Do I go to brother's wedding?

(256 Posts)
RainQueen Mon 15-Oct-12 08:23:06

My brother is getting married next year but has decided not to have any children at the wedding. My children are the only children in the family. They are 2, 3, 5 and 6.

I was fine with their decision but said that as my DH and I have no childcare and the wedding is 5 hours from our home I wouldn't be going but we could have a celebration seperately after the event.

This all seemed to be agreed until I got an e-mail from my Mum begging me to go and alying it on thick about it being my brother's one wedding etc etc. I thought this was just my Mum getting emotional so I rang my brother to get his opinion.

I was shocked that he said he expected me to attend and would not forgive me if I didn't. It is possible for me to go on my own (DH would have to saty with the DCs) but it would mean my DH rearranging a busy work scedule and me staying away for 2 nights, including my DS's 7th birthday. Financially, it would be a stretch but as my brother pointed out I have been given a year's notice!

I have never stayed away before and don't really want to go on my own. However, I don't want to fall out over this. When DH and I got married it was a registry office with two witnesses so I have never understood the fuss over weddings!

Anyway, WWYD? I have a feeling I will have to go to keep the peace but I am upset that I will have to leave my DCs and go on my own.

Back to the op.

The wedding is a year away. Surely enough time to try and sort the problem?

Either by your brother backing down, or coming up with childcare options his end. Or by you bringing a friend (or your mum) along to babysit!

If you all go, your ds can have a super celebration the next day? You can arrange his party for his school friends the following weekend? Win win situation!

picturesinthefirelight Mon 15-Oct-12 11:11:15

Agree with ivy. At work so can't post in full.

picturesinthefirelight Mon 15-Oct-12 11:13:00

Maybe that's the difference. I work and dh works often away from home so our family time with the kids is very very limited. I work weekends.

If your brother wants you there he will find a way to help by not making it difficult for you to attend.

maillotjaune Mon 15-Oct-12 11:13:59

I think you should talk to them about it. I completely understand the attraction of child free weddings (although I also had a registry office wedding with 2 witnesses so more of a people free weddinggrin) but most people I know who have done that made an exception for nieces and nephews for the ceremony and early reception. It's worth asking at least - could you and your children go even if you don't stay for the entire reception? I know that might be difficult if you're staying in a hotel as rooms for 4 children plus you aren't exactly common, but can you stay with anyone for 1 night?

OTheHideousManateesOfMadness Mon 15-Oct-12 11:17:07

In your brother's shoes I'd feel hurt if you sacked off his wedding because childcare was difficult (not impossible, but difficult). But then I didn't have a child free wedding either (it was more of a child free-for-all grin)

I really do think it's at best thoughtless if not downright twatty not even to invite nephews and nieces. His stipulation shows a real lack of thought for your situation that could maybe be gently brought to his attention?

On the other hand, your DC are old enough to do without you for a couple of nights, and your DS is not going to be scarred for life if you miss his birthday.

I'd say first see if he can be persuaded to make an exception for your kids: 'children of immediate family only' is pretty normal at a wedding. But if he won't budge on balance I'd still say go, even if it's inconvenient. Your DC will have other birthdays but your brother only gets married once.

picturesinthefirelight Mon 15-Oct-12 11:17:28

Is the wedding 5 hors away cause that's where they live it because it seemed a good idea.

CaroleService Mon 15-Oct-12 11:18:18

Just ask him casually how many bridesmaids and page boys there'll be. Bet you anything there are a few little ones.

Collaborate Mon 15-Oct-12 11:24:43

Haven't read all the thread responses, but surely OP your DB has had 7 years notice of your child's birthday?

oohlaalaa Mon 15-Oct-12 11:27:10

I personally would go, it's a years notice, and only a couple of days of your life.

oohlaalaa Mon 15-Oct-12 11:30:08

I think it's perfectly fine to miss a child's birthday for a wedding. I would without a moment's hesitation. Birthdays can be celebrated again.

YouOldSlag Mon 15-Oct-12 11:32:29

*Do you really think you are doing your child a favour making such a big thing about something which quite frankly happens every year, to every living being on the planet?

I can picture this child as a petulant and entitled, inflexible adult, who will post here in years to come, moaning that not enough emphasis was put on their birthday by their partner, children, pets, grandparents....*

What rubbish, she just doesn't want to miss his birthday, that's all. We were always made a fuss of on our birthdays, didn't make us remotely inflexible or entitled.

However, personally, I wouldn't book a wedding on a niece or nephew's birthday, and if I did, I would include them in the bloody wedding!

MadBusLadyHauntsTheMetro Mon 15-Oct-12 11:35:20

I'd say the birthday is more of a valid reason not to go than the childcare. It's not like it's impossible to get childcare at a year's notice, it's just expensive and a hassle.

Ivy's suggestion is good though. Make them work it out, since they're imposing the conditions.

MikeOxardForHalloween Mon 15-Oct-12 11:40:12

I would tell him to go fuck himself tbh. He made his bed,he can lie in it. No kids is fine, but he should accept that that excludes your family. If he really wants you there he can stop being a knob and let you come with the kids.

