not based on someone else's opinions. Opinions are motivated by any number of things, and not all of them are good things, sadly.

    Onward and upward! We have our daughters' futures to consider as we navigate the world as women and mothers.

  23. Thanks for writing this. It makes the realities of BlogHer (with or without a baby in tow) more concrete. Of course it would be great to get to go, but it helps to realize that even when there not all is perfect. Also, I wrote today about a tough day with our Butterfly (17 months old) yesterday, and how I failed to make the smarter/harder choice and we all paid the consequences. Today my baby girl is playing happily at home, and I just need to remember that sometimes that is where she needs to be, and therefore where I need to be. Anyway, thanks for telling the truth. :)

  24. nak...

    steph: i'm sorry its been such an ordeal. you're a mama first. the people thatunderstand that...well, they understand. those that don't are missing out on a fun relatinship and a great blogger.

    remember at blissdom? you said you wished it would be the way it used to be? i'm starting to wish the same...



  25. There is nothing for you to apologize for, honey! I would've been in the same predicament had I have gone - attending parties not knowingly in a bar. (I just looked again, it wasn't specified on any of my invites) It wasn't said to me "Hey, this blogger event isn't a restaurant, exactly, it's a bar." I really wouldn't have had any idea. I made it known to those who invited me I'd have the baby and no one said anything about it being inappropriate.

    I can understand your thinking, and perhaps passing up in the future parties and get togethers that may not be the best for her and her safety, but no one faults you for any of it. Where you go, Ivy goes. Where breastfeeding mom bloggers go, their babies' go. There is nothin wrong with it, if these companies' want to involve mothers, it comes with the territory. Not your fault.

    Dammit I wish more than anything to give you a hug right now. Or this weekend.

    Also, that picture is radiant. Every single picture I found of you two was.

  26. If it makes you feel any better, I take my daughter to bars and don't even think twice about it. I mean, I wouldn't take her to some biker bar full of smoke and roudy behaviour, but just because a place is a "bar" doesn't mean that it is necessarily a place that a baby can't be. Bars here are smoke-free and it's just a place people go to have drinks, socialize, and relax after work. No behaviour that prohibits small children. And it sounds like your bringing Ivy as plenty appropriate. :)

  27. I'm glad you wrote such an honest post here. As moms we make choices and MOST of the time the world accepts our different choices. I find it frustrating when MY ideals don't fit with the worlds sometimes. Does not mean I would change my cloth diapering/babywearing ways either. You are right...maybe another year, and you will be able to enjoy the music and events as Steph the blogging woman, not Steph the mom to Ivy. I don't know how you even found the energy to do it!

    Good for you for stepping out and bringing her, and thank you so much for such and honest post.

  28. Steph, Only you can make the decision as to what is right for you and for Ivy. That said I don't think it was all that inappropriate. I realize it was a bar and I was not there but as you describe it it was just fine. I take my children everywhere with me ad I skip things - like the theatre -- that they should not come to. However, I took my six week old baby to a noisy hockey game - actually before that I took my 10 day old baby to a very noisy outdoor in the rain concert - and I don't see anything wrong with it. We all had a nice time. So, my point is to do what you feel right about but not everyone thinks it was inappropriate (and I mean that inside and out).

  29. You paid to be there, yes? People who have a problem with babies don't get any more rights than you. I mean, I hate annoying people, but that doesn't mean they have any less of a right to be somewhere! Especially with babies. People who have a problems with babies being outside, in real life.. that's their own issues.

    Don't worry about the bar thing! There is a difference between being in a bar.. and being AT a bar. All my life my mom took me to bars (during the day) with her. Now that would be seen as such a horrible thing.. but I'm alright.. there was all sorts of free snacks & a pool table! And i'm not an alcoholic. ;) I don't think your gorgeous daughter will be scarred or anything.

    I'm not a fan of compartmentalizing life.. "personal", "professional" those are so inorganic. Ivy is a part of you right now, you shouldn't be expected to separate from her for any reason. Society should be more supportive of parent/baby attachments...

  30. You have to do what you think best...

    But I think that you know your baby best and if the hosts of an event say you can bring a baby, and you feel that your baby is appropriate there, then you shouldn't have to feel guilty about bringing your baby.

    I would bring a newborn everywhere...but I wouldn't bring my 10 month old to an adult event because I know he constantly wants to be up and down. He'd get into things. He'd be in a situation that is not setting himself, me or anyone else for a good time and success.

    It is all about the individual circumstance--the event, the mom, the baby.

    I've turned down a few events recently because my baby is not as portable anymore and I'm not ready to be apart from him, yet. And, like you, I'm not moping about that--there's plenty of baby-friendly things to do and enjoy!

    I just hope you don't think anyone thought you were inappropriate. If they said "yes" but meant "I hope not" then that is their issue. Most likely they said "yes" and meant "yes" and you and your baby were a delight.

