DEAR MISS MANNERS: We are a two-dad family. At all of the schools our children have attended, we receive invitations to “Mom’s Night Out” – a social gathering for moms to discuss their own challenges, dreams, etc.
While I appreciate being included in the invitation, I am never quite sure whether and how to respond. Other people find it downright offensive.
I appreciate from the organizer’s perspective that including us is better than excluding us; however, we are not moms, and in some ways it highlights the fact that our children are “different.”
I certainly don’t begrudge the moms a night out in good company, but wish we could develop some new language or expectations in an evolving world. Maybe the organizers of such gatherings could check with us – we are still few in numbers – to see if we want to be included in a public invitation.
Maybe we should just respond – as I did once – that we appreciate the invitation, but there are no moms at our house and that we wish them a great night out. We look forward to your thoughts.
GENTLE READER: First, that they mean well and want to be inclusive, as you recognize. Second, that Primary Caregivers’ Night Out is not a catchy name. If you can think of a better one, Miss Manners believes that the organizers would welcome the change.
But this is worth doing only if one of you genuinely wants to participate. Are the mom’s night activities something that you would enjoy? Alternatively, are there enough stay-at-home fathers, whether or not they are same-sex parents, to start a Dad’s Night Out group?
Otherwise, your response makes your point politely, and might inspire the mothers to ponder updating the group’s name.