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WWYD - supporting my sister and bro-in-law

(10 Posts)
Userwhatevernumber Fri 17-Apr-20 12:44:22

My sister’s father-in-law passed away earlier week (CV).
They are understandably finding it very difficult of course. My bro-in-law has struggled with his mental health for past few years. DSis is understandably very worried about how they are going to get through the coming weeks.
They have one DC age 5 who is has suspected ASD and was in the early stages of assessment. He doesn’t understand of course, and has already been finding the lockdown very difficult. He is a demanding and challlenging child (albeit wonderful). Usually their support network is our parents, me and our other sister. My sister and bro-in-law are of course feeling the struggle and isolation makes is harder.
My mum suggested that it might be helpful if one of us (me or my other sister) takes DNephew for the weekend to help my sis and bro-in-law. Before CV we would often have him for weekends to give them a break. My other sis and I obviously are aware that this is breaking the rules and not allowed and told my parents this. My parents cannot have him as they are over 70.
My sis is not asking for this, it’s only a suggestion from my parents as we have seen how difficult it is for them.
It’s just so frustrating that we cannot just support them in the way we would normally.
I am torn between my heart and my head. My other sister also feels the same - we know it is against the rules, but it just seems so unfair and it might be easier for my sis and broin law to grieve with a few days break from their very lively and bouncy 5 year old.

We all feel so helpless over Zoom and FaceTime 😢😢😢

WWYD? AIBU to want to break the rules to collect my nephew? I know I am being U. I know it but I feel awful 😢

OP’s posts: |
Userwhatevernumber Fri 17-Apr-20 12:52:55


OP’s posts: |
NotEverythingIsBlackandwhite Fri 17-Apr-20 12:56:32

I think having to focus on a child's needs and doing what they normally do will help them through the shock and grief of the early days of loss.
With the changes to funeral attendance I think they are unlikely to grieve in the usual manner anyway.

There is no need for you to have the child for a weekend. I think you are just trying to do something that you think will help, and that is understandable, but I don't think you should have the child.

NCforthisMarch Fri 17-Apr-20 12:58:49

Sorry to hear this, it sounds v difficult.

I think no one is commenting as its difficult to say what we would do normally (ie just take the child for a few days to let his parents have a break) under the current circumstances.

I would suggest that your family try to quarantine as much as possible (eg do a big shop to last a few weeks if possible) so you minimise your risk to all if the situation gets more challenging & he needs to come to you

HuntIdeas Fri 17-Apr-20 13:02:57

To be honest, I would take him for the weekend. It must be a really hard time for them

NCforthisMarch Fri 17-Apr-20 13:03:49

I also think you & your sister need to be v transparent with your own parents about what you will/won't be doing: the worst case is that your parents would take the 5 yo as its more risk to them if this child has somehow picked it up (eg even by touching something outside)

I think whichever of you/your sister is best placed (least risk, best health, best at handling your nephew) should discuss with your parents so that they don't take him

If avoidable, he should try to stay with his own family, but grief is a big issue for anyone, least of all those with existing mental health struggles so I think your family may need to make a plan to step in if needed: and in the safest way possible

PanicOnTheStreets85 Fri 17-Apr-20 13:06:30

I don't think this is against the rules. The legislation just says that if you leave the house it has to be with a reasonable excuse. I think it would be reasonable for your nephew to come stay with you for a few days. It's not social visit for a few hours - it would be for a few days to give your brother-in-law support and space to grieve.

The College of Policing has some similar examples at the end which they say are not against the rules - eg if going to a friend's house for a few days after an argument is reasonable then I don't see why this wouldn't be.

MindyStClaire Fri 17-Apr-20 13:11:36

I don't think it would be breaking the rules, it would be seen as providing care which is allowed. So from that pov I think you're fine to go ahead, and it would be a really lovely thing to do, they must be really struggling.

It's up to you to consider the risk for your household.

Userwhatevernumber Fri 17-Apr-20 13:17:15

Thank you, mixed opinions which is what I expected.
My other sister and I have been clear to my parents that we would have him if needed, and that they should not.
My other sister is going to chat to my sis to see if my sis thinks this would help her and bro-in-law. I have a feeling she will say no as she has said she doesn’t want to burden us. However my bro-in-law has suffered with his mental health in the past, and I know she is really worried about him. When we FaceTimed yesterday, my nephew was literally climbing all over his dad, and his dad was just sitting there and staring blankly 😢

Thank you for the guidance PanicOnTheStreets85 that is helpful about reasonable excuses.

Completely agree about planning for it, even if it doesn’t happen this weekend. I guess we will see how things go.

OP’s posts: |
NCforthisMarch Fri 17-Apr-20 13:29:54

Good luck OP - v sad time for your BIL, & worrying for your whole family

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