or is my BiL being overly controlling?(91 Posts)
AIBU to ask my BiL to look after their 2 kids for a couple of hours (actually I guess probably 4 hours total with travel time) while my sister comes with me to choose my wedding dress? He refuses to do it, and has called me a spoiled brat etc for asking. His POV is that he is a SAHD during the week and needs a break- to be fair, it is a demanding job- one of the kids is mildly autistic/ aspergers (although at school during the day) and the other is a toddler (mornings in nursery). I truly understand that it is hard on him, but it was a 4 day weekend so he would have had a break the rest of the time and it is a once in a lifetime special occasion (important to me more emotionally than practically to be fair.) i have never asked him to do anything like this before, and he has never let my sister go out anywhere without him on the weekends since they had kids 5 years ago, as he says the weekends are his only chance to have a break and my sis should be on duty with the kids. She won't be coming to my hen night etc for this reason. they won't use babysitters and there's no one else that can really help out.
SHouldn't this be between your sister and her husband?
He does sound rather selfish.
What does your sister do during the week?
I work F/T and DH is F/T SAHD. I do tend to have the DCs at the weekend, but DH would definitely have them if I had something I wanted to do.
thanks for replying. Yes would definitely normally leave this to them to work out. The reason I got involved was that I really wanted my sister to be there when I was choosing my wedding dress (I was there for hers and it was a lovely family experience and I kind of wanted to make it a tradition) so I asked her if she would come and asked him if he would look after kids. He was furious to be asked and said I was selfish/ spoiled etc etc. I know weddings can make people temporarily very U so I wondered if this was what had happened or whether he was being overly controlling etc.
Yes he is being very unreasonable and controlling.
Surely, childcare arrangements should be between him and your sister, or am I missing something?
I don't think it was your place to ask, so on that basis YABU.
Your sister is (hopefully) a grown woman who doesn't need an intermediator to talk to her husband.
tenacity- do you mean not my place to ask my sister to come with me, or not my place to ask if he'd mind watching the kids? (the asking him was kind of an inevitable consequence of asking her to come, as I knew there was no other option for them that they would accept...)
He sounds like an arse. When does your sister get time off between working and kids?
You have every right to ask your sister after all, she is your sister, and you want her to be there for you.
I think her DH is different kettle of fish though as by asking him, you could be seen to be interfering.
I think your sister should have talked to him... If he usually refuses then she needs to be getting to the root of this. It's her marriage after all
Based on your OP, it sounds like he is selfish. What's his problem? Mean of him to not be agreeable to taking care of his own children for one day, simply because he is a sahd. Other working people manage to get out on a week end or evening leaving their spouse in charge. If I were your sister, I would hire someone to watch them and go with you shopping for the wedding dress.
Or you have a babysitter ready to watch them at your place. That would be even better, she won't be under pressure to get back, and you could have dinner together as well.
she doesn't get any time off- she works F/T and has the kids the rest of the time. she really wanted to go with me as it was time off for her too, but he said no to looking after kids, which effectively meant no to the whole plan.
I would not stand for that if I were her! Do you know someone who would be a good babysitter? Could your sister come for the week end with the kids, and you go then? She has rights!
It's only that by asking him, you might have put yourself into the firing line. Perhaps he felt cornered? Of course, he was very rude, and should apologise for what he said to you.
However, your sister should not be putting you in such a situation. She needs to work on any issues with her DH, without putting third parties into the firing line.
I would love them to get a babysitter, but for some reason they don't want to, and I am loathe to interfere for exactly the reasons PPs have suggested. I don't want to interfere in their marriage/ childcare decisions. But I do worry about my sister and the whole situation.
tenacity- fair point- he probably did feel cornered and so that was probably a bit U of me. My sister def hasn't done anything wrong though. She didn't put me in the firing line- I was the one who asked them both, at the same time (over email.)
It's sad OP that you couldn't go out with your sister, but It does sound like he is resentful about not getting a proper break.
