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AIBU to not agree to do this?

(100 Posts)
YetIWill Mon 20-May-19 07:35:09

Background: 2 of DH's sisters have daughters in the same class as DS. They and their husbands all work full time; I work part-time (DH full time). I can set my own hours, up to a point, so I can do drop-offs and pick ups for DS.

The cousins go to day care each afternoon- they are picked up by the daycare place from preschool. I fairly regularly mind them, though, on random preschool days off, or if one of them is ill etc.

So the dilemma: Preschool has a "Play With Me" day coming up - basically, at pick-up time you stay with your child and do an activity for half an hour. This one is pottery painting, and DS is really excited about it - he wants to make a present for my dad's birthday and has it all planned out.

DNeices' daycare have said they can pick them up half an hour late, but obviously the preschool need someone to stay while they do the activity. SILs have been hinting that I can supervise them, and telling me how much their daughters want to do it.

I just don't want to be responsible for 3 of them, though. It will mean I won't have as much time to help DS; at previous sessions it has been really good 1-on-1 time with him, and he's been excited to show me round his classroom, and all the displays etc. I want to have that this time as well, and I wouldn't get it if I'm helping 3 of them.

AIBU to say no to also supervising the other two? I know they want to do it, but I feel like that's not my problem. Any of their parents could take a half day to come, if they wanted to, but they've all chosen not to.

toomuchfaster Mon 20-May-19 07:38:35

I can't imagine nursery will allow you to supervise all 3. Say this to SIL.

HennyPennyHorror Mon 20-May-19 07:40:15

YABU there will be millions of opportunities for your to have one to one time with your son.

These children don't have a parent available and you're a relative. How could you just ignore them!? You don'[t have to sit right in your child's face the whole time...that would be odd anyway.

HennyPennyHorror Mon 20-May-19 07:40:53

Faster why? It's pottery painting not abseiling.

OhWhatFuckeryIsThisNow Mon 20-May-19 07:42:52

Really, really lay it on thick "oh I love having ONE TO ONE time with ds." And when they inevitably ask, say "no, sorry, I'll have my hands full with ds."
Btw, when do they reciprocate?

fedup21 Mon 20-May-19 07:47:51

I completely agree with you, OP. Ignore the hints. You have made a financial decision to work part time to be with your own kids-not as free childcare for other members of the family. I doubt they’ll be throwing their pension at you to help you out in years to come.

One of them can take a half day if their kids want to do the activity so much.

What does your DH say?

Beware that if you do it, you are setting a precedent for this when they are all at school (I’m here presuming they are 3/4 if this is preschool?).

I’d just do a laughing-Ha ha!! You want me to be in charge of 3 x 3 year olds, I don’t think so!?!’

Theworldisfullofgs Mon 20-May-19 07:53:35

henny why cant one of the parents arrange to go to work late?

Theworldisfullofgs Mon 20-May-19 07:54:25

And no yanbu

snowdrop6 Mon 20-May-19 08:04:56

No don’t do it.
Before long they will have you collecting them from school.
Very unfortunate they all ended up at same place

UrsulaPandress Mon 20-May-19 08:05:45

Hint back that you can't do it.

FamilyOfAliens Mon 20-May-19 08:06:43


The nephews do have a parent, they are just choosing not to make themselves available for this shared activity.

FamilyOfAliens Mon 20-May-19 08:06:53

Sorry, nieces.

Chickychoccyegg Mon 20-May-19 08:10:13

No dont do it, ive done similar and its just disappointing for your own dc as you can't spend any proper time wirh them as you need to help them all.
Its not as if they're stuck or its an emergency, either their own parent can take a half day or they can be picked up by their wrap around care.

Summerorjustmaybe Mon 20-May-19 08:11:14

Don't be seen as their other 'parent' or what will happen all other times they aren't available??
Before you know it pickup /drop offs you will need an extra hand...

YetIWill Mon 20-May-19 08:12:26

Sorry, should have said I also have a younger DD, so when DS comes home, he's not getting 1-2-1 time with me.

SILs do sometimes reciprocate, but it's very much only if it suits them. Their DDs are together a lot - they'll do things together every day in the holidays, for instance. But if one of them can't be there, then the mum of the other will invite DS round to play. They joke that this makes it easier as they don't have to entertain their DD if DS is there to play.

