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to expect a little help from my family...

(38 Posts)
sophiebbb Mon 11-Aug-08 09:38:52

Went home last week for a bit of TLC from my mum. I am exhausted - have a DS1 (20mths) and a newborn DD2 (3mths). Am breastfeeding so am up all night etc etc.

My mum lives 3 hours away and my MIL lives in Italy therefore very rarely see either of them. Mum doesn't know DS1 very well for this reason and I thought it would be lovely to spend a week with her for this reason as well as to get a bit of help/sleep etc.

My mum looks after my sisters kids - DS1 5yrs and DS2 2yrs. Like all boys of their age they are VERY active!!! Mum usually has them 2 days a week but as it is the holidays and my sister is working she had them Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I knew about this in advance. However on the Tuesday I found out that my sister was going to a wedding on Thursday and Friday so mum had them those 2 days as well. Therefore the following happened.

Absolute carnage in the house for 5 days. I didn't get to sit down when my DS was asleep as I usually do because clearing up etc after my sister's DSs. My mum changed 3 nappies for me all week (between the 2 of them) and even those were done begrudgingly. I didn't get one meal cooked for me - in fact I cooked for my mum. Sisters DS2 was potty training so expected to wipe up his wee! Got no help in the morning with DS1's early start.

No don't get me wrong. It is not my mums fault - as far as I can see she got dumped upon. However at the end of it I have 2 mouth ulcers and have felt like I had the week from hell.

My mum didn't understand and said "why do you think you are so special you need help - I did it all by myself..." and my 2 sisters who live nearby my mum just laugh at me and think I have an easy life because I am at home all day.

AIBU to be a bit peeved....?

posieflump Mon 11-Aug-08 09:41:52

It's sounds hard on your mum.
Surely your sister knew for ages that she was going to a wedding, why didn't anyone tell you?
Why don't you invite your Mum to yours next time when she's not looking after her other grandchildren.

lazaroulovespastries Mon 11-Aug-08 09:44:11

sounds like you would have had more rest just staying at home!
It's very sad that your mum has the attitude 'I had to struggle and so can you' when she looks after your sisters kids quite readily.
Why is she like that with you?

nametaken Mon 11-Aug-08 09:51:25

Sorry you had such a horrid week.

I was also gonna suggest your mum come to you but if she's saying things like "I had to manage by myself" it won't make any difference will it?

Have you got enough money to finance a cleaner/au pair/ironing service - perhaps that would help more?

sophiebbb Mon 11-Aug-08 09:57:02

posieflump - I asked the same question - why didn't anyone tell me that my sister was going to a wedding. I would have gone up this week instead if I had known that. The only answer I have for that is that my family is not the most organised in the world and that piece of information slipped through the net. My mum is so pleased to see us that she wouldn't put me off with a bit of information like that. She realises now that I need to know things like this!!!

lazaroulovespastries - that makes me sad as well. She had a very hard time when she had us (3 girls) - my dad was not very helpful, they didn't have much money etc - and throws that at me from time to time. She thinks I have it easy because my DH is so good and helps me. I really missed his help last week! She looks after my sisters kids 52 weeks of the year and hardly ever sees me. We have had big rows about this in the past because I really needed her when I went back to work after my DS was born. He went to nursery, was very sick and I had no one to help me. I asked her if she would come down and see me for a few days and she and my dad said I was being unreasonable to ask.

stealthsquiggle Mon 11-Aug-08 09:57:19

It sounds suspiciously as though your Mum/sister/both interpreted this as 'sophiebb is coming to stay, so she can help with the DSs' rather than you coming to stay so that your Mum could help you.

It sounds as if a few weeks of cleaner / mother's help would be an excellent investment if you can afford it - and your sisters need a good kicking, IMHO.

UniversallyChallenged Mon 11-Aug-08 10:01:48

Sorry you having a hard time sad
Do you have a partner Sophie?

sophiebbb Mon 11-Aug-08 10:02:21

PS posieflump - I do invite my mum here but she finds it hard to come simply because she has to look after my sisters DSs. In fact I originally invited her to come to Italy last week to stay with my DH's parents and let her have a nice time there with all of us. She asked my sister if that would be OK but my sister said she was struggling to find alternative childcare. I thought she meant alternative childcare for Mon, Tues, Wed. Didn't know she also meant Thurs, Fri!!

TheRealMrsJohnSimm Mon 11-Aug-08 10:02:44

YANBU. Its a shame but sadly I have the same situation with my mum (altho nieces and nephews all grown up now so its just my lo's who are tiny still). She helped my sisters with their kids but didn't even come to visit me after I had my two. She has only met DS1 3 times....and he is 8. I made the decision that if she couldn't be bothered then why should I? Like your mum, mine was incredulous that I would expect any help. Also, one of my sisters took the p*ss big time because I had a cleaner and was even more unbearable when we hired an au pair after DS2 was born (and i have always been SAHM). However, she forgets that whereas her DH was usually back home from work at 5.30pm, my DH is away for a good 12 hours per day and I had such chronic PND that I needed the help quite honestly.

You are not being precious by asking for help. And I am sorry you are in this position. I would second the idea of getting extra help in if you can afford to - at least it will help out with the physical side of exhaustion with young kids around.

APologies.......this turned into a rant about me! But I hope its of some use to you.

UniversallyChallenged Mon 11-Aug-08 10:03:31

oh sorry - see you just answered that

sophiebbb Mon 11-Aug-08 10:04:59

UniversallyChallenged - yes I have a wonderful DH who stayed each weekend either side and therefore drove me there and back. He was peeved to say the least but simply said "same old story"!!! Luckily we are going to Italy in September for 1 week and his parents are staying with us for 3 days of that to see the grandchildren. His mum has a different opinion and does look after me...

stealthsquiggle Mon 11-Aug-08 10:09:06

This sort of thing is exactly why, even though I am in your sister's position (we live close to parents, I am WOHM) my DM is not a regular part of my childcare arrangements - she picks up the pieces for us a lot of the time, but I would hate her to ever say to my DB and SIL that she couldn't go and stay with them and help with their DC because she had to look after mine, IYSWIM. They need the help at least as much as we do, and also I want going to G'parents to be something my DC look forward to and not part of their routine.

