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Free childcare - is it fair?

(10 Posts)
Lukewarm91 Wed 04-Jan-17 17:04:15

Hi. I've been living with my brother and his 2 boys for a couple of years now. I've always looked after my nephews, whether it's babysitting for the night or while he pops out. They are 5 and 7. I was working until I had my lo last year. I'm planning on returning when she's 18 months on reduced hours by which point I'll be living with my partner.

The reason for this thread is to get some opinions about whether my current living situation is fair and how to handle the moving out.

I brother works 30+ hours and is involved with a woman but she doesn't live with us. He has full custody of the boys and the mother seems them occasionally. I do 99% of the childcare and sometimes struggle with all 3. They're great boys and a breeze most of the time but I don't feel like I can just concentrate my time and efforts on my lo. My brother lets me live with him rent free and I contribute to food and household bits and bobs. I buy everything for my lo but he does randomly buy us bits like clothes for her or food for me which is a great help. I do all the cleaning, cooking and washing for everyone and rarely get help which sometimes I find exhausting. He hasn't introduced this woman to the boys yet so they go out on dates and I'm often the babysitter. I have tried to speak about it before but he didn't listen to me and makes me feel like I'm being ungrateful or doesn't understand why I'm not coping.

Do you think it's fair that I live with him rent free but cook, clean, and provide all the childcare for his boys? I do the majority happily just sometimes when I want to do something with my lo, I can't put her first. I also struggle to spent proper time with my partner.

My other question is what do I do when I move eventually? I know that the childcare commitment is too much for me and I don't want the same responsibility when I'm no longer living with him. I don't want to drop my brother in it but I want my own life with my family. What do I do?

Any comments will be much appreciated thank you

DrinkingCocktailsInTheSunshine Wed 04-Jan-17 17:13:56

What was agreed when you moved in? Did your brother say it would be rent free in exchange for childcare? What does your partner provide for your child - you say you provide everything but sometimes your brother, who is already providing housing, provides food and clothes as well.

NapQueen Wed 04-Jan-17 17:17:53

You and your dc staying rent free is a great perk for you, and minding the kids while he works is a good way to return the favour.

However when he is home he ought to be the primary carer for them and you for yours.

Similarly housework and cooking ought to be shared on weekends

tattiehat Wed 04-Jan-17 17:21:55

Surely your brothers boys are in school so you'll get a fair amount of quality time with your LO?

Overall it seems pretty fair to me but was it agreed when you moved in? Obviously if you're not happy then you need to discuss it with him.

Hope you get it sorted

RitaCrudgington Wed 04-Jan-17 17:24:10

Clearly the school holidays will be tougher with that age combination, but the boys will be back at school any moment now, leaving you time every day with your baby, and when that happens you'll have plenty of time to think about whether the pros and cons of this arrangement are still working for you.

If all goes to plan, by the time you move out DB's gf may be ready to move in, or at least to be introduced to them and to stay over, so he won't be in perpetual need of a babysitter any more. You've got plenty of time to plan a fair arrangement between you between now and then as long as you talk like adults.

Lukewarm91 Wed 04-Jan-17 17:48:24

Thanks for your responses. I paid towards rent etc when I first moved in as I was working full time. We've never really spoken about it. He suggested me living rent free while I was on mat leave and I'd always help look after the boys. In terms of the buying bits for me - It's how my family are, we all help each other. I buy things for his children too. Apologies, I meant 4 not 5 so younger son is in nursery until 12 each day. I clean the whole house everyday as that's what's expected so it takes up a lot of my time. I tend to do a lot for the boys even when my brother is home. Sometimes it feels like I've stepped into the mother role. I adore my nephews but I want an auntie -nephew relationship. I really don't want to sound ungrateful because I'm anything but just feel like I never get anytime off, the running of the house duties.

NapQueen Wed 04-Jan-17 17:57:06

You mistook 5 and 7 for 4 and 5??. Course you did.

Lukewarm91 Wed 04-Jan-17 18:04:10

I mistyped, 4 and 7. Course you did?

DrinkingCocktailsInTheSunshine Wed 04-Jan-17 18:26:25

I think you should go back to paying rent and have a lodger/tenant relationship and don't do anymore childcare for your nephews outside of what an aunt normally does.

thisgirlrides Sat 07-Jan-17 11:31:07

Why on earth are you cleaning the house everyday? Once, maybe twice a week I get or split it over the week so an hour each day but no house needs cleaning everyday confused

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