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For not wanting SIL as my babies child minder?

(70 Posts)
flossy101 Thu 28-Mar-13 15:56:33

My SIL (DH's younger sister) is a SAHM to her 3 children, aged 2, 3 and 6, her partner is a brickie by trade but he just picks up bits if work here and there, doesn't earn a steady income, and this causes issues with their benefits and they are always short of money. MIL and SIL think they have found the perfect solution to this, and it's me paying SIL to mind my baby when I go back to work after my mat leave ends

Now, MIL mentioned this before my DS (now 8.5 months) was even born, I was abit taken aback as she isn't a qualified childminder or anything like that and to be honest she struggles with her own 3 without adding another to the mix, I said I wasn't sure what hours I would be doing/long time off yet etc. They got increasingly persistent, they have made "enquiries" as to the going rate for a childminder and SIL says she will give me 10% off as "we're family" and "technically" she isn't registered. (She has no plans to register fwiw).

Now I know some people would love to leave their baby with a family member and some don't agree that nursery is the best place for a baby but I really don't want SIL looking after him, for the following reasons;

- I find her quite lazy, now I really know that having 3 kids must be hard work but she doesn't go anywhere/do anything with them 5 days a week just sits at home, going to the shop is a big mission to her, i take DS to baby groups most days and Surestart run ones for under 5s so I've suggested meeting up there but she's says it too hard to get two kids up and out, her 3 year old had a pre school place but she stopped taking him because it was too stressful having to go out at lunch time to pick him up.

They just seem to watch tv all day, and they eat crap, which is fine, but not what I want for my DS if I am paying for it!

So anyway we have been looking at nurseries and found a great one (it will be for two days a week, going back part time) and DH told mil we had paid the deposit, mil has gone quite mad saying how can we give £80 per week to a nursery when we could be giving that money to family to help them out.

I've said I'm not comfortable with the exchange of money between family, her not being registered, is this benefit fraud etc etc but they both dismiss my concerns and think I'm "over thinking" and "creating problems where there aren't any".

DH agrees its not a good idea and has told his Mum and Sister but they are mad mad mad!! His Mum has said she doesn't want to speak to us until we figure out where our loyalties lie. Argh!

Who is being unreasonable?

flossy101 Thu 28-Mar-13 16:20:41

Thanks for the replies.

I have no intention of changing my mind, I do feel bad but also think they shouldn't be putting us in an awkward position. Will definitely say about the child care vouchers which is true anyway.

Preposteroushypothesis Thu 28-Mar-13 16:26:03

Haven't read the whole thread so apologise if someone has already mentioned this but you won't be entitled to any help with childcare costs from the government or to any childcare tax scheme yours or your partners work runs if you aren't using registered childcare. Whether or not you actually are entitled to these it could be a good excuse to tell mil and sil so that you don't cause any offence.

Definitely don't let them push you into this by the way, if she thinks getting 2 children out of the house is too much work then she is definitely not cut out to be a childminder!! (And I am a pregnant childminder who still goes to playgroups/outings everyday, sometimes with as many as 4 children!)

ENormaSnob Thu 28-Mar-13 16:34:15

Yanbu at all.

You loyalties are with your child.

Mil and sil need to butt the fuck out and not see your child as a cash cow.

BlueberryHill Thu 28-Mar-13 16:38:11

They are very unreasonable to pressurise you in this way. As Eldritch was saying, if this is the response if you express a wish, imagine what would happen if you specified what you would like your DC to be fed. It would be seen as a criticism and MIL would implode again. Also imagine, if you did agree to this, how difficult it would be to get out of.

Would saying that you would prefer a professional relationship with your nursery rather than potentially spoiling a relationship with a family member / would just like to see SIL for fun work as an angle? I know it is already damaged but it may work?

Oh, by the way, I would judge someone who didn't take a 3 yo to preschool because picking him up was too much hassle, especially when the alternative is sitting in front of the TV. Nothing wrong with a bit of it, but never going out? How much fun would he be missing out on?

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Thu 28-Mar-13 16:47:08

YA so so so NBU

I think you have dodged a massive bullet by saying no to this

And as for 'wah wah wah think about where your loyalties lie' I would be saying exactly the same back to them. They are making it perfectly clear that they don't give a toss about what is best for you and your child and see you as easy money so I'd tell mil to stick her sulking where the sun don't shine grin

SugariceisaGoodEgg Thu 28-Mar-13 16:49:50

Tell MiL to bog off and find something else to stick her beak in.

What a nightmare she sounds!

flossy101 Thu 28-Mar-13 16:59:11

She is a bit of a nightmare confused

I've said everything along the lines of not spoiling a family relationships etc but they don't take me on, it is just about the extra money for SIL and I see so so many problems, not just with our different parenting styles.

MajaBiene Thu 28-Mar-13 16:59:58

cantspel - if it's a close family member then they don't have to be registered full stop. Money changing hands might be a tax issues, but not an Ofsted issue.
Friends can look after each other's children so long as there's no money/payment.

intheshed Thu 28-Mar-13 17:16:50

Could you offer a 'compromise' of paying her to babysit in the evening every now and then?

flossy101 Thu 28-Mar-13 17:20:56

Intheshed- this is another thing, as I said in the OP MIL mentioned the child minding thing before DS was even born and she has pretty constantly since his birth been trying to get me to give DS to her (SIL) one day a week to "tide her over", yes it would give me a break but I haven't wanted to commit to any set days and I love being on mat leave with him. Very awkward situation really.