I think your sister needs to sit down with her DH and arrange it so both are getting breaks of some sort? The difficulty is only they can do, no one else can for them.
Perhaps next time, your sister should offer a win-win where her DH also gets a few hours off as well?
You talked about a babysitter- I don't think there is anything wrong with offering to pay for one. Certainly from the sound of it, it might be very much appreciated.
tenacity: it's not the paying for the babysitter- I"d be more than happy to pay. They just don't want to use one for some reason that I don't really understand and don't want to question for all the reasons you've mentioned in your pps.
I just saw they won't use babysitters. Ignore that bit about sitters.
It sounds like a frustrating situation all round, but your sister really needs to nip this in the bud.
Perhaps you could explain how frustrated you feel, and offer some support so she resolves this with her husband?
Otherwise she will miss out on such a precious time, and live to regret it. Congratulations by the way.
In your OP you mentioned that one of the children is at school and the other is at nursery in the mornings so surely he has a 'break' every morning?
On that basis he does sound controlling if he won't mind the children so your sister can go on what is presumably a one off trip out. You mentioned that you were worried - is there other stuff that he does that concerns you?
He sounds awful.
He's a right toad.
Put that story into a sahm situation, and the sahm refused her dh time off at the weekend, then she would be unreasonable for not letting him have time off.
It sounds mean but I imagine there is probably a bit more to it.
Put it in a real work context, you are an accountant and someone comes round at the weekend and asks you to do their tax return.
But he is being a bit OTT unless there is something else going on that we (not you) know about, which is probably the case.
Is your sister doing her fair share of housework too or is it all left to him?
Um, so she works in the week, then works as full time carer for children at weekend, when is her day off? Not sure it's up to you to interfere though, she needs to discuss this with her DH if she isn't happy with this situation.
I don't think you are being unreasonable (although I see his point too). Would it be impossible for you and DSiS to take a day off during the week when he would normally be 'on duty' anyway? Is he likely to object to that
he would be an arse if he did
it's very sad but as others have said, only something your sister can resolve.
It sounds to me like he is not a SAHD by choice (financial) or if was by choice, it's not what he thought it was.
Hiwever, she should be able to have a break, not too often granted as would not be fair on SAHP, but definitely for special occasions such as hen do's. If I were your sister, I would be asking my DH that if the roles were reversed, would he not expect to be able to have an occasional day out at the weekend? Does the BIL never go out alone at the weekend?
I hope your sister manages to sort this one out and am sorry you are not able to share those special pre-wedding memories with your sister
Why should she not be able to have a break 'too often'? He is having every weekday morning to himself! (One child at school the other at nursery in the mornings). Realistically, he is having one toddler every afternoon and doing the wraparound care after and before school for two kids and then having a break every weekend. Probably far more regular breaks than the OP's DSis is getting...
Holly, he was not being asked to look after someone else's kids though, just his own.
He is U, not just regarding this weekend, but having all mornings and weekends for himself, while OP's DSis never gets a break.
Holly that sounds, to me, pretty ridiculous. Can you define "real work" because in my experience being a full time stay at home parent can be hard work! I know I do more in my day at home than my partner does at work most days.
OP, your brother in law is being a prized twat. As PPs have said, he gets every morning off, unlike your sister. It's one weekend out of many. If he's not "letting"(cunt) her go to your hen night then surely they can use this as a compromise?
Would your parents or BIL's parents not have the children for a day if they don't want to use babysitters?
I think he is being very U, yes. He gets a break every morning.
As a SAHM, my job is 8-5, 5 days a week. Everything outside of that is shared 50:50 IMO, but that includes time off for both of us. He sounds like a lazy, controlling toad to me. However, it's not your place to interfere now. I'd maybe have a chat with your sister to see how she feels about it and if there is anything you can do to support her sorting this out.
When does your sister get to time off?
He sounds awful.
I am a sahm and have son dc with sen.
