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HELP sister had a breakdown. Niece moving in with us. I'm six months pregnant.

(190 Posts)
newmummy0094 Tue 18-Sep-18 19:12:11

I didn't know what to put for the topics so sorry if it is wrong.
I really need some advice.
My sister suffers from very bad PND and has done since my niece was tiny. My niece is four now and has just started school but when she was two my sister had a breakdown and I had to look after my niece for about a year.
Last night this happened again.
My nieces dad is away on business but is obviously flying back now this has happened.
Last night my sisters neighbour rang the police because my sister was lying in the garden naked at three in the morning. My niece was alone in the house so the police got social services involved. Because something similar happened before they released her into our care. As in me and my partner. They did however make it clear that if we didn't look after her she would be taken into care as my sister is an unfit mother.
My nieces dad just can't cope when my sister gets bad. So he really isn't fit to look after my niece and my sister.
My sister found out she was pregnant again which we think is what caused this.
I could see this coming and but I didn't know what to do. I can't believe I didn't do something.
Obviously my niece wasn't in school today but I don't know if I should send her in tomorrow and keep her routine or keep her off as she is really tired with the stress.
I'm going to be looking after her for months at least I think so I just need some general advice about looking after four year olds.
I'm also six months pregnant and I'm really worrying about juggling everything.
The only family me and my sister have is my dad but he lives in America.
Just to make it clear I am happy to look after my niece as I'm all she has.

kenandbarbie Tue 18-Sep-18 19:14:03

thankssounds really tough. You should be fine being pregnant and looking after your niece, that's about the gap people often have.

NotANotMan Tue 18-Sep-18 19:16:00

In the short term keep her off school.
In the longer term her father needs to step up and look after her. His priority needs to be his daughter, not your sister

MrsFogi Tue 18-Sep-18 19:17:13

You are lovely stepping in. It's a long time since I had four year olds but my advice would be "routine, routine, routine" the more you have routines that are stuck to the easier your life will be and the more settled your niece will be (and the easier it will be when your baby arrives). I looked after my best friend's two children when she was very ill so had two 2 year olds and two 4 year olds for a year - the key was having a routine that everyone followed so the kids knew what happened when (every day).

newmummy0094 Tue 18-Sep-18 19:17:38

@NotANotMan
Everyone thinks that but he just won't.
He is one of those people who loves my sister more than his daughter.

TSSDNCOP Tue 18-Sep-18 19:18:16

Trouble is most people have a choice and time to adjust to juggling a 4 yo and pregnancy, so this is going to be tough.

First step is to involve your nieces School. They’ll step up if they have all the right information.

Next, what’s your work situation. Can you manage your nieces childcare?

Can you bring loads of her stuff from home to make her feel more secure?

LIZS Tue 18-Sep-18 19:19:00

Time for your dn's father to step up. He is happy to produce more children but not cope with them or your sister's mh. hmm

If you can send her to school, a good routine and support from school will be important. You can ask the sw for advice too, as meeting their expectations will also be important. It is very sad for your dn to be separated from her dm, especially if she associates it with a sibling at any point. Will there be ongoing contact? Are ss aware of your pg?

TSSDNCOP Tue 18-Sep-18 19:19:35

Agree though that even if you assumevmain childcare, your nieces dad has to step up to give you a break.

Camelsinthegobi Tue 18-Sep-18 19:20:22

You’re doing a wonderful thing for your neice! Send her in to school tomorrow and make sure they know what has happened so they can support her and you. I think she must be feeling unsettled so routine and lots of love and care v important. Maybe let her choose some things for her room - eg duvet cover? Get some of her favourite toys from home. Talk to her about mummy being poorly and the doctors helping her feel better.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Tue 18-Sep-18 19:20:28

Bit heartless isn't it Nota.
The poor women is seriously ill.
I do agree through about keeping her at home with you for a few days, bless her.
Also you will need to inform the school just to make them aware of what is happening
and to enable them to support your neice.
Love to you allflowers

Josieannathe2nd Tue 18-Sep-18 19:20:57

Hmm, I was going to say the opposite. If she’s going to the same school as she was last year the routine and stability could be really good for her. If you can I’d call school first thing and request that she goes in late and you have a meeting with them to let them know what’s going on and how you can all best support your niece.

I’m sure you can do this, but it’s still a sudden change for you (and how will your sister look after her next baby?) so I think it’s normal you are concerned. You sound wonderful though and I’m sure it’s so much better for your niece with a familiar person like you.