Loopytiles Mon 20-May-19 08:15:08

YANBU to say no.

SILs or BILs could attend, or if not possible their DC miss out - standard for working families.

This kind of school stuff pisses me off bigtime though.

YetIWill Mon 20-May-19 08:18:40

@toomuchfaster I hadn't thought of preschool not allowing 1 person to supervise 3 DC. There are twins in the class, so I assume whoever brings them can supervise both, but don't know about 3 at once!

DS is very excited and has a list of things he wants me to draw for him so he can paint them in, so I imagine by the time we get set up and so on he'll need most of the half hour!

Dieu Mon 20-May-19 08:19:51

I would just do it. They're family! And you could hardly just ignore them anyway. Sorry, but I think you're being a bit precious.

YetIWill Mon 20-May-19 08:21:09

@Loopytiles why does it piss you off? We've had a few sessions and they've been good fun. DS doesn't talk much about preschool normally, but at these he wants to show me everything so it's a good opportunity to hear more about what he's up to.

JudgeRindersMinder Mon 20-May-19 08:21:43

YANBU to say no. You’ve taken a financial hit to be able to do these things with your child, and they won’t even take leave!
I was taken for a mug like this when mine were smaller, and then I got wise to it, when other people went on their fancy holidays etc which I couldn’t afford because I worked part time so I could spend time with my children, while they raked in the big bucks and didn’t have to shell out for child care because muggins did it for free

Beautiful3 Mon 20-May-19 08:22:24

Your main priority is your child. Just say, "I can't supervise children!" I'm sure they could go if they wanted to! You wouldn't expect them to look after yours too?!

Esspee Mon 20-May-19 08:22:53

Their children, their responsibility.

Beautiful3 Mon 20-May-19 08:23:03

"three children" that should have said!

YetIWill Mon 20-May-19 08:23:03

@Dieu the point is, they currently can't go unless I put my name down to supervise them. If they were just sitting there, then of course I'd help them; I just want to spend time helping DS and letting him show me his classroom etc.

Gigglinghysterically Mon 20-May-19 08:23:38

YANBU at all. I'd just tell them I am having 1-2-1 time with son who is super excited.

You said it yourself "you stay with your child and do an activity for half an hour". If you have to join in with all 3 then none of them will benefit from what is meant to be 1-2-1.

They need to step up and take responsibility for their DC. They shouldn't just try and take advantage of you working part time. Presumably you work part-time in the best interests of your family and take a financial hit for doing so. They work full-time and either need to arrange to leave work earlier to take part in these activities or their DC miss out. It is a choice for them to make. It isn't your responsibility.

DocusDiplo Mon 20-May-19 08:23:50

I'd do it. Sorry. You dont have to though - just say DS said he wants 1 on 1 time. Depends if they are nice and helpful to you too of course and if the 3 get on.

CalmdownJanet Mon 20-May-19 08:24:06

I wouldn't do it. If one of them came and said "I'd love to do it, I asked for a half day but was told no, please just this once can you", then I would do it no problem but they obviously aren't arsed their kids want to do it so why should you be? Why should you and ds miss out on the time because they can't be bothered? And if you do it once you'll always be doing it, nope, foot down day one

MarthasGinYard Mon 20-May-19 08:25:02

I'm presuming there are nursery staff around to help out too, dc not just left on their own. Will their care pick them up straight after the 30 mins?

It wouldn't bother me TBH they are your nieces after all.

Missingstreetlife Mon 20-May-19 08:39:18

Call time on cheeky fuckers

PregnantSea Mon 20-May-19 08:40:19

I'm surprised that they never organise annual leave around their DC. Also, DCs come with sacrifice. You sacrificed half of your income to be able to do stuff like this for DC. They have sacrificed being able to do stuff like this with DC in order to keep their full income. Neither decision is wrong, you just do what's right for you and your family. But the point is that there are pros and cons to both. Your SIL need to realise this. Don't regularly sacrifice things with your own DC in order to allow them to continue to have their cake and eat it too.

Occassional babysitting in unusual circumstances is fine, but scheduled nursery activities are their own issue to figure out.

Do they ever reciprocate, btw? Do they take annual leave to do stuff for your DC?

