I need to stop being MIL's babysitter.

(64 Posts)
SteadyEddie Tue 22-Apr-14 10:16:40

And I also need a backbone.

DH has three cousins, all girls, who all have children. MIL helps them out quite a bit and often has one of them every day in the holidays. I have three DC's, and how its worked out is that each of DH's cousins children are close in age to one of mine.

The problem is that MIL doesn't really want to take care of them (I don't think), so she ends up coming to my house with whichever one/two she has that day. Twice over the Easter holidays she turned up and then left 'to run some errands', she was gone 2 hours the first time, and nearly 4 the second time. At which point I rang her house as she wasnt answering her mobile and she answered. If I go out with my own children, she complains about what she is going to do, and when we went our on Good Friday, this was an 'inconvenience' hmm.

She is already making mutterings about may half term. She is very good company and I like spending time with her, but in small doses, not every single day of the holidays. My other issue is that the cousins are eating us out of house and home, and 2 of them tend to be quite rude and bossy.

AIBU to try and put a stop to it all of the time, or to go away for half term grin

SteadyEddie Tue 22-Apr-14 18:27:52

I was joking about the key. I wont be giving her the key and my DB will be staying at our house while we are away anyway.

Its difficult because she is so forceful and not the kind of person you can say no to, plus she takes offense very easily.

YellowTulips Tue 22-Apr-14 18:28:18

Good idea Expat re: the summer when you are away.

YellowTulips Tue 22-Apr-14 18:30:40

It's you who have the right to be offended - not her.

She's making out she's such a great help at the expense of someone else. Her behaviour is offensive. Remember that. Let her huff and puff.

TheFarceAndTheSpurious Tue 22-Apr-14 18:33:50

You could be breezily PA and create one of those online 'family diary' things ... Put what you are doing in each day (or whatever) or only have certain days 'open' talk about streamlining and moving forward say here are the slots you have as options to visit us... Lets diarise etc.

expatinscotland Tue 22-Apr-14 18:37:42

So that gives her a license to treat you like shit?

No, nothing difficult about it at all.

Your DH or both of you be just as fucking forceful back.

Kundry Tue 22-Apr-14 21:00:32

Of course she takes offense easily - it keeps you all in line!

I think you have to be OK with offending her this time, especially as you also hold more cards than you think ie access to your DH and your kids.

The world will not fall in if she is offended (honestly, it really won't)

quietbatperson Tue 22-Apr-14 21:11:05

So offend her! If she takes the huff and stops speaking to you, what exactly is the downside?

maddening Tue 22-Apr-14 21:14:43

she could look after her other gc in their own homes while the parents are out for a start rather than in her own home.

Joylin Tue 22-Apr-14 21:58:37

She doesn't care for offending or imposing on you so don't concern yourself with her reaction. Practice using 'no', don't indulge her, tell her you're busy, don't answer the door to her, be unavailable at all times until she gives up and finds someone else to impose on.

Don't ever let her into the house uninvited again, set strong boundaries and don't give her room to cross them.

As someone else said, people like this take advantage of your fear of appearing rude when they're being the rude ones. Lose that fear and run your own life the way you want.

rollonthesummer Tue 22-Apr-14 22:16:35

She's taking the piss massively and won't stop till you tell her to.

2rebecca Tue 22-Apr-14 22:31:40

I agree that people who take offense easily are often people who don't care how offensively they behave to other people. They rely on their "I'm so upset and offended act" to manipulate people and get their own way.
If she chooses to get upset when you tell her you want some peace in your holiday she chooses to get upset. her choice. She can easily stop the babysitting if she really doesn't want to do it so she's getting upset over nothing.
You don't always let children who get easily upset have their own way so I don't see why people behave differently to overemotional adults.

mimishimmi Tue 22-Apr-14 23:03:19

Is she agreeing to take them on in advance or is she getting dumped upon at the last minute too? If it's the latter, I'd actually turn up at the cousin's work a few times, all the kids in tow, with their child and say that MiL has suddenly dumped them on you, you can't get in touch with her and she could be gone for hours. Then I'd add you have planned something else to do with your own children today and that you will have to leave theirs with them. If they don't know what's going on, they'll soon start declining her offers to take the kids in the holidays. If they do know, they'll now be aware it's unacceptable to you and will worry you will return them right back at an inconvenient time again. Caring for other people's children in the holidays is NOT your problem.

Joylin Tue 22-Apr-14 23:31:40

Excellent idea mimishimmi!!

Birdsighland Tue 22-Apr-14 23:51:20

I don't think they are her grandchildren, Maddening. I think the op said they are her grandnieces/grandnephews.

It sounds relentless, op. I can't get over the fact she had left them at yours and was quite nicely ensconced back at her house.

I hope you succeed in setting up some boundaries, for your own family's sake.

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