  31. Steph... I cannot respond as someone who attended BlogHer, but I do have experience, albeit a LONG time ago, in taking a baby just about everywhere. I nursed Jane (who is now 28) until the night before she turned 3 years old (this was very frowned upon in most circles I traveled in all those years ago). I could have stayed home, but my husband and our older 3 kids were very mobile and active. I took Jane to bars, to restaurants, to meetings, to sporting events and family gatherings. Like you, I was very discreet in my nursing and learned the where and how very nicely. But I do know that others had a problem with this. I questioned myself sometimes, but I always had the support of my husband... and Janie's needs were first and foremost in our lives at that time. We wanted to be together, and that was that. I love your honestly... but I am sad for you to feel in any way that you made the wrong decision to take Ivy with you. I would do everything the same way... and the years do have a way of flying by... and I hope to see you next year in NYC, nursing and carrying Ivy. She will be on her own soon enough... hold her close and often and everywhere.

  32. I'm glad you were there--if only so I could admire your beautiful daughter in person. Most conferences aren't baby friendly. I think BlogHer is an exception. But having a baby with you is limiting. That you were able to take Ivy to as many events as you did is pretty impressive.

    I couldn't do much when I took my 10 day old to BlogHer 07. I got a lot more out of the sessions this year, with my kids at home.

  33. I can tell you that I didn't even think twice about seeing babies there. I thought it was great that they could come. Especially cute little Ivy blowing kisses at anyone who looked at her. :D

    I'm sorry you feel like this, but I can tell you it didn't bother me at all.

  34. it was a lovely post that actually had my heart ache. It feels unfair that people (and more so fellow mothers) make us feel inadquate. You are right there is a time for everything and no matter how hard we try to keep up wit things, sometimes its simply not the right moment. I hope none the less that you had a good time at blogher and if nothing, it has taught you something new :) hugs to you

  35. I think you're a great mom.

    Beautiful bangs! You two look so great.

  36. I don't think your actions were selfish; I never would have thought that. Moms shouldn't be penalized and shut out of activities for taking care of their children in the way they feel comfortable with. If I didn't have a three-week-old baby but an older baby and if I were more experienced with babywearing, I would have loved to have gone to BlogHer too.

  37. Okay, here I go. I'm not even a mom yet (we're working on making that happen!) but it annoys me to no end when I see people judging mothers. And usually the ones doing it are other mothers!

    You're a fantastic mother. Ivy is the cutest thing since fluffy puppies, and quite frankly I cannot imagine she was a bother. You were in a bar? Maybe it's living over here in England, but that doesn't seem odd to me at all. If you were partying it up while wearing her in a bar that might have been odd, but just having a baby in a bar because that's where the party was at? I would dare anyone to look down on you for that.

    I really hope no one made you feel bad about your parenting style or bringing Ivy. If they did, please don't take it seriously. It seems myself and the rest of your readers sure don't, and I don't see a reason you should either. Maybe there were some women who were jealous because they were missing their babies, but whatever the issue, it's their issue, not yours. Nothing in this post leads me to believe you did anything wrong at all.

  38. I was totally in love with Ivy dancing at BowlHer and I just want you to know I respect your decision to bring her a great deal. It was a pleasure to spend the evening with both of you!

    You are a Mother first and foremost and of that means Ivy comes with you.

    You guys were great to see and I think you deserved to be there. :-)

  39. I've often yearned to go to BlogHer. But it seems I'm always either gestating or nursing or both! I really contemplated going this year but since reading all about it - the swag greed grabs, the packed conferences, no room to sit, no wireless etc. - it just seems like I made the right call. My son is just 10 months and I wear him everywhere but I can see that when an event gets that big, it loses the intimacy. Which makes life harder for the one with the baby. We rely on the village when our babies are small. For those knowing looks when they shriek out or the laughter that comes because we've all been there! But when the crowd is too big, it's hard to find the sympathetics let alone enjoy yourself. I don't do conferences or much these days either. We haven't had a date night in eons. But oyu know what? We like our kids and they don't stress us out. So we're content with this season. We can have it - just not all at once, right?

  40. I think that was you and the lovely Ivy who were standing next to me (you were swaying, Ivy was sleeping, and joked about how long before we were all swaying with you) waiting to get into the panel with Jenny, Jessica, Deb...the ROFLMAO off panel?

    Anyway, I do remember looking for you when we got seated to make sure you had a seat (you sat almost directly behind me)and if I had known you had to leave and wanted to come back, I would have gladly offered you my spot. I saw so many moms with small babies sitting on the floors and standing and it hurt my heart that no one had the decency to move their ass.

    Anyway, I think it's lovely that you brought Ivy and as a person who bartended or managed bars for over ten years, I wouldn't have thought twice about you bringing her and sitting with a group of women. Now, if you had been there to pick up men or getting hammered, that's different.

    Not that I ever saw that. Well, once.

  41. I took my 2 month old with me to BlogHer & in part know how you are feeling. I was so torn about taking her with me, but honestly... I'm glad I did.
    I did not really attend any parties, but am not judging anyone who did. I was one of the moms turned away from one party because of baby (and have no ill will against the sponsor as they handled everything very politely... just would have wished I knew ahead of time). I was hurt by the people who said "who would want to take their baby to a bar, anyway?" Well, to those people... in my home town I would not take my baby to a party at a bar. However, as a 1st time BlogHer attendee, I had no idea how crazy some of the partying could get. I just assumed it would be like hanging out with friends, enjoying drinks & mostly, chatting about whatever product was sponsoring the event. For example, I was excited about checking out some of the newest gear at the party I was turned away from.

