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I don't want to look after my cousin's 5 kids on the october break

(72 Posts)
Jennylee Sat 10-Oct-09 11:09:53

I am pregnant, feel sick a lot, need to nap every day, have a 14 month old and a 10 year old. She is doing a nursing degree, has 5 kids from age 6-12. they don't behave well, they don't all eat the same thing. they make my 10 year odl act more wild when he is with them, they crowd my toddler. sometimes when they leave they nick small stuff my boy has. it would be form 7.30 in the morning untill 5-6 evening apart from wednesday. also she dropped one off this week who was sick with fever and cough after asking by text, I don't like to offend but I was livid. now her 11 year old is ill with it. I used to watch them for her when I only had ds, but now can't cope with it and it hangs over me and stresses me out. when dd was a few week old she wanted me to watch them for 5 days I didn't and she was all offended. No one else can help her. when I was at uni and had sick child I stayed home.

TracyK Sat 10-Oct-09 11:11:57

say you are thinking of going on holiday that week and avoid her calls.

LIZS Sat 10-Oct-09 11:15:47

say you can't , you already have other plans assuming you feel up to them. Surely there is other family she can call upon or a playscheme.

TheBatterflyEffect Sat 10-Oct-09 11:15:48

Message withdrawn

TotallyAndUtterlyPaninied Sat 10-Oct-09 11:15:51

Perhaps say you've been poorly this pregnancy and you can't manage 7 kids and a bump and that it wouldn't be fair on the children or you, so she will have to find alternative care. You could maybe even add that your blood pressure is high and you have been told to rest?

I don't know why she would expect you to look after her 5 kids. Very strange.

YANBU even a little bit. She is.

Jennylee Sat 10-Oct-09 11:16:00

thats exactly what I am thinking of doing, leaving the area as I can't face it. and I would never askher to watch mine and never have never will. My dad said she would amybe apy me but no amount of money would be worth it, just having my own and being pregnant it hard enough, I have awful pregnancies, everyone that knows me says I look like i'm dying (confidence booster)

TotallyAndUtterlyPaninied Sat 10-Oct-09 11:17:31

Then you could maybe say you're having a very hard time and you're going to take a relaxing break with your kids for the holidays?

LowLevelWhingeing Sat 10-Oct-09 11:18:20

shock I think that is an outrageous expectation of you!

Seriously, don't do it, it sounds horrendous. There must be a diplomatic way of handling this...I'll put my thinking head on, but there'll be someone clever along soon.

belgo Sat 10-Oct-09 11:19:06

Have you already agreed to look after them?

You need to tell her you don't want to look after them. And tell her very quickly so she has some time to sort out alternative child care.

LowLevelWhingeing Sat 10-Oct-09 11:19:48

Oh look, loads of clever people have arrived already!

BP sounds like a good one.

Jennylee Sat 10-Oct-09 11:22:49

great idea about the blood pressure, It is very hard for me to say no directly and she is an asker lately she is always asking me to do stuff for her and is is getting to me if she was not related I would have stopped seeing her. this is also silly but becuase we are of mexican spanish origin/descent it is like a thing that you do anything for family. she lived in my 2 bed house for 6 month with her lot when she came here and was homeless, i was pregnant then, it was hell and I had problems with my son and had to leave uni. So I have done more than enough for her in life to last a lifetime. I guess I will ahve to say no or get my dh to say it for me. I beginning to be I wish she will be offended and leave me alone, would prefer a normal cousin you visit and they visit you and it is all very pleasant

Jennylee Sat 10-Oct-09 11:24:01

No I have not agreed, but my family have warned me she is defientaly going to ask, and she is going to, we are expecting it.

TrickOrTrefusis Sat 10-Oct-09 11:28:25

Okay - first of all, take that "I don't want to" and change it to: "I'm not going to."

That means that, instead of feeling chased and hounded, you instead have the practical issue of how you are going to explain this to your cousin. That is still awkward, but will be easier now that you have reassured yourself that your health and your rest are entirely safe. There aren't going to be an extra five children in your house.

You can also lose the "No-one else can help her". What has happened is that your cousin has got into the habit of relying on you, as you have slipped into the role of her default helper. You were available at first, but now that has changed, so she will find new arrangements as she would have done if you hadn't been around at the start. If she can't, that won't be your "fault", however offended she may get.

Unless you actually were planning to go away over half term, I would actually advise you not to, if you can bear it. For a start, if you're pregnant and sick, why should you be forced to go away from your home unless you want to? Secondly, going away may get you out of it in the short term, but she will ask again. It's better - although hard, I know, to give her the real reason because if she or other family members try to make you change your mind, it's easier to argue with the truth than with an excuse.

