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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.

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

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WiddlinDiddlin · 16/08/2022 03:50

Of course it can still be helpful to say 'yes I can do it, these are the dates/times I can be available'.

Thats far MORE helpful than either saying 'No I can't, at any point' or 'Yes of course any time' and then 'oh sorry actually that would mean abandoning my child in the middle of the night so, sorry I can't...' at the last bloody minute!

Where are you all working where you can have a day or two of annual leave with zero notice?
If an employer won't give you leave like that and many won't, and you have no sick days left and a really strict sick policy... what is the OP to do?

OP, as someone else suggested, give your sister a list of the dates/times you CAN be available, and encourage her to find stand-bys for the other dates/times and in case for some reason, you can't (like accident/emergency/illness).

Relying on just ONE person who has other commitments is bloody silly and an unfair pressure really!

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BlodynGwyn · 16/08/2022 03:51

We took our son to the hospital with us when I went into labour and gave birth. Can't you do that in the UK?!

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ladydoris · 16/08/2022 03:57

Do what you can. If it's over a weekend I would be there. But you cannot get out of work for this. If it's in the middle of the night I would be there, but in the morning someone would have to come pick up the kid. She needs to know exactly who she must ring depending of the time of day it happens. So you are part of the team, but you are not the only one. And if it happened during a planned activity on my leasure time, I would call it off and be there, because it's a one in a lifetime event. But I would still schedule activities because those kids can come early and they can come late. All the best OP.

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ladydoris · 16/08/2022 03:58

BlodynGwyn · 16/08/2022 03:51

We took our son to the hospital with us when I went into labour and gave birth. Can't you do that in the UK?!

Depending on the day/time, the nursery might be closed. But yes some hospital have this option.

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Zonder · 16/08/2022 06:15

BlodynGwyn · 16/08/2022 03:51

We took our son to the hospital with us when I went into labour and gave birth. Can't you do that in the UK?!

I can't imagine anyone wanting to do this. I was in labour from Friday late afternoon until finally having a section on Sunday morning. Who would have looked after my eldest who was 2 at the time if I had taken him in to hospital with us? Such a long time to be there apart from anything else.

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WinterMusings · 16/08/2022 06:21

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.

No, but if she prioritises HIS family, rather than her getting to know BOTH families, then why can't they (the ones he knows) provide childcare??

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WinterMusings · 16/08/2022 06:23

GADDay · 15/08/2022 22:01

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

Again, why? She puts her inlaw family first, her son knows them much better due to this, why can't they look after him?

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WinterMusings · 16/08/2022 06:32

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.

Then maybe she needs to think about HER family spending time with her son, not putting her DH's family first all the time?

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Anonplease · 16/08/2022 06:33

AnxietyLevelMax · 15/08/2022 23:17

You ARE being selfish. If you both close, help out each other, You havent mentioned her using u to help out for nothing so I am assuming it is a healthy relationship, then i am not surprised she asked u to babysit while she is having a baby. She cannot plan it, and it is a big thing, u should know since u have kids as well. It sounds horrible u want to help out only if you are free otherwise bug off…

My whole family use me! Hence why I said that I am putting myself first for once.

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MiauzenKatzenjammer · 16/08/2022 06:38

Of course not. Never volunteer for anything you are not both able and willing to do.

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Londonistheplace · 16/08/2022 06:42

It sounds like you resent your sister, for some reason, perhaps unconsciously. Sure, having someone drop a kid round in the middle of the night isn't easy, nor is looking after a difficult child, but she's your sister, he's your nephew, she's giving birth! She's probably feeling nervous and vulnerable, and it would make the world of difference if she could rely on you.

Amazed by all these people saying you're being reasonable; what a selfish, individualistic society we live in. If you're not prepared to make sacrifices for the people you love, don't expect them to do the same for you.

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HeckyPeck · 16/08/2022 06:43

Anonplease · 15/08/2022 22:35

It's has been discussed and I said to her prior that I would help if I can but now she has put a lot of pressure on me expecting me to have him and saying well if she goes into labour between these days I'll have him. Of course I love my nephew and given she is due in 2/3 wks I thought she would have had a few other options rather than putting it all on me. I can understand those saying do everything for her but she doesn't pay my bills I can't just miss work like I said without getting in trouble for it I also work shifts so again it's not as easy as saying I'm going to leave work. I just feel a lot is being put on me only she has said his mum is working but I also have work too.

That would annoy me her saying her MIL can't do it because she has work & make me less inclined to drop everything. Why is her work more important than yours?

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QuebecBagnet · 16/08/2022 06:45

BlodynGwyn · 16/08/2022 03:51

We took our son to the hospital with us when I went into labour and gave birth. Can't you do that in the UK?!

No. There isn’t a hospital nursery /crèche to drop older kids off at. You can’t dump the kid on the midwifery staff as they are busy. It’s not really appropriate to have a toddler in the room while their mum is giving birth. As a midwife I’ve seen that happen before with a couple who had no childcare and that child was totally traumatised, in a room with their mum who was screaming the place down for hours.

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Cantstandbullshit · 16/08/2022 06:49

saraclara · 15/08/2022 23:41

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.

Oh stfu about her job, this is her sister shaving a child, it’s an improvement moment and she needs support and you keep going on and on about her job.

there are ways to manage the job situation if she deems it important enough but it’s obvious she doesn’t want to be the one on the hook and has brought up a litany of reasons sorry excuses.

