to think mother in law should be more helpful?

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

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

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

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

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

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

soverytiredofthis Sun 03-Feb-13 16:45:25

OH and she never babysat, we got a friend to do it.

AngelWreakinHavoc Sun 03-Feb-13 16:48:30

I think if you wanted her to babysit then asking you to be back by midnight was fair enough tbh.

Whydobabiescry Sun 03-Feb-13 16:51:04

Tbh I wouldn't want to babysit if I was executed to stay much after midnight, regardless of whether the child had epilepsy or not. Presumably they are older and sitting up half the night in someone else's house isn't much fun. When our parents (both sets) babysit we always try to be home before 12, when our youngest is a bit older they will stay over but she's only 6 mo so bit young for a sleepover.

Whydobabiescry Sun 03-Feb-13 16:51:29


rainrainandmorerain Sun 03-Feb-13 16:51:41

It sounds frustrating.... but I know my mother and mil would not agree to babysit beyond midnight for us, as while they are pretty helpful,they are elderly and don't like being up late at all. Esp if they have to travel to get home again.

This is the problem with getting family to help with children. To a large extent, when you are paying someone else, you can dictate/agree terms more easily. With family it often seems to be loaded with conditions and trouble.

It might be an idea to see if would be happy to babysit at other times i.e during the daytime, at a weekend, to give you some time off? Or would they be happier with children at their house?

Otherwise you are looking at inlaws who do not want to babysit, sorry. Frustrating, but they don't have to...

BambieO Sun 03-Feb-13 16:52:34

I disagree, I think families help where they can and one late night in 3 years isn't much to ask of family. Most MILs I read about here would give their right arm to spend time with their GC.

Would they have been able to stay overnight? Was that their reason for the curfew?

CailinDana Sun 03-Feb-13 16:52:59

YABU. They are under no obligation to babysit. They clearly don't want to do it and are putting conditions on it because they'd rather not but feel obligated. YANBU to hope parents will help you out with your children but it's not their duty. Don't bother asking in future.

BTW why do you say "mother in law" in the title - is your FIL willing to let you stay out later?

exoticfruits Sun 03-Feb-13 16:53:20

Why not get them to stay over night? Time drags after midnight if you are just waiting for someone to get back.

soverytiredofthis Sun 03-Feb-13 16:53:22

we were expecting to be back by 12pm TBH but because she was complaining about it straightaway and because it was a family thing I couldn't be entirely sure we would be back by then so didn't want to leave them waiting on us

BeebiesQueen Sun 03-Feb-13 16:55:06

She agreed to baby sit if you were home by midnight? My mil wont baby sit, I'd bite her arm off, a night out is a night out!

I honestly don't see what your problem is?

noblegiraffe Sun 03-Feb-13 16:56:48

They're doing you a favour and midnight is a perfectly reasonable time to want you back.

soverytiredofthis Sun 03-Feb-13 16:57:57

FIL is never the problem, he does whatever she wants him to regardless of what that is or how tired he might be.

They look after their other GC every single sunday even on Father's day so I didn't think it was much to ask TBH.

Unfortunately there is nowhere for them stay overnight here and they live 10 mins drive from our house.

rainrainandmorerain Sun 03-Feb-13 16:58:41

I think too that not only is midnight very late for most older people.... but I don't think I would ask anyone to babysit without saying exactly what time we were going to be back. Asking my mum or mil to sit up and telling them I wasn't sure when I'd be back but sometime in the early hours of the morning would be a total no go.

BigPantyGirl Sun 03-Feb-13 16:59:09

No YANBU! Yes it is very nice of anyone to babysit, but not so much when they moan and complain before they've even done it, and possibly ruin your evening anyway.
I have no family nearby who can babysit for me, but your mil sounds a whinging pain in the arse!
Hope you enjoyed your night out smile

soverytiredofthis Sun 03-Feb-13 17:00:32

yes we did thanks BigPantyGirl and we were back just after 12pm!!!! smile

rainrainandmorerain Sun 03-Feb-13 17:00:42

x post - if they look after other gc regularly, is this during the day (if it is a sunday?). If so then it sounds like trying to find daytimes when they can babysit would be better.

allnewtaketwo Sun 03-Feb-13 17:01:34

We have to be home at 10pm when MIL babysits ( I.e. Each of the 2 times in 4 years)

Sorry but I agree with the others. She was happy to babysit. Midnight is not unreasonable by the time she travels home after as well, she probably won't be in bed before 1 herself.

