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AIBU to not look after my DSis children?

(28 Posts)
Simpkins Wed 07-Nov-12 14:25:59

This is a genuine AIBU- I can't work out what to do for the best and am worried that I would be being unreasonable to decline her request.

My lovely DSis is about to return to work after maternity leave, she works a job involving shifts and as her exP left during her pregnancy, she is now a single mum. She's doing fantastically well and whilst it has been a hard journey, I think she's getting there in terms of being on her feet again.

I help out with childcare for her as often as I can- which isn't as often as I am sure she (and I) would like as I work 5 days and have 2 dc of my own, plus we live 15 miiles away so not just a quick trot across the road.

One of her upcoming shifts is over a weekend and she has asked me if I would look after the baby, her elder two will be visiting their dad that weekend (different dad to the baby). Originally the babys dad was going to look after her as it was one of "his " weekends but that arrangement has all gone to pot as his behaviour has deteriorated to the point that dsis is uncomfortable with the baby being in his presence and the courts are getting involved.

Problem is, its a really busy weekend for us with a number of things going on and events (childrens, not mine or DH's) as well as DC2's bday party. It would be really hard to do this with my gorgeous niece in tow, no matter how much I love her. (activity-based party rather than village hall type thing)

I feel bad that my sister has reached out to me for help but I feel like it would be very difficult for me to have the baby all weekend. (Would be Friday 7pm until at least 8pm on Sunday.)

AIBU to say I'm sorry I cant help, given that this would only be her second shift back at work and that baby might have to go to her dads if I can't do it? Am at a loss as to which way to go.

Simpkins Wed 07-Nov-12 14:26:58

PS am doing a semi post and run as wont be able to check back here until later! Sorry.

NotALondoner Wed 07-Nov-12 14:28:12

why does it have to be 48 hours?

shrimponastick Wed 07-Nov-12 14:29:53

Oh heck. That is a dilemma.

If it were me, I would probably do the weekend. As it is short notice, and she has only just gone back to work I think I would do it, but she needs to make better plans for future childcare.

I think that you have enough on your plate with work and your Dc - but it may be better that you have the DN than send her to her father's.

EdwardtheEagle Wed 07-Nov-12 14:30:28

You sound lovely. She needs to find another reliable person/childminder as your life is too busy to be her only option.

Simpkins Wed 07-Nov-12 17:02:58

Has to be 48 hours as friday and sat are night shifts 7-7 and so she would be sleeping during the day. Might be a few hours overlap but it's hardly worth her coming here, taking her dd for an hour and a half before having to bring her back again.

It's going to be difficult on another from, just thought about it- her other two dc will be invited to dc1s party and if their little sister is there with us but they aren't staying with her when she comes home it might raise some questions from them that my sister hasn't had to encounter yet. (we are still fond if their dad too so no awkwardness on that point)

My niece is a smasher, she's very flexible and laid back and fits into ither peoples routines so well but I feel like the whole weekend is such a big hunk of our family time, and this I really precious and scarce. But dc adore their cousins, and are v good with the little one.

Dh will be dead against it (even though i wont ask or exoect him to do anything) as he already thinks that she takes the mick a bit with other stuff and that she has an "entitled" air about her. But he has no empathy and it must be such a hard time for her.

She does have other childcare in place, just that it isn't available at this short notice and she doesn't want to ask mum as her dh is quite controlling and even if they had the whole weekend free he would not be pleased as he feels that she "made her bed" by going ahead with hte pregnancy without her exP's involvement. Mum would be reluctant. (plus dsis does lean on mum hugely and poor mum is getting worn out.)

Hate being stuck between doing what's right for my nuclear family and what's right for everyone else.

Rowanhart Wed 07-Nov-12 17:08:18

I'm sorry I think you should do this. Dsis risks losing her job and while you need to make it clear it's a one off, I think it's the right thing I do on thus occasion.

flossy101 Wed 07-Nov-12 17:08:45

I think I would take her for the weekend, partly because I have trouble saying no when put on the spot,, but also think it must be hard on sis being on her own and i would try and help out wherever possible.

