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To not want to look after DN regularly?

(109 Posts)
Rosesarenotred Sun 29-Mar-20 09:18:05

DS (sister) has 5 DC. DN6 has severe SEN. It’s a difficult life for DS and BIL. Their lives are very restricted by their DD with SEN.

DS asked me to look after their DC while her and BIL went out for the day, they had a lovely time but I really struggled being punched and kicked by DN. Also still in nappies which need changing regularly. DN is not verbal and I don’t know how to communicate with her and she gets increasingly angry and then lashes out. They are starting to ask me and more often to babysit (pre virus obviously but already asking for when the virus is over). I know DS struggles because BIL leaves most of the childcare to her. He has various ‘hobbies’. No other family members are willing to help I presume because of DN. They can’t get childcare for DN either.

I work FT I have DC also, she has looked after my DC (10 and 12) but mine are older and not in nappies and can amuse themselves. I know it’s a lifeline for her but every time I babysit it is an utter nightmare. I find it really hard to look after all 5 of them too.

sueelleker Sun 29-Mar-20 09:24:15

Why the H**L are you looking after her anyway? Lockdown means NO-ONE outside the immediate family. They should be staying at home, not going out for the day.

sueelleker Sun 29-Mar-20 09:25:18

Sorry, just re-read that you're talking about post-virus. Ignore me.

AlwaysCheddar Sun 29-Mar-20 09:25:55

As above... seriously, I despair of people like this.

Funkytowns Sun 29-Mar-20 09:28:05

Can they definitely not get a professional to babysit DN and you look after the rest? I know it’s harsh but when they have 5 kids they can’t honestly believe they can get regular childcare. It’s a massive burden for anyone.

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Sun 29-Mar-20 09:28:27

^ wow bit uncalled for, even with your ‘apology’.

OP I completely understand. Can you offer a much less frequent respite? Say once a month instead of weekly? Or could you help her find someone who does offer this respite? I have a childminder friend who does this at weekends.

PotteringAlong Sun 29-Mar-20 09:28:56

I think not wanting to look after 5DC is completely reasonable. Can you compromise and offer to take 2 or 3 of them for them?

Pipandmum Sun 29-Mar-20 09:30:50

She needs to find someone with the skills to look after her child. Taking on five kids plus your own two is too much. She needs to get a paid minder - that's the cost of going out. You could help by taking say the two or three older ones every once in a while.
Her husband also needs to step up but that's a whole other thing that is her business not yours.

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Sun 29-Mar-20 09:31:25

Ignore those who can’t read, they could start an argument in an empty room at the moment (and are!). The lockdown has got to them!

AllForAnEasyLife Sun 29-Mar-20 09:32:39

My sister keeps asking me to look after my nephew. He’s nearly 2 but screams and cries the whole time I have him and on top of my own 3 year old and 7 year old I just cannot cope with it.

My sister has mine occasionally but they are no trouble for her but the crying and screaming my nephew does drives me mad.

My mum won’t mind him either for the same reasons.

okiedokieme Sun 29-Mar-20 09:34:26

I would offer to just have dn in these circumstances, yes she's the difficult one but she's the one a normal babysitter couldn't deal with, they could arrange for another family member to have the others/pay a sitter. I know what it is like to have a non verbal child who lashes out, please help her when you can - I had no help at all, looking back I'm surprised I didn't call social services in!

HarrietTheShy Sun 29-Mar-20 09:35:28

Your poor sister. I think it's fair to say you can't manage all 5. Can you find a sitter for the other 4 while you take DN? Or vice versa?

Beautiful3 Sun 29-Mar-20 09:39:34

Maybe say you'll only do it once a month because he is hard work? And leave it at that.

lynzpynz Sun 29-Mar-20 09:39:39

How often did DS look after yours? Is it comparable to the amount of time she's asking from you? (obviously 5 v 2 is slightly different load to deal with!).

