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Mum-in -law and Sister - in- law ganging up on you?

(83 Posts)
mgrg Mon 18-Feb-13 22:55:14

I lost my lovely Mum recently, totally unexpectedly through a heart attack. My Mum was my my main carer for my daughters under 9.I have a job and my Mum helped me to keep the plates from falling. My husband and I both work. On the day of my Mum's funeral my mother-in-law said she would help me with my girls in the school holidays. Neither she nor my SIL (who lives away) have ever had a job at the same time as having children. Any way, my manager is asking me about time off for the Easter holidays. My Mum in law then says that she can't look after her granddaughter because she has to go and look after her daughter's dogs.
My daughter Vs Sil' dogs.
What would u do ?

SparkleZilla Thu 04-Dec-14 14:16:42

**now not *not

SparkleZilla Thu 04-Dec-14 14:13:15

it would be interesting if the OP came back and gave us an update not the threads been ressed

spidey66 Thu 04-Dec-14 12:45:35

This thread is almost two years old....why has it been resurrected?

allybee201494 Thu 04-Dec-14 12:32:40


I'm so sorry for the loss of your Mum. This is a very late reply but I was really shocked by the many responses which in my opinion, lacked any emotional sympathy for you or understanding. I just don't get the responses at all ? Am I missing something ? Do people not think about the issue any deeper ?

I can imagine that losing your Mum and devoted Grandmother to your daughter and a supporter would have been really hard. All families have different dynamics and while many people do have to go it alone and pay for childcare, you have come to rely on your immediate family.

I can imagine that this is an upsetting time for you - losing a parent is very traumatic. I think that morally it is fairly reasonable to expect people to help with meals, childcare or in anyway way they can when you have lost someone so close and important. It was a time of change and the very least other relatives could do is chip in temporarily.

Added to this, you're MIL stole the rug from under your feet by offering and then taking away that offer.

It is also highly insulting that she would consider dog sitting to be more important than caring for her granddaughter who has just lost her close grandmother. Also, I would think it is more important to support your family during this time of change. She is not obliged to help you but the fact that she offered and left you with a sense of security, only to take it from you for dogs, when you've lost your Mother is just so gross.

I love dogs but I love children TOO and I think that would have been such a difficult time for your little one, you and her granddaughter and if she has the time to care for dogs, would have been better to help smoothen the transition. Surely her daughter could find a house sitter, dog sitter, kennel etc.

Yes, you need to look at longer term options but I just don't understand why people would not sympathise with you and expect a basic level of compassion, morality and help from your MIL. I just don't get why you wouldn't be doing everything you could to help someone who had just lost their Mum.

Clearly the people that have responded have no idea how emotionally traumatic and harrowing it is to lose a parent and how difficult it is just to get to work, to care for others, to make everything work and adjust to change.

Seabird72 Tue 19-Feb-13 18:09:55

The point is that you hope that families would want to help each other out and at a time when you are upset and depressed you need to feel you can rely on them more than ever. Whether you gave your MIL the dates or not the question is why would she choose to take care of the dogs over her own grandchild? People get very upset when you think that parents or in laws might actually be expected to help out with their grandchildren every so often - the argument they're your children so your responsibility cropping up but so many people rely on that extra help from families and often it's not forthcoming - why? Why don't they want to help out with grandchildren? Yes kids are hard work but it's family - I've never received help from family either side so I am extra sensitive to this kind of argument because every attempt to get my parents or the in-laws involved with the children has resulted in an accusation of just wanting free babysitting - no it's not - I don't work - I don't need free childcare, I just want my kids to have a relationship with their grandparents. You do need help with childcare but that is not a crime - unfortunately I think people make promises and offers they have no intention of keeping - of course your child should take priority over her dd's dogs - you and your child are still family and why can't they have the dogs and your DD? The answer is because they don't want to and probably never will but if they ever do you will be made to remember it and be forever thankful - do as others have suggested and try to make alternative arrangements, perhaps a local school has a holiday club she can attend? I know a childminder could be difficult at short notice if the hours aren't going to be a regular thing but you never know.

MrsBeep Tue 19-Feb-13 17:50:06

Looking back on my post I feel I was a bit harsh, particularly if the OP is not in the right state of mind since losing her mother. I can't begin to imagine how you feel OP and I do hope that you can find an agreeable situation for your childcare needs.

I wonder how your Dad feels about Childcare? Does he feel up to looking after his GC at all? I don't know that particular situation.

