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to worry about going on this hen do?

(116 Posts)
MissLuna Fri 20-Oct-17 08:55:15

Ok so this one is a two parter, haha!

My partner and I are both PhD students. My stipend ran out in february and our DD was due in May. As a PhD student with an expired stipend I am not entitled to maternity pay and so we are living off his £13,000 a year stipend. We're in a catch 22 situation as I am less likely to get a job until I finish the PhD but I can't go back to finish it unless we can get childcare, which after rent and bills we can't afford. So - we're struggling a bit for money, but we have a beautiful LG and we're happy enough, we don't need that much!

My best friend is getting married next summer and I am a bridesmaid. I think this is kind of the way these things go nowadays but she's asked us to choose (and buy) our own dresses - which would be fine, except all of the dresses I've sent her links to, she's said no to. Obviously its going on my credit card but I'd still rather not spend a lot of money on something I'm probably only going to wear once. Then there's the hen party. She told me she just wanted a night out in a UK city but told the other bridesmaids she wanted to go abroad for a weekend. I have two panics here - firstly, my daughter will be under a year at that stage, she is BF to sleep and she doesn't take a bottle. I know by that stage (she'll be 10 months) it could all change but my chest felt so tight at the thought of leaving her. My partner told me it'd be ok and she'd be fine and if I have to leave her, it may as well be for my best friends hen party. None of my friends have kids so they don't quite understand the worry; they think I should be excited to have a weekend away from her. AIBU to worry about going? I'm scared when I get back she will no longer want to bf.

Secondly - money. We will have to get a £150 train to the wedding, plus bridesmaids dress, wedding present, and then a weekend trip to an undisclosed European destination - AIBU to feel like this is a really big ask of two people on £13,000 a year? I know it's not personal - it's not their fault we live far away and have to get a prohibitively expensive train for example - but it will add up to the cost of us going on holiday as a family.

scurryfunge Fri 20-Oct-17 08:59:50

Scrap the hen do. Hire a dress and get a bus to the event or start saving for the train fare.

sundowners Fri 20-Oct-17 09:03:35

It really depends on where she means abroad, if we are talking Ibiza, forget it, that's £500+ at least and madness. But if you did say Paris on the Eutrostar for 1 night- there are often great deals on Eurostar and cheap hotels there? Could you try and present a stylish theme around a cheap 1 night city break like this for instance?

I detest brides that force BMs to fork out for their own dress- its just tight, mean and vile- and to then be so picky about every dress you present to her- bah... I think you need to (gently) talk to her now, to stop this getting out of hand and make her aware of your situation and budget issues.

Re. DD and breastfeeding, how long do you intend on BFing for? If not much longer than 10 months this could be really useful in starting the process of gently withdrawing it/seeing what happens? By then hopefully she wont need it to get her off to sleep anyway, and shouldn't at 10 months anyway.

MrTrebus Fri 20-Oct-17 09:04:04

Honestly I'd just pull out on financial reasons. I've been bridesmaid now 3 times never really enjoyed it, the brides always become bridezillas even though they always say they won't be at the beginning. It's much ado about nothing, people don't just get married anymore it's always got to be this massive palava where someone ends up feeling like shit. Don't ask people to be bridesmaids if you're not going to pay for their dresses etc.

PeachPlumPears Fri 20-Oct-17 09:04:18

Can you find a dress on eBay? No point worrying about the hen do until you know exactly what the plans are and how much it'll cost, and by that stage you may want a night away for yourself too

allegretto Fri 20-Oct-17 09:05:17

Don't go? I didn't go to a good friend's hen night as it was a flight away and I couldn't afford it - and that was without a baby. I don't really see the problem.

RJnomore1 Fri 20-Oct-17 09:06:31

You may not be entitled to may pay but have you checked tax credits or universal credit?

Not what your query was I know...

PeachPlumPears Fri 20-Oct-17 09:08:42

Sorry that may have sounded blunt! I was in the same situation with my friend's hen do and I just went for one night, but it was in the UK so may not be an option for you. I dreaded leaving my little girl but it was ok. Maybe explain your situation to your friend and she could have a night out in the UK too so you could just go to that one?

