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to think mother in law should be more helpful?

(84 Posts)
soverytiredofthis Sun 03-Feb-13 16:43:25

We asked MIL and FIL to babysit our DD (who is epileptic) for 1 evening this month.

Immediately after DH asked she started to say ONLY if we were back by 12pm that night, no later as they do not like to be out late. She kept repeating this over and over and so my DH left it that she would.

Whilst I listened to this conversation I got more and more mad. This is the SECOND time in 3 1/2 years we have asked them to babysit and the first time she babysat she complained non stop before we got out the door. I almost sent them home.

My annoyance lies with the fact that they have 2 DD with epilepsy and know first hand how hard it is and how hard it is to get someone to babysit.

Am I being a beacth for still being pissed and not wanting to see them anytime soon??

soverytiredofthis Sun 03-Feb-13 16:45:25

OH and she never babysat, we got a friend to do it.

AngelWreakinHavoc Sun 03-Feb-13 16:48:30

I think if you wanted her to babysit then asking you to be back by midnight was fair enough tbh.

Whydobabiescry Sun 03-Feb-13 16:51:04

Tbh I wouldn't want to babysit if I was executed to stay much after midnight, regardless of whether the child had epilepsy or not. Presumably they are older and sitting up half the night in someone else's house isn't much fun. When our parents (both sets) babysit we always try to be home before 12, when our youngest is a bit older they will stay over but she's only 6 mo so bit young for a sleepover.

Whydobabiescry Sun 03-Feb-13 16:51:29


rainrainandmorerain Sun 03-Feb-13 16:51:41

It sounds frustrating.... but I know my mother and mil would not agree to babysit beyond midnight for us, as while they are pretty helpful,they are elderly and don't like being up late at all. Esp if they have to travel to get home again.

This is the problem with getting family to help with children. To a large extent, when you are paying someone else, you can dictate/agree terms more easily. With family it often seems to be loaded with conditions and trouble.

It might be an idea to see if would be happy to babysit at other times i.e during the daytime, at a weekend, to give you some time off? Or would they be happier with children at their house?

Otherwise you are looking at inlaws who do not want to babysit, sorry. Frustrating, but they don't have to...

BambieO Sun 03-Feb-13 16:52:34

I disagree, I think families help where they can and one late night in 3 years isn't much to ask of family. Most MILs I read about here would give their right arm to spend time with their GC.

Would they have been able to stay overnight? Was that their reason for the curfew?

CailinDana Sun 03-Feb-13 16:52:59

YABU. They are under no obligation to babysit. They clearly don't want to do it and are putting conditions on it because they'd rather not but feel obligated. YANBU to hope parents will help you out with your children but it's not their duty. Don't bother asking in future.

BTW why do you say "mother in law" in the title - is your FIL willing to let you stay out later?

exoticfruits Sun 03-Feb-13 16:53:20

Why not get them to stay over night? Time drags after midnight if you are just waiting for someone to get back.

soverytiredofthis Sun 03-Feb-13 16:53:22

we were expecting to be back by 12pm TBH but because she was complaining about it straightaway and because it was a family thing I couldn't be entirely sure we would be back by then so didn't want to leave them waiting on us

BeebiesQueen Sun 03-Feb-13 16:55:06

She agreed to baby sit if you were home by midnight? My mil wont baby sit, I'd bite her arm off, a night out is a night out!

I honestly don't see what your problem is?

noblegiraffe Sun 03-Feb-13 16:56:48

They're doing you a favour and midnight is a perfectly reasonable time to want you back.

soverytiredofthis Sun 03-Feb-13 16:57:57

FIL is never the problem, he does whatever she wants him to regardless of what that is or how tired he might be.

They look after their other GC every single sunday even on Father's day so I didn't think it was much to ask TBH.

Unfortunately there is nowhere for them stay overnight here and they live 10 mins drive from our house.

rainrainandmorerain Sun 03-Feb-13 16:58:41

I think too that not only is midnight very late for most older people.... but I don't think I would ask anyone to babysit without saying exactly what time we were going to be back. Asking my mum or mil to sit up and telling them I wasn't sure when I'd be back but sometime in the early hours of the morning would be a total no go.

BigPantyGirl Sun 03-Feb-13 16:59:09

No YANBU! Yes it is very nice of anyone to babysit, but not so much when they moan and complain before they've even done it, and possibly ruin your evening anyway.
I have no family nearby who can babysit for me, but your mil sounds a whinging pain in the arse!
Hope you enjoyed your night out smile

soverytiredofthis Sun 03-Feb-13 17:00:32

yes we did thanks BigPantyGirl and we were back just after 12pm!!!! smile

rainrainandmorerain Sun 03-Feb-13 17:00:42

x post - if they look after other gc regularly, is this during the day (if it is a sunday?). If so then it sounds like trying to find daytimes when they can babysit would be better.

allnewtaketwo Sun 03-Feb-13 17:01:34

We have to be home at 10pm when MIL babysits ( I.e. Each of the 2 times in 4 years)

goodygumdrops Sun 03-Feb-13 17:02:18

Sorry but I agree with the others. She was happy to babysit. Midnight is not unreasonable by the time she travels home after as well, she probably won't be in bed before 1 herself.

Pagwatch Sun 03-Feb-13 17:02:22

I can understand your frustration but I think you are being overly negative really.

Offering to babysit up to midnight is not really unhelpful.
It's annoyed you that she went on about it but perhaps she just wanted to make sure she was really heard.

But you feel let down which is understandable. I would just let it go. If she had said 'no. We are busy' you would be more reasonable to complain

rainrainandmorerain Sun 03-Feb-13 17:03:20

I admit, I am biased here - i had to stop asking my mum to do childcare during the day to help me out so I could work, because she kept agreeing to do various days/times - then letting me down at the last minute, or turning up and simply announcing she would only stay for 3 hours rather than 6.

This screwed my work up no end, and I had to stop. I'd rather she said upfront what she was/wasn't happy to do!

CatsRule Sun 03-Feb-13 17:03:35

I don't think asking for help twice in 3 1/2 years is unreasonable but like someone said nobody is obliged to babysit.

Be careful though for what you wish mil has been in a hormonal strop for the past 11 months because I am my sons mother and not her! The first strop was when he was days old which consisted of a cats bum mouth, folded arms, glares and "when um a huvin a shot?" translated that means when am I having a shot!

She is the other end of the scale but equally not good!

Your inlaws have been through, not just the difficulties of childrearing, but of having children with epilepsy so I would have expected them, anyone not just inlaws, to be a little more understanding.

I could see their point if you asked for babysitting every second weekend but since this is not the case then yanbu.

soverytiredofthis Sun 03-Feb-13 17:03:36

Yes during the day on Sundays. Last time she came over and visited with GC she complained that DD was hurting her knee (even though she insisted on DD sitting on her lap).

She then complained about the noisy of DD's toys and how many she had etc

So I am very reluctant to leave her with DD during day plus other GC always comes first.

Sirzy Sun 03-Feb-13 17:04:40

So they agreed to babysit but requested you to be back at a reasonable time. Whats the problem? I wouldn't be happy babysitting past midnight, I like to go to bed way before then!

soverytiredofthis Sun 03-Feb-13 17:06:08


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