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To not be thrilled about this...

(46 Posts)
ilikebears Sat 23-May-20 17:11:26

I feel like an awful person. I love my BIL & SIL, love their dcs. No backstory, I really enjoy their company. Our dcs love theirs and enjoy seeing them. But they've moved literally 8 minutes walk away & a 3 minute drive (yes I timed it grin).

I'm just feeling suffocated already. Thankfully with lockdown it's not gotten intense yet but I've been told many times "it's an open door policy". For you maybe, not for me!! They want to be able to knock if walking by, which is my idea of hell. I know we're going to have to say we'd rather plan in advance etc but it will likely hurt their feelings as they've moved here to be close to us.

I hate saying it but I am really introverted and "peopled out" quickly. I need my space and I don't see why the once a month visits need to now be multiple times a week. I appreciate they'd increase slightly more but not that much!

It's been hint after hint of babysitting when lockdown is sorted etc and I know I'm going to be asked to help with the school run with their dc as it's the same one my dc attends, and BIL has already been talking about how it is going to be extremely difficult fitting school pick ups around work, it would also save them a load of hassle and money etc. But I look forward to one to one time with my dcs so much.

God I'm an awful person aren't I.

Can't move either I'm afraid. AIBU? Would you feel the same even if you really liked your in laws?

mbosnz Sat 23-May-20 17:15:13

No, you're not an awful person.

I think one reason I've got on with my inlaws is lack of proximity!

Then again, I'm possibly an awful person. I sort out my own childcare and school runs, and expect other people to do the same. Obviously if there's an emergency, I'm happy to help, but I'm not up for a shitload of unpaid childcare just because we're faaaaaaaamily. And if your DH thinks that you ought to be doing it because you're family, I'd be making it very clear I'm very happy for him to volunteer his services, but he's sure as hell not offering mine. And life would rapidly become very uncomfortable for him if he were to forget this simple premise.

thequeenofsandwich Sat 23-May-20 17:18:43

You are not an awful person in any way
Be firm from the start . You are responsible for your own children and no others. Do not get drawn into arrangements that you will resent.
Do not be a people pleaser. I spent too much of my children's childhood putting others first, for which I will always regret
Too many People are happy to take and not give

CountryCasual Sat 23-May-20 17:23:39

You are not a terrible person at all OP.
I’m an introvert who is very good at playing extrovert. Which leads to a situation where I attract other extroverts and then spend all my time trying to avoid/extract from them for quiet time.
Luckily for me DH is a very shy introvert and happy to be my scapegoat!

You do not have to give in to this situation with your family but there’s no way you can extract yourself now they’ve moved without hurting their feelings or seeming stand offish.
People on here will tell you there is...but there isn’t. You will offend them. If you’re very careful you might just leave them a bit put out but it depends if you’re ok with that.

Would you rather be honest and offend them a bit or stay quiet and spend the rest of your life hiding from them?

imsooverthisdrama Sat 23-May-20 17:28:17

No , all my family are walking distance and they know better to not just turn up .
I actually wouldn't mind if it was occasionally but not regular occurrence, nip it in the bud now .

ProseccoBubbleFantasies Sat 23-May-20 17:31:39

You need to say something that makes it clear from the start what your boundaries are.

People on here can help you with this (MN is v good at this kind of thing).

Have a think about what is acceptable to you (eg school runs twice a week?) And what definitely isn't.
If you give us a list, we'll try and help.

It's MUCH better to lay out something clearly in advance than to try and claw back six months later

Theukisgreatt Sat 23-May-20 17:34:09

Agree you need to nip it in the bud. You're not an awful person, I would be the same.

SayakaMurata Sat 23-May-20 17:52:27

You're not awful at all. You deserve your privacy and your life with your family.

I would also hate having people popping in unannounced. I would never be able to relax properly.

And I agree about nipping the idea about the school run in the bud as soon as possible. Before you know it you will be providing free child care before and after school, taking their children to clubs, providing dinner, etc.

Just no.

ilikebears Sat 23-May-20 17:53:57

Thanks for the replies, I don't feel so terrible now.

I know we need to be clear from the start. I'll leave that to DH to break it to them...grin A part of me feels really guilty because it's nice they have moved to be near us but it was very much a "surprise....guess where we're moving"! They're not CFs but it definitely has benefits for them and them only to be honest. DH and I have never relied on anyone else for nursery/school childcare and as a result have had earnings impacted etc. But it's being sold as a we'll do xyz for you and vice versa, when in all honesty it would only inconvenience me now.

DH is in agreement with me but very happy for it it to be every other weekend which still feels too often, so I guess that's a good compromise.

I think it's just life being so busy with young dc and I'm a bit^^ possessive over the one to one time I get with each dc when doing pick ups etc. Little things like going for a hot chocolate alone with them on the way home is incredibly important to me and won't be the same with their cousin there.

If I'm honest I'll happily help in an emergency (a proper one, not a regular one) but I don't want to do any pick ups or drop offs for them. But I can't say that without feelings being hurt so I'm stuck.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 23-May-20 17:54:14

I fucking hate pop-ins. And I'm an extrovert.

BOUNDARIES. Don't skimp on them.

Idododoidadada Sat 23-May-20 17:54:25

BIL has already been talking about how it is going to be extremely difficult fitting school pick ups around work

Reply with “I’ll ask my friends if any of them can recommend a childminder that could do pick ups & after school for you if you like”

billy1966 Sat 23-May-20 17:56:43


Sounds to me as if they have made an extremely strategic move really near to you, for THEIR childcare convenience and financial benefit.

