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to be so totally utterly furious with my brother and SIL

(61 Posts)
BananaSkin Mon 04-Aug-08 22:14:34

My brother rang me in the week. We use to be very close, which his wife has a problem with (??) so after a decade and a half of her rather unhinged behaviour, we have little to do with them. Until they want something that is. He talked for quarter of an hour in the week before asking whether we would have their children for the week-end while they went to a wedding.

Well, we would, we could, but then again, since receiving abusive texts both times I have been pregnant when she is not, hearing how she shoved my then seventy-something mother while she was standing at the top of the stairs, ranting at my father, coming to stay week-ends with my parents and usually turning up after midnight etc etc, we would really rather not. The 15 years of nastiness is glossed over of course as it is in all 'nice' families. No apologies for vile and unforgiveable behaviour have been asked for and none offered. But, as you can imagine, we don't feel particularly inclined to help them out at a time that is quite inconvenient to us (middle child will have just started school and is already feeling displaced by baby).

So, what do they do in the way that only they could? They get my parents (both nearly 80) to agree to have them. Whenever I have expressed envy at my friends who go off for week-ends whilst leaving their children with their parents, my mother has expressed regret that they are too old to help. Every flaming time. I don't know who I am crosser with actually. This has happened so many times - my parents saying they are too old to babysit now, us therefore not asking, brother SIL then taking the mickey. Apologies for typos and spelling - too angry to check it!!

Katisha Mon 04-Aug-08 22:22:45

My considered opinion is to have them for the weekend. Your SIL has already made a good job of driving a huge wedge into your family - you could do this for your brother and in effect your parents.
Don't give her the satisfaction of being able to say you are unhelpful?
Sadly it seems as if refusing them will not have the slightest impact on her - it will just inconvenience your parents.

BananaSkin Mon 04-Aug-08 22:26:49

I'm not sure I'm a big enough person. There is a lot of history. I am pretty cross at my parents who have 'let' her behave like this for 15 years. They swan about 'taking' at every opportunity, while we live locally and help when my parents need it (very rarely as it happens). I don't particularly want to do it for my brother, if I am honest. Of course I love him, but he has been vile throughout the years too and has lost the plot a bit (she is so barking, I think his sense of perspective was lost some time ago).

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 04-Aug-08 22:27:04

Unless your parents are particularly fragile I'd leave them to it.

Surely your parents are able to say no if they really cant do it?

MmeLindt Mon 04-Aug-08 22:27:19

Do you live close to your parents? Could you let the children stay there and help them out during the day?

I understand your anger, both at your brother and your parents but it will be your parents that bear the brunt.

Could you organise a day out, with picnic or something. Do your DCs get on well with their cousins?

MmeLindt Mon 04-Aug-08 22:27:19

Do you live close to your parents? Could you let the children stay there and help them out during the day?

I understand your anger, both at your brother and your parents but it will be your parents that bear the brunt.

Could you organise a day out, with picnic or something. Do your DCs get on well with their cousins?

noonki Mon 04-Aug-08 22:27:53

I would agree with Karisha, concentrate on the kids not the parents

I bet yours would love to have their cousins to stay

YANBU for being annoyed though - but it isn't fair on your parents to look after them if they are too old... I would have words with your brother about asking htem in the first place (after the weekend though)

MmeLindt Mon 04-Aug-08 22:28:38

Oops, sorry for posting twice. blush

She sounds as mad as a box of frogs tbh. Thank goodness you don't have more to do with them.

BananaSkin Mon 04-Aug-08 22:31:05

Well, yes, I could organise a picnic, but why in the &&*$* should I?

This is a woman who uses everyone. Take recent events. Her mother and father really quite ill in hospital - she didn't bother to visit at all because her children have maths tuition on a Saturday morning. Few weeks later, there is a horsey event near my parents - they are there in a flash (arriving at midnight, obviously).

BananaSkin Mon 04-Aug-08 22:32:53

Sorry, didn't make that last post very clear. Her parents live in the same sort of area as mine, so same amount of travelling, hassle etc involved.

Madder than a box of frogs MmeLindt. Could have a fight with her own shadow.

HumphreyPinCushion Mon 04-Aug-08 22:33:14

If my DCs got on well with their cousins, I'd do it.

PinkTulips Mon 04-Aug-08 22:34:22

how old are the kids?

if they're old enough your parents should be fine.... i would be concerned if any of them are 5 or under though tbh as kids that age need more physical attention from a carer.

do you think your parents wanted to do it or were bullied into it by your brother and his wife?

