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.

Did you ask why you can't bring the children? I'm having a child free wedding but my nephews are the exception.

Trills Mon 15-Oct-12 08:26:17

Are you sure you couldn't go for just 1 night rather than 2?

And are you sure that between now and then (quite a few months) you could not work out some kind of childcare? A year is a long time.

He is wrong to "not forgive you" for not being able to go, but it doesn't sound as if you are trying very hard.

Iheartpasties Mon 15-Oct-12 08:26:56

Well it's all very good him laying all this guilt on your about going, why is he so un-caring about your kids though! I'd be very annoyed at my brother if did this. I know its a contraversial topic on MN though.

BlingLoving Mon 15-Oct-12 08:29:32

I am a but surprised at how quickly and casually you decided not to go. Can you not take children to wherever you re and then you go to actual weddi g while dh stays with Dc? I think it's entirely reasonable your brother expects you to attend. If you can't take family to near the weddi g then I would say leave kids with dh. Surely the weddi g of your brother is important enough to do the fiddling with schedules required?

rubyrubyruby Mon 15-Oct-12 08:31:17

It would be lovely for you to both go. Is it possible that your inlaws could help with childcare.

If not - yes, I would go alone.

ithaka Mon 15-Oct-12 08:32:30

I would not miss my child's birthday for a wedding, so in your circumstances I wouldn't go - after all, it is your DS's one 7th birthday.

If you don't want to go, don't. He will get over it, whatever he says now. The marriage may or may not be his only one (time alone will tell) but it will definitely be the only time your DS turns 7.

As a mother who lost a child shortly after his first birthday, I cherish every birthday as I can never feel certain how many they will have. I accept my feeling may the stronger than most on this subject due to my circumstances.

LonelyCloud Mon 15-Oct-12 08:59:44

Have you asked if he can make an exception for your children, if he's so keen on you attending? Given that they're his nieces/nephews, he may be able to explain those away as close family if he's invited other guests with children.

But I'd be annoyed at my brother if he did this. I can understand wanting a child free wedding (DH & I had one) - but it's really not on to then complain or be unforgiving about non-attendance if guests can't or won't attend because their children aren't invited. Especially if the wedding clashes with a childs birthday.

Or is there any possibility of you, DH & DCs having a short break near the wedding venue? Not ideal, I know, especially given your DC's ages, but at least you'd be around for part of your DS's actual birthday.

I probably would go though, as it sounds like it's going to cause problems with your family if you don't.

RainQueen Mon 15-Oct-12 09:17:45

I would like to say that I get on really well with my DB and do not want to cause upset for the sake of it. That is why I am considering this so carefully. I understand not wanting DCs at weddings but that puts me in a really difficult position.

We hav no childcare so it is not an option to leave the DCs with anyone but DH. The wedding is at such a time that I would have to go two nights because of the train timetable. I have looked into travel and accomodation, I haven't just said no. I just feel torn between my family here and my DB. I don't want to upset anyone.

It is unfortunate the date they have picked as it is my DH's busiest weekend of the year because of events on during this weekend so it would be difficult for him and stressful juggling the DCs and work but not impossible.

RainQueen Mon 15-Oct-12 09:18:18

Sorry, to date. I appreciate all your responses as I feel I need some unbiased opinions on the issue.

RainQueen Mon 15-Oct-12 09:18:31

Not date- add!

DoubleYew Mon 15-Oct-12 09:30:06

Its also your dc's 7th birthday. I understand there are reasons why people want a child free wedding but they are forcing you to miss the birthday of a child who is old enough to know it is on that day. And its the other end of the country by the sounds of things. You have a large young family, I can see it would be hard to arrange childcare. If you were my sister I would be sad you weren't there but frankly they aren't making it easy for you.

SarkyWench Mon 15-Oct-12 09:32:59

If you had all been invited, would your DH have gone?

I think you need to work out whether you are saying no because your family genuinely can't manage to take off the whole weekend, or because you are pissed off at him for not inviting your kids.

JennyWren Mon 15-Oct-12 09:46:34

Have you made it gently clear to them that your reason for not going is childcare? Have you explored their reasons for stipulating no children? Does the bride have lots of (any?) nieces and nephews? Perhaps a message to both your DB and DM to say that you are devastated to be missing the wedding and would love to go, but that it will be impossible if your DB's nieces and nephews are not able to join the celebration with you. You would love to join them and hope that they will agree to allow their whloe family to share their special day.

That puts the ball in their court. What do they want more - you, or no children? They are very definitely entitled to make the 'no children' decision, and to have it respected, but they also have to graciously accept the consequences of their decision.

PrimrosePath Mon 15-Oct-12 09:48:51

I've been in a similar position to you - my sister had a child free wedding miles away from where I live. I didn't go in the end simply because the logistics of it all was causing me more stress than my own wedding day.

I don't think your dm and brother are being fair trying to guilt you into going. They aren't exactly bending over backwards making it easy for you to attend.

I think he's being really rude, TBH. You have children.

If he'd not minded much about you coming, fair enough, maybe. But insisting you should come and not inviting your children stinks. So you're important enough to be vital family, but not your kids?

I think you should tell him of course you want to go, but you have four children, and what does he expect you to do about them/the birthday?

He is being a selfish arse, frankly.

MadBusLadyHauntsTheMetro Mon 15-Oct-12 09:58:47

I'm torn. On the one hand, you DO have a year's notice to rearrange your DH's work schedule and/or arrange childcare, and save up for the financial hit.

On the other hand, they have had seven years' notice of your DS's birthday. I am very much in favour of childfree weddings and I see why they don't want to make an exception for family, but I think that's a bit rotten of them, given that their ideal scenario is presumably that you and your DH both attend and the DCs don't.

Basically there's a fair bit of inflexibility all round, isn't there.

He cannot lay it on thick and expect you to go when he has a total child ban.
Only go if you want to go, but just go to the ceremony then travel back home.

I think he has a cheek, if you are the only one in the family with dc i cannot see why he won't make an exception or atleast agree to disagree that it's not possible for you to go.

squeaver Mon 15-Oct-12 10:09:23

I KNEW this was going to be a no children at the wedding thread.

This sounds to me like the bride is very much in charge and you could argue that she is perfectly entitled to be - presumably the wedding is in her home town and her parents are paying for it? Your dd's birthday probably didn't enter their heads when they set the date - and why would it? Does your brother's fiancee know you and your family well?

But they've made their decision about no children, as many people do and as they're perfectly entitled to do. So, a good question to ask is, would you all have gone if the kids were invited? If the answer to that is yes, then you absolutely should go.

You've got plenty of time to make arrangements to do something special for your dd around the time of her birthday, if not on the day. If you'd all have gone, then presumably that would have cost a lot more. And with a year's notice, maybe there are some other childcare options you can investigate.

If, on other hand, you wouldn't have gone even if they had invited all of you then you need to have a good think about the effect on your brother and, by the sounds of it, your mother. Weddings may not be a big thing for you, but they are a big deal for other people. Put yourself in their shoes.

purplehouse Mon 15-Oct-12 10:10:12

Your brother has said that he will not forgive you for not going. I wonder if he has considered whether you will forgive him for not inviting your DCs but requiring your presence nevertheless.

Anyway, from a practical point of view, have your DCs been overnight without you before? The first time I left my DS (necessary hospitalisation for me), he scratched at the front door in the middle of the night and my mum was unable to console him, despite seeing him very frequently and being a well loved granny. He was 2 and could not understand I was in hospital.

My brother and SIL got married when my DC were 1 and 3. They invited my DCs without a 2nd thought because they love them. I did point out that at this age, particularly the youngest, their behaviour could be quite unpredicable and very difficult to control. My brother and SIL did not mind one bit and would not have considered getting married without their (only and much loved) niece and nephew there. They love them as though they are their own children and if say your brother was on his 2nd marriage but had children from his first marriage, I wonder if he would exclude them due to a child ban? Child bans are usually to limit numbers and also to ensure the wedding doesn't become a children's party. Excluding such close family member's children when the travelling is onerous = behaving like a shit in my book.

TBH I'm surprised your mum isn't trying to talk your brother into letting your kids come. My BIL arranged a child free wedding and I was not particularly happy about travelling 3 hours there and staying overnight without my children but I didn't say anything and just accepted the invite and arranged for 2 family members on my side to share the babysitting. MIL on the other hand was absolutely furious and said to BIL (her own son) that she was extremely unhappy that he had excluded her grandchildren from his wedding and she wanted them to come. Go MIL!

You are talking about 5 hours travelling. Is it possible to fly? Additionally, I would be looking to limit the stay to 1 night. Presumably the most important part is the ceremony, followed by whatever reception they are having? This is so that if you go on your own, you can minimise time away.

KaraStarbuckThrace Mon 15-Oct-12 10:14:44

I wouldn't go. I would also tell my brother to fuck off. I would be furious if my brother decided not to invite my children to his wedding, if he then kicked off as to why we won't be going.
Your brother is being a selfish brat, and your mother is enabling him.
It is fine for him not to want children at his wedding, that is his prerogative. But it is most definitely not fine for him to spit his dummy out because you don't want to go - especially if it means being away for one of your DC's birthday!

squeaver Mon 15-Oct-12 10:23:34

Look, people are funny about weddings.

The smallest things happen and decisions are made that have repercussions decades down the line.

Presumably you love your brother and you don't want to have a massive falling-out with him and your mum. Sometimes the path of least resistance is the best one.

LemonBreeland Mon 15-Oct-12 10:25:17

It is all very well your Mum and DB laying it on thick and saying you must be there, but you need tp be quite clear how difficult he is making it for you to attend. I would not miss my childs birthday and make my dhs life unnessecarily difficult because of the selfishness of my db.

Of course your db won't understand this as he has no dc yet. His problem not yours. In a few years he will realise how selfish he is being.

MrsEricBana Mon 15-Oct-12 10:27:01

We had similar re SIL wedding (kids were invited but was week abroad during school time which we couldn't do in terms of cost and time off school) - I honestly think if someone plans their wedding in a way they would really like (100% fine obv) then they cannot make a fuss if it doesn't work for some invitees. In your case I really think YANBU if your db has not invited your young children and the wedding is a long way away. You will have to handle it a bit carefully as you don't want to cause a long term rift but he could have anticipated that this would be tricky for you. (In our case dh went on his own for part of the week at great expense and SIL's husband has never been the same with me since, but I still think we did the right thing).

MrsEricBana Mon 15-Oct-12 10:27:59

I'd say Kara above has a fair point!

Why cant your dh take the weekend off? It is a year away, surely work should be able to arrange a replacement?

Why can you not all go, make a weekend of it, and on the night of the wedding, get a sitter in with the kids? Or bring a friend to look after them?

