To feel upset and tearful about staying with SIL

(211 Posts)
Ghanagirl Thu 13-Dec-12 21:04:24

i'll try and keep this brief, we are having our house extended it was supposed to be finished mid November, but has overran despite builders saying if we moved out it would be completed in 4 months!
We initially rented a small flat (me DH plus 2 kids) but lease ran out last week and due to tight finances we moved in with DH's sister her husband plus their two kids who are older but attend same primary school. I really didn't want to move in with them but as I'm not working and finances tight plus DH putting me under pressure felt like no other choice, (my mum made it clear her house too small)
Anyway since we've been here I've done all school runs which is quite stressful as the older two (DH's nieces) are used to getting up late and generally being late for school I pick all kids up and even drop older twonto activities, but I'm getting really stressed and tired as when SIL gets home from work she has taken to going to rest while I try and manage all kids homework dinner etc, my two are now starting to play up and I'm on the edge of tears most days. Advice please I'm dreading Christmas we are supposed to be back in our house next week but can't see it happeningsad

LittleBairn Thu 13-Dec-12 21:09:40

I can see why your upset as your being used for free babysitting but they are helping you out too.
Are you paying them anything for room and board?
If not then I would say the set up was fair.

deleted203 Thu 13-Dec-12 21:15:01

I don't mean to be unsympathetic, and I appreciate life feels tough, but I gather that there are 4 primary school kids and your SIL works? Does that not mean that from roughly 9 - 3 you are free whilst she is working? I can see that evenings are tiring for you, but presumably you've had the day off in the meantime with only yourself at home?

Imagine going to work all day and then coming back to a totally crowded house where you can't relax like you usually do because you have guests.

I think it seems reasonable since they are doing you a huge favour thats inpacting on their lives tbh.

Can your DH help you out more?

drjohnsonscat Thu 13-Dec-12 21:20:31

Not sure what I am missing here but it sounds as though they are doing you a huge favour - one your mum wasn't willing to do. I don't think you are doing too much in return. Unless I am misunderstanding this.

ENormaSnob Thu 13-Dec-12 21:20:50


And what sow said.

Ghanagirl Thu 13-Dec-12 21:21:48

I'm not paying rent but doing all the cooking cleaning and shopping including paying for food, when I'm at home in the day the heating not on plus I'm cooking for 4 kids plus 4 adults not sure who did all the childcare before but don't think because I'm a stay at home mum I should be treated like an unpaid babysitter

honeytea Thu 13-Dec-12 21:24:02


They are doing you a massive favour the least you can do is the school run and after school activities.

Why not make dinner in the day time when the DC are at school, what do you actually do all day?

Its still a massive imposition to have 4 extra people living in your house for an indefinite amount of time. What would you have done if thy hadn't taken you in?

wakeupandsmellthecoffee Thu 13-Dec-12 21:24:11

Are there children at home during the day.?

wakeupandsmellthecoffee Thu 13-Dec-12 21:24:45

Are there children at home during the day.?

flossy101 Thu 13-Dec-12 21:25:07

Are you free in the day? I'd say its fair enough really considering they are letting you stay. Where would you be otherwise?

BIWIshYouAMerryChristmas Thu 13-Dec-12 21:25:52

Why isn't the heating on during the day?

spookysal Thu 13-Dec-12 21:27:04

It's 4 children not 400.

There are plenty of people who do what you are doing every single day.

I think in your situation, it's all about compromise. Suck it up and deal with it. It's not forever and be grateful she is letting you live with them. She could probably start a thread about you .. AIBU SIL home all day but won't help out with the children dispite living with me rent free..

Ghanagirl Thu 13-Dec-12 21:27:34

I guess all the replies are from working mums,I might add that they stayed with us 6 years ago before I had my 2 and I was then working but still helped her out with childcare as she was working mum

ENormaSnob Thu 13-Dec-12 21:27:36

You are not an unpaid babysitter.

And they are not running a free hotel.

honeytea Thu 13-Dec-12 21:28:21

Cooking for 8 rather than 4 is just a case of doubling the recipe, so long as you are not cooking 8 different meals I can't see that it is much harder.

I think that because you are a sahm you should be treated like a sahm (childcare, cleaning, cooking) it is only fair that you do that for all the family in exchange for somewhere free to live.

If you have the option to move out then move out, if you don't you need to get over it and get on with it for the sake of keeping a roof above your children's heads.

SantasComingEarlyHisSackIsFull Thu 13-Dec-12 21:29:36

I think your DH needs to step up and take some of the pressure off. He was the one who wanted this and pushed for it, so he needs to support you physically and emotionally. I think living in such a crowded space and being obliged to people for putting you up for this length of time sounds unbearable. We went on a very expensive holiday far far away this summer to visit DBIL and family. We stayed with the family for 5 days in their huge house and it still felt too close to comfort for me. No fallings out (apart from kids), but I am anxious not to repeat it. It puts one under too much obligation for any length of time.

What would happen if you didn't cook one night? If you said you wanted someone else to take a turn?

drjohnsonscat Thu 13-Dec-12 21:30:07

Don't turn this into a working mothers thing. The fact is if you are at home all day and the kids are at school you should be looking for ways to contribute. Or leave and go to a hotel and suck up the cost. No?

Ghanagirl Thu 13-Dec-12 21:30:41

Spookysal. She could hardly say I'm not helping with childcare as I'm doing all childcare including help with homework! Plus she asked us to stay and now I can see why!

TinyDancingHoofer Thu 13-Dec-12 21:30:44


And put a jumper on if you are cold in the day.

BIWIshYouAMerryChristmas Thu 13-Dec-12 21:30:54

What did you really expect everyone to say?

And what would you have been doing during the day if you were living in your own house? Surely you're doing the same kind of thing? You're just cooking for more people.

However, I get that supervising homework for other children would be stressful and I really don't think your SIL/BIL should be abdicating responsibility for that.

CaptainVonTrapp Thu 13-Dec-12 21:31:57

Why don't you switch the heating on?

spookysal Thu 13-Dec-12 21:33:05

Forget six years ago. You can't call in a debt that is six years ago this is why families drive me crazy

I don't work anymore. DD1 is at school and dd2 is at home with me. My days are easy. I do the school run. Cook dinner and do the after school activities. It's rocket science or particularly exhausting.

What I don't understand is why it's your SIL that you think should be helping you out. What about the other two adults in the house? If they all work full time then they are all on an equal footing in my book. I don't think you need any help but if you do then don't just look at your SIL, it's quite sexist.

SantasComingEarlyHisSackIsFull Thu 13-Dec-12 21:33:19

Never mind "put a jumper on during the day". Put the fucking heating on during the day. You sound miserable and at the brunt of everyone else's convenience. What is your DH doing to support you? It is his sister?

TinyDancingHoofer Thu 13-Dec-12 21:34:02

And whilst your husband put you under pressure to live there, what was your solution? It sounds like SIL was your only choice. It is temporary and i think you are whining about silly things. At the same time SIL and BIL should still be spending time with their DDs after school.

hermioneweasley Thu 13-Dec-12 21:35:10

Ok, maybe she is being a bit precious but after working all day perhaps she needs to retreat for some sanctuary if she can't relax in the rest of the house. Also, give, that you have no idea when you are moving back out, perhaps she doesn't want it to be too comfortable for you.

Other option - you could get a job and rent a place.

SantasComingEarlyHisSackIsFull Thu 13-Dec-12 21:35:10

I feel for you OP. I would wither and die in your situation.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Thu 13-Dec-12 21:35:18

What is your DH doing to help? Also, they may not have realised that the heating is off and you are there. If it's on a timer, they might just not have thought about it.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Thu 13-Dec-12 21:36:36

Honestly this set up is completely fair. They are doing you a huge favour a bit of childcare is the least you could do.

If you are desperate for a break take one of the children with you to your mums for a night. But really getting four kids to school and then helping them with their homework in the evening is not that hard.

Just hang in there and repeat "This too shall pass" and hopefully the builders will be finished soon. It must be stressful for all of you, and I can see why you feel "put upon" but it's not forever, and you are more than "paying your ways" in kind rather than in actual cash, which it sounds like is tight for you and your family. SiL is probably taking a bit of advantage, but equally, she is helping you out, so it's 6 of one so to speak.
Just bite your tongue and look forward to getting back into your own home - hopefully by Christmas.
I would probably ignore my neices/nephews and let them run riot while I supervised my own children's homework btw wink

spookysal Thu 13-Dec-12 21:37:05

I agree about the heating. Far too cold for a non heated house atm. Put the heating on, it might the situation more bearable.

Ghanagirl Thu 13-Dec-12 21:37:09

drjohnsoncat I'm not turning it into a working versus not working thing it's just what most posts seem to be implying but presumably if you are working outside the home you have childcare in place and don't expect someone else to do it, I'm more than happy to help out but surely as a mum you don't expect others to do everything for you kids because you are doing them a favour, which as I mentioned earlier we did for them prior to us having kids

TinyDancingHoofer Thu 13-Dec-12 21:37:11

Unless she's living in a very poorly insulated house there is no need for heating in the day. Mine is on for two hours an evening. Mumsnet has become quite wimpy about the cold.

spookysal Thu 13-Dec-12 21:38:20

The mulled wine is really messing with my spelling and grammer .. apologies.