FrancisCrawford Mon 20-May-19 08:43:02

DNieces' daycare have said they can pick them up half an hour late

Or they can collect them at the normal time!

Just tell SILs you and your DS have planned an activity that will require you to be with him all the time, so you cant supervise the DNs.

They don’t want to make the time to help their DC and that is their issue.

QuitMoaning Mon 20-May-19 08:44:00

Isn’t the activity designed for the parents to “play with me”?

I was a single parent working full time so these events were difficult and I couldn’t attend every one of them but I did try, probably did two thirds to three quarters of them.

Marmablade Mon 20-May-19 08:47:13

It's called 'play with me' because their parents/carers are supposed to play with them! It's not just an extra activity; it's supposed to be 1:1 time with the parent/child in the preschool environment. YANBU one of each set of parents should take annual leave if it's that important to their child.

outvoid Mon 20-May-19 08:50:47

YANBU at all, I wouldn’t want to do it either. They should have arranged annual leave if it’s so important to them or they can take the financial hit as you have and go PT.

You need to nip this in the bud now otherwise they’ll be asking you to do school runs for them in the future. Had a few threads about it on here.

fedup21 Mon 20-May-19 08:58:13

If one of them came and said "I'd love to do it, I asked for a half day but was told no, please just this once can you"

Exactly-this has not been phrased like this at all. How did they drop these hints? Have the sisters separately spoken to you? Did you say what your DH thinks?

Be very careful here or you will end up looking after all three children for every illness, family book sharing session, art day, celebrating assembly, tea with teacher etc for the next 7 years. Plus all the INSET days and snow closure days which will of course be last minute emergencies that they can’t get cover for!!

Put your foot down now and don’t be a pushover-you need to look at this as a long-term situation.

diddl Mon 20-May-19 09:00:05

Doesn't sound like something I'd want to do with my own kid!

Surely the point of it is 121 with the parent?

If they can't do that, not sure why they would want someone else to.

The girls may as well just go to the normal care after pre(?)school.

Sounds as if they don't want the kids to miss anything, but can't/won't put the effort in themselves.

It doesn't work like that though does it.

Presumably neither of the fathers can go either?

Notabedofroses Mon 20-May-19 09:06:01

The point of the activity is for the parent to enjoy doing the activity with their child. This could potentially spoil the experience for your ds, who is very much looking forward to having you there, because you will be split three ways.

Your SIL is being a CF, she knows that she should be taking time to be there for her girls, but obviously does not think it is terribly important. Otherwise she would have booked the time off, and made her own arrangements. Instead she is leaning on you again.

I would absolutely make the case, that it is a 1-2-1 activity designed for the parent to spend time with their child/children, and so it will not work.

We don't often have opportunities to do things like this with our children (I love the idea!) and really it is up to SIL and BIL to work out which one will be there for their children.

By the way, the twins will notice that their parents haven't made the effort, regardless of whether you look after them or not. For their sake I would encourage SIL to be there for her dc.

LazyLizzy Mon 20-May-19 09:08:37

Say no, it's meant to be time with parents. That's the point of it.

They only use DS when one of the girls isn't free. Bit unfair to use you aswell.

RageAgainstTheVendingMachine Mon 20-May-19 09:10:11

I'd do it depending on how old they are.
Pottery painting isn't hard.
They just need decent aprons on.
Problem with 1-1 painting is often mums end up doing it for their child, especially if it's a gift. I'd let them all get on with it on a table of four and sit there applauding/just making sure paints don't all end up sludge colour.

jameswong Mon 20-May-19 09:14:36


Not to be 'that guy', but they're not even your real family.

fedup21 Mon 20-May-19 09:15:03

By the way, the twins will notice that their parents haven't made the effort

I’m confused! The OP’s nieces aren’t twins, are they? There are two separate sister in laws, each with daughters at preschool with the OP’s child. Neither sister-nor either of their DHs-can be arsed to take a half day.

Butterymuffin Mon 20-May-19 09:16:42

Say 'What a shame you or their dad can't get an early dart from work just this once. DS is really excited about having me all to himself, he never gets that!'

MumUnderTheMoon Mon 20-May-19 09:18:45

Just say no.

