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To not take kids to wedding?

(27 Posts)
Sleybelles Thu 10-Dec-15 14:18:42

Far from the modern childfree wedding, I have the opposite problem. Family wedding, the big extravagant sort - fancy venue, nice outfit, meal, drinks, dancing! - but they are insisting I bring my three kids (all under 7). Even more, they want them to take roles in the wedding like bringing rings, throwing petals and possibly being flown in on doves, I can't quite recall.

The eldest was investigated for ASD due to his complete inability to deal with change, unfamiliar locations and crowded rooms and the meltdowns that ensued. He's getting better at managing these episodes. While he took some deep breaths and said he could handle the wedding if necessary, he has no desire to wear a full on suit and tie, nor be the centre of attention. The middle one, in the full throes of the F-ing Threes - is a delight until you ask her to do something, or even just hint you'd like her to do something, and then she turns into Verucca Salt - "I will NOT!" - so even pleasant things like toddler dance or playgroup sing-songs result in tantrums so wild she once had a nosebleed. The idea of her doing this in the aisle is giving me a rash. She may grow out of it by the time the bells chime. And the youngest is, well, two. Or will be. No explanation needed.

After accidentally laughing at their eagerness to include the wee darlings, I politely wondered aloud if it might be nicer to not bring them, and then DH and I can enjoy a rare night out - drinks! Talking! Meeting-and-greeting! Inappropriate flirting with bridesmaids/groomsmen (kidding, kidding) - but they were all horrified. Oh no. Next to the bride, these kiddos - the only children likely to be at the wedding - will be the centre of attention. Everyone's DYING to see them!

But, really? It's DH's family. Even if he did take over the babysitting role I'd be mingling amongst strangers explaining over the music who I was, and a lot of these distant relatives are there to smush DH's cheeks too and tell him how much he's grown. So what's in it for me? Babysit the little ones all night in glittery trainers, perhaps, then taxi back to the hotel for a nice 8pm bedtime?

I know I can do whatever I want, but how best to handle this diplomatically? The relatives are cooing over increasingly frou-frou outfits and Pinterest-inspired ideas for what children can do at weddings, and while those are deeply unlikely to happen, even just attending with them is going to feel, for me, like a regular ol' Mom-day with fewer toys, fancier clothes and delicious cocktails just out of my reach.

80sWaistcoat Thu 10-Dec-15 14:33:30

I'd be tempted to say that they have been stolen by wolves. And down another champagne.

Saukko Thu 10-Dec-15 14:54:17

Claim all three are ill but you have an unusually welcoming mother who's got them. Meanwhile, kids are having a fun sleepover, far more fun than a boring wedding where they're the only kids!

BathtimeFunkster Thu 10-Dec-15 14:58:04

Go with the wolf option.

It might even be true if you can find some accommodating wolves.

Hihohoho1 Thu 10-Dec-15 14:59:00

Yes we wanted to bring them but unfortunately they all started vomiting and suffering with exploding diarrhoea this morning so we couldn't.

Smile and enjoy the champagne.

balletgirlmum Thu 10-Dec-15 15:00:05

YANBU.

When I was 2 my mum fell out with my dads fdmily becsuse she said I was too young to be flower girl at his cousins wedding.

My youngest has ASD & there is no way I would have forced him to do something like that.

pinkyredrose Thu 10-Dec-15 15:02:04

flown in on doves OP that just made me laugh out loud!

Thurlow Thu 10-Dec-15 15:05:33

God, no, YANBU.

Unless there are endless people who you know will babysit, and also you know that your children will act like beautiful 1950s babies who sit still and smile and shake elderly relatives hands, the idea of small children at a day long, adult focused party fills me with dread.

While the wolf idea is clearly a winner, on a more practical front I'd just tell the truth. Unless whoever would be looking after them is near enough to collect them after a few hours?

Kaytee1987 Thu 10-Dec-15 15:17:36

I had 2 children in my wedding, both girls 10&12 so didn't take any looking after, before asking the girls I asked their parents if that would be ok. They really should ask your permission if I'm honest and be perfectly ready for you to say no.