I am sure, if you really wanted to, you would see a way out of this.

Ask your brother if he could suggest some child care options at the venue?

I think your own dcs birthday is much more important than a wedding.
Did your brother get no say in the date?
I'm assuming this is a case of bridezilla?

5 hrs is a very long journey, with or without the children and to be fair such a long distance to be away from your dc which are all under 6.
I don't think it's fair that you are expected to attend, yet your 4 dc have not been though of in their planning.

thought of

YouSmegHead Mon 15-Oct-12 10:33:26

He's had 7 years notice of your ds birthday!

If you put conditions/restrictions in place you have to understand that will hinder people. I would remind him that as they are the only children in the family this rule has basically been directed at you and your children, you could have chosen to take offense however as an adult have respected his decision and he needs to do the same.

YouSmegHead Mon 15-Oct-12 10:34:40

Btw I'm not a raving kids must be at weddings person, in fact at mine only immediate relations kids were invited (meant 30 others weren't) but I did that understanding that it might mean some people couldn't attend.

pictish Mon 15-Oct-12 10:35:04

I think wedding trumps birthday. If this were me I'd explain to my child that I had to go to a wedding on their birthday, but that they would either celebrate with dad, or when I get back.

A wedding is a one off so I think it gets priority over a birthday. Even a child's.

I can't comment on the other stuff.

YouOldSlag Mon 15-Oct-12 10:41:57

Fine to have a child free wedding
Fine to have a wedding miles away from where guests live

NOT FINE to kick off when guests can't come because of the conditions you have set out. You have four kids under seven. where does your DB expect you to put them? in kennels? you have no child care, your family is at his wedding, your kids are not allowed to be there, so what the hell are you expected to do?

Your brother is being an arsehole. You don't even have to confirm that he doesn't have kids of his own, because it's obvious he doesn't and cannot empathise with people who do. I'm amazed your mother isn't supportive actually, they are her GCs after all.

I don't know what to suggest as I am lucky enough to have a DB who included my DS to his wedding and wouldn't have considered it any other way.

picturesinthefirelight Mon 15-Oct-12 10:56:35

Nothing comes before my child's birthday, wedding or not. I'm a mother. My children come first.

"Nothing comes before my child's birthday, wedding or not. I'm a mother. My children come first."

Really? grin

picturesinthefirelight Mon 15-Oct-12 10:59:18

Yes really

picturesinthefirelight Mon 15-Oct-12 10:59:46

It was bad enough I had to work til 8pm on dd's birthday this year.

pictish Mon 15-Oct-12 11:00:40 trumps birthday. Be sensible.

picturesinthefirelight Mon 15-Oct-12 11:01:39

I would not leave my child on their birthday to attend someone else's social occasion.

pictish Mon 15-Oct-12 11:03:07

Not social occasion, wedding.

picturesinthefirelight Mon 15-Oct-12 11:04:31

Social occasion

pictish Mon 15-Oct-12 11:04:53

So's a birthday then.

picturesinthefirelight Mon 15-Oct-12 11:05:11

But neither me or my brother would ever dream of excluding each others children from a family occasion.

pictish Mon 15-Oct-12 11:05:13

Except that a wedding is a more important one.

picturesinthefirelight Mon 15-Oct-12 11:05:38


Choice between my child or my brother. My child wins.

picturesinthefirelight Mon 15-Oct-12 11:05:57

He's big enough to look after himself smile

picturesinthefirelight Mon 15-Oct-12 11:06:21

Depends I. Your point of view which is more important.

pictish Mon 15-Oct-12 11:07:25

You can conduct your wedding any way you like. So can the OP's brother.
I'm not getting into the child free weddings debate. It's a case of each to their own, and a wedding still trumps a non significant birthday.

ivykaty44 Mon 15-Oct-12 11:07:30

If it is important to them that you attend then it will be important to them to assist you in sorting out a solution to their rules in banning children from their wedding.

Put it to them to come up with a solution - their end

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....

CelineMcBean Mon 15-Oct-12 11:08:55

I think you need to make the effort and you're being a bit wimpy about it all. There is one wedding but dc have birthdays every year and they don't always fall on a weekend so parties etc have to be moved - why the world should revolve around one child's birthday seems odd and certainly no more deserving than it revolving around one db for a couple of days.

But maybe it's because the idea of 2 whole nights childfree sounds heavenly to me!

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, 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.

squeaver Mon 15-Oct-12 11:59:02

BUT it's not impossible to get childcare for four under 7s, especially with a year's notice. You've got lots of options here:

You go and take the kids with you and find a babysitter there. And turn it into a big adventure where you also do something special while you're away for your ds's birthday.

You and dh both go and either he stays in the hotel with the kids or you find some on-site childcare.

Your dh doesn't go to his work thing and stays at home with the kids.

Your dh does go to his work thing and arranges some sort of on-site childcare for the kids.

You have A YEAR to sort any one of these things out.

OR you dig your heels in, don't go and cause a family rift - which WILL happen, whatever your own views.

And debating the whys and wherefores of child-free weddings on these threads is such a waste of time. Some people decide not to have kids at their weddings. They may or may not regret this years later, but that's their decision now. Get over it, ffs.

squeaver Mon 15-Oct-12 12:00:22

Sorry, MASSIVE cross-posting with strageglue there

squeaver Mon 15-Oct-12 12:01:02

Finally, don't you drive? Could you hire a car?

whiteandyelloworchid Mon 15-Oct-12 12:02:33

i wouldnt go, if my dd couoldnt come and id miss her birthday

id say if dd can come we will all come, if not have a great day, and leave the offer of doing something seperate together later

SooticaTheWitchesCat Mon 15-Oct-12 12:04:40

I wouldn't go, especially if it was my child's birthday. If your brother really wants you to go he could make an exception for your children. If he he wont then he should accept your refusal with good grace.

MrsCampbellBlack Mon 15-Oct-12 12:07:57

You know if you choose to have a child-free wedding - then the risk you take is that some guests just can't make it.

Reading everything you've said I don't think its at all sensible for your DH to try and look after the DC's whilst working at his event - god, he'd be crazy to try and do so.

And its not easy to find childcare for 4 children for 2 nights I know that.

I'd simply explain all this to your brother and tell him how very sorry you will be to miss his wedding but there really are no options.

MainlyMaynie Mon 15-Oct-12 12:08:09

Bloody hell, only on Mumsnet could you read people arguing you were bringing your children up to be entitled by being there for their 7th birthday!

OP, is there anyway you could take your children with you for the weekend and arrange a few hours childcare there?

birdofthenorth Mon 15-Oct-12 12:08:24

Never understood how people can exclude their own nieces & nephews from a wedding. No other children, fair dos, but your own close family?

I would do as NatashaBee suggested (& if he says yes, you just have to stomach the cost, save what you possibly can, and turn it into a fun mini break with something nice added on for DS's bday).

RainQueen Mon 15-Oct-12 12:08:30

I here what you are saying squeaver about childcare but I don't want to leave my DCs with someone I don't know. I am sure there are lots of very good childcare providers there but I don't want to do that.

I think I am going to have to talk some more with DH about options. I don't want to cause a rift and I will go if it prevents that.

I am not debating the decisions about a childfree wedding. Each to their own, it's just that decisions like that have far reaching consequences, as I am finding.

I have to go now. Not ignoring the replies but real life is calling!!!! I will update when I get back on.

Pinner35 Mon 15-Oct-12 12:15:29

I would give my brother these options and let him make the decision - either you come with the DC's or you don't go. You'll soon find out his priorities. Good weddings are a nightmare.

YouOldSlag Mon 15-Oct-12 12:18:02

And debating the whys and wherefores of child-free weddings on these threads is such a waste of time. Some people decide not to have kids at their weddings. They may or may not regret this years later, but that's their decision now. Get over it, ffs.

Squeaver, I think most people agree the bride and groom can have any wedding they want. What's unacceptable is when the B and G then have a go at guests for not meeting the difficult conditions they have set.

Cluffyfunt Mon 15-Oct-12 12:18:30

My lovely DGdad gets really p*##ed off with child free weddings, especially ones where even children related to the wedding party are not welcome.

He says that you can't pick and choose when someone is in your family.
Good times or bad, young or old, you take the rough with the smooth -or what's the point?

He is the best person I know smile

ithaka Mon 15-Oct-12 12:23:02

I don't think you will necessarily cause a rift if you don't go. Weddings seem huge big deals in the run up to them, but post honeymoon it should all come into a bit of perspective.

We did not attend my SIL's wedding, which was most unpopular with my DH's family. I'll spare you the convoluted back story, but suffice to say within less than a year it had all been brushed under the carpet and everyone had moved on.

I think a 7th birthday is reason alone for not attending, personally, and that is the reason I would give and just calmly stick to it, whilst wishing them well and arranging to get together post honeymoon. I am sure it will all be fine, in the end.

YouOldSlag Mon 15-Oct-12 12:25:25

Cluffy, that's a wise and lovely grandad you've got there.

golemmings Mon 15-Oct-12 12:42:23

If you have a years notice for your db's wedding, he had 7 years notice of his nephews' birthday...

skyebluesapphire Mon 15-Oct-12 12:49:54

We didnt invite family children to our wedding as that would have meant another 12 people and there wasnt the room/money. A couple of my cousin's wives said that they wouldnt be able to come if they couldnt bring the children and I said - oh dear what a shame, never mind! However, if my brother had children I would have invited them and them only......

If I am invited to a wedding now with DD not invited, it would not be a problem, it is the couples perogative to invite who they want, but as others have said, they should not be offended if you are unable to attend.

Also, of course you want to be with your child on their birthday. What mother wouldn't? YANBU in my opinion. Your brother needs to accept that his decision is influencing your decision.

YouOldSlag Mon 15-Oct-12 13:23:01

Bloody hell, only on Mumsnet could you read people arguing you were bringing your children up to be entitled by being there for their 7th birthday!

Mainly- I know- I couldn't believe it. Don't forget inflexible- it makes them "entitled and inflexible"!

And equally, I cant believe that people think that a couple about to get married should have to bear in mind all the birthdays of their invitees children to ensure there is no clash in dates!

confused Only on mumsnet!

YouOldSlag Mon 15-Oct-12 13:42:59

Quint- they're not and they haven't! If it clashes it clashes, but guests are allowed to have choice in whether they attend a wedding. B and G shouldn't hassle them.

I have very few nephews and nieces and I am very close to my DB. I wouldn't get married on his DD's birthday. The date is etched in my memory. If I did, I would invite her and get everyone to sing Happy Birthday at the wedding. To have the wedding the day of a DN's birthday AND exclude them from being with their mother is just bloody thoughtless.