IHateUncleJamie Mon 20-May-19 09:19:30

These children don't have a parent available

They do, the parents are choosing not to go. That’s not the OP’s problem.

OP YANBU, if your SILs want their dds to go that much then they can take a half day and go with them. Just say you can’t supervise 3 children at once when it’s pottery painting and ds is looking forward to some 1:1 time with you.

Piffle11 Mon 20-May-19 09:19:30

If, between the 4 of them, not one of them can take a bit of time off to help out … that's a shame, but not your fault or problem. The problem that you may have is it setting a precedent for any future events: oh it's ok, YetIWill can do it. If you could guarantee that this is a one-off then I would say do it … but it won't be, will it?

Hanab Mon 20-May-19 09:21:15

I have not read all the messages but my 2p is that sil should make time to spend time with their kids.. as a mum i know how excited kids get when they get to show off to their parents .. surely they can take some time off for their own kids .. yes work is important but spending a bit of time with their kids is priceless imho!

Whatchamacalllit Mon 20-May-19 09:23:07

Could you find out from the preschool if they have a requirement of 1-2-1 for this activity? Then if SiL asks you again (or drops subtle hints) you could say "Oh, I checked with the preschool and they need to have one parent/guardian to one child for this activity this time, so I won't be able to help you out for this one. Why don't you take a half day to help?"

Piffle11 Mon 20-May-19 09:23:58

And I wouldn't be passive-aggressive about it: ignore any hints and they might arrange it for you, IYKWIM. Next time there is a hint tell them clearly that you are not available to look after their child as you are planning on helping DS with his great idea. If they try and get you to 'just keep an eye on X and Y' then simply say 'look I'm not prepared to agree to that, as I won't be able to give them any time'. And make sure the place offering the activity is fully aware that you are not in charge of prepared to watch the girls.

edwinbear Mon 20-May-19 09:26:08

YANBU, they need to book some annual leave to cover this.

WhiteDust Mon 20-May-19 09:28:51

'I don't think They'll let me supervise all 3' or 'Oh God it'll be hard enough for me to just work with DS hahaha...'

I had a 'friend' who thought that because I worked part time that I was available to pick up the slack with her DC.
She worked full-time and earned £££. Bigger house, more 'stuff', bigger holidays.
She couldn't understand that she'd traded her time for more £££ and I'd done the reverse.

notoafternoontea Mon 20-May-19 09:31:34

The only thing that's unreasonable here is all this hinting!

It's very simple. "Sorry DSILs, if you're after me supervising DNs at the Play With Me session I won't be able to. DS wants to make a present for my Dad and we've talked about it lots. It's only half an hour, and I won't be able to help him and yours too."

You don't have to be a bitch about it, but just be clear.

DH's family do this. Drives me nuts. Stop pussy-footing and just say it!

After 13 years of knowing me DMIL now knows not to say "whatever's easiest!" when I offer her something or a choice of things. Just TELL ME WHAT YOU BLOODY WANT!!

may have hit a nerve OP. Soz

Antigon Mon 20-May-19 09:33:56

So they exclude your DS when they have get together as / play dates but use him as a babysitting tool and you as a babysitter when they need to?

Why do you even take care of their children ‘regularly’ when they behave like this?

I would stop the childcare. You work part time to take care of your own children, not to facilitate their full time careers.

And definitely say no to the pottery class, sounds like a slippery slope to other requests.

Fairenuff Mon 20-May-19 09:35:58

Ignore all hinting until someone actually asks. If they don't ask you're off the hook. If they do say 'No ds and I are both looking forward to the 1-1 time' and leave it at that.

Applesbananaspears Mon 20-May-19 09:38:35

I have nephews and i same age as my DS and I would do it without hesitation. I would sit all 3 of them together and help them. It wouldn’t occur to me that it should be an issue. He can still show you the classroom as I am sure the kids won’t stick to their parent.

SammySamSam09 Mon 20-May-19 09:39:05

I would do it but I would make sure we were all sat together on one table so I didn't have to flit from one to the other.
I love looking after my niece & nephew though and regularly have them at mine during the school holidays so for me this would be a lovely treat.

