We have been invited to a cousin’s wedding this summer. I was really looking forward to a day out after two years of lockdowns – that is until I noticed a note at the end of the invite stating it would be an adult-only event.
A few years ago, this would not have bothered me in the slightest, but I had my first baby in March and am still breast-feeding. Even if I wasn’t, though, I wouldn’t be able to ask my own parents to mind the baby, as they will be at the wedding, and I can’t really leave the baby with my husband’s family, as the venue is down the country and they are flat out on the farm anyway.
I don’t think I’m ready to leave my baby for a night yet anyway and, to be completely honest, even if I did find some sort of childcare solution locally, I’d still have to spend half the day with a breast pump in the hotel room. I can understand why a couple might not want older children running around at a wedding, but I don’t think this should really apply to parents of very young babies.
I would have assumed my cousin might have thought to make an exception or dropped me a text to say the baby would be welcome, but there hasn’t been a peep from her. To be honest, I’m a bit miffed about it. I have to RSVP very shortly. What should I say to my cousin?
Dear New mother,
Thanks for your email. I can understand why you feel this way, and often at adult-only events, I have seen exceptions made for parents of very young babies, which seems considerate to me. But I suppose it is their wedding and they are entitled to specify who attends. But you are equally entitled to politely refuse the invitation, if the conditions do not suit you to go.
Perhaps when RSVP-ing, you could say something along the lines of: “I would love to join you, but I am still breastfeeding the baby and it would be too difficult to leave him/her for that long, so I’m afraid I cannot attend but wish you a wonderful day and every happiness in the future.”
You might be surprised. Your cousin might have been so consumed with the wedding preparations that she genuinely did not consider that you would be breast-feeding and might respond straight away to say of course the baby can come.
If not, though, I would just let it go and use the money you save to treat yourself, your husband and your baby to a night away somewhere yourselves.
I am reading the article of 23 April edition (“I feel like my marriage is now over”). My experience is it takes two solid years to come around to the realisation that a marriage is truly over. That farmer sounds like he is being blatant, hoping his wife will initiate separation or divorce proceedings.
I would encourage her to start getting legal advice quietly and have her ducks in a row well in advance of her husband. Counselling is a must in order to work out what she wants for herself.
By the end of six months, be certain of all combined assets and what is in his or her name solely. Value the home and farm she lives in and be aware of any pension funds. Do this quietly. Once she has put in six months of ground work, such as getting advice and going for counselling, she has to then be prepared for a hard conversation with her husband of asking him to leave if he wishes to continue his relationship and be prepared for the fact that he will likely then move in with this other woman.
I wish this woman well in her future. This man is showing her no respect at all and she should hold her head up high and show herself the respect she deserves.
Self-made mum of two.