Pagwatch Sun 03-Feb-13 17:02:22

I can understand your frustration but I think you are being overly negative really.

Offering to babysit up to midnight is not really unhelpful.
It's annoyed you that she went on about it but perhaps she just wanted to make sure she was really heard.

But you feel let down which is understandable. I would just let it go. If she had said 'no. We are busy' you would be more reasonable to complain

rainrainandmorerain Sun 03-Feb-13 17:03:20

I admit, I am biased here - i had to stop asking my mum to do childcare during the day to help me out so I could work, because she kept agreeing to do various days/times - then letting me down at the last minute, or turning up and simply announcing she would only stay for 3 hours rather than 6.

This screwed my work up no end, and I had to stop. I'd rather she said upfront what she was/wasn't happy to do!

CatsRule Sun 03-Feb-13 17:03:35

I don't think asking for help twice in 3 1/2 years is unreasonable but like someone said nobody is obliged to babysit.

Be careful though for what you wish mil has been in a hormonal strop for the past 11 months because I am my sons mother and not her! The first strop was when he was days old which consisted of a cats bum mouth, folded arms, glares and "when um a huvin a shot?" translated that means when am I having a shot!

She is the other end of the scale but equally not good!

Your inlaws have been through, not just the difficulties of childrearing, but of having children with epilepsy so I would have expected them, anyone not just inlaws, to be a little more understanding.

I could see their point if you asked for babysitting every second weekend but since this is not the case then yanbu.

soverytiredofthis Sun 03-Feb-13 17:03:36

Yes during the day on Sundays. Last time she came over and visited with GC she complained that DD was hurting her knee (even though she insisted on DD sitting on her lap).

She then complained about the noisy of DD's toys and how many she had etc

So I am very reluctant to leave her with DD during day plus other GC always comes first.

Sirzy Sun 03-Feb-13 17:04:40

So they agreed to babysit but requested you to be back at a reasonable time. Whats the problem? I wouldn't be happy babysitting past midnight, I like to go to bed way before then!

soverytiredofthis Sun 03-Feb-13 17:06:08


VinegarDrinker Sun 03-Feb-13 17:06:40

I wouldn't ask any unpaid family babysitter to stay that late.

Mother2many Sun 03-Feb-13 17:07:38

OP, there is nothing you can do... I had a MIL that was like that too, Heck still do! even if she is an XMIL...does nothing with the children. When I was married we lived less than a block from her, and she wouldn't take the kids ever. I even gave her a calender of when SS was coming, because that was a good excuse for her... NOPE...

It's been almost 8 yrs since her dear son and I have parted, and she has never as much as came to see the kids at a Christmas concert! I facebooked her (how I am still on there is beyond me) and told her if she ever wants to take the kids on HER TIME she I know her schedule is very busy...


Sooo, it is very frustrating...and can sure get you angry...but not much you can do dear!

DontEvenThinkAboutIt Sun 03-Feb-13 17:08:17

I think YABU. Midnight is late enough. There is no law saying parents and PIL are obliged to babysit. Do you do favours for them? Why don't you offer o do some gardening or decorating in return?
Are you sure you can't find a babysitter?. Perhaps you could use someone older?

thebody Sun 03-Feb-13 17:09:51

They arnt obliged to babysit though are they? Don't bland the insisting on midnight as that's late especially on a winters night.

Want2bSupermum Sun 03-Feb-13 17:11:01

Until now we have relied on family who have visited us to babysit while we go out. We are never home past 10pm. We have now found a fab babysitter who we trust. She works 50 hours a week at the local daycare center. It would be cruel for us to be out until midnight as she would be getting into bed by about 1am.

All your DH had to do was ask his mother if 10pm would be an acceptable time for you returning. If not moving it forward to 8 or 9pm still allows you and your DH to have a great time.

ArkadyRose Sun 03-Feb-13 17:11:51

YABU. Parents/in-laws are not obliged to babysit at all, and have every right to set a limit on how late they are prepared to stay. Be thankful that they were willing to do it at all! And if you were able to get someone else to babysit instead, the answer is obvious - don't bother asking the in-laws in future.

Tanith Sun 03-Feb-13 17:12:05

Requesting to be back before midnight is fair enough, but it sounds like this granny nagged on and on about it.
Coupled with her moaning and complaining the only other time she babysat. I would take the hint and never ask her to babysit again.

