For not wanting SIL as my babies child minder?

(70 Posts)
flossy101 Thu 28-Mar-13 15:56:33

My SIL (DH's younger sister) is a SAHM to her 3 children, aged 2, 3 and 6, her partner is a brickie by trade but he just picks up bits if work here and there, doesn't earn a steady income, and this causes issues with their benefits and they are always short of money. MIL and SIL think they have found the perfect solution to this, and it's me paying SIL to mind my baby when I go back to work after my mat leave ends

Now, MIL mentioned this before my DS (now 8.5 months) was even born, I was abit taken aback as she isn't a qualified childminder or anything like that and to be honest she struggles with her own 3 without adding another to the mix, I said I wasn't sure what hours I would be doing/long time off yet etc. They got increasingly persistent, they have made "enquiries" as to the going rate for a childminder and SIL says she will give me 10% off as "we're family" and "technically" she isn't registered. (She has no plans to register fwiw).

Now I know some people would love to leave their baby with a family member and some don't agree that nursery is the best place for a baby but I really don't want SIL looking after him, for the following reasons;

- I find her quite lazy, now I really know that having 3 kids must be hard work but she doesn't go anywhere/do anything with them 5 days a week just sits at home, going to the shop is a big mission to her, i take DS to baby groups most days and Surestart run ones for under 5s so I've suggested meeting up there but she's says it too hard to get two kids up and out, her 3 year old had a pre school place but she stopped taking him because it was too stressful having to go out at lunch time to pick him up.

They just seem to watch tv all day, and they eat crap, which is fine, but not what I want for my DS if I am paying for it!

So anyway we have been looking at nurseries and found a great one (it will be for two days a week, going back part time) and DH told mil we had paid the deposit, mil has gone quite mad saying how can we give £80 per week to a nursery when we could be giving that money to family to help them out.

I've said I'm not comfortable with the exchange of money between family, her not being registered, is this benefit fraud etc etc but they both dismiss my concerns and think I'm "over thinking" and "creating problems where there aren't any".

DH agrees its not a good idea and has told his Mum and Sister but they are mad mad mad!! His Mum has said she doesn't want to speak to us until we figure out where our loyalties lie. Argh!

Who is being unreasonable?

SneezingwakestheJesus Thu 28-Mar-13 15:59:13

YANBU, they are. Its illegal anyway but putting that aside, choosing someone to look after your dc is hard enough without family trying to pressure you into using them. Maybe you could find a way to present it more on the angle of wanting a nursery rather than a childminder so they stop making it so personal.

DefiniteMaybe Thu 28-Mar-13 15:59:34

Yanbu. I'm pretty sure it would be illegal to pay her to look after your dc without her being registered. It would be benefit fraud too if she didn't declare it.

Tailtwister Thu 28-Mar-13 16:00:14

I could be wrong, but I think as you say that she would need to be registered.

Also, it sounds as if she's got enough on her plate and tbh I wouldn't want their proposed arrangement either. If she wants to become a childminder she should register the same as everyone else and have the appropriate checks.

Stick to your guns, it's not your job to supplement their income.

Machli Thu 28-Mar-13 16:00:39

I would not do this in a million years.

hotcrosbum Thu 28-Mar-13 16:01:07

Yanbu in anyway, I would say no to that situation as well.

She would also be commiting benefit fraud. It also sounds like your ds would be much better of at a nursery.

thebody Thu 28-Mar-13 16:01:09

Your sil will be braking the law if she isn't registered as a cm.

She will have no insurance personal and business or car which you need ( ex cm).

She could be prosecuted for this and for benefit fraud.

She sounds mad.

You must be mad to even entertain the possibility of this.

Oh and your loyalties lie with your child.

Grab this get out of jail card free and break contact.

Poppet48 Thu 28-Mar-13 16:01:25

YADNBU to not want your SIL to 'child mind' No way on earth would she be looking after my DS due to not being registered, Benefit fraud and already talking to family about a payment. Don't worry about your MIL, she will soon realise how unreasonable she is being.

However, YABU to be so judgemental of how your SIL brings up her own children.

greenfolder Thu 28-Mar-13 16:03:09

your instincts are 100% right to go with nursery.

can you not smooth over by saying that you get vouchers that can only be used with registered childcare?

Wossname Thu 28-Mar-13 16:04:03

Agree with thebody, tell your mil that your loyalties lie with your baby.

flossy101 Thu 28-Mar-13 16:04:58

I don't mean to be judgemental of the way she brings her children up, just trying to put across why it's not my first choice.