    Anyway, my little Leah got more attention, love, cuddles, smiles, etc than stares. I'm sorry you felt you won't be bringing her in the future. She was a sweet little doll face. Although I was tired from carrying her around for those days, I'm glad she was with me.

  42. Thanks for being so candid and I'm very sorry you were made to feel the way you do. I hate when moms are made to feel like they're second guessing the choices they make for their families.

    Had I been there, I would have LOVED to have seen her hanging out with you - I'm certain she was the belle of the ball :)

    I really do hope you reconsider for next year - I'm planning on going and I'd happily chase after her for you to go to some sessions. I'm surrounded by OH SO MUCH testosterone here and a little bit of girlyness would be just groovy for me :)

    Be well :)

  43. I'm glad you were there as I really enjoyed spending time with you :)

    I totally get this post, and it's given me alot to think about.

    I'll be like you next year and initially it sounds like a "no-brainer" to bring baby with me...but now I will be really carefully considering each move.

    I would be interested in knowing if you thought the same thing about bringing Ivy to Blissdom with you earlier this Spring?

    Blissdom seamed to me a bit more "baby friendly"...

  44. I don't think that you're the inconsiderate type that I've been reading not so great things about in regards to BlogHer.

    In any event, I'm glad that you and Ivy are going to be at the General Mills event next month. It will be good to meet you in person. And if you need a break, I'll hold her for you. I've been background checked and I carry hand sanitizer :-)

  45. I hate feeling like the odd woman out at parties.

    Maybe it's time for you to stir up BlogHer and see if you can find sponsors for baby friendly parties.

    That could be the message you were sent here.

    Just a thought!

  46. I might be underthinking this, but I think if Ivy had not been enjoying herself, if she had been experiencing any kind of trauma whatsoever, she would have let you know by crying.

    And . . . if Ivy's presence had really been an intrusion, surely someone would have let you know, probably also by crying in some fashion. :)

    I guess I just expect most well attended conferences to have too many people, plenty of inconvenience for everyone, but still with loads of potential for fun.

    Still, anyone looking at a conference full of people (ANY people) as a quiet, relaxing weekend getaway have . . . different expectations than me. I just think all this stuff comes with the territory, but my guess is Ivy had the best time out of anyone.

  47. what a bummer! I can totally hear what you are saying... at least in the context of other events {dinners, parties, ect.} I assumed that blogher would be very baby friendly... what a shame it wasn't!

    I've been thinking about going next year... hmmmmm....


  48. Karen CourtneyJuly 27, 2009 2:02 PM

    I admire you for your honesty in this post, and I don't think you have a thing to feel embarrassed or guilty about. To me, the real shame here is that people can't seem to have a good time together without booze and/or loud music. I doubt you'd be having these feelings had those two elements been eliminated from the BlogHer festivities. Why do people think that booze + loud music = the only way to have a good time? I find it a little odd that any conference that centers itself around so many bloggers that are moms and moms-to-be would plan so many of these types of events. Perhaps your post will provide some enlightenment to the planners of future conventions of this type.

  49. Wow, Steph - it's amazing how different perceptions can be. I didn't bat an eyelash at Ivy (or any other baby) being there... in fact, I was thrilled to have the babies there and happy that BlogHer was indeed baby friendly (huge crowds aside).

    For the Hanes event they sent an invite, you shared that Ivy would be there, and they said "cool." On all counts (e.g., follow up actions) I don't see a problem there. Not sure if you feel that this parallels the Nikon issue but my impression was that the sponsor or mom (or both?) had not made it clear that a baby would be in tow. Honestly, I don't think the venue type (bar, restaurant, cafe, whatever) matters so long as the baby-friendliness has been determined in advance.

    I was also thrilled to see you at the BowlHer party with Ivy and did not notice any nasty looks when you two decided to get up and go (and I was right next to you!).

    Finally, for selfish reasons I was psyched to see you and Ivy together. She is such an intrinsic part of your identity (all your kiddos are, but right now, you wear HER!) and having followed your pregnancy and her babyhood, I just wanted to see her adorable face and chubby little haunches for myself. And I admired your ability to navigate the conference with her in tow. I was too stressed out and self conscious to do anything like that when Laurel was a baby. It would probably be way different if I have a second shot at it. And seeing folks like you and Amy incorporating baby into your life passions makes me think it would be possible to do so.

    With all of my support and admiration, Christine

  50. Ya know, I think you did the right thing. Why should babies not come, it's about MOM bloggers. I brought my daughter everywhere with me till she was probably 4 and from then on she had the best manners and attitudes of all her friends. I don't regret it at all. I wouldn't let anyone make you feel down just because you brought her. This was also a socialization time for her as well and she'll be better adjusted than her counter parts. Keep up the good work and always go with your hear.

