to think SIL was really out of order?

(74 Posts)
dandelionmoon Sun 07-Apr-13 17:43:59

My older brother is the only surviving member of my family, and until he met SIL, we were close. I do want to be fair here so I will say that due to not having any other family members he could 'vent' to I probably heard the downsides to their relationship as there was no one else he could really talk to.

Quite soon into the relationship she discovered she was pregnant (he was 34 and she was 29, so they were hardly teenagers grin) and got married. Their first child was born in spring 2007 and she stopped working to be a SAHM. They had a really difficult period in their relationship after this. My brother was made redundant from his job and managed to get another one in a different area of the country. I accept it must have been difficult for SIL during this time. They then had another child in winter 2009, and another in summer 2012.

The issue is around SIL working, or rather not working. She hated her job before having their first child, but she isn't happy being a SAHM either. What she does do is get interested in doing something or being something and then it gets forgotten about - she has started a number of small business ventures such as making jewellery which are then subsequently forgotten about, and looked into training as a doula for a while, then she got pregnant with DC2, and so on.

Her latest business venture is making cakes, and she has told my brother she wants to 'do it properly' and this includes sending the DCs to a childminder two days a week. He said they couldn't afford it - an almighty row ensued and now my brother is here in my spare room hmm and bearing in mind they live a 2 hour drive away, it seems pretty serious.

Is he being U or is she? I think she is ,but I am obviously a bit biased as he is my brother.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 07-Apr-13 17:46:54

What? He's left....support him without getting involved in his relationship.

dandelionmoon Sun 07-Apr-13 17:48:15

I don't think he's left as such, if you see what I mean, I think he's just left on a temporary basis as they were arguing and shouting, he needed to get out and has come here (great.)

I don't think I'm getting involved but am obviously going to say "what the hell happened?" grin

BlackAffronted Sun 07-Apr-13 17:50:15

It doesnt matter who is being unreasonable, this is for them to sort out between them.

PenelopePortrait Sun 07-Apr-13 17:50:19

The must be more to it. You are already involved.

Maybe the SIL is posting on here - can you imagine the advice she'd be getting now?

dandelionmoon Sun 07-Apr-13 17:52:18

I'm not sure Penelope - "we can't afford it" seems fairly clear-cut to me and yelling and shouting about it seems a bit, well, spoiled, to me. I'm not married though so I don't know.

AllYoursBabooshka Sun 07-Apr-13 17:57:54

These things are rarely clear-cut.

I would stay well out of it.

AllDirections Sun 07-Apr-13 17:59:22

If they can't afford a childminder then they can't afford one but maybe your brother could take the DC out for a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday so that your SIL can work. Maybe he could step up regarding housework, etc. so that she has a couple of evenings free to work. Once she starts to make some money then they could reconsider using a childminder. Their DC1 is at school fulltime and their DC2 will be in September so they'd only need childcare for DC3 until the business is very established.

Oh, and tell your brother he can stay for one night only until things calm down.

HollyBerryBush Sun 07-Apr-13 17:59:55

Other peoples relationships are a minefield - you only ever hear one side of the story and that will be biased depending on who is doing the telling.

You know the old saying; there's three sides to every story, his side, her side and the truth!

dandelionmoon Sun 07-Apr-13 18:09:08

All - I know that he does. He takes them out on Sunday mornings and does all the cooking as she doesn't like it and he loves it (weird man) as well as doing all the gardening. She does the other chores though.

I can't just chuck him out really, he doesn't have anywhere else to go.

I completely accept the 'three sides' thing - trying to be impartial as I know SIL!

DoJo Sun 07-Apr-13 18:13:02

In your position, I wouldn't get involved in their row as such, but maybe you could make some suggestions to him about how to work it out. For example, I can't imagine a cake making business requiring two days a week of child-free work until it is fairly well established, so perhaps instead of a flat out 'no' he could suggest that she finds a couple of places to sell her cakes whilst he facilitates her being able to do the work by taking over some of her household duties, and then when the business is at least earning some money they can revisit the childcare issue. I think you can suggest things like this without getting into who's right and who's wrong.

PenelopePortrait Sun 07-Apr-13 18:27:09

Just be very careful with any suggestions you give him. All it needs is for him to say "dandelion said XYZ" and that may be red rag to a bull and it will,backfire if and when they make it up.

