to not want neice to stay at ours

(276 Posts)
ReflectingKites Thu 27-Jun-13 16:59:49

NC because this may identify me and I don't want RL people to read my previous posts.

Right, my neice is at some kind of summer school/camp thing in Leeds Monday to Friday next week. Her mum (DSISIL) is driving her up on Monday morning. She's due to pick her up on Friday but DSISIL is now saying that this will mean she has to take Friday off work and she can't do that (for some reason about not having enough hours and needing to take it as unpaid leave).

So, she suggested that we (that's me and DP, no kids) pick up my our neice on Friday, have her at ours on Friday night and then DSISIL will pick her up on Saturday afternoon.

So you know, we live about 30 miles from Leeds, we don't drive and we don't have children of our own. Neice is 7 years old.

I really don't want this to happen because a) I actually don't like my neice very much, b) I have no idea how to entertain a 7 yo child, and c) I don't want to have my Friday night and Saturday morning taken over my looking after this child. I don't mind DSISIL and her daughter coming over for a bit on Friday evening after she's picked up her daughter.

DP agrees with me but is of the opinion 'what can we do?' because he doesn't want to cause a row with his family. My perspective is that his sister is a selfish cow who continually dumps on people because she can't organise and sort out her own life. If we don't want to look after her daughter over night then we shouldn't feel forced to. If his parents and sister don't like it then fuck 'em. We never ask them to do anything for us that they don't want to and would never dream of it.

AIBU about this? I think I might be being a bit precious about my Friday night but I work fucking hard all week and I resent having part of my weekend stolen!!

Will try to update but my home internet is on the blink (no smartphone!) so it may have to wait until tomorrow.

mummymeister Thu 27-Jun-13 17:04:45

hmm the most telling part of this post is "we don't have any kids" because if you did then you would know that it can be a pita sometimes getting them from place to place. at some point in the future you may have kids and when you do you will realise that having someone help out and have your child for a night is absolutely gold dust. go ahead and not have her if that is what you want but think on a couple of years when this may be you working full time with a DC needing some help and no one will put themselves out for you. what goes around comes around in my opinion.

DizzyZebra Thu 27-Jun-13 17:05:07

Yanbu - 30 miles is a long way on public transport, you're looking over an hour on a decent network.

I wouldn't do it, and if his family kick off I'd ask why they arent doing it if they're that bothered.

lollilou Thu 27-Jun-13 17:06:53

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notafan0fy00 Thu 27-Jun-13 17:07:22

Could you not just be nice and look after your niece overnight? It would seem like the kind thing to do.

If you're not fussed about being kind then just don't do it.

BellaVita Thu 27-Jun-13 17:07:39

How is DSIL expecting you to get to where your niece is?

elQuintoConyo Thu 27-Jun-13 17:07:42

Could you use this time to get to get to know your DN? Do some crafty stuff - maybe she dreads spending timew ith you, too? Doing something together would help.
Do you do things for Dsisil often? Does she know how incovenient it's going to be by train/bus? IS it difficult to do by public transport, or can just not be arsed.
Could DH tell her that it's not convenient those days and draw the line?
If you don't want family to take the piss, then just don't let them and put up with ther tuts and strops.

5Foot5 Thu 27-Jun-13 17:07:44

I am a bit confused.

Is this a school trip? If so surely it is the school's responsibility to take her there and back not the parents?

If not a school trip then how and why is she doing this in term time? And IMO 7 seems very young to be sent a long way away to do a camp thing for a whole week.

I do think your DSIL sounds very entitled to assume that you will be prepared to put yourself out on her behalf. However, all that apart would it be so very bad? Maybe you would actually enjoy doing something different for once on a Friday?

Admittedly the logistics sound a bit tricky with no private transport and a 30 mile trip.

BellaVita Thu 27-Jun-13 17:08:25

I do not think the OP is BU at all.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 27-Jun-13 17:08:58

She is expecting too much by wanting you to go and collect her child on public transport, but I don't think she's doing anything wrong by asking if her dd can stay one night with you.

If she can make the transport arrangements, I'd do it, but expect DH to do the lions share of entertaining and looking after, because it's his side of the family.

If he is willing to do all the travelling to pick up his niece, then let him, that's his decision.

NatashaBee Thu 27-Jun-13 17:11:43

I wouldn't want to give up my weekend either, but unless the SIL has done something to annoy you and you don't like her, I'd do my best to help out. Can you at least collect her on the Friday and your SIL pick her up from yours later that night (maybe stay over and drive back the next day?). If your DP wants to say yes, then let him pick the niece up and babysit, and you go out for the night.

ihearsounds Thu 27-Jun-13 17:13:09

I dont think you are being unreasonalbe. I dont think you sound selfish. I dont think you sound mean.

It is a big ask to make you do a 60 mile round trip. Even if you drove, that takes the piss. Just say no. If your partner wants to have his neice then he can do all the travelling, entertain her and get up on saturday mornnig with her.

I think it's your DH's call/responsibility, but it would be a nice thing to do to help out your DSIL/his DSis, and to get to know your niece. 7 year olds are not difficult to entertain, just shove a pizza in the oven and CBBC on the telly. You never know when you might need a favour, and she might turn out to be a charming young woman whose company you will welcome in later life.

DizzyZebra Thu 27-Jun-13 17:15:11

Its a bloody long way though. If it were round the corner I'd say she was being a bit unreasonable and should at least compromise, since she might be in that position one day.

But thirty miles?

I do just over 30 miles to fetch my daughter and if I have to use a train it takes two hours when there is not direct train - and that's just being met at the station, if I had to get off and go to her school it'd add an hour.

bringmeroses Thu 27-Jun-13 17:15:26

If it's a logistical nightmare to travel 30 miles to get her, and means you'd have to take time off work or rearrange plans, then YANBU.

But don't do it because you don't like your DN, and don't know what to do with a 7 yo. The internet is packed with pictures to colour in and kids love things like that; or try making a collage with lentils, or sticking leaves to a piece of paper to make a picture, or baking cupcakes. Failing all that stick her in front of the telly. We were all 7 once and kids are really just small people, not aliens.

I'm amazed DNs mum arranged for her to go to this camp thing without sorting out how she'd get her home, or perhaps she had you lined up all along? If that's the case i'd be put out at her presumptuousness but maybe this isn't the occasion to make a stand.

DizzyZebra Thu 27-Jun-13 17:16:20

And that's one way BTW.

I get that the actual collecting might be too big an ask, but actually your main point seems to be that you don't like your niece and don't want to give up any of your weekend time.

You sound self absorbed and mean. You do realise 7 year olds go to bed reasonably early, so you''ll have 'you time'?

lollilou Thu 27-Jun-13 17:20:27

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ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 27-Jun-13 17:20:34

She wants you to do a 60 mile round trip on public transport so she doesn't have to take a day's unpaid leave?

So she wants you to incur expenses so that she doesn't lose a day's pay?

Are you going to tell her how much it would cost you and ask her if she's going to pay the travel costs?

If your partner wants to do it, then let him. You don't both need to go. Wave him off on public transport and tell him you'll see them both later.

And - 7 yr old children are very often irritating. grin but she is family and unless she is a head spinning, pea soup vomiting creature from the depths of hell, perhaps you could just be ok with putting yourself out and helping out.

You don't have to say yes, that is true. but there's no harm in people asking for help. It doesn't make them bad people, so long as they accept and respect a no.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 27-Jun-13 17:22:08

Meant to say that if you are also working, then say sorry, just as you can't take a day's unpaid leave to pick up your own child, I can't take a day's unpaid leave to pick up someone else's.

chickensaladagain Thu 27-Jun-13 17:22:47

Is the camp in headingley rather than the city

An unfamiliar, tired 7 yo, Friday night commuter trip of at least an hour

I think the mother is bu even asking you
She shouldn't have signed her up if she couldn't pick her up

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Thu 27-Jun-13 17:23:55

Just say 'No, I'm sorry, it's not convenient'. So, she has to take a day off of work - it's what you do when you have kids <shrug> It's not as though it's around the corner and you are minding her for an hour or two.

I'd do it in a heartbeat, but I drive and I like kids smile

Justfornowitwilldo Thu 27-Jun-13 17:23:56

60 miles on public transport is asking too much. If you drove I'd say just do it.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 27-Jun-13 17:24:01

How much will it cost to go and get her on public transport? 30 miles is not a short journey.

Tbh I don't think that people should arrange for their children to do things if they aren't prepared to do the ferrying around.


However, YABU to say that you don't like her. She is 7.

Dilidali Thu 27-Jun-13 17:24:38

You know, in a few years' time when you're stuck in a nursing home and not a soul visiting you, you might remember this.
Don't take for granted your relationship with the young ones, one day you will depend on them, maybe not financially, but just to open your door or give you a call and ask how you're doing. She is your relative.

I would leap at the chance to spend time with my niece, probably the mother thinks she is doing a nice thing for you.

maddening Thu 27-Jun-13 17:24:40

Well it's between your dp and his sister.

Personally I would do it and maybe ask for travel costs.

Get some dvds and have pizza.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Thu 27-Jun-13 17:24:57

Oh and I think she is being massively rude in asking - 30 miles when you don't have a car is a long way & a hassle - let alone having a child overnight who, presumably, doesn't even know you that well.

Dilidali Thu 27-Jun-13 17:26:25

This all relates to 'I don't like her' she is stealing my friday evening btw.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Thu 27-Jun-13 17:27:25

Especially when she's only 7 and has been away for a full week already...

...actually... this is sounding less and less believable.

If your DH wants it done to keep the peace - fine - let him do it and you go out with your friends. Job done.

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 27-Jun-13 17:30:49

I think the people who are implying it's perfectly reasonable to ask someone to do a 60 mile round trip on public transport on a Friday afternoon/evening either never travel on public transport or live in London.


SingingSands Thu 27-Jun-13 17:33:09

From the tone of your post you sound quite unpleasant.

Poor niece, she's done nothing wrong here and you've pegged her as an annoying burden, out to sabotage your weekend.

The distance to travel is enough of a reason not to ask you, but maybe your SIL is really stuck? Do you ever help anybody else out, because from the tone and language you use in your post I would guess not.

SingingSands Thu 27-Jun-13 17:34:56

The OP doesn't live in London, Russian.

nemno Thu 27-Jun-13 17:35:55

I'd do it. And have done similar many times.

It might seem daunting OP but you and your husband may surprise yourselves and enjoy having her more by herself than with your DSIL around. The close relationships I have with my adult nieces was definitely worth a bit of inconvenience in the past.

gymboywalton Thu 27-Jun-13 17:37:33

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EskSmith Thu 27-Jun-13 17:38:17

She is your niece, it is one day - this is what being part of a family is like.
You do sound faintly pathetic about your Friday night to be frank.

A 7 year old is very easy to look after, although with the attitude you've displayed towards her in your post I'm not sure she would want to stay with you?

All this being said as it is your DH's sister then you can make him assume responsibility - problem solved.

shoofly Thu 27-Jun-13 17:39:59

How far away does SIL live from the camp/ pick up place? Can she not take a half day/ drive up after work? How does she think you will collect her child?

I can understand someone who doesn't have children not wanting to give up part of their weekend to look after a child they don't particularly like to help out their mother who it sounds as if you don't like.

I just don't understand how she has booked something so far away from home for a 7 year old with no means of collecting them. It sounds to me, as if she fancies a Friday night off and a chilled out
t Saturday morning while someone else looks after. but herr child. That's ok - I quite fancy that myself[grins]

dufflefluffle Thu 27-Jun-13 17:40:39

I don't think OP should have to do this if she is unhappy doing so. If DSISIL had bothered establishing/encouraging a relationship between niece/aunt/uncle then it would be a different story. Also DSISIL should have worked this all out when she booked it (as most people would)
On the other hand OP it is such a relief when your children have relatives who will step into the beech as such and entertaining a seven year old girl should be easy enough - pizza and a dvd or shopping or painting nails or colouring. I'm a bit sorry for the niece who, having been shipped off for a week at the tender age of seven is then expected to go and stay with rellies she hardly knows and who don't like or want her. My DD would be heartbroken after 4 nights apart if I didn't turn upsad

Triumphoveradversity Thu 27-Jun-13 17:41:41

I would do it.
Why don't you like your niece? I need to know before I can fully -- judge--
Make a ruling.

