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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??

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.

"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.

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

rain smile sounds vaguely familiar.

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!

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>

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!

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.

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 20:02:20

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.

namchan Sun 03-Feb-13 20:01:47

I genuinely think that some people have very short memories. I can remember spending an entire 6 week summer hols at my grandparents. Yet I have always been told by my mum not to expect her to babysit. It was always made quite clear that I couldnt just rely on that. However because I love my daughter totally, I would do anything to help her; even up to, and including, watching her children so she could have a night out and relax! Amazing!

elizaregina Sun 03-Feb-13 19:55:03

hear hear too TCOB.

There are some selfish people out there!
once in a blue moon is absoluty NOT selfish and all the rest.

Shame!

rainrainandmorerain Sun 03-Feb-13 19:54:02

(I would love to know more about why some gps don't babysit more. I know my mil has said 'no' to a couple of requests from one of her other sons because the family expect her to drop everything at short notice, never get in touch apart from when they need a favour, and generally take the piss a bit. It works both ways, you know. And I say that as someone whose mother is too erratic to do childcare in the way I would have liked. I don't feel it's all a case of 'take what you're given and be grateful, even if it isn't particularly helpful....' - but you can only work with what people will offer or agree to, for their own reasons. That's just life)

TCOB Sun 03-Feb-13 19:52:21

rain - as I say - I think family counts for a lot. And no, I think if a member of your family hasn't helped you out in the difficult times, it does make me think twice about going the extra mile for them.

What a funny question! For me, love is a reason for doing things, yes.

TCOB Sun 03-Feb-13 19:50:48

boys smile. Threads like these make me really cherish my lot (in-laws and my DM and DF). They're all miles away but we get 3-4 nights out a year between them. And no GP on the planet has a busier, cooler life than my DMiL, who sets her boundaries, has never been taken for granted or had the piss taken out of her by us - says no when she means it - and also keeps a husband 20 years her junior on his toes.

rainrainandmorerain Sun 03-Feb-13 19:48:59

And will you be looking after your inlaws/parents when they are old and helpless because you love them, TCOB?

Or because they've racked up enough 'care credits' with babysitting?

myBOYSareBONKERS Sun 03-Feb-13 19:47:36

TCOB - hear hear!! am I am lucky enough to have GP who do want to help but unfortunately distance stops that sad

TCOB Sun 03-Feb-13 19:38:16

YANBU. I get so bored when the stock responses of 'they're your children/ they don't have to/ you should have thought about this before/ they have their own lives' come out. Of course they don't have to, of course they have their own lives. None of us 'have' to do lots of the things we do for and with the people we love. We do it for precisely that reason - we love them. FFS. I don't know what's happened to the whole concept of families. Yet so many of these GPs (who had shit loads of help from their own parents - and often the mothers didn't go to work at all) play the same old card of not wanting to pass on the favour. They'll still expect you to drop everything for them as soon as they are old and helpless at the expense of your own family.

namchan Sun 03-Feb-13 19:37:36

Yanbu. I find it weird that gp's cant be arsed to babysit for a night, which I know is not the popular opinion on mn. After midnight, once in a blue moon, is not really a big deal. We havent been out in 2 years, my parents live in the next road and inlaws live 20 mins drive away. Tbh, having clear memories of spending entire weekends with my grandparents when we were kids, I cant understand the hypocrisy but you know, you reap what you sow and all that smile

rainrainandmorerain Sun 03-Feb-13 19:29:21

I agree, alark. But they are still doing the parents a favour, not the other way round.

I am curious about the regular (every Sunday) babysitting of the other grandchildren that goes on.

Why the regular arrangements for them and not for this gc? Is it just pure favouritism? Or have the other family worked out a time/pattern that suits the grandparents.

My inlaws cannot do what I would love them to do (no evenings babysitting at all due to driving issues...) - but they will take them for day visits. As this is all that is on offer, this is what we accept.

bootsycollins Sun 03-Feb-13 19:25:15

Soverytired I'm not the gambling type but I would bet £20 that your il's don't take your dd on days out, I bet they only see her when you visit their house, am I right?

alarkthatcouldpray Sun 03-Feb-13 19:09:48

I suppose facilitating the odd night out for the parents of the GCs is something which may strengthen their relationship and be beneficial to the family as a whole. By no means a weekly necessity but a nice gesture every now and then.

YABU and of course you can ensure you're back by midnight who ever you're out with!

And now you'll never ask her to babysit again?? Another YABU for that too.

rainrainandmorerain Sun 03-Feb-13 18:50:55

I think the posters talking about how sad it is parents in law don't want to spend time with gc are missing something - how much time would they get with gc between 8pm and midnight?

Not much, surely. It's not like taking them on a day out. The benefit is all to the gc's parents, not to the grandparents.

Sirzy Sun 03-Feb-13 18:50:28

The instant DH ASKED he was met with moaning and told only if we were back by midnight

Other than asking that you were back by midnight what else did they moan about?

fuckadoodlepoopoo Sun 03-Feb-13 18:46:25

It must be so hard having a disabled child with no one happy to help you. sad

Frustrated. Op has answered that.

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