RubbleBubble00 Thu 10-Dec-15 15:24:11

Have them during day. Drop off home with babysitter and then boogy the night away

scarlets Thu 10-Dec-15 15:25:20

I think that they're being very flattering to your DC, but unfair to you. They want three cuties to throw roses but they won't have to be responsible for them.

Your son's condition is a complicating factor. I'd say (truthfully) that he's not quite up to it, and that you arent prepared to bring just two of them.

summerainbow Thu 10-Dec-15 15:28:19

Right this is dh and your children famliy . The famliy wasn't to see your kids and dh .
So this what you and dh the kids come do what the are invite to do. Let the kids ( with bot you and dh help) meet auntie and uncles and cousin. When the kids have had enough you take the kids home/hotel room. Dh stays on with famliy if he wanuts too.
You do this because your kids needs to have share memoirs with their cousins. And aunts aand uncles . A dh famliy wedding is not dated night as your dh will have loads famliy he will want spend time with.

nmg85 Thu 10-Dec-15 15:29:29

I think they mean well but probably don't get how stressful it will be for you. We had parents not want to bring kids to our wedding which was fine by us and the parents had a wonderful time.

HackerFucker22 Thu 10-Dec-15 15:55:08

How far away is the wedding? Is it possible to take kids for part of and send them on their way when they get tetchy?

Sleybelles Thu 10-Dec-15 15:59:40

Forgot to mention it's a long way away, so hotel and no local babysitters/relatives to help out.

And summerainbow, I know you mean well, but really? I have to sit in a hotel room on my own while DH gets to party and have fun? Actually, bit of a lie, he says he doesn't really want to be stuck there on his own, but doesn't want to leave at kiddie bedtime either as it'll look rude. I'm a SAHM, I don't get many chances to dress up and socialise. Funnily enough, relatives are so much more keen to demand the kids put on costumes and prance about a wedding than they are to actually see them, ever, let alone babysit.

My kids won't have any memories of their cousins because they don't have any cousins - there'll be no other children at the wedding.

If I'm being invited as a guest too, then surely I get to enjoy the party as everyone else does, rather than being waved off at 8pm like the hired help, shuffling the noisy kids away so the proper grown ups can have fun.

waitingforsomething Thu 10-Dec-15 16:02:01

Yanbu. If they are anything like mine one of the younger ones will, at some stage, have an overtired breakdown leaving you and or dh dealing with ratty kids. Just tell them that, you'd love them to come, but the realities are tears, tantrums and the likelihood that you'll need to leave early

Sleybelles Thu 10-Dec-15 16:03:31

Sorry, I sound angrier than I am. I guess it's that initially I was so delighted to be invited - I've never actually been to a wedding before! - and kept thinking how nice it would be to do weddingy-things and dress really nicely for once, and then it sort of dawned on me that it was going to be like every other day, me watching the kids on the edges covered in tear and snot-stains. Alright, sure, DH and I can take turns, but frankly I want to take this opportunity to spend some time with him and enjoy ourselves. Weddings are supposed to be fun. That goes for me too, right?

TPel Thu 10-Dec-15 16:05:44

I would invite the bride and groom over for Sunday lunch before the wedding. Keep your DC up really late the night before and feed them sweets and Coke for breakfast.
Problem solved. grin

Thurlow Thu 10-Dec-15 16:11:27

You're absolutely within your rights to prefer the idea of you and your DH having fun without the children.

Since having DD I've been to a few weddings. There was a brief moment at the last one, when she was about 3.5, when I looked at the dance floor and thought, "aw, DD would have loved this, it would be so cute to see her dancing away".

And then reality hit me, and I realised if she had been dancing away, then at some point within the following hour one of us would have had to head off to sit in a darkened hotel room trying to encourage her to calm down and go to sleep. And I felt quite glad she wasn't there grin

Some kids will be great at a wedding, won't get wound up or over tired, won't have an eventual meltdown, and could be happily tucked up on a few chairs in the corner when they finally want to sleep.