I know, and I did not suggest the OP did either!

choceyes Mon 15-Oct-12 13:49:30

And equally, I cant believe that people think that a couple about to get married should have to bear in mind all the birthdays of their invitees children to ensure there is no clash in dates!

This! Unbelievable.
A wedding trumps a childs birthday for sure. Ok not a 1st birthday, but I would certainly pick a wedding over a DCs birthday. Sometimes on their birthdays I've been at work and they've been at we just celebrate it at the weekend. What's the big deal?!

But I think it is majorly shitty that your DB is not inviting your DCs. They are family afterall. I'd feel quite akward going to a very close family wedding without my DCs. I don't mind child free weddings at all and I never expect my DCs to be invited to friends weddings (but they always have been, even to not so close friends, next week we are going to a wedding of a friend of DHs, I've not even met the bride, but they still invited the DCs), I always thought it customary to invite close family children.
I would be very cross with your DB.

YouOldSlag Mon 15-Oct-12 13:53:13

If a wedding was on the same day as my DCs birthday, and they were included in the wedding I would still go. Kids love weddings and birthday parties are rarely on the same day as the birthday anyway, so could be done later.

If they were excluded from a wedding and could not spend their birthday with me, I wouldn't go to the wedding.

EldritchCleavage Mon 15-Oct-12 13:53:15

I think a couple of baby sitters is the answer, while your DH works.

It doesn't have to mean leaving your children with someone you don't know, because you have a year to introduce them to whoever you are going to use.

Could be a couple of older teenagers you know locally. It's the kind of thing I used to do as a sixth-former. It was for local families, usually people my parents and I already knew socially, but it could also be a local childminder.

YouOldSlag Mon 15-Oct-12 13:55:28

Eldritch- the local childminder would have them for two days and nights then as the wedding id five hours away!

The groom should come up with some ideas. The miserable stubborn sod.

StaceeJaxx Mon 15-Oct-12 13:56:27

If my sister decided not invite my dds to her wedding she would haven't the bloody opportunity to not forgive me because I wouldn't be speaking to her! How dare he insist you go but not deem your DC worthy enough of an invite! I'm all for child free weddings (our small was wedding was child free apart from close family - DSD and DH's nephew). I think he's got a fucking cheek and it would upset me immensely that he didn't want his nieces and nephews there.

EldritchCleavage Mon 15-Oct-12 13:59:41

Would she? Not if the DH juggles work a bit and the OP finds transport alternatives.

Not saying it would be easy, and I have little truck with the whole not inviting your own nieces and nephews to your wedding, but not even to try and go or find a way of doing it a whole year in advance is going to hole the OP's relationship with her brother below the waterline.

picturesinthefirelight Mon 15-Oct-12 14:09:04

Don't childminders have to be specially registered for overnight care. I wouldn't know where to start looking for one offering that kind of service. It's hard enough to find a normal childminder let alone one working those kind of unsociable hours.

YouOldSlag Mon 15-Oct-12 14:17:50

Exactly pictures, the groom hasn't got a clue. It's not like you can just get babysitters and child minders out of the phone book when you want to have a weekend away.

EldritchCleavage Mon 15-Oct-12 14:18:28

Why overnight care though? OP goes alone, DH stays behind to work but is back home in the evening to take over from whoever is brought in to do childcare.

Bit hypocritical of me to suggest it I suppose, since my answer to BRO would probably be along the lines of 'I see you your demand and raise you an ultimatum: I'm not coming unless the kids can come with me.'

MrsCampbellBlack Mon 15-Oct-12 14:21:17

I don't think its simple for him to 'juggle work' - he's self-employed and this is a big event for him.

picturesinthefirelight Mon 15-Oct-12 14:21:17

I assumed the ops dp was working away as these events can be anywhere.

Dovuoublniw any childminders who work Sunday's. I found the odd Saturday one but none on Sunday's.

picturesinthefirelight Mon 15-Oct-12 14:23:32

Yes you spend the entire year planning for the big events. The loss of income for not going could be huge. I don't know whether the ops do is an exhibitor or involved in the set up/breakdown but you can't just opt out unless you want to have wasted your whole year and a lot if money.

campion Mon 15-Oct-12 14:23:53

Presumably if you're all invited you'd all be going for a 5 hr journey and 2 night stay and your DH would take the time off work to go. So why not arrange to all go (as someone said) and you go to the wedding while they have a nice day out with Dad.
When your DB hears of this he may think it'd be silly not to have you all there.

Believe me, an invited close family member not at a wedding can cause more damage than you think.

picturesinthefirelight Mon 15-Oct-12 14:25:31

The op has already said her dp would not go. It would be like father Xmas deciding to take the day off on Xmas eve!!!

campion has the best idea, best of both worlds then smile

calypso2008 Mon 15-Oct-12 14:43:49

If my sister got married and didn't invite my DD I would be furious.
I simply would not go.
But, my sister would never, ever do this!

You have FOUR children, I can't imagine the logistics of this. Ridiculous and so unfair to you. As people have said, if you weren't direct, close family you would have to decline, but you don't want to and why should you, but you are stuck between a rock and hard place. PLUS it is a 7th birthday to boot. PLUS the busiest weekend of the year for your DH.
Nigh on impossible stuation for you and your DH and children.

I am already fed up enough about my (once) best friend inviting me to her wedding and not inviting my husband. Children not allowed, maybe she presumed my husband was doing childcare (she would be correct, I am having to fly over and stay 4 nights for this wedding) but I wish she had at least put him on the invite.

Especially as I went out of my way for accomodation, expenses and present and role for her, attending mine and DH's wedding 10 years ago.

I thought weddings were all about family and friendship. I love the grandpa's quote upthread - it is so wonderful.

Weddings these days are a bit of a joke and cost everyone a small fortune.

PoohBearsHole Mon 15-Oct-12 14:50:11

Can I just ask, has dh specifically said your children can't come?

MrsCampbellBlack Mon 15-Oct-12 15:04:10

The OP has said her DH probably wouldn't have gone even if invited because its his busiest event of the year so I think it would be very unreasonable for him to go up when he's not even invited.

RainQueen Mon 15-Oct-12 15:39:23

Hi all. I'm back!

To answer questions. It is not an option for DH not to work. As pictures has said, if he doesn't do this event he will loose not just this year's money but other year's as he would potentially loose the client. These events are months in the organising. It is just really unfortunate that it has fallen at this time of year but spring/summer is always the busiest.

If DCs had been invited then I would have taken them with me and between my DPs (who will be at the wedding) and myself, we could have managed the logistics.

As it is, DH is saying he could travel to the event (a few hours away) and then try and get back for a childminder and/or take them with him for some of the time. I don't think it would be fair to take them with him as it's not really a suitable environment. This leaves childcare, which given that DH would not be in the local are and would be working at best very late into the evening, would have to be very flexible and include a whole day Sunday and late evenings. I don't have anyone to call on for this but I guess potentially there are other options.

My DS's birthday is a factor although as others have said this could be celebrated another day.

To be honest, the logistics of sorting out 4DCs childcare to fit around DH is mindblowing and I don't think I could relax at the wedding. Before I spoke with my brother I thought it reasonable to suggest a seperate get together to celebrate the marriage.

A RL friend suggested today that I go for just the ceremony and the hotfoot it back straight after and I am thinking this could be a really good compromise.

Thanks for all your replies. It has been useful to have other people's views.

YouOldSlag Mon 15-Oct-12 15:57:13

OP, your DB is being incredibly unfair. Yes, you have a year to sort it out, but it really, really puts you in a spot. Have you explained these logistics to your DM? She didn't sound supportive in your OP but maybe she hasn't realised the reality of the situation.

Maybe say "Look DM, help me sort something out. These are the facts:" and state what you have told us above. Ask her for a solution. When she realises how difficult it is for you, she may realise it's not you who's being difficult and work on your brother a bit.

RainQueen Mon 15-Oct-12 16:01:21

It's funny you should saw that YouOld because I have been in contact with DM via e-mail today and she seems to be realising the difficult position I am in a bit more so that is taking a lot of the pressure off now. smile

YouOldSlag Mon 15-Oct-12 16:06:19

Yes, I think she is the key here. Once she understands you are between a rock and a hard place she will calm down a bit and talk to your DB.

In a few years time when your DB has kids, you can enjoy that sheepish guilty feeling he should have when he realises kids can't go in kennels and Mary Poppins is ex directory.

Startailoforangeandgold Mon 15-Oct-12 16:06:47


LtEveDallas Mon 15-Oct-12 16:22:18

I think I have got this to come. My neice gets married next year - she has already said it is child free.

If DD isn't invited then we won't be going. We don't leave her with babysitters, only family, and of course all the family will be going.

I have no issue with not going, and will happily wish the B&G a lovely day and a long and happy marriage - but my sister (DNeice's mum) I know will go BATSHIT. I am dreading it.

Best of luck sorting this out RainQueen. I hope it works out for you and your DBro can see what an awkward position he has put you in.

EldritchCleavage Mon 15-Oct-12 16:25:00

I don't get saying 'Your kids aren't invited' ('child-free' is such a euphemism) then kicking off when you can't come. Talk about ignoring cause and effect.

Good. Work on your mother. She might be able to influence your brother. I bet he does not have children himself, as otherwise he would not been so unfair.

YouOldSlag Mon 15-Oct-12 16:28:18

Exactly Eldritch.

They can have whatever wedding they want (personally I prefer weddings with kids), but to add conditions and then kick off when a mother of 4 can't meet those conditions is appalling. And then OP is the one being given a hard time about it! I'd be sticking his wedding cake where the sun don't shine.

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Mon 15-Oct-12 16:29:53

I'm confused here both at your brother and you ie shouldn't he be making more if an effort for his sister? And sometimes siblings are unreasonable- I suppose you need to see what you can so. What would you do if you had to miss your DC's birthday for work and absolutely had no choice?

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Mon 15-Oct-12 16:30:28

"Can do". Dratted phone.

YouOldSlag Mon 15-Oct-12 16:31:10

It's similar to when people have their wedding abroad and then get huffy because people won't sacrifice the annual family holiday budget in order to go.

Couples can have the wedding they like, in a lighthouse on Christmas Eve if they like, but Bridezillas and Groomzillas have to accept if they add Terms and Conditions, some people won't be able to come and the decent thing is to be OK about that, not rant and make people feel bad.

CinnabarRed Mon 15-Oct-12 16:31:27

Frankly, in your precise position, I don't see how you can go.

Your poor DH can't work and look after your DCs, and you've made it absolutely clear that DH not working is simply not an option. Take that off the table.

That only leaves 2 options:

1. Try to find childcare local to where you live. I can see that being incredibly hard with such small children. The older 2 might be able to stay with school friends. The little 2 are a whole other ball game. My DS1, at that age, would have been fine with a temporary nanny for the weekend; my DS2 would be distraught to be left with a stranger.

