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Aibu to not be on standby for sisters baby?

146 replies

Anonplease · 15/08/2022 21:46

Not sure how to word this. My sister is pregnant we do have a good relationship I should add and we help each other out I should point this out.

It is the summer holidays and she is due her baby. Aibu to say that I won't just be on standby to watch her son when she goes into labour? I have said if I am free then of course I will help but I also have my own kids and work which I won't be able to just take days off without getting in trouble for it and I can't pull a sickie as I have had some genuine sick days and it will trigger a warning. I also have a few things planned for the past 8wks which I don't want to drop as this is specific things I have been waiting to be able to do I don't mind rearranging somethings but one or two events I don't want to cancel as I've been waiting for them and this is the only time I can do it. Is it selfish of me to say I'll help if I can but don't just expect me to do it? She does have a partner and her son is very very clingy and will definitely cry most of the time he's with me.

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

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GurningGolfer · 15/08/2022 21:48

YANBU. Can someone else step in if you're busy? Like parents of hers or her partner? Other family or friends?

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Newyearnewname20 · 15/08/2022 21:49

I definitely don’t think it would be selfish of you to explain you may not be able to help. Can your sister get childcare arranged for her son when she goes into labour? Appreciate it would be difficult to arrange at short notice, but could she get paid childcare, or could any other family members look after her son?

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Anonplease · 15/08/2022 21:53

We have other siblings but the issue is her son hasn't spent enough time with our side of the family. Don't get me wrong I have no issue helping however I am a single parent some me time isnt always easy to get so that's why I plan so far on advance hence not wanting to cancel everything. The issue is her son is clingy and hasn't spent no where near enough time with our mum and dad but has with her partners family. I just don't know how to broach the subject with her I feel like she will say I'm being selfish

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SQLserved · 15/08/2022 21:53

I don’t think you’re being selfish, especially if it would risk your job. However, I can imagine feeling uncomfortable in your position.

Have you let her know that your availability is very limited so she knows to look for alternatives beforehand?

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TwoWeeksislong · 15/08/2022 21:56

Tell her when you can be on standby and when you can’t?
So Fridays from 7pm to Sunday evening except X weekend because you’re going to see your inlaws. Or whatever.
Or can you do short term while another relative travels? So Sister can drop he son at yours in the middle of the night on her way to hospital but you need him to be collected by his gran by 8am so you can get to work?
Don’t say you can do anytime if you can’t, but don’t be ashamed to offer what’s possible and reasonable for you even if it’s not 24/7 standby for the next month.

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bananaboats · 15/08/2022 21:56

Would it not be better for him to be looked after by her partners family if that is people he knows better? Presumably she has a good relationship with them if her son knows them better than her own family.

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Peashoots · 15/08/2022 21:56

Sorry but I’m going to go against the grain here. For a one off event and something as important as childcare when she’s in labour, I would bend over backwards to help her. Work may be difficult but if you refused to cancel plans or said no because her son will cry, I think that’s exceptionally selfish. It won’t kill you to look after a whingey kid for a bit. She’s giving birth, this is huge. She doesn’t need the stress of having to do it alone because she can’t get childcare.

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SparrowsNest · 15/08/2022 21:59

Given the baby is due imminently have you and your sister not discussed this?

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GADDay · 15/08/2022 22:00

I am another thinking you are unreasonable. She is having a baby, not popping to Wetherspoons for a pint.

Your nephew could also use the support.

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GADDay · 15/08/2022 22:01

Ps if I were your sister I would feel really hurt by your attitude.

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autienotnaughty · 15/08/2022 22:02

IDs say work is a reasonable excuse but going out is not.

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DenholmElliot1 · 15/08/2022 22:04

I'm also very surprised that this is only now being discussed, when she is practically due to give birth. Were there no discussions earlier? What was agreed at that point.

Also, you DO need to be there for her. Fair enough if you can't get time off work but you can always ASK your manager for a few hours off and explain the situation. And if the answer is still no, at least be available for your sister outside of work hours.

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SeasonFinale · 15/08/2022 22:04

But you are being selfish. You mention her partner - surely he will be at the actual birth. If you don't want to help then don't but don't give the I will if I can answer as that leaves them in the lurch.

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Riverlee · 15/08/2022 22:05

i feel also you are making too many excuses.

Regarding work, I wouldn’t expect you to pull a sickie (which can be a disciplinary event), but are you able to take a days holiday at short notice? However, not all workplaces are able to facilitate this.

I think for one or two special events, you shouldn’t cancel. However, other events - play dates, etc, you should be able to rearrange.

However, I think it’s reasonable to ask you to cover weekends etc, when you are available.

Having kids of your own is not an excuse not to have him. He probably senses something is up so he’s bound to be more emotional.

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Letshoptoit · 15/08/2022 22:05

Can you let her know your availability so she knows which dates she needs to ask the person next down the list?

Could her son be added to the prebooked things at the last minute if needed at her cost? Could you be the short term middle of the night person until a relief person could materialise if you are nearest? Can you come to a rota agreement with the other family members who know him well?

I would juggle a lot to do this for e.g. a colleague who was desperate even if I didn’t know them that well. But have also been really afraid to ask people when it was me in your sisters position.

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DottyLittleRainbow · 15/08/2022 22:06

She needs to have a few people on standby really or choose someone who doesn’t have as many commitments. While I’m sure you want to support your sister, you have your own responsibilities especially as a single parent, and she has presumably chosen to have a baby.

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eddiemairswife · 15/08/2022 22:06

What about the child's father?

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MrsEricBana · 15/08/2022 22:07

I don't think you are being selfish at all BUT I can understand why she is worried. When I was due to have dc2 the thing I was most worried about was what would happen to dc1 when I was gone.

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Toosadtocomprehend · 15/08/2022 22:08

Have a discussion with your sister…I personally would be as flexible and as accommodating as possible to support my sister or a good friend!

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PugInTheHouse · 15/08/2022 22:09

You are not unreasonable to say what days you are available so she can sort something else for the other days. TBH though depending on the event I would probably drop anything for my sibling, obv riskingyour job is totally different.

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PugInTheHouse · 15/08/2022 22:10

Sorry that was worded badly, if it was an event you were already away at and couldn't get home in time obv that's different.

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WeAreBob · 15/08/2022 22:10

Labour most often starts at night. If she rings you at an unusual time, you could always just not answer and she will move on to the next person on their standby list. They obviously have other options between her family and his.

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Inertia · 15/08/2022 22:11

Your sister is unreasonable to expect you to be on permanent standby given that you’re a single parent with a job and other complex arrangements, and there are other family members who could help.

I’d give some specific dates when you can help, and really your sister should be putting together a calendar detailing who can help when.

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DenholmElliot1 · 15/08/2022 22:13

eddiemairswife · 15/08/2022 22:06

What about the child's father?

The childs father will be supporting the mother whilst in labour with the new baby and rightly so!

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ChateauMargaux · 15/08/2022 22:16

I would say when you can help and when you can't... hopefully she will be able to work a plan which gives her some cover between you and other people. Frame it positively and don't give her an opportunity to insist that you are available 24/7.

Dear sis... here are the times that I can be available to look after DN when you go into labour - I am happy to have my phone on over night and your husband can drop him off at my place on Fridays and Saturday nights - no problem at all, we will be ready and the kids are looking forward to having him here and meeting the baby. If you go into labour at the weekend and my kids are not in bed, I can come to yours and pick him up. Happy to liaise with any other people who are on call, covering the times that I am at work. I can't wait to be an auntie again!!

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