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to think that I am not the lone architect of this sorry mess

(210 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

fluffforbrains Fri 05-Dec-14 21:52:17

I am not snow white in this story, but I think there are also others at fault.

We have a few hours of help from PIL every week with our DC. Usually ranges between 4-7 hours. This is the only completely child free time I get and is usually spent trying to keep on top of the housework.

PIL have another GC who lives about 100miles away. GCs parents are really high fliers and both have amazing careers. GC is in nursery full time, so PILs go down every few weeks to spend time with GC over a few days.

In the past year the GCs parents have enjoyed 2 adult holidays away where childcare was provided by PILs (they actually had 3 hols in total). PILs have also generously provided emergency sickness care as and when required, taking GC for a number of days at a time, sometimes this has meant that we have gone without our usual childcare. Recently GC required 5 days of care, shortly after they had had GC for sickness cover. I was asked to bring DC round to play with GC on usual day which was fine. I realised PIL would be tired so I would probably get a shorter time than normal, and was asked to fetch DC back in 2 hours.

We have never had more than one night away from our DC, a holiday as a couple seems unobtainable both financially and from a childcare perspective.

At this point I got a bit fed up and sent quite an angry ranting text to a close friend about how unbalanced the situation was. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the help, heaven only knows I need it, I was fed up with having a few hours here, a few hours there when they were getting several days at a time. Trouble is, it went to the wrong person. It went to the GCs parent. Stupid I know. This has caused a big problem. SIL understandibly got very upset and sent me some very emotionally charged messages. I tried to apologise. I confronted MIL about the situation. She could tell I was quite stressed and took it reasonably better than anticipated and we appeared to leave on good terms. That was until DH went mad at me saying that she'd been crying down the phone at him and is devastated. Apparently she believes we get equal amounts. DH believes I have caused a family rift and is livid with me. We are meant to be spending Christmas with them and now I feel completely uncomfortable with the idea.

I realise it was a terrible thing to send the message, and really feel bad about it as I genuinely do like all parties involved. But part of me can't help but think its a situation which has come from months of what felt like priority treatment towards other GC. AIBU?

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 05-Dec-14 21:56:26

It's a bit like complaining about free cake because your slice was smaller. You fucked up majorly. Really majorly. You were completely unreasonable. If you go into the aftermath with that attitude you might save the relationship. If you go in thinking that you are right really, you won't.

meandjulio Fri 05-Dec-14 21:58:06

You can be right, or you can be friends. You know, really, that it is up to the grandparents what they do. You know, as well, that 4-7 hours a week is a hell of a lot for any grandparents to give. You could let go of this constant comparison, which will only get worse as the children get older. I'm afraid I think you were and are in the wrong. Apologise once to everybody, go to Christmas, offer as much help as physically possible and take your embarrassment like a woman. Everyone will get over it if you let them, we all have bad moments. Think how you would want your own children to behave to each other and to you.

WorraLiberty Fri 05-Dec-14 22:04:50

DH believes I have caused a family rift and is livid with me.

I can't say I blame him.

You've come across as jealous and quite ungrateful

OhYouBadBadKitten Fri 05-Dec-14 22:07:14

I think MrsTP says it very well. You have no idea how lucky you are.

puntasticusername Fri 05-Dec-14 22:10:34

How on earth did you manage to send the text to the wrong person?! That would take considerable effort, surely...

Siennasun Fri 05-Dec-14 22:10:57

I sympathise because I once sent a ranty email to the subject of the rant and I remember the horror when I realised my mistake so wine for that.
But yabu. Try and find a way to fix it.

FrauHelgaMissMarpleandaChuckle Fri 05-Dec-14 22:11:19


You sound really ungrateful and churlish.

cece Fri 05-Dec-14 22:12:22

I think the only thing you can do is apologise to all parties and hope they forgive you. I am sorry but I tend to agree with your DH. You need to make efforts to heal the damage you have done.

I can't work out whether you work outside the home or not? It does sound like you don't in which case you should consider yourself very fortunate to have had all of this free childcare so far. Many women don't have the luxury of this if they do not have a paid job.

