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To not want to drive a friend around for funeral with my kids in tow?

(70 Posts)
harryhausen Mon 31-Dec-12 11:24:04

I really can't tell if I'm being an awful friend or not. Please give me some perspective.

My best friend is off to a funeral next week. He doesn't drive. He wants to support his close friend who was very close to the deceased, but she is travelling in the official funeral car. So he needs transport.

He asked nicely yesterday if I would drive him to the church, and the cremetorium and then drive him home. I will have my two dcs with me 7 and 5 yrs. I said no problem to driving him to the church as I know where it is, and I have a friend nearby I could call in on to visit for an hour. Its about 30mins away. However, I've looked at the details he's given me and the crematorium is on other side of the city in an area I don't know. It would take about an hour. I have no sat nav, am not good at looking at maps and driving to find places I don't know.

To top it off, the kids would miss their swimming lessons.

Now my friend is a good friend. He very supportive of me, and I of him. We go back a long way. He's done some lovely things for me in the past.

So am I being unreasonable for saying I will drive him to the church in the afternoon, but really don't want to wait for him, drive him all the way back across the city, wait for him again at the crematorium (with two dc's)....then drive him home?

mrsjay Mon 31-Dec-12 16:53:05

I have told him that I will take him to the church and apologised for not being able to drive all the way to the Crem. I explained I assumed the Crem would be nearer.

He seems fine with it, so I'm relieved.

Good he isn't an ogre of course he understood least you are dropping him off and he can cadge a lift ,

harryhausen Mon 31-Dec-12 15:58:22

I have told him that I will take him to the church and apologised for not being able to drive all the way to the Crem. I explained I assumed the Crem would be nearer.

He seems fine with it, so I'm relieved.

I'm not angry with him for asking. A few years ago when my first dc was about 8 months, I drove him, me and dc to an event he was nervous about so I could support him. It's not unusual that I go the extra mile for him - its just now I have 2 older dc's who don't just drop off to sleep in the car and if I need to wait around for long periods, I need a plan of somewhere to go/do.

He normally does a lot of my babysitting! My other close friends are either still away with family/have family staying before school starts or live in other cities. My family live in a whole different country hmm

trixymalixy Mon 31-Dec-12 14:33:12

I think dropping him at the church is a good compromise, he should be able to get a lift to the other bits. It's a bit much for him to expect you to hang around with the kids.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Mon 31-Dec-12 14:21:09

I don't think the op should ask favours of babysitting off other people just because this bloke doesn't fancy sitting in a car with people he doesn't know that well. How many people is he willing to put out just so that he can be chauffeured around for the day! Its selfish.

MerylStrop Mon 31-Dec-12 14:14:03

If you didn't have the kids in tow he wouldn't be asking anything you wouldn't be willing to do.

Is there no-one else who could have them (the friend you might visit? a paid baby sitter? arrange some playdates?) whilst you do the crematorium bit?

If not then you will have done your best.....he will just need to get over maybe sharing a lift with someone he doesn't know so well for part of the journey. I'm sure he'd feel equally awkward sharing a car with two bored possilbly scrappy and hyper kids who have been cooped up for hours - in between and after the funeral service.

ItsaTIARA Mon 31-Dec-12 14:11:39

Definitely drop him off. I think the route finding is a non-issue - presumably your mate has a smartphone of his own (or an A-Z) and can do the directions? But the hanging around for hours on end in the middle if nowhere with two DC in the car is too much to ask - try to find a compromise.

firesidechat Mon 31-Dec-12 14:07:47

As mowbraygirl has already said, will he even be able to go to the crem?

The last funeral we attended had a lovely church service for the all the friends and family, with light refreshments afterwards. Immediately after the church service only close family and friends went on to the crem.

It is possible that your friend may be excluded while the friend he wishes to support is at the crem. Just a thought.

I was a non driver until the age of 40 and I would only have asked people who were actually going to the funeral for a lift or made my own way there.

FromEsme Mon 31-Dec-12 14:00:59

I would do this for a friend.

halcyondays Mon 31-Dec-12 13:58:09

As a non-driver myself, I would never ask someone to spend their day taxiing me around, with two young kids in tow, to support someone else at a funeral. He should gratefully accept a lift with someone else who's going, evenin he doesn't know them well, as if they are going anyway, it will be far less of an inconvenience for them than it will be for you. I'd just be grateful for you giving me a lift to the church.

SarahWarahWoo Mon 31-Dec-12 13:51:06

Can you get the children on a play date then spend the time taking your BF to all events? iPhone maps are great, also all cities have an A-z you can buy to get your friend to map read whilst you drive?

CwtchesAndCuddles Mon 31-Dec-12 13:25:44

I suppose it depends on how much his friendship means to you. You should have found out the details before saying yes, backing out now seems unreasonable.

MrsKeithRichards Mon 31-Dec-12 13:16:38


harryhausen Mon 31-Dec-12 13:02:22

Just to add, I've never complained about him being a non driver or non drivers in general. I normally take him most places whenever possible. It's just on this occasion, it would be helpful if he drove.

harryhausen Mon 31-Dec-12 13:00:36

Carling, I'm not normally 'scared' of driving somewhere new, or in the dark or whatever (if I didn't have the dc's I would do it). However, I don't like driving my dc's to somewhere I'm not sure of, where they'll be bored/hyper etc as they'll have been waiting around...when my good friend is feeling delicate and has a strict timetable to stick to.

mowbraygirl Mon 31-Dec-12 12:52:29

The last couple of funerals we have been to which have involved a church service first the committel at the crematorium was for family only and we were asked to go to where the reception -for want of a better word - was and the family would join us there. The service at the crematorium is usually very short 10 minutes at the most so it is a long way to drive for that. I am sure if he asked around someone would have a spare seat in their car and could give him a lift.

