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What to do about DD and father-in-law's funeral

(32 Posts)
marykat2004 Mon 26-Sep-11 11:55:08

My father-in-law's funeral is Friday at 2:30 pm at a crematorium in a town 3 hours away from where we live. I have 3 choices, and am having a hard time deciding what to do. Sometimes there is some very good, level-headed advice on these boards so here goes....

1. take DD out of school for the day. I don't have issues with children at funerals. My first funeral was my own father's, when I was 35, and I feel that had I been less sheltered from death I might have found that easier. HOWEVER there will be no other children at FIL's funeral. DD's favourite cousin is not going (she lives in another town, halfway between London and where the funeral is. There is no option of sharing babysitting as the cousin is probably being looked after by her other MIL who is in a wheelchair). Taking DD out of school, no other children there, and DD is very high-maintenance, easily bored and still prone to whining and crying when she isn't having a great time. She is 7.

2. I am trying to find a babysitter but the only one we have is out of the country. Getting a babysitter through other mums at school would mean a total stranger who we've never met getting keys to our flat so she could bring DD back here. There is an after school playgroup (that DD hates) but that ends at 6 and DH and I will probably not be back until 9 pm.

3. I just don't go to my father-in-law's funeral. I have been with DH for 15 years. We saw FIL a couple of times a year, not super close, but not estranged or anything like that. I feel very sad about not being able to go, especially as I didn't see FIL over the summer at all (DH went on his own over the summer and to hospital when FIL took ill very suddenly 3 weeks ago). I guess the best thing for DD is that I just stay home but I feel sad about not going. Is that selfish?

Sorry this was a bit long..


Kewcumber Mon 26-Sep-11 12:02:04

Your DH's father is dead, does he want you there to support him.

7 is plenty old enough to understand how upset her fatehr is and that he wants you there to support him and she either needs to go to the after school club and thereafter to a friends (anyone that you can arrange) or come to the funeral but either way "whining and crying" is not an o[tion as she has little to cry about. Your DH does.

I can't beleive she doesn't have any freinds who would be prepared to keep her 6-9pm people are generally very accomodating around deaths in teh family.

If I'm honest <<harsh alert>> the fact that you are prepared to let your DH go to his fatehrs funeral alone to avoid your 7 yr ld whining does make me think she is prone to whining becasue she rules the roost!

Are you really going to let him go on his own because your DD might not like going and cause a fuss about it. Think I'd be having serious words with her.

nethunsreject Mon 26-Sep-11 12:02:44

Sorry about your FIL.

It's a toughy.

First, I think you need to forget option 3. You need to go, for yourself and especially for your dh.

Option 1 could be a go-er if you think dd would sit quietly. I agree, kids are too sheltered from the realities of life and death. However, if she will act up, it's not the time or place to teach her really, so your call.

Option 2 is fine if you think she'll act up. SO she doesn't like it? It's only one day. I am sure that like most Mums you go out of your way to make your kid's life pleasant as possible most of the time, so it won't hurt her if she has to have one 'boring' day to accomodate the needs of others.

SOrry, I sound like a draconian old cow. grin

cat64 Mon 26-Sep-11 12:03:16

Message withdrawn

Kewcumber Mon 26-Sep-11 12:03:58

nethuns - obviously we are both draconian old cows! grin

nethunsreject Mon 26-Sep-11 12:06:08

<high-fives Kewcumber> grin

My inner voice is going 'just tell dd to get on with it'! Sorry!

meditrina Mon 26-Sep-11 12:11:49

I'd go for option 1, plus large bribes (new book, magazine or silent console game). Read her the absolute riot act before the actual service. Unless it's a full funerary Mass, it ought to be well within the behaviour span of a 7 year old. The wake might be more problematic, but as it's less formal the options are also wider (take her for a run around between the two, and give more bribes?)

Whatever you decide, I hope the spray goes well and your FIL gets a good send off.

PorkChopSter Mon 26-Sep-11 12:13:05

You need to ask one of DD's friend's mums a favour. And go to the funeral for your DH.

Or your DD just needs to accept she can't whine wink

tooearlytobeup Mon 26-Sep-11 12:20:13

Personally, I would try to arrange a sleepover for her at a school friends house, 7 is old enough for this.
You might feel cheeky asking another mum to help, but in the circumstances, I think most people would be happy to help.

marykat2004 Mon 26-Sep-11 12:47:03

All her school friends have 2 parents who work, and nannies. It is a state (CofE) school but it may as well be private the way everyone only ever emails about nannies and cleaners.. DD doesn't go on sleepovers with school friends, and the friends that I have who would take her over night live a bus ride away, and I usually take her there myself. I don't know if I can ask a friend who already has 3 kids to take them all 3 on the bus (one is a toddler) to come and get DD for a sleep over. If someone could take DD there, that would be an option, but all her school friends' parents are too busy. Or we can just take her with us. I did ask one mum, but she is busy, but offered to lend us a portable DVD player.

seeker Mon 26-Sep-11 12:50:02

Does she never go to tea with anyone?