Dh gets to go it without me. As I do too.
I am a sahm. I look after the baby 24/7. I also allow dh to go out pretty much every 2nd saturday. Have older dc too.
He is incredibly selfish.
And controlling. Your poor sister. When does she get a break?
Have you thought that your sister is not keen and is using the childcare as an excuse. My husband would lie and take the flack for me. Personally traipsing around shops searching for something while there not being an oportunity to be diverted by little light book shopping would be my idea of hell. It would cause less of a family rift to say I can't because it is him being unreasonable rather than I would prefer to stick pins in my eyes.
However if it is as you say then it is up to your sister and you need to butt out. You are comming across as I want my sister here and I want her to myself because I want to start a tradition on my special wedding day. Neither you or her husband are taking into account of what she wants to do.
Is there any chance that your sister could take an afternoon off work and go then?
He's being an arse! Although it is up to your sister to arrange for herself to go out and him look after the kids.
My sister's husband can be a bit of an arse, never changed a nappy etc, but even he would look after his own children so she could come wedding dress shopping with me.
This is not reasonable at all and he is a horrible man. I can't believe all these people on here saying 'can he have a break?' what- like his poor wife who works all week then all weekend caring for the children while he has time off everyday when the children are at school!
It's not about tit for tat, I cannot think of an event such as this (wedding, big birthday) which i would not support my husband attending, and to even start counting up hours/fairness is entirely against the whole spirit of the thing. Who would deny their sister to go to a dress choosing or a hen do or anything like that? I support my husband to do everything like this, whoever worked 'most' in the week and he supports me completely.
Their marriage is in deep trouble and for him to start ranting at you for being 'selfish' tells you this. Even if he thought he was in the right (which he is not) a polite 'sorry, we won't be able to do that' would have done.
Your instinct is that all is not well in their marriage and this has upset you. But you were not unreasonable to ask and I can't believe anyone could defend his position, do people really count out the hours like this when supporting their own partners?!
And if by any chance (which is unlikely) he was saying no to protect the sister, surely a polite and friendly email would have been the correct response.
Only nasty people rant like that at someone else's sister.
I think he's being U (and rude tbh) but I don't think you can do much about it. Can you and DS take an afternoon or day off work and go dress shopping during the week? (You'll probably get better service as well).
He hasn't "let" your sister go out on her own at the weekend for 5 years . How trapped and depressed she must feel. What does he do while the kids are at school and nursery?
Right, if she won't use a babysitter at home, can you contact her, suggest she brings the DCs with her to yours, your DP looks after them for a couple of hours while you go shopping?
Then I think you might want to suggest to your sister that she looks at her childcare share - if her DH is getting every single morning to himself while the DCs are either at school or nursery, he's getting a lot of 'me' time to do his own stuff, it's not unreasonable therefore that she gets one morning a weekend every weekend to herself that's what normal couples do. She might be feeling the guilt of a working mother - which is often due to the fact that most working mothers don't have a SAHP looking after the DCs, so it's the only time the DCs get with their parents, but this isnt' the case here.
He does sound controlling and I would be concerned about my sister if it were me in that situation.
What does your sister say?
A child with autism/aspergers being left with a babysitter they don't know and doesn't know them is too stressful to even contemplate.
I think he is BU.
If this was a bloke working full time and a woman a SAHM then not allowing her H any time away form the DC at the weekend, it would still be wrong.
He sounds horrible. Concerned for your sisters well being, tbh.
He sounds awful!
There are specialist sitters who haveexperienceof kids on the spectrum.
To be honest he could be on the spectrum himself, but he is still being very controlling.
Im a SAHM and Id not dream of stopping my (albiet now ex)p going to something that involved his brothers wedding.
What an arse
Erm, I know I'm not supposed to say this, but the AS had to come from somewhere. Doesn't stop him being an arse, but if this was thrown as a last minute suggestion, then a reaction might actually be a 'normal' situation.