She is lovely, and I feel like a cow for saying mean things. I just want to make my own childcare decisions without being made to feel guilty.

Snowyelephantshavewrinkles Thu 28-Mar-13 16:05:07

YANBU at all. Tell your MIL that your loyalty lies with your son. What they are saying is against the law.

thebody Thu 28-Mar-13 16:05:34

Errrr green!! There are many fantastic child minders as well as nurseries who are ofsted registered and just as regulated.!!

Please read child minder thread on mumsnet.

Op your sil is NOT a childminder.

cantspel Thu 28-Mar-13 16:07:52

Lie and tell her you are getting child care vouchers via your employer and they can only be used in proper registered child care.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 28-Mar-13 16:08:04

I don't blame you.

If you want to take the coward's way out, you could always say that you get childcare vouchers and they are only able to be used by nurseries or registered childminders.

That way it can't be seen as your 'fault' or you not wanting to help them out.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 28-Mar-13 16:09:22

Sorry, I see green and thebody have already said the same thing.

Cuddlydragon Thu 28-Mar-13 16:09:24

YANBU. Your loyalties do lie with your family, your own family, your child. I wouldn't want this care for my baby.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 28-Mar-13 16:09:41

cantspel, I mean.

EldritchCleavage Thu 28-Mar-13 16:09:50

Quite apart from the legalities and SIL's lack of motivation, look at the dynamics:

-you are being pressured into an arrangement. Not because it is any good for you, or your child, but because your SIL wants the money;

-you are being pressured mostly by MIL, not SIL. SIL probably doesn't even want to look after your child she's just going along with her MIL's income-generating idea;

-the minute you express doubts or assert yourselves, you and your DH are getting a full-on emotional blackmail/anger reaction from SIL and especially MIL.

How is that going to work as a childcare arrangement? Do you think you could ever take SIL to task about anything, or raise concerns, or ask for anything to be done, without getting the MIL bulldozer treatment?

Why pay SIL for something that doesn't sound as though it would be all that good, when you can pay professionals not much more to do it properly and legally? The important person here is of course your DS, not your SIL, and nothing about this suggestion sounds beneficial to him.

Yanbu. If you picked a registered childminder you could say you wanted to choose one who would go to playgroups etc and feed him certain foods but v hard to do this with a family member

MajaBiene Thu 28-Mar-13 16:12:27

I don't think does have to be registered actually as she is the baby's aunt.

But in any case, it would be a nightmare. You have differing parenting styles, and you would be constantly unhappy about your DS's care.

Definitely stick to saying no - say you need to use a registered provider and that's the end of it.

juanca Thu 28-Mar-13 16:15:57

Just say no. If MIL doesn't want to speak to you for a while, even better, let her cool off.

This has nothing to do with what's best for your child, and everything to do with money. Sad, sad, sad.

Ashoething Thu 28-Mar-13 16:16:20

I am in a similiar position op but its with a friend. She is dropping massive hints about me minding her dc when she goes back to work next year. Now she is a very good friend and has helped with my dcs-babysitting so dh and I could go for a couple of meals. But I am not happy to become her cm when I am not registered-plus I was planning on going back to college/trying to get work when my youngsest starts school.

Aahh its difficult as I want to be a good friend!-good luck op as it must be ten times worse when its family!

cantspel Thu 28-Mar-13 16:18:17

MajaBiene If the aunt is being paid to do it then she needs to be registered

VodkaRevelation Thu 28-Mar-13 16:20:13

Agree with the childcare vouchers suggestion. If you have found a good nursery you son will get a much higher level of care than your SIL appears to be offering. I wouldn't choose to leave my child with any child minder who was just in it for some extra cash!

flossy101 Thu 28-Mar-13 16:20:41

Thanks for the replies.

I have no intention of changing my mind, I do feel bad but also think they shouldn't be putting us in an awkward position. Will definitely say about the child care vouchers which is true anyway.

Preposteroushypothesis Thu 28-Mar-13 16:26:03

Haven't read the whole thread so apologise if someone has already mentioned this but you won't be entitled to any help with childcare costs from the government or to any childcare tax scheme yours or your partners work runs if you aren't using registered childcare. Whether or not you actually are entitled to these it could be a good excuse to tell mil and sil so that you don't cause any offence.

Definitely don't let them push you into this by the way, if she thinks getting 2 children out of the house is too much work then she is definitely not cut out to be a childminder!! (And I am a pregnant childminder who still goes to playgroups/outings everyday, sometimes with as many as 4 children!)

ENormaSnob Thu 28-Mar-13 16:34:15

Yanbu at all.

You loyalties are with your child.

