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AIBU?

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.

OP posts:
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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

JemimaPuddleducksWaddle · 15/08/2022 23:26

jusia · 15/08/2022 23:10

I mean, worst comes to worst, her partner doesn't HAVE to be there for the birth. Maybe it would be nice for her but the birth process doesn't absolutely depend on his presence. So I would personally feel quite comfortable prioritising my own work and special events knowing my nephew has a safe backup childcare option even if literally all other family members are unavailable - his father.

<ducks>

Well so much for sisterly love hey.

If she goes through what I did it was absolutely necessary for my DH to be there.

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saraclara · 15/08/2022 23:27

SizzlingAwayIntheHotSun · 15/08/2022 23:25

You can't be very close to your sister if this is your attitude, she's having a baby not going for a night out. Just say no if you don't want to do it and soon so she can make other plans. Unreliable childcare when you are in labour is the last thing any woman needs.

She's a single parent. She works, and has made it clear that there will be a disciplinary outcome if she misses work again.

As someone suggested, there needs to be two or three people who might be able to take the little boy. Have a whatsapp group, and then when labour kicks off, see who's available. It really isn't possible for OP to be available 24/7 for a month.

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cadburyegg · 15/08/2022 23:29

I think yabu. I'm also a single parent and I offered to help a close friend with her dd when she went into labour with her second. I wasn't needed but I know it was helpful that I was on standby

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Creameggs223 · 15/08/2022 23:29

I would bend over backwards for my sister yes am also a working single parent, its a one off so yes you do sound very selfish, maybe see your nephew a little more before hand to so he actually settles with you 🤔

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Ponderingwindow · 15/08/2022 23:36

If you are truly not able to be the person who watches her child while she gives birth, then tell her that. I really can’t fathom thinking any of the reasons listed in your op would be reasons I would consider not helping my sister with such a crucial thing.

I hope she has someone else in her life she can rely on. Most of us have very few people that we can truly depend on. She is going to learn that she has one less than she thought and that is going to hurt.

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saraclara · 15/08/2022 23:41

Ponderingwindow · 15/08/2022 23:36

If you are truly not able to be the person who watches her child while she gives birth, then tell her that. I really can’t fathom thinking any of the reasons listed in your op would be reasons I would consider not helping my sister with such a crucial thing.

I hope she has someone else in her life she can rely on. Most of us have very few people that we can truly depend on. She is going to learn that she has one less than she thought and that is going to hurt.

Did you miss the bit about her job, then?

She's not saying she can't do it at all. She's saying she can't be available all day every day for a month or more. And nor can most people, realistically.

Anyone close to a birth needs to have more than one person on standby.

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ManateeFair · 15/08/2022 23:52

LOL at all the people saying they would be on standby ‘no matter what’. Lucky you, if you have the kind of job that lets you take time off work with zero notice for this sort of thing, or can afford to potentially risk your job, while a single parent, by taking time off.

YANBU, OP. Your sister needs to have a list of some other people who can be available when you’re not. She has other family and friends.

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BungleandGeorge · 15/08/2022 23:59

If she had no partner and no other family then I’d think you should do it. However that’s not the case. Sounds like she hasn’t bothered to ask others, hasn’t bothered to spend time with you to make both you and her son more comfortable. Why has she chosen her working single parent sister to have the sole responsibility for this task? What happens if you or your son are ill? Give her your dates but she needs to arrange a back up and someone for the dates you can’t do. Unfortunately ultimately it’s up to the dad if nobody else is available

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Remaker · 16/08/2022 00:00

I live up the road from my brother and SIL and my mum lives a couple of hours away. SIL’s parents live many hours away. And SIL has quick labours. So our plan was I would be the emergency contact and I would stay until my mum could get there. That meant possibly grabbing my own 2 young kids and jumping in the car at short notice. As her labours got quicker my biggest fear was she’d give birth on the bathroom floor with me and 4 kids under 4 watching on! As it turned out I got the calls in the middle of the night and left my kids asleep with DH.

I think you are being a bit selfish especially about social events and the fact that your nephew might cry. If you absolutely cannot leave or miss work then tell her your work commitments but I’d be available at other times. It’s only a few weeks.

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aurynne · 16/08/2022 00:02

One of my very good friends (male) and her DW had their second child recently. They had 2 or 3 close friends/family memberson standby, but on the day labour started, two of them had covid and the third was unavailable, and labour was progressing too quickly to mess around looking for more people. So shock and horror, he had to stay in the waiting room taking care of their older child while her DW gave birth with a midwife alone in the room. He missed the birth. But hey, it's about priorities, he has the rest of his second child's entire life to be there, and when you have children these things sometimes happen.

It's your Dsis and her DH's responsibility to plan ahead, it is not fair for all the responsibility to be on your head. Even if you could commit to be available, you can fall sick, or one of your own children may have an emergency.

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MolliciousIntent · 16/08/2022 00:12

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.

Exactly this! It's not like she's going out for a girls night, she's havin a baby!

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Gymnopedie · 16/08/2022 00:17

My sister is pregnant we do have a good relationship I should add and we help each other out I should point this out.

Is it a genuine two way thing, or does it tend to go in one direction rather than the other?

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.

And is there a reason for this? It seems a shame if she's favouring one set of grandparents over the other to that extent.

You obviously can't be on standby when you're at work and she shouldn't be pressuring you to do so. About the other times, I think the family dynamic would affect whether I thought you were BU or not.