In all cases the church and crematorium where within a couple of miles of each other so not a long trek from one side of the city to the other.

CatchingMockingbirds Mon 31-Dec-12 12:49:58

I don't think you are being unreasonable, he isn't the one grieving he's just going to support someone who is.

fairylightsandtinsel Mon 31-Dec-12 12:46:23

I think YANBU. The compromise position is to take him to the church and expect him, as an adult, so organise himself a lift with one of the other mourners to the other bits. As was said on the "non-drivers are annoying" thread, really if they are not prepared to drive they need to take responsibility to sort out other options. If it was not going to mess up your and your kids' day, then fine but you have presumably paid for the swimming lessons why should they miss it?

Inaflap Mon 31-Dec-12 12:46:17

I think it is a big ask and he is also being a bit precious about not accepting lifts with potential strangers. I think you take him to the church and even potentially take him to the crem. Presumably after that is there a 'bit of a do' somewhere bwhich he can go to but at that point he either gets lifts or gets a taxi. You would be spending a great deal of the day in a car with two small kids who haven't had any exercise for ages and he probably hasn't realised the impact of all of this in your and their lives. Is it possible you could drive and see where the crem is before the funeral and that might give you an idea as to feasibility. You also need to balance this out with what he has done for you in he past and how much he might put himself out in the future for you. Would he drop everything and look after your kids for example because you had a funeral to go to. If the answer is yes then I think you are obliged to put yourself out because he would do similar for you.

I think at the least you have to do the church as you have already said yes. Quite often its only close family that go onto the crem anyway. For my father's funeral, my mother said she didn't want to go to the crem and I decided that I didn't want to either and that the children shouldn't go as we were all at the church. My sisters, their partners and my dh went but all other mourners stayed for a bit of a do. The vicar did the commital in church and the crem bit obly took 10 mins max according to DH. It may be worth asking your friend to check whether everyone is invited to the crem as well as it might not be expected that all the congregation are going or the immediate family might wNt that bit to be private.

Lueji Mon 31-Dec-12 12:40:47

Personally, I think he asked for too much in asking you to take him so far away and wait for him too.

Just because he might feel uncomfortable driving with people he doesn't know? Hmm

I'd be honest and tell him that is really inconvenient, and that you are lettin your children down.

He was not really upfront at first about the location of the funeral and the actual demand on you. And if he only found out later, he should have asked you if it was still ok for you, and leave you comfortable to say no.

Otherwise, he can book a taxi and ask the driver to wait around.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Mon 31-Dec-12 12:39:31

You are not being unreasonable.

He should ask his friend to see if there is a place in another car.

Otherwise you're going to be a taxi driver for the day with two young kids who are literally going to spend hours just sitting strapped in a car! Mine would be so bored and so would start whingeing, crying and arguing and i wouldn't blame them. Activities will only keep them amused for so long.

Perhaps you should tell him that its just not practical to do that with children with you. You would also need to factor in wee stops which aren't always to be predicted, probably have to take some food with you etc. Do either of them get car sick? Mine do.

I think if it was just you then fine, you could sit in the car and read or something but with two children its just a impractical solution. And a bit ridiculous to ask someone and their kids to drive him around all day! Especially when a simpler solution of hoping in car with others already going would work so much better.

So you would be going to support him so he could go and support his friend? Perhaps you should take someone in the car to support you. Perhaps a map reader who could double as childrens entertainer?!

CarlingBlackLabel Mon 31-Dec-12 12:38:56

I would drive him to the church. People are always very kind and help-others orientated at funerals and transport between the church, crem and wake - an won't he see other people there he knows?

I would also not especially wnat to subject the kids to several hours of this, or miss swimming lessons.

I think you are being a bit U with all this terror of going somewhere new - and (tangent to thread) am laughing at the people complaining about non drivers being a pain when there are so many drivers who say 'I can't drive to somewhere new / in the dark / in an unknown city / on the motorway' etc etc. It's feeble female wussiness! Anyway, he would be there to help navigate!

Cutiecat Mon 31-Dec-12 12:37:09

I think that is a nice thing to do. Sometimes I quickly offer to help but later realise it is going to be too much. I then beat myself up about it. I think I just have to be more measured in offering to help when I have 3 small dcs. I am glad we have helped.

SugarplumMary Mon 31-Dec-12 12:36:03


I'm sure he'll be grateful for the lift to the church - removes one journey and ensure he'll get there on time when he needs to.

SugarplumMary Mon 31-Dec-12 12:34:53

Just tell him that after looking at the distance and remembering the DC swimming lessons - you can't help him as much as your first thought.

harryhausen Mon 31-Dec-12 12:33:08

I'm going to take him to the church. I think he'll just have to see how things lie after that.

As its a funeral he can't give me timings etc. I just can't wait around indefinitely, twice, with two active kids in the car.

If others would, then you're a better person than me.

Thanks for making me see I'm not being desperately unreasonable.

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