Narked Thu 13-Dec-12 21:39:02

'I'm getting really stressed and tired'

'I'm on the edge of tears most days'

That's not ok. If you're feeling like that, something needs to change. It's also been in the minuses temperature wise lately, so no heating during the day is not ok.

I think you need to talk to your DH. You've done things his way. Enough. It's time to go home. Builders aren't going to hurry when you've moved out. They will stretch the work out. I'd get round there in the day to check they're actually working out how things are going and remind the you're back in next week.

spookysal Thu 13-Dec-12 21:39:22

I disagree Tiny. Our boiler has only just been fixed and it was freezing without heating.

drjohnsonscat Thu 13-Dec-12 21:43:10

Well how are you prepared to contribute then? Regardless of what their normal arrangements are, your presence is making for a very crowded house and you should be looking for ways to make things nice for them in return. But I agree with the posters who are asking about the other two adults in the house.

honeytea Thu 13-Dec-12 21:43:37

Do all the other adults work full time? if the kids are home from 3 and go to bed at 8 with maybe an hour or 2 in the morning you are only really doing 6-7 hours work.

Why don't you do a little christmas craft each evening to calm the kids down, you might enjoy it!

TinyDancingHoofer Thu 13-Dec-12 21:44:09

Yeah, it should definitely be on for a bit each day, which it sounds like SILs is. Our boiler broke last christmas for 2 weeks and it was ridiculously cold, but i don't see the need for her to have it on in the day unless she is sat in a vest and shorts. Mine has been off since 7 and i am wearing leggings and jumper, perfectly warm, toasty laptop knees.

It's okay to run up your own heating bill but not someone else's.

Ghanagirl Thu 13-Dec-12 21:44:53

Okay guess the overwhelming sentiment is SAHM deserve to be treated like crap! My SIL works part time and spends no time with her kids I helped out even before we moved here for two weeks, but the fact I'm not bringing in money makes me less of a person isn't that sexist!

CaptainVonTrapp Thu 13-Dec-12 21:46:01

Its not been more than -2 here today so if its a big/old house it will be freezing at the moment. You're going to have to do your bit but that shouldn't include sub zero working conditions.

And if you're both paying for and cooking a meal for everyone, and doing all the school runs, I'd be drawing the line at homework.

Hope your house is finished soon.

drjohnsonscat Thu 13-Dec-12 21:46:57

Oh god. You can stay at home as much as you like. But you are not at home. You are in someone else's home. So be a nice guest not a spoilt whiner.

SantasComingEarlyHisSackIsFull Thu 13-Dec-12 21:47:16

Don't lump me in with the "SAHM deserve to be treated like crap" contingent please OP. You haven't said anything about what your "D" H is doing to help you though.

Ghanagirl Thu 13-Dec-12 21:48:11

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

spookysal Thu 13-Dec-12 21:48:23

If she's PT then maybe you are not being unreasonable. How many hours does she work a day?

If she is also at home at home for a lot of the day then she should be sharing the childcare/housework with you.

That said, if you are only there for a couple more weeks is it worth rocking the boat? Ask yourself if can grin and bear it just a bit longer. If not speak to your DH and see if he will help pout before involving SIL

ginmakesitallok Thu 13-Dec-12 21:48:49

No - I think overwhelming sentiment is that if you are living there rent free for a short time the least you can do is help out in other ways. If you were sitting on your arse all day doing nothing while everyone else was working then that would make you less of a person....

hugoagogo Thu 13-Dec-12 21:49:03

I really feel for you, just staying in someone else's house for a day or two would drive me round the bend.

I wonder if your dh has made some sort of deal with his sister re you taking over childcare, so she can save cash or do some overtime and she thinks you know the score?

wakeupandsmellthecoffee Thu 13-Dec-12 21:50:56

As a non working parent I think if you didn't do it you are being lazy . don't use working parents not agreeing with you as a reason to get all huffy hen you are in the wrong .

CaptainVonTrapp Thu 13-Dec-12 21:51:09

A fair suggestion from the OP honeytea! Or were you joking?

Ghanagirl Thu 13-Dec-12 21:52:23

drjohnson I guess you feel superior to sahms but what's wrong with sacrificing a salary to give your kids attention, plus my SIL hates spending time with her kids she told me herself I guess your also like that

Surely if work meant to be finished soon some of your house must be liveable? Have you been going round to check progress?

I'd tell them you'll be moving back in and will manage while they complete the work. Why are you not having the heating on? It's been freezing last few days, it's not reasonable to expect you to be in an unheated house all day.

The homework issue - can you not just say to SIL "my DC needs my help with x homework tonight so you will need to help out yours as I don't have enough attention to go round them all".

honeytea Thu 13-Dec-12 21:53:07

I am a sahm (well not even a sahm yeat a sahm-to be) so it isn't that I think that working is worth more than not working.

If I had to live with you I would be locking myself in my bedroom you don't sound like a very nice person to be around. All I said was that 7 hours work isn't really a hard life especially when in return for free rent and you felt the need to say rude things to me.

CaptainVonTrapp Thu 13-Dec-12 21:53:18

tbh I'm surprised at the SIL. Isn't the reason for working part time that you get to do some of the pick ups/homework etc?

Especially if the SIL doesn't even need to worry about catering as the OP has already shopped and cooked for 8.

Narked Thu 13-Dec-12 21:54:31

So she does 'all the cooking cleaning and shopping including paying for food' and all the childcare. Do you want her to shove a broom up her arse and sweep the floor while she's at it????

Some really shitty attitudes on here.

The school runs and cooking I wouldn't have a problem with (am a SAHM myself). I would be greatful to have a place to stay and would appreciate that a family of 4 moving in is an imposition. I wouldn't be willing to do homework though.

drjohnsonscat Thu 13-Dec-12 21:56:37

Op you are not helping yourself here. Honey tea should f off and I don't like spending time with my kids? Weird.

Ghanagirl Thu 13-Dec-12 21:56:57

Okay honeytea wait till you have child before you start giving advice it's really hard work weather you go out to work or stay at home and work

chunkythighs Thu 13-Dec-12 21:57:30

* AIBU?*
^Yes.....yes you are!!!^
No, no I'm not!
^Yes you really are^
My sil doesn't work FT, and she's a bad mother!!!
^You are still BU^
Fuck you! I an soooo not unreasonable


OliviaPeaceOnMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 13-Dec-12 21:58:04

Evening all
Peace and Love

drjohnsonscat Thu 13-Dec-12 21:58:52

Spot on chunky grin

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Thu 13-Dec-12 21:59:10

Quick! Hide! Olivia is watching. You know she grasses on people to Santa...

CaptainVonTrapp Thu 13-Dec-12 22:00:30

Yes Narked she should shove a broom up her arse and sweep the floor, hopefully that will keep her warm then she wont need to put the central heating on either...

Ghanagirl Thu 13-Dec-12 22:00:44

As for not being a nice person my SIL DH has not stopped going on about how happy kids are since we moved in, as I said don't mind helping out but don't think I should do everything as we are also contributing financially

Ghanagirl Thu 13-Dec-12 22:01:48

Grow up

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Thu 13-Dec-12 22:03:01

Who was the grow up to? It's hard to keep track.

MouseyHousey Thu 13-Dec-12 22:04:07

Ghanagirl you have been incredibly rude to posters who are just trying to show you a different perspective. Perhaps you SIL goes for a rest because she doesnt want to spend anytime with you, frankly I cant blame her.
Before you start insulting me and telling me I obviously have no idea I was in exactly your position for 2 months earlier this year. I was thankful to my BIL and his DW for putting us up as we had nowhere else to go. I am a SAHM too and taking their DS to school and cooking a meal for everyone in the evening was the least I could do to thank them for opening up their house to me and my family.
You sound incredibly ungrateful. If you dont like the situation pay to stay in a b&b or similar until your house is finished.

Ghanagirl Thu 13-Dec-12 22:04:15

Some really bitter nasty people on mumsnet, can't believe some of the comments

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Thu 13-Dec-12 22:05:41

A word to the wise, Ghanagirl. You would get quite a lot of sympathy, especially from me, having to live in cramped quarters with family <shudders>. However, being rude and confrontational and arsey with people on AIBU the clue is in the name won't win you any sympathy on here.

Ghanagirl Thu 13-Dec-12 22:06:05

Mouseyhousey she told me she doesn't enjoy spending time with her kids

LimeLeafLizard Thu 13-Dec-12 22:07:31

This arrangement obviously isn't working out for you and tbh it doesn't sound like it is great for SIL / her family either.

Can you stay in a B&B for a week and then go to your family for Christmas?

And I agree with whoever said to go round and check how your builders are doing (give them a kick up the bum) and set a moving back in date.

SantasComingEarlyHisSackIsFull Thu 13-Dec-12 22:09:03

Why is this about what you and SIL do/don't do? I have asked you several times about your partner in all of this and you haven't answered. What about BIL? Why aren't the men's actions/lack of action an issue?

honeytea Thu 13-Dec-12 22:09:25

Okay honeytea wait till you have child before you start giving advice it's really hard work weather you go out to work or stay at home and work

I worked with kids before my maternity leave, many more than 4. I like kids, especially ones in my family, I see spending time with my small siblings and cousins as a pleasure not a chore. I have my younger sister to stay with us for weeks at a time just because she is a lovely person.

