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to not babysit when visiting?

(30 Posts)
vanillaessence04 Thu 31-Dec-15 23:14:54

Background: I once travelled 6 hours round trip to see my sister and family (nephews then aged 1 and 6) - and ended up only seeing them for a couple hours, as sis whisked kids into bed and sis/dp went on date. Obviously, kids fell asleep and so my 'visit' quickly became me watching tv by myself. The issue has come up again now that she has two more little ones with a different partner (boys age 1 and 3, the others mentioned above are now independent 15 and 20). This time I said no to babysitting but spent time with them of course and happy to look after if parents nearby. My nephews are difficult to be around (I love them but not their behaviour) as sis/dp parenting style is without boundaries etc. since when is it ok to assume visiting relatives will look after your kids - and at short notice? I want to play with nieces/nephews, not stop them killing each other wipe bottoms or monitor their behaviour or whatever. How dull for all involved. what would you do?

TowerRavenSeven Thu 31-Dec-15 23:18:37

I'd say giving them a break once every 15 years isn't a big deal.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Thu 31-Dec-15 23:19:58

I cheated by having being the first to have a child.

I've done my bit for the next generation. Auntie's job is to wind 'em up and run away while patents deal with the fallout grin. My brother doesn't trust me anyway 'cause I bought his kids two guitars and a drum kit last year.

TowerRavenSeven Thu 31-Dec-15 23:21:12

Sorry posted too fast. Can you stay longer this times so you can do both? And they should have asked and not assumed.

Mmmmcake123 Thu 31-Dec-15 23:22:35

Clearly trying it on and showing you no respect in the meantime. Pffff, not sure what I would do exactly but feel your ire.

hedgehogsdontbite Thu 31-Dec-15 23:27:48

Sorry but I'm not sure I'm understanding your post right. Have you really only visited your sister twice in 15 years?

Spilose Thu 31-Dec-15 23:36:37

It's happened twice in 15 years. Really? YABU

PaulAnkaTheDog Thu 31-Dec-15 23:40:01

So, realistically your sister is asking for babysitting one in every 15 years? If that's the case then I really think they are pushed to get nights alone together. Just do it! Be kind! My sister watches ds once a month (at least). No expectation to, she just likes to spend time with him and likes to give me a night off.

vanillaessence04 Thu 31-Dec-15 23:41:17

sorry - to clarify, I visit 2-6 times a year, I was just bringing up examples to illustrate what I mean. The family dynamic is different now that she has her "new" family as they're being raised differently, she was stricter etc with her older two.

vanillaessence04 Thu 31-Dec-15 23:43:48

the 1 and 3 year old behaviour is so hellish to be around thanks to their parenting - I don't understand why I 'should' babysit at all? she has her mum, sis, MIL and friends who do that regularly.

fuzzywuzzy Thu 31-Dec-15 23:45:44

I think it's down to you.

You have a right to not want to babysit. I've got a sister who doesn't much enjoy babysitting kids, wiping other kids bums is not fun. I don't take it personally, my choice to have kids I can organise my own childcare.

I am greatful when family/friends do babysit, wouldn't ever expect or demand it tho.

Think YANBU.

Ditsy4 Thu 31-Dec-15 23:46:32

I would say that you have come to see them but if you are staying for say five days or more would it not be nice to off one evening. Or could you take the kids out for a couple of hours and let them have lunch out somewhere.

MooseTrap Thu 31-Dec-15 23:48:33

Yanbu - if you lived around the corner it would be a different matter but having travelled 6 hours I would be pissed off to be asked to babysit and I would decline.

Iggi999 Thu 31-Dec-15 23:49:25

YANBU to not want to babysit.
You sound very sanctimonious about the children though. How strict should anyone want to be with a one year old? confused

starry0ne Thu 31-Dec-15 23:52:06

How far are you travelling now? how long are you staying?

ImtheChristmasCarcass Thu 31-Dec-15 23:58:15

I'd say if they want you to sit then they need to be up front before you visit and give you a chance to say yes or no, not dump the kids on you without advance notice. "Hey Sis, when you come up would you mind watching the kids on Tuesday so BiL and I can have an 'adult' dinner?"