VinegarDrinker Sun 03-Feb-13 17:12:38

I think you are cutting off your nose to spite your face. You are missing out on a rare night out. What do you want to do that you can't be home by midnight?

BackforGood Sun 03-Feb-13 17:21:39

YABU, and, as Vinegar says, cutting off your nose to spite your face. I think it's perfectly reasonable to expect people to be back by midnight if Grandparents or anyone else are babysitting. Most people adjust their "going out" expectations once they are parents.

natsmum100 Sun 03-Feb-13 17:22:14

I feel your pain. In my case, it is my own DM. She has the other GC at least one night a week, but it's not convenient to have mine. It is 4 year since I asked her to babysit. I will not ask again. Guess who will be caring for her in her dotage. Clue - it won't be me!!

natsmum100 Sun 03-Feb-13 17:23:16

Forgot to mention - YANBU. Grandparents do not have to babysit, but at least be fair.

bootsycollins Sun 03-Feb-13 17:29:49

YANBU. She's made it obvious that she doesn't want to babysit, her loss but she doesn't sound like she's very interested in enjoying quality time with the kids or that she'd make any effort to make it fun for the kids. Some people are just miserable buggers "I've brought up my kids blah blah" like they've done their time and won't be helping anyone else out, it's 1 evening ffs. I've got so many fond memories of time spent with my Grandmas, they are my bench mark for the kind of grandma I want to be one day.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Sun 03-Feb-13 17:36:57

I really don't think the issue is that the pil want them back by midnight, but that after being asked for the first time in ages they just started instantly moaning and making it sound like it was a huge inconvenience to them, just as they moaned the one other time they babysat.

I would imagine that all the op and her dh were hoping for was some enthusiasm.

Not sure how other posters have missed that! confused

simplesusan Sun 03-Feb-13 17:38:30

I think the op sees her mil looking after other grandchildren every week yet moaning when she does it once a year for her.

YANBU she sounds like a moaner.

bootsycollins Sun 03-Feb-13 17:38:32

I know it's pretty clear if you read it properly grr

bootsycollins Sun 03-Feb-13 17:39:22

Someone's gonna use the entitled word any minute grin

BackforGood Sun 03-Feb-13 17:40:22

Well, can't speak for anyone else, but I didn't 'miss that', I just understand that not everyone thinks "Oh goodie" when asked to babysit. I certainly don't. I babysit for people in order to help them out, because I appreciated people doing it for me when I needed sitters, not because it's some sort of 'night out' for me. Not sure why that's difficult to understand.

Sirzy Sun 03-Feb-13 17:40:28

But has the OP asked them to look after her child during the day? Some people, especially older people don't like to be out in an evening.

Also you have to consider why they are looking after them - is it so parents can work because that makes it different to a night out situation.

You have to compare like with like.

firesidechat Sun 03-Feb-13 17:46:31

When I was teens/ early twenties and was regularly babysitting I hate, hate, hated it when they were back really late. Other people's houses are rather boring and there is only so much tv you can watch. Every minute after midnight felt like a lifetime.

When my children have children of their own I will probably be like your mil. I won't be able to help myself.

My children are grown up now but their grandparents have never babysat them. They never offered and that was fine.

usualsuspect Sun 03-Feb-13 17:50:37

I think some people use any excuse to moan about their Mils.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Sun 03-Feb-13 17:52:27

If they don't like being out in the evening then a normal reaction would be to say that they don't really like being out late but would be either, happy to have the child at their house so that they can just go to bed, or to say that they would love to spend one on one time with the child but perhaps they could do it during the day one time. Not moan and moan and moan about it.

That's assuming that they do want to spend time with the child but it doesn't sound like they do.

Also, the op had a family thing to go to so probably didn't have control over what time of day it was.

Its nice if family want to help you out but it my experience that's often not the case. My inlaws love helping out my bil and sil every week but mine rarely ever, despite my being in need and not having anyone else or being able to pay a babysitter. My children also had a health thing which made getting babysitters difficult. You have my sympathies op. I would suggest never bothering to ask again, and then you can't be disappointed but it sounds like you've already done that.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Sun 03-Feb-13 17:54:41

If they don't like being out in the evening then a normal reaction would be to say that they don't really like being out late but would be either, happy to have the child at their house so that they can just go to bed, or to say that they would love to spend one on one time with the child but perhaps they could do it during the day one time. Not moan and moan and moan about it.

That's assuming that they do want to spend time with the child but it doesn't sound like they do.

