Baby sitting(38 Posts)
Every time I'm invited to a family meal or visit I always end up baby sitting SIL dc. Don't get me wrong they are lovely bright toddlers.
Its just I feel they are taken advantage of the fact I don't drink and assume I will watch the children, so they can go through bottles of wine.
I don't mind baby sitting when I have been asked to baby sit.
It's when they invite me to a family meal out and I'm the one having to help the children, take them to the loo, entertain them and watch them (oldest is a runner) it gets boring.
I've tried discussing it with Dp but that hasn't worked, ive also tried not doing the baby sitting role, but they just don't watch the children they'd rather have drinks and catch up with the adults while the runner is almost at the front door.
So am I being U thinking they are taking advantage?
It's got to the point I dont want to go out for family meals or visit the house.
And ofcourse if I start saying no to the invites it will cause issues. Mil and SIL always say you must visit the family because family are important. Which the family is. But why should I visit if I'm just treated like a baby sitter.
So aibu or are they being U??
It sounds like they aren't really making you babysit but by ignoring their children you feel the need to step in. Admittedly, I couldn't sit by and watch a child do something dangerous but it is clearly annoying you so I think you need to step back. Perhaps each time the child does something of concern, bring it to your SIL's attention so she either has to deal with it or choose not to.
I would not be happy with that setup at all. OP, stop babysitting by default. I would call SIL up on her crap. If toddler starts running off - tell her loudly in front of everyone "SIL, your child is running off, you better bring them back" or "SIL, your child needs to use the toilet". If they go on at you to mind them say "I was invited out to a meal, not to babysit. If you wanted a babysitter, you should have hired one". Clearly they couldn't give a shit about your night being ruined so why should you pussy foot around them?
I pussy foot because SIL is golden child and I don't want to make things awkward for Dp. He gets left out enough as it is, I feel bad for him. Don't know what to do about that coconutpie.
I've tried bringing it to her attention politely because the runner is going to give me heart failure one day fuzzyowl (why are toddlers so fast??) but they just don't react or they kick off to the extreme. Then the atmosphere of the evening is ruined.
An example would be the oldest is almost dry through the day ( proud of him can't believe how fast they grow) asked to go loo. I seemed to be the only one listening so told SIL. She said she would take him in a min so I left him with his mother and went to order some drinks. I come bk he's disappeared. I think nothing of it until he comes back with wet trousers. She's not taken him so he's had an accident.
SIL shouts at him, making things embarrassing and tense. It wasn't his fault. Luckily she had spare pants and trousers, so I did some colouring in with him to cheer him up.
I feel bad then, if I'd taken him it wouldn't of happened, but on the other hand it's not my job.
I don't think i'd be going out at all with these people OP. I'd let them kick off. But i think i'd be saying no to all invitations from now on.
I think this is the problem when you have a decent person looking out for children and a parent who can't be bothered. Sadly, it will be the children who lose out because of what their mother/your SIL is like.
It does sounds though that she would behave exactly the same regardless of whether you are there or not.
Leave them to parent their own children . I don't get the "runner" thing; can't they just lock the door instead of posting a guard on it?
Has he ever actually escaped when you're not there? It can't surely only be an issue when you are...
All the rest of it, loo trips, etc, can't you just leave them to it until you're specifically asked to step in?
Does SIL not have a partner? If she isn't watching their children, maybe she thinks her partner is doing it? If she is not listening to you, tell the other parent.
It sounds a bit like the SIL is trying to get her partner maybe to do his share?
If I were you, I would back off completely and point it out to someone else if the toddler is doing something dangerous but not move a muscle.
Maybe get your leg in plaster and see what happens.
Floggingmolly, they havnt escaped at home but have when out shopping or at restaurants. So they either go out without or make sure either myself or Dp are with them if they fetch the Dc.
I wish I could step back, but then I feel guilty if one ends up hurt or something.
Step back and leave them to parent their children. Seriously. They manage the 99% of the time when you're not around, right?
Doesn't sound to me at all like they're taking advantage, as they haven't actually asked you to watch the children. So don't watch them, and let the parents parent.
I take it their father isn't there?
I would just not do it tbh; presumably she parents exactly the same whether you're there or not.
OP, these children are not your responsibility. At all. You need to take a massive step back. It's not your fault that the DC wet his pants - that's the fault of his selfish mother. You need to stop feeling like you're responsible for these children - you aren't, at all. Who cares if she's the golden child? Still doesn't make it your responsibility to parent her children because she's too lazy to do so. Stand up for yourself. They already think you're a pushover. I'd rather be seen as someone who stands up for herself than a pushover. Also, stop going out with them to restaurants. Let your DP go by himself.
What does she do when you're not there? She presumably lets them run around the place then too.
I guess I'll have to step back, just difficult to do. I will have to stop being a push over, especially with one of my own in the way.
Coconutpie family usually has them or family is helping over hers.
ive also tried not doing the baby sitting role, but they just don't watch the children they'd rather have drinks and catch up with the adults while the runner is almost at the front door.
That is not them taking advantage of you. That is you deciding to watch their kids.
You're not being a "pushover", OP, you're martyring yourself by deciding to help of your own accord. Not the same thing.
When we have a family gathering, there are quite a few kids there, including mine. I have a few childfree relatives who will say things like "I had to stop then doing X again!" and act irritated...but I know they were doing X, they are allowed to do X, I am paying attention even though I am having a glass of wine!
So really they are not babysitting my children, they are interfering completely unnecessarily. Are you sure you're not doing the same?
Even if you aren't, they aren't your children. Let them be, and let their parents deal with them.
I'm still confused as to why the Mother is getting all the grief, what about the Father?
Fair point buzzardbird I'm being unfair there.
Eh? If the father is there, why do you only talk about the sil? Do they not have equal parenting responsibility for these children?
Guess I'll step back and leave them. What happens will happen then.
Can I just harp on about a side point, that I know wasn't really the point of the thread...
Op, why did you only blame the mother, not the father?
I'm genuinely intrigued. We all do it, I definitely did it pre- kids. Any party I go to, if you see a child ask a random adult something they need a parent for, they always say 'I'll just get your mum.' Always mum. Mum running about wiping arses, getting drinks, sorting dinner. Meanwhile, dad sits enjoying his beer in peace. Why do we do this to each other?
I might start a campaign 'go ask your dad.'
Rant over. Not really a rant because I do it myself!
Don't go next time, have some you time if dp still wants to go. Do something relaxing. It really doesn't sound like the dc are doing anything dangerous except the running, which the parents should be dealing with anyway, not just ignoring. Not your problem.
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