You don't invite company (even if it is a relative) to stay at your house and then expect them to babysit, just as you wouldn't invite someone to stay and then hand them a mop and bucket and tell them to scrub your floor.

BathtimeFunkster Fri 01-Jan-16 00:27:52

Super obnoxious to have people visit from far afield and then fuck off out without them and use them as childcare.


vanillaessence04 Fri 01-Jan-16 00:27:53

@starry0ne we travel the 3 hours each way now and stay for a week, but nearby with my mum not at my sister's.

DontMindMe1 Fri 01-Jan-16 00:38:54

i'm with ImtheChristmasCarcass

i've got a narc older sis, would never visit me but dutifully i would always go to see her. i'd get there to find i had been allocated babysitting duties for my two nieces, eg she'd have a dinner party and i would be the one cutting the dc (hers and freinds dc) food, helping them eat and minding them,stuck at the edges of the group like the odd one out cos her friends were just as rude as her.

i wouldn't have minded so much had i actually been 'allowed' to enjoy some quality time with my nieces and dsis but it seemed i was always only invited with some other agenda that suited her and her dh's plans.

the last time she tried she majorly took the piss. I'd arranged to visit her for the weekend as she'd been on the phone complaining how the dc were doing her 'head in' and she never got to do anything. Rang her to confirm times once i'd booked the tickets to be told 'well if you want a lift from the station then you need to be here for 4pm as we're going out at 5pm' i was like confused 'where are you going?'

Apparently she'd booked a hotel for the weekend for her and her dh as a treat for themselves and i was meant to be babysitting the two dn - one of whom was a 2 year old that most likely didn't remember me from my last visit! So after almost 9 hours travelling i was meant to go straight into babysitting duties and then spend my whole weekend stuck with her mil because there's no way she was going to allow me to spend time alone with dn hmm No 'please could you/would you mind?', no courtesy of sharing her plans for the weekend with me, no word or mention of it when she was asking me to come down....just an expectation that i would do it seeing as i'd booked the tickets and had been put on the spot.

she never apologized for not mentioning her plans, she never said a word about it. so insulting and rude. so i chose not to go. cue the expected whines of 'you've ruined my weekend' 'i'm so stressed' 'you hardly ever come and visit us' and 'your neices hardly know you' hmm

the fact that she'd visited me once in 8 years kind of eluded her.....

so no, you're not being unreasonable. You need to be able to enjoy your weekend too and if their plans mean you won't then just say 'it doesn't work for me'. Manners don't cost anything but bad manners - well there's always a price to be paid for them. i don't know how they can look us in the face after behaving like that.

vanillaessence04 Fri 01-Jan-16 00:47:18

DontMindMe1 that was so helpful, thanks for your story! Wow, your sis sounds incredible!!! I was so pleased to see that you didn't go, good on you!

Littlef00t Fri 01-Jan-16 08:15:19

Just say you've come to see them not watch tv.

Enjolrass Fri 01-Jan-16 08:33:21

Personally if I was there for a week I would offer to babysit, assuming your mum never does.

I can't see how a one year olds behaviour is hellish, tbh.

Maybe, because you are older it's more difficult to cope with,

I had kids 10 years before dbro. Mum found looking after dd when she was young a doddle. My second and my dbros two, she found very difficult to look after.

She didn't have my second until he was about 3, at all.

HeteronormativeHaybales Fri 01-Jan-16 08:52:44

However often it happens, it is shockingly rude and that parennial MN favourite 'entitled' to just assume someone who has come to visit you will babysit. Asking very nicely if they wouldn't mind for a couple of hours 8and accepting a no), and providing them with nice food/company/hospitality around that, is one thing, but this scenario sounds rather as if the sister just assumes. I am very hmm at the posts which seem to be implying that it's really not much to ask shock

HeteronormativeHaybales Fri 01-Jan-16 08:57:35

I do agree with PP, though, that perhaps your expectations of the little ones' behaviour may be a bit skewed. The older two had a 5-year gap - that (speaking as someone who has a 2-year and then an 8-year gap between her 3 kids) is a very different kettle of fish to 2 years.

lighteningirl Fri 01-Jan-16 09:00:18

Yanbu she is rude and unpleasant

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