On the other hand, it’s not fair that your nieces dad ‘just can’t cope’ surely he needs to do better than that?! Even if you share parenting a 4 year old is much easier than a 2 year old.

BabySharkAteMyHamster Tue 18-Sep-18 19:21:56

Either your sister partner need to step up or ss need to step in. Time to be realistic........she's pregnant again. In a few weeks you may well end up juggling 3 babies.

Was her second child planned ??

hurrythefuckupgeorge Tue 18-Sep-18 19:23:03

What a wonderful Aunt you are!

I have a 4 year and also 6 months pregnant, it is tiring but manageable. I would get her back to school asap as I think the normality would help.

Is your sister getting help? My mum har a breakdown and was admitted to hospital for treatment which although scary really helped.

Lollypop27 Tue 18-Sep-18 19:23:48

Have you spoken to your nieces teacher? I would call the school and request a meeting first. I agree with the pp stick to a routine. It will make her feel safe and a bit more in control if she knows what needs doing and when it’s going to happen. I understand it must be traumatic for her so she will need lots of reassurance. Do you work op? Can you rest whilst she is at school?

Sorry to be intrusive but is your sister going to carry on with her pregnancy? If so will as remove the child when it’s born? Will you be looking after that child too?

flowers for you op. Your niece is lucky to have you

newmummy0094 Tue 18-Sep-18 19:24:00

@TSSDNCOP
We can bring all of her stuff if needs be but I didn't know what was best.

I own a company so I can step back if needs be. It will take a couple of weeks to put into place though.

I'm going to talk to school when she goes back in.

Racecardriver Tue 18-Sep-18 19:24:53

Can't they hire a nanny?

Camelsinthegobi Tue 18-Sep-18 19:25:22

Really it’s v important she goes to school for her routine. Are you working? You’ll need a break. You’ll also need to sort finances. Your BIL should be financially sipporting her. Otherwise you can claim child benefit for her directly.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Tue 18-Sep-18 19:25:28

. Who asks people if their children were planned. I don't know if my nephews were planned or not I'd never dream of asking anyone such an intrusive questions my sister included.
Maybe I'm the weirdo.

theclockticksslowly Tue 18-Sep-18 19:25:59

Are you the lovely pregnant lady from the other month who was asking about whether you should give your baby when it arrives/old enough for own room the bedroom you keep for your niece when she stays?

If so, I’m sorry to hear thesituation with your sister has got worse flowers . You sound an amazing support to your niece (and sister).

Although routine is important if she’s tired I’d be tempted to keep her off school for a day or two just so she can rest and perhaps the two of you can do some fun things together - even if just some arts and craft/baking just to keep her occupied and having a bit of fun. Perhaps send her in on Friday just to start getting back into the routine. You sound like you’re the only stable thing inher life - she’s very fortunate to have such a wonderful aunt.

newmummy0094 Tue 18-Sep-18 19:26:48

@LIZS
My sister has been admitted to hospital but when she gets out there will be contact. I don't know how long that will be though.

Social services do know that I'm pregnant.

onemorecupofcoffeefortheroad Tue 18-Sep-18 19:28:11

I had a similar situation when my sister died leaving a 5 yr old and a 2 yr old and I had my own 10 month old. I looked after them (until their father stepped up) for four months. It was hard but I managed fine - I kept the older one off school initially but then, as it was helpful him being at school and to be honest he got bored at home, I sent him in.
Play it by ear and do what you can just one thing at a time. It’s hard - and hard dealing with your poor sister - but well done on being there for your niece.

KateGrey Tue 18-Sep-18 19:31:44

It’ll be an adjustment but you can do it. You sound like a wonderful aunt. Are you the lady who said your niece has her own room? Definitely get school involved and lots of routine.

newmummy0094 Tue 18-Sep-18 19:33:52

@BabySharkAteMyHamster
No the second child wasn't planned.

newmummy0094 Tue 18-Sep-18 19:35:13

@hurrythefuckupgeorge
Yes my sister is getting help she has been admitted to hospital.

Beetlebum1981 Tue 18-Sep-18 19:36:57

Our school has a welfare person who parents can request to speak to if necessary for things like counselling. She might benefit from having some one to one time with someone in to allay any fears/worries she'll have. She's very lucky to have you in her life, it's clear her father's pretty useless.

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