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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.

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.

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!

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.

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

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

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 10:05:56

Families help one another out

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

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?”.

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

That’s a really shitty comment towards working parents.

It really isn't.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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