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 27-Jun-13 17:42:10

singing sands I know she doesn't. She lives somewhere where the public transport is significantly worse than it is in London. In London a 60 mile round trip to fetch a small relative might be just about reasonable, if you live near enough a main line to one of the big terminus stations (Victoria, Paddington, Liverpool Street) and that station is near where the relative is going to be. In Yorkshire.......not so much. It might not even be a question of trains. It might be buses. Have you any idea how horrendous such a journey could potentially be? How long it could take?

I'm guessing not.

I would travel to the other end of the country and back again, on public transport, to help out my SIL and nephews.

But then I love my nephews and I understand how difficult it is working and trying to organise childcare.


RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 27-Jun-13 17:44:29

whole You'd do that if the SIL couldn't be arsed to take time off work to do it herself? Really?

BridgetBidet Thu 27-Jun-13 17:44:51

I think anybody who says they 'don't like' their seven year old niece is probably not a very nice person.

YANBU because I think someone who has such an unpleasant attitude towards a child probably shouldn't be looking after then.

I think your DP also shows a very unpleasant attitude towards his family.

If I were you I wouldn't bother having kids, neither of you is cut out for it.

ENormaSnob Thu 27-Jun-13 17:44:52

Theres no way i would ask this of my child free none driving sister.

I think sil has been unfair.

How many other weekends have you given up for this neice? Every other weekend? Once every 6 months? None?

I'd do it. I wouldn't see it as a hardship. I'd see it as one time I'm helping out family, and perhaps getting to know my niece a little more on a one-to-one basis. Who knows, perhaps you'll even dislike her a little less?

babyhmummy01 Thu 27-Jun-13 17:46:33

to be quite honest those writing the posts saying the OP is mean selfish and self absorbed need to grow the hell up!

The OP is being upfront and honest, and the fact she doesn't like her niece quite frankly is pretty irrelevant. The fact the SIL is asking her to do a 60 mile round trip on public transport in rush hour on a Friday in Leeds is ridiculous.

Why is she doing a summer camp in term time OP? Can your SIL not arrange with someone else who is going to bring her daughter back? But quite frankly it is her child and she and her DH are the only ones who should have to put themselves out to collect their daughter.

IF the camp was 3 miles away then I would suggest as someone else has, collecting her and entertaining her til her mum drives down after she finishes work to collect her, but 30 miles is insane!!

I would simply explain that logistically it is not possible, but if SIL wants to pay for a taxi each way and then drive down after work then she is welcome to do that and you will collect your niece and look after her til mum gets there - I suspect if you were to offer this then she may suddenly find herself able to get time off work tbh

unobtanium Thu 27-Jun-13 17:46:49


Also, OP's niece might be very hard to like... OP's husband seems to concur on this point, and with a selfish mother who uses other people to do her running around this is easy to believe.

I have a really rude niece (eg, at 14, gags theatrically when you bring food to the table, never learnt please or thank you or the simple skill of eye contact and smiling)... and extremely self-centred SIL/BIL combination (eg, happy to dump niece on us for two weeks without even asking beforehand and with no hint of a thank-you, then decline to babysit ONE NIGHT for us the ONE TIME we ever asked them)... and I really sympathise.

So I feel for you OP and do not think you are destined to die all alone and unloved!

SybilRamkin Thu 27-Jun-13 17:47:41

A 60 mile round trip on a Friday night after work? YANBU!

And to those that say OP is mean for not liking her niece, it's perfectly allowable to dislike a child - do you like every child you come into contact with just because they're a child? I doubt it, especially after reading some of the threads on here about other people's brats children.

rainbowfeet Thu 27-Jun-13 17:48:30

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SingingSands Thu 27-Jun-13 17:48:57

Well I live in Leeds so I know perfectly well that it has excellent transport links, by rail and road, Yorkshire is not the back of beyond you know.

If the OPs SIL has asked, then its not inconceivable that the journey will be a horrendous nightmare, is it?

Russian yes I would. It's not a case of "can't be arsed to take time of work" rather tahat if you have just 6 weeks annual leave then there may not be any leave left to take. ALL my days off are carefully planned in advance, for specific reasons.

Not all employers offer the possibility of days off without pay. Mine doesn't.

youarewinning Thu 27-Jun-13 17:49:45

Can't you tell SIL that it's very difficult for you a you have no transport.

If it's a school thing I'm sure someone else parents could bring her home Friday evening?

TBF - although I don't think YANBU for not wanting your Saturday taken up you post comes across as very mean and negative towards your neice, and for the way you've worded it YABU.

babyhmummy01 Thu 27-Jun-13 17:52:35

singing having lived in leeds previously I agree the transport within the city centre are within approx. 5 mile radius is excellent - 30 miles out its pretty crappy tbh so its completely ok to assume the journey will be a nightmare.

I drive and I wouldn't do a 60 mile round trip on a Friday night to collect someone else's child unless it involved a medical emergency

valiumredhead Thu 27-Jun-13 17:53:05

How is she expecting you to pick your niece up if you don't drive? Is PT easy where you are?

BridgetBidet Thu 27-Jun-13 17:54:30

She's 7. I could have understood if the OP had described her as being difficult to look after or prone to tantrums or something describing why she was tough to look after. But simply to dismiss a 7 year old with 'I don't like her' is a) horrible, and b) completely immature and childish.

mummytime Thu 27-Jun-13 17:55:26

7 sounds very young for this kind of thing. Is your SIL Scottish, because most schools haven't broken up yet?

I don't think YABU as you don't drive, if you did my view might be different, but getting through Leeds traffic on a Friday evening is a Pita.

Might your SIL have put you down as an emergency contact without asking? Just beware. Because I think you are far more likely to be phoned for a 7 year old.

CaptainSweatPants Thu 27-Jun-13 17:56:20

It's up to your dp

If he wants to get her he can

You're not married so she's not your neice

phantomnamechanger Thu 27-Jun-13 17:56:40

YANBU - she is being a rude so and so to even ask, TBH.

It's a long way, you dont drive, its after work on a Friday, you have your own lives/plans - all perfectly valid reasons.

is there no other option - are there not other DC from her school/group with her, so her mum could arrange a lift?

what would SIL be doing if you didn't live "only" 30 miles away??

she should NOT expect you to run around after her - her daughter, her responsibility to sort this

Oh, and it is OK to admit to not liking a child - the Op was not rude or calling the girl names, she just said she did not like her - we can't all like every child/person we encounter!

nemno Thu 27-Jun-13 17:58:49

The SIL has only "suggested" this, it is not a demand AFAIK. She is not being unreasonable to ask and of course the OP's husband can tell her no. I don't get that the SIL is outrageous, lazy or any of the stuff posters are saying.

SJisontheway Thu 27-Jun-13 17:58:53

Impossible to say unless you tell us what the commute is like. It could be an easy train ride, or much more complicated. If its complicated ask sil to pay for a taxi. That would be completely reasonable.
Entertaining would be easy. Pizza and DVD. I would do it without question.

curlew Thu 27-Jun-13 18:00:39

"You're not married so she's not your neice"

Wow- I'll tell mine, shall I? sad

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 27-Jun-13 18:01:17

Singing Sands She lives 30 miles away. The links aren't that good.

curlew Thu 27-Jun-13 18:02:07

Mind you, the "she's not your niece" comment chimes in nicely with the graceless, mean spirited tone of the thread.........

MerryOnMerlot Thu 27-Jun-13 18:02:16

YANBU. I wouldn't be happy in your shoes. Having DN for a sleepover on Friday wouldn't bother me though - as others have said they go to bed pretty early and if she's been away at camp she'll be knackered.

60 mile round trip on public transport to pick up someone else's DC? Not a fucking chance.

OK so she can't take the whole day off. Depending on when they need to be picked up she might only need a half day and could possibly make up the hours at a later date? All a bit spurious if you ask me and sounds like she just can't be arsed. Oh, and has probably arranged a night out. In fact that might be main reason..... or am I just cynical? grin

MerylStrop Thu 27-Jun-13 18:02:34

Asking your Dp to look after his niece for a sleepover, perfectly reasonable. oP you should brace yourself to do that sort of thing. And not be so precious about your weekend, I doubt you work harder than anyone else, especially not working parents.

Asking someone to do a 60 mile round trip for anything other than an emergency, not on

if you don't want to do it say no, if you didn't like your niece that's fine, I don't like my nieces and nephews, just because you are related does not mean you have to look after them, children can be annoying, it is up to their parents to provide care for them not the extended family.

Burmillababe Thu 27-Jun-13 18:07:49

YADNBU!! I don't see why you should - her child, her responsibility - you have your own life to lead! Tbf, I wouldnt appreciate someone expecting me to do that

jacks365 Thu 27-Jun-13 18:07:56

I live about 30 miles from leeds and getting there on public transport would be a nightmare due to my location though I'll agree getting round leeds is easy. Assuming this was very central leeds then it would be a good 4 hour round trip for me. Any further out then it would take even longer

The SIL can take the day off but doesn't want to.

Burmillababe Thu 27-Jun-13 18:11:12

And YANBU not liking her - a relative of mine has a DD the same age and she isnt an easy child to like....

hugoagogo Thu 27-Jun-13 18:11:30

YANBU I would not ask this of my non driving, childless db, well at least not expecting a yes. It is well cheeky.

sameoldIggi Thu 27-Jun-13 18:12:51

It's ok not to like a child. But no-one has asked the child if she likes you, I imagine? There's liking, and then there is family. You are unreasonable (and sound very immature) to care so much about one night, unless you have done many other favours for the sil.
The transport issue, however, is very different. Does the child live so far away that 30 miles seem a short distance, if you see what I mean?

diddl Thu 27-Jun-13 18:14:25

I'd have her-because I'd feel so bloody sorry for her.

A week away, & the mum won't collect her until the next afternoon??

However, as a non driver, I'd be expecting someone else to pick her up & bring her to me.

No GPs or other Aunts/Uncles in the picture?

Really sad that the mum won't take unpaid leave-is money really that tight for her?

Icelollycraving Thu 27-Jun-13 18:14:57

You sound pretty mean spirited. I hope her mum collects her. Not for your benefit but the thought of a seven year old who has been away from home for a week sad

FasterStronger Thu 27-Jun-13 18:18:29

CaptainSweatPants You're not married so she's not your neice (sic.)

surely its down to them to decide their own family relationships? not you CSP?

CaptainSweatPants Thu 27-Jun-13 18:18:39

Sorry I shouldn't have said the she's not your neice comment

Forgive me thanks

I just dont get why op isn't mentioning her dp in all this
Maybe her dp wants his neice for a sleepover
Maybe he gets on well with her & wants to help his sister out
The op could always arrange for a girls weekend with friends if that's the case

PeriodMath Thu 27-Jun-13 18:18:50


Her parents made the plan for her attend a camp, they should have thought it through and not assumed someone else would put themselves out (how does she even think you will get there without a car?) to tie up the loose ends.

So what if she has to take a day off? Her child, her problem.

If it was an emergency I'd do it obviously bit not something that is (badly) planned in advance like this.

dingit Thu 27-Jun-13 18:19:07

I haven't read the whole thread, but I was your sil, I wouldn't want my dd to stay with you. She's only 7! Don't be so unkind, she would probably love to stay with her aunt and uncle. And you never know, if you have DC, you may need a favour from sil one day.

Well assuming that the DSIL is a single parent, one person's annual leave won't cover very much of school holidays - it becomes a real juggling act. I think asking family to rally round is not unreasonable, though the travelling bit if this specific request is pushing her luck.

PeriodMath Thu 27-Jun-13 18:22:02

I am stunned people think the OP should do this. Really? You all think its a reasonable request?