This is strange behaviour.
When I worked pt my week consisited of working Friday pm til late, Saturday, Sunday and all day Monday. the other days I was at home with 2 children under 2.
I did all the housework and garden, all the decorating. It was hard but there wasn't any time that I wasn't either working in my paid job or working doing childcare/housework.
I wouldn't have drempt of stopping dh go on his own brother's stag do.
Are you sure that your sis doesn't like this set up?
She needs to sort out babysitters if she wants to go out.
I also think that the dh gets a good break.
This behaviour sounds controlling.
My ex bil was like this, his wife couldn't do anything without him being there or having his permission. Drove her crazy in the end.
Wtf dawn? Not every case of AS is hereditary...
And your evidence for this is what exactly?
Today is world autism awareness day, there is a lot of information about autism all over the Internet, in particular today as people are trying to raise awareness. Maybe you could read some instead of spouting ignorant comments like that?
Yes, maybe I could. Maybe I wrote half of it. I'm autistic too. As are my family. I shall leave now, your tone is rude and aggressive and completely unnecessary. I did say that I know it's not done. I tried to be gentle and I too object to the fact that every time somebody is an arse it can be blamed on autism. I also object to Mark Haddon's book which I'm sure you loved, but hey, that's another discussion.
There is actually lots of evidence to show autism is hereditary/genetic.
May not be the case in this situation but not 'ignorant' to suggest it and I am usually a bit hmm at asd being suggested when a man is being controlling.
OP I think your bil is being unreasonable though, its a one off, surely he can do this?
Your post doesnt make much sense, yes perhaps you should read some information before making completely ignorant comments with regards to autism, I doubt you've written half the information on the Internet about this. Here is a quote from the National Autistic Society, who also don't agree with your statement that most cases of autism are genetic;
"The causes of autism are still unknown. Experts believe that autism is caused by interaction between several complex genetic and environmental factors. However, at present these factors are not properly understood."
(My son and step-daughter both have autism too - and they're not genetically related either...)
There is a lot of evidence to show that most cases of autism are genetic? Where?
I think you should take them with you. He sounds like he resents being SAHD and wants to control her or punish her for the position he is in. The best way to deal with this is to embrace childcare, show him that he is missing out. Show the world you had a great time in town choosing wedding dresses, put pics up on facebook. That way there is less to fight about and dd won't feel as though she is being pushed away. They should be fighting to be with dcs, not fighting to get away from them.
I know she's probably exhausted, but you can turn that around by enjoying time with dcs.
If the disabilities are a problem there should be respite care facilities at the council to help.
All over the fucking place, and you can doubt what you like. But do you know what, I've had enough today. I was a lecturer. I lectured student doctors on ASDs. I probably do know more but you stay entrenched in your little hole and don't listen to anyone else. I've got more fucking experience than you've had hot dinners and today I don't care. I'm sick of superior arseholes in this place thinking they know best because they're on the fucking net. If you lived in my area it's even possible that it was me that diagnosed your family members, but of course, I know fuck all.
Had enough of mumsnet this weekend.
He sounds very selfish. He gets weekday mornings off, plus weekends. She works FT and then has the kids at weekends. When is her down time?
Your NAS quote mentions genetics!
Go and google some more and you'll find lots of evidence.
amber I'm disagreeing with dawn who is claiming that most cases of autism are genetic, not that genetics don't play any part in ASD.
Well I'm agreeing with Dawndonna that most cases are genetic.
My DP is like this - he is a SAHD and thinks he needs time off (he tells me that I should regard spending time with DS as a treat which is difficult to come back on)but its between me and DP how we sort things out and I would be seriously annoyed if my DSIS interfered.Its up to her to pick her battles.
OP how would it be if you took them with you?
I agree with others that you need down time and deserve a break, but this man wants to control her and punish her and the best way to deal with that is to say 'fine, you don't want to be with your own kids, but actually, I do'.