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Summerfun54321 · 16/08/2022 00:35

I can’t imagine listing any of the reasons you say for telling your own flesh and blood you won’t be there for them in their time of need. She obviously needs some options in case you aren’t contactable or available on the day but to say you just aren’t prepared to be on her list of people to contact is awful in my opinion. Be prepared for your sister to be exceptionally offended.

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Gymnopedie · 16/08/2022 00:42

to say you just aren’t prepared to be on her list of people to contact is awful in my opinion.

In your opinion. Except she hasn't said that. She's said that the sister can contact her at various times, probably most of the time she needs it, but not all of the time.

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excitingusername · 16/08/2022 00:44

I definitely wouldn't phrase it in the way you have. But them having another emergency option if you are unavailable is crucial.

She loves and trusts you with her son. Her ability to relax safe in the knowledge that he's ok is invaluable - don't forget what it's like to be the preg one!

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spinachmonster · 16/08/2022 01:08

I hate the pressure of being on call when friends / sisters are pregnant, I know that might sound mean ☹️. I really think the fact you are a single parent AND work shifts should be taken into account.

I'd do as someone else suggested and list all the times you can do in a really positive way. I agree about his family, though could it be possible she'd rather you were there at the special moment of nephew meeting new baby than them? Anyway, Hope it all goes well.

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GreenFingersWouldBeHandy · 16/08/2022 01:09

Where is her partner and son's Dad is all of this?

You should not have given her the impression that you'd be on standby, be honest with her so she can make other plans.

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Willyoujustbequiet · 16/08/2022 01:24

I'd give my right arm to have a sibling need me in this situation. I just can't understand your attitude at all.

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deeperthanallroses · 16/08/2022 01:57

I don’t think it’s at all fair telling a single mother that they are the only childcare plan and must be available. When we didn’t live near family and asked friends we asked 3 couples to be our childcare for our eldest while I was having our second as we didn’t want anyone to feel they had to cancel something important to look after our child, so they knew they could say they can’t do right now if it came up.
we lived near family for our 3rd but the grandparents don’t work so it was easy, but we would never have had only a single grandparent as the only one on the hook. Dhs mum and dad did it, but we knew my dad would also come if needed.

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Tophy124 · 16/08/2022 01:59

You’re not being unreasonable. Not everyone has family help and people manage. I’d hope she has asked her in laws first.

If there’s any time you can help I’d give her those times and stick to them but be really clear when you can’t help. I think she’s better off asking grandparents tho. I would never expect my sibling to change their life around for me having a baby and would ask grandparents first.

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Festoonlights · 16/08/2022 02:10

YABU
It is a huge one off event.
Your sister needs your support.
Can you book annual leave to cover any time off and ask your sister to make sure there are other options just in case, I would fully want to be there, and would not prioritise ‘me’ time when my sister is just about to give birth!

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Zonder · 16/08/2022 02:30

Surely everyone if possible has a small group of willing volunteers? What if OP were ill? Or her children?

The wording above seemed great, I hope you used that and your sister understood. You're offering lots of times when you're available.

I've been on standby to have the kids of a few friends in the past. But each time there were at least 3 of us so that there was a safety net. As it turns out most of the times I was able to go and scoop up the children but there were others available if not. Same when I had my second. No way can you expect just one person to be available 24/7 for several weeks.

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Greensmoothie1 · 16/08/2022 02:50

Festoonlights · 16/08/2022 02:10

YABU
It is a huge one off event.
Your sister needs your support.
Can you book annual leave to cover any time off and ask your sister to make sure there are other options just in case, I would fully want to be there, and would not prioritise ‘me’ time when my sister is just about to give birth!

Why should OP use her annual leave on her sister when OP has dc of her own and is a single mum? She needs those days for her dc. Her sister isn’t giving birth to a prophet. OP has said that if she’s available then she will look after her nephew, but if she’s at work or busy doing something else then she cannot just drop everything. OP’s sister needs to have a few people on standby. Her first point of call should’ve been her parents and in laws. I have a great relationship with my siblings but I would never expect them to revolve their lives around mine.

@Anonplease is there a reason why your nephew spends more time with his dad’s side of the family rather than yours?

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Festoonlights · 16/08/2022 03:05

Greensmoothie1 · 16/08/2022 02:50

Why should OP use her annual leave on her sister when OP has dc of her own and is a single mum? She needs those days for her dc. Her sister isn’t giving birth to a prophet. OP has said that if she’s available then she will look after her nephew, but if she’s at work or busy doing something else then she cannot just drop everything. OP’s sister needs to have a few people on standby. Her first point of call should’ve been her parents and in laws. I have a great relationship with my siblings but I would never expect them to revolve their lives around mine.

@Anonplease is there a reason why your nephew spends more time with his dad’s side of the family rather than yours?

It’s a one off event of course most people would want to be there for their sibling!

It simply isn’t helpful to say yes I can do it but only if it suits me. We can’t deliver babies to a work schedule!
A day or two of annual leave is hardly a msssive ask.
Its up to you op, but you can hardly expect your sister to consider the relationship an important one if you can’t be around or relied on for one of the biggest events of her life. Giving birth carries risks and knowing her other child is being cared for by someone she trusts will lessen her worry and stress when the time comes. She might have good reasons for not asking other people.

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SylvieB74 · 16/08/2022 03:50

You sound a bit mean, and the way you’ve mentioned that her son knows his dads side better it seems as if it’s a bit of a problem.

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