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AIBU to refuse to babysit?

(59 Posts)
BadLad Sat 08-Dec-12 16:41:50

As in title?

I live with my BiL, SiL and 2 DNs, as well as wifey and MiL.

DNs are 4 and 1. Pains in the neck though they can be, I love them.

However, a family thing has come up, and it wouldn't be appropriate for either I (being foreign and not related) or the nephews (being too young) to go to, so the suggestion is that I babysit them.

I really don't want to, for the simple reason that I would have no idea what to do if there was any problem. I have no siblings or cousins of similar age, and I have never been around kids before.

I think SiL is silly to think it is a good idea to leave them with me for what will be about six hours.


girlsyearapart Mon 10-Dec-12 08:09:25

All is well that ends well then

BadLad Mon 10-Dec-12 02:12:16

My sister-in-law and brother-in-law are the parents of the two children.

Anyway, I have spoken to my sister-in-law and told her why I don't want to do it, and the solution is that one of her aunts - great aunts to the boys - is going to come over while it's just me and them. She has had her own children and presumably helped with her grandchildren, so she'll know what to do if anything happens. Meanwhile I'll be there if they get a bit rowdy.

Much obliged to all who contributed.

girlsyearapart Sun 09-Dec-12 08:46:03

I was just wondering - has this plan been offered as a solution by the parents of the children or by your in laws?

I can't imagine wanting to leave my 1 year old for that long with someone who has limited experience of children.

We have a lodger who is a very good friend, he has lived with us since before the children were born, I still wouldn't ask him to look after the children for that long. He babysits once I have put them to bed but only ever looks after them in the day if I have to pop to get bread/post a letter.

They are being U expecting you to do it.

I definitely think YANBU. Never mind the language barrier, I think that not wanting to look after young children is a good enough reason.
I would never ask a childless person to look after my DCs unless it was an emergency. Fine if they offer, but I wouldnt ask.
A lot of people just dont like kids til they have their own grin

schoolgovernor Sun 09-Dec-12 08:08:20

They were being rude to him because he was a man, and from the first post, managed to nit-pick about the light-hearted way he referred to his wife.
To compound his sins, this childless person was hesitating before agreeing to babysit two young children for a significant period of time (who says it will end up being only 6 hours if people have fun?). What a horrible man. Doesn't he know that all adults should not only embrace parenthood, but they should grab every opportunity to learn about it in advance by practising on other people's children?
Then there were those who didn't bother to read the thread and completely overlooked the language barrier, and also the fact that he's genuinely worried about what could go wrong.
Op, of course you're right to have doubts about this. One of these children is just a one year old baby. Unless you share daily in their care then this would be far too long a stint for a first go at babysitting. Added to that the fact that their parents would be so far away, and you wouldn't be confident in dealing with an emergency - of course YANBU. I am sure the responses would have been completely different if you'd been a woman - even though of course all women are supposed to spring forth with an inherent instinct for motherhood.

Solola Sun 09-Dec-12 08:03:16

YANBU, aside from all your reasonable concerns, you don't have to look after any children that are not yours if you don't want to. Can't understand some of the comments on this thread???

Proudnscaryvirginmary Sun 09-Dec-12 07:59:37

Why on earth were people being so rude to OP?

OP you don't have to babysit for them if you are really uncomfortable with the idea - I completely understand the 999/choking thing. If that is genuinely your concern (rather than just not wanting to do it - which is OK too as long as you are honest but would have to accept you will probably upset your relatives if you say this) then just tell them that.

BadLad Sun 09-Dec-12 07:54:13

Barcey, I have explained that.

FredFredGeorge, it isn't that I don't want to help out. I quite often play with them on Sundays, and when they are older, I will be happy to do this sort of thing. The possible language problems when phoning ambulances are just an example - I wouldn't want to call the emergency services out for something that turned out not to be a problem. On the other hand, I wouldn't want to fail to call them because I thought something wasn't a problem when it was actually very serious.

The older boy does speak the local language, the younger one doesn't speak anything yet.

This event is next Sunday - anticipating setting off about noon and coming back about six, about an hour drive away.

Thanks for all the replies. I have decided to tell my sister-in-law my worries and see what she says.

girlsyearapart Sat 08-Dec-12 19:37:00

How far away is the event the others will be at?

