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To have refused this childcare request?

(50 Posts)
MooCowsEyelashes Mon 04-May-15 12:23:23

Was I unreasonable to say no to this, and not feel guilty?

DH and I were booked to go out for dinner, and as an afterthought I invited DSis and DNs to join us because she's recently separated from her husband and I thought it would be nice. She accepted, but changed the dinner appointment to an earlier time slot as it would be easier for her and DNs.

An hour before dinner, she called me to say that her friend needed some advice, and would she mind if she left DNs with me for dinner while she went off to see her friend. She would be gone until about 10pm, so I would either have to bring DNs back to my house, or go to their house and put them to bed (they're 8 and 6).

I'm currently renovating my house, so it's a building site, so I told her that it wasn't really appropriate to bring DNs to mine as there was literally nowhere for them to sit. Because of the lack of seating, I said that our original plan was for DH and I to come home after dinner and watch a film in bed. She said that's fine, the DNs "can just snuggle up in bed with you and DH".

I'm currently suffering from a medical problem where I'm in a great deal of pain and need to rest and lie down a lot. I'm having major surgery in a couple of days time, so this weekend was to be the last time DH and I could spend some quality time together relaxing before my surgery. Plus, my bed isn't really big enough for 4, the film we were watching wasn't child friendly, and DH isn't overly comfortable around the DNs as he's not used to children (certainly not comfortable enough to share a bed with them).

What's more, I don't really think it's fair on the DNs to keep them up in a strange house until 10pm. But that's not really my responsibility.

I initially agreed (because I'm a pushover), because I thought that DH wanted to continue with working on the renovation and I could just take the DNs home to their beds where they would be more comfortable. However, DH then told me he only had an hour or so more work to do then wanted to just chill and watch a film together as planned.

So I called DSis back and told her sorry, we couldn't do it. She wouldn't accept it. She again suggested that the DNs could just come into bed with us, but I said no, we wanted our evening together and that was that.

I suggested she left earlier and therefore could come home earlier, but she refused. I suggested she went to see her friend the next day if it was that urgent, and she refused as she 'had stuff to do'.

She made a sarcastic comment about her 'not realising you had planned a romantic night in', and again asked me to change my plans. She tried, and tried, and tried.

At that point I stood my ground and said that I was initially ok with the idea because I thought DH wanted to carry on working - but those were our plans now, and I didn't have to justify them to her. I said it was fine to have asked, but she had to accept that the answer was no.

She cancelled our dinner plans and took the DCs off to her friend's house. When we got to the bar, we found out that she hadn't informed them of her cancellation so we were left to explain to them that the table for 5 was now a table for 2, and that spare table sat empty for the rest of the evening when they could have otherwise filled it.

I saw her the next day - she didn't mention it, didn't apologize and barely spoke to me. To the point where everyone else I saw was wishing me luck and giving me hugs before my surgery, and she was the only one who didn't.

She has form for this - she's not used to me saying no, as my parents and I usually bend over backwards to accommodate her childcare needs.

Was I unreasonable to refuse to take care of her children? Am I unreasonable to be thoroughly pissed off?

Gatehouse77 Mon 04-May-15 12:29:01

No, you weren't unreasonable to say no under the circumstances and certainly not unreasonable to be feeling pissed off.
Personally, I'd not say anything to her as I would imagine your upcoming surgery will be the ice breaker.

whois Mon 04-May-15 12:30:02

Not U at all. Sounds like a selfish cow who has her own agenda.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Mon 04-May-15 12:33:09

Your sister is selfish and 'me,me,me'.

Good for you for standing up for yourself and not being bulldozed into appeasing her.

fuzzywuzzy Mon 04-May-15 12:33:45

YANBU, short of a real emergency you have every right to decline a request of a favour.

Your sister sounds like a spoilt brat.

I'd be saying no to her more often, just so she can get used to hearing it!

Her childcare responsibilities are nothing to do with you.

MrsGentlyBenevolent Mon 04-May-15 12:37:37

You are not being unreasonable, however I would be annoyed if you had initially said yes then cancelled on me. I wouldn't have pushed it though, and considering your current health issues, I think your sister was being rude asking in the first place.

MooCowsEyelashes Mon 04-May-15 12:42:25

Thanks everyone

Yes, I know I messed her around a bit by initially saying yes. That was my fault, and it's down to the fact that I'm not used to saying no to her, and I adore my DNs and love being with them. She knows this, and uses it to her advantage I think.

I did say when I initially said yes that I'd need to check with DH what his plans were for the evening, but that I thought it would be ok. He immediately said no - he's hardened to her behaviour, but also he's protective of me and can see how much pain I'm in whereas I might just put up with it.

I think she blames him. She didn't speak to him at all yesterday.

If it was a genuine emergency, I wouldn't have hesitated. But as it was, she was asking me to change my evening plans to accommodate her and her friend, but wasn't willing to change her own plans for the next day. She spent the afternoon at a party - if it was that important, she could have gone yesterday.

katese11 Mon 04-May-15 12:44:43

Wow, she clearly wasn't picking up your hints that you and dh needed some time together before your op... introducing kids into a romantic evening in bed is going to spoil the vibe somewhat!!