  51. it is what it is.
    and it really doesn't matter what other people think.
    have you ever heard the dr. seuss quote ... those who matter, don't mind. and those who mind, don't matter.

    although ... it is probably easier to take off the mommy hat to attend a conference such as blogher. it's also somewhat comforting and nice to have a favorite person with you. and i'm sure she had a blast. so many people to meet and look at.
    i wouldn't look at taking her as a wrong decision. if it felt right for you ... it's what was right.

  52. Wow. It sounds like you were feeling a huge gamut of emotions. Last year, when I went to our church women's retreat, I was a gazillion months pregnant. The year before, they had allowed nursing babes to come along with their moms. But this past year, they chose not to allow that. They said things like it being a distraction, that some women really needed that time and that the babies were their excuse to not meet their own needs, etc. That left me feeling pretty icky inside, and I wasn't even a mom with a baby on the outside of the womb yet. I know I won't be going this year because I'll still be nursing and no way in the world will I willingly leave a ten month old overnight without me.

    The last church I attended before getting married and moving to Canada was also NOT baby friendly unless you used the nursery. They gave you a red sheet of info when you walked in the auditorium carrying a baby, and pretty much gave you an escort out if your baby made any racket. I understand why they did that, but still, how can we make this work for everyone? I just don't know.

    The only thing I do know is that I need to loosen up about being stressed when my son makes noise or distracts people. The reason I know that is because I've been told countless times what a blessing he is to others and how they are encouraged just by being around him. That includes noise, dirty diapers, and even snoring during naps in my Ergo.

    I've never gotten the impression from reading your blog that you were militant or anything like that. Rather, I just got the sense that your mothering was intrinsically a part of you, and that your children are healthily attached to you and flexible enough to go to "grown up" events via your sling. The crazy thing is that I also thought BlogHer thought the same as me, and didn't even give it a second thought that it might be construed as a grown-ups only kind of thing. That's what I naturally thought, and I bet a lot of other women think that too.

    If every person out there could remember how short the season of babyhood is, I think they'd figure out a way to help us enjoy mothering our babies IN the events that make up life outside the home. And I'm also crazy enough to think that it would be a blessing to others. Maybe it's just a pipe dream, but that's what I wish for anyway.

  53. You and Ivy look so cute. I love your hair like that and the outfit is really cute too. It looks like from all the commenters you have a big support system and Ivy was the Belle of the Ball. There are a lot of lessons in life and we learn from them. You are a FANTASTIC mom and person, so don't let small minded people steal your joy. You know what is best for you and Ivy and that is all that matters. She is a well travelled little girl, remember, she loved the Celine concert? Love you, Mom

  54. I really wish that our society were more accepting of babies and children. And that we weren't so quick to pass judgment on each other as moms. I really think it makes the job of parenting that much harder. And that makes me sad.

    I imagine that I would feel the same way that you do. I have an 11-month-old and I am not going anywhere right now because it's the season I'm in. But part of me thinks it shouldn't have to be this way. That there should be a way to accommodate and accept little ones in public life. Many cultures do, after all, just not ours. :(

  55. Thank you for writing this. First of all, I DO NOT think it's selfish to bring a baby with you, especially if you are wearing her and if she's not screaming in a quiet place (sounds like that never happened) or physically bothering anyone (too bad if people don't want to SEE a baby, don't go to a conference full of MOTHERS).

    But I know what you mean about missing things voluntarily because it is not the right time. We are going on a cruise in September, paid for by Darin's parents and attended by his entire family. They are very disappointed in me that I plan to miss the excursions and tours (like snorkeling and zip line) which won't allow me to bring Oscar. I refuse to be separated from my baby in that situation. I am NOT leaving him on a BOAT with STRANGERS (daycare).

  56. If you & Ivy had not been there, I would have been lost. When I came home, I kept thinking about how proud I was of you and how composed you were and how I have never been that kind of mother. I am always flustered and always struggling in those beginning stages of motherhood.

    As I sat on the floor with Ivy, it made me smile to see her laughing and loving the music.

    You have to do what is best for you though and I am proud of you either way.

  57. Oh Steph!! I felt so sad reading that-I'm so sorry you were made to feel badly. :( Hey, and I have taken my baby to a bar, too, and made the mistake of thinking it was OK and later feeling it wasn't.

    Don't worry, we all make mistakes and I for one don't think you made any-you did what was natural and perfect for you and Ivy, and that is all that matters. People that are bothered by babies or nursing or babies in bars have the choice to look in a different direction.

    And I'm sad to hear you are thinking you won't go next year, since I'm really hoping I can go, but who knows, they money may still not work out again for us. :) Maybe we can meet up in 2012...:)

    And I'm really sad it was so hard to get into sessions-beyond meeting up with friends, that's the whole reason of the conference, so I'm a little bummed that it sounds difficult to actually get into the meetings. I'll have to think really hard about going or not when the time comes. Thanks for sharing!

  58. I am with the others who mentioned that Ivy is old enough to fuss and let you know if she's having a bad time.

    You followed your instincts. Clearly the Hanes gathering was nothing like the CRAZY-O-MATIC Nikon party where you probably would have gone running out of fear of elbows to heads and whatnot.

    Not every bar is the same.

    I'm glad you brought your darling little girl and I loved seeing her.