But a hell of a lot won't, either. And it will just be a stressful day for everyone, kids included (because while I'm no expert, I can imagine for a lot of small kids the party food and dancing might be nice, but they don't entirely enjoy being surrounded by 100 strangers, eating at the wrong time or only surviving on cake and crisps, and having loud noise and music when they're ready for bath, CBeebies and bed)

Sleybelles Thu 10-Dec-15 16:24:56

Thanks Thurlow. If the wedding had been local and I could have arranged a nearby babysitter, the idea of them staying for a short while would have been nice.

I'm now a lot more confident about suggesting the children don't attend and that way all four of us enjoy ourselves (kids at Nan's with a movie and sleepover) as opposed to all four of us being miserable (me seething, kids overtired and bored, terrified or screaming, DH torn between a thrilling hotel room while it's still light or meandering through a room of cheek-squeezy aunties on his own.) And if the family want to press the matter, a few doses of babysitting will probably cure them.

NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Thu 10-Dec-15 19:21:47

Definitely don't take them if you don't want to! But don't go along with the plans of them to star and then back out (I know you aren't planning to). You won't enjoy it, oldest won't enjoy it, youngest two will likely have wild excitement followed swiftly by meltdown.

Can all three have a prior engagement that your parents will kindly take them to? Wink wink assuming they're all happy to stay with a babysitter while you go away anyway

Kids do not need memories with their cousins! It's nice if its possible, but better if you do it on a smaller scale in your situation. As long as you socialise them properly with their peers, they won't suffer from a lack of contact with cousins grin

summerainbow Fri 11-Dec-15 01:34:51

You say have never been to wedding before well I have with kids and no it is not fun . But famliy also famliy wedding on your dog side are not fun either . He will be the one having fun catching up with people . Talking to this one and that , they won't really be interest ed in you as you are not part of famliy . Have you seen then thread on partnera at work do it is like that .
It is famliy wedding so your famliy have been invited. And yes you will be spending in a darken hotel room as you will be doing it for your famliy .
It your dh famliy you won't know at least 1/2 the people there and other half will know each other really well. You will be spending a lot time on your own. Wedding are not date night if you want one them have one them instead.
Famliy wedding for other are not fun . You are not out with a load of mates you out with people you have to nice to and they may want to be nice you but have to be. Some of dh will not like they will just pay lip service to it . You have to nice them they do have to nice to you.

SwearySwearyQuiteContrary Fri 11-Dec-15 02:09:01

Actually, it might be a good idea to let DH's family have a few "practice runs" at babysitting all the children to get a real appreciation for all the issues. fwink. That just might shut them up solve the problem.

BubsandMoo Fri 11-Dec-15 02:52:09

Few things- weddings aren't about a fun night out for you, they're about supporting and celebrating the couple at the start of their marriage, so looking at it from a point of view of what you want out of the evening is a bit off really, having said that, you're under no obligation to attend anything (or for your children to attend) for any reason. I think it's perfectly acceptable to decline the children's invitations saying that it's just not suitable for them (with ds's ASD and the other two being too young, but really you don't even need to give that much detail) so they can't come, so will stay overnight with your parents (or whatever) so you can attend, and leave it at that. You & your husband would need to be on the same page so he backs you up on it fully if his family are being ridiculous about using them as cute wedding props so excited to include them at the moment.

80sWaistcoat Fri 11-Dec-15 10:08:31

bubsandMoo my wedding was absolutely about people having a fun night out, why else would you invite a load of people, have piles of food and booze and put on a cheesy DJ??

You may be overestimating how much fun weddings are, and actually might well be thinking at some point, I wish the kids were here so I have an excuse to escape.

But, if you want a child free night, especially as there aren't going to be lots of little cousins etc there for the kids to play with or meet or stare at, then go for it.

I really don't think any parent should have to sit in a darkened hotel room with kids just so their other half can be downstairs socialising with their family. Unless they don't like the family and are secretly looking forward to a night with room service and the hotel movie channel.

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