Talk

Advanced search

Upset and hurt by sisters lack of support with child care

(93 Posts)
HairyPotteryaRotter Thu 09-Jul-20 23:06:53

Name changed for this due to previous posts with outing info and not wanting recognised by family in case they are on here !

Fully prepared to be told I am being unreasonable, I am feeling hurt and looking for some advice and opinions.

I am a health care worker, and throughout lock down I have had to work as usual. I have a three year old son who is usually at nursery on the days that I work.

My sister has an older son, aged ten now, and is a single mum. During her DS's preschool years, she was in a relationship, and as they both worked, I would have her DS every Tuesday and every second thurs - I would self roster my shifts to accommodate this. I loved having him. At that point I didn't have a child and thought this may be the closest I would get to my own child ! My sister relied heavily on our parents for child care too - she worked Monday to fri, and every week day I didn't have him, my elderly mother and father would have him. I wanted to ease the burden for them a little too.

My husband and I deliberately chose to pay for childcare as we didn't want to be beholden to anyone for regular child care, and don't really like asking for favours. There were also issues such as disagreements about nap times, dummies etc that arose and I didn't want the drama quite honestly. I have made it clear to my sister I am happy to take her DS whenever I can, during the week or weekends or overnight. I take him regularly to help her out (not during lockdown when she was working from home and we weren't allowed to see anyone) and also because I enjoy spending time with him and our two get on great.

Several times I have asked for a childcare favour and she has said no because she's going to try and get a hair appt or because her DS is going to her dads. I hate asking and my no means take liberties. I feel like I would change my plans to accommodate child care for her but there is no reciprocation. This has just happened again for the weekend. My husband is self employed and when work comes up, he needs to be able to take it and if I am on shift, and my sister won't help, there is no nursery or anyone else to fall back on! I almost feel like saying no next time she asks me for a favour but I feel I would be cutting off my nose to spite my face.

My sis is due back in the office soon, and I think will be asking me for child care help. Any advice ? I am angry and upset.

We go on holiday together with the wee ones so it's definitely not that we don't get on or the kids don't get on!

Now that lockdown has eased slightly, my husband is returning to work.
Our son should have been in nursery three days a week still as I had paid for an extended place over the summer. Nursery is still closed and we are struggling for child care. My sis is working from home. My husband has some work come in for sat am. I am working a 12.5 hr shift - I asked if she could help with child care and she said

OP’s posts: |
snackarella Thu 09-Jul-20 23:09:54

Don't keep us hanging! What did she say!

thishouseisashittip Thu 09-Jul-20 23:11:16

I am guessing NO

HairyPotteryaRotter Thu 09-Jul-20 23:12:21

Name changed for this due to previous posts with outing info and not wanting recognised by family in case they are on here !

Fully prepared to be told I am being unreasonable, I am feeling hurt and looking for some advice and opinions.

I am a health care worker, and throughout lock down I have had to work as usual. I have a three year old son who is usually at nursery on the days that I work.

My sister has an older son, aged ten now, and is a single mum. During her DS's preschool years, she was in a relationship, and as they both worked, I would have her DS every Tuesday and every second thurs - I would self roster my shifts to accommodate this. I loved having him. At that point I didn't have a child and thought this may be the closest I would get to my own child ! My sister relied heavily on our parents for child care too - she worked Monday to fri, and every week day I didn't have him, my elderly mother and father would have him. I wanted to ease the burden for them a little too.

My husband and I deliberately chose to pay for childcare as we didn't want to be beholden to anyone for regular child care, and don't really like asking for favours. There were also issues such as disagreements about nap times, dummies etc that arose and I didn't want the drama quite honestly. I have made it clear to my sister I am happy to take her DS whenever I can, during the week or weekends or overnight. I take him regularly to help her out (not during lockdown when she was working from home and we weren't allowed to see anyone) and also because I enjoy spending time with him and our two get on great.

Several times I have asked for a childcare favour and she has said no because she's going to try and get a hair appt or because her DS is going to her dads. I hate asking and my no means take liberties. I feel like I would change my plans to accommodate child care for her but there is no reciprocation. This has just happened again for the weekend. My husband is self employed and when work comes up, he needs to be able to take it and if I am on shift, and my sister won't help, there is no nursery or anyone else to fall back on! I almost feel like saying no next time she asks me for a favour but I feel I would be cutting off my nose to spite my face.

My sis is due back in the office soon, and I think will be asking me for child care help. Any advice ? I am angry and upset.

We go on holiday together with the wee ones so it's definitely not that we don't get on or the kids don't get on!

So today I asked if she could help with child care on sat morning unti early afternoon - she said no Cos her Ds is going to his dads !

OP’s posts: |
Mosseywossey Thu 09-Jul-20 23:13:35

Honestly those excuse are flimsy I would be hurt to! I would pull back with child care

Heyhih3 Thu 09-Jul-20 23:13:50

Tell your sister no in future. You won’t be cutting your nose off if she does not help you with childcare anyway. The holidays... I would step back and say you can’t afford it due to paying for childcare.

Hwory Thu 09-Jul-20 23:13:59

If you keep looking after your sisters child whilst she doesn't help you then your a mug.

If she asks just give her excuses back or just plainly say no.

CrunchyCrumpet Thu 09-Jul-20 23:14:21

OP it’s not a reciprocal arrangement, she’s proven that repeatedly and most recently when you were desperate. Stop helping her going forwards...