The mother CAN collect her child on the Fri, she just doesn't want to. How is that helping someone out of a tight spot? It's just enabling selfish, entitled behaviour.

babyhmummy01 Thu 27-Jun-13 18:22:31

*I just dont get why op isn't mentioning her dp in all this
Maybe her dp wants his neice for a sleepover
Maybe he gets on well with her & wants to help his sister out
The op could always arrange for a girls weekend with friends if that's the case*

Read the OP, her DP doesn't want to do it either

FeeFoo Thu 27-Jun-13 18:23:14

It's probably best you say no. It will save the child's feelings and your own. Children are generally perceptive, she's much better off going home and avoiding the hullabaloo.

expatinscotland Thu 27-Jun-13 18:25:58


digerd Thu 27-Jun-13 18:26:24

So when she booked this trip for her dd, she knew she would have to take time off work to collect her. Even asking you to collect her when she knows it is a 60 mile round trip on public transport for you is an astounding cheek. Then to keep her overnight as well, while she can do whatever she pleases, is being unreasonable .
You are NBU- she is.

Ginderella Thu 27-Jun-13 18:36:51

If DSISIL cannot pick her DD up next Friday, she should cancel the trip. Problem solved.


phantomnamechanger Thu 27-Jun-13 18:39:48

Is the childs father involved? What about the GPs? maybe they could collect her in place of her mum and take her home? Is there someone else who could drive up and stay with you on the thursday, collect her on the frinday and drive home - how far away is home anyway, if the mum is doing the dropping off/return all in one day?

This is not the same as a family medical emergency, in which case I am sure the OP would stump up and do the decent thing. This is a matter of it being deemed perfectly OK to ask something really cheeky and demanding that will inconvenience THEM, rather than inconvenience THE CHILDS MOTHER

How long has this course been booked/known about, and she's only sorting this major factor a week beforehand??

phantomnamechanger Thu 27-Jun-13 18:43:49

Well assuming that the DSIL is a single parent, one person's annual leave won't cover very much of school holidays - it becomes a real juggling act

^ yes, that's true - so you don't go booking residential courses so far away that you need 2 whole days off work to get them there and back!

This is not the sort of "favour" one does a working parent who you live near, by having the DC a couple of times over the summer hols, this is a BIG thing to ask

OP- how often do you all usually see each other? does the child know you well?

Veryunsure Thu 27-Jun-13 18:45:41

YANBU, it's not your child why should you be expected to take care of her because the mother prefers not to take 1 days unpaid leave?

Who's to say your niece will even want to be with you? stick to your guns.

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sonu678 Thu 27-Jun-13 18:49:00

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Geillis Thu 27-Jun-13 18:49:03

YANBU. Why is it not allowed to not like children? People are making too many assumptions here, maybe the OP has chosen not to have kids, maybe she and DP are older and not comfortable with a journey that far on public transport?

I have kids and I live them to bits but fully respect that others don't and would never inflict them on people including family that just aren't interested in them!

Geillis Thu 27-Jun-13 18:50:53

Oh, and fwiw, she never said dn was unpleasant, just that she didn't particularly like her. Big deal, just because you're 7 doesn't automatically make you adorable to the wide world.

phantomnamechanger Thu 27-Jun-13 18:54:06

OP you sound like a completely and utterly horrible Aunt

er, no, she sounds like someone who does not want to be taken for a mug and put to lots of trouble when there is another perfectly reasonable solution - the mother collects her own child

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Thu 27-Jun-13 18:54:28

Refusing because you don't like your niece and resent having to sacrifice part of your weekend is selfish and mean. YABU.

Refusing because you don't drive, public transport is a bitch and it's a 60 mile round trip - perfectly reasonable. YANBU.

BoneyBackJefferson Thu 27-Jun-13 18:54:29

Its strange I would have thought that a mean, entitled, selfish person would be someone that booked their child on a residential trip and expected others to pick them up and look after them because they could be bothered.

but each to their own.

AThingInYourLife Thu 27-Jun-13 18:54:35


I note that the mother wants you to pick up the child and then look after her until the following afternoon.

So she won't exactly be breaking a sweat to pick her up.

babyhmummy01 Thu 27-Jun-13 18:55:21

Madame have you completely missed the 60 mile round trip on public transport

Just because the kid is her niece doesn't mean she is forced to like her, I have some incredibly close friends who I love dearly but quite frankly their kids are nightmares and I don't particularly like them either

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phantomnamechanger Thu 27-Jun-13 18:59:50

she won't exactly be breaking a sweat to pick her up.

^ yeah, AThing, if my 7yo was away from me for a week I would be desperate to get there to pick them up. I would want to be the one to meet them, to hear all their exicted news - not my DB and his GF

and if I could not do that i would not have booked the trip!

Whats that OP? You think you're coming down with norovirus? Poor you, go straight to bed and stay there till monday wink

BABaracus Thu 27-Jun-13 19:01:20

OP, I can see where you are coming from and don't think it would be unreasonable to say no. However, please tell us why you don't like your niece!

ThingummyBob Thu 27-Jun-13 19:04:05

Are you really 30miles from Leeds? shock

That would take in places like York, Rotherham and Rochdale probably further north than Ripon too... none of which I'd even consider asking for childcare in Leeds for, iyswim!

That's a big ask and not something that would be easy even with a car tbh.

Where are you? Where is your partners niece attending the camp?

I need to know details before I can truly judge if yabu or not wink

lovelyredwine Thu 27-Jun-13 19:05:29

I don't think you are bu. Now that I've had a child I would not find the prospect of having my nieces and nephew over to stay a hideous one.

Prior to having our dd we did have our then 4/5/6 y old niece to stay a few times a year for a few years and it was HARD work. I will also add that she is lovely and I like her very much.

Before my niece was born, I do remember a good friend asking me to babysit his two kids (aged 3 and 6), including bath time and bedtime once. I said no as I found the idea terrifying and was clueless. He was pissed off and didn't get it. Now I would say yes without hesitation. Things change when you've got your own child (Saturdays and Sunday's no longer equal a lie in for a start!).

On another point- It is also a bit off to expect you to get her from that distance when you don't drive. She shouldn't have arranged the trip if she couldn't do pick up. Just say you've got plans that can't be rearranged if you don't want to cause bad feeling.

loveliesbleeding1 Thu 27-Jun-13 19:05:59

Yanbu if you and your dp don't want to babysit you don't have to , I agree with some of the other posts on here it's not fair on dn to not have one of her parents pick her up when she has been away all week.if you dont drive then thats really not fair on you or dn to have to wait around for buses or trains when she will prob be exhausted from being away.

It's an hour FGS. Take a book or listen to music.

I've lived in Leeds, public transport is quite good, not London but most certainly not like it is in the sticks!

One Friday night.

Seriously, am shocked someone thinks this is such a big deal???

I'd do it for a friend in the blink of an eye if they were stuck.

mysteryfairy Thu 27-Jun-13 19:06:52

I'm dying to know where OP lives. 30 miles from Leeds and you could be in York or Sheffield or most of the way to Manchester - all of which would be an easy commute to Leeds on main train lines.

I'm also very curious as to how the seven year old is already on a summer school so far before the end of term. My DC go to an independent school and do break up next Friday well before the state schools in Leeds but there aren't many activities/childcare options available to book them in until a couple of weeks later still.

messalina Thu 27-Jun-13 19:15:27

I am usually fairly heartless but I am quite surprised at your attitude. Your niece is 7 and whilst 7 year olds can be annoying to admit in writing, even anonymously, that you don't like her very much sounds just plain mean. She will go to bed early in any case so you can still have some of the evening to yourself. I agree that it may be tricky to reach her without a car but public transport isn't rocket science. In my family (and we are not an especially family orientated family) childless aunts and uncles on BOTH sides of the family would have OFFERED to do this sort of thing without being asked.

zoraqueenofzeep Thu 27-Jun-13 19:17:01

She's very unreasonable to expect you to make a 60 mile round trip on public transport to save her having to take time from work. I wouldn't suffer that type of torturous journey without very good reason.

Also it's natural to find children the most boring/annoying things on the planet before you have any, you're entitled to enjoy your limited free time and not have it wasted minding someone elses kid. It's a good idea to put your foot down now and set some boundaries otherwise you could find your sil (and the rest of his family) feeling entitled to routinely arranging your weekends for you.

YADNBU, say no, keep saying no (broken record technique very effective for people who refuse to listen, google if necessary) and enjoy your weekend.

BMW6 Thu 27-Jun-13 19:19:57


I think the Mother of child has a huge cheek to ask you to do a 60 mile round trip on PT to collect her child.

As for you not liking the child - lots of children are not likeable, and many people don't like children in their lives.

I think it's a joke that some posters have called you up on this, yet the child's own mother, who hasn't seen their own child for a week, doesn't want to take one day off work to go get their own child hmm

SirChenjin Thu 27-Jun-13 19:20:54

I would do it - but perhaps you might not provide the kind of environment that a 7 year old would feel comfortable, safe, secure and happy in, so probably best for her that you don't. Do enjoy your weekend, and as you say, fuck 'em.

babyhmummy01 Thu 27-Jun-13 19:22:47

madame its not forced to be an hour, I live just under 30 miles from Sheffield and on public transport it would take me a good 2 hours to do that 30 mile trip.

The point remains that the child's mother can't be bothered to sort a day off work for HER OWN CHILD even though she must have known about this trip for weeks. It is completely unreasonable to expect someone else to do it when she herself can't be arsed

Hissy Thu 27-Jun-13 19:27:36

I think it's way too much to ask someone. It's perfectly ok and acceptable to just say, No, we'd prefer not to.

You're under no obligation to do anything. If you don't want to, then say no. It's ok to do so.

Some kids ARE annoying, other people's kids can be AWFUL. When you don't have kids of your own, it'd be more daunting a prospect.

I love my DS, like most kids, but pre-DC, i'd never ever have agreed to this.

OP, yanbu!

Hullygully Thu 27-Jun-13 19:29:24

haven't rtft but

sometimes you have to do things even tho you don't want to

BMW6 Thu 27-Jun-13 19:30:44

I would do it - but perhaps you might not provide the kind of environment that a 7 year old would feel comfortable, safe, secure and happy in, so probably best for her that you don't. Do enjoy your weekend, and as you say, fuck 'em.

Your judgy pants are around your neck FFS

Ifancyashandy Thu 27-Jun-13 19:33:39

God, I would - and have - put myself out for friends kids. And I'm child free. And a non-driver. For example, I took buses to collect best mates kids from 2 different schools and then took them on another bus and the train to their new house on the day they moved house / town. And that was after helping the parents clean after the removal men in the morning. Then helped my friend unpack after I'd arrived with said kids.

it's what you do for friends / family. They supplied beer / wine / pizza, so quid pro quo!

BlessedDespair Thu 27-Jun-13 19:35:12

Has anyone thought that this might be the first weekend that the op has had off in ages or that it might be the first weekend that both her and her dp have had off together in a while?

Pre dc and even after dc I wouldn't be jumping up and down to volunteer

Op you are far from BU and your SIL is beyond cheeky to even ask

BellaVita Thu 27-Jun-13 19:35:31

I live in a village in York. Buses are very rare around these parts! And it takes 45 mins by car to Leeds, so lord only knows how long it would take with public transport.

Well actually I do know thinking about it because a couple of years ago DH had an accident in his car and had to rely on public transport. Most times it took 2 hours to get to work and then back again. Waiting for a village bus into York which takes a good 30 mins and then waiting for the train and then 30 mins on the train.

Hissy Thu 27-Jun-13 19:38:05

Has SIL even offered to fund the transport OP will need to fork out for? Would that be more or less than her taking a day unpaid?

PickledInAPearTree Thu 27-Jun-13 19:40:51

YANBU on the public transport front.

However this fuck em attitude is a bit mean.

wongadotmom Thu 27-Jun-13 19:42:39


Your DSISIL is BU to expect you and your dh to do this. If I had not seen my 7yo DD all week no way would I be trying to palm her off for yet another night on a childless couple.

