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To feel let down

(17 Posts)
phantomhairpuller Thu 28-Jan-16 22:36:33

A bit of back story. MIL gave up work 18 months(ish) ago. Financially she doesn't need to work anymore, she's in her 60's and she decided the time was right to step back. She also said that she wanted to be able to help myself and DH with the care of our 2 boys and enable me to return to work. Our eldest son is at school full time and our youngest son goes to playgroup two mornings a week.
DH works full time, as he always has done. I, up until three months ago, was working on a relief basis and was able to have flexibility where required. In early November, I decided I ought to take up a permanent contract (working a rolling rota, 3 days on and 6 days off) in order to secure myself a guaranteed monthly income. Before discussing the decision with my employers, I made sure everybody in the family who would be affected was happy. They all supported me.

Fast forward to now. MIL called me last week to tell me she had been approached by a previous employer about a job. She told me that she had made it clear from the outset that she was only interested if the job was part time and if she could have a certain amount of flexibility because of her commitments with her grandchildren. We actually had quite a long chat about everything, during which she told me if they wanted her to work more than three days a week she would tell them it had been nice speaking to them, and that would be the end of it. She said that helping us out with the boys was her priority.
Her interview happened on Tuesday. She called me today to say she had been offered the job on a full-time basis (for three months initially, but with the potential for longer) and when I stumbled over my response she immediately became defensive and started asking if/why I thought it would be a problem. She then told me she would happily pay for any additional childcare fees we would accrue as a result of her going back to work.
Immediately after speaking with her I was quite upset because I felt let down, but when I spoke to DH about it he brushed it off and told me I was making a fuss about nothing and said it would all work itself out.

My dad is retired through ill-health and consequently isn't always up to looking after the boys. My mum is still in full time employment.
If my MIL does return to work as intended, the only person we will be able to fall back on is my dad, but given that he has regular hospital appointments there will be days where he is not available.

I'm well aware that ultimately the buck stops with me. The children are, and always will be, my priority. On top of that, I am extremely grateful to my MIL for all she has done for us so far with regards to the children. But I cannot help but feel let down over this. AIBU, as DH tells me I am?

Orange1969 Thu 28-Jan-16 22:39:39

You are bound to be disappointed, but I'm afraid this is one of the drawbacks of relying on family for childcare.

Could your youngest go to nursery full time?

LidikaLikes Thu 28-Jan-16 22:42:46

YANBU to feel let down because your MIL has gone back on something she originally said she'd do.

But, YABU to think that your MIL, or your own parents should do childcare.

I had similar issue when my eldest was born (in 2010) but now I've just let it slide. Since had another child (in 2012). I pay a childminder for childcare as there just is no issue with politics or messy boundaries.

At times I feel upset as I'm paying £££ each month, but in a way it's good as it means my parents and in-laws are free to do 'fun' babysitting every so often, rather than being knackered and over-exposed to my kids.

RubbleBubble00 Thu 28-Jan-16 22:44:52

Ok it's annoying when she's told u one thing and done another. It's nice she's offered to help cover the cost of childcare. Perhaps she realised that she doesn't want to stop working and be a more full time granny. My mil loves my boys but admits she would rather work than look after them

ridemesideways Thu 28-Jan-16 22:45:02

YANBU to feel disappointed. MIL promised something and didn't deliver. She now feels guilty. DH IBU. You are allowed to feel led up the garden path..

ZiggyFartdust Thu 28-Jan-16 22:45:31

Of course you're not. She made repeated promises, and then did a total uturn without even an apology.
You know youll get a crowd of goady fuckers telling you its all your own fault and you're a grabby wagon for even contemplating family childcare though, right?

phantomhairpuller Thu 28-Jan-16 22:46:05

None of them have ever been 'expected' to look after the children. They've only ever helped out as a result of their own insistence! As I said, I am extremely grateful for the amount of help we do get from family.

Ultimately I guess our youngest could go to nursery full time, but it would have to be at a different setting to the one he currently attends as it is not something they could offer.

RubbleBubble00 Thu 28-Jan-16 22:46:43

Also could u increasing your hours and her doing more childcare made her think perhaps it isn't for her

phantomhairpuller Thu 28-Jan-16 22:47:34

Yeah Ziggy, I'm ready and waiting blush grin

ollieplimsoles Thu 28-Jan-16 22:48:23

Yes its unreasonable to automatically think that grandparents should provide childcare

BUT your mil really threw you under the bus here. Yanbu to feel let down.

Only1scoop Thu 28-Jan-16 22:53:32

When she initially gave the speech about putting her commitments with childcare first if she was offered the job what did you say?

Did you say for her to do what she wanted to and not to worry kind of thing?

I don't think either of Yabu to be honest but can understand you feeling let down.

Chicagomd Thu 28-Jan-16 22:56:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Damselindestress Thu 28-Jan-16 22:57:40

I can understand why you feel let down. You didn't assume your MIL would help with childcare, she offered and then let you down after you took a permanent contract, putting you in an awkward position. It's all very well your DH saying it will all work out, he needs to sit down with you and discuss childcare solutions and costs in a practical way rather than offering platitudes. Why do you say the buck stops with you? It stops with him too. He's equally responsible for childcare arrangements and you have an equal right to return to work.

Griphook Thu 28-Jan-16 23:49:06

Over to dh then as 'it will all work itself out in the end'

No yanbu, she shouldn't have been so keen to offer

Katenka Fri 29-Jan-16 07:10:51

Yanbu to feel let down or disappointed.

However this is the problem when family look after your children. Things an change.

My mum helped out with my dd (now 11) and I was very grateful. It was an odd hour here or there. She would pick dd up from nursery and have her until one of us finished work.

However we had to fully accept that this meant if she was ill, busy etc that we had to take time off. Either out of holidays or unpaid.

She also worked part time and when that role was under threat of redundancy we accept that if she found more work it may not be reasonable that she can help out.

Any child care offer by family is not a formal arrangement and filled with potential problems.

Even if your mil had taken a PT role anything could happen where she isn't available. If that's going to really upset you then a formal childcare arrangement is probably for the best.

Like pp I would have preferred to keep mum and dad for 'fun' babysitting. Me and dh didn't go out for years because we felt ba about asking mum to look after dd when she had already had her that week.

Now we have two kids. Mum doesn't do any childcare for our youngest and is more than happy to have them overnight if we want to go out.

This feels much better all round

DoreenLethal Fri 29-Jan-16 07:16:37

when I spoke to DH about it he brushed it off and told me I was making a fuss about nothing and said it would all work itself out.

Well, if himself says there is not a problem, then there is not a problem.

So, once your MIL goes back to work he can let you know how this will work itself out, can't he? Obvs he is party to info that you are not.

Penfold007 Fri 29-Jan-16 07:38:12

What is DH's solution then? Paid childcare is probably your best option.

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