It's ok to not want to do it though OP. Just say no you want 1 to1 time with your son.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Mon 20-May-19 09:41:48

The point is for the children to have their parent there to help them and to do an activity together - if their parent can't be arsed to take time to do it, then they go to after school care at normal time.
You don't have to supervise them, it's not your role and they don't need to do the activity if their own parents can't make the time.

Would they do it for your DS? Doubt it, so there's really no obligation for you to do it for theirs. Not in a "tit for tat" way, but because you're part time working, you will always be seen as the default position - and that's not something you want to get into, as it will become harder and harder to get out of the more you do it.

mbosnz Mon 20-May-19 09:45:32

I think these parents need to learn to prioritise their children. Their children don't want to be pasted on to their Aunty, they want their parents to come and spend time with them in their space, doing things with them.

NewAccount270219 Mon 20-May-19 09:49:40

I don't think you should feel obliged to do this, and you should say no guilt-free if they actually ask (ignore it while it stays at just hinting).

All the judgement on parents who work full-time on this thread is gross, though.

XXVaginaAndAUterus Mon 20-May-19 09:49:50

The whole point of the session is to get adults interacting with and playing with their own children! A depressing number of adults don't know how to or won't - so there is a lot of focus in (good) preschool age family sessions on activities that their parent/guardian needs to interact and help a bit with. It's not for farming out to other people, that's NOT the purpose of the session.

I'd draw a hard line, particularly given what you've said about them. And don't you dare feel one iota of guilt. Their children are not your responsibility (again, especially when the purpose of the session is to get THEM to interact with their own children!!!)

Mummyoflittledragon Mon 20-May-19 09:54:49

I think it’s going to be too much anyway with 3 x 3/4 year olds and a younger sibling. How will you supervise your dd while helping the 3 of them out? She could get into all sorts of mischief while your back is turned - I assume she won’t be painting but could cause havoc. You can use that as your get out clause - perhaps discuss it with preschool?

Drum2018 Mon 20-May-19 09:57:49

If they haven't asked straight out then just ignore the hinting. If they ask straight out then tell them it's a one to one playtime so you wouldn't be able to share out your time to enable all three kids to make something. Or just be vague and say it'll be enough to keep an eye on Ds trying to make something and laugh it off as if you don't think they are serious.

phoenixrosehere Mon 20-May-19 09:58:00


I bet they knew about this activity and chose not to check to see if they could do a half day but expected you to pick up their slack. I have two children myself, the oldest being four and in nursery 5 days a week. He rarely gets 1-1 time with me unless I’m reading for bedtime.

Yes, they are your nieces but they both have parents who could be there and it is up to their parents to explain why they can’t go. It wouldn’t be fair for your son to miss out on the time with you because you’re trying to supervise his cousins as well. If the parents want them to go, they should be taking them or pay someone else to supervise them.

budgiegirl Mon 20-May-19 09:58:51

I’d do it, because they’re family, because I love my nephews and I enjoy spending time with them. But I suppose it depends whether you feel that their parents are taking advantage? I know you say they only reciprocate when it suits them, but do you sometimes have them over to you?

ohfourfoxache Mon 20-May-19 10:02:08

No way would I do this.

They deliberately leave your DS out of play dates until they deem it necessary to include him. That’s not fair.

Ignore the hints and enjoy your time with DS

notangelinajolie Mon 20-May-19 10:04:31

So out of 6 adult parents, you are the only one that will be there to do this activity with your DC. Don't be the unpaid doormat while they climb their career ladders. Hell no.

ifCakesHappens Mon 20-May-19 10:06:34

of course YANBU at all!

You chose to take a pay cut and work part time, they chose to work full time - fine, but they can't have it both ways. They can take half a day off if it's important to them (and it should be).

You won't be available enough for any of the kids, so the whole thing would become pretty pointless.

Ignore the hints, and if someone asks say that 3 kids is too much.

Since when is it a problem for a mother to spend a bit of time with her own child! It doesn't matter if other people would do it, you are perfectly entitled to a bit of quality time with your child.

parrotonmyshoulder Mon 20-May-19 10:11:51

I don’t live close enough to my nieces and nephews to see this as an issue. I would love to spend a morning painting pottery with all 7 of them! I see this is different though, especially if babysitting etc is not reciprocated.
I might have missed a post, but has the OP said that the other adults are all able to take annual leave like this? DH and I certainly couldn’t - yes our choice to maintain our careers but it’s not always possible for people to take annual leave as many posters seem to suggest.

