To not want to help DSis(45 Posts)
I've name changed, although anyone who knows me will most likely figure out that it's me.
DH & I have one DS (6) who is Autistic, although he's six, he has the mental age of a 3 year old, he's non verbal, no awareness of danger, lots of sensory issues etc
DH & I do everything with him together as one person would just be physically/mentally/emotionally exhausted
We work full time and then in the evening when we get home we swap around, so one person entertains DS whilst the other cooks, then swap around again etc
DSis has 6 kids, the oldest is 11, the youngest is 4 months, her DH is pretty useless, he works full time but does absolutely nothing with his kids, doesn't put them to bed, help with their reading, goes to the gym in the evenings after work etc. DSis is always making excuses for him, it's like she has 7 kids.
As it's summer, DS has a childminder from 7:30-3 then my parents take DS for 2 days 3-4:30 and DH's parents take DS for 3 days 3-4:30 DH & I get home and do our evening routine.
DSis always wants to do family related activities every weekend, that would be great if she could handle 6 kids on her own in a busy environment, she can't and so she expects everyone else to help watch over her DC, they're not horribly behaved just regular excited children, they're aged 11,9,7,4,2 & 4 months
Because DH & I both go on these outings, she always expects help, we do try and help but it just makes the day so much more difficult for us, so we've turned down the past few outings, our parents never come along & have refused to babysit on a number of occasions.
I've just had DSis on the phone, complaining about all the support I receive with DS, how neither I nor our parents are willing to help her out, I understand things are difficult for her, but I can't do these outings, 3 adults with 7 kids, one who needs to be watched 24/7 isn't doable, the elephant in the room was that her own DH does shit all & is free on the weekends, but I knew bringing him up wouldn't help at all.
Just tell her that her husband needs to start acting like a father and maybe she won't find it so hard
Well, you are gong to have to lay it on the line to her: Your DS needs the 2 of you. She has 6 kids and a DH. Your parents offer what, 3 hours a week for 1 full on DGC? 6 at once is an entirely different box of frogs!
She needs to maximise her own in house help before turning to others...
I think your parents should spend as much time with your sister's children as they do with your but that's down to them and nothing to do with you.
Your sister chose to have that many children with a husband who doesn't help,she's obviously known this since her dc1 was little but still chose to have 5 more,again not your problem.
I'd be blunt I'm afraid.
I'm a single mum with 2 dc and their father doesn't have them at all,they never offer to have my dc,that's their choice and I do ask when I'm desperate and would love them to offer but their my responsibility.
You and your dh have enough to deal with
We have a rule in our family that the adult nearest the dc deals with them eg, dc falls over nearest adult helps them up etc. I do think occasionally supporting dsis isn't totally unreasonable but depends on your relationship.
I don't think you and your DH need to help, her DH should be doing it.
But how often do your parents see their other DGC?
I think your parents should spend as much time with your sister's children as they do with your Re-reading the OP, that would be 4.5 hours a week between 6 DGCs, less than an hour, all at once or one at a time!
There has to be a better family conversation than that!
Tell her to grow up, no one made her have six children. If she can't cope then maybe she should have stopped at the point it became apparent. I doubt very much that was at number six.
"DSis always wants to do family related activities every weekend".
No she doesn't. What she wants is to recruit adult family members to parent her children.
shooting pointing to the elephant. Doesn't matter that "bringing him up wouldn't help at all" - it needs to be made explicit to her that she needs to recruit him before looking to others. He has a real responsibility to parent his children. You and your parents do not.
Why on earth would you have 6 children that you can't cope with, with a totally useless dh. YANBU at all.
ime, coming from a big family, I don't recognise this notion that you only deal with your own DCs on a day out so I don't think her expectation of help on a day out is unrealistic. It sounds as though you manage your DS on your own (eg whilst your DH cooks) yet when you and your DH go out with your DSIS, you both focus on your DS and resent looking after her DCs.
If your and your parents' reaction to her having a shit DH is to think she's made her bed and has to lie in it then I think both you and your parents are being unkind tbh. Yy it's true that she chose to have 6 DCs with him but punishing her for it by not offering basic help is lacking in compassion imo.