SantasComingEarlyHisSackIsFull Thu 13-Dec-12 22:09:44

"mens' "sorry, not "men's" tsk tsk.

chunkythighs Thu 13-Dec-12 22:10:20

Honey, did you ever hear the phrase 'don't bite the hand that feeds you'?

Regarding the school runs-there is no extra effort in picking up your nieces/nephews. Remember you are already at the school to collect your children. It is the very least you can do.

Of course you should clean up the house ! You are in the house on your own all day- I assume that your school going children don't need your 'attention' when they are in school. Do you realise how much work and mess an extra 4 people make in a house?

Cook the damn dinner- show your appreciation. You would be cooking dinner anyway just double the portions, what's the problem?

Could you make up your mind on weather or not you are paying rent?

If none of that suits, move out!

btw- stop making this stay at home vs working mums. It's a fact that I work to get away from my child- I couldn't give a crap about the mortgage......

Ghanagirl Thu 13-Dec-12 22:12:02

Working with kids and having your own very different, I worked with kids plus helped various friends and family with theirs before having my two it's completely different

Rindercella Thu 13-Dec-12 22:13:10

Chunkythighs has it grin

Ghanagirl, you are obviously very unhappy about the situation, however reasonable - or unreasonable - others believe you to be. In this case, the best thing you can do is talk to your SIL and say that while you are more than happy to do the school run, cooking, etc., you really do not think it is a good thing to be doing the homework with her children.

Ghanagirl Thu 13-Dec-12 22:15:46

chunkythighs why did you have a child then? Plus if two extra children so easy why are you so keen to escape your one?

MysteriousHamster Thu 13-Dec-12 22:16:01

I think you should move out if you don't like, and then you won't have to do those extra chores. Of course you will have to pay rent, but that's kind of how it works...

Rindercella Thu 13-Dec-12 22:16:14

Santa, you had the apostrophe right the first time (men is already plural). smile

forgetmenots Thu 13-Dec-12 22:16:52

YABU because you are imposing on them and living rent free. You and your DH should do things for them that would ordinarily cost, just as they are doing something for you and saving you a lot of money by putting you up. Fair is fair, nothing to do with sahms and childcare, just trying like for like.

YANBU because you are very upset so you can't continue this. Where are the men in all of this? Couldn't they do homework or do a share?

honeytea Thu 13-Dec-12 22:16:56

Well see looking after your sil's kids as working with kids then. Or move out, I'm sure SIL won't be blocking the door.

chunkythighs Thu 13-Dec-12 22:17:11

Rindercella Why thank you! <curtsies>


Rindercella Thu 13-Dec-12 22:17:29

Ghana, in the nicest possible way, you seem very confrontational. And not at all prepared to listen to others and take on board what they are saying. Are you like this in your SIL's house too?

DowagersHump Thu 13-Dec-12 22:17:48

SAHMs generally look after children. You don't- they're at school.

What did your SIL/husband do before you moved in re cooking/cleaning/shopping? If they work full time, they must have some kind of system in place

Rindercella Thu 13-Dec-12 22:18:43

Tis a pleasure Chunky! grin

forgetmenots Thu 13-Dec-12 22:18:51

mysterioushamster wish there was an applause emoticon, well said

SolomanDaisy Thu 13-Dec-12 22:19:12

I am a SAHM, so no agenda here. Are you sure it's the childcare and cleaning that are making you miserable? You do get a good amount of time to yourself during the day. But you're in a tense, crowded living situation with a less than sympathetic husband. Might that be the real issue?

chunkythighs Thu 13-Dec-12 22:19:41


I had a child because someone has to clean the house! He's crap at the ironing though.....Might have another just for laundry duties of course.

maddening Thu 13-Dec-12 22:20:59

I am sahm and I think yabu on basis that you're staying there for free - just before Christmas which is a big ask.

I do think you should be allowed a bit of heating in the day (even if dh has to pay towards the gas).

I think you are reacting like this as you are upset about the whole house situation - you planned a lovely Christmas back in your own home and now you are crammed into their house. But it's shit for them too - no privacy (you're there judging them for their parenting and choices) house stuffed with other people's stuff and a Christmas they didn't plan for either.

So the only thing you can focus yourself on is this childcare unfairness - but it's not fair on anyone and they really are doing you a big favour which is even more generous given the busy time of year.

AutumnGlory Thu 13-Dec-12 22:22:26

You don't need to work and how will have your own house to go back to soon..count your blessings and be grateful. Even your own mother didn't want you there, and if you really considered this option maybe the size of her house isn't an issue

Kiwiinkits Thu 13-Dec-12 22:22:37

Sorry Ghana, YABU. Pull your finger out and stop whining. It will be over soon.

helenthemadex Thu 13-Dec-12 22:23:03


For a start it is very hard to have people to stay, even family who you are very close to them. I frequently have family and friends to stay, I love them dearly, they help loads and are great company unlike you from the sound of it but it is still hard to share my private family space

if you were in your own house would you not be doing everything you are complaining about? or do you have a cook, cleaner and nanny? if not get on with it and appreciate the fact that your SIL has put you and your family up and stop being so rude to the people on here who have taken the time to reply, just because you dont like the answers you are getting

wakeupandsmellthecoffee Thu 13-Dec-12 22:23:56

Do you know what's. There are some bloody fantastic people on mums net and they can't believe some of your entitled lazy sniping ,moronic ungrateful and quite honestly bloody stupid comments from you .

MerylStrop Thu 13-Dec-12 22:24:17

Well you should all have sat down and clarified what the deal was before you moved in

It is only fair that you should help out, as much as you can
But not necessarily fair that you should do it all
Put the bloody heating on though

Are the children's fathers not involved at all: why is your ire directed only at your SIL?

Rindercella Thu 13-Dec-12 22:24:37

Look on the bright side though Ghana, the schools will be breaking up soon so you will have all four children all day all to yourself. I know how much you will enjoy this as you love children don't you? wink

rainrainandmorerain Thu 13-Dec-12 22:24:46

How much money are you saving as a family by not having to pay to go into short term rental, or a cheap hotel?

My guess is a fair bit. I think I would be gritting my teeth and focusing on the money I was saving in your situation. It isn't forever and it is clearly of huge benefit to your family. And I take your point about childcare.... but unless I've misread, all 4 children are school age? So you are not being asked to work all day as an unpaid nanny.

I don't think it is good to feel so stressed and put upon. You have to contribute to this household somehow, so if you are not paying them but you are very unhappy with the way things are, why don't you and your dh (who presumably knows this is all an issue for you) work out a plan you feel is fair, and them ask your SIL if she can agree to it.

And drop the sahm/wohm thing. If you don't like your sil, I'm sure you can find a hundred and one things wrong with her, but waving that particular stick around won't help you one bit.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee Thu 13-Dec-12 22:26:01

Do you know what's. There are some bloody fantastic people on mums net and they can't believe some of your entitled lazy sniping ,moronic ungrateful and quite honestly bloody stupid comments from you .

maddening Thu 13-Dec-12 22:26:09

Ps their really is no need to be so arsy with working mums - really nasty digs " why are you so keen to escape your kids" - I understand you're feeling defensive but that is nasty.

stifnstav Thu 13-Dec-12 22:29:04

I love to imagine the world if all women who had children did not go out to work. It would be bonkers.

We'd all be queueing up in M&S with our prams and buggies, waiting for our bra measuring appointment and some crazed male shop assistant would be raging around the shop in fear of boob-measuring and yelling "where are all the women??????"

We'd all stand in the queue and wave at him, smiling creepily.

This whole "why have children if you are going to work" thing is nuts. It would be like the 1950s, but angrier.

PrincessScrumpy Thu 13-Dec-12 22:32:37

You've moved in and have no idea how long you need to stay, you take DC to school, go home and cook evening meal while they are at school, get jobs done, pick DC up, assist home work serve dinner, bed time. You put feet up. Leave washing up to Dh. I thinkyou are being ungrateful... What would you like to be doing? Not sure how you see this working... dsil come home from working all day and cooking for you all while you've had all day at home? Oh i'm a sahm with a 4yo and 15mo twins as you seem to think everyone against you is working!

CoolaYuleA Thu 13-Dec-12 22:41:31

YABU..... and I'm probably closer to your current situation than anyone else here.

My DH recently took redundancy from the Army. At the time we were living in Germany and got three weeks notice to return to the UK, no housing in place. I was working too and had to give up my job so I am a SAHM.

DH, DD, me and our dog moved in with my Mum and her dog.

1) I do the housework - all of it, including the laundry.

2) I do all the childcare as DH's new job means he is out of the house before DD wakes up and is usually in bed before he gets home. DD is 15 months old, so doesn't go to school.

3) I do all the cooking.

4) I do all the shopping and we pay for it.

5) I drive my Mum to medical appointments, collect prescriptions, provide care and do all the things she can't do.

And do you know what - I think every single one of these is fair enough. Because:

1) My Mum has taken us in and we are creating more mess, and more laundry. Plus I'd be doing it at home anyway.

2) I'm a SAHM. DH works. That's kinda the point of being a SAHM.