PinaColadaPlease Mon 20-May-19 10:18:52

Yanbu. It is time to spend doing an activity with your child. Half an hour is not long enough to help 3 children with a craft project.

YetIWill Mon 20-May-19 10:23:20

Just to clarify, of their 4 parents there is 1 BIL who can't really take an afternoon off unless it's a real emergency, but the others do have that option. Likewise, all but 1 of them have the option of going part-time, but choose not to. Absolutely fine, but I don't want to constantly be roped into things that they'd like their kids to do.

As someone said, if they had tried to get a day off and couldn't, or even if they couldn't afford to take the time off, I'd be happier to help out, but they just don't see this as worth using annual leave for, so they haven't tried.

And I know they'll have to explain to their DDs why they any go, but I'll have to explain to my DCs why they can't go on big fancy holidays like their cousins.

fedup21 Mon 20-May-19 10:25:39

And I know they'll have to explain to their DDs why they any go, but I'll have to explain to my DCs why they can't go on big fancy holidays like their cousins.

I couldn’t see if you’d answered this but what is your DH’s view in this-does he support you in not wanting to do it?

Good on him if so.

That’s the point isn’t it really? Well done for not being a total doormat.

Notabedofroses Mon 20-May-19 10:29:37

You potentially have years of this to contend with, and trust me it is likely to get much worse. Better to deal with this now.

They want all the benefits of the extra income without any of the drawbacks by using people like you to pick up the slack, life doesn't work like that.

NataliaOsipova Mon 20-May-19 10:30:34

You have made a financial decision to work part time to be with your own kids-not as free childcare for other members of the family.

This. 100%. If you work, you have more money but less time with your children. If you don’t, you have less money but are available for school events etc.

EggAndButter Mon 20-May-19 10:37:56

I dint think that inviting your ds when they other niece isn’t available because it’s easier is a joke.
It IS easier when you have two kids playing together.

Which then tells you a lot about how they see your relationship with you. It’s very much one way.

I would tell them the truth. That ds has planned a whole lot of things to do because it’s for his dad’s birthday.
Say how excited and proud you are that your ds is planning ahead for gift like this. And how much you are looking forward to it.
If they do ask rather than hint, then tell them you will already have your hands full helping ds and looking after your dd.

The reality is that it’s not important enough for them to take time off for that. But that they mist have two children going in about the pottery and how they wouod love to go.
Unfortunately, you can’t always do everything....

HJWT Mon 20-May-19 10:45:41

Just say NO op xx

AryaStarkWolf Mon 20-May-19 10:56:41

Best advice of the thread right here @notoafternoontea
The only thing that's unreasonable here is all this hinting!

It's very simple. "Sorry DSILs, if you're after me supervising DNs at the Play With Me session I won't be able to. DS wants to make a present for my Dad and we've talked about it lots. It's only half an hour, and I won't be able to help him and yours too."

billy1966 Mon 20-May-19 11:04:59

You sound like a very obliging person but unfortunately this can be taken advantage of.
Some mother's, only some, have very little compunction about using the sahm's of their children's friends or classmates/family as if this is just another convenient childcare resource.
I certainly have never entertained it.
Fortunately they are easy to spot!

Definitely have a rethink about how obliging you are and enjoy your 1 on 1 session with your son.
You'd be very surprised how clearly children remember moments like those in my experience.

MayTreeBlossom Mon 20-May-19 12:24:34

I have twins and singletons and have attended many of these types of things over the years. It is infinitely easier and more fulfilling and enjoyable for the child/ren and the adult when it is 1:1 and you are not trying to split your time between more than one child. I split my time between the twins because I had no choice at the time. Both were unsatisfied because while other parents stayed with their dc all the time I had to swap part way (different classes) and each twin felt abandoned for part of the time. Children at that age are selfish and do not understand many things. Your ds would not understand why you needed to split your time with your dns and would likely feel rejected and less important as a result.
YANBU at all. Stick to your guns.