RainQueen Mon 15-Oct-12 11:40:26

Opinions split I guess! grin

To answer childcare issues. There is noone. My DPs are obviously attending the wedding. They live 6 hours from us but do help when they can. My ILs are eldery and can not have the kids at all let alone overnight. I have noone else I can ask. It is hard as there are 4 and the youngest two are very young.

If I'm honest, it's the idea of being away 2 nights. I am very independent so the travelling and staying away is fine but I have never been away from my DCs Maybe now is the time. I would have attended if the DCs had been invited as my DPs would have been there to help. My DH would probably not have attended as he is usually working away that weekend and it is a difficult job to pass on. DH is very supportive and has said that he take the DCs away with him on the job so I can attend the wedding but I feel uneasy about that as it will be a construction site (not a building site as such, can's describe without outting myself!).

I just know how stressful it is trying to get work done with the DCs around and don't feel good about putting them in that position.

However, my DB means a lot to me. He is my only sibling and the wedding obviously means a lot to him. I think I was shocked when I rang as I had underestimated how much this day means as I did not see it this way when I got married.

I have looked at many options to try and get away with one night but I am travelling across the country (rather than length ways) and on a Sunday, which makes things difficult. However, the last thing I want is to spoil their day or cause a family rift. Life is too short for that.

Thanks for all your messages. I will keep you informed!

StrangeGlue Mon 15-Oct-12 11:45:55

I get where you're coming from OP but I think you're being a little wet.

You've got a years notice so you're DH can arrange now to have that weekend off so that's not really a barrier.

Have you even asked if he'll make an exception for your kids? If not then do, spell out the issues and he'll probably relent.

Or...

Or, It's 5 hours drive away, you could do it in a day unless it's a morning wedding. Leave at 6am, there at 11, get changed, stay until after ceremony (probably over my 5 at latest), leave, back by 10pm. Not fun but perfectly doable as a one off.

Or, all go, book in a cheap hotel near by (you've got a year to search the best prices) you pop off in the middle of the day for a few hours.

Or, ask db if you can arrange baby sitter in other room at the venue if it's a hotel. You and DH go to wedding and pop back and forth to check on kids and baby sitter.

Or if it's in a hotel the kids can be elsewhere in the hotel and you and DH can take turns minding them.

I think you just don't want to go and want a get out of jail free card to play which means you don't go but aren't the bad guy.

I understand that the day/one of the days either side is your ds's birthday but most of my suggestions mean you can still do birthday stuff with him on the day. Or, explain to him (he's old enough to understand) and do something special another day, if he was a school on his birthday you'd probably do something another day too.

Don't play the matry here, speak to your db honestly and suggest work arounds, if he wants you there he needs to help facilitate you being there.

LemonBreeland Mon 15-Oct-12 11:47:50

I really think you need to make your DB how difficult he is making it for you. You are his sister and important enough to him that he wants you there. But you come as a package with your DC, his family also. He should find a way to make it possible for you to take the DC with you.

YouOldSlag Mon 15-Oct-12 11:47:52

So if you are his only sibling, then your DCs are his only nieces and nephews. I really don't see how he can feel great about putting you in this position. You have FOUR and next years they will be FOUR under sevens. Not easy to get childcare for four under 7s.

StrangeGlue Mon 15-Oct-12 11:49:12

Ah I see about your DH's work and assume you don't drive? My first two points are probably less helpful.

RainQueen Mon 15-Oct-12 11:49:45

Just to add, my DH is self employed so it is not easy to just have the day off. He will still have to work just find some help and take the kids. Not impossible but far from ideal with toddlers.

picturesinthefirelight Mon 15-Oct-12 11:51:19

OP I'm wondering if your dh works in events at all? If so I used to work in that industry and there were certain times of the year you were not allowed off (clothes show & motor show for eg)

If so I totally get where you are coming from.

RainQueen Mon 15-Oct-12 11:53:33

Oh, and it will have to be public transport, which makes timings less flexible. I have spoken to DB about this but I don't feel I can ask outright to invite my DCs as I do respect their decision and I don't expect DCs to be invited.

StrangeGlue- I would dearly love to be there. I love my DB and if circumstances were different (more local for example making childcare easier) I would be there without hesitation. But as it stands I feel caught between my DB and leaving DH with a big job and 4 DCs to look after. I feel like I can't win.

RainQueen Mon 15-Oct-12 11:54:29

pictures- you are exactly right and this is a bank holiday weekend in May. You could probably work out the exact event grin

picturesinthefirelight Mon 15-Oct-12 11:55:42

I used to work at the NEC

picturesinthefirelight Mon 15-Oct-12 11:56:59

Toddlers around during build up or break down - errr NO!

NatashaBee Mon 15-Oct-12 11:57:34

I would offer to attend with kids in tow - if he says no, then he's the one who has prioritised the 'no kids' rule over having you at the wedding, and you've made a reasonable attempt to attend.

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