to think my SIL should drop her baby round..(86 Posts)
My brother looked exhausted the last time I saw him, turns out he is up from 5.30 in the morning to look after the baby so SIL can get some rest as she is with her all day (Baby sleeps from 11 till about 5.30 when she wakes for a feed)..
I offered to take the baby for a day / night to give him a break.
The following day, SIL texts saying can I baby sit so she can go into town for something the following week. The time she needed to go into town coincided with a time I take my 2 year old to a playgroup. I said if she wants to drop the baby round (where she was going is 15 mins away from where I live) and I can take baby with toddler to play group.... she didnt want this, wanted me and my 2 year old to travel to her house, which is an hour away, sit indoors and watch the baby there.. What makes matters worse is their cramped flat is NOT toddler friendly at all and hard work on its own.....
YANBU to not want to spend time in her flat when it isn't a good place for your DS to be.
She does sound lazy, spoilt & a PITA - but possibly she also have PND and genuinely cannot face going out without your DB, which is actually really sad.
Is there another compromise here? Could you go and pick them up, drop her in town then your brother pick them up from yours after work?
I think if she can't fit in with your plans then you don't babysit for her. I do think that if she can't leave her small flat without your db then I would be worried that she is depressed/overwhelmed. 3mo are pretty portable. When my first was that age dh was doing all the housework - she fed constantly and was awake half the night. I think that its easy to judge, but she and your brother have to figure out what's fair between them.
Baby sleeps from 11 and her dh gets up in the morning so she can lie in. Doesn't sound like sleep deprivation to me.
<looks at 19 month old ds3 who is up, yet again>
"most normal people get up between 5 and 6"
No they don't.
We have visited her quite a bit, and every time I say "come to ours for the day, there is more space and you can come to our playgroups" the response is that she cant get out with the baby. It turns out that she has been out with the baby to the shopping center (10 min walk, but she takes a taxi) - which I only found out about recently.
I have said to her before that its good to get out (for her and baby) - she said in the past she gets home from work on friday, and doesnt go back out till monday (back to work). So I think she likes being at home - so not necessarily a sign of depression..
I love being outside, parks, museums, markets.. I really love walking so Im just a different sort of person to her.
She has booked a 10 hour flight next month for a months holiday to see her family (she is travelling one way alone, the other way with my DB) -- so I think when she wants something, she does it.
I feel in this instance that she feels we ought to be doing as she asks as she has a newborn. I think its unreasonable!
I am judging, but from my own standards, I wouldnt expect someone to come to my flat with their child to babysit.
This is how my SIL thought of me. Oh how wrong she was! She thought he did everything while in fact I did 90% of everything. He enjoyed feeding my DD1 (Brest bump) and bathing her whilst I cooked and washed up.
I'm sure your DB, her DH and the child's father loves been with his child. If he didn't want to do what he does why would he? My DH is great dad and realized how good he had it when our DDs were newborns! He only had it easy because I've never needed much sleep. With DD2 I had more energy than ever
even after a difficult pregnancy and that was with a baby that wouldn't let me leave her side unbeknown to us and GP she was very ill and a toddler.
I don't think it's being unreasonable not to go over to your SIL to babysit if you can't make it work. Just say so. That is totally fine and you shouldn't feel bad.
But I also think it's fine for her to parent in a different way to you. I also don't think your brother sounds like he is running around after her - if she has the baby all day, getting up at 5:30 and working 9-7 sounds pretty standard to me.
And he cooks a bit, so what? My DH always thought when I was on maternity leave that my job was looking after the baby, not being the housekeeper, so didn't expect his dinner on the table.
You keep mentioning that she has had a lot of time without the baby. Are you a bit jealous that you think she is getting an easier ride than you had?
I occasionally used to get flashes of this with my SIL who lives near both sets of parents and has a sleepy baby who is happy to take a bottle. Meanwhile I had a velcro baby who would breastfeed eight times a night. But I do realise that we just have different situations and that is my problem, not really hers!
well shes a very new mum, cut her some slack. sounds like she needs a bit off support at the moment. It's perfectly normal for a man to do chores at home and the fact the baby is so young means he should be doing more to allow wife some respite.
