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Changing my mind about looking after my nephew

(165 Posts)
Ems8135 Thu 15-Aug-19 01:37:46

My older brother asked me a couple of months ago to have my nephew (2) on August bank holiday for what I assumed was a night. He and his wife are attending a wedding and will be camping due to cost of a hotel room. He said about a week ago it is 3 nights and 4 days. I live in a 2 bed flat with my son (13) and husband. I was surprised by the length of time but don’t like to say no to my family. My son has asd and when my nephew is around doesn’t really leave his room, due to not feeling comfortable with a little one around. I also had my baby daughter die just over 5 years ago and have had 2 miscarriages since. I had my nephew for 2 nights a month ago and found it very hard emotionally, he is lovely but almost a reminder of what I don’t have especially at bedtime when I cuddle up for bedtime stories. I have grief induced anxiety and I don’t want to look after my nephew for that long as my anxiety is getting worse just thinking about it. I don’t want to let my brother down , but he has never looked after my son his whole life, so don’t think he can get annoyed if I say I can’t do it now. I don’t see my brother very often only for family occasions or if he wants me to look after my nephew. Am I in the wrong if I say I can’t look after him now?

Weezol Thu 15-Aug-19 01:43:48

Three or four nights in an emergency - sure. Not for a wedding though, I'd refuse and do it now so they can make alternate plans.

They have either moved the goalposts or deliberately misled you. It's not your responsibility to pick up the slack from their poor planning.

Ems8135 Thu 15-Aug-19 01:47:29

I feel like I’ve been misled thinking it was just one night when he said it was 4 I was like ok didn’t really know what to say, I hate letting people down but can’t sleep because I’m so worried about it!

BananasAreTheSourceOfEvil Thu 15-Aug-19 01:53:05

Why is it three nights for a wedding? I’ve been to loads of weddings that went on for a few days but when you have kids either one or both of you has to say ‘I/we can only come for the one day/night’ because you have to have willing childcare!!

I think I’d just text your brother and say that you were under the impression it was only for the one night, that’s all you can manage, sorry. That’s not letting him down, that’s not being walked over!

LollyBmummy3 Thu 15-Aug-19 02:05:16

I’d tell him 2 nights maximum. Tell him the truth about the impact on you and your son.

QuickThinkOfAName Thu 15-Aug-19 02:07:42

No you're not letting him down. I would assume looking after someone for a wedding would be one night. You know - how long most weddings last for!!

It's too much. Tell him and tell him now. He's taking the piss. Does he know the impact it will have on You and your ds?

Do it now so he can arrange something else.

Mummaofmytribe Thu 15-Aug-19 02:10:58

They've obviously decided to turn it into a proper break. Which would be very nice for them, but the original arrangement was just for the wedding, so no YANBU to say No to the extended stay.
Your mental health and your own child have to come first.

PumpkinP Thu 15-Aug-19 02:11:43

I think as you’ve agreed to it it would be out of order to back out, you should have checked how many nights before agreeing imo

Yeahnahmum Thu 15-Aug-19 02:12:55

Op: no matter your back story (wich it truly sad. Deeply sorry)
You are free to say no
4 days is wayyyy to long
Say youcan have him for 1 nightbut cant accomodate any more nights.
Dont feel like you are letting them down
You are helping. Tremendously.
And they are cf for thinking it is ok to have their kid for that long!!!

StoppinBy Thu 15-Aug-19 03:05:28

I think if they asked if you could have him and you agreed without clarifying how long it would be for then you are obligated to have him if they don't have anyone else to take him.

If they asked if you could have him for one night and you agreed to that then you ANBU to back out of the three nights.

I am sorry for the losses that you have been through, if your DB is aware of how you feel then perhaps you can talk it through with him and find a compromise?

GreenTooth Thu 15-Aug-19 03:35:39

You need to talk to your brother ASAP.

Hi brother. I'm so sorry, there's been a mix up. I thought I was only needed to babysit for one night not three. I'm more than happy to have nephew for one night but I can't have him for any more than that sorry. Let me know if you still need me or will be finding someone else.

HennyPennyHorror Thu 15-Aug-19 03:38:11

Stopping she's not obligated to have him at all. They deliberately didn't mention how long. Yes she should have asked...but she didn't. Then she felt awkward.

That doesn't mean she HAS to have him now. She's reflected on it and decided against it. That's fine.

Tell them no OP. Say "I was taken aback by you saying how long it's for...I'd assumed it was one night. I didn't say no when I found out as I was so I've decided that it's too much for me"

That's that. Say no.