MogandMe Mon 26-Sep-11 12:53:44

So options after last post are

Speak to one of the nannies - would they be happy to have DD on a playdate and then take her back to yours until you return (when they have handed over at the end of the day) I'm a nanny - I would/have.

4 children on a bus is manageable if it is only one bus - could you get a taxi to pick her up from school and deliver her to your friends?

MrsDaffodill Mon 26-Sep-11 12:59:00

I think she should go. If she is at a CofE school and is seven, I am sure she knows about being quiet in services.

paulapantsdown Mon 26-Sep-11 13:04:09

sorry for your loss

I think you should take the child, and over the next few days explain to her that this is an important part of family life and is important to her Daddy that she is there. I would also put the fear of God into her re the consequences of her playing up/whinging. She is a child, you are the adult. Why would you let her behaviour dictate whether you go or not? The child should modify her behaviour so that the whole thing is easy for you and your DH. A funeral (even with full mass etc) is about 2 hours - the kid should be able to behave for that long surely?!

marykat2004 Mon 26-Sep-11 13:24:03

Lol, put her in a taxi on her own?? The last time we took a taxi the driver was looking up my skirt while I was strapping DD into the car. Looks like maybe we better take her with us...and she does go to church, not every week, but there is always a lot of complaining before we leave the flat.

marykat2004 Mon 26-Sep-11 13:41:36

re the option of not going, DH didn't come with me to my dad's funeral 10 years ago, but that's because it was in the US in the middle of summer and we simply could not afford 2 plane tickets. There is no such thing as airlines giving you a break for bereavement.

But in this case the reason for me (maybe) not going isn't the same.

Everlong Mon 26-Sep-11 14:49:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

seeker Mon 26-Sep-11 15:00:46

"ol, put her in a taxi on her own?? The last time we took a taxi the driver was looking up my skirt while I was strapping DD into the car"

What a very bizarre thing to say!

Honestly, does your dd have no friends? Does she never go out to tea? Do you never have after school?

cat64 Mon 26-Sep-11 15:39:49

Message withdrawn

PorkChopSter Mon 26-Sep-11 20:04:38

Or get one of these nannies to collect her from after school club once they have finished work, take her home and put her to bed.

Kewcumber Mon 26-Sep-11 20:16:47

I do find it odd that you can;t think of a single friend in her class she can go home with and stay with until 9pm. Even if their parents are busy presumably someone picks them up and takes them home even if its a Nanny.

Do you think your DH will like being there on his own when veryone else is supported by their family?

Are you really unable to read DD the riot act about sitting quietly during the actual funeral? The wake is fair game (if wakes in our family are anything to go by) for her to be as lively as she likes.

What do you think?

RIZZ0 Mon 26-Sep-11 20:28:29

Your DH needs your support.

I recently lost my FIL and we took our two (5 and 2) to the funeral as we also had no-one to take the kids that particular day.

I bought some very small handheld little toys (miniature ponies for DD, small Pokemon figure for DS) to show them as soon as they got restless, and a pack of Chewits to keep them quiet when neccessary (in hindsight, toffees would have taken longer to chew!).

However, I had already warned family I was concerned the kids might play up and they all insisted they would rather them be there than not, so it was ok.
During the burial they watched a DVD in the car which was very close to us and in sight of the grave, and a family member's GF checked on them for us too.

It can be done, and your DH may find your daughter a distraction at times.

jumpingjackhash Mon 26-Sep-11 20:28:50

Surely at 7 she can understand that she might have to do something she doesn't necessarily want to, and/or be 'good' at an important family event? Agree with Kewcumber & Nethuns on your best options.

marykat2004 Tue 27-Sep-11 23:05:39

Well, now I have found a friend for DD to go to, after quietly asking 2 mums who had other commitments. DD is unbearably fussy about friends, and whenever I have attempted to email around the class to ask for some play date swaps it always seems everyone is busy.

DD's best school friend moved out of the country at the end of summer term. I have friends with children she can stay with, but either she complains she doesn't like the children, or they just live too far away to pick her up in this case. But I did find one dad of a class friend was fine about her coming over; he was totally fine about helping even though his DD has gymnastics that day (one mum couldn't help because her kids' swimming lessons were at a different time than DD's. DD is of course missing her lesson but sometimes she has to).

seeker Tue 27-Sep-11 23:26:40

You may want to think a bit about whether your dd is being allowed to control things a bit too much? Things might get a bit tricky as she gets older if you don't stomp a bit now......

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