We all wake at 7 here.
"My brother looked exhausted" - so do the vast majority of people with a three month old. You do come across as very judgey.
YANBU about the babysitting. YABU about pretty much everything else you have said. You also sound a little superior....
If she didn't go out much before, then I agree PND is less likely, but still maybe depression and/or agoraphobia.
If the only place she has been alone with the baby is the shopping centre, and the only other place she is planning to go is an airport, then she is clearly very stressed and/or fearful indeed, poor thing.
If she has booked a ten hour flight to see her family, then they are obviously a very long way away. Is this the first time she's seen them since the baby was born? She may be feeling very lonely and isolated without her own mum/dad/family around to help and support her, and to share those special (but difficult) first weeks with a new baby.
I'm starting to feel rather sorry for your SIL.
You are not unreasonable to explain why her flat is difficult (or even impossible) with your toddler. But it really sounds like she needs your support oaks, not your judgement.
Offering to take the baby is support.
But that (very generous) offer has been turned into an unreasonable demand that the OP must sit in her brother's flat for hours with a toddler and a baby.
oaks2012 - just make it clear that your offer still stands but that you won't be sitting in their flat with your toddler.
She can accept the help you're offering, or reject it. That's up to her.
So, she's far away from her family and feeling a bit stressed. She doesn't enjoy nappies and you do . Your DB is tired with a new baby and is expected to do some housework. Honestly, I am not exaggerating, I would hate to be in her position and wouldn't think a lot of your attitude if you were my SIL. My SIL, thank fuck, tells me all her shit mother stories about how crap she was to make me feel better, has never judged me and helps tonnes.
BTW I would have killed puppies to get 11pm-5am at that age (and a year later).
I take your point SRIYL, but sometimes if a friend or relative is especially vulnerable - and it sounds like this woman is - then if you really want to help, it's kinder and more useful to offer support on their terms rather than yours.
If the OP didn't have a toddler, I'd be saying, "Oh go onnnn, go to her flat if that's what she wants". But she does have a toddler, and so she/they also have needs to take into account, and the OP says going to the flat isn't practical...
So it is a tricky situation (IMO) and no-one is BU or 'in the wrong'... I don't think the OP is being unreasonable. I think what she has suggested sounds like a good plan, personally. But maybe it seems overwhelming to her SIL.
I can remember feeling totally overwhelmed by trips out with a baby, so I feel sympathy for SIL, and if I were the OP, I'd be looking for some other way I could arrange things, so that I could help. Perhaps collecting the baby and going to a soft play place near their flat...? Or having her another time, when DB/baby's DF could bring her to yours...? Or taking her out somewhere with the baby...?
OP, you are doing her a favour, I say it's her choice, take it or leave it.
Good grief, the judginess on this thread!!!!!
OP, you are not being remotely unreasonable! You offered to look after the baby, but doing so at her flat doesn't work, so say so!
The offer of help is there, but it has to be in a way that's feasible for you.
I'm not sure how vulnerable she is if she's capable of making such unreasonable demands of people.
I found getting out with a baby very hard work too, and I've every sympathy with that feeling of being overwhelmed, but what she's asking of the OP is really unfair.
Op, it sounds like you do not like her. Period. And this dislike is stopping you from going out of your way. Absolutely agree that she is being unreasonable asking you to take yourself and toddler over to her place, but if it was my sis, sil or close friend with a three month old asking me to do this as she doesn't like going out on her own.... I would be there like a whippet. Not like this is a regular occurrence, so what is the big deal about making an exception and skipping playground.
And please stop comparing her to you... I.e. I liked to change nappies, she doesn't. I liked to take my baby out for walks, she doesn't. It is horrid.
If this is her first child, it sounds as though she is worried she won't cope, taking the baby out on her own.