MissLuna Fri 20-Oct-17 09:11:44

@RJnomore1 yeah... I get nothing sad but that's the tories for you!

MissLuna Fri 20-Oct-17 09:12:35

@PeachPlumPears that's a good idea!!

CrabappleCake Fri 20-Oct-17 09:14:30

I think don't go on the hen do and explain your budget constraints on the dress. £13k and a baby doesn't leave much for luxuries. And this whole thing is a luxury.

Sticking this on a credit card, doesn't leave you much wriggle room.

notheretoargue Fri 20-Oct-17 09:15:41

Don’t go to the hen do. I’ve been in your position. The wedding is the important bit, so focus on that. You can still play a part in organising the gifts for the hen or the activities on the weekend away.

I would not have left mine at 10 months for a weekend. I left her for one night at a year and that was all I felt comfortable with.

But I don’t expect them to understand or empathise with that - I didn’t have any clue what it was like for mothers before I had kids.

I would however expect them to understand about money. If they are good friends they should. Weddings are expensive. If the bride can’t afford to buy her own bridesmaid dresses surely she should be able to understand that you can’t afford a foreign holiday? Just tell her in a really matter of fact way - I’d love to come to the hen but I can’t afford to go away while I’m not earning. Perhaps you could volunteer for o make an album of photos of the hen or something?

Caulk Fri 20-Oct-17 09:16:39

£150 for a train is expensive. I’m assuming you’re in somewhere rural? Are there coaches or can you use a rail ticket splitting site? Anyone else driving from a similar area?

araiwa Fri 20-Oct-17 09:18:06

£13k a year between 3 of you?

you simply cant afford to do any of it. the sooner you realise this, the easier your life will be

2014newme Fri 20-Oct-17 09:20:31

Tell her you can't do the hen do. Consider pulling put if bridesmaid too.
Can you do tutoring evenings or weekends? Or find some teaching work in a private school they like people with PhD and you don't need to be a qualified teacher. Even if you did it for a year then you could save up to fini6your PhD. Or even an evening job in a bar or week job in a shop. 3 people on £13k just isn't doable.

Trb17 Fri 20-Oct-17 09:22:42

What scurryfunge said as first PP.

You cannot afford this.

RJnomore1 Fri 20-Oct-17 09:23:54

Bloody hell thats grim.

Greyponcho Fri 20-Oct-17 09:24:40

The bride needs to reassess her budget - it’s not fair to expect you to pay for being her bm by buying your own dress and then have an expensive hen abroad... she isn’t hoping the hens will pay for her too, is she?

2cats2many Fri 20-Oct-17 09:26:32

Just don't go. If she's a good friend she'll understand. It's really that simple.

uokhunni Fri 20-Oct-17 09:27:00

Way to go on having a baby you can't afford and blaming the Tories!

That said, my bridesmaids had to pay nothing towards the costs of being there for me and my hen night was a local meal and drinks. Your friend is an unbelievable CF making you pay for your own dress.

EnidNextDoor Fri 20-Oct-17 09:28:24

I don't understand why you can't get benefits, like a p.o. has asked. Are you absolutely sure you can't?

Turquoisetamborine Fri 20-Oct-17 09:28:32

I can't understand why you don't get child tax credit??

Turquoisetamborine Fri 20-Oct-17 09:31:07

Sorry didn't answer the question. I signed up for a close friend's hen do in Dublin (somewhere I've been before and didn't enjoy but her choice). My youngest was 10 months when I was due to go and still bf. I paid for the flight but had to pull out in the end due to lack of money on maternity pay and I didn't want to leave him that young, he was still so dependant on me. It would have been hell for my husband. She was majorly pissed off with me as she hasn't bf so didn't understand the bond and dependence but she came round.

MissLuna Fri 20-Oct-17 09:34:00

@EnidNextDoor @Turquoisetamborine PhD students fall between the cracks. I've been to citizens advice - there is nothing. I can't claim child tax credits as they're turning to universal credit in our area - and they said I'm ineligible for universal credit!!

MissLuna Fri 20-Oct-17 09:35:33

@uokhunni we can afford her! She is wanted and adored. I just can't afford to go on a hen do - but thanks for your absolutely toxic input smile

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