But you wouldn't be unreasonable to say no, only you know what's best for your family.

diddl Wed 07-Nov-12 17:12:26

What is going on with the children that weekend that your husband can´t take care of, freeing you up to look after your niece?

I´d probably do it as time with baby niece sounds great.

And it´s for her as well as your sister!

Simpkins Wed 07-Nov-12 17:13:17

I'm having her for the weekend about once every six weeks, so not loads and loads, but it's so typical that this will be dc1s bday! It's a really noisy and smoky activity too (indoor gokarting smile )so I won't be able to take my niece- not an ideal place for 8 mth old babies. I am sad to be missing his party.

Just to be clear- her job isn't at risk, my mum probably would have her after all, but it would be uncomfortable for dsis to ask.

EchoBitch Wed 07-Nov-12 17:15:23

I'd probably have the baby,why is it uncomfortable to ask your Mum?

AlmostAHipster Wed 07-Nov-12 17:17:25

I would do it but would ask for more notice next time. I'm sure your sister really appreciates the solid support.

Pancakeflipper Wed 07-Nov-12 17:19:33

Can you not share with your mum?

I think I would do it as a 1 off.

twooter Wed 07-Nov-12 17:19:53

Couldn't your mum have her for the party, or babysit her at your place?

civilfawlty Wed 07-Nov-12 17:20:02

I really do think you should do this. I'd think that at any point, but given how new to her situation she is, and how fragile she must be feeling, I can only imagine how alone she would feel if you say no. If you had something pressing, i might think it was 50/50, but you are talking about putting a few kids parties ahead of her. I think it would be cruel.

OpheliaPayneAgain Wed 07-Nov-12 17:21:22

If it's a one off, then I would do it, the baby would just have to fit round committments. It is family and failies are supposed to support and help each other out.

Rowanhart Wed 07-Nov-12 17:21:33

Could you agree and ask mum for the party?

hophophippidtyhop Wed 07-Nov-12 17:24:36

can your mum have her while the party is on?

CarolynKnappShappey Wed 07-Nov-12 17:24:56

I'd do it - ask friends of your to lend hands, and take the baby in a pushchair to the gokarting (with headphones if necessary).

It'll be tough, but it's a big deal, and she needs you.

Simpkins Wed 07-Nov-12 17:37:19

You're right. Whilst it will mean some logistical jiggery pokery for me re: travel etc, she needs me. Just wish she didn't bloody need me that weekend smile

(and civil- its not the other parties that I was worried about missing, though that it will make things hard with transport etc as already ferrying about a few friends children so space is at a premium, it was my pfb's. But seems that it might be ok to take her in there with some ear defenders sinoroblwm solved.

Thanks all, you are the best online sounding board known to woman.

honeytea Wed 07-Nov-12 17:59:00

I think the baby would be fine especially with ear protection. Could you ask your sis to babysit one one of her evenings off and you and dp go out for the evening, sometimes people just need to be asked about favours.

Mollydoggerson Wed 07-Nov-12 18:05:28

I think I would help the dearsis and tell her what your timetable is. She can decide herself if it is best to leave baby with you or her ex - p .

I think if you can do it you should do it. It's early days for your dearsis and she will be more organised as time goes on.I think it might be best to do whatever you can for the moment.

whois Wed 07-Nov-12 18:10:02

It's a tricky one.

Feel like you should help her out this one time, but be clear it's not cool on a regular basis.

She can organise a out of hours child minder to have her the whole weekend for future weekends.

And sis should defo come and babysit all your lot for a different evening to say thanks!

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Wed 07-Nov-12 18:13:32

I think if you can find a way to help then that's be great

But don't feel bad if you can't, it sounds like you help a lot and sometimes your own children have to come first

thebody Wed 07-Nov-12 18:15:21

I would do it to help my sis.

I think the men in all your lives, your mums partner, your dh and your sisters ex sound mean and unsupportive tbh.

Your niece is your niece, you say she's a dream baby. Just take her with you, she will survive a smoky party.

You sound lovely...

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