Dropdeadfred Mon 04-Aug-08 22:36:58

you haven't said what relationship you have with the children...do you dislike them because of their mother?

BananaSkin Mon 04-Aug-08 22:37:04

The children are 10, 7 and 3. They are a handful. My Dad can barely walk. My Mum is 80 next year. Both need a sleep after lunch. You get the picture. They claim to be going to ask my Mum's cleaner/general helper to help out, but I know who will foot that bill.

Not sure they were bullied into it. My mum is a bit of a sucker where they are concerned. I sound horribly twisted, I know, but I am truely getting very resentful when these situations and ones like it keep occuring again and again.

BananaSkin Mon 04-Aug-08 22:37:18

The children are 10, 7 and 3. They are a handful. My Dad can barely walk. My Mum is 80 next year. Both need a sleep after lunch. You get the picture. They claim to be going to ask my Mum's cleaner/general helper to help out, but I know who will foot that bill.

Not sure they were bullied into it. My mum is a bit of a sucker where they are concerned. I sound horribly twisted, I know, but I am truely getting very resentful when these situations and ones like it keep occuring again and again.

BananaSkin Mon 04-Aug-08 22:37:20

The children are 10, 7 and 3. They are a handful. My Dad can barely walk. My Mum is 80 next year. Both need a sleep after lunch. You get the picture. They claim to be going to ask my Mum's cleaner/general helper to help out, but I know who will foot that bill.

Not sure they were bullied into it. My mum is a bit of a sucker where they are concerned. I sound horribly twisted, I know, but I am truely getting very resentful when these situations and ones like it keep occuring again and again.

edam Mon 04-Aug-08 22:37:37

They sound horrible and YANBU. But... would it be nice for your children to see their cousins and vice versa? You could always go round. Then you don't have to see your brother or SIL, either, so result all round, really.

edam Mon 04-Aug-08 22:38:46

cross-post. Blimey. Your brother and SIL are really taking the piss, aren't they? Selfish gits.

edam Mon 04-Aug-08 22:38:49

cross-post. Blimey. Your brother and SIL are really taking the piss, aren't they? Selfish gits.

BananaSkin Mon 04-Aug-08 22:40:06

Oops, sorry.

I don't know the children very well, we only see them about twice a year. They must have picked up their mother's tension about us - the last text and verbal attacks were about 2 years ago so at least two of them will remember the general vibes. Don't really know the little one - would just about pick him out in a crowd.

I do like them, esp big one who I knew well before our own children arrived. We have always tried hard with the children - sent presents at Birthday/Christmas etc

ghosty Mon 04-Aug-08 22:41:19

I agree with Katisha - take the moral highground and take the children for their sake (ie a fun weekend with lovely auntie and uncle and cousins) rather than seeing it as helping out your SIL.
That way you don't give her ammunition for later when she will inevitably tell you how mean and unhelpful you were when she asked for help .... I know you ARN'T mean and unhelpful but she will tell you you are if she is as bad as you say.
You will feel that you 'did the right thing' and she can't have a go at you for that can she?
That's how I deal with my nightmare in laws anyway - I don't want to have anything to do with them but I do the 'right' thing to protect myself from hassle.

BananaSkin Mon 04-Aug-08 22:43:53

Oh I know I know. I don't want to do the right thing though. I want to throw my toys out for a change!

I don't care whether she thinks I am unhelpful etc etc, I really don't. As for ammunition, I don't need anymore than I already have! She really is crackers and has shown herself up spectacularly in the past.

Dropdeadfred Mon 04-Aug-08 22:47:41

Don't see why you can't get past your feelings about her and take the dcs even if just for one day/night. Your kids might love it and it may strengthen ties with your brother again

beanieb Mon 04-Aug-08 22:47:55

Absolutely what Katisha said, only I would not have put it so well. Great post.

MmeLindt Mon 04-Aug-08 22:49:26

I can understand you wanting to throw a tantrum, really I can. Your DB and his wife sound dreadful. At the end of the day, it is your parents who will suffer. I know I would go and help them but would seeth inwardly the whole day.

They sound a bit like my PILs, they offer but are not really up to chasing after lively children all day. Sometimes you have to protect the grandparents from themselves by saying no when they offer to take the GCs. Seems your SIL does not see things like this.

Could your parents share the DCs with the other grandparents?

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