I do think that the husband needs to be bought up here, awkward as it may make things. He must know he's being a lazy POS but nobody is willing to pull him up on it.
I'd also be saying (if it were my sister as I could be blunt!) that she should have shut her legs if she knew she'd be getting no help from her partner, and that a large pry of her problem was of her own doing
That said, I only have one nephew so it's a bit different, but between me and my SIL we parent all three kids equally when we are all together
I disagree, Aplace. its very selfish to make choices that require family to support. It's not lacking compassion, it's simply expecting the adult who made those choices to deal with them. That's what grown ups do.
Not to help in an emergency yes would be a lack of compassion but day to day life no.
There are 6 DCs who didn't make any choices. They are as much GC as the OP's DS is. I don't agree that they deserve less support and help because their DF is hopeless.
I suspect it's more that her dc are missing out on grandparent time. I suspect from what you say DH & I do everything with him together as one person would just be physically/mentally/emotionally exhausted your parents are not able/not willing to commit more time to grandchildren.
I know it's just an hour and a half a day, but I also note how exhausted dm gets with grandchildren-and a lot more with the younger ones than she did with the older ones 10 years previously.
There are times when a bit of understanding goes a long way. I took a not quite total stranger's children weekly for nearly a year because I met her and could see she needed a break. Now she's a great friend and I could call on her any time if I need help and she will, if possible, do it.
You are lucky enough to get a lot of help from both sets of grandparents so I can see her point. Your parents should really split themselves equally if they can. If you go on these outings you do need to try and share some of her burden as well. There are no words for her lazy H
Didn't mean to make it seem like we've never called out her DH, she's knows he's useless, he knows he needs to do more but she lets him get away with doing nothing, I just knew that bringing him up again when she was asking for help was the last thing she needed.
DH & I try & help when we're on outings but it's too difficult to keep on eye on 7 kids, in such busy environments, so we've just turned down going out as a big family.
My parents probably see my nieces & nephew for quick visits around once a week, but they're more catch up chats with DSis then doing any babysitting.
I want to help, I just can't do massive outings. I'll happily take 1 or 2 for a few hours at home but that's all I can really offer
I have zero sympathy for people who procreate over and over again with total wastes of space. YANBU. I'd tell her I'm not able to help, her husband needs to step up, and that it's none of my business how other adults, be the my parents or someone else's, chose to spend their time.
OP why did she have more children than she can handle?
No she doesn't. What she wants is to recruit adult family members to parent her children
This. You're a nicer person than me, I'd massively resent both her and her DH.
Realistically, a child of 6 with severe autism is going to need 2:1 supervision in a busy environment. The majority of parents with a child with that level of needs won't even attempt it due to the risk of the child getting upset, running off etc. So full respect to the OP for going.
It'd be great if one of those two could also watch the other 6, but that's not possible - it puts some or all of the children at risk.
Dsis needs to ensure her DC are adequately supervised, and that doesn't mean taking supervision away from another child who needs it
As for the grandparents, I'd be well pissed off if one of mine had more children than he/she could handle with a waste of space and then expected me to step in and fill the gap the other parent should occupy. I'd be more inclined to help the one who had a need that was beyond their own control.
You just have to say no to the outings and tell her you're not in a position to look after her kids.
This sounds hard. I don't think either of you are BU. In my family and friends we all pitch in and watch out for each other's children. But they are all neurotypical and it is possible for us to do that. It sounds like both you/DH and your Dsis have your hands full. Can you just try to explain how stressful you find it without any judgement of her? Her DH being useless is obviously making it hard but I disagree with other posters, bringing that up won't help her it will just rub her nose in it. After all if she felt she had a choice about it, I'm sure she want help form her DH!
I think you may be being a bit U. I think her lazy DH has nothing to do with this as it seems to be about the huge amount of help your DC gets compared to hers.
Six DC would be busy. Can you help her? You sound a bit pfb. They are your nephews and nieces - don't you want to hang out with them and have a relationship?
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.