If you're willing I'd decide what you were comfortable with doing for them. Once a fortnight? Once a month but not on regular days? And offer that, say that's all you're able to offer as you need your own downtime as well and stick to it. It is not your responsibility to take on their kids because DS lets her DH away with ignoring the fact kids come before his hobbies! Letting them out for the odd night/day out treat is one thing, regular babysitting to accommodate her DH's hobbies is totally different.

Could you even all do something together with all 7 kids rather than let them out themselves if it's to be regular? Spread the load as it were.

I'd also be honest with explaining that despite empathising with DS that you are finding it v hard looking after 5 kids especially as one isn't toilet trained and you do not have the rapport she obviously does with the child requiring additional support to calm and understand them too.

SerendipitySunshine Sun 29-Mar-20 09:39:49

This virus will last months if not a year. I'd be tempted to kick it into the long grass.

Fimofriend Sun 29-Mar-20 09:41:06

Can they not get help from a charity or the council? Looking after 5 children at the same time is a bit too much even when none of them has special needs.

Staypositivepeople Sun 29-Mar-20 09:41:21

Your sister needs to be looking at schools and ehcp to get her to a special school ,you say still in nappies ,so she must be above 3/4 so she should be thinking special school.maybe residential school and home only at weekends .its the parents responsibility,no one else’s to this child .they need to be getting on to social services ,they should already have a social worker,they won’t get help by sitting back ,they need to push for it

JudyCoolibar Sun 29-Mar-20 09:42:01

Your sister should start the process of applying for respite care. If she hasn't already asked for a care assessment in relation to her child with SEN, plus a carers' assessment, she should do so immediately. Obviously they won't be able to do much initially, but they can start the process off by writing to schools etc for information.

Wineislifex Sun 29-Mar-20 09:53:58

I would maybe say let’s discuss it once the virus is over, that will give you time to think if you really want to do it or not.

I think the other posters ideas of splitting the children is good, does DN go to any care setting? Staff from there may be willing to babysit and you could have the other kids?

Haveitheright Sun 29-Mar-20 09:59:19

I would offer to just have dn in these circumstances, yes she's the difficult one but she's the one a normal babysitter couldn't deal with, they could arrange for another family member to have the others/pay a sitter

^having all 5 is a big ask in any circumstances. Do you think DN would be easier to look after if you just had her?

MrsMoastyToasty Sun 29-Mar-20 09:59:42

She should apply for DLA for the child. It's to cover the additional costs that they incur for the child and could go towards childcare.

Runnerduck34 Sun 29-Mar-20 10:04:58

I understand how hard it is but for my sister I would do it. To make it more manageable I would get dh to look after my dc and see your mum or dad could look after the other kids. It would be a few hours out of your life , it's her life 24/7 and she needs some respite. I would encourage her develop hobbies just like her husband and make sure they both have equal downtime , also investigate any help or respite she may be entitled to. Could you also visit when she's there? Just to help out and offer support.

VegetableMunge Sun 29-Mar-20 10:10:16

They can't get childcare for DN.

It's difficult. Even without the SN they'd be in a position where they would struggle to get their DC looked after by anyone else very much. Five is a lot of children.

I don't think it's reasonable for them to expect all 5 at once to be taken, but as DSIL has helped with yours in the past, it would be a kindness to offer to have some of them.

Washyourhandsyoufilthyanimal Sun 29-Mar-20 10:10:16

If it’s shit for you for a few hours imagine how hard it is for her 24/7 as long as your sis doesn’t take the mick by asking too regularly (like every week!) but if it’s day once every 3 months for a few hours (not a whole day) then I can’t see a huge problem. It would be for a short period infrequently but would make a huge difference to your sister

LannieDuck Sun 29-Mar-20 10:12:12

I know DS struggles because BIL leaves most of the childcare to her. He has various ‘hobbies’.

You're not her problem, her DH is. She needs to re-evaluate the balance in her relationship and get herself a hobby of her own.

For the sake of giving my sister an occasional day of respite, I would offer to do a set amount of babysitting, e.g. once a month. But I would make it clear that this was the max I could offer. I also agree with others, that you could take just DN for that respite day, allowing her to arrange a regular babysitter for the others.

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