Mil and sil need to butt the fuck out and not see your child as a cash cow.

BlueberryHill Thu 28-Mar-13 16:38:11

They are very unreasonable to pressurise you in this way. As Eldritch was saying, if this is the response if you express a wish, imagine what would happen if you specified what you would like your DC to be fed. It would be seen as a criticism and MIL would implode again. Also imagine, if you did agree to this, how difficult it would be to get out of.

Would saying that you would prefer a professional relationship with your nursery rather than potentially spoiling a relationship with a family member / would just like to see SIL for fun work as an angle? I know it is already damaged but it may work?

Oh, by the way, I would judge someone who didn't take a 3 yo to preschool because picking him up was too much hassle, especially when the alternative is sitting in front of the TV. Nothing wrong with a bit of it, but never going out? How much fun would he be missing out on?

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Thu 28-Mar-13 16:47:08

YA so so so NBU

I think you have dodged a massive bullet by saying no to this

And as for 'wah wah wah think about where your loyalties lie' I would be saying exactly the same back to them. They are making it perfectly clear that they don't give a toss about what is best for you and your child and see you as easy money so I'd tell mil to stick her sulking where the sun don't shine grin

Tell MiL to bog off and find something else to stick her beak in.

What a nightmare she sounds!

flossy101 Thu 28-Mar-13 16:59:11

She is a bit of a nightmare confused

I've said everything along the lines of not spoiling a family relationships etc but they don't take me on, it is just about the extra money for SIL and I see so so many problems, not just with our different parenting styles.

MajaBiene Thu 28-Mar-13 16:59:58

cantspel - if it's a close family member then they don't have to be registered full stop. Money changing hands might be a tax issues, but not an Ofsted issue.
Friends can look after each other's children so long as there's no money/payment.

intheshed Thu 28-Mar-13 17:16:50

Could you offer a 'compromise' of paying her to babysit in the evening every now and then?

flossy101 Thu 28-Mar-13 17:20:56

Intheshed- this is another thing, as I said in the OP MIL mentioned the child minding thing before DS was even born and she has pretty constantly since his birth been trying to get me to give DS to her (SIL) one day a week to "tide her over", yes it would give me a break but I haven't wanted to commit to any set days and I love being on mat leave with him. Very awkward situation really.

Pigsmummy Thu 28-Mar-13 17:27:33

Yeah do what they said and say that your company vouchers are for registered nurseries only, not CM, make up something to make it seem like it isn't your fault that you "have" to use a nursery? My company (a major plc) uses a scheme that isn't widely accepted so quote that.

ProudAS Thu 28-Mar-13 17:32:54

Aunts don't need to be registered child minders to look after their niece/nephew.

YANBU though OP. You have valid reasons and 'cash in hand' would almost certainly be illegal.

Milliways Thu 28-Mar-13 17:35:51

YADNBU. Tell her that Nursery means you don't have to worry when she/her DCs are ill and can't take your DS, as when you only work 2 days/week it is awkward taking time off at no notice when you or your child are not ill.

You could also say you were worried about the effect on her benefit claim?

BlueberryHill Thu 28-Mar-13 17:37:19

Given how much your MIL has pushed it, pre birth and during mat leave to 'tide your SIL' over, nice to see where her priorities lie, coming up with subtle arguments about vouchers / not damaging family relationships aren't going to work.

You could put the vouchers on a frying pan, hit her over the head with it and she still wouldn't take the hint and drop it for family relationships.

Leave it to your DH to firmly say no, they will huff and puff but I'm not sure I can see a way around it.,

BlueberryHill Thu 28-Mar-13 17:41:34

They are creating the situation, you can keep feeding the line about vouchers etc, to maintain a reason that saves your SILs face but they aren't going to accept it.

Maggie111 Thu 28-Mar-13 17:42:26

I find it incredible you were offered as much as 10% off!! Wow, how you didn't bite their hand off I'll never know hmm

Bloody ridiculous. Just say things like childcare vouchers and how you prefer a nursery setting, how you like to keep family and formal relationships seperate.

But how you really really want SIL to be a paid baby sitter for some evenings, and how great it is you can pay her for the odd emergency day if you need it, now that you have the rates worked out and never do either of those things


i actually think you shouldn't engage with them anymore on the subject. you've stated your case. you're not going to change your mind. so there's nothing more to be said.

you move on - it's their problem if they keep harping on about it. if they bring up the subject, change it. if they make a big issue, remove yourself from the situation.

don't explain, the less said the better. just say he's going to nursery.

thebody Thu 28-Mar-13 17:43:13

Yes if course you don't need to be registered for close family members but equally you probably won't apply for personal and car insurance to protect the child as registered cms have to.