Also, the op had a family thing to go to so probably didn't have control over what time of day it was.

Its nice if family want to help you out but it my experience that's often not the case. My inlaws love helping out my bil and sil every week but mine rarely ever, despite my being in need and not having anyone else or being able to pay a babysitter. My children also had a health thing which made getting babysitters difficult. You have my sympathies op. I would suggest never bothering to ask again, and then you can't be disappointed but it sounds like you've already done that.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Sun 03-Feb-13 17:54:53

Oops sorry!

fuckadoodlepoopoo Sun 03-Feb-13 17:57:00

bootsycollins i can feel the build up to it!


janey68 Sun 03-Feb-13 18:00:18

It must be annoying if you feel that the grandparents are doing more for their other grandkids, and also the fact that one of your children has a medical condition is going to make you feel more anxious about childcare.

BUT - the only answer is to make other arrangements, even if it costs more and takes a bit of setting up. There is absolutely nothing to be gained from sitting at home refusing to go out and feeling resentful. Nothing.

We never had family near so from the word go had to seek out babysitters and pay handsomely for it. I don't regret it- if you can find a couple of reliable people who can get to know your dds needs and are familiar with administering meds etc then you can relax, breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy your evenings out, rather than simmering with resentment over people who can't offer what you want.

Springforward Sun 03-Feb-13 18:11:01

I wouldn't bother asking again, personally - it sounds to me like she doesn't want to, so I would just leave it there. Can't choose your family.

soverytiredofthis Sun 03-Feb-13 18:11:09

Thanks fuckadoodlepoopoo! I certainly don't feel entitled to have her babysit for free and don't think for one second that she is under any obligation to do so. This is why we ASKED them very politely to do so.

The instant DH ASKED he was met with moaning and told only if we were back by midnight. The family dinner started at 8 and was a very special occasion. We had no control over how quickly the dinner would be served etc.

We asked them because DH thought that after 2 years (after first time) they may be ok to do so.

Our DD is disabled and they have disabled older DD and so they know that we never go out.

We trust them and know that they love our DD so did not see a problem asking them.

Will not be asking them again though.

alarkthatcouldpray Sun 03-Feb-13 18:23:46

YANBU. Moaning on about it from the outset would have got my back up too. If it's any consolation my ILs are exactly the same. The last (and it will be the very last) time I asked her for help it was refused outright. I was down with whooping cough and had two vomiting DCs below the age of 4. Not sure I have ever felt so alone before .sad Then she phoned my mother who lives in another country to tell her I had lost the plot and cause her worry.

Sorry for hijack. Lack of interest in GCs really cuts me up.

diddl Sun 03-Feb-13 18:30:17

The complaining-is she generally like that?

If so, I would have paid no heed.

At the end of the day, you asked them to babysit & they did.

Albeit with complainíng (not reasonable) & wanting you home by midnight (reasonable imo)

Perhaps she needs to say no if she doesn´t want to though!

Or maybe your husband needs to say "no it´s OK then" if she starts to moan?

And I agree that babysitting is tedious-perhaps more so for GPs if the child is in bed & they aren´t even getting to spend time with them!

myBOYSareBONKERS Sun 03-Feb-13 18:31:01

What area of the country are you because in my area they have a Specialist babysitting service that is run by registered childminders who are trained in caring for those with extra needs

EndoplasmicReticulum Sun 03-Feb-13 18:33:27

I sometimes ask my parents to babysit but I would certainly aim to be back by midnight (usually we're home by 11) because I know that's way past their bedtime.

CatsRule Sun 03-Feb-13 18:40:17

DontEvenThinkAboutIt that's a good idea to offer gardening or decorating in return...but....who will the op ask to babysit her dd while she does this grin

I'm not suggesting that gps babysit for free but the op clearly doesn't go out every second weekend and doesn't ask for babysitting often.

I have only left my ds to go to work (nursery and my mum...who offered) I wouldn't leave him except for work unless, like the op, it was for a one off special occassion.

frustratedworkingmum Sun 03-Feb-13 18:42:17

where were you going that you'd be back after midnight anyway? perfectly reasonable if you ask me

Yfronts Sun 03-Feb-13 18:43:46

I couldn't babysit past midnight. Far too late. Could you let them sleep over?

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

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

Frustrated. Op has answered that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

hear hear too TCOB.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

<stops moaning>

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

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

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

rain smile sounds vaguely familiar.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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