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Am I being oversensitive?

(21 Posts)
beardedladydragon Mon 04-Apr-16 09:34:05

I have 4 dc (10,8,6,3). 3 out of the 4 of them do the same activity. Over the weekend they all performed in a show. My DN (3) was also supposed to be in the show but, due to a minor injury, was unable to do it. They have been rehearsing hard for the show for the last 3 months and have been really excited for it, especially the older ones. I have looked after DN quite bit for those 3 months. Dsis works so DN would not have been able to attend any rehearsals. One day per week Dsis drops her with me at 7 30 in the morning and then picks her up at 5 30 (I also look after her on other days but not for as long). Dsis and BIL had tickets for the show last night. When I saw them in the afternoon they said they weren't sure they were going to attend because DN wasn't able to do it. I said I am sure the others would appreciate the support even if DN wasn't able to participate. They didn't show up.
I am really upset. I don't ask anything for looking after their child. In fact it costs me as I generally take them out for the day. They never offer anything. I feel like I go out of my way to help them but it is one way street and actually they aren't really interested in our dc and couldn't give a shit about us.
So AIBU to feel upset about this?

Twitterqueen Mon 04-Apr-16 09:37:12

you are and you aren't.
Unfortunately just because you've gone out of your way to support, help, facilitate etc, it doesn't mean that people will reciprocate. And I'm afraid that when it comes to shows, I've had sufficient experience to only ever be reconciled to going to my DC's ... (often with a gin and tonic in a water bottle blush I would not go to anyone else's, even my own DN's.

VioletTea Mon 04-Apr-16 09:39:35

Yanbu to feel upset and angry at their attitude. I would be annoyed too.

But like a pp said you can't expect it.

PaulAnkaTheDog Mon 04-Apr-16 09:41:14

I think yabu tbh.

NataliaOsipova Mon 04-Apr-16 09:44:56

I agree with Twitterqueen. I can absolutely see why you felt a but let down that they wouldn't come and support your children after all the help you'd given your niece....but presumably if your DN was injured and couldn't go then at least one of them had to stay and look after her? Then not much fun for the other one to go to a kids' show - alone - when his/her own child wasn't in it. Plus your DN was probably upset that she couldn't be in the show having practised for it might have been a bit upsetting for her if she'd been left at home while her mum and dad went to see her cousins?

sooperdooper Mon 04-Apr-16 09:45:24

Yabu, the two things aren't connected in anyway really

If you want paying for looking after their child then say so, you sound quite resentful about it but you need to speak up and tell them if you're not happy

MrsJayy Mon 04-Apr-16 09:46:25

Lots of people wouldnt go to a show if their kids pull out but their family kids were in it they could have gone maybe your neice was upset she wasnt in it so maybe thats why yabu and a bit oversensitive

DryShampoo Mon 04-Apr-16 09:55:09

The two things aren't connected. Why on earth are you providing free childcare for your niece, though? Wouldn't it be easier all round if they paid you, so you didn't feel they 'owed' you gratitude and attendance at your children's events? Or if they found another source of childcare?

I'm also wondering what kind of show could possibly involve months of rehearsal for a three-year-old...

beardedladydragon Mon 04-Apr-16 10:01:36

My niece would have enjoyed the show. I don't think she would be upset by it in the slightest. She had only stubbed her toe so not a major injury requiring care. I appreciate that it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea but if it was the other way round I would definitely have gone because my niece is important to me and I would be proud to see her. This was all my dc's first show but I understand that makes it special to us and no one else.
I don't want paying to look after DN at all. I do it by choice because I know it helps them out. I think I do feel a bit taken for granted though and I think that compounds why I feel so hurt.
Thanks for the responses.

beardedladydragon Mon 04-Apr-16 10:04:19

DryShampoo they have been doing half an hour per week so it's not like it's intensive training!

TheCrumpettyTree Mon 04-Apr-16 10:04:55

She stubbed her toe? hmm

MrsJayy Mon 04-Apr-16 10:05:55

I do think you get people who take and take and it seems beyond them to give a little back which is a shame i can see why you are upset maybe stop being so helpful

MrsJayy Mon 04-Apr-16 10:07:48

Tbf she is 3 a stubbed toe is a big deal to a 3yr old it probably hurt older kids woud plough on

PaulAnkaTheDog Mon 04-Apr-16 10:13:03

I don't think it is fair at all to link you watching your niece and them attending the show. The problem with this kind of childcare arrangement goes both ways. You feel taken for granted but you are also unreasonably expecting them to do things as way of 'payment', in this case attending a show they have no interest in.

NataliaOsipova Mon 04-Apr-16 10:32:54

Actually - if the niece would have enjoyed the show, then I can see where the OP is coming from. She helps her niece because she cares about her, not because she wants anything back - but then hopes that that familial relationship is reciprocated and is a bit hurt when her DSis apparently isn't interested in her kids in the same way. Yes - you can't expect, but she's only human to feel a bit hurt, surely?

Is it something you could raise with your sister - ie "I felt a bit hurt that you didn't come"? Or is that likely to cause more hassle than it's worth? If it's the latter, then, as one of the previous posters suggests, maybe you don't bend over backwards to help in future.

NinaSimoneful Mon 04-Apr-16 11:35:57

You see it's tricky. You should ideally never help someone out and expect them to reciprocate but in reality if you do help someone out on a regular basis and they cba doing something for you even as a one-off then of course you're going to feel a right mug a little taken advantage of.

MoggieMaeEverso Mon 04-Apr-16 12:01:10

You've been very involved in the preparations for the show. Your sister hasn't, and might not have realized it was a big deal for the kids. Neither of you is wrong, you just have totally different investments and feelings around the whole thing.

I would certainly formalize the childcare arrangements though. This sort of thing is bound to happen again and will only rankle. If you insist on working for free, at least charge expenses and food so you're not out of pocket.

TresDesolee Mon 04-Apr-16 12:10:28

I understand why you're feeling a bit bruised


There's a conflict between saying you're looking after DN 'out of choice and because you want to help out', and then expecting certain things (attendance at your DCs' events) in return.

For whatever reason this obviously isn't how your sister/BIL see it.

Maybe they think they reciprocate in other ways?

If you're feeling resentful/taken for granted then you need to think about what it is you want in return and make it clear to them.

With the best will in the world, you're not giving them this help entirely freely - you do expect something in return. Which is completely fair enough (I would never do that much free childcare for someone else without something in return!)

But you do need to tell them what you expect, not just be quietly resentful about it, or this will fester and you'll end up falling out with them properly

leelu66 Mon 04-Apr-16 13:08:22

YANBU. Do they make any effort to acknowledge the free child care you provide? Do they appreciate you in other ways? Do they treat your kids to anything?

If the answer is no, I would seriously evaluate why I am offering free child care that people who don't appreciate it.

Witchend Mon 04-Apr-16 13:51:47

Assuming it was a ticketed agent they couldn't just have bought the 3yo, who might also have got upset because she wasn't doing it, as she didn't have a ticket.
And actually my dc do a lot of shows, some of which are fantastic, some of which are pretty boring and all you do is look out for your dc's next slot. A 3yo wouldn't generally sit through that without being a hassle.
We've never expected family to attend them either. Grandparents do attend some, but I don't think any of their uncles/aunts have ever, nor have I expected them to.

OzzieFem Mon 04-Apr-16 14:06:10

Was your DN only in the show because your three children were? This might be the reason they did not attend, if they had no interest in it to begin with but merely went along with your idea. Your DN might have stated she did not want to go as she could not be in it. Kids are funny like that.

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