Maybe she is finding it a bit difficult and overwhelming?
It's hard work and especially when it's your first, you get worried about things.
Does sound like she might have pnd.
For comparison, I have a 3 month old (just) and we've been going out daily since he was 3 days old. At first that was just for a ten minute walk, but I started riding my horses again at 2 weeks, and he's been out shopping etc from very early on.
From 2 months old he was dropped at my friend's house for an afternoon a week (so I could ride and so he could get used to her as she'll have him when I go back to work). She often takes him into town as he gets bored indoors. I'm part way through my xmas shopping - he goes in his sling, I shop. It's a little more awkward than not having him, but we manage!
I'm bfing so do all the night feeds (DS sleeps for one 4 hour stretch but then feeds every 2 hours). DH gets up at 5.30am for work anyway and I try to encourage him to do a nappy change at that point but he often forgets.
Yes it's tiring, and there are days when we do nothing at all because he's having a growth spurt and feeds every hour, but those are rare and he loves to be out and about, seeing new things.
Oh and to add - this is my first child, I have no family support (they live abroad).
CoolaYuleA Okay, so she looks fine, my brother looks exhausted. Looks ill actually, Ive never seen him look like this. Bulging, red, puffy eyes, skin looks sunken. Maybe there is something else wrong with him? I think its lovely men pull their weight, I was just alarmed with how he looked. I hadnt visited them when he was there as she always has wanted me there in the day, so hadnt seen him for weeks. It came as a shock to see him like that - so maybe I didnt emphasize that enough. I dont see how thinking my brother looks tired makes me judgey?!!
poster fosterdream I didnt say my brother does everything, and she does nothing. He does a lot, which I dont think is a bad thing, but I have never seen him looking so run down and unwell. He doesnt resent it at all, he adores the child.
poster RubyrooUK I m not at all jealous, I havent spent any time without my DS (except two times in hospital, cancer treatment & surgery).. But that is MY choice. Ive mentioned she has had a lot of time without the baby because people keep saying she is a new mum so doesnt want the baby left with me at a playgroup/strange place. Thats the reason its mentioned. I dont feel she has had an easier ride at all. To be honest, my DS was an unbelievably good baby, and I enjoyed pretty much everything (I found the starting to get mobile bit hard, and a 2 year old is definitely very challenging in comparison).
I dont feel she has it easier, or I had it easier. We just had different experiences. If anyone feels someone had it easier, its the other way round (for example, I have been told it was easier for me as it was easy for me to produce milk.. I wont continue with other things sais as I am SURE I will be accused of bitching again!!!)
flow4 Her extended family (cousins, aunts) are 10 hours away. Mum, dad and siblings are here. Mum stayed at the house for first 2 months, siblings each do a day a week there. I am told about how great siblings are everytime I visit, and how many times they have been since I last visited. I dont visit once a week, I do find it hard work. Invite to come here is open though, as much as she wants.
Also, I suggested taking baby and her out. Says they will see parks and animals and outside when they go on holiday. Its too cold here for a baby..
aamia - FOR GODS SAKE, dont mention that you take your baby out!! They will jump on you for comparing.. ;) Well done by the way, you really sound like you are getting along with it. I was the same about getting out and showing the baby things.. Certanly wouldnt fancy the horse riding tho :S Since having a baby anything even moderately adventurous is well OFF my list!!!
to be fair I was a wimp before as well
And you know what I find hard as well..
I feel she has been unreasonable and expects people to be running round after her since having the baby - however, Ive been holding this in, and defending her & saying shes got to get over all the crazy pregnancy hormones (to my mum who doesnt think highly of her). I come on here to "release" a little bit to people that dont know me or her - and I get a load of shit from, what seem to be some very judgy people, saying I am being judgy!! Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
(and thank you to all the reasonable people, not just the ones who have agreed with me, but the ones who have been balanced and said their opinion with out telling me I am jealous, I think she has had it easier than me, that I am a bitch, and that I am judgy!)
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