LadyLuck10 Fri 05-Dec-14 22:13:44

How many holidays your SIL goes on has nothing to do with you. Also the amount of childcare they provide is also not your concern. This situation is entirely your doing, why do you feel others have to share the blame?
They owe you nothing in terms of childcare so you should be very grateful they do spend that amount of time with your dc. Apologize, apologise plenty to your SIL.

furcoatbigknickers Fri 05-Dec-14 22:14:04

Wow you get loads of free childcare

Deemail Fri 05-Dec-14 22:14:09

Oh wow sorry to say this but you have messed up, no one else is at fault just you.
Your Pil are generous kind people, clearly trying to do their best by all even though they don't have to. You're really very lucky to have them, It's up to you to make amends.

PicaK Fri 05-Dec-14 22:15:31

You're really in the wrong here. You need to say those words and buy flowers. I honestly think you have the better deal.

KneeQuestion Fri 05-Dec-14 22:16:27


You fucked up bigtime sending the text to the wrong person [not that it was intended], but I don't think you are wrong to feel the way you do.

Yes of course you should be grateful for the help and support you get, but anyone who says they wouldn't give such an inbalance a second thought is lying.

Apologise profusely for hurting SIL/MILs feelings, that is all you can do really.

AgentProvocateur Fri 05-Dec-14 22:18:37

YABU. Your ILs look after their other GC to cover sickness when their parents work. They look after your child to give you "you time", which you choose to spend on housework. You sound a bit of a princess, and you are the lone architect of the whole sorry mess.

FrauHelgaMissMarpleandaChuckle Fri 05-Dec-14 22:19:37

Are they doing childcare for you while you work? Or just so you can have time to yourself?

ThrowAChickenInTheAir Fri 05-Dec-14 22:20:02

Agree with Knee. You've cocked up big time admittedly. But the situation is unbalanced.

islandmama Fri 05-Dec-14 22:20:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tanukiton Fri 05-Dec-14 22:22:06

Go buy a beautiful bunch of flowers. Tell your mil you love her,that the kids love her and that they both do so much and that you are sorry. Next go buy a nice hamper for your sil and say your sorry you were having a bad day.
I actually think it is balanced so suck it up

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Fri 05-Dec-14 22:22:50

Hey! Why so hard on the Op? It is very hard to be grateful for crumbs when you see how much a sibling is getting and, actually, she wasn't trying to rock the boat, just vent to a friend. What she did was a mistake, not a crime. Yes, she should be grateful for the child care she gets but why should she not be hurt at the disparity in the treatment of the GC?

MaryWestmacott Fri 05-Dec-14 22:23:11

Grovel to SIL and pil.

You can't view childcare to give you regular time off as the same as childcare so they can both work. Work is not "me time", work is not a "break", your bil and SIL do their jobs and then have to juggle the domestic workload and "me time" over the weekends. The holidays are "me time" care, but adding it up, you still get much more "time off" than they do.

Acknowledge that the spilt isn't fair, you actually get more time for yourself. Say sorry for the text.

You might well find you are getting a lot less time away from your dcs come the new year away, if I was pil you'd be getting no more help.

SpidersDontWashTheirHands Fri 05-Dec-14 22:23:19

You've dropped a bollock. You need to sort it out.

Allegrogirl Fri 05-Dec-14 22:23:40

Would you swap the regular 4-7 hours a week to call your own for a full time job and a couple of holidays? Thought not.

DoJo Fri 05-Dec-14 22:27:09

So where would you lay the blame for this? On your brother and sister in law for being able to afford holidays and asking their (her?) parents to look after their children? On your parents in law who seem to have offered childcare when you have asked for it? On your husband? For not asking his parents to have the children more so that he can take you away? Have you actually asked for 'several days at a time' care for your children? Do you actually want this so that you can do something specific, and if so, then what have your parents in law said when you have spoken to them about it? I just don't see how anyone else is as fault when all the other parties seem quite happy with the situation, and it doesn't sound like you have actually asked anyone for any of the things that you want!

KneeQuestion Fri 05-Dec-14 22:27:30

A week off enabling you to go on holiday child free.

A few hours each week [subject to GPs having to cover the other GC] enabling you to catch up on housework/go for lunch/hairdo/...whatever.

I know which I'd prefer.

In fact, I am in the position of the SIL/BIL[minus the highflying bit!], I get big chunks of fab childcare from my parents, much prefer that to a few hours here and there.

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