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To think this is s strange way to go about things

(39 Posts)
fishandlilacs Sun 13-Nov-16 21:00:22

I have two kids, and I run a business which means I work in the evenings. My business deals with teaching children after school do I don't have much choice in the hours.

My Dh also works full time and probably goes on 6-8 short (2/3 days) business trips a year.
My parents live 35 mins away and sometimes when Dh business trips collide with my work I need them for childcare, which they are is happy to do. This usually works well and they love the time with thier grandkids. Sometimes they can't do it and I have a childminder and friends as back up but they are usually my first choice.

My sister also has two kids, she lives a little further away from our parents ( 70mins or so) she doesn't work, and her Dhs job doesn't involve going away. She neither wants or needs childcare as much as I do.

Yet for some reason Mum has decided that. Its not fair that she is doing more for me than my sister, and seeing more of my children than my neices and refused to help out again until she's 'done the same for your sister'

I haven't asked her to sit them since July but I do.need two dates in the next month

Rainydayspending Sun 13-Nov-16 21:04:17

YABVU. It's entirely up to your mother how often she provides any childcare (if at all). Use the (paid?) Childminder and only book your mother when she is offering/ asking for time to do things with her grandchildren.

Blossomdeary Sun 13-Nov-16 21:06:40

I ten to help my DC and DGC according to their needs and they all understand.

John4703 Sun 13-Nov-16 21:07:50

As a grandfather I love spending time with our grandson. Sometimes our daughter offers him to us as she knows we love having him and we can say Yes or No, other times she needs our help and we rearrange our life to suit.
If your mother likes her grand children show=e needs to accept that sometimes it is for you and other times for her.

AmberEars Sun 13-Nov-16 21:09:55

I think probably your mum feels that she wants to cut back on the amount of childcare she gives you (perhaps she finds it tiring) but feels guilty about saying that to you. So she's saying this as a way of making it sound better than just saying 'I'd rather not'.

CanuckBC Sun 13-Nov-16 21:10:31

Yes, it's strange. It is up to your mom how she wants to do things and if she wants to keep things fair that is how she wants things. It's odd though as your sister doesn't have the same needs or even wants the childcare so there may be no way to make it even.

Parents get weird about keeping things even though!!

fishandlilacs Sun 13-Nov-16 21:16:11

She doesn't have them for days on end, it's only one or two evenings every few months. They are both at school if she cuts back any more she won't have seen them for 3 months! For the most part I use the childminder as it's more convenient/simpler to arrange.

I haven't explained myself very well, it's not that I want or need her to do childcare, it's not that bit I find hard to deal with.

Its the fact that she won't do more for me than she will my sister, when my sister doesn't have the same needs as me ifyswim...

Rainydayspending Sun 13-Nov-16 21:18:24

She doesn't have them for days on end, it's only one or two evenings every few months. They are both at school if she cuts back any more she won't have seen them for 3 months!

Does she only see them without you?
That would piss me off.

Rainydayspending Sun 13-Nov-16 21:20:19

Also, your sister is a SAHM. That doesn't mean she doesn't need the odd evening off/ have something else important to do, and perhaps doesn't have reliable childcare because she'd feel guilty about the expense.

Crunchymum Sun 13-Nov-16 21:22:55

Yeah, as pp said does she only see them when you need childcare?

My MIL has our kids 3 days a week and without her I wouldn't have been able to go back to work.

We make sure one of us take a week off a month to give her a break... we are very lucky.

fishandlilacs Sun 13-Nov-16 21:23:47


No, we do the normal family visits etc. They pop in for coffees, or lunch when passing, or I'll go up to them, normally when they sit my kids we have dinner together after I finish work.

plus we had a family holiday all of us (sister and family included) during half term and I also go and see her in the week when I can. I should have said Sat them rather than seen them

Rainydayspending Sun 13-Nov-16 21:27:22

Right, a good relationship then. My parents have never babysat. I don't expect it, neither do they. Perhaps your mum has been overwhelmed.
Perhaps your sister has something stressful and your mum is trying to be free just in case?