2. Take the DCs (for 5 hours on public transport shock) and then find childcare just while you're at the wedding.

Of course, there is a third option - ask your DB to make an exception for your DCs. That's what I would do.


CinnabarRed Mon 15-Oct-12 16:32:56

Sorry about the random number 2 [snigger] at the end of my post...

YouOldSlag Mon 15-Oct-12 16:33:44

Option 3. Allow your kids to press their (dirty, sad) faces against the windows during the speeches. Then ostentatiously shoo them away saying "Uncle Groom doesn't want you in here, Shoo!"

usualsuspect3 Mon 15-Oct-12 16:36:14

I wouldn't go. He wants a child free wedding, so some guests won't be able to attend. That's life.

His choice.

lunar1 Mon 15-Oct-12 16:38:30

I think your brother is being really selfish here. I wouldn't be bullied into going like this.

Hullygully Mon 15-Oct-12 16:42:14

Your brother is a WANKER

EldritchCleavage Mon 15-Oct-12 16:42:55

Don't pull your punches, Hully, tell us what you really think...

YouOldSlag Mon 15-Oct-12 16:43:21

Your brother is a WANKER

In comes Hully, straight to the point, no

MrsCampbellBlack Mon 15-Oct-12 17:12:14

I am loving option 3

Loopy4got Mon 15-Oct-12 17:14:52

It's your brother you go to the wedding. Remember we can chose our friends but sadly cannot chose our family.

MrsCampbellBlack Mon 15-Oct-12 17:23:05

Have you read the thread Loopy? Any ideas of how the OP can get there bearing in mind:

- her DH has work event that can not be cancelled
- she has no-one to look after her 4 dc's for 2 nights and days?

Loopy4got Mon 15-Oct-12 17:44:42

Oh my goodness please don't beat me up. I was only thinking of the long term damage to her relationship with her brother, sister in law and her family.
And if that relationship wasn't damaged, that must be a better solution. It is dreadful when families fall out sad

MrsCampbellBlack Mon 15-Oct-12 17:46:39

Of course it is Loopy but do you not think the brother should take some repsonsibility for that.

I'm just not sure what the OP can possibly do.

ladydayblues Mon 15-Oct-12 17:49:01

I tried that no kids stuff (31 years ago) but still some people just rocked up with their kids, and had to sit in their parents laps as there were no additional seating and they were not catered for. One baby screamed throughout the vows and I could hardly hear the vicar, hmm.

When my younger sis got married she said no kids and checked and re-checked. I was completely utterly delighted! I had 3 v young kids all under 7 and a years notice. I organised my OHs kid sister to stay over and had an absolute ball child free, practically like a second honeymoon. If my OH had to stay with the kids he would have - nothing would make me miss my sisters wedding!

I have missed the odd child's birthday on the actual date, but simply celebrated it the following biggie. As a child born at xmas I have always had a shit birthday that had to be moved, so dont mind moving any others to convenient days.

OP you do have a year. IMO you should try to organise childcare if you cant then at least you have tried.

ProphetOfDoom Mon 15-Oct-12 17:51:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

UsedToBeAContender Mon 15-Oct-12 17:54:53

I have no problem with people saying no kids at their weddings, it's entirely their choice and frankly my kids would a) get bored, b) misbehave eventually and c) I would have a rubbish time trying to look after them.

See if you can sort out childcare, it'll be fun and if both of you can go it might be a nice break for you both. At least you can honestly say you've really tried everything. The birthday is a bit unfortunate but you can always make it up to them.

I do however think that your DB is being a complete prick for throwing his toys out of the cot and saying he'll "never forgive you". hmm

MadBusLadyHauntsTheMetro Mon 15-Oct-12 18:12:45

Some people still seem to be saying or implying that professional childcare, under the general supervision of the working DH, for this one-off occasion is out-of-the-question impossible, including the OP.

Humour me, I don't understand this, I don't have DCs, is it truly the case?

picturesinthefirelight Mon 15-Oct-12 18:20:41

Most child care set ups (nursery/childminder/nannies) are designed to be available during normal working hours and for people who book I a regular basis.

Some childminders do provide ad hoc care but ad they are restructured in numbers will always choose a child who attends every week of the year over and above a stranger who rings up on the off chance.

Nurseries tend to open 9-6 Mon- Fri Some will provide extra care for those known to them eg holiday or after school care

Childminders are often mums themselves with children hence few will offer weekends ir evenings

Which leaves you I guess with a local teenager who might do a spot of babysitting if you know anyone you could trust. Personally I don't (actually I tell a lie I do but she's a student who lives away during term time).

picturesinthefirelight Mon 15-Oct-12 18:21:14

One off child care is very very difficult to find.

picturesinthefirelight Mon 15-Oct-12 18:21:55

And this is not only a Sunday but a bank holiday weekend if I remember correctly.

YouOldSlag Mon 15-Oct-12 18:22:02

Madbust. Yes. It is not easy to find a childminder for a one off, Many are full and are limited to how many charges they can look after. Since the OP looks after her own children, it would be a one off and the child minder would therefore be a stranger.

You can't really get an agency babysitter out of the phone book as you won't know them and the children might not settle with a total stranger.

You could ask a local teenager but there are FOUR children under seven and that is a bit much to lay on a teenagers's door.

They can't go to family because they are all at the wedding. ILs not an option as they are too elderly (and there are FOUR kids!).

The DH is self employed and cannot take time off without it affecting his contract and therefore their income.

ladydayblues Mon 15-Oct-12 18:25:34

But the OP also says that she had never left her DCs before and is reluctant to so. The first time you can feel anxious, but in these days of Iphone permanently on on your lap you can always be in touch. You CAN go away and leave your children for a family event. You can go to a family event alone, there will be other people there that you will know surely.

Costs are also mentioned - go alone, try and stay one night. OH can look again at rearranging his schedule absolutely no one is indespensible in business. He would also have a year to sort it out.

Still he is your Only brother so try. If i n a couple of months you have no solution then email him all your attempts at a solution, asking him again to reconsider including your kids.

MrsCampbellBlack Mon 15-Oct-12 18:29:36

As the OP's DH is self-employed and this is a key time/very important piece of work surely the last thing he's going to do is show he's indispensible.

Look - your brother wants a child-free wedding which is of course his choice but that decision has consequences.

picturesinthefirelight Mon 15-Oct-12 18:29:36

You can't rearrange the schedule of a big major event you can only let someone else do it instead and do lose the business permanently.

picturesinthefirelight Mon 15-Oct-12 18:31:03

Say for example the op had a contract for a major sporting fixture. He can't change the date if the fixture, he can either do it and earn the money or not and lose it (plus never be asked again)

RainQueen Mon 15-Oct-12 18:39:36

I haven't ever left the DCs before as it is not a very easy thing to do practically when you have 4 so little. Obviously, it was our decision to have them and I don't begrudge this but when it comes to occasions we have had to say no or one of us has gone.

My DH can not give up the job as it is a big contract and it is a very competitive business. It would effect our income for years to come. I know that sounds callous but we have to think about the family long term.

I am not adverse to leaving the DCs in childcare but finding the right (and affordable) childcare is very difficult.

I think, as has been suggested, I will write down all the avenues I have tried and present them to DB so he can see that I have tried and see if he has any ideas. I love my DB very much and I understand that he wants me there and I am obviously very happy that that is the case but there are so many obstacles. He does not have DCs at the moment and doesn't understand how difficult things like this can be. I did say to him on the phone that I will remind him of this if he has DCs one day!

YouOldSlag Mon 15-Oct-12 19:41:06

ladybayblues- it's nothing to do with the OP being afraid or reluctant to go alone. It is her brother's wedding so she will know about half the people there!

You are missing the point. She cannot get child care, the wedding is five hours away, and her DH absolutely cannot take a day off as it is a National event and he could lose future business. Since he is the sole earner and self employed, a wedding is not a good enough reason for him to pull out.

OP you may love your brother but he's not showing you much consideration with this talk of leaving your children (one of them on his birthday!) to go to the wedding or he will never forgive you!

cleanandclothed Mon 15-Oct-12 19:43:18

I can understand (just about) a couple wanting a child free wedding. I think this is a bit unusual when it excludes nieces and nephews. But I cannot understand the grandparents in this situation putting pressure to exclude children. Surely when you choose a wedding date you check with your immediate family? And if you are excluding immediate family children then you check that childcare is possible? I think therefore that your mum is key here.

Having said all of that, if the worst came to the worst in your shoes I would go. It would rankle for ages and I would try to make DB see this, but I would set up a babysitter now, and get them to come round a few times before the wedding, so by the time the wedding came they were not a stranger.

ladydayblues Mon 15-Oct-12 20:06:24

Sure I got all that was looking at ...but I am upset that I will have to leave my DCs and go on my own... which indicates to me that OP has a vague idea that there are some solutions.

Incidently perhaps OP can approach the soon to be SIL and discuss??

Also its not that people with DCs dont understand the difficulties of organising childcare, some people who do have children are baffled that others with DCs seem compelled to walk with them everywhere.

Is the OH away all the wknd for his work commitment? Or will he be home in the evening? Perhaps day time child care could be hunted out and found within a year, enough time to introduce DCs to a minder.

Still as you are the only sister and these are the only GCs & its such an almightly hassle, I do think he can compromise and allow them, but bear in mind that as your OH is occupied it will be you alone coping out of their usual environment. So do you really want to take them?

MrsCampbellBlack Mon 15-Oct-12 20:16:55

Lady - I believe the OP said she'd have taken then on her own as her parents would be there to help

Yama Mon 15-Oct-12 20:24:55

I wouldn't go.

It's all very well for people to suggest possible childcare options but really ... at the weekend and late into the night? No, I wouldn't even begin to start organising this.

If your brother takes a cream puff then it is he who causes the family rift.

onedaysandy Mon 15-Oct-12 20:30:15

I suspect that, as he doesn't have children yet, your brother has no idea how tricky it is to arrange childcare, and even how difficult it is leaving your own children overnight. And he probably won't understand till he's a dad himself.

In your position I wouldn't go.

squeaver Mon 15-Oct-12 20:42:44

Absolutely, get a babysitter bedded in now. Then you and our dh might get a bit of a social life too - don't you go out now?

hermioneweasley Mon 15-Oct-12 20:49:37

Really torn on this - it really is like your Db is trying to make it as hard as poss to attend! I think you said it had to be 2 nights due to train, but could you hire a car and travel early on the morning of the wedding?