Worra was trying to help you, and she has now explained her perspective. I do hope you can come back to MN and find some comfort in the support here.
Also just noticed I typed "you are not in a difficult situation" in my last post...I did NOT mean the "not", I meant "you are in...". I've been typing on my phone, huge apologies.

Yfronts Tue 19-Feb-13 13:27:07

It must be really hard having lost your mum. Your IL's sounds unreliable and awful though. Don't expect them to take over the childcare. Ignore SIL's texts and get your DH to deal with them. He needs to support you.

Yfronts Tue 19-Feb-13 13:21:44

Don't rely on them. Book them into a county council holiday scheme at your local leisure center. Will be reasonable. Alternatively advertise for a student to child mind in your home during the hols.

DontmindifIdo Tue 19-Feb-13 11:33:18

Oh and just ignore all texts from your SIL, don't rise to them or answer them.

Cut them out completely and don't try to get them to help. Don't even ask.

Your DH will have to use some holiday allowance or parental leave if you can't get paid childminder at short notice.

Also, if your SIL is threatening you, has your DH not had a word with his sister to tell her that it's unacceptable to talk to his wife like that? He should be wading in and stoping that, even if that does involve burning some bridges with his family.

DontmindifIdo Tue 19-Feb-13 11:30:06

OP - very sorry for your loss.

It must be putting an extra burden on if you've always been able to just rely on your mum for childcare and not think about it to suddenly have to make plans. The assumption you had is that your MIL would be as reliable as your mum has upset you further because you've never had to do this.

But it's ok, you don't have to rely on your MIL or SIL - what you do now is say "OK" to them saying they can't do it and get on with finding alternatives. How many days a week do you work, full time or not? If parttime, work out if your DH can cover any dates you need to work, and then do you know any other parents who are working who might be interested in a 'childcare swop' over the holidays (you have their DCs on your non-working days, they cover yours).

If you need full time or don't know anyone who could cover any days, your best option is to get a list of local childminders and start calling for who has availablity over the Easter holidays. (book them in now for the summer as well if you can). Look on your local council website - ours has a function where you can put in your post code and they'll list all registered childminders in a certain radius of your house (starting with the physically closest). It's also worth asking any other mum friends if they can recommend anyone.

It's shit you have to do this when dealing with losing your mum too, can your DH take on some of the calling round?

It could well be your MIL has done that thing of saying "if there's anything I can do" without actually meaning it. She's knows she should be saying she'll help out, and saying that at the time was comforting to you, but really hasn't thought of that as an actual commitment. So at least you've got some warning and now know a) not to ask them and b) her offers are more about making her feel good for offering, she doesn't mean it, so you can just smile and say "thanks, but we've got it sorted" without relying on her and then being let down closer to the event.

FellatioNels0n Tue 19-Feb-13 11:12:38 OP. confused

Astelia Tue 19-Feb-13 11:00:41

You need paid reliable childcare OP. Ad hoc arrangements will drive you and DH up the wall and will not help you be professional at work.

simplesusan Tue 19-Feb-13 10:53:17

I agree with using a paid childminder.

You and your dh will have to split your holidays to cover childcare too.

cory Tue 19-Feb-13 10:52:23

Sorry for your bereavement. sad

Re your SIL, I agree with the poster who thought "size you down to size" is probably a mis-typing for "cut you down to size"
(very common kind of scribal error where your brain has already leaped ahead to a word that is coming)

Not a physical threat at all imo: I think she just meant that she wants to make you realise your arrangements are no more important than those of other people. "cut down to size" is common parlance for making someone realise their relative (lack of) importance.

And frankly, she might have a point. You sound outraged at the thought that your dd might have to rely on her own parents to make arrangements for her, or that your MIL might prioritise her own dd's ability to work over yours. But as parents you are closest to taking responsibility for your dd, and your MIL might well feel she is closest to taking responsibility for your SIL.

WorraLiberty Tue 19-Feb-13 10:45:41

OP as many others have said, I wasn't having a go at you...I was trying to ascertain the facts from your somewhat vague posts.

I wasn't suggesting you should have produced a list of term dates at you Mother's funeral...but that if your MIL didn't know what those dates were, she couldn't realistically be expected to put everything else on hold - though she could have rang and checked I suppose.

I was going to address your posts about my late Mother and employment choices but it's best not to go I can see you appear to be in a pretty stressed state right now.