It's an expensive principle, but one I plan to stick to as long as I possibly can!

sophiebbb Mon 11-Aug-08 10:11:26

TheRealMrsJohnSimm - reassuring to know there is someone else in the same position. I do have a cleaner who come 3 hrs a week to do the heavy work eg clean the floors, hoover the carpets and give the kitchen a thorough clean. She is unfortunately on holiday for 3 weeks so am doing it all myself at the moment. Yes my sisters do also take the p*ss big time because I have that help. I do also have help for 1 day a week from an Italian woman - who not only takes DS1 for a bit but also is ensuring he can speak Italian so his grandparents can understand him! (hence why I can be on here now with DD2 asleep next to me!) because I am lucky to be getting maternity pay. However IMO that is equivalent to my DS1 going to nursery for 1 day a week to give me a bit of a break. If you add this on to the fact I have a cleaner for 3 hrs a week then this just adds fuel to the fire that I have it easy according to my mum and 2 sisters.

pointydog Mon 11-Aug-08 10:31:03

The trouble is, your sister's children came along first and your mum does look after them 2/3 days a week which will be very tiring for her. She probably really doesn't want to look after another two small children at the same time. It is a bit unfair but if gps end up childminding rather than babysitting, this is what happens.

You are quite fortunate to have the extra regular paid help that you already have. I can understand you are peeved but I think you have to write off any practical support from your mum.

beanieb Mon 11-Aug-08 10:34:58

Bit hard on your mum, bit hard on your sister. Kids are hard to look after, your mum offered. WHen you have that many grandchildren I am sure it must be difficult for everyone.

Quattrocento Mon 11-Aug-08 10:36:54

Well YABU really but you knew that already I think.

You do have support from your DH and from a cleaning lady and some childcare. That's more than a lot of people have.

If you're finding it difficult right now, would it be possible to enrol one or both of your children in a nursery for a day a week each? Just to give yourself time to rest?

From your posts, I'm more worried about your mum tbh. It sounds as though your sisters are leaning on her a bit heavily.

sophiebbb Mon 11-Aug-08 10:38:57

pointydog You are right. I felt really sorry for my mum. She was exhausted. I was exhausted....

I didn't expect her to look after mine because she was exhausted looking after my sisters DSs. And it was really unfortunate that nobody told me that she had them 5 days a week last week.....and we all just ended up exhausted and ratty.

KatieDD Mon 11-Aug-08 10:40:01

TBH it's sounds as though you have more help and the ability to pay for it so your mum and sister probably think you are ok and let you get on with it.
I have this "problem" with my mother she looks at our house and the way the children dress and figures Katie's fine, the fact that DH and I go without to provide all this and if she helped out once in a while we wouldn't have to seems to escape her.
All we can do is vow to do things differntly when we are the Grandmothers, I hope I will be fairer.

Anna8888 Mon 11-Aug-08 10:42:35

YANBU. It is emotionally very hard to deal with the fact that your mother gives out so much to your sisters and not to you - and in fact even expects you to support her supporting your sisters. That has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that your DH is very helpful and that you have a little respite help in the form of a cleaner and childcare. The issue is that your mother is giving more care to your sisters than to you and you feel unloved.

Can you try to explain this to your mother without asking for extra material help from her (she sounds very put upon by your sisters, btw).

mrswoolf Mon 11-Aug-08 10:45:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pointydog Mon 11-Aug-08 10:45:48

But her mum is childminding for her sister. It's not just an unfair distribution of babysitting. There is no leeway with childcare. Sophie saying she feels hard done by will only make her mum feel guilty. Her mum is not able to alter the balance so the guilt will just remain and fester.

mrswoolf Mon 11-Aug-08 10:47:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Quattrocento Mon 11-Aug-08 10:47:53

I take Anna's point about your sisters receiving more support from your mother but you live three hours away from her, and your sisters too for that matter. Families are very useful when children come along. Is there any possibility of your moving closer?

sophiebbb Mon 11-Aug-08 10:50:50

KatieDD - you are right - my mum and sister do look at us and think we are OK and let us get on with it. In some ways I see this as a compliment that my mum thinks I can cope well.

We also go without to ensure we have a cleaner for 3 hrs a week and help for 1 day a week. My sister passes scorn on this but she did put her DS1 into nursery for 1 day a week when she had DS2 which is equivalent IMO.

I think the reason I get sad is because it would be lovely if my mum put her arms around me once in a while and acknowledge that I am exhausted. I don't need help all the time but just once in a while!!!

I am very different to my 2 sisters. I was the daughter who moved away from home, got a high flying (and stressful) career (which I cannot wait to give up to look after my DCs full time - difficult because I am main breadwinner) and hence can afford to have a bit of help. My mum's comment - what makes you think you are so special that you need help really hurt.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 11-Aug-08 10:53:44

If your sister works and your mum helps with childcare, I assume your mum is happy to do this or would have said otherwise. Juggling a job and children can be hard.

I can also see why your mum thinks you are ok and have things pretty easy, you dont work, have a cleaner and childcare one day a week. I would say the majority of stay at homes mums dont have a cleaner and do the bulk of the housework themselves with being home all day.

Personally, knowing your mum provides childcare most weeks so your sister can work, I wouldnt have expected to have been "looked after" - visiting your mum should be that rather than putting more work on her.

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