I think ultimately I would try and go for a night on my own, but I would be deeply unimpressed that DB had made it so hard.

changeforthebetter Mon 15-Oct-12 20:55:56

I'm in the don't go camp. No way would I miss a 7 yo birthday. Childfree weddings yadda yadda. Fine but lots of people do have kids. If your presence is so vital to him then surely your kids are part of that. Good luck with your decision YANBU

PoohBearsHole Mon 15-Oct-12 20:56:20

Sorry, re read my post and it didn't one out right!

Hs you db specifically said that your children are not invited? really? I get not inviting dc of boss/very distant rellies, friends But your own sisters kid is a bit bonkers! Are they terribly badly behaved? Do they run screaming with knives slashing madly? Because that is the only possible reason they shouldn't be there, you know if they might INJUR someone hmm. Has he said child free wedding as in no others will be there but yours are welcome! I was just wondering if you had both mistaken one another?

Either way you need to get you dmum on side.

MrsCampbellBlack Mon 15-Oct-12 20:56:30

How many babysitters would do a 48 hour stint though? I regularly use babysitters but wouldn't leave my children for that long with one - only family really. That's not unusual I don't think.

squeaver Mon 15-Oct-12 21:06:42

She only needs a sitter to look after the kids while her dh is at work.

Or to look after the kids at the evnue while she's at the wedding.

squeaver Mon 15-Oct-12 21:06:59

Her dh can't go anyway.

DontmindifIdo Mon 15-Oct-12 21:09:45

Well, if your brother wants you there, he needs to accept that you have 4 DCs and your DH can't look after them, so a compromise seems to me that you take the DCs with you, but someone looks after them during the ceremony (maybe a less close relative or a family friend, or just hire a local babysitter for the 1 or so hours of the ceremony) then you could look after them at the reception (there should be enough family to help you with 4 DCs staying quiet during the speeches).

Or if he doesn't want to compromise, he can't actually be all that fussed about you being there.

If they are getting married in a hotel the hotel should have a list of babysitters they regularly use to help you out.

StrawberryMojito Mon 15-Oct-12 21:15:06

Your DB is being selfish. I went to a 'child free' wedding at the weekend and there were a couple of children belonging to close family there, exceptions can and should be made. Why is he being so stubborn about this, have you actually asked him to reconsider? I also wouldn't miss a 7 year old DCs birthday. I would happily take them to the wedding and give them a birthday treat another day but I would definitely be with them.

You and your parents need to talk to him about the reality of this. If he still wants a child free wedding, he can have one and you spend the day with your kids.

onedev Mon 15-Oct-12 21:16:12

I'm shocked at your DB & DPs TBH if you're a close family - how can your children not be invited? sad

I totally agree that it's the Bride & Groom's day & if they choose child free then that's their prerogative but normally exceptions are made for close family confused & as others have said, if they're saying no children, then they shouldn't also insist you attend.

Good luck though & hope it gets sorted as weddings can cause all kinds of rifts for a long long time.

DontmindifIdo Mon 15-Oct-12 21:18:29

Also remember, you brother wants you there for the wedding you really could just try to line up someone to look after them just for hte ceremony and then you leave. You've then seen him get married and then left due to childcare issues that he won't solve

StrawberryMojito Mon 15-Oct-12 21:23:26

I also can't believe that your DB has arranged his big day on his nephews birthday (not a big deal in itself) but then insisted that his all of his nephews family are at a celebration elsewhere that he is not invited to leaving his 7yr old nephew with no bitrthday celebrations or family and being looked after by a childminder...nice!

YouOldSlag Mon 15-Oct-12 21:48:26

I agree Strawberry. Sometimes clashes happen, but then to insist birthday boy is without his parents on his big day and get annoyed when this is not agreed to is beyond the pale.

RainQueen Tue 16-Oct-12 07:09:11

Thanks for all your replies. Just to make it clear, the DCs are definately not invited. No exceptions. He rang to tell me shortly after they were engaged. I had assumed that we would all be invited up to that point. And my DCs aren't badly behaved at all. They can sit in restaurants and behave and be taken out and about.

And to answer squeaver no DH and myself do not have much time to ourselves at the moment and have not been away since we had the DCs. That is the way things are for us right now with 4 young DCs and I don't resent that as it is just a phase in our lives. I have no real longing to get away from the DCs and so I have never used a babysitter or childminder. Both DH and I work but we plan our work and my shifts around each other.

I understand that weddings are important to people but my DCs are important to me and I do not believe that they will grow up to feel entitled because of this. Our world does not revolve around them as such because of all our work and day to ay life.

I do not want to upset anyone but this situation is not of my making and I do not feel equiped to sort it out. Our day to day life is a juggle as it is with work and shift commitments as well as all the usual school stuff and to start trying to add childcare and public transport into the mix is going to be too much I think. sad

AngelsWithSilverWings Tue 16-Oct-12 07:36:16

My DS was 7 yesterday - I would not have missed that for anything.

My DH and I often go for long weekends away while the kids stay with their GPs but I would never ever leave them on their birthday.

I remember my 7th birthday , can even remember some of the presents I got and I'm 42!

Your DB may not forgive you but this problem is of his own making. You have to stick to your guns but don't allow it to turn into an argument. You have to just keep repeating the reasons why you can't attend and that you are gutted to miss it but there is no solution other than to bring the children with you.

3duracellbunnies Tue 16-Oct-12 07:48:26

Not sure if it has been said before, but is it a church wedding? You can't stop people attending a church wedding even if you are bridezilla otherwise you'd never get the 'has anyone any objections pause in the movies'. You could be a bit cheeky go with the children to the ceremony then go off and do your own thing. It is a load of hassle for you for a short service, but might be a compromise situation.

In your position I wouldn't go. We only invited nieces and nephews to our wedding but would understand if someone couldn't get childcare then they couldn't come. Most people didn't have children and it was a decision between children of cousins whom we didn't really see more than once every few years or close friends.

YouOldSlag Tue 16-Oct-12 08:04:47

OP, you are doing your best and your brother hasn't made one iota of effort to accommodate you. He has set the bar too high for you and he is beyond unreasonable to be annoyed with you for not being able to meet his ridiculous demand.

Keep working on your Mum. It looks unlikely that you can go. If you just had one baby, solutions are easier to find, but with four under seven, I think the logistics would just defeat me.

Do get someone to whisper in your DB's ear though as obviously he is clueless about the pitfalls of childcare. It sounds like he genuinely believes you can just book a stranger from BabysittersRUs and he needs to have his eyes opened.

This is really unfair on you.

2cats2many Tue 16-Oct-12 08:20:19

OP you sound as though you have tried your hardest to come up with a solution to this, but Unless your bro compromises, you won't be able to go. He's just going to have to accept that.

I never understand why some people put so many conditions on a wedding. At the end of the day, its a family party- the B and G are being welcomed into each others families, noisy children warts and all. Why does it have to be such a staged affair?

PoohBearsHole Tue 16-Oct-12 10:03:08

Don't worry I wasn't suggesting that your dc were badly behaved grin just that if they were to run around slashing wildly ala texas chainsaw massacre then I could see why they might not be on the list............ my sarcasm at times isn't always that great grin

I think the only person who is going to look like a numpty here is your db, your dh has to work, taking the dc with him is not really the best or most useful option, if he has no family that are able to help out then the option really is to not go or take your children. You shouldn't be made to feel like you are in the wrong with regards to this, sounds like you have Mr and Mrs Bridezilla on your hands!

The minute he has his first born he will come running straight back to you apologising profusely I would expect, but in the mean time as I previously said get your mum on side, at least that way if you aren't at the wedding it will be known it is because your children weren't invited and you had no option rather than Rain is being a drama queen smile

renaldo Tue 16-Oct-12 10:07:59

I think he is being an arse. BUT I cant believe you dont have a babysitter - do you never go out?

RainQueen Tue 16-Oct-12 10:16:18

renaldo - my DPs visit us about 3 times a year and we go out for a meal then but otherwise there is noone else around. We go out as a family but DH and I don't go out together unless my DPs are here. I have a lot of friends who have family help near and go out and even away a lot and I am sure they pity us because we can't do that but we are used to it now and as I said before, it is such a short time in our lives....

Miggsie Tue 16-Oct-12 10:16:43

I think your brother, and mother are being inconsiderate.

By saying no children they are basically saying "and none of your DH either" as he would have to look after the kids. I think that is mean.

They either accept that you'd rather not travel on your own, to a wedding to attend, on your own, while your husband does a birthday party and childcare or they should offer to help with childcare while you all travel to the wedding or say the kids can come to some bits not others.

Your brother should understand that this stipulation makes real problems for you and effectively bars your DH from the ceremony as well. That isn't being a good host at all.

I remember one do where my brother went and I went to the hotel with him and looked after the kids in the room while he and his wife attended the "no kids" function. That way he attended the function and didn't have to leave his kids for 2 days.

I'd just tell them that the logistics are too much and you are not going, as a social do where you can't be with your DH is pretty tatty in my opinion!

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 10:22:44

I am in the minority here, I see, but I think YABU. Your brother and his partner are having a child-free wedding, which is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, like it or not. You could arrange childcare in order to attend, with or without your DH, for some or all of the day, and you won't. Perhaps they feel like you are trying to blackmail them into being allowed to bring your children. I would.

megandraper Tue 16-Oct-12 10:26:01

I would not stay away for my child's birthday, I think your brother is being very unreasonable.

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 10:28:19

I live in a different country from all our family, on both sides. We don't have friends we can ask to babysit. As well, on several occasions now, DH and I have traveled out of town for work, and needed to find a babysitter in the town where we are staying. It can be done. You have quite a bit of time to sort it out. It really comes down to that you are unwilling to because you don't think your brother should have left your DCs out of his wedding.

SandyChick Tue 16-Oct-12 10:32:58

I wouldn't go but would need to make sure that db understood my reasons.

You don't have childcare as all of your family will be at wedding. I wouldn't want to go without my husband. I think it's really unfair of your db to not consider how you and your dh could attend without the children but to then have a go at you for not being able to go. I wouldn't be happy if my db said no children including his nephews.

AngelsWithSilverWings Tue 16-Oct-12 10:34:10

I don't think its strange that the OP does not have a babysitter. My DH and I go out all the time but only ever use either my parents or my inlaws.

We have never used a babysitter as the need has never come up as my family are so helpful. Even if we did have a reliable sitter I wouldn't use them for an overnighter.

If my DB put me in the same position that OP's DB has I would be left with no childcare either.

My parents would obviously be at the wedding and my DH's parents don't to overnight care as they are so much older than my parents and can only manage short periods of day time babysitting.

jammietart Tue 16-Oct-12 10:36:03

I would do all you can to be there for the ceremony. I always think in these situations that you have to try and be the better person and do everything you can to avoid regretting your actions at a later date. Fwiw I think your brother is behaving badly but it isn’t an unusual situation.
Is the ceremony in a Church? If it is I would go and take the kids with me just to be a bit awkward!