I disagree about taking 2 young children, one of whom has autism, to go wedding dress shopping.
I don't think the shop owners would think it a good idea for one. What will the children do when you are spending a long time trying on dresses? A bridal shop is not the place to take 2 children, what are they going to do?
I'm imagining the bridal shop where I took my dd to get her prom dress.
Hundreds of very expensive gowns, very tempting for sticky fingers to touch!
Not ideal at all.
Also why should she take her dcs with her?
Would a man be expected to trail around his young dcs if he was out with the groom?
Whilst his wife sat at home demanding a break.
I don't think she should have to take them - it's not fair or right, but I am putting this forward as a tactical way to deal with his stubbornness. I did the same with mine when there was competition between me and dp. I let him mope about on his own and I just made the best of my time with them. Kids enjoy it, I enjoy it, he misses out. Win win up yours kind of thing.
But yes regarding the whole sticky fingers in a shop full of expensive white dresses thing... they may need someone else with them to take the dcs out (another friend who can take them off somewhere for a couple of hours).
Also remind twatface that this will be remembered by the whole family for the rest of history - 'remember the time when we had to take the kids to the wedding dress shop because TF wouldn't look after them'... etc etc.
Skipping over the asd debate, I think YADNBU and your bil is behaving in a selfish and controlling manner.
Maybe she should " put her foot down" about your hen night?
Not sure what the solution is, sorry.
Maybe he would be happier working full time and looking after his children for the rest of his time, while the op's sister is a SAHM with time to herself every morning, and he can look after the children after 5pm and at weekends? I wonder whether he would...
Polly slightly off topic but if a child has Asperger's and is able to attend mainstream school the chance of getting respite care from the council is 0%. Not a snowball's. I'm not getting at you, I just think it's important to point out that a lot of the resources people think exist to help children and families really don't exist.
Yes I see your point polly.
It could turn into a "Can you remember...we even had to let ds try on a tiara to keep him occupied. In fact we had to buy him the tiara!"
It's your wedding dress for crying out loud.
He's a twat. An uncharitable, selfish, mean spirited twat.
I'd understand if you were asking her to come on a bawdy night out but to choose your wedding dress?
What's wrong with him? Oh yes, he's a controlling martyred man!
Snooping, the op is also asking her sister to come on a bawdy night out, but she's not allowed to go on that either!
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
What a vile man. So he gets two days off every week, and your sister gets exactly none? That's fair.
Why is he being such a diva? He has every morning off, not exactly a proper job. And I bet he does nothing in the evenings...
And where is the emotional space for your sister in that marriage? It sounds like he's holding her to ransome because he feels trapped and resentful and insecure. Or else lazy and greedy and just plain mean.
She has to go with you. She has to. It's the outing of a lifetime and the culmination of a lifetime of sisterhood. He doesn't own her.
Couldn't your mum step in to help out?
thanks so much everyone for your supportive messages. I don't know about the inherited ASD thing and don't really feel qualified to speculate about it. It's certainly never been diagnosed.
i don't think my sis was just makign an excuse- she was saying before how much she really wanted to go with me (although i guess she could have been lying- I guess I'll never know, but I agree with PP who said if this was the case he didn't need to be so rude about it...)
As for taking the kids with us- I really don't think that would work- it's a small shop, with no toys or anything else and no one who could really come and help for various reasons. Also I know this is incredibly selfish, but I would like to take my time a bit and find a dress i really like rather than feeling incredibly rushed to get out of there before children melt down (as would be usual on a shopping trip with them- nothing bad against them- just typical kids stuff, and also my nephew with ASD HATES shopping so don't think it would be fair on him either)
thanks for all the support.