She has the option of taking unpaid leave. That is what she should do!

diddl Thu 27-Jun-13 19:43:21

Tbh, I think that this is what you do in an emergency-not because the mother doesn't want to take unpaid leave.

Where's the father in all this?

Pre children I think that I would have reacted pretty much the same as OP.

AnneElliott Thu 27-Jun-13 19:46:52

I do not think you are BU. before we had DS we often looked after DN's but I think your SIL is taking the piss. She should have asked before the trip was booked.

SirChenjin Thu 27-Jun-13 19:48:39

Yep, BMW6, they are - you are familiar with AIBU, I presume?

Whocansay Thu 27-Jun-13 19:49:24

You are allowed to not want to do this for any reason whatsoever. It is not your responsibility. Your SIL sounds like a self centred arse. Just smile sweetly and say no.

It doesn't make you mean or selfish, btw. I suspect the people on here who are saying you are, also like taking the piss out of other people and are trying to justify their own behaviour.

dietcokeandwine Thu 27-Jun-13 19:52:55

I just feel really sorry for that little girl, regardless of whether or not she's 'likeable'. Away for five nights and yet her mum can't possibly take time off to pick her up?

DS had his first residential trip away with school last year, aged 7. Two nights. An information letter was sent about it well in advance to parents, and I can vividly remember the 'Returning Home' section of this, highlighted in thick black font, that on their arrival back to school IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT YOU ARE THERE ON TIME TO MEET YOUR CHILD. The clear message being that, after two nights away from home (first time ever for many if not most of them), what the children really, really needed was mum or dad, there, waiting, to meet them off that coach.

OP, you are not being unreasonable at all, given the logistical issues that would confront you (though I'll agree you do sound rather mean and graceless in the way you talk about your niece). But your SIL sounds a nasty, thoughtless and selfish excuse for a mother.

"we live about 30 miles from Leeds, we don't drive"
And because of this, the rest is irrelevant. How exactly does your SIL expect you to get to where your niece is? And how expensive is that going to be?

Even if you liked your niece, and didn't feel your SIL was a disorganised selfish cow, this is a major sticking point.

Personally I would just tell her that it can't be done, and she'll have to find an alternative arrangement. Oh, and as for "DP agrees with me but is of the opinion 'what can we do?'" - the answer is 'say no'.

BridgetBidet Thu 27-Jun-13 19:57:20

Not wanting to look after a child because it's too far is one thing, or that you find the child handful to look after, you're too busy, it's to far to travel. That's not unreasonable at all. But for an adult to express such an active dislike to a child is really, really unpleasant.

I find it disturbing that there are so many mothers on here who think it's completely normal. Probably the reason we have schools with so many horrible little bullies who think that it's acceptable to be nasty to people and ostracize them purely because they 'don't like' them.

In all honesty when I hear anybody talking about having an active dislike of anybody it always makes me think this says far more about their own unpleasant personality than that of the person they profess not to like.

sameoldIggi Thu 27-Jun-13 20:04:08

I wish I earned enough that the loss of a day's pay wouldn't affect me at all. If my brother could help me out I am sure he would ( but then he likes both me and my dcs!)
We need more info on the road-trip to understand, but I don't think the OP will be back.

Hissy Thu 27-Jun-13 20:05:17

I get what you're saying Bridget, but really I am a get on with most people kinda person. There are however some I get on less well with.

A (very) few of those people have been children.

It's not their fault, nor mine, it's a difference in personality.

The most you can do is not make a fuss about any of it and not actively seek out their company, but not shun it either.

OP's dilemma is way bigger than not wanting to do it because she doesn't like the child.

She is entitled to say no, whatever the reason is. From her OP, she has more than enough reason to not want to.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Thu 27-Jun-13 20:05:30

Too many unknowns for me to get judgy

How far away is the mother? Too far to collect her later of Friday night?
Will the mother taking unpaid leave mean she might get sacked or something.
How long would the door to door journey be to collect her?
How much would the journey cost?
Can't the DP do the possibly nightmare journey without OP, saying as it's his sister and he wants to have her?
Do you have a room for the niece to sleep in or is she going to end up on the sofa thereby fucking up your evening?
Do the OP and DP have every weekend off to spend together or is this a rare friday night together?

If DP can collect her, the journey isn't too bad or expensive and you have a room you can shove her in with an iPad and the mother will collect her at a reasonable time on saturday then I would do it. I would also do it if it was an emergency, or something close. If it was going to be a real pita ie hours on different buses etc and only because the mother doesn't want to take leave (rather than can't) then I would say no. If I was your DP though I don't think I would say no, because I like my siblings and want to help them when I can and I would be a bit hmm if DP was arsey about one of my nieces staying for one night. That might not be relevant though, depending on the relationship the DP has and wants with his sister. If it was one of my DPs siblings I would expect him to sort it out.

Hissy Thu 27-Jun-13 20:07:04

SIL has WEEKS until the trip, why can't she put in extra time in the meantime to make up for thé time off she'd need to collect her DD? Why can't she work OT the days the DD is away?

foreverondiet Thu 27-Jun-13 20:10:39

If you had a car then I'd say you sounded mean and selfish and I am glad you aren't my sister in law as all three of my sils looked after my kids sometimes overnight - but the transport bit sounds annoying so I'd say I would do if if she pays for a taxi....the cost will probably put off!

trackies Thu 27-Jun-13 20:14:18


Firstly, 60 mile round trip whether it's good transport links or not is probably at least 2 hour round trip, after work on Friday. Or maybe one of you has to take afternoon off ? It's too much to ask you to do.

Secondly, regarding not liking your niece, that's fine. People dislike people all the time, and for other people to think otherwise is naive. That doesn't mean you are a bully. If you don't like someone, then avoid them if you can. I dislike a 6 year old cos they are nasty to my child. I don't bully her back, but i'm quite keen not to spend anymore time with that child than I have to, which includes babysitting for her. I'm sure you have your reasons for not being keen on her.

RevoltingPeasant Thu 27-Jun-13 20:16:34

OP another factor is how long it would take you to get DNiece back to yours. Let's say the camp finishes at 4.30. If it would be two hours home on public transport, would a 7yo be fed up and knackered?

If you live in York then it would be quite easy, but if you live in a small Dales town like Hubberholme or something, one of those 3-bus-a-day hamlets, then it could be a total nightmare of waiting at busstops, potentially in the rain, bus journeys risking DN being carsick, etc etc.

If you are in that situation I don't think YABU to refuse.

Also don't think YABU to not like a child. Although in your case if I could do the journey, I'd look after her anyway and grit my teeth.

Why don't you like her?

WorrySighWorrySigh Thu 27-Jun-13 20:18:23

YANBU - I suspect that DP's family assume that because you dont have DCs of your own that you dont have anything better to do.

It is also perfectly reasonable to not like other people's children. I dont and I have three of my own!

twinklyfingers Thu 27-Jun-13 20:20:36


Your niece is not your responsibility. If your SIL can rearrange her work she should, otherwise niece shouldn't go to this camp at all. Putting others out for your child like this is not on. There is also no reason you should like her (I'm sure you don't make this obvious to your niece) or sacrifice a large part of your weekend for this child.

If I was in your SIL's position here I might have described the situation to you to see if you offered help. Then if you didn't I'd have let it go. It is not annoying to me when people do not jump to help with my dd as she is my responsibility - we decided to have her so we are the ones who make sacrifices for her. On the other hand it drives me crazy when relatives bleat about never getting to look after dd and when a situation arises where they could help they look the other way.

DowntonTrout Thu 27-Jun-13 20:21:03

I live about 20 miles from Leeds. The other side of a nearby town.

It would take a good half hour to get to town. Plus another half hour on the train to Leeds. So that's an hour without waiting times and walking between bus and station.

Then once you're in Leeds it depends where she needs to be collected from.

This round trip will take the best part of 3 hours more if she needs to be pickedup from anywhere but the train station in Leeds. Are people really saying that's a reasonable ask? Not to mention hauling an already tired 7 year old, with a case, back on public transport on this journey?

And where is she from that school has broken up already? Or have I misunderstood? If its a school trip - why is she not being taken home?

I personally would love to help out my future niece when she is older (only 1 now) and would go out of my way to help even if I didn't have a little bambino of my own. But then I like kids and I don't work. However my partner would also be willing and he does work.

I don't think it's unreasonable to say no because it's so far away and it wont be easy to get there. Plus, if you don't really know how to deal with kids it can be a bit daunting having one overnight.

You are being pretty mean though to dislike a child. Sure if she acts a bit childish or spoilt that can be annoying but to overtly dislike a child seems very mean. If I was her mother I'd be deeply offended you said that about my daughter.

My suggestions are these:

a) simply state that you aren't able to do this as you don't have good access to public transport.
b) do the above and either leave it to see if she offers to give you money for it/book you a taxi to pick up her daughter or mention this yourself if you are willing to do this.
c) state you are willing to travel up and pick her up if you are willing to and say you are willing to have her at your house for a few hours and she can pick her up after work (say you don't mind having her til 9 or whatever, but you aren't willing to have her overnight).

I am sure you probably can't see why people think you are being mean but you do sound like you are quite hateful and don't like any of your partners family. Surely you can't dislike every single one of them, that's very judgmental?

Although the Mum seems very disorganised and should've thought about the arrangements for this trip before she booked it I don't think it makes her a bad mother or entitled.

ICantRememberWhatSheSaid Thu 27-Jun-13 20:26:08

I think the OP should simply not get involved. If her DP wants to pick up his niece then he can.

Viviennemary Thu 27-Jun-13 20:30:33

I can see the problem about the 30 mile trip if neither of you drives. So that would be grounds to say you can't manage it. I'd also say do it if it wasn't for the quite long journey on public transport.

Shellywelly1973 Thu 27-Jun-13 20:32:23

I've only skimmed through this thread but i keep reading the same or similar replies.

I bloody hate people including my family presuming i want to see or spend time with their dc. I have never presumed anyone would want to spend time with my dc.

YANBU. Your sister in law is taking the piss expecting you or your dp to do a 60 mile round trip on public transport. Then expecting you to care for the dc over night.

Theres plenty of time for your sister in law to organise herself...let her get on with it!

Burmillababe Thu 27-Jun-13 20:38:40

I'm really surprised that people think so badly of the OP for not liking her niece - as a pp said, you like some people, and dislike others. Some people don't like children in general. To mention bullying in the same section is harsh.

diddl Thu 27-Jun-13 20:39:21

OP-will you & your OH be on holiday then?

Just wondering why SIL would need time off & OP not?

DontmindifIdo Thu 27-Jun-13 20:42:31

60 miles on public transport on a Friday night after work? God no.

I'd say no, if your DP wants to, that's his choice. I'd arrange a night out with some of my friends and stay over with one of them. Let him pick up his DN and do the running around/looking after her if he's not prepared to say no to his sister. But point out the little girl will need to eat dinner at some point before 7pm, so he'll probably have to feed her on the move.

Poor little girl, that's going to be a long, long day. Can no one else on the trip bring her home?

crunchbag Thu 27-Jun-13 20:47:26

I don't think YABU. Pre children I would have panicked too to have a 7yo over for the night, not knowing what to do with her. Now I would do it no problem for friends and family, even if it involves public transport.

But how well do you know your neice, has she spent time with just you and DP before? Will she be happy spending the night at yours, especially after a busy week away.

I don't think your DSIL is wrong in asking but you are not wrong in saying no.

BlackeyedSusan Thu 27-Jun-13 21:27:22

a sixty mile round trip and looking after a neice could well come to 30 pounds or so of petrol and food, so even if op did have a car, it may not be feasible.

brigit, you said that it was unpleasant to dislike a child, yet you also call some children "horible little bullies" does that make you unpleasant too?

op yanbu. sil needs to go and get her own dd. post it the other way round, as from sil and she would be told to get her own child i think.

diddl Thu 27-Jun-13 21:38:51

Well I do hope that if SIl posted that she couldn't afford the time off & her carless/childless brother & his OH wouldn't help, she would be told to look for alternatives.