LadyClariceCannockMonty Tue 16-Oct-12 10:43:49

'If DCs had been invited then I would have taken them with me and between my DPs (who will be at the wedding) and myself, we could have managed the logistics.'

How would you have managed this, OP, and can it be tweaked at all to accommodate them not being invited?

Of course I might be way off, but I'm envisaging that the wedding is taking place in an environment where your DCs could be 'kept', for want of a better word, separately (hotel room or whatever) and you and your DPs could take it in turns to sit with them.

Poosnu Tue 16-Oct-12 11:00:30

If you are able to do so, I would have a proper sit down chat with your DB and DM, and explain the difficulties you are in. Do they properly understand the issues surrounding DH's work and that he absolutely can't take time off?

It's a non starter for your DH to take the children to work. He won't be able to get much done at all, and it might potentially be dangerous for them.

We don't a have a babysitter either. When we go out my DM looks after DD. We don't use agency babysitters. I can absolutely see why you wouldn't feel comfortable with leaving the children with a stranger for 2 days.

If I was in your shoes and DB really couldn't accommodate children, I probably wouldn't go. As has been said many times, it's his choice to have a child free wedding, but he needs to accept the consequences of that.

I think before you make this into an even bigger issue, you need to do some more talking with your brother. Talk talk talk talk.

I would prob take the approach of "Of course I want to be there for you, however it is really difficult because of.... (DH's work till late, lack of babysitters, age and number of DCs,...) - can you help me work out a way to do it?" - or some such wording, but basically, putting yourself "on his side" but getting him to do some of the work figuring out the practical issues.

I reckon if you put it that way, he will have to put himself into your shoes a bit, and between you you might either be able to agree a compromise (such as, DCs come but someone else looks after them during the ceremony - maybe even your brother arranging some childcare - or you just coming for the ceremony and then leaving early), OR he may reconsider the ban. And at worst, if you still can't make it at least he may be a bit more understanding of the reasons.

Get your mum onside too and that should help as well.

As for the birthday, I'd say if you could manage it so you only missed the birthday itself, that should not be a huge issue - leave a few treats to make the day special, and celebrate another day instead (it's hardly unusual for birthday celebrations to be bumped by a day or so to fit in with work, school etc). But if it was going to mean him being with a random babysitter for the whole weekend, then I would feel pretty bad about that too!

CinnabarRed Tue 16-Oct-12 12:37:21

Massive difference, IMO, between getting a babysitter for one evening (when the DCs will be asleep in bed for most of, if not all, the time) and arranging childcare for 2 days. Or even 1 day if the OP goes for just the ceremony. Too much to ask.

YouOldSlag Tue 16-Oct-12 12:41:47

brdgrl- I think the brother is being totally unreasonable and I disagree with you. The OP is not trying to emotionally blackmail him into inviting her kids. She is having genuine trouble attending.

1) she doesn't have one, she has FOUR
2) The youngest will only be three next year, that's not an easy age to leave
3) The DH cannot attend or do childcare as he is totally tied into a contract he cannot leave.
4) The wedding is FIVE HOURS away.

I think the groom to be is the inconsiderate one. Yes getting a babysitter in another town is possible, but there are four kids and the babysitter will be a total stranger and oneof them is having a birthday the same day!

How can you possibly think the groom is being reasonable?

A bride and groom are entitled to have any wedding they choose. However, they have to accept that some people just won't be able to come if it's child free, and it's very shabby and mean of a couple not to be more understanding of that.

ladydayblues Tue 16-Oct-12 12:57:13

Sorry dont agree! I have four children at one point 3 under 7 had absolutely no issues leaving them to fly to Europe for research overnight and another occasion 4 days in Scotland for similiar research and they arent sitting on a shrink couch complaining that I left them and/or missed their birthday! One being born in June was always in the exam season, my busy time so birthday was moved almost a week later!

OP has a a YEAR to introduce a regular sitter to her children! I found two students locally and they (both) did stay overnight with my brood. Chaos occasionally but all managble. And this was well before mobiles & fire blankets!

I can see at least three ways that this could be resolved but wonder now if the OP just wants us to say forget your DB your DCs comes first.

I would have thought you would have jumped at a chance to have a couple of days without DCs and sort it. It can be done!

EldritchCleavage Tue 16-Oct-12 13:31:17

Bit unfair, lady: you don't know her or her children, her financial situation or anything. I take your point, and suggested getting a couple of local babysitters upthread, but I don't think not wanting to do this necessarily makes the OP unreasonable.

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 13:33:27

Exactly, ladyday.

Those who don't have family to rely on as babysitters have two choices - find alternatives, or choose not to attend social events.

If they choose the latter, they should be prepared for the fallout of that. Whether a dinner party or a wedding, if it is more important to someone not to leave their children with an unrelated carer (or whatever other excuse makes the childcare option "impossible") than to attend the event, they should understand how that is going to impact on their relationships with others. Of course the OP has every right not to attend, but it is pretty rich for her to try and make her choices, her brother's responsibility.

He has every reason to feel disappointed that she won't make arrangements for an important event which is still a year away.

YouOldSlag Tue 16-Oct-12 13:36:51

Of course the OP has every right not to attend, but it is pretty rich for her to try and make her choices, her brother's responsibility.

But it IS his responsibility as he is insisting her children can't come. AND her DH is not available to help AND it's five hours away. AND it's her DC's 7th birthday that day.

I don't see how the brother is being remotely fair.

Viviennemary Tue 16-Oct-12 13:36:55

I think your brother is entitled to have a child free wedding if that is what he wants. What he doesn't have the right to do is to put pressure on you to attend. He can't have it both ways. If it's too difficult for you to attend then don't. He is the one who has laid down the law. Not you. You have not refused to attend.

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 13:39:56

Not getting childcare is HER choice!

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 13:41:07

You have not refused to attend.

Yes she has. Saying "I won't attend unless I can do it on my terms" is unfair and is a refusal of the invitation. Her choice.

YouOldSlag Tue 16-Oct-12 13:41:20

Yes, I agree Vivienne. He is absolutely entitled to have any wedding he chooses, but where he looses points is in telling his sister he "will never forgive her" if she doesn't come.

Child free weddings- fine
Hassling guests who struggle to attend - not fine.

mummytime Tue 16-Oct-12 13:55:09

You are entitled to refuse an invitation, it is an invitation not a royal command. If it is really important for someone to have you at something they invite you to, then they do whatever they can to enable you to attend.

If you want a child free wedding then that is fine. However those with children may well decline the invitation, also fine.

People didn't come to my wedding, people I would have loved to be there, I was disappointed but in no way did I chuck my toys out of the pram and refuse to ever forgive them.

Bongaloo Tue 16-Oct-12 14:16:30

a year to introduce a babysitter
bit of an expensive wedding

Why should they start employing staff?

MrsCampbellBlack Tue 16-Oct-12 14:17:27

Exactly what mummytime said.

I use babysitters from an agency when my children are in bed but I wouldn't use them for lengthy periods of time if my DH was likely to be working very long hours.

Its not like its 30 mins away and for one day or just for an evening - am sure the OP would be happy to use a babysitter for that. But this is different.

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 14:40:07

Most people understand that there will be some expense and inconvenience associated with attending a wedding, or for that matter, with having children. Saving up enough, over a year, to be able to employ a babysitter while the OP attends even part of the event (the course of action she has most recently indicated she may take, so obviously not an impossibility), is not too much for a family member to ask.

If the OP's situation is that she cannot afford to attend her brother's wedding, then she has a different problem and set of choices to make.

The OP wants to be able to decline the invitation and have everyone in her family understand and support that decision. It's unfair of her.

There are options available to her. Maybe not her first choice, or even her second.

If I decide to turn down every 'childfree' invite I am offered, I can't be surprised or indignant when friends and family stop issuing invites, or feel hurt.

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 14:45:15

I use babysitters from an agency when my children are in bed but I wouldn't use them for lengthy periods of time

But this is your choice - and you must realise that it is not the default position, or some minimum standard - if one isn't willing to leave their kids for over x hours or with non-family (as some have said above), then they ought to understand that they are the ones putting restrictions on what they themselves can and cannot do - it is not down to anyone else to accomodate those choices, or even to be understanding of them, frankly, when they clash with other obligations or with other people's right to exercise their own choices.

ladydayblues Tue 16-Oct-12 14:58:27

sometimes a drama happens and that "no childcare" can be resolved in five mins flat.

My last child was born 10 weeks premature. Woke up waters broke, had another 3 to sort, before I could even step into the ambulance, which incidently met me at the school gate. OH on a film shoot at the other end of the country - not around. No one in our respective families were around. A mother I barely knew from the school gate took all 3 of my kids for a week without hesitation, (she had her own two). I had never been to her house and my kids didnt know her either. As it was xmas she did all my xmas shopping, presents and food. I am eternally grateful to her. I had no choice but to trust her completely. We are now friends for life.

I dont know abt OPs finances as she hasnt mentioned it.

Go or dont go. lots of good suggestions on how to resolve here.

renaldo Tue 16-Oct-12 15:12:37

This shows the importance of having a regular non family babysitter
our lovely sitter ( an elderly lady who lives nearby) is like a surrogate granny.Has stayed overnight for us, she will wait in for tradesmen, accept parcels etc and stay with an ill child if necessary. As my family like oversears it has been invaluable. I can go to work conferneces , she will fill in the gap between school and DH getting home if I am away etc

LtEveDallas Tue 16-Oct-12 15:20:10

Choosing a child free weddding is fine, perfectly acceptable, as long as you don't moan when people cannot attend your wedding because of it.

Choosing not to leave your children with a babysitter is fine, perfectly acceptable, as long as you don't moan when you cannot attend functions because of it.

OP isn't moaning and accepts she cannot go. Lovely OP smile.

OPs brother is moaning and needs to wind his neck in. Not so lovely.

ksrwr Tue 16-Oct-12 15:27:01

could you all go to where the wedding is, make a weekend of it, and you disappear for 4/5 hours for the acutal wedding, thus only leaving your husband along with the kids for a short period of time, and you all having a nice weekend away?

I have never understood child-free weddings as our family have never had them.

If they are worried about noise can't childcare/ entertainment just be arranged for the wedding to keep the children amused - lots of companies do this now.

ladydayblues Tue 16-Oct-12 15:46:23

charley usually costs are the deciding factor in childfree weddings!

All those guests who rocked up to our wedding with their uninvited children had to have them in thier laps and share their food with them. We couldnt afford to lay on child entertainment - it was not a kids party. We had exactly 100 seats inc us and of that only 10 peeps were friends. All the rest were close family.

