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In laws

(23 Posts)
Scamp48 Thu 09-Feb-17 18:42:42

I have always felt my sister in law expects a lot from my brother but over the years have very much held my tongue. He works hard running his own business, which by its very nature is extremely demanding, and which pays for all household bills including mortgage, nursery fees, utilities, fuel etc. But he is also expected to do about 50 per cent of the childcare. My sister in law works a couple of days a week, as she says she needs to get out of the house. Fair enough (I understand being a stay at home mum isn't for everyone) but all I can see is the knock on pressure it has on my brother, and worse still on my parents who are nearby. He absolutely would not cope without them, but very much assumes they will help him out. S-in-law's wages are spent on her hobbies, and presumably on "extras" for the family. She has just dropped a bombshell which means that, through her own disorganisation, my parents will be picking up the pieces next week yet again. All three of them, my brother, and parents, seem to be eternally treading on eggshells, never saying anything because of sister-in-law's fiery nature. Anyone have a similar set up, and dared to voice concern that this just isn't on?

TheSparrowhawk Thu 09-Feb-17 18:57:18

How can he do 50% of childcare if he's at work most of the week?

mummyto2monkeys Thu 09-Feb-17 19:00:56

Is this his sisters children that your dh and parents are caring for?

Scamp48 Thu 09-Feb-17 19:08:19

Not sure what you mean mummyto - they are my brother and sister in law's children.

50 per cent of time outside of school and nursery hours. He works weekends and takes them with him to work or works/makes calls from home. Any other time the children aren't with my sister-I-law/brother, my parents pick us the slack including doing quite a few school/nursery runs during the week.

holeinmyheart Thu 09-Feb-17 19:21:04

Unfair as it seems, I am afraid you have to chill and keep out of someone else's life. Your brother and parents are adults and they would stop helping if they felt it was too much and unfair. You have to let them decide for them selves.
Life just isn't fair. Your SIL may be a selfish lazy pig but she is your brother's selfish lazy pig.
Try not to give her another thought and concentrate on your own lovely life.
Sorry.

HandbagCrazy Thu 09-Feb-17 19:25:25

Step away. You have absolutely no idea what is happening behind closed doors. Maybe your brother actively enjoys being a hands on 50/50 parent at home? Perhaps she has some issues that mean she needs extra support. Maybe their set up is something they both think is right?

TheSparrowhawk Thu 09-Feb-17 19:25:55

Why wouldn't he look after his children 50% of the time they're not at school/nursery? If your parents don't want to look after them they should say so.

Scamp48 Thu 09-Feb-17 19:27:22

Thank you holeinmyheart - your advice makes complete sense and made me smile. My parents think the support they give is too much but do it as they worry that my brother's marriage wouldn't survive if they didn't. If my brother is putting up with it, then we all do, I guess.....Hard though when you can see parents are getting older.....

Scamp48 Thu 09-Feb-17 19:34:17

Handbag crazy - I know my bro gets frustrated as he would like to concentrate properly on his business, while he is a very loving and hands on father. We have suggested they get mother's help/babysitter etc but sis-in-law doesn't want the extra expense.

Cuppaoftea Thu 09-Feb-17 19:51:23

How much time would your brother spend with the children if he worked all weekend without looking after them?

What change are you suggesting your SIL makes, gives up her job? And/or her hobbies? She's allowed her own life as well as being a Mum and it sounds like she needs that if her husband works all hours.

Your parents could say no to helping out if they find it too much.

You sound very resentful of your SIL.

Scamp48 Thu 09-Feb-17 19:57:32

I guess I do feel resentful when I see my parents looking so jaded.
My husband and I work together and approach life as a team (with lots of ups and downs, but there's no one else for us to fall back on if all goes wrong!). I look at my brother's relationship and see him working hard towards keeping his family intact and my SIL working towards her own agenda and that's all.

Heirhelp Thu 09-Feb-17 19:59:55

How another couple divide childcare or organise money has nothing to do with you. It is their business. If your brother want to change it then he need to discuss it with his wife. If your parents are doing more than they want then they need to discuss it with your brother.