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ChubbyMorticia · 16/08/2022 06:52

As a single parent, risking your job is a no fly zone to me. I wouldn’t jeopardize my family’s stability to do someone a favour.

If your sister is able to understand and accept that her MIL needs to work, she should have no problem accepting the same answer from you.

Do what you can, willingly, and leave it at that.

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Goldensunnydays81 · 16/08/2022 06:57

Londonistheplace · 16/08/2022 06:42

It sounds like you resent your sister, for some reason, perhaps unconsciously. Sure, having someone drop a kid round in the middle of the night isn't easy, nor is looking after a difficult child, but she's your sister, he's your nephew, she's giving birth! She's probably feeling nervous and vulnerable, and it would make the world of difference if she could rely on you.

Amazed by all these people saying you're being reasonable; what a selfish, individualistic society we live in. If you're not prepared to make sacrifices for the people you love, don't expect them to do the same for you.

But she isn’t saying that she can’t drop him around in the middle of the night, her sister can if she hasn’t got work.
Doesn’t the being ‘ individualistic society’ include her sister only thinking about her own needs and wanting her to do the child care rather than setting up a few people to help. Will the sister then help pay the bills, rent/mortgage if her sister loses her job?
If a plan is set up now and she knows when she needs cover for rather than at the last minute surely that’s less stressful for everyone involved.

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CandyLeBonBon · 16/08/2022 06:58

Bloody hell so many posters on here need to get a bloody grip!

Of course you're not being unreasonable op. As other sensible pp have said, give her the dates you can't do and make sure that there are other options for those dates.

Perfectly reasonable.

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Lexiblue · 16/08/2022 07:03

She has probably only asked you ( and no other back/ contingency plan) because its easier for her.

BUT what if you were to be ill? ( unlikely, but it happens!)

I dont think its fair to put all the responsibility on you, when she has other family she can ask to help as well as you.

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ilovemyboys3 · 16/08/2022 07:11

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.

I agree with this. Sometimes we just have to do things that we perhaps don't want too. Especially for family if you and your sister are close I've recently had a baby and my parents had our other two children and even though they have a very close relationship, I still worried they were okay etc. it's a very emotional and stressful time having a baby and the last thing she needs is to be worrying or giving birth alone because your at the cinema and her partner has to look after their son. It's a one off event, she's not asking you to childmind her child daily.

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Anonplease · 16/08/2022 07:13

Back story her partner doesn't like our siblings 2 brothers 1 sister over extremely silly things hence why my sister priorities his family over ours hence why I am the one being asked. One brother also lives over 100miles away in London so obviously he can't help.

I understand my social events and have actually said I'll drop them if needed however I do feel others need to be on call as well. I have three kids of my own (ds9 ds6 and dd3) I have bills to pay so I've said I can't miss work like I said I've had a lot of personal issues myself and have taken genuine sick leave already so pulling a sickie isn't an option without discipline and unpaid leave is not an option. Thank you for all the replies.

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FourTeaFallOut · 16/08/2022 07:17

So, she is doubly vulnerable, not only is she giving both she has a partner who has engineered reduced access to her family members?

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Goldbar · 16/08/2022 07:21

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>

Childbirth is not a walk in the park. It's dangerous and, even nowadays, women and babies die during the process. Those deaths are usually avoidable and often happen because medical staff don't listen to women in labour (just look at the reports from the most recent maternity scandals). Hospitals are not necessarily safe places for women giving birth. So yes, I would say that her partner should be there to support her and advocate for her if possible. And just to be there in case the worst happens. Imagine if something went wrong and he missed out on seeing his baby because there was no childcare for their son.

OP, your DSis needs to set up a schedule of who will have her DS when, depending on when she goes into labour. I don't think it's unreasonable of her to ask you to be on standby if you can (and tbh to drop work/social events if her other childcare cover falls through), but she should also be arranging someone to cover the times that you cannot do - e.g. work and particular social events. I don't think her DS being clingy is really an excuse. You're being asked to care for him while she's in labour, not take him on a week's holiday without his parents!

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Woolandwonder · 16/08/2022 07:25

Anonplease · 15/08/2022 22:35

It's has been discussed and I said to her prior that I would help if I can but now she has put a lot of pressure on me expecting me to have him and saying well if she goes into labour between these days I'll have him. Of course I love my nephew and given she is due in 2/3 wks I thought she would have had a few other options rather than putting it all on me. I can understand those saying do everything for her but she doesn't pay my bills I can't just miss work like I said without getting in trouble for it I also work shifts so again it's not as easy as saying I'm going to leave work. I just feel a lot is being put on me only she has said his mum is working but I also have work too.

Work I can understand. Not wanting to cancel events less so. She can't control when she goes into labour. It would be good if she had 2/3 people that might be able to help out depending on when she needs childcare but it would also be good if you were a bit more flexible and supportive.

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florianfortescue · 16/08/2022 07:26

My own mother refused to be on standby when I went into labour with my second child and I have never forgiven her. It made the final couple of weeks of my pregnancy extremely stressful as I didn't have anyone else to ask. Think very carefully about the ramifications before you refuse this - it's not an everyday request and has more emotional significance than normal babysitting.

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ApronLady89 · 16/08/2022 07:28

Yabu because your sister quite obviously needs an iron clad plan for her child when she goes in to labour.

If you can't do that for her then fine, but don't half offer it!

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