Support him and try to say nothing. I don't envy you, he has put you in an impossible situation - you are dammed if you do and dammed if you don't.

ImperialBlether Sun 07-Apr-13 18:30:34

If she doesn't like cooking, why on earth is she setting herself up as a baker?

Hope she's not planning on going into the cup cake business, btw, as that has reached its peak, apparently.

dandelionmoon Sun 07-Apr-13 18:49:05

I'm not sure Imperial! She is a bit like that though; she gets interested in something and then is gets discarded. They spent quite a lot of money on a previous business venture and I think that's the source of the argument, that he doesn't want to invest more money they don't really have.

Yes, it is cup cakes! I don't get this obsession with cup cakes at all.

ImperialBlether Sun 07-Apr-13 18:51:22

I don't, either. They're really sickly and overpriced.

If she wanted to do this, she could start off at a farmers' market kind of place and try to sell a few trays to see whether they're popular.

It does sound as though she's not going to make a success of working for herself. Does she think it would be easier than working for an employer?

ihearsounds Sun 07-Apr-13 18:55:48

Well before she can set her self up as a baker, she has to show that she enjoys baking.. This can be done with the children around. She can start small, doing trials, to see how it goes and get the children involved. This way, she gets to do baking without the need of a childminder.

Then the financial side isn't just a childminder. It's basic food and hygiene cert. It's insurance.

No point wasting money if well, the doesn't like to cook, is crap at baking.

maddening Sun 07-Apr-13 18:58:51

Well the only one that needs childcare is dc3 as the dc1 is at school and dc2 gets 15 free hours.

Child benefit might help towards those 2 days per week for dc3?

LineRunner Sun 07-Apr-13 19:00:22

* he doesn't have anywhere else to go*

Yes he does. Home. Where the grown-ups parent their children.

dandelionmoon Sun 07-Apr-13 19:00:47

I think, in fairness to her, she had a rotten time at work when she was pregnant with DC1 (she was a teacher) and so is reluctant to venture back into what I think of as "work work" grin

She's a funny sod to be honest: well, perhaps that isn't fair. She's nice enough but she's a real "mum" - she posts endlessly on Facebook about such a place being "good for the kids" and takes a leading role in their local NCT branch and involves herself in every playgroup going, yet for all that, I don't think she actually enjoys it very much - she complains a lot about afternoons in particular being tedious with them (the children.) But I don't think she can bring herself to out and out admit that she struggles and my DB does that annoying man thing where he witters solutions at her when what she probably wants is a hug.

reallyyummymummy Sun 07-Apr-13 19:01:18

Is it possible that he can say to her that if she wants to do it she has to show that she is committed to it? The only way of knowing if it will be an earner will be if she can show that there are people interested in buying her cakes. She could do some practice bakes and try to get a small client base with 3 children around.

There isn't much else you can really do because you can't run their relationship for them.

dandelionmoon Sun 07-Apr-13 19:02:06

LineRunner; she's thrown him out. Sorry if that wasn't clear - he hasn't just walked out because he couldn't be bothered with her hmm

He's annoying but harmless enough and he certainly wouldn't have walked out on his children, he idolises them to the point of worship.

LineRunner Sun 07-Apr-13 19:02:42

Christ this is not about fucking cup cakes.

zzzzz Sun 07-Apr-13 19:03:31

She has a 5 year old a 3 year old and a baby and she wants to start a cupcake business.

Cooking in the evening and taking the kids out for a bit on Sunday is not a huge help to be honest, there are quite a few other jobs (huge understatement) involved in running a home and looking after 3 very young children.

I doubt very much that they can afford for her to go out to work. Wanting to be a doula and then having another child instead, presumably involved both of them and isn't a personal failure. The jewellery thing am just not have brought in enough money so went bust, that happens sometimes when you try something.

I feel very sorry for his wife. Your brother shouldn't be wingeing about her to you. I think the best thing you can do is try to point out how inappropriate that is to him, and then try to forget anything he has told you.

LineRunner Sun 07-Apr-13 19:04:52

[all] she probably wants is a hug

So he needs to go back and do that. As long as you are putting him up, he won't and can't.

nkf Sun 07-Apr-13 19:07:06

Forget about the cupcakes. Give him a bed for as long as he need one. And encourage him to talk to her and listen to her. What else can you do?

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