3) I'd be doing it in our house anyway - so I'm cooking larger portions but it's not an "extra" task - it's a normal one in a bigger pan.

4) I do all the shopping because Mum would struggle, and we pay for it because just having us in her house has doubled her gas and electric, and tripled her water bill. You are complaining about paying for the shopping - but you are increasing their bills by at least 50% just by living there. You aren't paying rent you should be paying for the shopping. To complain about that is just "grabby".

5) She is my Mum - nuff said really! I was addressing her Christmas cards tonight until 10pm.... She's out at a restaurant. I'm sure you'd complain about that, me, I'm glad she's having a nice time.

If you don't like it - move out. You are not being asked to do anything that isn't fair.

You imply that your SIL wanted you to move in to get you to do all these things. Yet you completely ignore that you will have increased all their household bills, taken up space, made mess and you are home all day. You are already at the school so no extra work there.

Essentially you have all day to yourself (must be nice!), you collect two extra kids from somewhere you are already going, cook double of a meal you'd be cooking in your own home, supervise two more kids homework (but you worked with kids so that shouldn't be difficult) and you pay for shopping. None of this is unreasonable - you are.

As someone in a similar position I think you are ungrateful. Go pay for a hotel - it'll cost you a damn sight more than some shopping, parttime childcare and cooking.

suburbophobe Thu 13-Dec-12 22:43:46

my SIL hates spending time with her kids she told me herself I guess your also like that

Now you are getting personal...

Be thankful you and your family have a roof over your head.

I couldn't stand another family (DS and hers) coming over for more than a w/e at the most.

Of course they are welcome for longer - while their house is under construction - but they would need to pull their weight, all of them.

Either shut up or put up. And do go and check why your own house isn't ready to move back into....

DreamingOfTheMaldives Thu 13-Dec-12 22:46:21

OP, do you usually do all cooking and cleaning at your house? If your husband usually does some cooking and cleaning as well then give him a kick up the backside and tell him to do some at his sister's house too.

I can imagine that cleaning a house which has twice as many people livig is harder work because more people equals more mess. Similarly cooking for 8 is harder than 4 - there's at least twice as much prep involved (peeling and chopping) as there's twice as much food. I do think that as you are living there for free, you should work harder than you should do these things for her and her family to pay her back for the big favour she is doing you and the money she's saving you. Why don't you suggest all having a takeaway one night to save you having to cook. Or you, your DH and your children go out for tea at the weekend. Will give you a break and would give each family some time to themselves.

The school run isn't really any harder for you but she (or whoever usually does) should be getting her own kids ready for school. You should definitely not have to help her children with homework though.

As for the heating - turn it on! I work from home and after a couple of hours of the heating being off, it's freezing and needs to go back on. And my house isn't old or drafty and I do wear a jumper! I can't imagine they expect you to be cold during the day, they've probably just assumed that you put it on.

Chin up and just try to think that you will be in your lovely home soon.

Rindercella Thu 13-Dec-12 22:46:29

Coola, can I adopt you as my sister please? You sound bloody lovely!

whois Thu 13-Dec-12 22:50:49

They are doing you a favour by letting you stay there so I think it's fair you cook and do some (all!) of thr child care.

Start by turning the heating on during the day!
Change what you cook to simple one-pot or slow cooker receptors (can get slow cooker for like, £20).
Bulk out with lentils and veg rather than meat if you're finding it expensive buying food or so many.

I really don't think you ahold be so stressed when all the kids are at primary school! You have several hours during the day to yourself when you could easily shop, chop some food and prepare tea and have a bit of a tidy-up.

You probably need some space from each other as well, not easy living all together. Probably why SIL is going for a 'rest' all the time.

Is there any where you can go with just your kids for a bit in the evenings (your mum, soft play, cinema, McDonald's, nice restaurant, whatever)?

CoolaYuleA Thu 13-Dec-12 22:52:37

Rindercella - oh I'm not, I'm at least 50% bitch, but I'm a fair one! grin. And I love and appreciate my Mum and anyone else who puts themselves out for my family because they don't have to, noone does.

Which is something I think the OP has forgotten.

whois Thu 13-Dec-12 22:53:20

And I second the suggestion for leaving the washing up to DH!

CaliforniaSucksSnowballs Thu 13-Dec-12 22:55:37

Turn on the heat and do all the food prep for dinner before school gets off for the day, it'll make things easier.
If you can't do the homework with the extra kids, send them to the Dads to get some help when they get in. My 7 year old does most of her homework alone and needs little help, she can ask me or her Dad to explain or read occasional words as she does it.
They are putting up all 4 of you for free, and the water, electric and gas will go up accordingly. So in return you do drop off pick ups and make dinner. Seems simple enough.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Thu 13-Dec-12 23:15:30

I have a feeling that the men are either absent or do nothing in this scenario. The OP has been very coy about them.

YesIamYourSisterInLaw Thu 13-Dec-12 23:42:00

Some really bitter nasty people on mumsnet, can't believe some of the comments
Weeps at the irony grin

Nellycats Thu 13-Dec-12 23:52:15

Ghanagirl, have you ever thought of going out and getting a job? Unless you're telepathically taking care if the children while they're at school, you don't really need to be at home then do you? wink

Nellycats Thu 13-Dec-12 23:52:49

Of the children, apologies grin

MummytoMog Thu 13-Dec-12 23:53:19

Oh my gawd OP, move out! Your poor SiL has suffered enough. Have a nap during the day if you're tired, lord knows I used to when I was on mat leave [oh noes, did I out myself as an evil working mother? Cr@p]. YAB SO U.

AgnesBligg Fri 14-Dec-12 00:06:54

Op, ignore all these nasty cows on here grin. Your situation would seriously do my head in, cleaning up all day in a cold house dreading the bastards to come back expecting dinner/ homework supervision from me shock.

I would quite likely freak completely.

I would have to harass the builders. Are they taking the piss do you think? How bad would it be to just move back in in it's current condition? I would be requesting the main part of the house to be secured by end of next week, and get back in. Seriously. Good luck.

CoolaYuleA Fri 14-Dec-12 00:17:33

"dreading the bastards to come back" to their OWN house!

That's the point Agnes - it's their house, the SIL didn't have to ask them to stay, the OP's own mother refused to have them - she could go to a hotel, but they CHOSE to go there, and less than a week after moving in apparently she is doing too much.

It's been LESS THAN A WEEK. A couple of days of doing some extra child care, extra cooking and homework supervision in exchange for a free roof over their heads, free electricity, free water, free gas - and you think they are being "bastards"? It's a COUPLE OF DAYS with the possibility of being home next week - it's hardly the fucking saltmines is it.

OP sounds unbelievably entitled and selfish - and so do you if you think that doing a few hours worth of jobs a day for a COUPLE OF DAYS is too much in exchange for getting to sit on your arse on someone elses sofa 9-3 every day whilst everyone else is out working and the kids are at school because you and your DH CHOSE not to pay for a hotel.

<bangs head against brick wall - HARD>

AgentZigzag Fri 14-Dec-12 00:23:34

Aside from the details (which are hard to side step, but not impossible) the OP sounded on the brink, and I agree with Narked further up the thread, this isn't OK.

Being on the edge of tears most days is really bad.

When you're on the edge you can be unreasonable and defensive (I am at the min in RL, but I've put it on hold to post smile) and people telling you the restricted situation with no options you're in is minor and you should get over yourself, isn't going to bring out the best in the OP.

I know, I know, then she shouldn't have posted in AIBU if she didn't want to hear how other people view the situation.

But she did.

Please don't let this thread make you think it's all bollocks and life's shit OP, this is only one phase in a very long time, it won't be long before you've moved on to the next better bit. It doesn't help hugely knowing that when you're stuck in the shit, but just keep trudging on trying to distance yourself mentally from the situation a bit until more options become available (and like other posters have said, make sure your DH and the builders to pull their weight - if you have enough strength left).

AgentZigzag Fri 14-Dec-12 00:27:03

Maybe it's the situation, rather than the work she has to do, that's driven her to the edge of reason coola?

Not having a home to go to, having to move out of the rented accom, having to throw yourself on the charity of family members you don't much care for would be the fucking end of me!

Rudolphstolemycarrots Fri 14-Dec-12 00:30:22

It seems to me your DH is contributing financially and that SIL only works part time. I'm taking it both the blokes work full time? SIL should be doing something at least - reading her children a story or giving her kids a bath at bedtime or loading the dish washer? The men should also have small jobs - putting the bins out or playing/reading with the kids etc.

You must feel like a slave at the moment. Yes you can cook/clean/food shop during the day and collect all the kids from school but really the BIL and SIL should be spending some quality time with their own kids during the evenings. Why have children if they are not going to spend any time with them?

Can you fake a headache one evening or take to your bed feeling dizzy? Maybe you need to do that occasionally if you are feeling teary and worn out and ending up doing everything yourself?

ps - I do think it counts that you helped your SIL out 6 years ago.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Fri 14-Dec-12 00:30:56

Also, put the heating on during the day. Just do it and give them a bit of extra money.

CoolaYuleA Fri 14-Dec-12 00:44:28

Agent - I get that the situation isn't ideal, but to react this way after a couple of days (their lease only ran out last week) when you know that the builders have said you will be home next week, seems to be an extreme reaction to any short term situation. Particularly one which has been engineered to help you?