And I fear for the friend she's giving life advice to shock

MooCowsEyelashes Mon 04-May-15 12:45:51

Her childcare responsibilities are nothing to do with you.

This is exactly what I wanted to say to her.

She is so used to everyone dropping everything to accommodate her. My parents usually do it, but they were out that evening.

The DCs needs don't come into it. The fact that they had spent the whole day out with their father, and were expecting to be going out for dinner with me, only to be dragged off to a friend's house until presumably gone 10pm will not have entered her equation one tiny bit.

seaoflove Mon 04-May-15 12:46:38

YANBU. Your plans for a family meal turned into your sister wanting to dump her kids on you. You were perfectly entitled to refuse.

SirChenjin Mon 04-May-15 12:48:57

YANBU, and I would be deeply suspicious of the friend who needed advice - that's the oldest line in the book. She had a date planned, mark my words. You were right to stand your ground.

PeachyPants Mon 04-May-15 12:49:07

YANBU, you tried to do something nice and she just took the piss, well done for being assertive.

BackforGood Mon 04-May-15 12:49:16

Agree with everyone else. Of course YWNBU to say no - perhaps would have been easier all round if you had said no in the first place rather than letting her think it was a possibility.

MooCowsEyelashes Mon 04-May-15 12:49:44

Wow, she clearly wasn't picking up your hints that you and dh needed some time together before your op... introducing kids into a romantic evening in bed is going to spoil the vibe somewhat!!

Well indeed - although there wasn't much romance given my current condition!! But she did make snarky comments about "Huh, didn't realise you wanted to just cuddle up with DH" - well I did, and that's my right, and fuck all to do with her. I knew that Saturday night was our one relaxing evening left before my surgery, and I don't need to make any excuses for that.

And I fear for the friend she's giving life advice to - Quite!

I think that was part of it too - she was going to help a friend, and so I did feel some responsibility towards the friend as well. But that's emotional blackmail - her friend, and DNs are not my responsibility.

Even if I was fit and well and not about to have surgery, I still shouldn't have to apologize for this.

GERTI Mon 04-May-15 12:53:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MooCowsEyelashes Mon 04-May-15 12:54:27

YANBU, and I would be deeply suspicious of the friend who needed advice - that's the oldest line in the book. She had a date planned, mark my words

To be honest, this did enter my head after she wouldn't take no for an answer. Because although her friend genuinely does need help, DSis often complains about her neediness and isn't normally quite so kind and accommodating. DSis also has form for lying to me about this - she once told me she was spending time with her best friend who has cancer to make me feel guilty about questioning the amount of nights out she was having - turns out she was using friend as a cover while she was having an affair.

However, I subtly asked DN whether they had gone to friend's house, and he confirmed that they did. So she was telling the truth. Bit of a boy who cried wolf situation there though, as I'll always have that previous deception in my mind.

MooCowsEyelashes Mon 04-May-15 12:56:47

perhaps would have been easier all round if you had said no in the first place rather than letting her think it was a possibility yes you're right. I'm terrible for this, my default reaction is to say yes to stuff, then after a few minutes reflection I thought, hang on a minute... why should I?!

I need to work on that.

slkk Mon 04-May-15 13:01:53

Good luck with your op x

blushingbooty Mon 04-May-15 13:02:14

She sounds selfish, don't put yourself out for her at all in the future and make 'no' the default unless you are really up for it. Why should your plans be rearranged because she 'has things to do?'

MooCowsEyelashes Mon 04-May-15 13:10:30

Yes I need to practice that No

I'm also a bit pissed off that she altered our dinner booking to an earlier time to suit her... and then cancelled and didn't inform the pub. DH was furious that we were the ones who had to apologize for the empty table on her behalf.

I think what pissed me off the most was that she was almost belittling my plans, implying that it didn't matter that I wanted to snuggle up in bed with my DH for the evening, and that we were being petty for wanting to do so without 2 DNs in there too!

Fact is, whether I wanted to go to bed early, stay out in the pub all night, or whatever, was up to me and not for her to decide whether that was important enough to not cancel or not.

As it happened, I had an attack of severe pain and was in bed by 8pm waiting for DH to finish his work and join me. So I really couldn't have coped with the DNs anyway. I don't think she really believes I'm in pain (made a comment recently about how it can't be that bad if I went to work last week...)

PeachyPants Mon 04-May-15 13:13:05

She sounds very self absorbed, I hope you can concentrate on yourself and your recovery rather than her dramas. Hope your operation goes well.

formerbabe Mon 04-May-15 13:15:03

She had a date planned, mark my words

That was my first thought!

AliceLidl Mon 04-May-15 13:16:21

She was ditching you for a better offer OP, and expected you to babysit while she did it.

Don't feel guilty for saying no.

She was cheeky in the first place to accept an invitation and then change it to suit herself.

And even worse to then drop out herself but still expect you to take the children.

And worse again to keep pushing the issue when you had said no.

OnlyLovers Mon 04-May-15 13:16:56

She's spoilt, selfish and immature. YANBU. Good luck for your surgery/recovery.

AuntyMag10 Mon 04-May-15 13:20:09

Yanbu, you were kind enough to think of inviting her knowing she's going through a tough time but she doesn't think of you in the same way. I wouldn't bother too much with helping her out after this. Good luck with the op.

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