StoppinBy Thu 15-Aug-19 04:36:28

@hennypenny she didn't ask what your opinion on my opinion was she asked what other people thought of her backing out.

IMO it sounds like her brother asked whether she would have their son while they went away, there is no evidence that they deliberately left the length of the stay out, family often mind children for a couple of days.

What we do know is that they asked, OP agreed and the brother hasn't looked for alternate options due to OP saying she would have the child. If they are unable to find someone else that they can leave their child with on such short notice then yes I do feel that she should follow through on having him.

Fizzpopwhizzbang Thu 15-Aug-19 04:40:40

Just say "oh, I thought it would only be for one night. I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to have him for 3 nights, sorry".

Job done.

BoomBoomsCousin Thu 15-Aug-19 04:44:01

Just tell him you can only do one night (or two or none if that's your limit) but do it now. You've should have said when he first mentioned the length of time. Backing out at the last minute after people think your committed is really shitty.

BoomBoomsCousin Thu 15-Aug-19 04:45:21


HUZZAH212 Thu 15-Aug-19 04:50:10

Just apologise and tell him no you'd assumed it was for one night not 4 days. Aside from your personal background history, 4 days is pretty excessive ad hoc childcare without being informed of the length beforehand. Who camps out for a wedding for 3 nights? What wedding even lasts that long? Taking into account; one days travel, staying overnight, wedding/staying overnight, wedding breakfast - travelling home? That's 2 1/2 days max unless they're driving abroad... Are you sure the 'wedding' isn't actually a music festival or similar?

HennyPennyHorror Thu 15-Aug-19 05:12:03

TStopping newsflash! This is a free forum. Doesn't matter who asks for what opinion...people can and will give their own. On whatever they like.

StoppinBy Thu 15-Aug-19 05:36:58

@hennpenny I think it is you who requires the news flash..... your opinion being different to mine is irrelevant, as you can see I did not need to discount other people's differing opinions to be able to put mine across.

In other words you are welcome to post your opinion, what you are not entitled to do is to tell other people they are wrong just because you have a different opinion...... hopefully that helps you out a bit for next time you want to answer someone's question.

DarkestBeforeTheDawn4 Thu 15-Aug-19 05:49:03

Definitely fine to say one night only. I think most people would assume wedding equals one night. Since your brother was the one asking for a favour he's the one whose responsibility it is to say exactly what he needs.

pinkdelight Thu 15-Aug-19 06:00:19

It's a shame it's been a week since he told you about the three nights thing, and now it's not long till he goes away. It's tricky after a week to play the 'oh I thought it was just one night' line, but if it's going to break you then saying it now with no delay and say sorry you left it so long as you were taken aback and were trying to suck it up but it's just too much in your small flat with DS. I'd still do the one night for them as you did agree to it. Next time don't say you'll do it. Re-characterise yourself for these purposes not as someone who needs to please etc but as what you are - someone with anxiety who can't do this kind of thing, no shame in that. Better to not mess people about.

BrienneofTarthILoveYou Thu 15-Aug-19 06:02:02

Just tell your brother that you've been considering it for the past week and have realised that you can't do that length of time. You expected it to be for 1 day and night only and can't do it for longer. I'd tell him sooner rather than later though to give him a chance to find someone else or make alternative arrangements.

theresnotthatmuchtoit Thu 15-Aug-19 06:15:06

How did the mix up over length of stay happen? That's a big difference - one night or three!

IMO most people would agree to one night but say no to three - I would too! Even without your reasons thre nights four days looking after a toddler is a massive imposition!

Is the wedding abroad? Will they have flights booked? If it's just a drive away I think YANBU unreasonable to tell them you were taken aback when they said 3 nights for days and didn't know what to say, but you'll only be able to do one night.

Surely your nephew doesn't know you very well for a three night, four day stay if you don't see your brother much?

user1480880826 Thu 15-Aug-19 06:16:15

Explain to you’re brother exactly what you have explained to us. He couldn’t possibly be angry with you. You’ve been through so much.

NoIDontWatchLoveIsland Thu 15-Aug-19 06:17:41

Definitely tell them you can't do it for that long.

It is up to them to adjust their travel plans to only go for one night. This is normal for weddings when you have kids. Im often stunned by a couple I know who palm the kids off regularly on what appeared to be willing family members, while they go off & do their own thing then I ran into their mum and it emerged she is often left little choice etc & just doesn't have the guts to stand up for herself & say no.

Don't enable their behaviour, their kid is their responsibility.

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