    I can also sympathize with second-guessing yourself. A lot of BlogHer made me feel insecure and confuzzled and conflicted and I didn't even have a baby with me.

  59. It sounds like you think that other people that were there are writing their post-blogher posts about YOU - I don't get that feeling from the other posts/blogs that I have read today. I get the feeling (but I wasn't there) that there were some women with babies that felt entitled to more...of what, I don't know, but more. From reading your blog for what seems like forever, I know that you are NOT one of those people!

    Just reading of your concern for others while you had Ivy makes me know that, too. You took her out of the room...you sat at the back...you did everything to make her not be a bother to anyone else. Not that you needed to do all of that - you seem to have gone above and beyond to make her, and everyone else, comfortable. As for the bar - who cares. I think most people would have no problem with the fact that you took her to a bar - like you said, it was a blogher event...

    I don't think you should feel guilty at ALL-you are in this phase of your life, other people are in other phases - they need to deal with your phase and know that you are you. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all.

    I love your writing and your honesty. Just keep doing what you are doing...we all love you for who you are!

  60. Stephanie,
    As someone who spent a great deal of time with you AND Ivy at Blogher, I can honestly say I never felt like you were doing anything wrong at all. It never even crossed my mind that you shouldn't have Ivy with you at all times, or that you should have to miss something because of Ivy's presense. NEVER. It was a joy to hang out with you AND Ivy at Bowlher. I have so many great shots of her getting her groove on as she enjoyed the music, and it would have made me sad if you hadn't been there. She was such a joy. Ever single moment. Seriously.

    So much love to you both!

  61. Steph, this post made me so sad. I was sitting, listening to the music at BowlHer and I thought Ivy and her little buddy were the cutest things ever. They were so sweet, sitting there clapping and playing together.

    There were so many babies at Blogher and I, for one, had no problem with any of them. They were all cute and if any baby ever got fussy, his/her mommy took her right out. I am sorry you felt that Ivy was not welcomed. I think that if anyone felt that way, she was definitely in the minority.

  62. Oh, I loved this post and the more I read of your blog, the more I like you! You are real and not just putting on an image for your blog! You took Ivy with you with the best of intentions and that is all matters. We can't always forsee what will happen or how things will go and we make decisions based on what information we have and what we beleive will be best.

    You did that and that is what makes you a great mom!

  63. Great post -- very insightful. I know that I want to be at blogher10 and I would almost definitely bring Gretchen, but it's a toss up sometimes when I think about it.
    We shall see!
    (Also, you look so gorgeous in that photo of you and Miss Ivy!!)

  64. So, I wasn't even at BlogHer, but want to give my opinion...or something...

    It makes me sad that others would judge...that by far has been the hardest thing in this great community of women. We are all women (okay, there are guys out there!) who need to be supportive of each other. Not point fingers or knock down.

    I think it's awesome that you were able to take Ivy. I'm not brave enough to take my own little toddler out, and I can't leave her...just yet.

    I look up to you, respect your thoughts and opinions and hope that you keep on keepin' on.

  65. It sounds like it was an "adventure in babywearing" for sure.

    You know what is best for you and Ivy. Stay true to that.

  66. We were so happy to have you at the Cheeseburgher part-ay and your baby girl was more than welcome! I'm sorry you didn't feel that way everywhere, but I totally get it.

  67. Honestly, if I were to have gone, I would have probably done the exact same things you did.

    You went, not only for the fun - parties - networking - learning - and whatever else, but you represented your blog at BlogHer. You blog is about being a mother, about babywearing, about Ivy. What better way to represent all of what you embody than taking your sweet little one with you?

    Now I'm off to read through all the comments... ;)

  68. Steph - when you were tweeting about this, I thought that other people were making you feel uncomfortable about it, but after reading this, I know EXACTLY what you're feeling. I hate when something that I want to do messes up my son's schedule, and I do feel guilty about it at times - it's hard to find a balance between 'my stuff' and what I know he needs.

  69. Oh my gosh!!! It never even crossed my mind at the Hanes or BowlHer events that Ivy wasn't wanted. We all swoon every time we get to see her!

    I brought a nanny when I brought Livvie because there was no way she would have been so quiet and content in a sling like Ivy is! And since Sivvie can't handle ataying with a stranger, I knew childcare on site wasn't an option. And with me shooting videos, having a baby with me just wouldn't work.

    But honestly, I never heard one bad word or saw one bad look about Ivy. We loved seeing her and you. You are BOTH ADORED!!!!!!!!!!!

  70. Hmmmm....so, wanna room together at Type-A? ;)

    Unless of course you mean you're going to She Speaks, in which case, drat!


  71. I wrote something to you in my post, but I know that you may not have time to head over there, so I'll tell you here. BlogHer without you AND Ivy would have been something less wonderful than it was. Ivy is so cute and you are so nice! I'm so glad I could meet you both and I really hope we meet again one day!

  72. I haven't read the comments yet (71!) but I wanted to say that I didn't feel it was inappropriate to bring her. I felt sorry for you, though, as I can't imagine the extra strain it must have been to try and parent in addition to socialize and do the conference stuff.