TotallyAndUtterlyPaninied Sat 10-Oct-09 11:29:05

Oooh you're actually in a good position then, as you have been prewarned without her knowing- that means you can say 'oh I'm so sorry, I'd have had them but I'm having such an awful time with this pregnancy I'm even struggling to look after my own kids at the moment. My blood pressure is high so I've been told to rest. I just can't manage it. I'm so sorry, hope you manage to find an alternative'. Coversation over.

If you sort of paused or tried to think up an excuse on the spot you probably wouldn't pull it off, but you can have your words already prepared.

Then again, she shouldn't be expecting it anyway. If in your cutlture you do 'anything' to help out family, SHE should also take this on board and help you out during your pregnancy by not expecting you to look after 5 extra kids.

It works both ways so don't let her emotionally blackmail you.

cat64 Sat 10-Oct-09 11:34:17

Message withdrawn

Lulumama Sat 10-Oct-09 11:36:52

if she's doing a nursing degree, i would expect a greater understanding of your needs, as a pregnant woman, who is sick, feels tired and has 2 children to look after anyway!!

you need to say that you cannot, due to health reasons.

what does she do the other times she needs childcare?

TracyK Sat 10-Oct-09 11:42:45

Get in there first and ask HER to look after yours!!

TracyK Sat 10-Oct-09 11:44:05

Plus - surely her classes will be off too - I presume she needs the kids away so she can study in peace. She needs to suck it up and do it at night/after the hols - same as we all do in the school hols.

lisad123wantsherquoteinDM Sat 10-Oct-09 11:50:43

some uni's dont get half terms.

I would just say no, tell her your busy. And tbh if she would pay you, then she can pay someone else, a friend, neighbour a childminder ect.
Is she on placement? that seems a long day for just classes?

WhereYouLeftIt Sat 10-Oct-09 12:02:15


TracyK, my "reading week" never coincided with DS's half-term, OP's cousin's may well not either.

OP, your family have pre-warned you (good for them!), so you can rehearse what you're going to say to your cousin and be ready to counter anything she can throw at you. Play-act it through with DH - he can be stroppy cousin . And there is other family she can ask - have they all said no to her in the past, leaving just you to do the same? You need to join them!

The high BP line is a great idea - if she's been paying attention in class she can't counter it. But don't let her think it's the only reason you're not doing it, or she'll be back asking again. Maybe a "but to be honest, even without my current state of health making it impossible, I really feel overwhelmed taking care of seven children. The older they get the harder I find it, so I think you should prepare alternative childcare for the next time you need it. I thought I'd mention it now so that you've got plenty of time to get it arranged in advance." Put your ill-health to work for you - now is when she'll find it hardest to argue with you, especially if you look terrible just now [sympathy emoticon].

Jennylee Sat 10-Oct-09 12:49:39

thanks for the replies, no she is not off, and is having problems getting her childcare paid so has taken them out of nursery, and has my dad her uncle taking them to school before his work and leaving work early to get them. No one else can do it , he does it in secret (whole other thread) she could bring her mom over for 6 months to help out she can afford to, but her mum is a bit reluctant as the kids play her up and she has a life over there. she came last year but can only come for 6 month and then goes back adn does nto want to come anyway. it will have to be bring mom for a bit or leave uni as night shifts will start in a few months and she was told if you can't do the training don't do the course. her mom told her to ask me so I have to stop it now.
I want her to bring her mom and do the course, I want it to be okay for her as long as it is not my responsibility.

no amount of money she could give me would make it worth it to me, its the stress of them and my house is tiny. there are no childminders in her area that can have them either. But being off won't kill her. So glad to hear my feelings are justifiable .thanks

CoffeeCrazedMama Sat 10-Oct-09 13:05:03

Jenny, they are all of school age, so there must be a local holiday pay scheme she could use. Loads around here (south London) - and would work out cheap enough compared to flying her mum over. Suggest she asks at their school.

CoffeeCrazedMama Sat 10-Oct-09 13:05:25

Sorry, that should have read 'play scheme'.

freakname Sat 10-Oct-09 13:07:23

LOL just say no!

I feel for her situation (it must be tough trying to improve your chances and being hard up at the same time with all the stresses that brings AND being a mother to 5!) and in an ideal world family should be able to take up the slack. But you've got your own things to deal with and her children being a handful obviously doesn't help.
Theres a thread in there about expecting/needing help even when your kids are a bit of a nightmare and people dread having to do it. wink

freakname Sat 10-Oct-09 13:09:06

ditto the playscheme. We've just had all the blurb about what's available locally over half term.
Her school and council should be able to provide the same info relevant to where she lives.

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