What time of the day is it?

We3bunniesOfOrientAre Sat 08-Dec-12 19:32:57

Do you speak the same language as your DN? Do they speak the same language as any other likely babysitter? Maybe see if you and wifey could look after them for shorter periods of time so you get more used to looking after them? When is this event, in a week, a month, 6 months? If in a week and you don't share the same language then YANBU, if in 6 months and you speak the same language then it might be more appropriate.

Is there anything else in the place where they are going? I'm thinking it might be easier say if it were an hour there and back to then go for lunch + a soft play area for 4hrs, so the parents have them for the travel time.

quoteunquote Sat 08-Dec-12 19:29:31

why not view it as an opportunity to fill a gap in your education.

You could really enjoy the experience.

Jacksmania Sat 08-Dec-12 19:23:30

BadLad, in your situation (I've read some of your backstory) I wouldn't feel comfortable either. 6 hours is loooong.
I am sure that emergency services in the country you live in would speak some English, but if it's all making you a bit nervous, then you should just say so.
Good luck.
For what it's worth, it sounds like things are a bit tough for you living where you do, and I admire you for doing your best to cope.

(But maybe don't call DW "wifey" anymore smile.)

catwomanlikesmeatballs Sat 08-Dec-12 19:14:07

I don't think yabu, I wouldn't be happy with having to care for somebody elses one year old, there's no way I'd be able to change their nappy, my own dd ones are disgusting enough. To ask that of a childless person with no clue or experience is unreasonable.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Sat 08-Dec-12 18:37:45

can you think of all the worries you have (choking etc) and then talk to your MIL SIL about them. They can show you what you need to do in such a situation.

RedHelenB Sat 08-Dec-12 18:16:46

I think you don't want to do it & are looking for excuses not to tbh. If you are all living together I think you should know enough about meeting their basic needs for 6 hours.

BarceyDussell Sat 08-Dec-12 18:16:24

I don't understand your OP.

You live with these children but say you have no experience of children.

Is that right?

gordyslovesheep Sat 08-Dec-12 18:12:15

maybe he's not in the UK Cahohohootz?

OP YANBU to not want to look after kids if you don't feel it's safe for you to do so.

maddening Sat 08-Dec-12 18:10:30

Yanbu to worry - how far away is the function and would bil and sil be connectable by phone.

Also if your dw's sibling's spouse is considered family enough to attend why not you?

FredFredGeorge Sat 08-Dec-12 18:08:42

Cahohohootz I'm assuming he's not in an English speaking country and its the local tongue he's not fluent in?

FredFredGeorge Sat 08-Dec-12 18:07:48

The emergency services in most of the world have someone with enough grasp of English along with your grasp of the local language to get assistance to you, as will opening the window and shouting.

You should have no problem being able to deal with their basic care - it's very simple.

So I think YAB A Little Bit Wimpy to not want to help out. However if you don't have the confidence then you shouldn't do it, and YANBU to ask? Could you not get the confidence between now and the occasion though?

Cahohohootz Sat 08-Dec-12 18:07:09


I wouldn't want to look after two little DC's, unless it was an emergency. They can take the DC's.

I do think the language/safety thing. Is a bit of a red herring. Your English on this thread is very good.

bradyismyfavouritewiseman Sat 08-Dec-12 18:01:54

Weird one. i don't agree with the 'you don't have to if you don't want' in every situation.
Usually, in countries where its common for families to all live together, its also common and expected to help out with childcare, housework etc.

I think it could cause problems to say 'yes I am free that night but can't help as I don't know what to say if I have to call an ambulance.'.

But I get your reservations as well. The neighbor as an emergency contact may be a good idea.

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Sat 08-Dec-12 17:55:33

6 hours of looking after a 1 year old if you are not used to sole care of toddlers would be a bad idea.

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Sat 08-Dec-12 17:53:58

I think if it's 6 hours when they are in bed, you should do it.

6 hours of look

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Sat 08-Dec-12 17:48:15

I don't think you're being unreasonable in the circumstances. Yes, you may be old enough to father kids of your DN's ages but if you were chances are you'd have had a lot more input into their lives by now and would ferl far more capable of looking after them for a few hours. Would it be feasible to do some childcare for the DN's when another family member was around so if a similar situation occurs in the future you'll be more prepared?

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