I think the 30 miles is a red herring.

I say this as a non-driver myself. If the OP wanted to get to something 30 miles away, she would probably at least investigate options before saying flat out no.

Maybe the niece can get a ride to Leeds with someone else on the course. Maybe SIL would pay for a taxi. Maybe the DP knows someone with a car who wouldn't mind a little extra cash and would make a drive.

Maybe the public transport isn't even so bad, 30 miles could just be a 30-minute train ride.

OP -- you don't have to do it if you don't want to. But I think it would be a nice thing to do for family, and you never know when you might need some help in return.

imademarion Thu 27-Jun-13 22:42:09

I suppose it depends what you were planning to do with your Friday night.

If you're out delivering fruit baskets to OAPs, then fair enough.

But if you and her uncle are planning to go drinking and have a lie-in, then would it really kill you to put yourselves out for family? Seven year old girls can be quite good company.

Are you ever planning a family of your own?

You may need a similar favour yourself one day, no harm paying it forward.

kittykarate Thu 27-Jun-13 22:49:31

For me the key things are
- you don't drive so the public transport is a factor
- the SIL isn't exactly breaking her neck to pick up her child, suggesting a Saturday afternoon collection
- you are not only being asked to sacrifice Friday night, but Saturday morning and some of the afternoon. Or half of the weekend as it's otherwise known.

I can't help but feel sorry for the niece who is being fobbed off after her week at camp. I really wanted to be home with my mam after these camps in primary school, as I was generally tired (from dorm room shenanigans and ghost stories) and emotionally stressed out. No matter how nice my auntie or uncle, it still wouldn't be the same as being home in my own bed.

PeriodMath Thu 27-Jun-13 22:55:10

I'd love to see the responses on her to:

"I've booked my child into a camp miles from where I live. In order to collect her at the end of the camp I'd have to take a day's unpaid leave from work. I don't want to do this, obviously. WIBU to ask my SIL to travel 30 miles on public transport to get her for me? Oh, and then have her to stay that night and I'll be over the following afternoon to get her. SIL doesn't have DCs and doesn't seem to like my DD much but still - family should sort this for me, no?"

I can just imagine the responses!

I think people are not being very honest on this thread. Could it be because the OP doesn't have children and has confessed to not liking a child? shockshockshock

theoriginalandbestrookie Thu 27-Jun-13 23:06:39

I feel v sorry for that poor child.

DS is 7 and I can't imagine that he'd be happy going on a residential trip for 5 nights, and then for her mother not to be bothered to make proper arrangements to pick her up but try to foist her on relatives that clearly aren't that bothered about her.

Yes we all have child care emergencies from time to time, but sounds like the DSIL is a bit of a user, therefore i don't think the OP should drop her social calendar for her lack of planning.

Having said that OP I'm left wondering if you are ever planning to have DC. If you do, you hardly ever get any time to yourself and if you go back to work and have a busy week, no one gives a stuff as you still have to be a parent outside of that anyway. I was slightly irked at your "busy, busy week" but then I would have been the same pre DC probably.

Turniptwirl Thu 27-Jun-13 23:27:42


People who drive have no idea how much longer everything takes on even the best public transport

DN will be tired and if you don't like her she may well not like you that much either and may not be thrilled at the prospect of staying over any more than you are.

If she's dying to spend time with your dp and he's happy to do the travel and entertaining then let him, but otherwise politely decline.

candyandyoga Thu 27-Jun-13 23:32:03

No op yet! Hmmm!

pigletmania Thu 27-Jun-13 23:45:04

Yanbu at all, the Souter should have planned better. Yanbu too as you don't drive and it will tk longer than a car to get there. Yabvu about our weekend, helping once in. While wont het, you never know when you might need help!

Butterflywgs Thu 27-Jun-13 23:47:54

It's amazing how much hate women get for daring to be childless and confess to not liking a child.
Not all children are likeable, just as not all adults are.

babyhmummy01 Thu 27-Jun-13 23:52:25

candy read her post she said would be tomorrow for update

butterfly I find anyone who dares to deviate from the MN hallowed idea of right is flamed.

notanyanymore Fri 28-Jun-13 00:00:32

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notanyanymore Fri 28-Jun-13 00:13:36

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These are the types of MN threads I hate.

The OP expresses a dislike of a child and all of a sudden is mean and selfish.

It might be selfish to not want to give up her Friday night and Saturday to look after a child she doesn't like, but then again, it might be selfish for the child's MOTHER to say she doesn't want to take unpaid leave to pick her up.

There are children I don't especially like, but (and herein lies the kicker) I have my own children and I expect not every adult to be equally as in love with them as I am.

OP, YANBU. You don't want to do it, so don't do it. It's not your responsibility.

It's a bit late, sorry if that makes no sense.

evelynj Fri 28-Jun-13 00:23:47

I think you do for family because family is the most important thing.

You don't want to and that is sad but if you ever expect to want to have children you may need some favours returned!

Oh, and no, I wouldn't ask someone to make the 40 mile round trip to collect DSS on public transport on a Friday night because I didn't want to take unpaid leave. (Which is what we have to do every other weekend. Luckily his mum does the Friday trip and we do Sunday.)

Family or not, they have their own things to do, and unless it was an emergency it's just not fair

'A favour' would be collecting her from school down the road or looking after her until mum could collect her after work.

What she is asking is taking the piss!

Laquitar Fri 28-Jun-13 01:10:02

To me the most unreasonable person here is your DH. He should have an opinion and decide himself and do it himself. You don't need both of you to go and pick her up fgs, one person -her uncle- is enough! Then once at home put a supermarket pizza in the oven,watch some tv and then i imagine she will be very tired and sleep.

Sorry but i don'tunderstand why women decide about dps family relationships.( I am a bit bias because my brother is totally spineless).

Regarding the trip your dp could ask his sister for suggestions. If he finds a solution (i.e. a lift, taxi paid by sil, train) then its his decision to make.

zipzap Fri 28-Jun-13 01:21:39

If dsisil doesn't want to get to yours until Saturday afternoon then I reckon it's nothing to do with holidays and hours - I reckon she's got someone something lined up for the evening and doesn't want dneice around...

Otherwise she'd be able to get to you in the evening or early the next day. Just out of interest - how far away is she from you and from the camp?

Op - yanbu - sil really hasn't thought through the practicalities of you as a non- driver getting to the camp. Would you - well dh - have to leave work early to get to do the pick up in time? And would your dh do it by himself? Definitely don't think you Abu to say that you're not prepared to leave work early or take holidays in order to do this because if sil isn't then why the he'll should you?

Find out the cost and timings of the trip on public transport and taxi so your dp can talk to his sis and say it's going to take xx hours and cost £yy, it's just not going to work. Also would dsisil mind I'd you weren't there or is she expecting both of you to do it?

I'd say no, you don't drive and don't want to go that far on friday night on train/bus. Doesn't matter if you like the child or mother, you don't want to do it, don't do it.
It does sound like she has a night out planned Friday night and is trying to fob off the poor kid on you.

MidniteScribbler Fri 28-Jun-13 03:25:02

I don't think this has anything to do with transport. I think even if the niece were staying next door the OP still wouldn't want to have anything to do with her.

xylem8 Fri 28-Jun-13 04:15:32

singingsands - but the op does not live in leeds she lives 30 miles away.i live in north yorks a similar didtance from leeds and the trip into leeds would entail a mile and a half walk to the bus stop alomg a road with no footpsth and then a 4 hour round trip assuming the venue was even on the bus route, otherwise even longer

MyShoofly Fri 28-Jun-13 05:21:15

YANBU about the transport part but your general attitude stinks IMO. Its not such a horrible thing to help out family now and again.

MyShoofly Fri 28-Jun-13 05:23:02

I'm inclined to agree with MidnightScribbler

libertine73 Fri 28-Jun-13 05:44:43

I tHink the logistics sound a bloody nightmare, but it would be nice if you could improve your relationship with your DN, what is it you don't like about her?

I do think your sil is taking the piss a bit though, and I don't think you're selfish for wanting your weekend to yourself.

feel sorry for the kid tbh, she's going to be exhausted

Sokmonsta Fri 28-Jun-13 06:00:20

Op whether you like your niece or not is irrelevant. And I think you would perhaps have got better replies for leaving it out as people have chosen to make you the evil aunt based on that. You might not be a 'child' person and that's fine. I've got an auntie who tolerated us and her great-nieces/nephews while babies. But as soon as walking and talking began, she made it quite clear she didn't want to be involved. Tbh I don't think she's a people person full stop but I digress.

You are being asked to pick up a child on public transport.

You are being asked to have niece until the following afternoon.

Neither of those asks consider how much trouble you will have to go to to accommodate the request.

If the request held no financial implication for you - leaving work early so potentially losing out on wages or having to use your own leave then paying for public transport for you there and two of you back - I'd perhaps think you were a little unreasonable not to want to help. But would accept that you have your reasons for not wanting to. I would hope dsil would offer to reimburse you for any travel/loss of earnings costs incurred. I've asked my mum to look after dc before and have always offered to pay her the days wage if it meant she wouldn't have been able to work.

Quite frankly not picking the child up until the afternoon is taking the piss on the mother's part and I think she has perhaps arranged something else and realised that the journey there and back, plus having her niece home would put a spanner in the works - I'd assume to pick her up in the afternoon she'll either have had too much to drink the night before or be away from home and have to travel.

If you had been asked at the beginning, when dsil was at the planning what's happening stage, I'd think you were being a teensy bit unreasonable to not want to at least help out on the Friday, provided niece would be picked up on the Friday. But again, you've no obligation to for whatever reason you choose to help out. It would be the nice thing to do. But if it isn't something you feel you can do, you're best off not doing.

TheRealFellatio Fri 28-Jun-13 06:01:34

Mixed feelings about this, but I think I am on your side for the simple fact that you don't drive, 30 miles is a long way, and a summer camp will be somewhere not terribly accessible by public transport.

It's hard to know whether she has genuinely found herself unstuck and really needs a rarely asked favour, (in which case if you drove I'd say help your niece - it would be churlish not to) or whether she is one of those irritating people who wants her children to be able to do everything on offer, and consequently totally over-books things and packs out the family schedule without any thought to the practicalities and the consequences. People like that always just assume that their friends or family will be available and willing to rush around solving their logistical problems for them. hmm

I had a friend like this once and it drove me nuts. If something completely optional is too complicated to do without having to inconvenience others, then don't do it! Some people's cheek and entitlement knows no bounds.

catsmother Fri 28-Jun-13 06:03:57

I don't understand - from what we've been told so far - why this trip was booked at all if the child's mother couldn't be there to collect her when it finished. Surely, the issue of leave would have been an issue when it was first booked, and, at that time, any sensible person would have asked around then to see if anyone might be willing to help out ? Even then, if it was simply an issue of not being able to get to the pick up point in time, surely, you'd then drive up as soon as you'd finished work to collect your child from the friend/relative who'd done you the favour of collecting her ? ..... I agree with Zipzap, I think what's really going on here is that child's mother has had a better offer for Friday night and is giving herself plenty of wriggle room for a hangover etc., hence the collection on Saturday afternoon. If that is the case, then small wonder OP and her DP don't want to take this responsibility on - regardless of whether she likes the child (and you are allowed to dislike some children) most people would still feel pretty peed off at being in effect emotionally blackmailed so mum can have a night out - reading between the lines here - especially if she's not being honest about it, which I suspect she's not.

TheRealFellatio Fri 28-Jun-13 06:14:21

My son once knew a girl of about 9 who was the daughter of a friend of his best friend's mother. He saw her often when at his best friend's house and would go on and on and ON to me afterwards about how utterly foul she was and how much her hated her. I dismissed it as childish petty nonsense. And then I met her.

Oh my god. What a revolting and truly unlikable excuse for a child. Obnoxious, loathesome, rude, loud, bossy, manipulative, deceitful, and did I say rude? shock Three hours in her company was enough finish me off.

She was like all the horrid brats in Charlie and the Chocolate factory rolled into one. Urrgh. Some children just aren't very nice. Which figures really, as plenty of adults aren't very nice either.