If they won't use sitters, is there a teacher at the DS' school who would do some tutoring on the weekend? He would know him/her and it might be easier.
yan bu I feel rather sorry for your sis. It sounds like she never gets any time to herself. I mean how very dare she work full time and expect a break!
why don't you take an afternoon off work- both of you and do it together - would be more relaxed then
He does sound like a controlling arse
By I do think you were wrong to ask him, asking your sister is fine but after that it should have been between the two of them to work out childcare arrangements, he was still totally wrong to talk to you like that though
Wilsonfrickett it depends on the LEA - it's very different in different areas and it depends on how well the service knows your child and understand the issues.
You're probably right though it would be at least a fight to get support.
I worry about the situation more generally. BiL constantly undermines Dsis, shouting at her in front of the kids or criticising her in front of other people. He is one of those people who thinks everyone apart from him is 'stupid' or an idiot or whatever. He is pretty controlling generally- it always seems as if everything is done to please him, and on his schedule and she is always giving in to him on absolutely everything. I know this is none of my business, but beyond a certain point, am I allowed to be worried about it? He generally
I really sympathise with your situation - my DH is a SAHD and I work F/T (purely a financial reason, but DH is also a bit on the lazy side and is glad not to have to work!), and although it pains me to admit it, he does have the same mentality sometimes as the OP's BIL in that he considers my time at work to be time away from the kids so I do the post-dinner routines and look after them at the weekends while DH has some 'time off' from the kids - drives me mental a lot of the time! Even more so bearing in mind that DS is at school and DD is at pre-school 10 hours a week... But having said that, he would never dream of not looking after the kids on his 'time off' to let me go to something as important as sister's hen party or dress shopping! It's up to your sister to stand up to him (if she wants to) although if he's that controlling, it wouldn't be easy. I agree with maybe trying to go one afternoon off work?
Not wishing to make excuses for this man if he is as controlling as he sounds, but there could be another way of looking at it. We have four dc, and no real options for 'having a break'. I look after them in the week, and dh and I do evening routine and weekend together. When my sister was looking for her wedding dress I had to take the baby with me (bf) and went to three different girlie trying on dresses days with other bridesmaid, involving lots of travelling and difficult logistics for me. Hen party was difficult, I couldn't stay overnight but went to the day event. Tried my absolute best to be supportive to my sister but tbh found it so difficult - the day to day looking after four small children (in my case) takes away a lot of my sense of fun, and I tend to view things like this with a bit of a sigh. Have just been invited to travel three hours there and three hours back with 6 mth dd in tow so that I can be at baby shower, have said no. Just can't do it. Don't think my dh is controlling, just that we're up against it with little support and no time off for either of us, and would personally find an email with suggestions about our care arrangements for dc quite difficult. I fell out with a really good friend who suggested I should be able to leave my admittedly then pfb, for a girlie night out. Was bf, baby was feeding every couple of hours at night, didn't feel I could but suggested I did something else with her... She said my then baby was abnormal for not sleeping through, so that friendship bit the dust. I digress... My situation could be different to the d sis of the op, but perhaps she just doesn't really want to go or perhaps they both think this will be the first of many requests on their time for the wedding. Not unreasonable, I know your wedding is v special, but if they have a busy time with their dcs perhaps they have both lost sight of it a bit?
happynappies- thanks for a different perspective and I do totally see your point, and how annoying it must be to have to shlep all over the place for different wedding related activities. I do get that their lives are stressful (although not as much as yours sounds- no bf baby and only 2 kids although obviously the autism thing makes it much harder.) In my defence though it was the one thing I've ever asked her/ him to do in 5 years since they kids were born and was totally understanding about the hen night etc- didn't say a word when she couldn't come. It was also that she seemed so keen to come and have a break and a bit of time off/shopping as well that made it harder (but obviously I was disappointed for myself too so not totally selfless.) I offered to help take care of the kids for the rest of the 4 day weekend so that he/she could have a break.
It does sound like a different situation, and you sound like a very thoughtful, caring sis. Is there any way she might have time off in the week like others have said? Does seem such a shame if she wants to go. I'll look after them for her, won't really notice two more . Hope you work it out, not good to have things like his while you're planning your wedding, good luck.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.