The OP refers to "most days" - but there haven't been many days at all, and although she has said that she feels she won't be home next week the builders are still saying they will be.

No the situation isn't ideal - but from the OP it's for a week, maybe two at most - so even though it's not ideal and possibly quite difficult it is only for a short space of time.

You could argue that if things are so tight financially maybe it would have made more sense to put an end date clause in the contract with the builders stating that works had to be completed by X date and if not they paid for hotel costs, rather than risking an over run where you might have to stay with people who are doing you a favour don't like.

MissCellania Fri 14-Dec-12 00:50:27

You've only been there a week! Man up, ffs. And what are you doing all day from 9 til 3pm? You should cook your dinner then and anything else you need to do, and have a nice lie down while you are at it.

AgentZigzag Fri 14-Dec-12 00:57:14

Looking at more than just the time the OP's been at her SILs though coola, makes it completely plausible that there's been time for the OP to work herself up into a state about how out of control her life seems at the minute, and how powerless she feels to change it.

I'm sure from the outside there are tons of things we'd do differently so we wouldn't have been put in this situation in the first place, and lots of ways we think we'd deal with it and crack on with what's got to be done, but that's irrelevant (and we probably wouldn't anyway because of all the emotions that go round relationships which fuck with your head).

The OP is in the situation, she does feel the enormous pressure she's under, and she doesn't feel she's dealing with it very well.

It can be difficult to tell other people you're about to crack, and seeing a place she thought might give her a bit of perspective and help her feel better about it, actually dumping on her too, must cut to the bone.

She has posted in a way that doesn't come across well, but surely you can understand what's driven her to that? She's not just saying her MIL is coming for Christmas and throwing a big ol' strop, she's struggling to stay afloat.

AgentZigzag Fri 14-Dec-12 00:59:44

Compassion personified MissC hmm

Your opinion is Bollocks with a capital B.

SpecialAgentKat Fri 14-Dec-12 01:11:40

I know OP has been rude, but did anyone else notice that she said SIL has asked her to stay for longer?!?

While I completely agree with the majority and have actually been in a similar situation when I was seven months along with DTS, the fact it's been suggested OP and her DH stay longer implies they are taking the piss a bit.

The things you do all sound reasonable to me except helping your neices/nephews with homework.

It's not reasonable for you to be doing absolutely everything if SIL is part time.

Not reasonable of the men do to nothing at all! But that's a different argument.. wink

I would have a good chat with your DH, explain how miserable you are and that under no circumstances are you staying longer than necessary.

Kytti Fri 14-Dec-12 01:19:06

YABVU - I'm a SAHM for four children and it's not like it's that bad. You'd be doing the school run anyway to the same school ffs. You're getting free lodging, of course you should pay for some of the food.

You sound horrid, glad you're not my sil. Blimey.

MissCellania Fri 14-Dec-12 01:32:24

Why, do tell us, is my opinion Bollocks? I'm agog.

AgentZigzag Fri 14-Dec-12 01:35:04

Do, please, read my fucking posts MissC, and apply them to your Bollocks opinion on the OPs piss poor situation.

I can break it down further if you really can't understand it.

MissCellania Fri 14-Dec-12 01:43:01

I can understand your opinion, what I'm struggling with is a) why you think its infinitely better than mine, b) why I should care about what you think of my opinion, and c) why you are being so arsey about it?

OP has a house being renovated and extended to move back into, she has a husband in work, she has family members who will take her in, she has all of the children in school all day and nothing to do, and she is really rude and nasty about the kind people letting her live in their home.
Why exactly is make your dinner during your hours of free time, and have a nice lie down not excellent advice? Better than any you have given her anyway. Looks like some transference from you here.

CoolaYuleA Fri 14-Dec-12 01:59:11

My situation is probably the closest:

DH made redundant in foreign country - where I also had a good job. Given three weeks notice to move back to UK with no housing provision and three month delay to redundancy package so no possibility to buy for three months and due to impending redundancy and no eligibility for HB (LL want either employed or HB) no chance for rental either.

I had to leave my job too. All belongings in storage, been living with family for three months, with possibly another three to six months to go.

DH has got a new job (fabulous man!) but due to the types of job we were doing before our income is now just over a third of what it was.

Eleven months after having our "wait until we are financially secure" much longed for DD all our security was gone.

And we have no home to go to next week.

So I know exactly what it is like to feel out of control and utterly powerless. And knowing just how that feels, because I'm living it, I still think that the OP is being unreasonable.

I am aware that not everyone copes the same way, and that I am no doubt being unreasonable myself. I certainly am not looking for, want or need any sympathy, but from my perspective, such as it is, I believe the OP is being unreasonable.

And I'll still think it when she goes home to her nice new extension next week, and we are still here with only our clothes, a few small personal items and DD's cot and toys. And I'm still smiling grin - see!

DonkeysInTheStableAtMidnight Fri 14-Dec-12 02:06:17

You are helping out in exchange for free lodging, not honoured guests for 24 hours! It's good you do housework and in return have free use of utilities and a warm family-oriented place to stay in return. I bet your DCs love it.

Some builders are notorious for doing as many jobs on different sites as they can. If you leave them to it, they work faster for other clients who demand more. Put a rocket under them, they'll want cash for Christmas.

Meanwhile shop and cook for 8 of you, clean up after yourselves, put the washing on for everyone, do the school run. Surely not much of term remaining? A cup of tea and "Dinner's on" for SIL. Nobody suggested giving her a foot rub or manicure!

Let another adult wash up. Supervise your own children's homework. Where is DH??

Really sensible ideas upthread: a takeaway once a week, at least 2 early evenings out with your DH and DCs. Babysit for SIL one evening a week. Harmony and respect for all.

Morloth Fri 14-Dec-12 02:40:09

So it would appear your options are:

1) Stay there and continue with childcare/housework; or
2) Move out.

You might feel powerless but you are not.

ChristmasSpiritEndorphins Fri 14-Dec-12 03:37:23

I have stayed with other people and had other people staying with me. I had people sleeping on the floor in the living room for 3 months.

It would be nice if your sil showed appreciation and thanked you for being such a huge help, to make to feel less of a burden. Maybe she doesn't realize you are overwhelmed.
Of course you are stressed to the max, but just think....soon you will be in your own home again! The best thing you can do is to try and not feel resentful for helping out, and make such an effort that you know she can never say you were a burden.
Hope your house is ready for you soon.

Ghanagirl Fri 14-Dec-12 07:10:36

Okay I've had some sleep, madness of school run commences in ten minutes. For all the posters who've said I'm rude and horrible I'm not, I thought mumsnet might provide a safe place to vent I have been lovely to SIL and haven't moaned about doing everything Her DH has commented on how happy his kids are and she has suggested we stay longer, I'm just tired and stressed as it is extra work plus I'm SAHM but already have voluntary commitments that I can't abandon, as for my DH he leaves home at 6 and returns at 8 which is why I don't work outside the home as some posters suggest I should do, then who would pick up drop and look after my kids and as I mentioned before I do help out my SIL even before we moved in. Anyway I will go and check on builders today if I can squeeze in time between hairdresser and manicure aptwink

SpecialAgentKat Fri 14-Dec-12 07:29:30

Hmm Ghana I'd take BIL's comment as a compliment! grin

However is I was SIL I'd be hmm at him saying that...

rainbowinthesky Fri 14-Dec-12 07:45:30

Sounds like you believe that as you are a sahm you should continue to do the same work load as you enjoy in your own home ie no one else's work load has increased in this situation so why should yours. However, it clearly isn't possible to maintain your status as sahm when you have no home so need to adapt and adjust to suit your circumstances and contribute along side the other adults to the household you are in.

Ghanagirl Fri 14-Dec-12 08:09:49

Okay last post rainbowinthesky so if was working outside the home I would be entitled to do no housework or look after my own kids that doesn't make sense. I've become stay at home mum because it suits my family, I wasn't making this a debate about that but somehow it's become about bashing SAHM

MrsReiver Fri 14-Dec-12 08:33:53

somehow it's become about bashing SAHM

WHERE? There's a large number of posts from SAHM (like me) who think you're being completely unreasonable. The only person turning this into WOHM vs SAHM is you.

SomersetONeil Fri 14-Dec-12 08:35:09

I love how when these family compromise situations come up, it's the wife making ALL the compromises and the husband making none, blithely going about his life as it always was, just at a different address. Even when they've moved into a member of his family's house... hmm


diddl Fri 14-Dec-12 08:46:04

SIL has suggested you stay longer??

Longer than what??

Than you need to??

That´s not compulsary!!

OverWintered Fri 14-Dec-12 08:50:26

ghanagirl YANBU it sounds like a stressful situation for all of you. Your SIL sounds stressed too and is probably hiding in her room to get some "space". Hang on in there. hopefully you can all get thru what is hopefully the tail end of this without causing a family rift. When you finally get back into your own place, the two famillies will prob need a good long break from each other!