As others have suggested, paid childcare seems to be the best option here.

rodandtheemu Tue 19-Feb-13 10:39:01

mgrg so sorry to hear about your mum, you must feel very lost.
I would also take that message as a threat and would expect DH to support you on it.
I would how ever arrange offical child care for kids, even though it is expensive, i would feel miffed to at dogs coming before children but some people are just like like. Also sounds as if SIL is not very nice so might have pressured MIL.

Big hugs to you (( )))

Bejeena Tue 19-Feb-13 10:17:54

I am a bit puzzled by the situation and sorry for your loss, it cannot be easy.

However your SIL wants to 'size you to size'? That sounds like a threat to me and I would not be letting this woman, or anyone related to her near my children personally.

I would just find other childcare arrangements.

Primadonnagirl Tue 19-Feb-13 10:15:24

Mum helped me to keep the plates from falling.... That's such a lovely thing to say and that's what Mums'll find a way round this OP - don't let it distract from grieving properly for your lovely Mum

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Tue 19-Feb-13 09:55:40

Your MIL saying she will 'help you out' probably meant something different to you than it did to her. Maybe she meant she would have them for a few days in the summer when she didn't have other plans and you meant that she would have them every day in every holiday.

You might want her to be more helpful, but she isn't going to be so you need to arrange other childcare and not take it so personally. I wouldn't want to commit to having dgcs every day in the holidays either but I might say 'I'll help you out in the holidays' meaning some of the days, when I can.

Whocansay Tue 19-Feb-13 09:38:20

OP, don't rely on your MIL. She's made her priorities clear. Arrange formal childcare.

Your SIL sounds unhinged. I'm not sure what her text meant - I assume she wants to 'cut you down to size'? What for? Asking your MIL to look after your dd instead of her dogs? Avoid.

So sorry for your loss. It sounds quite recent, so you must be very raw.

redskyatnight Tue 19-Feb-13 09:25:41

I'm sorry for your loss OP.
I know you are upset right not but I suspect this is a case of you and MiL making assumptions about each other which aren't true.

I suspect that you were assuming that MiL would pick up what your mum used to do - having your DDs in all the school holidays precisely as you needed. You perhaps didn't realise that having a family member to do this is incredibly fortunate. In most cases where grandparents help out it is more normally for perhaps a few days or a week at a time.

So I suspect that when MiL offered to help she was probably thinking more along the lines of having the girls for some of the days in some of the holidays and that you would come to some agreement between yourselves as to when this was.

If you've not talked other than at the funeral, which was naturally an upsetting time for you I can see where misunderstanding has arisen.

Why not ask your MiL now if she can help over May half term and see what she says?

Montybojangles Tue 19-Feb-13 09:25:17

I read worras post quite differently. To me she was trying to point out that a one off conversation at a funeral ( when everyone is stressed and upset) is not really making a firm plan, and that it was unlikely that exact dates etc were set.
If the op hadn't mentioned it again with a more firm arrangement, then MIL may well have thought that op had made alternative plans.

LimboLil Tue 19-Feb-13 09:24:35

tbh I think a death of a parent can send your in laws a bit loopy, a bit like when you have a new baby. Change in dynamics. My dad died a few months ago after a long illness effectively releasing my mum from 5 years of being a carer. My mil keeps pumping me for info about what my mum is doing, how she is, is she busy blah blah. I think it's made her a bit insecure that I (and gc) might be spending more time with her now that she has that freedom to leave the house. If your in laws are being strange, I think best to sort out your own childcare, smile through it and don't get into any power struggles.

hamdangle Tue 19-Feb-13 09:17:19

I can sort if see what upset the OP about Worra's post. She was suggesting that when op's mil made the offer - at her mum's funeral - she should have given her the exact dates and made sure she wrote them down otherwise it is unreasonable to be upset when she makes other plans. It's technically true but I think a bit insensitive and has obviously upset the op. The op is obviously going through a lot and when mil made the offer it maybe seemed like a bit of light at the end of the tunnel but when the first opportunity to take up the offer comes up mil refuses and is seemingly (to the op anyway) prioritising dogs over her own grand daughter.

OP, can you take time off over Easter? It seems like you need a break anyway. Take time off and do something lovely with your daughter.

NeedlesCuties Tue 19-Feb-13 09:02:48

YANBU for being upset.

I'm sorry your mother has passed away.

I agree with others who said you should find other childcare with no emotional crossover - a childminder, nursery.

My own MIL can be a bit like yours OP. I have lost count of the 'promises' to help with my kids, or promises to come up to visit. Usually 85% of the time she cancels with little or no notice. Now I just don't bother asking, as it isn't worth the stressing.

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