Cloudfrost Thu 09-Jul-20 23:16:30

Your sister is a cf, and you are being a mug. She is all about getting as much help from you without giving any back. You should just tell her, if she wants you to keep helping her then she should help you back. If she isn't willing to stop expecting favours from you. So what if her ds is going to her dad's? That doesn't stop her from caring for your dc? U cared after her ds when you didn't have any kids...

Is she always so selfish, all about her and her wants/needs?

HairyPotteryaRotter Thu 09-Jul-20 23:16:52

At least four times I have asked, when I have needed child care for work reasons, she has said no - once because she had a hair apt booked (fair enough), then because her DS wasn't going to be in Cos he was at his dads, another time Cos she was going to try and get a hair apt (!!) and then because she was going to go food shopping (she drives and I think could have went before or after ). I wouldn't use these as excuses - I would try and change my arrangements if my sis was struggling for child care and I could help.

OP’s posts: |
purpledagger Thu 09-Jul-20 23:20:26

If she is a single parent who is working from home and looking after her child, I can see why she wouldn't want to look after another child when her child is with his dad.

However, these are extraordinary circumstances and I think your sis should help. Personally, I would start to make myself less available to my sister. Not saying you shouldn't help, but arrange to spend time with your nephew when it's convenient for you and not for childcare.

CallMeRachel Thu 09-Jul-20 23:21:41

Yanbu

It's been a one sided thing with all the benefits going one way.

She doesn't want to look after her nephew and doesn't seem to care about hiding the fact she doesn't want to help.

The next time she asks just say unfortunately you can't help as you are needing to make a hair appointment- every time.

Re childcare- some nursery's and a lot of childminders are actually open now.

If your nursery is still closed find a new one.

AlexaShutUp Thu 09-Jul-20 23:22:20

She clearly isn't interested in reciprocating. If you have a decent relationship, could you talk to her about how you feel? And perhaps pull back from helping out with her ds if she isn't willing to return the favour?

That said, are you asking her to care for your ds on the days when she is working from home? If so, I think that's quite unreasonable because she is working. You can get a lot done with a 10yo in the background, but not much with a 3yo. Her employer wouldn't be impressed either, I imagine - It's one thing when staff have to care for their own children while wfh, but another thing entirely if they are caring for a child who is not their responsibility on their employer's time.

zeddybrek Thu 09-Jul-20 23:22:42

This really sucks. One option is you take the view you help to have a good relationship with your nephew and you enjoy spending time with him and trust that this will continue as he gets older and is a teenager. So in time you will have a separate relationship with him that you have nurtured, invested in and made time for. Yes your DS is taking the piss but it will be her loss not knowing your child as well. Be angry at her and rightfully so but don't say no and avoid seeing your nephew.

Also could you talk to her openly and tell her how disappointed you are she doesn't want to help you as you have helped her?

HairyPotteryaRotter Thu 09-Jul-20 23:22:48

I have offered to take her wee one during the week on my days off to help her - it is by no means a hardship for me. I feel frustrated that she never ever offers to have my wee one. I always have to ask.

OP’s posts: |
jeaux90 Thu 09-Jul-20 23:27:07

Has she been working at home? Are you asking her to provide childcare whilst she working?

HairyPotteryaRotter Thu 09-Jul-20 23:27:07

That said, are you asking her to care for your ds on the days when she is working from home? If so, I think that's quite unreasonable because she is working. You can get a lot done with a 10yo in the background, but not much with a 3yo. Her employer wouldn't be impressed either, I imagine - It's one thing when staff have to care for their own children while wfh, but another thing entirely if they are caring for a child who is not their responsibility on their employer's time

No, it's the weekend that is usually the problem - I get that is precious time for her because she works mon- fri and sorts hair apts and food shopping during the time, but it's maybe once every eight weeks I ask , and about five times out of ten I have asked she has said no over the last year or so

OP’s posts: |
ECBC Thu 09-Jul-20 23:27:30

If she’s not willing to help you, she shouldn’t benefit from your help either. She can see how it feels

HairyPotteryaRotter Thu 09-Jul-20 23:28:25

I think going forward I will make myself less available. I do not feel it's appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
Africa2go Thu 09-Jul-20 23:29:20

YABU

Working from home and having to home school a 10yr old is tough. And I have a husband to help me out, doing it as a single parent must be exhausting.

I dont think i'd be agreeing to look after a 3yr old in my "time off".

HairyPotteryaRotter Thu 09-Jul-20 23:29:59

Or maybe I will be more direct and say what I really feel!! I hate drama.

OP’s posts: |
jeaux90 Thu 09-Jul-20 23:30:35

Sorry cross post. You are asking when she isn't working but doesn't have her son. Sounds like bad timing. As a single mum myself I wouldn't want to take care of another kid if mine wasn't around

HairyPotteryaRotter Thu 09-Jul-20 23:31:03

It's the summer holidays here - no home schooling at the minute

OP’s posts: |
Pacif1cDogwood Thu 09-Jul-20 23:33:58

YANBU.

But - you cannot influence anybody's actions, only your response to them.
So, only have your nephew at yours when/if YOU want to have him over, not to help your sister out.

IME, having family provide childcare, or certainly regular childcare, is frought with difficulty and I avoid it like the plague.

Atalune Thu 09-Jul-20 23:34:00

Just tell her.

I can’t help you with DS Anymore.

Never explain and never apologise. I bet she starts helping you out soon.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in