LeoTheLateBloomer Fri 28-Jun-13 06:19:55

Based on your attitude and tone YABU. You really sound like you just don't want to help. I also agree with the poster who suggested you still wouldn't do it if it was down the road and I'm guessing it's a relief to you that you have the journey logistics as an excuse.

MalcolmTuckersMum Fri 28-Jun-13 06:24:37

Quite so Fellatio. I always find it odd that it's considered 'not ok' if you don't actually love and worship every single child simply because they are a child. It's nonsense. Some children are just not very nice and not very likeable. If some posters have been fortunate enough to have not yet encountered such a child then be thankful. If other posters have then please do not shoot them down - it's a simple truth that not all children are lovely, cute, engaging, likeable and nice to be around.

Jengnr Fri 28-Jun-13 06:40:02

Definitely not unreasonable.

I can't believe you're being called selfish and mean for daring to not want to fuck about on a Friday night to pick up someone else's child because they don't want to take a day off work.

And you don't like the child much so you're being called a bully. Not liking someone doesn't mean bullying them, or being mean to them or anything close to that fgs.

If you lived close by and were asked to pick her up and have her until her mum finished work I'd probably think you were a bit tight but it's still up to you. These circumstances are totally out of line for the cheeky cow mother to ask for.

Maybe the kid is a brat, but she's still family

Do you really cut out a 7 year old child because you don't like her? It's not the same as chlidren's friends, random kids.

Let's revisit the OP and her reasons for not wanting to do this:

I really don't want this to happen because a) I actually don't like my neice very much, b) I have no idea how to entertain a 7 yo child, and c) I don't want to have my Friday night and Saturday morning taken over my looking after this child.

If she were talking about a friend's child, I would understand this a bit more, but she's talking about her family and I think those reasons are a bit weak and coldhearted.

What I mean is, this isn't just 'someone else's child', this isn't 'every single child', it's her niece

By no means do I think you have to like every child, but I do think you should make an extra effort for family.

ReflectingKites Fri 28-Jun-13 09:49:24

Hello all

Wow, such a lot of replies! I'm sorry I couldn't update last night fucking BT modem

The transport between where we are (just outside of York) and Leeds isn't easy at all. It's a train (which only comes every half hour) into York, connecting train to Leeds then a short bus to the camp/play thing. So it would take about three hours round trip.

DSISIL lives about a three or four hour drive away from us.

It's not a 'school' thing as such so no-one from her school is going but she's been granted time off to go- it's some like summer school thing for musical kids. hmm not sure if that makes any sense- I don't quite understand it.

DSISIL is, basically, taking the piss as she has a tendancy to do with everyone. She wants us to look after her daughter so she can go out with her BF on Friday night- it has nothing to do with her having to work unpaid. She dumps her daughter off on different people about 4 evenings per week so this is no different. She's not 'stuck' on this, she just sees leaving her with us and picking her up on Saturday as the easiest option for her. So she planned it and then called DP saying 'I was thinking that you could pick her up and look after her on Friday night and I'll come and ger her on Saturday' hmm were you now!?

I'm not mean by saying that I don't like my neice- I don't. She's very spoilt, she's extremely demanding and prone to massive tantrums. I appreciate that this is because her mum doesn't give a shit and has always palmed her off on grandparents and friends who have spoilt her but this has made her a very difficult child to get on with. So I have no desire to spend any time with her.

Anyway, DP spoke to his DSIS last night about this. He said her and her daughter are welcome to stay at ours Friday night if she doesn't feel like driving for three hours but we won't be travelling for three hours to pick her up from Leeds and we won't be looking after her on our own.

DSISIL threw a bit of a wobbly about it but he didn't budge. She's thinking about it but leaning towards taking the day off work on Friday (yes unpaid) and collecting her early before the summer school ends. I suspect she's saying this to make us feel guilty for her daughter missing some, or all, of the last day of the summer school.

Eugh, families eh?!

ukatlast Fri 28-Jun-13 09:52:16

YANBU What emotional state is poor 7 year old going to be in after being 'away from parents' Mon-Fri?

ReflectingKites Fri 28-Jun-13 09:55:21

ukatlast She's used to being pushed from pillar to post.

DSISIL and her daughter live with DP's parents who do everything for them. DSISIL and her daughter have more of a relationship that you'd see between a teenage sister and a 7 yo sister. I suspect she may not be too bothered about being away from her mum. But may be more upset being away from her nan and grandad

I feel more sorry for the kid now, but only because her mother sounds awful!

Laquiter - just because op posts and us female, doesn't mean she gets final say, just that she is the mn member.

Pigsmummy Fri 28-Jun-13 10:04:56

If it is doable by public transport or your DSil arranges transport then I would do it, you might actually enjoy spending time with your niece, you were a 7 year old girl at some point. You have plenty of other Friday nights to do your own thing.

If however you can't get there easily and your DSil hasn't considered that then say no blaming logistics.

Do you have a relationship with your niece? Do you send birthday presents? If not then maybe now is a good time to start?

Trills Fri 28-Jun-13 10:09:17

Looking after a seven year old overnight when you have not had her to stay before and have no experience of children does not sound like fun, so YANBU to not be terribly enthusiastic about the whole thing.

However you will be owed a massive favour.

ReflectingKites Fri 28-Jun-13 10:10:04

Jackie Yes, I don't have the final say on this at all. I'm just the MN member. Although DMIL would expect me to look after the child because I am, afterall, a woman!! whole other thread and rant

Her mother, DSISIL is awful- very selfish etc.

Pigs We don't really have a relationship at all with her. We send birthday and Xmas cards and presents which never get a thank you and see her twice a year.

DowntonTrout Fri 28-Jun-13 10:17:17

Well I feel really sorry for the child.

It sounds like SIL just wants a babysitter for the night and isn't bothered at all that she hasnt seen her DD for 5 days or that it puts you out massively.

Good on your DP for standing up to her though.

DSISIL is prioritising her Friday night with her boyfriend over her daughter who she won't have seen for a week.

She's a 4 hour drive but she fully expects you to spend 3+ hours on a bus/train to collect the girl.

Sounds like she's used to having her family pander to her and as you're family , she expects the same from you.

She's a massively entitled ,selfish individual by the sounds of it.

(And FWIW I disliked all- many children until I had my own --who I love more than oxygen . It doesn't make you a bad person to say you don't like her BEHAVIOUR but as the adult you can like the child . Or at least tolerate her)

ReflectingKites Fri 28-Jun-13 10:21:05

Downton You've hit the nail right on the head there!

And this is part of my reason for not wanting to look after my neice. If DSISIL was a good parent who gave a shit about her dughter and was really up shit creek with this then me and DP would definately try and help. However, she's a fucking shit mother who doesn't give a toss about her daughter and I just don't want to be a part of enabling that IYSWIM.

cleoteacher Fri 28-Jun-13 10:24:48

I think you are being a little mean, yes. It's only an evening and an afternoon. I would understand if it was the whole weekend. I would do it as it's doing someone a favour and if you do have children in the future no doubt you will need people to do the same at one time.

At 7 she probably goes to bed early anyway so it wouldn't take up your entire evening either. If you're not sure what to do with her on the Saturday and unsure how to interact with her I would take her to the cinema/park/swimming, something active so she is kept entertained which makes it easier for you and which tires her out too.

So she's a shit mother who doesn't care about her daughter.

I think that's even more of a reason to get involved in your niece's life to be honest.

I grew up in a dysfunctional family myself and I can tell you a big reason I got out of it was that I had a few 'normal' people to look to, to serve as an example.

Refusing to have your niece for one night isn't going to change the mother's behaviour significantly, but having her might give her a glimpse of normal life that would be helpful.

ArthurCucumber Fri 28-Jun-13 10:43:20

I've always understood that sorting out things like this is my responsibility. What sort of parent organises a thing like that - it presumably needed to be booked well in advance - without considering how the child was going to get back? I'm also rather hmm at the parent of a seven-year-old, which is still very young, thinking it's OK not to be there at the end of a five-day residential course. I know how exhausted and glad to see me my own youngest still is at the end of only 2-3 days away, and she's 11.

We did once have a whale of a time taking my niece and nephew round Ireland for a week when they were aged 8 and 11, but they were lovely kids, we liked them and knew them well. Plus, crucially, my sister asked us with plenty of notice, covered the finances and made it clear she would understand if we couldn't. I know this is a smaller thing but the principle is the same.

As for you not wanting to spend time with your niece, that is up to you. If you don't want to do this for any reason then you shouldn't be doing it.

JulieMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 28-Jun-13 10:49:51

We just want to remind you of our fantastic talk guidelines. Have a coffee break and have a read. Once you understand them, come back and carry on posting.


OctopusPete8 Fri 28-Jun-13 10:50:19

Why don't you like your niece, she's 7 years old FFS, Imagine you're a delight are you?

one of the nastiest things I've read in a long time.

You're DP agree's with you? I hope SIL does find out so her child is never exposed to you ever again.

ReflectingKites Fri 28-Jun-13 11:03:34

Arthur Sorry I should have made that clearer in my OP. She did book well in advance but didn't mention it to us. As in didn't mention the whole thing, not just the picking up issue.

Then when it started to get a bit closer, DSISIL started to arrange logistics and rang DP basically saying 'DD is at this summer school in Leeds but I can't pick her up Friday night coz I'd have to work without pay. Since you're not far from Leeds, I thought you could help out, perhaps have her on Friday night and I'll pick her up from yours Saturday'.

We were a bit confused because we assumed DN wouldn't particularly want to stay with us because she doesn't bloody know us and would prefer to get home. Because it wasn't set in stone, DP just said 'well we can talk closer to the time', which DSISIL took as meaning 'yes'!

Then she arranges to go out with her BF on Friday night because we are , apparently, having her daughter.

YANBU at all. Why should you make (and fund) a 3-hour round trip? The child is going to be tired, probably emotional that her mum hasn't collected her, she's unlikely to have remembered to save a clean set of clothes for the Saturday so will probably need washing doing on Friday night too. It's not going to be heaps of fun for either of you.

If the mum was held up in a genuine emergency - family illness or something - then I think you should step in and help the child. But not in this situation where the mum just clearly can't be bothered to make the trip on Friday.

Octopus assuming you haven't bothered to read the thread properly.
Go back and look again and read the replies!

'DD is at this summer school in Leeds but I can't pick her up Friday night coz I'd have to work without pay. Since you're not far from Leeds, I thought you could help out, perhaps have her on Friday night and I'll pick her up from yours Saturday'

I must be crazy, because I don't think this is an unreasonable thing to ask at all.

You don't have to say yes, but I don't think DSIL is crazy for asking.

I also think it was a bit off of your DP to not say yes or no either way, just 'we'll see'. Yes she shouldn't have assumed you would do it but if it's really so impossible why didn't your DP just say no?

ArthurCucumber Fri 28-Jun-13 11:12:26

Thanks for clarifying, OP. Without being party to the phone conversation, it still sounds to me like your SIL jumped the gun and made her plans in the assumption that you would help.

Just to let you know what my 11 yr old is like, btw, after a school residential of 2-3 days. She's absolutely exhausted, generally hasn't had a shower, has a bag of dirty clothes and no clean ones, and is cranky as hell. She just wants to get home, into a onesie and lie in bed watching TV.

BlessedDespair Fri 28-Jun-13 11:13:03

Octopus Wow you really think this is one of the nastiest things you've read in a long time? Seriously? thinks it's quite a tame one and far from nasty

Have you read the ops description of her niece? I'd find it hard to do more than tolerate spending time with a child like that, and no I'm not a nasty person who should be kept away from children so they aren't exposed to me. I don't think the op is either to be honest.

