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SIL constantly wanting me to step in for child care, on nightshifts!

(280 Posts)
Niki93 Tue 10-Dec-19 16:47:49

So, my sister in law recently got offered a job in our local hospital in the A&E department, which was great, but obviously meant difficult long days that could involve nightshift. Which she knew. She and my brother have two kids (4&6). My brother works away offshore so she needs childcare during her shifts after school time.

I work full time, 9-5 (sometimes hours outside of this, in a role thats slightly emotionally draining) im also 18 weeks pregnant with my first. I offered to watch the kids 2x a week maximum between 6pm-9pm depending on when her shifts finished etc. As i felt this was the most i could do as im struggling with migraines often from the pregnancy.

She asked me the other week if i could babysit the kids 3 nights in a row on a monday tuesday and Wednesday NIGHT(to sleep over) when im at work in the mornings, whilst she does nightshifts. She suggested she would pick them up in the morning before i start work, however shes renowed poor time keeping. Meaning i could be late for work if the kids arent picked up in time when she finishes nightshift.

I personally found this abit cheeky. Its alot of commitment off me when i have my own things going on. As a family (me, my mam and sister) we all told her she knew what she was going into when she accepted her nursing job in A&E, and that doing night shifts with two young kids and a partner who works away was never going to be manageable. She ignored our points because she wanted the job, and has took it upon herself to think that me and my mother will constantly be at her disposal for when she needs a sitter.

I politely declined, and stuck to my agreement of 2 nights a week for a couple hours. Shes not happy with this and now reluctantly replying to me for anything, probably in a huff. AIBU?

(Both her parents dont work and havnt for 20 years, but they wont support as much because they’re ‘in their late 60’s and find it hard’)

Shoxfordian Tue 10-Dec-19 16:50:14

It's kind of you to offer to help her at all
She's a cf

Fucck Tue 10-Dec-19 16:50:49

Leave her to it. Let her not reply. She'll come running when she wants you so why are you contacting her?

frazzledasarock Tue 10-Dec-19 16:51:02


If she keeps getting huffy I’d stop any babysitting at all.

I sympathise with the pregnancy migraines, they floored me and I was barely able to function never mind babysit children.

What’s her long term solution, you won’t be able to babysit when you’re having your baby, newly had your baby. What’s her contingency plan for then?

Ponoka7 Tue 10-Dec-19 16:51:30

You know the replies that you'll get on here, MN is very anti helping family.

I don't really see the difference between babysitting those hours and putting them to bed.

However it would be on the basis that the first time she is late the arrangement ends.

HanginWithMyGnomies Tue 10-Dec-19 16:51:43

I don’t think you’re being unreasonable at all. In fact, you’re offer is quite kind!

She knew what she was facing before she took the job and what available childcare she had and took the job regardless. Never mind the poor kids being moved from pillar to post, she’s taking advantage.

Stand by what you’ve said and have a word with your brother. She’s silly for accepting the job and thinking she could bully you all into doing this.

Xyzzzzz Tue 10-Dec-19 16:53:19

YANBU, I think she’s a CF. It’s her responsibility to find suitable child care

Aquamarine1029 Tue 10-Dec-19 16:53:55

Shes not happy

Aww. Well isn't that just too damn bad. Her level of self-entitlement is off the charts. I suggest you don't babysit for her at all, ever.

YogaDrone Tue 10-Dec-19 16:57:14

Does the hospital have a 24 hour nursery? Ours does and takes children on the overnight shift to 14 years old. During the day it's just normal nursery ages. Could your SIL investigate this possibility?

It does seem poor that she can't work because her partner works offshore. Perhaps your brother should be looking for a new job so that he can help raise his children?

AngusThermopyle Tue 10-Dec-19 16:57:56

To a pp, of course there's a difference between 3hrs babysitting, and babysitting 3hrs then having to get the kids to bed, if they even sleep and then getting them up in the morning when op is pregnant and having to get ready for work herself. It might be easier if they were her own kids and she was used to it, but they're not.

Op YANBU. You've been very helpful op, just tell your brother to tell her no and tell them to jog on.

Rickandportly Tue 10-Dec-19 16:58:08

She shouldn’t have taken the job if her DH or her parents can’t help.