Scamp48 Thu 09-Feb-17 20:13:48

Fair enough - the Mumsnet consensus is clear. As hard as it is to watch, I'll stay out of it. Thank you v much for the valuable advice:

QuiteLikely5 Thu 09-Feb-17 20:25:53

Your SiL will know you're against her. That in itself will cause issues behind closed doors.

Perhaps she thinks it takes a village to raise a child etc and on that note have you offered to help out to relieve the burden on your brother and parents?

My own dh is hands on and that's the way it should be. He will never regret dedicating time to his children but he would regret working their life away.........,..,,.nope I'm not your sil! 😂

NotInMyBackYard1 Thu 09-Feb-17 20:33:06

We have suggested they get mother's help/babysitter etc but sis-in-law doesn't want the extra expense.
I would be massively pissed off if my sibling's partner 'suggested' anything about my family and childcare arrangements. Butt out!

Scamp48 Thu 09-Feb-17 20:43:07

😀Made me smile QuiteLikely! I entirely agree that fathers should be hands on - my hubbie is, but I also try to acknowledge and give him support over the fact that he is the main breadwinner in our family and if he doesn't perform well at his job, our bills won't get paid. I really hope that by the time my brother's children are older, my brother's business is still intact- it is barely profitable as it is, and needs a lot of his attention to stay afloat. Worrying....
We are three hours away from my bro, but I do offer to have my nieces and nephews for summer holiday stays. I also try to take them out for treats when we visit my parents.

JobsAGoodun Thu 09-Feb-17 20:47:35

Perhaps while he has a young family your brother would do better to work a regular job with normal hours. It is very stressful running your own business, particularly if not profitable.

rookiemere Thu 09-Feb-17 20:51:44

I would encourage your DM and DF to speak up if they feel that the childcare is too much for them. Their DSs marriage should not hang on them giving free childcare and if it does, then its a fairly fragile one.

Other than that then yes there's not a lot you can do.

HandbagCrazy Thu 09-Feb-17 20:57:24

I didn't mean to sound harsh OP. I don't have dc but my dsis does and I watch as she completely expects my parents to give up nights out / their spare time to help her. It's frustrating as they moan to me about it, BUT, my sisters DP doesn't do much so dsis needs the help. And it's up to my parents to put their foot down - I have now told them not to talk to me about it.

I get it's frustrating but people have to sort these things themselves. As PP have said, back away and concentrate on your own life

babba2014 Thu 09-Feb-17 21:01:26

OP you're seeing the effect on your parents. I get you. But nothing can change unless your parents change it. I get your position totally. In the family I know it isn't the sister in law but the actual son/daughter.

holeinmyheart Thu 09-Feb-17 21:35:24

I have lots of grown up children and lots of old people on the go.
They all want to do things, in the way that they want to do it.
In my head I give them loads of excellent advice.
To my dear bro, I say ' please stand up to your control freaky wife. To my In Laws I say, ' for goodness sake why haven't you done any planning for your old age ' Eh!
To my eldest son I say ' be more supportive to your wife' she came with the smelly dog, so try and love her smelly dog' To my youngest daughter I say ' speak to people at the school gate, make friends and try not to be such a loner'
But what I actually say is 'NOTHING' ... you know why ? Because if someone came to you and gave you advice, uncalled for, and unasked for .... you may well feel the opposite of grateful. In fact F off might pass your lips.
Your Parents may well confide in you because they need to confide in someone, but have no intention of altering their behaviour. It isn't really very fair of them to offload on you because it has made you worry. It probably makes them feel better and you feel worse.
Also the slobby SIL in question is their DIL , and the tension between DILs and MILs is well documented on Mumsnet.
Unfortunately life isn't fair. Are the children nice?

QuiteLikely5 Thu 09-Feb-17 21:43:11

Hole your wisdom is brilliant! Haven't a seen you around in a while smile

Scamp48 Thu 09-Feb-17 21:50:33

Yes, thank you Hole - so so wise and so very much appreciated. I will keep schtum, I promise!
The children are completely gorgeous, and a testament to ALL who look after them!!

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