EverybodysSpookyEyed Tue 16-Oct-12 15:57:11

What lteve said. Child free is fine but you have to expect some people not to be able to go if that is the case.

With the ages of the kids it would be very hard to leave them for two nights, especially as one of the days is hat child's birthday

If your husband didn't have to work I would say you should go

However, as your dh has to work that weekend it really seems like you have no other choice.

Obviously, it's not a childrens' party that's why the entertainment and minders are in a separate room.

Do children really eat that much that it would materially affect costs? They certainly wouldn't be drinking any champagne anyway!

MrsCampbellBlack Tue 16-Oct-12 16:21:20

Renaldo - would you happily leave 4 children for pretty much 48 hours with an elderly lady?

LaCiccolina Tue 16-Oct-12 16:29:09

Have you thought about taking the whole family to the town of the wedding for the weekend and you disappear for the ceremony and breakfast and scarper after the speeches but before the disco starts?

Try (or I forget which) as they often show quite good things that DH could do with them as their entertainment while you are out.

That way you could all at least be near each other.

I seem to think that DH had a busy work weekend doing events though. Ill assume for this next suggestion hes indisposed.

Throw it back at your brother? Say DH cant baby sit. Nobody else in your town can baby sit. Could the kids come with you to the hotel the wedding will be hosted at IF he sources a baby sitter? Is there an Aunt, friend of your mums, the bride-to-be, you bro that might be able to step forwards for the few hours of the ceremony, breakfast and speeches. You would need to explain you couldn't then stay for the reception disco but frankly why would you? He will be off his face by then and would have no idea if you went or not in the evening.

If nothing else it might give a few more weeks til you have to out and out refuse?

YouOldSlag Tue 16-Oct-12 16:38:05

But this is your choice - and you must realise that it is not the default position, or some minimum standard - if one isn't willing to leave their kids for over x hours or with non-family (as some have said above), then they ought to understand that they are the ones putting restrictions on what they themselves can and cannot do - it is not down to anyone else to accommodate those choices, or even to be understanding of them, frankly, when they clash with other obligations or with other people's right to exercise their own choices.

Delightful attitude you have there!. I especially like the bit where you say "it is not down to anyone else to accommodate these choices or even try to understand them"

I always try and understand people. It's called empathy. Attempting to accommodate people is called kindness.

MrsCampbellBlack Tue 16-Oct-12 16:42:58

Youoldslag - I've agreed with everything you've said on this thread.

YouOldSlag Tue 16-Oct-12 16:51:08

Thank you MrsCB. How refreshing. My kids never do! smile

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 20:24:30

oldslag, the OP is not being kind or having empathy for her brother, by your own definition, then, as she is not trying to understand his feelings or accomodate him, despite the fact that it is his wedding day. I think it is really shitty, and doubly shitty to make herself out to be the poor injured party in the whole thing. If she doesn't want to go, then she should not go - we agree - but what she wants is to not go and have her family tell her that it is ok. Well, it apparently is not ok with her brother.

And the OP is moaning about it, actually...

LtEveDallas Tue 16-Oct-12 20:42:58

Where is she moaning brdgrl? Shes not happy that her brother has said he'd 'never forgive her' (how childish) but otherwise quite fine not to attend.

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 21:00:33

The whole thread is a moan! If she were truly happy enough not to attend and to deal with the repercussions, she'd have no reason to post. She is moaning because he's said he's not happy and isn't sure he could forgive her - well, good for him. He's being honest about his perfectly understandable feelings.

I think she's the one being childish, and making his/his fiancee's decision "all about her" and her DCs. Instead of making reasonable efforts to attend. She has options, but because she isn't getting either of the two things she wants (1, an "exception" for her children to attend. or 2, a consequence-free claim to the moral high ground), she's complaining.

Moreover, the OP states that it would indeed be possible for her to attend, and indicates that her DH would have to rearrange work...this then evolved into DH not being able to do it at all. She mentions finances in passing in the OP, but allows that she has a year to sort it out... In short, the OP seems to be looking for reasons and excuses not to attend, rather than looking for genuine solutions. She could sort it out. It is her brother, and she should sort it out.

MrsCampbellBlack Tue 16-Oct-12 21:21:26

Brdgrl - are you getting married soon wink

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 21:36:37

I am already married. I also have one daughter with DH and two stepchildren, all of whom predated my marriage.

If it matters, and to anticipate your next question...We had two small ceremonies, as my family all live overseas. First we had a small church wedding (here) to which children were invited, followed by a luncheon (also with children). That night we had an evening do in a pub, to which children were not invited.

Months later, we had a second nontraditional ceremony overseas. Children were invited and included in the ceremony.

I've also been a guest at weddings - of acquaintances, friends, and siblings... I wouldn't dream of putting conditions on my attendance. Or of missing my sisters' weddings because I didn't like the way they'd planned the day.

MrsCampbellBlack Tue 16-Oct-12 21:43:39

I was joking smile

Look - you have a child-free wedding and your only sibling has 4 small children - well you've got to expect that will cause problems if you're close to her and know she doesn't have a raft of babysitters at her beck and call.

But you know the key thing is I would never do this to my sister and my sister would never do this to me - we'd know the difficulties that childcare presents and plan accordingly.

PedanticPanda Tue 16-Oct-12 21:45:38

I wouldn't miss my child's birthday. Your brother has decided no children, you have told him you can't go if you can't bring your kids. Don't let him guilt you into it.

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 21:52:20

That's fair enough, but the OP doesn't seem to be saying that it is an insurmountable problem for her - rather, it is an inconvenience that she doesn't want to have to try to deal with, because she really doesn't like that her brother decided to have a child-free wedding.

I could be wrong, but I think that even if the brother offered to help her find a qualified babysitter, or to split the costs with her, it wouldn't be enough for some people. The attitude (from others on the thread more than the OP herself) seems to be that by having chosen not to have children at his wedding, her brother has only himself to blame if his sister won't - over a year - try to arrange things in order to accommodate his wishes. I just think he has a point.

PedanticPanda Tue 16-Oct-12 21:55:35

But it's not just the costs and childcare to consider. She'd miss her dc's birthday too if she went.

LonelyCloud Tue 16-Oct-12 22:03:33

The OP's brother isn't exactly going out of his way to make things easy, though, is he?

He's banning children, and he's picked a date that clashes with an immoveable work committment for the OP's husband.

Personally, I think that if you really want someone at your wedding, you don't go imposing conditions that will make it difficult for them to attend, and then whine when the conditions are causing a problem.

mrsmplus3 Tue 16-Oct-12 22:07:37

I think what your brother has requested of you is rotten. It puts you in a really difficult position but moreover it's a bit horrible that he doesn't want his nieces/nephews there. I feel for you.
That said he is your brother and you should try your best to go, even although i think hes being unreasonable. You do have a year to sort a babysitter. If you don't get one you could go on your own. If he's not happy with that then I wouldn't go.
Another last resort is you could all go to the service- you, your husband and kids (as I know with church services anyone can sit in the congregation, you don't need an invite) - and thereafter just turn it into a wee family getaway. You could go sight seeing, for a meal, for a walk, stay in a reasonable b&b or travel inn and then just leave after breakfast the next day.
That would be extremely good of you though. I don't know if I could make such an effort after my bro being a difficult so and so.
Good luck!

RandomMess Tue 16-Oct-12 22:10:20

Why don't you and the dc go up for the ceremony only, by law anyone can be there whether invited or not - you attend, no childcare issues, end of.

LtEveDallas Tue 16-Oct-12 22:13:49

I could be wrong, but I think that even if the brother offered to help her find a qualified babysitter, or to split the costs with her, it wouldn't be enough for some people

You are right there, it certainly wouldn't be enough for me!

I don't leave my child with anyone other than family.
I wouldn't allow my family's finances be put at risk by my DH losing a contract.
I wouldn't miss my child's birthday.
I wouldn't travel, on my own (or with 4 children), for 5 hours, spending 2 days, for a wedding.
I wouldn't give in to my brothers emotional blackmail.
I wouldn't put my brother ahead of my husband or my children.

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 22:17:20

he's picked a date that clashes with an immoveable work committment for the OP's husband.
In her OP, it wasn't quite so inflexible, was it? In fact, she has said that it woudl be "difficult but not impossible".
And it hardly seems reasonable for the engaged couple to have to have checked his work schedule for a year off.
As for the suggestion that the OP essentially crash his wedding with her children, against his express wishes, because after a;ll by law he can't stop them...that's so disgusting.

mrsmplus3 Tue 16-Oct-12 22:18:07

Ltevedallas- ooft, very good points! I'm with you there.

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 22:22:31

LtEve, I hope you at least realize that those conditions are bound to upset other people. And that is entirely your responsibility and your choice.

It is not a point of honor to say that you won't let anyone but family care for your children. Great - if you have that as a condition - good luck to you. But it is not reasonable to expect other people to be ok with it when you put that condition ahead of them.

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 22:24:58

The OP doesn't have to make those choices, though. There are options which would make some of them irrelevant.

But yes, if your brother's wedding is insignificant, then you probably wouldn't go under even one of those conditions. Personally, I'd travel any distance to attend my brother's wedding, and make whatever reasonable efforts I could.

SchnitzelVonKrumm Tue 16-Oct-12 22:27:06

Is the wedding in a hotel? If so, take the kids and arrange a sitter there so you can pop in and out. My sister in law ordered no children at her wedding which was on a schoolday AND in another fucking country! We sorted something out in the end (stayed in another hotel and brought our own babysitter) but spent the entire reception fending off elderly relatives shouting "but we wanted to see THE CHILDREN!" angry

LtEveDallas Tue 16-Oct-12 22:27:41

I put my child ahead of everyone brdgrl. I don't care if people are OK with that or not. No-one is more important to me than my child, so I will always put that condition ahead of them.

My choice, and one I am extremely happy with smile

PedanticPanda Tue 16-Oct-12 22:28:06

Brdgrl would you miss your child's birthday for your brothers wedding?

RandomMess Tue 16-Oct-12 22:29:40

I think it's disgusting to say that it's unforgivable if you don't attend but then haven't invited more than half of the family, the event it 5 hours away in each direction. Since when has a family relationship all been about 1 day!!!!

YouOldSlag Tue 16-Oct-12 22:33:26

But it is not reasonable to expect other people to be ok with it when you put that condition ahead of them.

I make no apologies for putting my children before social obligations. If my friends didn't understand that, then they don't really know me at all.

Anyway brdgrl, looks like you're a bit outvoted on this one.

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 22:46:12

panda, yes, I would, if I couldn't arrange it to be otherwise.