Cabrinha Fri 14-Dec-12 08:52:13

Drip feed drip feed... SIL works - then it's part time. OP a SAHM then throws in voluntary commitments when challenged that she has a lot of time.
Every sympathy for the difficulty of being at close quarters with husband's family, would drive me crackers.
Not really much sympathy for having to take an extra two on school run you're doing anyway.
You know if it's too much, you could stop?
Like supervising homework - just leave them to it.
What cleaning do you do? You MUST clear up after your family, but are you cleaning their kids rooms, for example? Then stop.

1charlie1 Fri 14-Dec-12 08:52:45

Agree with SomersetONeil. YANBU.
I would feel exactly the same as the OP. BIL and SIL are taking the piss. (They know they're onto a good wicket, as evidenced by them asking OP and family to stay for longer!) OP's DH is leading his same old life. OP on the other hand has just seen her workload doubled. And I think the fact that it is her DH's family is also relevant.
CoolaYuleA, I appreciate the difficulties of your situation. It does sound like your world's turned upside down! But I wonder how much more powerless you would feel if you were doing all that you now do in the house of your MIL, rather than your DM? I think the fact that the OP is doing this in the house of her ILs is relevant to her feelings of being exploited as well.
Maybe I'm just not very nice, but I would resent being in the OP's situation much more if I was living with my ILs than with a member of my own family!

cory Fri 14-Dec-12 09:03:14

OP, I think you could help yourself by taking a deep breath and reflect on the fact that:

Your SIL didn't have to take you in.

You didn't have to go.

The alternatives might have been very very inconvenient, but most people wouldn't have relatives with large houses, so they would have to make their own arrangements.

You seem to think someone owes it to you to come up with a solution to your housing problems that means you don't have to change your lifestyle at all.

The fact is, noone owes you anything: adults are generally expected to solve their own problems.

Your SIL is offering you a deal, and it seems a better deal than any others on offer. If you don't think so, then don't take it, but sort out something better.

FergusSingsTheBlues Fri 14-Dec-12 09:11:58

Go and get a job then move put if its that awful. Lets be honest here, being a sahm does afford you a certain amount of freedom because you can spend that eight hours a day planning and preparing the evening bottle neck.

And why should her husband be pitching in? He's also at work all day!

LtXmasEve Fri 14-Dec-12 09:21:23

We live a good distance from both my parents and PILs. Whenever we go to visit I take over all the cooking and cleaning, and DH takes over all the 'broken and needing fixing' stuff. We also pay for all the food.

Last Xmas we stayed at MILs for 10 days - every night I was cooking for 6 (rather than 3) and on a few occasions for 8. On Xmas Day we cooked for 16 and Boxing Day did a buffet for about 30! Our last day with them was spent with me batch cooking and putting food in the freezer for them for when we had gone.

We do it because they are family, we miss them. They put us up, make us comfortable and don't complain about the extra 3 people (and dogs) in their home.

Their bills would go up simply because we are there, we pay back in the best way we can rather than cold hard cash.

OP I really think you need to take another look at this. Your ILs are doing you a favour and surely saving you money? Is that not worth sucking up a bit of stress? This time next week you'll probably be back in your own home - asking for help in the home you are staying in rent free in the meantime isn't a lot after all.

SpecialAgentKat Fri 14-Dec-12 09:22:46

Why should she be helping her BIL's children do their homework whil BIL and SIL rest their feet up? confused

That isn't her place and it's not a SAHP thing.

diddl Fri 14-Dec-12 09:23:31

"And why should her husband be pitching in? He's also at work all day!"

Because he pitches in at home??

cory Fri 14-Dec-12 09:24:15

1charlie, I too can understand that the OPs situation is stressful.

But as for resenting having been put in this situation- the SIL and BIL didn't actually kidnap her and force her to stay in their house, did they? If she is in a situation where there seemed no other alternative, that isn't actually her ILs fault. She is no worse off than if they had said "no, we're afraid this is not convenient, you will have to sort out other accommodation".

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Fri 14-Dec-12 09:31:34

You are possibly the most unreasonable poster I have ever seen! shock

You expect her to get up in the morning and take ALL children to school while you stay home on your bum?

Then you expect her to pick all children up from school to come home and cook after work?

While you have had a whole day doing nothing in her house? Where you live for FREE?

You sound entitled, lazy and spoilt.

Holy cow, I am glad you are not my sister in law.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 14-Dec-12 09:44:09

Quint there is no suggestion that the OP is expecting her SIL to do the school run.


I don't think you should be expected to supervise homework of other children, and I think it is harsh that there is no heating on for you during the day when you are paying for all the food shopping.

Yes of course you should be helping out, and it doesn't sound unreasonable that you should be cooking the dinner seeing as you are the one at home.

The fact that they want you to stay for longer makes me think that they are getting a good deal out of you though. If you really were an imposition they would be desperate to get rid of you.

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Fri 14-Dec-12 09:45:14

So, the OP is then expecting that she and the SIL go together?

FergusSingsTheBlues Fri 14-Dec-12 09:45:35

When i was sahm, i certainly didnt expect my husband to do "extra" if we had guests. Jesus, 8 hours a day? You could spend at least half the day on your ass and still have time to get it all done.

But i imagine id be working if I had that much free time.

SantasComingEarlyHisSackIsFull Fri 14-Dec-12 09:47:00

She doesn't expect anyone to do it, OP is expected to do it. I call myself a SAHM, but work 15 hours a week. Housework is a drag. To this end, I hope to be going back to uni next year with a view to getting a proper job, so I am not making everyone sandwiches, tidying clothes away, wiping arses etc when they are teenagers. I love the kids, but I hate doing the homework with them. DH (more than full time worker)mainly does it with them. I do other stuff. If housework is not your thing, and it suddenly increases, under pressure, in someone else's home, that is going to be difficult. OP has stated that she has done it all, uncomplainingly in RL. She is just venting on here. That is one pressurised environment OP. I do hope you are only cooking one evening meal and not catering to individual tastes.

Go and put a gun up the builder's arse today. You need out. You need space.

1charlie1 Fri 14-Dec-12 09:48:23

cory, you are quite right. It would have been much better to sort out expectations and responsibilities before moving in. And I think it IS reasonable to take the kids to school and cooks an evening meal. But even if this is the best deal going (which it clearly is, unless OP can afford a long stay in a B&B) I guess it feels to the OP that she is the one making the entire labour contribution on behalf of her family. Hence her frustration. Her DH would be at work anyway, regardless of where he lays his head at night! His domestic life hasn't been inconvienced at all.
OP just sounds a bit exhausted with it all. But needs must, for a roof over one's head.

LtXmasEve Fri 14-Dec-12 09:48:59

I've just realised something - the kids are PRIMARY school age. How hard is their homework likely to be? How hard is it to supervise? DD gets a fair whack of homework, but it's no more than an hour (and thats with faffing about time included)

As for the heating - If you are busy in the home during the day, and not just sitting on the sofa why do you need the heating on?

If you are not busy in the home during the day, then why are you complaining about the evening rush?

SantasComingEarlyHisSackIsFull Fri 14-Dec-12 09:50:36

It is winter. She is cold. She needs the heating on. I do, jumper or not. It is miserable being in a cold house.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 14-Dec-12 09:51:07

No I don't read that in her post. But it is the SILs responsibility as their parent to make sure that the nieces are ready to leave on time - and not make the OP late to drop off her own children.

Quint I'm surprised at you. For someone who seems to be regularly put upon by her family to be so unsupportive of a poster who feels in the same position...

QuietNinjaChristmasSpecial Fri 14-Dec-12 09:53:59

I feel a bit sorry for op. yes it's fair to help out while they stay there but all the housework for 4 adults and however many dc? While her sil sits on her bum. She's helping her sil kids with homework? Since when was that part of the deal when she became a sahm? She's just said she has voluntary commitments too so she has to fit everything in wit that included.
Op put the heating on, it's freezing you shouldn't be cold. Do the minimum housework each day, bit of tidying, washing up and then everyone can pitch in o the weekend. 4 adults can clean a house in no time. Cooking is fair enough if you're the Only one home but when the kids are home tell sil kids to go to her for homework help as you are help g your own kids.

QuietNinjaChristmasSpecial Fri 14-Dec-12 09:57:12

Why do people think she's doing nothing? She's said she's doing all the cooking, cleaning and school runs, helping all the kids (why the fuck her sil isn't doing it) with homework and voluntary work. And half of you are saying she should be cold while she does it? What a lovely bunch you are!

HeathRobinson Fri 14-Dec-12 10:02:16

I feel for you, op. You sound really unhappy.

In your situation I would be moving home, building work finished or not.

LtXmasEve Fri 14-Dec-12 10:04:01

If OP is doing "all the cooking, cleaning and school runs" why is she feeling so cold? Hoovering, cleaning bathrooms, dusting etc all get the blood pumping.

Doesn't the voluntary work take place outside the home? So she should be warmer there.

Why is the cooking being left until the evening, when it could be made during the day? Getting the oven on warms up the home in no time.

Why is Primary School homework so hard to supervise? It's aimed at under 11s

I'm afraid I think the OP is being a bit drama-queenish about this, and the sooner she moves into a hotel or back into her own house the better for all concerned. It would be a great shame to fall out with family over something this small.

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Fri 14-Dec-12 10:09:37

If OP is at the brink of tears, she must speak ASAP to SIL and DH, and I would add her GP.

It is not about rational arguments here.