Yabbers Mon 20-May-19 12:41:45

They want all the benefits of the extra income without any of the drawbacks by using people like you to pick up the slack, life doesn't work like that.
That’s a really shitty comment towards working parents.

fedup21 Mon 20-May-19 12:48:28

That’s a really shitty comment towards working parents

I disagree that it’s shitty. I’m a working parent and don’t take the piss out of anyone in order to work. The pp wasn’t saying that all working parents do that, just the ones it applies to.

AryaStarkWolf Mon 20-May-19 12:56:16

I disagree that it’s shitty. I’m a working parent and don’t take the piss out of anyone in order to work. The pp wasn’t saying that all working parents do that, just the ones it applies to.

I agree, I work FT but either my or DH have always taken time off for stuff like this

Yabbers Mon 20-May-19 13:03:56

disagree that it’s shitty. I’m a working parent and don’t take the piss out of anyone in order to work. The pp wasn’t saying that all working parents do that, just the ones it applies to.

I must have missed the bit where the SILs have declared they want their cake and eat it. Perhaps they are unable to get time off, perhaps it was too short notice, everyone here is judging not knowing their side of the story.

We find out on a Monday that these things are happening this week. We can’t always just drop workloads to attend. And given only half the parents turn up when we do manage we’re not the only ones. Well done to you perfect parents who can do this, most of us don’t have that luxury. I don’t have a SIL so have no idea if I would ask or not, but I certainly would have asked my sister if I were in that position and she’d have done it in a heartbeat, especially if she was inviting my child round to play often too.

Antigon Mon 20-May-19 13:08:15

I must have missed the bit where the SILs have declared they want their cake and eat it.

OP has said most of them can take the afternoon off pretty easily, they just don't see this as a priority. So your situation is irrelevant to OP's situation.

Absolutely fine for the parents not to go, but not fine for them to hint/ask OP to take their kids, especially as they use OP's DC as entertainment for their DC and yet expect to mind their children when they want her too.

QuiFaitCa Mon 20-May-19 13:17:07

It's a hard one as you've got a lot of school years ahead and will have to choose when to be obliging and when it's not convenient (or you just want some lovely time with your own child). It seems this is really meant to be a parent - child activity, not just a craft session. Maybe you can still be the supervisor of the other 2 if the teacher is happy for it to be pretty hands off - if you're supposed to be by their side all the time it won't be possible! Presumably if the other girls are not in the session they will be having fun in after school care instead, so maybe it's not such a big deal if they miss it?

Notabedofroses Mon 20-May-19 13:25:15

That’s a really shitty comment towards working parents

I am a working parent yabbers and op is working part time to be there for her child, and taking a financial hit in the process. In laws have made a different choice and have luxury holidays etc, and expect her to bail them out every time something comes up. It is not on.

Sometimes you need to take time off and use your annual leave, sometimes you need to be there for your kids and no one else will do.

Op has done so much for them already, they are very lucky to have her. I don't agree that she should accept this as well, it is taking advantage.

NataliaOsipova Mon 20-May-19 13:34:33

In laws have made a different choice and have luxury holidays etc, and expect her to bail them out every time something comes up. It is not on.

Agree with this this. If OP said “Oh, we’d love to go to Thailand with you, but we just can’t afford it now I’m working part time”, would the SILs be offering to subsidise her family to go on holiday with them? Thought not.... And it really is the same in reverse.

ifCakesHappens Mon 20-May-19 13:40:44

That’s a really shitty comment towards working parents.

It really isn't.

Mascarponeandwine Mon 20-May-19 14:08:30

Just say “oh I’m using my unpaid hours to go to the session. Hey, why don’t you ask for the time off unpaid too?”.

YetIWill Mon 20-May-19 22:25:10

Thanks everyone! I feel more within my rights to say no to them. DH doesn't mind what I do; he thinks they're cheeky for suggesting it, but if I want to do it, he's ok with that too.

SpecterLitt Tue 21-May-19 04:00:06

Only on MN do I see such posts how the most mundane thing becomes a big issue and everyone gets so precious, it's fucking pathetic.

If my family member asked me to do this or even hinted - I would do it if I had the means to. I'd be going there anyway.

People on here love causing further issues between families and pushing for them to go no contact or make no effort just because they want the drama. Rarely do you see actual good advice where people talk about family values and respecting one another and doing things for one another to maintain good relationships.