You also can't get child tax care vouchers and lets face it she will want cash payment and cheat the benefit system.

You are right to say big off op

flossy101 Thu 28-Mar-13 17:49:42

Yes I know, a whole 10% grin

I thought paying the nursery deposit would draw a line under the whole thing, but apparently not.

Agreed with DH that we are just going to leave them to it.

MortifiedAdams Thu 28-Mar-13 17:58:05

You really dont want to male her financially dependant on you. I imagine it wont be long before she is 'reviewing her prices' and 'following inflation'. Quite apart from the registration thing, she sounds utterly.mental in her relentlessness and you dont want to tie yourself to that.

Suggest she gets herself registered and once she has som references from.happy parents you might reconsider, but in the meantime you will send your DS to a registered (first aid trained too), CM.

And if she and MIL disown / shut you out because of this then youve had a lucky escape.

DontmindifIdo Thu 28-Mar-13 18:09:09

You know what, your MIL will be slagging you off anyway, so why not go for it. Tell her that you are telling SIL it's because of the childcare vouchers, which while are a consideration, is actually just an excuse because you are trying to save her feelings. Say you don't think the quality of care she'll give your DS would be good enough, state you don't think the food she feeds them is good enough, she doesn't do activities in the day - which if you were paying for care you'd insist on, and generally you think she wouldn't cope with an additional child, that you think your DS will just be shoved in a corner, and you can get far better quality of care for your DS for less money (as you can use your vouchers) so as much as you'd like to just give your SIL some money, you are never going to leave her in sole charge of your DS.

Say that of course you'd never insult SIL so much to say it to her, and you are sure MIL wouldn't want you to cause a huge family rift about this, and that DH feels exactly the same way. That you would hope that MIL would help you manage to pass this message to SIL in a nice way that doesn't involve telling her you think she's not good enough.

MIL will of course explode at this - but hopefully in her following sulk with realise the good sense of keeping this from SIL...

mumofweeboys Thu 28-Mar-13 18:22:13

If your sil is that hard up, tell her to get registered and start childminding properly instead of trying to make her financially dependent on you.

Roseformeplease Thu 28-Mar-13 18:24:23

Tell her your work offers vouchers so you have to use registered care?

Jollyb Thu 28-Mar-13 18:31:03

No not at all. My sister is a registered CM and I'm not sure I'd want her to mind my DD. fortunately she lives just too far away to make it feasible.

sue52 Thu 28-Mar-13 18:33:25

Just keep on saying no. If you felt your baby would be in a happy and stimulating enviroment then fine but your sil's set up is not ideal. Your sil's financial worries are not your concern and you don't go to work to help her out. Your mil is very wrong to guilt trip you like this.

Xmasbaby11 Thu 28-Mar-13 18:34:38

Don't touch it with a bargepole. There is absolutely nothing on her side.

" His Mum has said she doesn't want to speak to us until we figure out where our loyalties lie."
Well, they lie with your son and not with your mad MIL. Her not talking to you sounds like an absolute bonus.

Been in exactly the same situation except that I haven't really resolved it; luckily my sil lives nearly an hour the other way in rush hour traffic , which helps. For me it is partly that the cash in hand idea doesn't sit well, but more that I don't like the way she parents, and also admits she overrides her sisters wishes when she cares for her child.

We have an ad hoc nanny/babysitter, but she is always offering to do days the nanny cant. Luckily the nanny has managed every day so far!

Stick with your guns op, I'm here in solidarity! (PS dh agrees with me too, is easier as she is not his sis, but his bro's wife)

Inertia Thu 28-Mar-13 19:50:34

Yanbu. Good to see a DH doing the right thing .

Love the idea that MiL thinks that her not speaking to you is some kind of punishment for you smile

If SIL wants to get paid to childmind then she needs to train and register as a professional childminder.

WeAreEternal Thu 28-Mar-13 19:50:52

I had this exact problem too.