    But I am SO glad I saw you and got to pinch Ivy's cheeks. She is just as edible (MORE!) in person as she is on your blog. AND! I got to make her smile.

  73. I'm so sorry you felt this way! You are Ivy are just beautiful. Do what you feel is right for both of you.

  74. A famous quote from Lincoln, I think, said that people are about as happy as they decide to be. Just as we make ourselves happy or unhappy all by ourselves; we cannot make someone else happy or unhappy without their consent.

    This was a blogging event. You are very upfront about who you are, and there was ample opportunity on the part of the sponsors or event coordinators to say anything about nursing moms bringing babies. The issue about a "bar" was a party hosted by one of the sponsors. It seems to have been a "closed" event as in not open to just anyone who was not associated with Blogher. I doubt that there were "unsavory" attendees there.

    As for moms wanting to be at an event without kids were without kids. They had no responsibility to do anything or take care of any kids. All the kids at the event were being taken care of by their own moms.

    Remember you can't please everyone even if you try. You really do not need to feel that you have made anyone unhappy.

    The biggest concern that I see attendees of Blogher might have is that inadequate planning resulted in having rooms too small to accommodate all who wanted to participate.

  75. Did something happen TO YOU to make you feel this way? I felt like Ivy was very much welcomed and adored and everyone understood why you had Ivy there.

    You are a blogger. You are a nursing mother. You have a baby. It just fits and makes sense.

    I thought the entire conference was baby friendly, but maybe I felt that way from my perspective, not being able to see it from yours.

  76. It makes me sad that you were felt this way at BlogHer. I didn't even see you but one time and that was in the line at BowlHer in which I didn't realize it was you until it was too late. I wanted to go up to you and say hi, but then didn't want to yell out your name on the red carpet LOL.

    I thought Ivy was just the cutest thing in the sling. It actually made me yearn for my girls even more. They are almost 5 and 7 and I have NEVER EVER been away from them. We still co-sleep too ;) so this weekend was really hard. I cried a lot.. just ask Amy-Crunchy Domestic Goddess.

    What I'm trying to say... we are who we are. We are moms that LOVE having our children with us. Yes, some moms might not like that, oh well. It doesn't matter in my eyes, as "We" are the ones that do what we want with our children and lives. You keep on going/networking the events because Ivy is such a cutie that it makes the events even more fantastic ;).

    Big (((HUGS)))... You have nothing to apologize for. You are just doing what you love :)

  77. I haven't read all of the other comments because I just don't have time so I don't know if anyone else has said this but, You are a mother. You are breastfeeding because that is THE BEST thing for your daughter. Just because of that doesn't mean you should be confined to your home. Personally I think if anyone looked down on you or looked at you poorly because of it it is because they don't understand the love a mother has for their child. I take my daughter everywhere with me. Yeah I get weird looks sometimes but I just ignore them. Because I love my daughter and I know what is right for her. I could pump and leave her at home if I'm going to be gone for just a few hours but I choose not to. I don't want to shlep my daughter off on someone so I can go have a good time. I made the decision to have her then I need to be responsible and care for her. I'm not saying that my husband and I don't go out occasionally. But we're never gone for more than 4 hours. I think the women that looked at you poorly are probably the ones that leave their children with a sitter weekly or even daily to go out and have a night to themselves. I am proud of you that you took your nursing daughter with you. And if anyone gives you a nasty look next time just look at them and tell them that you are her mother and you know what is best for her.
    Sorry if none of this makes sense. I'm tired but I read your post and it made me mad that people made you feel uncomfortable about your decision.

  78. Oh I hope you are having fun! Adorable baby!

  79. Oh Steph. I can feel your pain in this. I don't think you did anything wrong. Nothing. I can tell you if I'd gone with my 14-month-old I'd probably be writing about the same thing. I always second guess myself.

    I'm certain you were a considerate attendee and if babies were really not welcome then that should be clearly stated, regardless of what the event is. I wouldn't have thought twice about bringing the baby to a bar if it was a BlogHer event either. I'm probably wrong too, but whatever. If they don't want babies there, say "adults only" and that solves the issue.

  80. You and Ivy go hand and hand. I wouldn't have expected anything different.
    I'm bummed that you had to feel this way because of others behaving badly before you.
    I never thought twice about it.
    In fact I don't know a single person who did.
    Adore you both.
    Always no matter where.
    And I'm sure the people who would have a problem with a baby in a bar would have the same problem with a Mormon in a bar. Just sayin'.

  81. This picture of the two of you is ADORABLE! So pretty!

    I love your honesty about this issue. If it makes you feel any better, I probably would have been sitting with you in the bar with my little girl, had I attended this year. But your openness will definitely make me think twice should I ever attend Blogher with a baby of mine. OR, maybe Blogher ought to have some babywearing mommy parties specifically planned out??? I think that is a better solution. Perhaps they had some things and I am just ignorant.

    Anyway. You have a great blog. Thanks for sharing your live and learn lessons with us :O)

  82. I started writing a comment to part I (and then Elizabeth woke up and I never got back to it).

    The "where is it appropriate to bring a baby?" topic is very top of mind for me at the moment.