Yes it is nice to help family out but sil is asking far too much from the op and her dp

ReflectingKites Fri 28-Jun-13 11:17:41

Arthur She did absolutely jump the gun because DSISIL is used to everyone- mainly DFIL and DMIL- running around after her and her DD all the time.
And I totally agree, I think DN will just want to get home to her mum and grandfolks, not spend time with me and DP who are really boring for a 7yo (no toys, no childrens DVDs, no idea how to interact with kids). So we have said that they can both stay over on Friday so at least DN will see her mum and it will save her mum driving 3 hours back down south.

dreaming Yes, I agree. He should have just said 'no' straight off but I think he was so taken aback by it, he didn't engage his brain quickly enough!

ReflectingKites Fri 28-Jun-13 11:20:08

Octopus I'm not a nasty person. I don't really like children very much in general but I can tolerate those that are well behaved. However, my neice isn't well behaved at all, as I've said above. So I don't like her and I don't like spending time with her.

diddl Fri 28-Jun-13 11:22:22

I'd be tempted to have her-if SIl delivered & fetched, just to show that someone cares!

Sounds as though relationship building will lead to free childcare being expected.

If it's just due to a friday night out-are her partners parents out?

Oh scrub that-is it because fetching the daughter means she'll be too late back for a night out-with the guy she lives with (ie sees quite a it of??)hmm

OctopusPete8 Fri 28-Jun-13 11:24:41

Surely you can be the adult here and sense she just needs someone to care about her?

ReflectingKites Fri 28-Jun-13 11:25:36

diddl Sorry diddl, maybe I haven't been very clear about DSISIL's living arrangements.

DSISIL lives with her mum and dad (DFIL and DMIL) and her DD. Her mum and dad do about 95% of childcare, cooking, cleaning, washing, all child-associated tasks.

When she can't ely on DFIL and DMIL to babysit, she dumps her DD on friends for the evening so she can go out with her BF or stay at home for 'me time' shudder

She doesn't have a partner.

sameoldIggi Fri 28-Jun-13 11:26:06

Does your dp have no desire to forge a better relationship with his niece? Really don't get not wanting to know a little girl on account of her mother not giving a toss about her.
Children's DVDs are available cheaply in your local supermarket btw.
The mad journey is about the only good reason for not doing this. When I think of some of the threads I've read on here and what some women put up with, this is nothing really.

ReflectingKites Fri 28-Jun-13 11:26:54

octopus Her grandparents care about her - they are basically her primary carers. The issue is that they also behave like grandparents (i.e. spoiling her massively) when they are performing a 'parent' role IYSWIM.

diddl Fri 28-Jun-13 11:29:17

Don't worry-it's more than likely me misreading acronyms!blush

ReflectingKites Fri 28-Jun-13 11:30:28

same The journey is a big factor but so is the fact that DSISIL expects the world to revolve around her and her social life. And so is that fact that we don't to spend Friday night baby sitting a child we don't know and don't particularly get on with.

DP doesn't want to forge a better relationship with his neice, no.

Not sure what 'what some other women have to put up with' is anything to do with this situation. What other people put up with is nothing to do with my life. Also, the main responsibility for looking after the little girl, if she did come to ours, would fall to DP- his sister, not mine. Just because I'm a woman doesn't mean I'll be picking up the childcare slack.

Crowler Fri 28-Jun-13 11:34:46

I would do it.

But, I don't have sisters (in law) who are irresponsible/fob kids off on other family members, so not a fair comparison.

ArthurCucumber Fri 28-Jun-13 11:40:59

I actually do know the type of child you are referring to. I used to (a long time ago, so not identifiable) encounter a child through work whose circumstances were almost identical - cared for mostly by doting grandparents, little discipline, mother more interested in her own social life. His behaviour was appalling as he was entirely indulged, thought he was king of the world. It wasn't his fault, any more than this child's unpleasant behaviour isn't her fault, but that doesn't make it your (or your dh's) problem to solve.

The journey isn't the "only good reason", no matter how cheap DVDs are. The only good reason the OP needs is not wanting to do it. Yes, that is prioritising what she wants. She can do this, as she doesn't have any dependents. And what other women have to put up with also isn't relevant. Are you really suggesting the OP should do this because (let's say) other women have to bring up children alone, or suffer domestic violence? What good would that do? confused

Emilythornesbff Fri 28-Jun-13 11:43:17

YANBU not to this favour.
But DP's sister is NBU to ask IMHO.
I would probably do it in your situation.i spent a lot of time with my nieces, helping out with child care before I had DCs.
But it's not for everyone.

What does DSISIL stand for?

ReflectingKites Fri 28-Jun-13 11:44:29

Emily DSISIL- Darling sister in law... have I got this wrong blush?

BlessedDespair Fri 28-Jun-13 11:46:17


What does DSISIL stand for?

I'm guessing it stands for D (dear) SIS (sister) IL (in law) smile

Poor kid.

Feel a bit sorry for the child, but YANBU. It's not like it's just a few minutes down the road.

SIL sounds enormously self-entitled - sod her evening out with her boyfriend - she booked her dd on this course, so she can sort her travel arrangements. Think your DP did/said totally the right thing.

Emilythornesbff Fri 28-Jun-13 11:55:03

Obvious really. (i was expecting DSIL)
I thought it was something new. blush

ZolaBuddleia Fri 28-Jun-13 11:57:22

I have a niece who, beyond the age of 3, was really really hard to like. Before I had a child, if it had been put to me that I had to give up my Friday night and half my Saturday to look after her, I would have had exactly the same response as you, OP. And that's before the transport thing.

People with kids are, by and large, so used to forgoing anything involving freedom and relaxation that looking after a niece for a night no longer seems a big deal, but for a childfree person those things can be really important.

ZolaBuddleia Fri 28-Jun-13 11:58:25

We'd have her to stay now, but that's because she's 17 and supposed to be unpleasant.

So you 'shudder' at the concept of 'me time', but your main reason for doing this is you don't want to give up your friday night. Okay...

Why doesn't your DP want to forge a closer relationship with his niece? That's pretty sad, I think. It doesn't sound like any of this is her fault.

diddl Fri 28-Jun-13 12:16:53

None of it is the niece's fault.

But it's hardly the OPs either.

Sad that her Uncle isn't bothered about her, but I'm also thinking that more enablers (to SIL) aren't needed.

DowntonTrout Fri 28-Jun-13 12:25:07

The OP is perfectly entitled to me time.

She doesn't have children herself.

The DSIL has chosen to have a child and has chosen to send the child on an activity for 5 days. Therefore giving herself 4 other evenings of me time.

AliasNemo Fri 28-Jun-13 12:27:01

Poor kid. Say no if you must. But don't delude yourself about having any excuses: it is pure selfishness.

Crinkle77 Fri 28-Jun-13 12:29:28

YANBU for not wanting to travel 30 miles on public transport but YABU for your attitude to your neice. I don't have kids but would do anything for my nieces and if that meant giving up one Friday night in a blue moon then so be it

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Fri 28-Jun-13 12:31:26

I don't think it's selfish to not want to do something that the person who should be doing doesn't want to do either.

3 hr round trip on a friday night on public transport with a weeks worth of luggage to collect a kid you've only met half a dozen times - no thanks.

It would be different if it was A) an actual emergency or B) genuinely no trouble

mirry2 Fri 28-Jun-13 12:36:07

I haven't read all 7 pages of this thread s sorry if it's been dealt with - ut it's the travelling that is the real problem, surely? A 7 year old won't be up very late and will be gone by Saturday lunch time so i can't see the op or her dh will need to do much entertaining.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Fri 28-Jun-13 12:39:59

Some families aren't that close though. Plenty of threads on here about people not getting on with their siblings, presumably they don't have close relationships with their siblings children. I would, and do, put myself out for my nieces but neither my sisters or sils take the piss and we are all very close. (well, one sil does take the piss a bit and she is the one that I put the most thought into saying yes/no to. The others I would always say yes if I can because they wold be asking because they needed help iyswim)

LongTimeLurking Fri 28-Jun-13 12:41:19

YANBU. Nothing wrong with disliking the child and not wanting to give up your free time to provide a free baby sitting service for a woman who constantly dumps on people.

Only thing I would say is 'what goes around comes around' - if you have kids in the near future don't expect any of the family to be putting themselves out to help you.

BlessedDespair Fri 28-Jun-13 12:43:50

AliasNemo The op isn't selfish :-/ SIL is for expecting the op to go over 3 hours out of her way to fetch her dc and then over 3 hours to get back home....

Hawkmoon269 Fri 28-Jun-13 13:00:29

I just really want to point out that it's niece. Not neice.

Sorry, pedantic but it was really annoying me. As you were...

diddl Fri 28-Jun-13 13:01:25

The OP selfish??

The child's mother would rather be out with her boyfriend??!!

YoniMitchell Fri 28-Jun-13 13:05:50

YANBU OP, and I think you're getting some really unnecessarily harsh comments here.

It's not compulsory to like children, even nieces/nephews, nor should you be expected to travel for 3hrs after work on a Friday night and have a child to stay over until the next afternoon just because the mother cba and wants to go out with her bf.

Glad your DP is supporting you on this.

StillSeekingSpike Fri 28-Jun-13 13:21:55

'Sfunny that the ultimate insult for women is still 'SELFISH'. Not having children, wanting a quiet time on a Friday night instead of 3 hours on public transport- that all sounds fine to me.
But instead the Op gets threatened with No One Visiting in the Nursing HOme/ No one helping with her children and general bad karma... [shocked]
Yeah- I'm sure this mother is the type to put herself out for other people's children...

ReflectingKites Fri 28-Jun-13 13:34:57

Hawmoon blush blush blush YABVVU for pointing out my spelling error and making me feel like a twat! Shame on you! wink

Thanks for all of your comments on this MNers! I'll be sure to keep everyone updated on what goes on with this with my niece

Obviously there's nothing wrong with not having kids and wanting quiet weekends

I do think the OP and her DP could extend themselves a bit for a niece who's obviously dealing with a pretty dysfunctional life

It doesn't sound like DSIL is constantly asking them for favours, they live hours away.

Rather the OP/DP disapproves of the DSIL lifestyle and choices and so don't want to have any real relationship with her child.

Okay, fair enough. It just seems, I don't know, like a really grumpy way of looking at life, I guess.

sameoldIggi Fri 28-Jun-13 14:57:02

It is somewhat circular to not want the girl to stay because you don't know her, when by not having much to do with her you will never get to know her. By what other women go through, I was referring to how much many women on here do out of love/duty/kindness for family, even when it is not what they most want to do (ever read a Christmas thread?). Taking her might have given the dp's parents a break, if he's not worried about the sister.
And I don't blame you for not being bothered about knowing her, but I do think it is a shame that your dp has no desire to get to know someone who is related to him, yes. Potentially he could have been a good support for her and a good role model. Sounds like she could've done with that.

babyhmummy01 Fri 28-Jun-13 15:05:54

I have an aunt who had nothing to do with us as kids and still has relatively little to do with us. I have no issues with this, she doesn't like kids and never has. Her attitude upset my parents but tbh we never knew her as anything other than someone who sent cards at birthdays etc and haven't missed out on anything. There is no way my aunt would have put herself out and nor would my parents have asked or expected her to.

The fact the OP disapproves of the DSIL's lifestyle and dislikes the child (reading her reasons I am not sure I would like her either) is as I have said before irrelevant. The biggest issue is that the journey is unreasonable to ask of anyone esp when the mother is only asking cos she wants to get pissed - I am sorry but as a parent your needs ALWAYS come second to that of your children. I don't blame the OP for a second for not wanting to enable this abusive behaviour of the DSIL.

The OP has clarified that IF it was an emergency then she would gladly do it, but the fact that it is another example of the DSIL farming out her daughter cos she can't be arsed gives her ample reason to refuse.

QueenofallIsee Fri 28-Jun-13 15:16:26

Why are people getting on at the OP for not being keen on a child? Kids are people with personalities some you like, some you don#'t. I have 4 kids and they all have friends round frequently - one of the kids is spoilt, dishonest and whiney..i make no apologies for disliking her regardless of her age. OP has nothing to be ashamed of on that score

unobtanium Fri 28-Jun-13 16:03:49

"In all honesty when I hear anybody talking about having an active dislike of anybody it always makes me think this says far more about their own unpleasant personality than that of the person they profess not to like."

