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Parents and childcare - is anyone BU?!

(43 Posts)
AddictedToTea Fri 03-Nov-17 08:15:11

After a discussion with a friend yesterday about the difference between the help my brother and I get from my parents regarding childcare, I wondered what people’s thoughts were. She thinks my parents are very unreasonable and my DB/SIL CFs!

My brother has 3 children (two at primary school and one baby) My mum and dad have looked after all three children from when my SIL goes back to work to when the children go to school (so 3-4 days per week for a number of years) They also look after the older ones after school every day and every day in the school holidays. My brother lives about 20 minutes away from my parents. Both him and SIL have good jobs (so could afford to pay for childcare if they needed to)

I live 2 hours away from my parents and have one child. They provide child care for ‘big ticket’ events (e.g a wedding) They will come and stay with me to do this but we make a weekend of it (so go out for lunch, visit an attraction all together etc) This probably happens 3 times a year. I visit them for a weekend about once a month (if that matters)

So, in this scenario, is anyone being unreasonable?

Sirzy Fri 03-Nov-17 08:17:23

The distances alone make a massive difference. Even if they wanted to/you wanted it then 2 hours makes daily childcare impossible.

glow1984 Fri 03-Nov-17 08:17:24

I don’t think anyone is being unreasonable. 2 hours is a long way to travel for regular childcare.

blackteasplease Fri 03-Nov-17 08:20:55

I don't think anyone is being unreasonable but it does sound tiring for your parents. I hope your brother appreciates the help he gets!

Caulk Fri 03-Nov-17 08:20:57

No. No one is. Talk to them if you think someone is though - better out in the open.

AddictedToTea Fri 03-Nov-17 08:21:00

It probably isn’t relevant, but the rest of the time my DD goes to nursery. We don’t get any regular childcare from my inlaws (they are enjoying retirement far too much!) but, like my parents, they’ll help out on an ad-hoc basis and are very happy to do this.

blackteasplease Fri 03-Nov-17 08:21:39

Enabling him to work outside the home and not pay childcare (should have been the end of my sentence)

Only1scoop Fri 03-Nov-17 08:21:46

Why is anyone BU as long as it all works for them? The childcare your parents do sounds way too much to me, but they may love it.

BertrandRussell Fri 03-Nov-17 08:24:19

I'm not sure how your parents could help you more being so far away, so I don't see how anyone is being unreasonable.

greendale17 Fri 03-Nov-17 08:24:30

This distance is the problem here.

Steeley113 Fri 03-Nov-17 08:24:39

No one is being unreasonable. He lives closer then you so it's easier for them to provide childcare. I'm sure if you lived closer they'd offer the same.

AddictedToTea Fri 03-Nov-17 08:27:07

Have just seen the responses. Thank you.

I don’t think my brother really appreciates it (he’s never been presented with a huge nursery bill so can’t see the saving he’s making IYSWIM!) but I don’t have an issue with the situation as it stands (which my friend can’t understand) for the reasons you state - my parents physically can’t provide regular childcare for me so why be bitter. I also rationalise it by thinking they would help me out if I lived closer so the offer is there. It isn’t favouritism, it’s geography!

Twofishfingers Fri 03-Nov-17 08:28:52

It is unfair in a way, but distance is the main issue. I also think that I wouldn't ask my parents to look after my children three days a week every single week, that's too much. So I think your brother may be a bit unreasonable. Are they getting paid? I suspect not. They deserve to put their feet up and enjoy themselves a bit, not have the pressure of looking after children three days a week, week in week out!

AuntLydia Fri 03-Nov-17 08:31:55

I agree with everyone else - nobody is being unreasonable as long as your parents are happy. I've never had as much childcare help as my sister but I've never needed it. I can't imagine keeping some kind of record of number of hours babysitting and demanding the same. Like you I know that my parents would have provided me with the same level of help had I needed it.

splendide Fri 03-Nov-17 08:31:57

Unless you think your parents are being pressured to help more than they really want to I can't see any is unreasonable.

confusedofengland Fri 03-Nov-17 08:37:48

I feel your pain OP. My mum provides care 1 day per week for sibling 1 & has done for 15 years. She provides 1 day plus overnight for sibling 2 as they live an hour away & has done for 5 years. I live round the corner & ask for help for parents evenings, school events where I can't take ds3 or emergencies. 8 out of 10 times this is denied. Siblings also have the other set of grandparents babysitting one day per week, my ILS live 130 miles away so can't. As a result, I have to pay for any childcare so it's not worth me working, while both siblings are well off.

However she & my dad will have all of the kids at weekends, we ask maybe once every 6 weeks.

CPtart Fri 03-Nov-17 08:40:42

It's just down to circumstance.
SIL/BIL live next door to PIL an hour from us and have had free childcare on tap for 15 years. They have babysat for us and had our DC a handful of times. What's annoying is that SIL needs come first, and that their availability to help us has always been at her convenience, i.e., if she's covered only then can they help.
The financial favouritism shown to her, is another matter.
In the long run things will hopefully even out when PIL are frail and need day to day help.

Ttbb Fri 03-Nov-17 08:41:35

No. Even if your DB/SIL paid for childcare your parents still wouldn't provide you with anymore childcare because you live so far away.

blackteasplease Fri 03-Nov-17 08:42:37

I think the only people who could feel aggrieved here are your parents (with db) but presumably if they did they could just say "we aren't doing it any more, getting older etc."

BertrandRussell Fri 03-Nov-17 08:44:12

So does your friend think your parents shouldn't provide childcare for your brother because they can't for you? That's just silly.

My mil was default child carer for dp's 3 siblings- but they all lived within 5 miles of each other. We lived 200 miles away.

Mind you, I am pretty sure pils felt guilty about it- when we visited we always left with the entire stock of Toys 'r Us in the boot.........

Ameliablue Fri 03-Nov-17 08:44:17

My parents provide far more in terms of childcare for me than my siblings, simply because I'm the only one who lives close enough. I appreciate this and I fully expect to repay them as they get older and need support themselves as I'll be the one on hand to care for them.

NerrSnerr Fri 03-Nov-17 08:45:23

I would count yourself lucky you get three weekends a year I’m jealous. Do your parents get time to do what they want like hobbies and holidays?

Trampire Fri 03-Nov-17 08:48:24

Your friend is BU.

What we're talking about her is logistics. What does really expect your parents to do? Drive 4 hours every day to help you out? Personally, I think your parents give a bit too much daily childcare for your DB but it's their issue to deal with if they're unhappy.

I live 5 hours away from my parents and 2 hours away from inlaws. We never had childcare from family. My DSIS lives abroad and had none either. Maybe that makes it fairer than your family?

I do find it galling the way some people think parents and inlaws should provide childcare on tap no matter how inconvenient (I know you don't think this OP).

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Fri 03-Nov-17 08:48:49

No, so long as your parents offer their time happily, then no-one is BU at all.

There is nothing to indicate that your DPs would not also help you out more if you lived closer to them - so no favouritism.

It only becomes a problem if DB & SIL are expecting more from your DPs then they are happy/willing/able to give.

Lots of GPs enjoy looking after their DGCs this way & lots either don’t or can’t. There’s no right or wrong so long as nobody is being taken advantage of.

FlouncyDoves Fri 03-Nov-17 08:51:43

The only person BU is your friend. What business is it of their’s what your brother and parents arrange between themselves?

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