As it is, my brother lives not five hours away, but a long plane trip away - so if he decided on a child-free wedding, I'd probably personally decide to take DD with me and hire a local babysitter in his town. I would be able to attend the wedding and also be with my DD on her birthday, although we'd probably defer any major celebration to a day when it could be more 'about her'. (In my case, I think DD would look upon the trip as a bit of a birthday adventure in itself!)

If she could not travel with me, then yes, I'd go, and we'd celebrate when I returned or before I went - just as we'd have to if there were an illness in the family or an unavoidable work commitment.

(Yes. It would be expensive - if I actually could not afford the plane ticket(s) at all, then that would be a different issue, as then I would be unable to attend the wedding fullstop, no matter what my brother's stance on kids. If this thread were "I can't afford to attend my brother's wedding", I might have a different reply to the OP.)

I'm not saying the OP should do what I would do - just answering your direct question about what I would do and we obviously don't share the exact same circumstances - but I am definitely saying that there are options available which the OP won't consider (the chief block being that she won't use un-related childcare).

(By the way, I believe that the OP says she'd have to be away two nights, including her child's birthday - not that the wedding is on the actual birthday. That suggests to me that it is on the day before or day after. So in those circumstances, at a distance of five hours, she actually would not necessarily have to miss her child's birthday - and she herself has said that she will probably in the end go just for the ceremony and then come straight back. If it is the actual day of, she has also acknowledged that it could be celebrated on another day. And her DH is going to apparently be very busy with work anyway, so perhaps an alternate date would make it more possible for both parents to fully participate as well!)

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 22:48:03

Anyway brdgrl, looks like you're a bit outvoted on this one.

Yes, I think I said that in my initial post. Happy to be in the reasonable minority on this one!

If the OP is counting votes, then I guess she will know what to do. I really hope she at least counts twice before she ambushes the ceremony with kids in tow...hmm

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 22:50:42

I think it's disgusting to say that it's unforgivable if you don't attend but then haven't invited more than half of the family, the event it 5 hours away in each direction. Since when has a family relationship all been about 1 day!!!!

So...the wedding should have been held in the OP's town, on a date that presented no obstacles to her, in a manner of her choosing...

Yes, that's very rational. hmm

YouOldSlag Tue 16-Oct-12 23:02:32

brdgrl- it's you who is being irrational by doing that annoying argument technique of putting words in people's mouths that they haven't said and then answering a question they haven't asked you.

You may as well argue with yourself.

Calling yourself "the reasonable minority" when you are wildly outvoted! Honestly.....

The OP has NOT said the wedding should be in her home town, she has NOT said it should be on a date that presented no obstacles and she has NOT said it should be in a manner of her choosing. Not in any way.

She is struggling to go on a 10 hour round trip to a wedding whilst trying to find childcare for her 4 kids under 7.

Her brother, has told her he will not forgive her if she doesn't go, whilst not even sparing a second of his life trying to imagine why it might be difficult for her. He also does not want his only nieces and nephews anywhere near his wedding and seems to have forgotten it's his nephew's birthday. He has not shown his sister one iota of care or consideration.

I know which one I'd rather be friends with and it's not the petulant groom, making demands and threats if he can't get his own way.

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 23:07:03

Look, I'll leave it at this.

Blowing off your friends and family for major life events, or repeatedly shunning social events because you think your children are somehow going to suffer from being placed in the care of a (gasp) non family member is not on the face of it a reasonable thing. (Nor is dragging your children along to every function regardless of the wishes of the hosts or the appropriateness of the event.) If you feel strongly enough about the childcare issue, of course it is your choice as a mother. But not very nice for those around you, and most likely not even best for your children in the long run.

I accept that some posters actually believe that "I don't want a qualified but unrelated person looking after my child under any circumstances" is a valid excuse for missing a sibling's wedding or other event. I obviously disagree and would find it hard to forgive my sister for deciding that the imagined or possible downside of using a babysitter would outweigh the real and immediate benefits of attending my wedding.

YouOldSlag Tue 16-Oct-12 23:11:55

Turn that on its head.

Expecting your sister to dump her four kids on a babysitter they don't know for two days whilst her husband is tied up with work and can't look after them, and make a ten hour round trip to attend your wedding, even though she would miss her son's birthday and then refusing to forgive her if she didn't do as you asked, is not on the face of it, a reasonable thing.

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 23:18:01

OK, said I was leaving it, but crossposted and would like to respond to you, oldslag.

I am not putting words in anyone's mouth. The post which I quoted and replied to very clearly took issue with the event being held elsewhere. You are right that it was not the OP's position, and - as I have in fact been pointing out - the OP herself has acknowledged that the problem is not insurmountable; actually, there are other posters who have distorted her actual situation to make it appear more difficult for her than she herself reports, or who have made ridiculous statements about the unreasonableness fo her brother, going far beyond what she herself has reported.

Calling yourself "the reasonable minority" when you are wildly outvoted! Honestly.....

I have already said several times that I recognize mine is a minority opinion (that is what being outvoted means, you know). I am not sure that the court of public opinion is quite as decisive as you suggest, since the last bunch of posts have been all by the same people, but I really don't care and neither should the OP. She should probably read the arguments set forth and decide herself what their merits are - the fact that 75% of people believe "x" does not mean that they are correct or have a stronger argument. If the OP is asking for a headcount of people who think she has behaved correctly, then yes, I am sure she can count up "YABU" and "YANBU" responses and be done with it. She asked a question about a sensitive issue that will affect her relationship with her brother and family for years to come, and I've given her my opinion. The fact that it is unpopular does not make it necessarily wrong, any more than the idea of crashing the wedding with kids in tow can be made "right" no matter how many fools suggest it.

mrsmplus3 Tue 16-Oct-12 23:37:36

No matter how many fools suggest it?
What kind of brother wouldnt be happy to see his nieces/nephews at his wedding. It's not "gate crashing" the reception, its going to the service- 2 separate locations (if thats how theyre doing it).
Lots and lots of people turn up at the ceremony, its usually in a public place.
At my wedding there were all these old dears (my nanas friends) and old school friends, who weren't invited, up the back of the church who had obviously heard I was getting married and wanted to see me walk down the isle. It's a compliment and very traditional actually.
Anyway, we're all arguing over nothing. The guy might be delighted at that as an option, we just don't know until the op has sorted it. Do let us know op! smile

LonelyCloud Tue 16-Oct-12 23:38:45

brdgrl - it hardly seems reasonable for the engaged couple to have to have checked his work schedule for a year off

I certainly don't think it's unreasonable to check work schedules for 'must-have' guests. DH & I did this for our must-have guests (who included relatives who work as wedding photographers and teachers), because we didn't want to have to put them in a position where they had to choose between not coming to our wedding or cancelling work commitments that they'd already agreed to.

Presumably the OP's brother knows what field the OP's DH works in, and therefore knows that there are likely to be certain key dates, set a year or more in advance, that would cause a problem. And as such, I'd consider it sensible to check his work schedule if the OP's attendance is so important.

I do agree that bringing the kids to the child-free wedding won't go down well. And I agree that the OP should make an effort to attend. I just think that the brother shouldn't be making a fuss about her possibly not attending when his conditions are making this awkward.

SundaeGirl Tue 16-Oct-12 23:50:58

God, it would be the birthday for me. I'd just say to my brother 'look, it's. DS's birthday. You've had seven years notice. Sorry, can't come'.

HalloweenyHerrena Wed 17-Oct-12 08:21:45

I think that if I had specified no children and then my sister turned up to the service with all kids in tow (without warning), then I'd be really pissed off at the fact that my wishes had been ignored. It would not make me happy to see her - quite the reverse.

I also think I'd have been quite happy as a kid to have a special extra birthday treat as apology for either parent not being around, but of course that assumes the possibility of childcare on the day.

YouOldSlag Wed 17-Oct-12 08:52:30

I wouldn't turn up to the ceremony with the kids in tow.

The reason is I would never want my children to be greeted with a look of dismay.

If the groom has specified no kids, I would respect his wishes and not take them, but I would suggest this beforehand and at least try my luck i.e "How about if me and the kids just attend the ceremony? i would definitely be able to see you get married that way" If he still said no, I wouldn't take them, as it would just annoy him.

I want my children to be greeted with looks of pleasure, not with looks of irritation and annoyance.

CinnabarRed Wed 17-Oct-12 09:04:12

I leave my DSs with our nanny every weekday, so have no issue whatsoever with leaving them in the care of someone who isn't family. DS1 has also been to a childminder and nursery in the past - I have no "hang ups" with childcare.

I would also be prepared to leave them with our nanny for the weekend or overnight in extremis. In fact, I had to once when DS1 was rushed to hospital with pneumonia and DH in the US on business.

I would not be willing to leave them voluntarily even for one day with a stranger, no matter how qualified. DS2, who is 2.6 years old, would be absolutely distraught. He is a sensitive soul and it would cause him enormous upset. DS1 and DS3 would be fine - they're more robust.

And, as an aside, it would cost over £500 to hire a qualified temporary nanny for a weekend.

YouOldSlag Wed 17-Oct-12 10:26:45

Good point about cost, Cinnabar.

I think it's fine to leave children with non family if they are used to them and if you trust them.

In the OP's case, she would have to start paying a nanny, childminder or babysitter several times before the wedding so that they are all used to each other. Seems like a lot of expense and bother for one event.

It never ceases to amaze me how getting married can send normal people on such crazy power trips.

TiredofBeingTolerant Thu 18-Oct-12 10:18:35

I wouldn't go either. I also am fairly happy to have babysitters/people to mind my children.

Given the logistics, it does seem more difficult than a usual child free wedding invite.

It is an invite - you've looked at the options and it really doesn't seem feasible given the conditions your brother has placed upon you. That's his call not yours. If he chooses to carry out his silliness of not speaking to you, then I hope he realises how much of a selfish prat his is being when he has DCs of his own.

Getting married doesn't entitle you to be completely unreasonable and put your sister (that you supposedly can't get married without her there) in an impossible situation for just one day, because you are too stubborn and selfish to invite your own nephews and nieces. Especially when one of them has a birthday that weekend too - you are removing their mother for their birthday because 'a wedding' is more important. Well it really isn't IMO.

Your Dbro is coming across as an arse.

MummytoKatie Fri 19-Oct-12 16:07:28

One thing that no-one has mentioned is that if dad is working away and mum is at a wedding then presumably the 7 year old would be spending the majority if his birthday with neither of his parents.

Which seems pretty unfair really.

YouOldSlag Mon 22-Oct-12 10:23:51

Mummytolkatie- yes that has been mentioned up thread and it's pretty much agreed that it would be crap. It's also another reason why the groom is being a selfsih git.

CinnabarRed Mon 05-Nov-12 11:21:41

Did you get it sorted, OP?

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