BridgetBridget, what do you mean exactly, by "active dislike"? OP has just said she doesn't like her DN very much... this is not what I would call "active" anything -- it is, technically, the absence of "like" here.

Nor is OP actually planning to "do" anything to manifest her feelings (or lack thereof) towards her niece. She is just not too thrilled, understandably, to put herself out massively for a DN she does not get on with and for her selfish shirker of a mother.


sonu678 Fri 28-Jun-13 17:09:33

how is it a massive favour to look after your own niece?

again. Im very glad my kids dont have people who think like this in their lives

PeriodMath Fri 28-Jun-13 18:07:39

I am still completely gobsmacked that anyone thinks the OP is BU!

shockshock Seriously? I don't believe half of you. I think either you're lying or can't read.

Totally on your side OP. The mother is the entitled, selfish madam not you.

Ah okay in that case then, I couldn't bare it either.

If you decide to have a child you have to think about the responsibilities you have decided to have a child and it's not others responsibility to look after them, except as a real favour and not as expected.

However it's not the child's fault she's turned out the way she is. Her Mum palms her off onto her grandparents and probably her friends too, so she only knows what she knows and the only way she probably gets attention is from demanding things/playing up, otherwise she's not noticed iyswim.

But I can understand it's not really your responsibility nor should you have to contend with it if it's not something you feel comfortable with.

Just tell her you aren't able to do it as it's not fair and you don't drive.

--you or your dp drove
--you lived 10 minutes away
--she rarely asked for any help with anything and really needed the favour
--the little girl was a delight and you loved seeing her

then I'd say it'd be a good idea but otherwise, no.

Belchica Fri 28-Jun-13 19:45:27

OP I think YADNBU for all the reasons already mentioned above.

However, I can't stop thinking about your DN. I understand why you don't like her and I've been there myself. One of my DNs at 8yo is a manipulative little madam who eavesdrops on adult conversations, constantly tries to put herself at the centre of everyone's attention, deliberately sabotages things and blames others etc... Liking her all of the time is a challenge. I suspect she is starved of attention by my rather self centred DSIS and DBIL. But she came to stay with me on her own for a few days and was a delight. I saw a totally different side to her and while I still witness her 'challenging' behaviour, I know there's a lovely little girl in there.

Do you think that if DN is away from the selfish mother and indulgent GPs that you might, just might, see a softer side to her. She will have been away from her family for a week sharing attention with other kids at camp and you might glimpse the lovely little girl she could be if only all the adults around her weren't setting such a bad example?

hermioneweasley Fri 28-Jun-13 20:19:37

YANBU. I presume you are sat at home, child free and with wine in hand?

SugarPasteGreyhound Fri 28-Jun-13 20:33:26

YANBU. Ignore the pearl clutching brigade who are practically salivating with horror over the fact that someone doesn't think a child is utterly adorable.

It's fine not to like her. She isn't yours so parenting her is not your responsibility.

If you drove and this was an emergency, then I would say YABU. But it's not an emergency and you don't drive. I do now, but spent several years at the mercy of WY public transport. Within Leeds itself it's fine. If you aren't within a few miles of the city centre, then it's ropey at best. My 17 mile journey used to take 2 hours each way!

I find it really odd that some people have such a strong reaction to disliking a child. At what age is it OK to dislike them? 16? 18?

lordleofric Fri 28-Jun-13 20:37:29

we live about 30 miles from Leeds, we don't drive

For this reason alone, YANBU

Theyoniwayisnorthwards Fri 28-Jun-13 20:43:09

I don't understand people who don't like children simply because I've never felt that way and can't relate to it. I don't understand people who like golf either, there's no need to get worked up about it.

I don't think you have any responsibility whatsoever to look after your partner's niece. I also think you probably shouldn't as from your posts it sounds like you would not be able to provide good care for her.

SugarPasteGreyhound Fri 28-Jun-13 21:00:44

In fairness to OP she's had a good few people telling her she is selfish and nasty just because she doesn't like her niece. It's probably easy to not get worked up about it when you aren't being lambasted for being honest.

Triumphoveradversity Fri 28-Jun-13 21:08:49

I said I would have done it but needed more info, I see a lot more to it now you have gone in to detail.

In this I feel sorry for the niece, I bet she feels rejected by her Mum if she is passed around so much.

That poor child is very likely to be the most horrendous teen.

Theyoniwayisnorthwards Fri 28-Jun-13 22:40:20

I don't think the OP is being nasty or selfish, but I wouldn't want her looking after my child.

To her credit she is honest and unapologetic about her values, which are perfectly appropriate for her life.

sonu678 Sat 29-Jun-13 10:57:58

I dont understand people who say it isnt the op responsibility. She IS the childs AUNT. fgs. If that doesnt mean she has some share of responsibility then I weep for the children. because kids are not brought up in isolation by a single person who gave birth to them. They do and think and behave from what they see of the world around them. and that means family, and that is what the op is , whether she wants to be or not.

Cerisier Sat 29-Jun-13 11:16:37

I agree with this:

we live about 30 miles from Leeds, we don't drive

For this reason alone, YANBU

DSIL should have thought about how she was going to get DD to and from the course. You don't expect other people to go massively out of their way unless it is an emergency.

HildaOgden Sat 29-Jun-13 11:51:09

I have a genuine question that I'd love you to answer as you have made me curious.As you have no kids,and don't seem to be planning to any time soon,what drew you to Mumsnet?Genuine question,not meant to be snipey.

Protego Sat 29-Jun-13 11:56:09

Because that is what kind people do for one another? Seven year olds are delightful - could a local MN-er step in perhaps?

forehead Sat 29-Jun-13 12:04:16

Tell your dp to get her.

GoshAnneGorilla Sat 29-Jun-13 12:12:12

People who "don't really like children" are weird. It is so odd that on a parenting website of all places saying "I don't really the elderly/black people/ people with disabilities" would be rightly flamed, yet it is perfectly acceptable to think that about children.

xkittyx Sat 29-Jun-13 12:12:38

Not all seven year olds are delightful. I wouldn't have my nephews to stay either, not interested in badly behaved children at all.
I think this thread goes to show how much prejudice there is againt child free woman. It's like it's only okay ifyou express adoration of nieces and nephews. Admit to being child free and disinterested and you are suddenly a selfish cow in the minds of some.

xkittyx Sat 29-Jun-13 12:14:30

GosgAnneGorilla, I'm not keen on being around kids. And clearly I imagined the myriad non child related topics on MN. It chimes with my life stage.

HildaOgden Sat 29-Jun-13 12:16:07

I wouldn't find it weird or be prejudiced about someone posting (or indeed,feeling) that they don't like kids.Ditto about someone being childless.Each to their own,and all that.

I do find it quite intriguing as to why someone chooses a parenting website in the first place though.

xkittyx Sat 29-Jun-13 12:18:10

Hilda there are loads of non parents on here, there have been a number of threads about it. I just don't read the parenting sections. Its also helped me be more understanding of my friends with children.

HildaOgden Sat 29-Jun-13 12:24:53

I always assumed that the non-parents originally joined when they were considering becoming parents (eg IVF threads etc),and that it just hasn't happened for them yet.

I just find it curious...I think if I was childless (by choice),with no intentions of becoming a parent,I wouldn't do a google search that would lead me to a parenting site.Other forums,yes.For instance,I'd never end up joining a site for motorbike fanatics...purely because I have no intention of ever becoming a biker.

I don't think I'm explaining myself well grin

GoshAnneGorilla Sat 29-Jun-13 12:32:39

Xkittyx - yet I'm sure you wouldn't dream of saying you weren't keen on being around people with disabilities, or people of a different race to you. So why is it OK to say that about children?

xkittyx Sat 29-Jun-13 12:35:30

MN is in the news a fair bit so I was curious. In my case I was drawn to the relationships board as I was trying to make sense of a past abusive relationship. Never posted but reading the threads there was hugely helpful. I also love reading the feminist section. AIBU is obviously very addictive! Never venture into the parenting section.
Anyway sorry for derail!

Theyoniwayisnorthwards Sat 29-Jun-13 12:37:38

Good point Gorilla. And it is an odd choice to participate in a parenting website if you don't like kids.

xkittyx Sat 29-Jun-13 12:39:10

Anne, I've got quite a low tolerance for noise, mess etc. Bad nerves really. I do suck it up for family harmony and I'm very nice to them and do my best.

SugarPasteGreyhound Sat 29-Jun-13 12:39:56

op is not responsible for parenting this child. she is an aunt, not a parent. can you imagine the uproar if she was actively trying to parent her niece? there would be myriad posts telling her to butt out, that she isn't the child's mother - Christ almighty stepmothers get a kicking on here and arguably they do have some kind of moral responsibility.

as for why people without kids come on here, it's because mn is a busy site with lots of topics, is a good source of support - although apparently not if you aren't keen on kids because that makes you "weird" - and sadly there aren't really any other sites out there that are funny and relevant.

xkittyx Sat 29-Jun-13 12:40:28

Theonlyway thanks way to make someone feel unwelcome! I'm trying to explain calmly so that was a bit uncalled for.

xkittyx Sat 29-Jun-13 12:41:51

Exactly SPG. I like wine, feminism, wittyness, swearing... where else am I meant to go?

itsallshitandmoreshit Sat 29-Jun-13 12:48:09

Please, please tell me you are planning on having children at some point so that I know you will look back on your stuck up attitude on this thread towards this child, her mother and 'your precious weekends' with horror.


Cerisier Sat 29-Jun-13 13:02:18

My DC are teens now and I do find small children pretty tedious, always have done. I like teenagers, they are far more interesting. Hence I wouldn't be volunteering to look after a 7 year old either.

diddl Sat 29-Jun-13 13:11:04

I wouldn't give up my weekend unnecessarily for a child that I didn't like.

I wouldnt have done it pre children & I wouldn't do it now.

Actually, I wouldn't give up any of my time unnecessarily for anyone I didn't like.

ArthurCucumber Sat 29-Jun-13 13:12:02

The OP will have kids if and when she damn well pleases, and I'm sure if she does, she'll love them as much as we love ours. If she's using the terms "SIL" and "DP" correctly, she isn't even this child's full aunt - she's the unmarried partner of her uncle. She has no responsibility. And so what if she doesn't like children? Far better to not like children and therefore not have them, than have them and not bother your arse with them, as it sounds like the SIL likes to do.

Snazzywaitingforsummer Sat 29-Jun-13 13:14:49

Protego you are seriously suggesting the child goes to stay with a local MNer - who to her would be some random stranger off the internet - instead?

OP, it would probably be more fun than you think to have your niece to stay - although that might depend on whether your reasons for 'not liking her' are because she's not a very pleasant child. But even so, you are not obliged to babysit so no one should act as though you are. And I do think the mum is pulling a fast one here, like all the ones on threads where SAHMs are looking after others' kids for free, or taking them to school, because the mum 'can't afford time off'. Other working parents just have to suck it up.

SugarPasteGreyhound Sat 29-Jun-13 13:15:01

I see. how nice that those of us that don't have kids are stuck up and precious. I fail to understand why op is expected to be responsible for a child that isn't hers. interesting point about how a familial tie carries an obligation whether you want one or not. it's quite illuminating to find out that aunts and uncles are supposed to step in and be in loco parentis for children that they didn't have any control over procreating.

Well as far as we know (unless I missed an update with loads of other neiblings), this child is the DP's only genetic link with the future, so in crudely evolutionary terms he needs to rally round grin

StillSeekingSpike Sat 29-Jun-13 13:52:37

Does this go both ways? If families are meant to rally round and support no matter what- does that mean that they also get the right to comment on parenting and how many children you have? wink

SugarPasteGreyhound Sat 29-Jun-13 13:52:40

I know the whole genetic legacy thing is a big deal for some people, which I have never understood.

I feel sorry for the little girl, who sounds like she is getting the shitty end of the stick. although she sounds as if she has active and loving grandparents, which is something at least.

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