I work shifts but luckily DH is at home for nights. If I was a single parent or he worked away, I simply couldn’t have done a job that involved nightshifts.

frazzledasarock Tue 10-Dec-19 16:59:03

I don’t agree that MN is very anti helping your family.

It’s a very your dc are your own responsibility and don’t expect to be considered reasonable for palming your dc off to people even if you are related to them.

OP is pregnant, and unwell due to the pregnancy, she’s holding down a full time job and childcare for her brothers dc are not her responsibility.

billy1966 Tue 10-Dec-19 16:59:19

Well of course she is, and selfish to boot. She knows well that it's not doable but is going to motor on and impose on people.

You are just about to go on maternity leave.

Why would you agree to something like that is utterly beyond me.

How is this going to work with a new baby.
So you are going to complicate the time you have with your first baby by looking after two others?

Sorry OP, but you were very, very silly to offer.

I would rescind the offer sharply and think twice before you offer your services again.

This is a very special time in your life.
You need to mind yourself and enjoy your pregnancy as much you can.

Wishing you well. 💐

MerchantOfVenom Tue 10-Dec-19 17:04:00

However it would be on the basis that the first time she is late the arrangement ends.


How are you any less 'anti family' than anyone else, if you'd do this ^^ ?

Answer: you're not.

Mumsnet isn't 'anti family'. Most people want to, and do, help their family.

Mumsnet most definitely is anti Cheeky Fucker. Just like you, it seems.

CoffeeRunner Tue 10-Dec-19 17:04:05

I also work the same shifts as SIL. What I’m not sure of from your post is whether she is proposing going on to night shifts permanently - while you babysit. Or if she just has to do one week of nights every now & again (as I do) and is asking you to help on this occasion?

The former is extreme CF territory. The latter is less so.

Unfortunately, it’s a very hard shift pattern to do (12.5 hour shifts, no set days, mix of days & nights) when you have young children and neither a DP around nor grandparents willing to help out very regularly. The simple truth is it’s not suitable for everyone.

1Morewineplease Tue 10-Dec-19 17:04:50

Your sister sounds very selfish and has assumed that her family will sort out her childcare problem.

She is getting free childcare from her family and knows that one or other of you will step in because you all feel guilty about the children.
To expect you to sleep over is really appalling.

You need to look after yourself right now and these constant evenings will drain you as you will be constantly alert. You need to rest when you can. I suggest that you withdraw from sitting for her children from now on, stating that you are tired, nauseous or whatever.

The trouble is I suspect that your mum and sister will take over your ‘slots.’

In all honesty all three of you should refuse. Would she have taken the job if all three of you had refused to help her in the first place?
She is a selfish user.

TopOftheNaughtyList Tue 10-Dec-19 17:07:09

I think your current offer is more than generous and I would be saying a firm no to the overnights if there is a risk she'll be home late from her night shift.

Waveysnail Tue 10-Dec-19 17:09:03

She needs to pay for.night sitter

halcyondays Tue 10-Dec-19 17:09:32

if she didn't have willing and available childcare she shouldn't have accepted the job.

dontalltalkatonce Tue 10-Dec-19 17:10:55

I wouldn't be bothered except for she's cutting it too fine in the mornings and also your brother needs to step up when it comes to caring for his kids.

lyingwanker Tue 10-Dec-19 17:11:22

I just can't understand why she'd take a job like that in the first place?

Nicknacky Tue 10-Dec-19 17:11:32

I would be wary of what her longer term plan is when you are on maternity leave. It would be easy for her to “ look after them in the morning as she is tired.

I say that as someone who finished nightshift this morning.

Raindancer411 Tue 10-Dec-19 17:14:49

She isn't expecting you to so this once your baby is born, is she? You will have your hands full yourself. Make sure she doesn't try to take advantage once you start maternity leave. You need to start as you mean to go on.

It's her issue and she needs to deal with it.

misspiggy19 Tue 10-Dec-19 17:15:16

*Well of course she is, and selfish to boot. She knows well that it's not doable but is going to motor on and impose on people.*

^This. She must have known the problems when she decided to take the job.

DisgruntledGuineaPig Tue 10-Dec-19 17:15:58

Suggest she needs an au pair.

You can only do shift work that involves overnight shifts if you have another parent at home or have family who are happy to stay over and look after the dcs, or you pay for someone to be in your house.

You've said no. Something has to give. If she doesn't make a profit after childcare costs, she needs to look for a different job.

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