My SIL is lovely but I know for a fact that she leaves her kids 7 and 5 to watch tv virtually all day and play alone while she sits watching tv or on her laptop in her bedroom.
She actually confessed to me once that the most time she spends with her kids is the walk to and from school!
She finds them a haste and complains about them constantly.
And yet for the last four years she has been trying to convince me to let her take over from my childminder (picking DS up from school and keeping him until 5pm three times a week) as she could really use the money, and I'd be helping out family rather than throwing the money at a stranger... Blah blah blah

She still gets irritated with me every time I say no.
She is lovely but crazy.

candyandyoga Thu 28-Mar-13 20:03:51

Do not feel bad about your decision! Your mil is being a twat. Leave her to it and get on with your plans. Do not back down. Do not apologise and do not explain!

redwallday Thu 28-Mar-13 20:29:53

YADNBU! Your child, your decision who looks after him. You are not there to financially support another family member whilst putting your own child's welfare at risk. I've done what you MIL is asking and trust me it doesn't end well! Independent, qualified and registered childcare all the way for me!

howshouldibehave Thu 28-Mar-13 20:47:04

What a pair of cows telling you what you should be doing with your child! It sounds like they say you as their own personal cash point!

Are they like this in other ways?

My sister had this with her SIL (on her husbands side) who wanted to look after my DN to earn some money. The SIL is a nice person but with very different views on looking after children. My sister ended up having to be quite blunt about it not being an option, it caused a bit of upset, but it was ok in the end.

I think your DH needs to be clear with his family that its not happening. They won't like it but you may need to accept they just don't talk to you for a while -your priority is your child.

howshouldibehave Thu 28-Mar-13 21:13:44

Just remember that they can't force you to do this. They can't snatch your child off you and demand money-what you and DH say goes. They can be as pissed off as they like!

flossy101 Thu 28-Mar-13 21:21:13

Mil is a bit of a battle axe, we have had some minor disagreements before, mostly just because I do things a bit differently to her and SIL.

And when DS was born she went through a phase of calling him by his middle name because she "wasn't too taken" by his first name!

I have no intention of backing down, it's just a shame they are spoiling things.

CautionaryWhale Thu 28-Mar-13 21:23:52

Gah! I would not tell her your misgivings re her daughter's parenting skills - it will get back and cause a further family feud.
I would ensure your DH continues to say no.

I would not even mention cc vouchers - before you know it DH will be asked to subsidise his sister to the tune of the vouchers as 'You are getting them for free anyway, you are working etc'

If she wants to help out her daughter/your SIL then she can give her extra cash - unreasonable to try to engineer you paying for unwanted cc or babysitting services.

Stick to your guns including you enjoying maternity leave with your child.

If they continue to badger then you use the very valid reason that you prefer a nursery setting for your child as they will be doing formalised early learning goals in good stead for future schooling and you want him to be independent/socialised with lots of children and adults not just his cousins/people he knows.

HermioneHatesHoovering Thu 28-Mar-13 21:25:20

Their money worries could be solved if the husband got a proper job, maybe? Oh no, that would interfere with their benefits too!shock

Yfronts Thu 28-Mar-13 21:28:16

you are being totally reasonable. Just say that you want your child doing lots of activities and being creative

thezebrawearspurple Thu 28-Mar-13 21:34:36

Pay no attention to either of them, they'll soon realise that you won't allow them to manipulate you with their guilt tripping, nagging and sulking. Don't let them spoil anything for you.

If they're really upsetting you, just be blunt and say you don't want your kid stuck indoors in front of the tv all day and eating junk food, explain that the nursery provides proper attention, education, socialisation and nutrition. That would shut them up!

Christelle2207 Thu 28-Mar-13 21:36:54

A million times Yanbu.
Think you are lucky though that dh is on side so that he can back you up. They'll get over it.

LittleBairn Thu 28-Mar-13 21:42:59

YANBU basically they are trying to guilt trip you into supporting their own family under the guise of Childminding when in fact your DS will be stuck inside all day eating crap and watching TV.
Their financial situation is not your problem.

BabsAndTheRu Thu 28-Mar-13 21:43:03

When it comes to situations like these you have to stand your ground, this is your child. You tell them that he is going to nursery of your choice and that's that and that you will not be bullied into doing something you don't want to do. These two women are bullying you and your DH and the only way to knock it on the head is to be firm but fair, so they know you are not a walk over. We had to do that to DP'S DM, in fact in that situation it was DP who used the same phrase as above, she questioned me separately, saying how awful he had been to say this, but had to accept this when I told her that what he said was correct. I hate people trying to tell you what to do, always makes me do the opposite. Good luck and stand your ground.

hippoesque Fri 29-Mar-13 11:13:06

I wouldn't even bother looking into the legal side of things. If you are not comfortable leaving your baby with her then DON'T LEAVE YOUR BABY WITH HER!! Who cares if they get pissy about it... It's either they get their way and you feel uncomfortable whilst at work or you get your way and they don't talk to you for a bit. I know which situation I would prefer smile

Jelly15 Fri 29-Mar-13 11:51:18

I would just tell them, "you can go on and on about it but it is not going to happen."

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