    I personally agree that there are some places that babies shouldn't go. Obviously Elizabeth is not welcome to come with me racing (sailboats) - it would not be safe and she would seriously impede my performance. Less clear is whether going to a movie (even something like "Stars & Strollers") is a good idea. My husband and I concluded that it's not something we think we should be doing - but I know many moms who don't blink an eye and I've felt pressure from other moms to go to things like that with Elizabeth.

    I think the more I think about it, the more I agree with you there are things that we shouldn't do with a baby. That it's just not the season. That just because we can figure out a way to attend an event even though we have a baby, doesn't always mean we should attend.

    This is why I've put my sailing season on hold. It interferes with bedtime and although I love, love, love sailing; it's not worth torturing my daughter.

    All that said - don't beat yourself up over having gone to BlogHer. I think you can decide that it wasn't right for you and Ivy without feeling guilty about it! The event was presented in a way where bringing a baby seemed rational, so I completely understand why you brought her, just as I understand after reading your post why you don't think you'll do it again. As parents we are all still learning what we are comfortable and what we think is right for our children.

  83. Hi Steph,

    I don't comment much, but I'm here checking-in daily. I'm sorry you left BlogHer feeling so rotten. I have no words of wisdom, I just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you. Being a mother is the hardest job I've ever had. I think it's sad that instead of supporting one another many mothers sit and judge the actions of others. :o(

    Hang in there.

  84. This is really interesting to read. I felt completely comfortable with Libby there. Sure, I couldn't attend the workshops that I really wanted to, but I never felt like I wasn't welcome with her.
    I did feel silly when we realized that we probably shouldn't have had the girls in the music room, but it was fun for them to play with eachother, so I don't regret that part.
    Next year I want to go, but only if we can make it a family vacation and Jeremy can take Libby during the day.
    We should chat though because I would love to explore this more with you.
    I thought that maybe you were terribly overwhelmed and for that, I am sorry.
    I am glad you were there with Miss Ivy, it was great to meet you.

  85. I was happy you and Ivy were there. I've had the same guilty feelings poured on me for bringing Jude. I'd really like to go to the Type A Mom conference but I certainly won't go if I feel like my son's presence will be an issue for me or others. What's so interesting to me is had I not read through various comments/tweets about those of us with babies I never would've felt like this - because I loved having him with me and thought others enjoyed seeing him too.

  86. Aww, I'm so sorry you feel this way. I can see your point though. I probably wouldn't have taken a baby (if I had one), but this is a mom conference, so if they were judging you shame on them.

  87. it is my very first visit here...and i just think you are so cute! how fun! i did a lot of baby wearing in my time and my sofia is 18 mos and i still wear her a bit too...and you know, i think most momma bloggers would understand...we're generally not too hard on each other.

    i think you and baby bean looked adorable...i came over from bargain briana's...i'm an indy girl and heard you were one of the panelist here in indy soon.

    so all that said...hello!

  88. Just wanted to drop in and say that I LOVED seeing you and Ivy at BlogHer! I can't offer any advice from a mother's perspective (although you don't need it!) but I think it's obvious to everyone who sees you that you and Ivy belong together. You're a great team :)

  89. I think I said it before, but playing with Ivy at Socialluxe was one of my highlights of BlogHer. Bring her on, baby! Hope to see you guys again soon.

  90. Steph, I so love your honesty here, but it makes me really sad that you feel this way. Maybe BowlHer wasn't the best place for Ivy...you figured that out and you left. That doesn't mean you did wrong by her by taking her to the conference, or that you did wrong by others by having her there, either.

    As you know, I had planned on staying for the full three days with Clara, but decided to leave early Saturday because we'd just had enough. I was able to do that because I wasn't really committed to anything and was just taking it all a day at a time. Looking back, I feel pretty good about our participation level at the conference--I got to go and have a good time, but didn't do too much for either her OR me. I absolutely agree with you that as a mom who chooses to parent a certain way, I have to give some things up...but that doesn't mean I have to give EVERYTHING up. Other people's opinions matter but other people can be wrong, too. All this is to say that I hope you won't be scared off future events because for every one person who may have thought you were nuts for having a baby at the conference, there were probably 25 who thought it was wonderful, and whose world you and Ivy made a little brighter. And, like you, I honestly never thought of BlogHer events as being "at a bar", I thought of them as "BlogHer events". A bar is nothing more than a venue; it's what goes on inside it that counts. It's not like we were going to biker bars, for goodness' sakes!

    Anyway, I totally respect your point of view and think it's so awesome how much accountability you accept for your own actions and beliefs. I just hope your own needs and desires make it into the equation somewhere, too.

  91. I think it's fine that you had Ivy with you! I would have had my boys with me if I would have thought wearing twins around the whole weekend would have been manageable. I get it though, bars and loud music, maybe not the best spot for a baby. At the same time though, these places were filled with moms that understand and embrace and I think it's great that you brought her with you so that you could get the best of both worlds.

  92. I did not bring a baby to Blogher.

    But one of my closest friends did.

    And I never once looked at any of those babies begrudgingly. I held Ezra a lot this weekend. He slept on me through a session while Amy (amalah) talked. I could care less what other people do.