No one is asking another to be a martyr for anyone, but these sort of requests are so standard for families and those in healthy dynamics pull together for their respective partners and their family out of love and understanding.

I hope more reasonable people sign up here and post so that good advice is offered to maintain good relationships.

OP, you're going there anyway, they haven't asked you for anything to go out of your way. You can still attend to your son, I'm sure by keeping your nieces with you they won't need all your attention or most of it. This could have been a lovely time for cousins and you as an aunt to spend with them and I'm sure it would have been appreciated. There is nothing unreasonable about this at all, nor is there anything fucking cheeky about it.

Families help one another out, and that's what makes stronger units and ensures our children have people that care about them around them.

Purpleartichoke Tue 21-May-19 05:15:43

Helping out in an emergency or for a necessity is entirely different than an optional activity. I would use this time with just your child. Their will be plenty of other opportunities to spend time with your nieces.

TheInvisibleMrsCrane Tue 21-May-19 06:10:09

I’m with SpecterLitt - people are just waiting for the fallout and drama. The only ones who will miss out are the nieces - just because the adults can easily take time off doesn’t mean that can do it every-time an event happens, as you have to plan your leave to last the year.

I’m not sure i could be bothered to cause a family rift over a few pre-schoolers splashing a bit of paint around - they won’t even remember it in a couple of years.

chamenanged Tue 21-May-19 06:41:32

How much pottery painting can you even get done in half an hour with a preschool kid who's excited by his mum being there? I wouldn't want to be shortening that time any further.

Also, I wouldn't even consider telling your SILs anything until you're asked to do it directly by one/both of them. If ever they get arsey about it I'd just play dumb and say it didn't occur to you that they'd want you to be there for their DDs, since it's a one-to-one session for parents and their children.

What have your siblings-in-law done with their daughters when the preschool have run these sessions previously?

WhiteDust Tue 21-May-19 07:09:15

specter: 'Families help one another out,'

Yes, families who help each other out. OP has all take no give SIL.

fedup21 Tue 21-May-19 10:05:56

Families help one another out

Hmmm, how exactly are the sisters and BILs helping OP out?

YetIWill Tue 21-May-19 10:27:24

Yeah, I think that's the thing, i do a fair bit of childcare for them- they're only in daycare from lunchtime on, so if preschool have a random day off they can't go to daycare in the morning, and I'll take them.

Previous "Play With Me" sessions I think there was one they didn't do as they weren't interested; the other FIL happened to be off, so he came and we managed the 3 of them between us.

fedup21 Tue 21-May-19 11:05:46

Previous "Play With Me" sessions I think there was one they didn't do as they weren't interested

That’s just so sad sad

Provincialbelle Tue 21-May-19 11:24:34

Others have nailed it:

- they have consciously chosen career / money over time with children. OP has done the opposite. Why should she indulge them at the expense of her DC?

- where, just where, is the reciprocation? Anywhere? No? Well there’s your answer

Imnotbent Tue 21-May-19 13:06:00

I think the idea of play with me sessions is to encourage the parent to interact with the child is it not?

Therefore if all four parents have chosen not to I wouldn't be too concerned OP. One of those parents could take time off and supervise the two niece's if they so wished.

I'm with you, I would want to spend the time with my child, I would be interested in my niece's pottery but not wanting to supervise them and report back.

You already do other childcare which supports them but your choice to work part time is for your families benefit not theirs. I would use this to set a precedent so that they do not always expect you to pick up the slack.

Phineyj Tue 21-May-19 18:32:04

I think you have already been more than generous in covering the illness and half days. Even if that was all you did for the next 7 years, that would be fantastically helpful. Say no to all discretionary stuff. However, I don't think nursery should be scheduling so many of these unnecessary events. I work part time but as I'm a teacher I've had to miss some of this stuff as I'm hardly going to ask for the afternoon off if I'm only teaching in the afternoon. It would be a waste of a day off if it means the DC will have to do an extra day of holiday club later...for the sake of half an hour. There are pottery cafes open at the weekend!

JuniFora Tue 21-May-19 18:39:54

Stop doing childcare unless you absolutely enjoy having their kids. You're not their slave. They exclude your child and you while using you when they want free childcare. Let them sort out their own or charge them well for your time.

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