Depression makes normal daily chores unbearable and seemingly impossible.

OP - get talking to someone in RL. What you describe ticks a few depression boxes. It can be overcome if addressed.

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Fri 14-Dec-12 10:09:39

You are right alibaba.

But I get the feeling from the OP that she is resentful that she has to do anything at all out of the ordinary. She is quite happy to take her own children to and from school, and happy to cook for 4 not 8. I dont quite see the problem
When I go to my dad, and we all meet for Christmas, I cook for 8, it is a given.

The only thing which is unreasonable is helping the sils children with their homework. Does she really have to? At certain ages they should be let to get on with it on their own.

I wouldn't have a problem taking/picking up from school or doing house work but why is the sil going for a rest when she gets in from work? Surly that's just taking the piss

LtXmasEve Fri 14-Dec-12 10:17:01

If OP is at the brink of tears, she must speak ASAP to SIL and DH, and I would add her GP

It is not about rational arguments here. Depression makes normal daily chores unbearable and seemingly impossible

No, you are quite right FrequentFlyer, and if that is the case OP, then I apologise.

I think I read too much into the sneery tone of the OP - and felt it was more about her not liking her SIL than anything else.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 14-Dec-12 10:22:30

I read it that it is the other children that the OP is struggling with rather than the household tasks.

All you who say that the OP is BU, would you behave like the SIL? Expect your SIL to pay for food shopping, take your kids to after school activities, do all the cooking and housework, supervise homework, deal with morning school run chaos while you worked part-time and then came home to rest upstairs and ignore you own children?

The OP hasn't been massively diplomatic on this thread, but she seems at the end of her tether. And far better to rant here than in RL.

honeytea - working with children and having your own is worlds apart. With parenting it is the relentlessness of it that drives you to the brink on occasion, because you can never walk away. I really wouldn't judge the OP until you have walked in her shoes.

HeathRobinson Fri 14-Dec-12 10:23:02

I bet sil will miss having her 'wife' when the op returns home.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 14-Dec-12 10:24:54

heath - quite.

dinkystinky Fri 14-Dec-12 10:42:09

OP - go see your builders. Tell then you expect heat and electricity, house sealed against cold and able for you, DH and two children to move back in by the end of next week. If not, then start imposing penalties.

I get you are in a difficult position which is not of your making (as its entirely down to the builders cock up), but make the most of it if you can. Doing the school run, shopping, cleaning and cooking (all of which you'd be doing anyway) isnt a big thing - doing their kids homework with them is something you wouldnt do ordinarily so I'd raise it with SIL/BIL if you're unhappy doing it.

diddl Fri 14-Dec-12 12:28:33

"I bet sil will miss having her 'wife' when the op returns home."

Perhaps SIL is secretely sabotaging the work.grin

CaptainVonTrapp Fri 14-Dec-12 13:37:25

I bet your SIL has suggested you stay longer!!! I'd love to have a 'wife' while I put my feet up with the newspaper and a glass of wine...

honeytea Fri 14-Dec-12 15:26:16

honeytea - working with children and having your own is worlds apart. With parenting it is the relentlessness of it that drives you to the brink on occasion, because you can never walk away. I really wouldn't judge the OP until you have walked in her shoes. She hasn't got a problem with her own kids she has a problem with her DN's. I wouldn't say oh get over yourself it is easy being a parent because I have not been a parent but I have looked after other people's kids which is what OP is moaning about.

JingleBellsRawSharkSmells Fri 14-Dec-12 15:57:04

What you have failed to mention and is vitally important to how welcome you feel in her house is really whether SIL makes you take your shoes off.

It sounds like you are doing everything OP - from getting her kids ready to bedtime. Even if you get time to yourself during the day after doing cleaning and studying and prepping cooking for 8 I can see you would feel put upon. BUt there has been much comment on that already - hope you get back to normal soon

Having lived with family (my own and xh's) I read the op with sympathy for her.

I lost sympathy a bit when she started being snippy with other posters and going on about working mothers but I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume this is a symptom of how stressed she is feeling.

Living in someone else's home is hard. Its stressful. I know I massively lost perspective of what was reasonable and not when I did it.

It is also stressful having others live in your home. Not having any privacy. Not being able to shut the door on the rest of the world and just be your own little unit. I suspect this is why sil is going for a rest - just to recharge and unwind after work in a bit of solitude.

I think it is fair that the op is doing the school run, shopping, cooking etc. However bil/sil should be getting their own children up and ready for school and ensuring they do not make op and her children late. They should also be responsible for supervising their own children's homework. Op should be allowed time to focus on her own children without always having two extras.

All other adults should pitch in when at home. If one is cooking another can supervise homework at the same time. One can wash up while another gets children ready for bed. This way nobody feels resentful for having to do everything or for still having 5 or 6 things ahead of them to do while someone else is sat down watching telly.

I can't imagine anyone actually wanting others in their home for an extended amount of time, are you sure sil wasn't just being polite and making sure you knew you were welcome?

Just remind yourself it isn't forever op.

CoolaYuleA Fri 14-Dec-12 17:26:42

1charlie1 - you'd rather live with your DM for anything between 3-9 months whilst you find somewhere to live than stay with your ILs for 2 weeks and then go back to your own home?

Erm ok.

I love my Mum to bits, but living with anyone when you are used to having your own space is complicated and as much as I love my Mum, if it came down to 3-9 months here with her, or 2 weeks with my ILs, then I'd choose 2 weeks of ILs over 12 -36 weeks with a member of my own family. No matter how much I love them. And I wouldn't feel more or less powerless doing these things there, because IMO when someone takes you in then you do anything you can to help them out. Particularly for a whole two weeks.

I see the point you are trying to make - but my DH is here with us, so he is living with his MIL for up to 9 months.... and he is undertaking all manner of DIY jobs that my Mum is physically unable to do, after working all day and doesn't feel even slightly "exploited" (seriously?!). He actually appreciates what my Mum has done for us and loves her, he not only volunteers to do the things that obviously need doing, but is also doing preventative jobs to make my DM's life easier.

So whilst I see your point, IME, and in DH's - I have to disagree.

Ghanagirl Fri 14-Dec-12 17:50:06

Okay, sorry if I offended anyone I wrote post in bed after having my normally quite reasonable 5 year old twins screaming hysterically because they couldn't stay up and watch tv with cousins, I don't resent doing the school run ibalways do it but I find it difficult trying to get them all ready in morning as older two stay up late and then can't wake up, they are always late for school and maybe I'm being uptight but hate being late, my sister in law has said I'm making her life easier because she doesn't have to rush home, but I find it difficult to supervise 4 lots of reading and homework, tried getting oldest niece to help little ones but she won't, I have accommodated her family in the past as I said and at that time we had no kids I was working full-time and I still helped her with her two and we shared cooking, I'm not being a bitch I was just shattered yesterday with various commitments plus school run and after school activities, I know she is tired and stressed too so I haven't complained to her just vented on mumsnet

cory Fri 14-Dec-12 18:59:30

Hope things sort themselves out soon so you can get back into your own house, OP.

Scholes34 Fri 14-Dec-12 19:15:17

OP obviously has issued with her SIL. I'm sure everything on both sides is slightly exaggerated here. Be thankful, OP, that you'll be off back to your own home soon. As hard as it is living with someone else, it's difficult having extra bodies in the house.

Mayisout Fri 14-Dec-12 19:24:50

Could you take your 2 to school then go back for late pair. They might be later then but are late anyway.

And ignore DNs homework. The few weeks you spend with them won't transform their normal sloppily supervised homework so not worth you getting stressed over.

And get takeaways a couple of times a week. And get DH home earlier whilst you live there - where is he whilst tantrums are going on?

rainrainandmorerain Fri 14-Dec-12 19:55:17

Coming back to this thread - unless I've skip read, then there's something huge missing here.


What is SIL's partner doing? And OP, I know you have described your husband' long working hours - but is he around at the weekend? And is he aware of how you feel about your situation?

CaliforniaSucksSnowballs Fri 14-Dec-12 20:00:17

You really should talk to your SIL about the kids getting ready in the morning. I'd ask her to get her own kids ready to go on time as you need to leave and get to school on time.

Fecklessdizzy Fri 14-Dec-12 21:20:59

Try not hassleing late nieces and just go without them if they aren't ready on time - works with constantly stick-in-the-mud nephew ( he likes all the drama and attention of being chivvied! hmm )

Ghanagirl Sat 15-Dec-12 09:33:19

5 more dayssmile

GobblersSparklyExplodingKnob Sat 15-Dec-12 09:48:06

I'm with Fecklessdizzy, let them know what time you are leaving in the morning, wake them once and remind them, then if they are not ready just go. Also I would sit down with mine to do their homework and inform the others that you are now available if they need help and how long you will be available for, but I woudn't be over supervising them, they are not your responsibility.

Just cook something simple in the day while everyone is out.

knackeredoutmum Sat 15-Dec-12 10:50:37

op, I am a stay at home Mum, and I think school runs, paying for food for the whole household and cooking and evening cleaning are a fairly equivalent and fair swap for free accommodation/bills and the gross inconvenience of loss of privacy and having four extra people living in you house.

It might have worked better if your husband and his wife/brother (whichever it is) had a chat about roles and responsibilities before you moved in (maybe he did but just hasnt told you??).