Pigsmummy Thu 28-Mar-13 17:27:33

Yeah do what they said and say that your company vouchers are for registered nurseries only, not CM, make up something to make it seem like it isn't your fault that you "have" to use a nursery? My company (a major plc) uses a scheme that isn't widely accepted so quote that.

ProudAS Thu 28-Mar-13 17:32:54

Aunts don't need to be registered child minders to look after their niece/nephew.

YANBU though OP. You have valid reasons and 'cash in hand' would almost certainly be illegal.

Milliways Thu 28-Mar-13 17:35:51

YADNBU. Tell her that Nursery means you don't have to worry when she/her DCs are ill and can't take your DS, as when you only work 2 days/week it is awkward taking time off at no notice when you or your child are not ill.

You could also say you were worried about the effect on her benefit claim?

BlueberryHill Thu 28-Mar-13 17:37:19

Given how much your MIL has pushed it, pre birth and during mat leave to 'tide your SIL' over, nice to see where her priorities lie, coming up with subtle arguments about vouchers / not damaging family relationships aren't going to work.

You could put the vouchers on a frying pan, hit her over the head with it and she still wouldn't take the hint and drop it for family relationships.

Leave it to your DH to firmly say no, they will huff and puff but I'm not sure I can see a way around it.,

BlueberryHill Thu 28-Mar-13 17:41:34

They are creating the situation, you can keep feeding the line about vouchers etc, to maintain a reason that saves your SILs face but they aren't going to accept it.

Maggie111 Thu 28-Mar-13 17:42:26

I find it incredible you were offered as much as 10% off!! Wow, how you didn't bite their hand off I'll never know hmm

Bloody ridiculous. Just say things like childcare vouchers and how you prefer a nursery setting, how you like to keep family and formal relationships seperate.

But how you really really want SIL to be a paid baby sitter for some evenings, and how great it is you can pay her for the odd emergency day if you need it, now that you have the rates worked out and never do either of those things

claudedebussy Thu 28-Mar-13 17:42:27


i actually think you shouldn't engage with them anymore on the subject. you've stated your case. you're not going to change your mind. so there's nothing more to be said.

you move on - it's their problem if they keep harping on about it. if they bring up the subject, change it. if they make a big issue, remove yourself from the situation.

don't explain, the less said the better. just say he's going to nursery.

thebody Thu 28-Mar-13 17:43:13

Yes if course you don't need to be registered for close family members but equally you probably won't apply for personal and car insurance to protect the child as registered cms have to.

You also can't get child tax care vouchers and lets face it she will want cash payment and cheat the benefit system.

You are right to say big off op

flossy101 Thu 28-Mar-13 17:49:42

Yes I know, a whole 10% grin

I thought paying the nursery deposit would draw a line under the whole thing, but apparently not.

Agreed with DH that we are just going to leave them to it.

MortifiedAdams Thu 28-Mar-13 17:58:05

You really dont want to male her financially dependant on you. I imagine it wont be long before she is 'reviewing her prices' and 'following inflation'. Quite apart from the registration thing, she sounds utterly.mental in her relentlessness and you dont want to tie yourself to that.

Suggest she gets herself registered and once she has som references from.happy parents you might reconsider, but in the meantime you will send your DS to a registered (first aid trained too), CM.

And if she and MIL disown / shut you out because of this then youve had a lucky escape.

DontmindifIdo Thu 28-Mar-13 18:09:09

You know what, your MIL will be slagging you off anyway, so why not go for it. Tell her that you are telling SIL it's because of the childcare vouchers, which while are a consideration, is actually just an excuse because you are trying to save her feelings. Say you don't think the quality of care she'll give your DS would be good enough, state you don't think the food she feeds them is good enough, she doesn't do activities in the day - which if you were paying for care you'd insist on, and generally you think she wouldn't cope with an additional child, that you think your DS will just be shoved in a corner, and you can get far better quality of care for your DS for less money (as you can use your vouchers) so as much as you'd like to just give your SIL some money, you are never going to leave her in sole charge of your DS.

Say that of course you'd never insult SIL so much to say it to her, and you are sure MIL wouldn't want you to cause a huge family rift about this, and that DH feels exactly the same way. That you would hope that MIL would help you manage to pass this message to SIL in a nice way that doesn't involve telling her you think she's not good enough.

MIL will of course explode at this - but hopefully in her following sulk with realise the good sense of keeping this from SIL...

mumofweeboys Thu 28-Mar-13 18:22:13

If your sil is that hard up, tell her to get registered and start childminding properly instead of trying to make her financially dependent on you.

Roseformeplease Thu 28-Mar-13 18:24:23

Tell her your work offers vouchers so you have to use registered care?

Jollyb Thu 28-Mar-13 18:31:03

No not at all. My sister is a registered CM and I'm not sure I'd want her to mind my DD. fortunately she lives just too far away to make it feasible.

sue52 Thu 28-Mar-13 18:33:25

Just keep on saying no. If you felt your baby would be in a happy and stimulating enviroment then fine but your sil's set up is not ideal. Your sil's financial worries are not your concern and you don't go to work to help her out. Your mil is very wrong to guilt trip you like this.

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