Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

to think mother in law should be more helpful?

(84 Posts)
soverytiredofthis Sun 03-Feb-13 16:43:25

We asked MIL and FIL to babysit our DD (who is epileptic) for 1 evening this month.

Immediately after DH asked she started to say ONLY if we were back by 12pm that night, no later as they do not like to be out late. She kept repeating this over and over and so my DH left it that she would.

Whilst I listened to this conversation I got more and more mad. This is the SECOND time in 3 1/2 years we have asked them to babysit and the first time she babysat she complained non stop before we got out the door. I almost sent them home.

My annoyance lies with the fact that they have 2 DD with epilepsy and know first hand how hard it is and how hard it is to get someone to babysit.

Am I being a beacth for still being pissed and not wanting to see them anytime soon??

rainrainandmorerain Sun 03-Feb-13 20:02:20

I think some people are forgetting that their parents raised and cared for them. For quite a few years.

Of course is is lovely if gps are able and willing to help out with babysitting. But I don't know that if they aren't, it cancels out all the love and care they gave us when we were small. Or means they have disqualified themselves from any care we might give them as they get more elderly and infirm.

TCOB Sun 03-Feb-13 20:06:00

(idly musing and slightly off-topic) I wonder if some of the reactions like that of namchan's mum are precisely BECAUSE the women then were more likely to stay at home and feel like they were giving up their whole life for their husbands and children, ergo they feel more frantic about the concept of anything even remotely similar even for a short time - a kind of resentment at being asked to do what they lost twenty years to in the first place combined with jealousy of the kind of lives parents now can lead? Might be completely wrong but it does seem to be an issue for lots of families whereas it doesn't seem to be in our memories of childhood.

rainrainandmorerain Sun 03-Feb-13 20:12:42

I wonder, TCOB, if there's something in that - I know women of my mother's generation (now grandparents) who get irritated if it is assumed that they have nothing else to do but more care -

I think the icing on the cake is when gps (and let's be honest, it is mostly grannies not grandads that are called on - hence the OP having a go at her mil, not her dil) are asked to babysit or do childcare in a way which is quite tough for them but it is assumed that it will be just lovely for them to spend time with gcs.

rainrainandmorerain Sun 03-Feb-13 20:15:09

PS I'd be careful of memories of childhood as an instrument of absolute truth - I remember spending lots of happy visits at my nanna's, but my mum tells me she used to ask to see us, then get annoyed within hours of us getting there (too loud, too many, all too much) and we'd end up being asked to cut our visit short!

namchan Sun 03-Feb-13 20:16:18

Heh, no, my mum has a good job and always worked, even if part time (as I do!). I wonder if age is a factor though. My mum was 24 when she had me and I was 35 when I had dc1. So I know for many families it isnt the same in terms of young-ish grandparents helping out but still, I simply cant imagine watching my daughter struggle and not pitching up to help.

<stops moaning>

TCOB Sun 03-Feb-13 20:18:05

I know with my DMiL (and she really is dear) we took a while to find her / our equilibrium i.e. she needed to know I would not push, I needed to respect her own commitments. The first one request for three hours during the daytime sent her panicking that this was a regular expectation, so we had to work our way from there. And she is a very bright woman whom circumstances kept at home and possibly unfulfilled for many years (plus she had a child later in life so her freedom years had come later than other mothers might expect). Not a sociologist but if I was I might be tempted to dig deeper!

TCOB Sun 03-Feb-13 20:19:16

rain smile sounds vaguely familiar.

"My DS and DIL hardly ever ask us to babysit, but when they do they take the piss by coming home really late - last time it was after midnight! Nowadays we are usually in bed by 10pm so it is really hard to sit in someone else's cold house (they only heat it to 19 degrees and I can't work the thermostat so I can't turn it up) for an extra two hours, then drive home and get ready for bed when we are dropping. We have the other DGCs all the time because their parents make it so easy for us - they just drop them off at our house and we can do whatever we like. AIBU?"

I can see both sides to be honest. I think she "went on" about coming home before midnight because last time they were expecting you around 10.30 or so (because maybe you'd said "oh not late, no" or something similar) and when you're tired, having to wait up is torture. So she is setting out her expectations early.

Mine have been babysat at ours by the GPs within two miles as often as the 200miles away GPs (twice each), but DC1 has stayed with the ILs four or five times a year once he slept through. Again, to do with their convenience and our expectations.

TomArchersSausage Mon 04-Feb-13 09:14:54

Yadnbu. Either do it with a good grace or don't.

Going out with a load of moaning and conditions ringing in your ears is hardly conducive to an enjoyable evening out. Especially as you barely ever ask her anyway.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now