You just have to suck it up and I think it would be really really ungracious of you to show any sign of being fed up, or feeling taken advantage of

clam Sat 15-Dec-12 11:12:57

ghanagirl I think you've had a hard time on here.
Come on, people, it's the run-up to Christmas. Most of us are stressed up to the eyeballs without factoring in builders, an uninhabitable house, staying with ILs, double the workload of kids/cooking/cleaning etc...
As ghana said, she came on here to vent. I'm sure she's being gracious to her SIL's face.

And as you said, 5 more days builders' speak for 2 months

DontmindifIdo Sat 15-Dec-12 11:18:56

Can you not move back into the house while the builders work round you? How bad is it at home?

nurseneedshelp Sat 15-Dec-12 11:24:48

Is this a joke?? I think u need to be grateful that they're letting u all stay there! I'm sure it's really cramped, why should your sil time home from work and do all the hard work whilst you've been sat on your arse all day? Get a grip!

cheeseandpineapple Sat 15-Dec-12 12:10:04

SIL, BIL and your DH are all taking the piss.

If my brother and family had to come and stay beyond a couple of days, I would not expect my SIL to get my kids ready, do homework with them and do all housework, shopping and cooking.

Those of you giving the OP a hard time, would you totally abdicate responsibility for your children and expect your sahm SIL to do everything just because you're helping them out?

Thought not. Even if you're doing a favour, it would be pretty crass to expect all that and I think most people here are a little more reasonable than that. I work flexible hours so if I don't have someone doing that for me, I do it myself normally. And whilst it would be great to have someone do the school runs, the rest I'd definitely be doing my bit and not expect my guests to feel obligated to provide nanny and maid services just because we're putting them up for a few nights.

And for those saying just double the recipe. Really? That simple? Imagine having a family of 4 over for dinner or lunch. Imagine the prepping and planning to have something that 8 of you can eat at the same time, something that young kids and grown ups all want to eat. Now imagine doing that for a few nights.

I'd find it a hassle if I wasn't getting any help from any of the grown ups and I'm pretty adept at having guests for long periods -being expats, people come and stay for quite long periods.

But, OP, this is as much about your DH chipping in as your SIL.

As for the heating, stick it on. I was in the UK this week and it was fucking freezing even with the heating on and made me feel like staying in bed all day!

Suzieismyname Sat 15-Dec-12 12:56:48

yanbu to be stressed to hell about living with the inlaws. Fortunately I live too far away from mine to make this viable during a normal working/school week.
However yabu to expect not to have to help out your in laws in return for free rent.
Sounds like you are trying too hard to get your DNs to behave about getting to school on time and doing homework. Tell your SIL that if they're not ready by 8.30 (or whatever time you need to leave) that you're going without them. They are her children and her problem.
I hope you manage to get back home before Xmas, try to keep the thought if your lovely updated house in mind so you don't gey too down.
I've been flamed on AIBU before (and have namechanged since) about something I still find revolting, but everyone has different opinions

Ghanagirl Sat 15-Dec-12 18:32:31

nurseneedshelp as I explained I'm not "sitting on my arse" I'm doing all cooking cleaning school run paying for food, helping with homework and droping to activities! As a mum do you think it's reasonable to abdicate all responsibilities to someone else? Even if you have a live in nanny surely you take over when you get home, luckily house not cramped as she has large apartment in loft, I really don't mind school run cooking but find it hard to get her two ready on time as they go to bed late plus lot of moaning about food they have packed lunch as they don't like (healthy international cuisine) whereas my two have school meals it's just confusing and draining but I haven't complained to SIL and have just made them dinner although oldest daughter just complained they are " not really curry people"!

Bobyan Sat 15-Dec-12 18:36:26

You pay your money (or not in this case) and take your choice...

LittleBairn Sat 15-Dec-12 19:49:02

I think it's a fair split tbh you are 4 people living in her house you are contributing to the morgage so cooking, cleaning etc is the least you can do.

magoosmom Sat 15-Dec-12 20:23:45

I think you are in a very hard situation OP. Your SIL is taking the piss, if my ILs were staying with me I would not expect them to take over and do everything in return for us letting them stay. If they paid for half the food I would be grateful, certainly won't expect them to pay for it all and do all the household tasks. YANBU. I feel sorry for you, you have been given a really hard time on here. Good luck.

maddening Sat 15-Dec-12 21:58:27

It should be slightly easier for sil though -it is pay off for letting you stay over Christmas and the run up to it - which is hectic at the best if times.

GreatCongas Sat 15-Dec-12 22:39:59

The phrase grin and bear it springs to mind. You only moved in last week, you're moving out next week. You may or may not be doing more than your share, I don't think your are, but its really not for long. Just bear with it.

SpecialAgentKat Sat 15-Dec-12 23:20:34

Ghanagirl, I just wanted to give you a big hug. I think your family is massively taking the piss and you're getting a hard time on here.

On the home stretch now but! Then you can collapse and DH can do his bloody share in your new home! grin

Ghanagirl Sun 16-Dec-12 09:40:21

Thanks SpecialAgentKat, the only thing I can say in DH is defence is that he has been going straight to our house to try and chivvy along builders placate our next door neighbours and he is currently doing homework with twins! And as for everyone who thinks I'm being lazy I'm not I'm stick thin not from dieting but because I'm always on the go I've made breakfast for all kids plus me and DH so SIL and BIL are having a lie in

Ghanagirl Sun 16-Dec-12 09:41:53

Thanks cheeseandpineapple

MadBanners Sun 16-Dec-12 09:43:42

No one would put up with their DH coming home from work and then doing pot all around the house, or at least not without feeling resentful. They are not staying there rent free, they are contributing, if they are paying for all food, which for 4 adults and 4 children wont be a small amount tbh!

There are 3 adults taking the piss here, and the SIL works part time, so what is she doing on her days off?

Sil and BIL may be doing a favour, but does not mean OP is to feel so grateful they can walk all over her.

She should not be having to deal with getting all the children to do homework, that is their parents job.

Just because you have family to stay does not mean you get to stop all parenting and household jobs and responsibilities yourself, which is what seems to have happened.

The SIL get home from work, and pops off to have a rest, leaving OP to deal with 4 kids having to do homework, and if she is doing all the cooking, presumably starting dinner for everyone. How anyone can be accusing the OP of wanting to be lazy here is beyond me.

People who work part time may still work every day.

Judging by the OP's snappiness on this thread I think a large part of the trouble is that the sil is trying to keep away from her not the kids. I think for a sahm staying there for free, a bit of childcare and cooking is fair enough.

MadBanners Sun 16-Dec-12 10:04:31

True enough, I think I am feeling a bit snappy though, as since I became a SAHM (because we moved country and I want my fecking old life back thank you very much) Dh does nadda, he will eat at his laptop, and it seems to me that even taking his own fecking plate to the kitchen is beyond him!

However, OP is paying for all food, so not completely free, and I still think the other 3 adults are taking the piss somewhat! Not just SIL, but there are 4 adults in that house!

BsshBossh Sun 16-Dec-12 10:38:58

SIL's children sound a bit of a handful (perhaps due to their own parents' lack of involvement or interest in their lives?) so I can see how stressful this is for you OP.

Tanith Sun 16-Dec-12 10:44:50

I agree with MadBanners.
I can't help comparing this situation with the "leave the bastard!" threads that crop up from time to time about DHs that expect their wives to do everything and don't lift a finger just because the wife is a SAHM.

The OP is not a slave and shouldn't be treated as one. Do you know, if she were an employee, expected to do all cooking, all cleaning, all childcare while her employers wouldn't even allow her heating, there'd be none of this "you're living rent free" or "the housework will keep you warm": there'd be outrage!
The OP isn't an employee; she's family. I'd be ashamed to treat my SIL the way the OP is being treated.

Ghanagirl Sun 16-Dec-12 20:09:07

Northernlurker, have you read my posts SIL actually wants us to stay longer as she said it makes her life easier!
Her kids are a handful because both parents mum especially finds it easier to not be around them, apparently prior to us moving in she ropes in other mums at school to pick them up and drop them at activities (I usually do one day) and she works 9-3 3 days a week.

Ghanagirl Mon 24-Dec-12 13:24:06

Thanks all those who posted positive comments, we moved back to our house, still needs work but much preferable to living with SIL merry Christmas!

Greensleeves Mon 24-Dec-12 13:27:25

Great news Ghanagirl, now put your feet up, give your arse a chance and have a lovely, unfraught, unstressful Christmas! grin

wine flowers

Laquitar Mon 24-Dec-12 13:41:48

4 extra people in the house cost a lot even if you buy your food. Extra baths, w/m, dryer, oven, kettle etc. Electricity is not free.
Let alone the noise and luck of privacy.

Imo its fair to help and this has nothing to do with being SAHM.

SantasComingEarlyHisSackIsFull Mon 24-Dec-12 15:55:47

Phew! Laqitar, the thread has moved on. Thank goodness you are not having to slave away in someone else's house over Christmas. Your were doing far too much there. Take it easy now OP. Happy Christmas.

AgentZigzagHasABigYuleLog Mon 24-Dec-12 16:01:40

Nice one smile

Have a fantastic, and relaxing, Christmas x

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