No doubt the really like you, but that isn't going to stop them thinking this would be very very handy for them.

In your short post it sounds between babysitting, pick ups, drop offs, and after school care, that you will be their complete childcare provision....for little or know money.🙄

The truth is, if this is the case they like you, but they are CF'S who intend to really impose on you.

If you give in, it will cause you huge resentment, and will ruin the relationship you have with them.

After childcare all week, would you want to see them at the weekend?

You will have to put your big girl pance on and say " I'm afraid I am not prepared to be anyone's childcare. These years are precious and I am at home for the explicit reason to be able to spend time with mine".

The other thing is, even though your children may love their cousin's, that most certainly does not mean they want them in their house everyday.

That whole family time of being in the car and at home after school is often very precious to children, even if they don't verbalise it.

They tell you all about their day and how they feel.
They don't do that if others are around.

Be prepared for them to be shocked and disbelieving that you wouldn't love to look after their precious children.

CF's generally believe most people are there for their convenience.

You will sorely regret being used by them.

Don't let it start.

ilikebears Sat 23-May-20 17:56:56

Reply with “I’ll ask my friends if any of them can recommend a childminder that could do pick ups & after school for you if you like”

Ooh I might use that. Very much putting the ball back in their court.

mbosnz Sat 23-May-20 17:57:38

But it's being sold as a we'll do xyz for you and vice versa, when in all honesty it would only inconvenience me now.

It's okay to say, well, thanks but no thanks, we're sorted, and I'm sure you'll sort yourselves out too.

And DH can be happy for it to be every other weekend - but is he equally happy if it's made very clear to him, he's volunteering his own free time and unpaid labour? Because I've noticed that often times some men are happy about it because there is an unspoken assumption that it will be the woman that is doing the unpaid childminding on their time off.

ilikebears Sat 23-May-20 17:59:53

I know future me would be jumping up and down telling me not to compromise that time with my dc for the benefit of other adults perfectly capable of making their own arrangements for their dc like every other parent does.

DH is such a push over and dragging me down with him!

I'm not doing it. Even if I have to say I just don't want to miss that time with my dc and as much as I love xyz, it's not going to work for me.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 23-May-20 18:01:52

DH is such a push over and dragging me down with him!

Will he do all the childcare they want? No? Then he's being really selfish volunteering your time.

Nanny0gg Sat 23-May-20 18:05:12

They moved without consulting you and for their benefit.

Stand your ground.

billy1966 Sat 23-May-20 18:07:17

Again by moving and surprising you, you have no opinion.

Clearly from your second post, they have moved near you for free childcare because you are already at home and sure what else woukd you be doing🙄.

Friend of mine had to tell her sister VERY CLEARLY that she had not decided to be a SAHM so that she could make her childcare arrangements easier... she had to really spell it out as her sister just assumed as their children were in the same school.

Things were strained, but she got over it!

You say they are not CF's but they sure sound like they could be.

And I would hate people thinking they could pop in all the time.

We have always had very busy lives and weekends, uninvited visitors just don't work for us.

SparkyBlue Sat 23-May-20 18:07:33

Oh my god OP that would horrify me as well.

NiceLegsShameAboutTheFace Sat 23-May-20 18:07:39

God I'm an awful person aren't I.

No, definitely not. And I know this because ..... I'm not either and I'm way more rigid than you.

If you knocked on my door, there'd need to be a mad axeman hot on your heels, or something equally as serious, before I'd let you in. (OK, exaggerated a bit for effect but .... you get the picture). I'm a social butterfly at work (when we're there sad) and also on a night out ('out' being the operative word). But home is my haven for when I'm 'peopled out' and I like to be alone here.

I know I'm not an awful person (for the most part). I'm just a huge introvert and treasure my private space.

I really understand where you're coming from. The trouble is that not everyone does sad

ilikebears Sat 23-May-20 18:08:53

Apologies I meant DH being a push over about seeing them regularly at the weekends. He's on board with a firm no to the regular babysitting/school pick ups.

Just things like days out to local places. In laws seem to not be fussed about family time, just them. They keep saying ooh we'll have to all go there together.

I'm basically terrified of talking to them now because everything gets turned into "when lockdowns over we'll all go. Let us know when you're going"...

Very awkward because they are really nice

RandomMess Sat 23-May-20 18:11:35

Another one to say is "you need to branch out and make new friends not rely on us"

billy1966 Sat 23-May-20 18:14:15

Make it very very clear to your husband that if he makes things difficult for you, you will be so pissed off.

He needs to fear you on this subject, more than he is prepared to be a wuss.

Point out to him, that you will take it very personally if he betrays you and your children because he is a wuss.

This is not a time to beat around the bush.

Its also a great idea to have suggestions like @Idododoidadada suggests for any help they might need.

Get some names of babysitters locally.
Get the names of possible childminders for them NOW.

Get the name of a good plumber, electrician etc.

Make a list, hand it over and consider the subject closed, before it is opened.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 23-May-20 18:26:37

How many kids has everyone got? As the mum of an only I know I'm more keen on 'play dates' than the parents of multiples.

StoutDrinker2019 Sat 23-May-20 18:39:28

What a shame. I expect they are really excited about moving near to their family. What a rude awakening they are going to get eh? You sound selfish and entitled. You don't know what they are thinking about childcare etc as you haven't bothered to actually ask them. Perhaps they might be possible looking forward to a bit more reciprocal support because you know, you are family??? I would love to live near mine and I would love to be closer to my nieces and nephews.

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