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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.

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.

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