    I'm not saying that to be rude. I'm saying that when (if, I honestly don't know if I saw you) and I looked at you or the baby, I was thinking, cute baby. Not, what is that baby doing here?

    Not everyone judges.

  93. I thought you both were adorable. The babies at BlogHer did not bother me at all. If anything my only thought was what amazing moms you guys were to have them with you all day and how well behaved they were. No worries.

  94. I sooo would of taken my 4 mos old if I had the opportunity this year. I don't think you did anything wrong. You look fabulous in the top photo and it appears as though you rocked it. I hope I get the chance to meet you in person some day with Ivy of course!!! ;)

  95. You know what I like about you? You think about things. Deeply. Fully. And you're not too proud to change your mind.

    I'm just impressed that you managed to go to BlogHer with an almost-1-year-old without dying of exhaustion. When my little ones are little like this, I much prefer to be in my pajamas - baking, doing crafts, going on long walks outside, and just being totally comfortable.

    That said, I think I might go to the Mom 2.0 Summit in February. I've heard it's smaller, more intimate. And I'll bring my family along. My husband has graciously offered to come along to watch the girls (It would break my heart leave them behind and my littlest will still be nursing). We'll see...

  96. OH, I was so glad to read this post. I will have a 4-month-old at BlogHer next year, but I'm hoping it will be a bit easier since he or she won't be getting around at that age. I certainly can imagine being exhausted, but I'm hoping it will be worth it? Thanks for sharing this honest report, Steph!

  97. I admire you so much for taking Ivy and doing it so well. (I can barely wrangle mine to the grocery store, much less Blogher!) I enjoyed getting the chance to see her and I didn't for once think--what's that baby doing here? Your blog is called "Adventures in Babywearing", so I wouldn't expect anything different from you!!

    It also makes me sad that others chose to judge you for choosing to bring your child. Yes, some of the events were in a bar--but it wasn't as if you were dancing on the bar doing shots!

    You are a great mommy and if anyone thinks otherwise, they can suck it! :)

  98. I thought Ivy was precious! Seeing the babies at Blogher didn't make me cringe at all. It made wish I had taken advantage of the sling when they were smaller. I think it is sad that you ended up feeling that way! So many people are supportive, but just a few can hurt the whole thing!


  99. I feel for you, my gut is just twisted that you would feel like that at Blogher. I would have loved to attended, met you and so many other bloggers, but I now wonder how well that would have worked out with Ms. Dimples (11 weeks) with me.

  100. I'm really sorry if you are feeling any kind of regret over your decision to attend with Ivy. It seems to me that many of the naysayers didn't even attend BlogHer and are just spouting off. It isn't like you were hanging out at parties getting drunk and dancing until morning with a crying unhappy baby. You were stopping in, hanging out a bit, and moving on. These parties in "bars" were BlogHer events for BlogHer attendees in BlogHer venues, not random quiet swanky soirees you were crashing. You're a fabulous mama and I'm so glad we were roomies.

  101. Great, honest post. I never understand why people are offended by the presence of children.

  102. I have not read all these comments yet, but I am so so sad that you feel this way.

    One of my great joys at BlogHer 07 was that I was able to go with my infant daughter. Although in truth, it was smaller, more educational than social, and way less hectic back then.

    If you've asked the host of a party/event/wedding/striptease class whether it's okay to bring your baby, then it's between you and the host what you choose to do. I think in an effort to defend Nikon (I'll say it) a lot of people went way too far in casting aspersions on the mom and it was disturbing.

    Ask me sometime to show you photos of my children in places others might have deemed inappropriate. Maybe that's why today, they're so well behaved in all sorts of situations.

  103. I think it's beautiful that you carry her/wear her/bring you with you. I LOVE seeing her in the sling, asleep or awake. It's beautiful, I just have to say it again (and can say it over and over).

    I admire you and I hope you know it.

  104. hear hear! I just want to give you a little hug right now! I just finished nursing my 3 year old, I can't carry her 100% anymore b/c it kills my back and she really does not want to be carried 100% AND we still co sleep AND I missed out on a lot by my choices to parent this way (she is my 3rd and I parent the same way down the line) AND I only went to the Blogher conference on Friday due to my parenting style (no parties for me) AND while I missed out on a lot of "stuff and swag" - I DID NOT MISS OUT ON A LOT OF STUFF! you know!!

  105. One of the BIGGEST laughs of the movie "Sweet Home Alabama" is the line "You have a baby (long pause) in a bar!"

    It IS kind of funny, the thought of having a baby in a bar. (And the few times I've seen a baby in a bar, it's looked just a little odd.)

    But if the baby isn't drinking (and she wasn't) and the mom isn't drinking to an inappropriate degree (which I'm sure you weren't) what's the problem? And if she was invited, again, what is the problem?

    Ugh. :(

  106. Well said. I don't know a thing about the event, other than what I have read - but I love how you closed this entry up...it's just how your life is now and although you may miss events, you'll never get this time back with your family! You ARE a good mom - whether the children (even one) are with you or not at Blogher. BlogHer people will forgive you regardless!


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