fishandlilacs Sun 13-Nov-16 21:28:30

My sister doesn't want them to sit that often. Her inlaws live 5 minutes away and they are her default choice. So she gets plenty time off. I certainly wouldn't have an issue with any of that. Its just the thing of my mums endless drive to treat us equally when when we have different needs.
My issue isn't the amount of childcare she provides, I'm happy and grateful for all she does, but I don't understand why she's insisting on offering babysitting where it's not needed and reluctant to help me because my sister isn't getting the same treatment

elodie2000 Sun 13-Nov-16 21:33:12

Let her get on with it. Forget the childcare side of things and use a childminder when you and your DH's commitments clash.
Continue to see her for days out when you are free.
From what you have said, she's backing out of the childcare stuff and using your DSis as an excuse. Or, possibly DSis has had a bit of a moan.
I can't be bothered with this kind of stuff. How can you ask any favours from now on? Who is going to keep the tally chart FFS? How will you know when it's ok to ask again?
Just din't bother OP.

7SunshineSeven7 Sun 13-Nov-16 21:35:29

she won't do more for me than she will my sister

Think about how you would feel if you were the sister. It doesn't matter the situation or the context. Just think about those words.


golfbuggy Sun 13-Nov-16 21:42:47

I'm a WOHM. My mum won't babysit for me because (a) she disapproves of my working and (b) she doesn't want to be stuck as default childcare.

My SIL is a SAHM. My mum is always (by which I mean at least once a month) babysitting for her.

From where I'm sitting this seems very unfair, so I would love a mother like yours! Also wondering if your mum might be thinking along similar lines to mine ...

nat73 Sun 13-Nov-16 21:44:11

TBH I think most people dont realise how lucky they are that their parents help them with childcare. DH's parents are dead and mine are too unwell to look after our children so we always have to pay someone if we want to go anywhere..

I would take this as a sign that she doesnt want to do it (for what ever reason). Maybe give her a break and then ask again in a few months...

fishandlilacs Sun 13-Nov-16 21:45:11

I do see your point when taken in that context sunshine7. But you have isolated that one thing.

I'm trying very hard to explain that I think it's odd that she is so hell bent on treating us absolutely equally when we have different needs.

FinderofNeedles Sun 13-Nov-16 21:47:15

Your work is your choice and you need to make sure that you are available to carry it out. It's not up to your DM to provide childcare for you when your DH is away.

fishandlilacs Sun 13-Nov-16 21:48:35

Golfbuggy, that is interesting. I hadn't considered it that way.

7SunshineSeven7 Sun 13-Nov-16 21:52:00

I'm sorry but it doesn't matter the needs; she is a mother and should be treating you both equally. You shouldn't be relying on her for child care, you should have it arranged properly.

You sound sort of smug (maybe not the right word but I can't think of another one) that you're working and therefore deserve more of her time (and lets face it work, since she is looking after your kids) than your sister because she is a SAHM. That's just my opinion.

fishandlilacs Sun 13-Nov-16 21:53:14


Doesn't feel like much of a choice! Bills to pay etc. I'd stay at home if I could believe me. I have already Mum is not my default childcare, I have other options, a good network of friends who do childcare for each other, a childminder on an ad hoc basis and several local teenage babysitters in the vicinity. I just thought Mum liked to do it, and she says she does but won't again unless my sister asks

golfbuggy Sun 13-Nov-16 21:55:32

Well what do you want your mum to do? Perhaps your sister feels like 2nd best because of all the babysitting that your mum is doing for you? And your mum feels like she needs to do something to reassure your sister that isn't the case. And can't think of anything but also offering baby sitting!

A friend of mine had a similar situation actually - her mum frequently looked after her DC, whereas her childless brother obviously had no such need. Then her mum gave her brother some money to buy a new car and friend went completely apeshit about the unfairness of it - she genuinely couldn't see that her mum was giving her so much already. I think people who have family childcare on tap are often very unappreciative of it.

Trifleorbust Sun 13-Nov-16 21:57:30

You keep saying you and your sister have 'different needs' but then you are at pains to stress that you don't need your Mum's childcare, despite saying up thread that you 'need' two days in the next month. Which is it?

I think your mum feels guilty about telling you she doesn't want to provide you with regular childcare and wants you to exercise your other options.

llangennith Sun 13-Nov-16 21:57:40

YANBU. Absolutely not!
I'm a Grandmother and do lots of childcare for my DGC. At the moment I do a lot for DGC3, none for DGC1&2, little for DGC4. It's who needs the childcare at any given time that counts.
Have you spoken to your sister about this? Maybe she could have a word with your DM.

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