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Bit disgruntled and feeling ever so slightly vicious....

(37 Posts)
Katek Sat 25-Apr-15 23:34:39

We've been getting a lot of work done recently ito refurbish our bedroom. This has involved much chaos, storage boxes, dress rails and moving stuff around so the next stage of the operation could happen. I've periodically sent the family pics/video of the mess with comments of the "aaargh, help!" variety. My SIL told me last week that we were rubbish at doing these sort of things and we shouid get someone in at £100(!) per day to do it for us. I half jokingly asked if he was volunteering and his reply was that he was far too busy to do anything like that for us. Now bear in mind that I am a bad asthmatic with significant spinal issues, and DH has had 2 heart attacks and is on a cocktail of drugs-we really shouldn't be lugging around heavy bits of furniture and boxes.

What is annoying me most is that we have always been first on the scene after cries of help to save his tail from a multitude of diy disasters - including the staircase collapsing. DH has fitted kitchens for him, repaired ceilngs, all sorts of things. I've painted and papered for them in the past as well. We didn't do these things expecting a quid pro quo payback but a little consideration might be nice. Grrrrrr!

Marmight Sat 25-Apr-15 23:57:45

Katek - sounds like the basis of a good book! wink

Seriously, I'm not sure what comment/advice to give. My first reaction was to lay in to him, verbally, but I think it's probably better to grin and bear it in order to keep relations on an even keel and 'this too will pass'. Just don't be too available in future to answer cries of help and do mention your medical conditions as the reason for being unable to oblige.

Eloethan Sat 25-Apr-15 23:59:38

I agree it would be nice for your son-in-law to give you some assistance - particularly as you have been supportive in the past - but if it is true that he is very busy, he may not have the time or energy to help.

I don't know what your financial situation is - or if your son-in-law is aware of it - but if you are reasonably comfortably off, his suggestion that you get someone in to help seems to me to make sense.

However, if you would find it too costly to pay someone to help - and your son in law is likely to be aware of that - I would think it rather inconsiderate of him not offering at least a few hours help over a couple of weekends.

Tegan Sun 26-Apr-15 00:26:50

I'm having new carpets down in a week or so, so I'm moving stuff out of a couple of rooms. My house is the dumping ground for the whole family and I'm sitting here just not knowing what to do with everything; no one has the time to come round and go through it all with me. Katek, it's only when you refurbish a room that you realise how much stuff you have in it. I'm going to sleep hamster like in the middle of all the chaos in the hope that some of it might have sorted itself out when I wake up. [I mean, why have I got so many dvd's and, having got them, why are there so many that I haven't got round to watching].

janeainsworth Sun 26-Apr-15 02:00:51

I thought the thread title was the title of a book blush
tegan I have suffered from dumping ground syndrome in the past. At one point our garage was full of SiL's brother's furniture (don't ask).
I have reduced the amount of junk over the years to one cupboard in one of the spare bedrooms. Periodically I fill a cardboard box with stuff and present it to the offending DC with the words 'This is yours. Please take it home when you go.'
I have hit the buffers though with DS. He now lives permanently in the U.S. and cannot get any more stuff into his baggage. Nor can we, when we visit him.
Basically I am too soft. I know they haven't got room for the stuff in their houses, so I'm not forceful enough. And if they say they don't want it anyway, if it's something with even a smidgen of sentimental value I can't bring myself to chuck it out blush

Katek I'm sorry I realise my ramblings will not have been the least bit helpful. I actually think if you can afford it, you should pay someone to do the heavy moving etc. in view of your and your DH's health.

thatbags Sun 26-Apr-15 06:33:22

The mother of a friend of mine contacted her two sons who had left stuff with her over the years when she decided that she wanted it cleared out. She just gave them an ultimatum. Remove anything of yours that you want to keep by such and such a date or it goes to the dump. They knew she meant it.

thatbags Sun 26-Apr-15 06:35:30

Growl away, katek! flowers

jinglbellsfrocks Sun 26-Apr-15 09:39:15

Son-in-law sounds really horrible, and I would let him know just how I feel about his comments. It's a poor show if he can't give you an hour or two here and there, especially after you have helped them out so much in the past.

I agree that you would be better off getting someone to do the moving. John Lewis charged us £30 per room to move furniture. Was so worth it. Let the kids know that this will leave you slightly short of funds so, come birthdays, they shouldn't expect much from you.

sunseeker Sun 26-Apr-15 09:55:42

If your S-i-L is too busy to help perhaps he could pay for a local handyman to come in to do the heavy lifting for a day or two. I don't know your financial position but to tell you to hire someone at £100 a day isn't exactly helpful! I am now thinking of getting someone in to do some heavy work for me - brother in law now suffers with heart problems so I won't ask him!

rosesarered Sun 26-Apr-15 10:31:48

I suppose it does depend on how really busy your SIL is, is it genuine or an excuse?Either way, if you have helped them, then you deserve a bit of help too, and they should realise we are getting older and are not as strong.I would do as Marmight has suggested the next time they ask you, tell them about your health problems.

rosequartz Sun 26-Apr-15 10:33:46

Grumble away, Katek!
It does seem to take so much longer when we are older and less fit, but I do think he is being a bit mean not to offer a couple of hours help - being younger and fitter he could move some furniture for you. Perhaps he just doesn't think and you need to ask outright.

We need to get on wuth decorating - in fact refurbishing - downstaurs but I couldn't face all the packing up. The local furniture and carpet shop will come and pack it all up and move furniture but I haven't enquired about the cost.
Mañana mañana

petallus Sun 26-Apr-15 10:40:37

It seems to be the way of the world!

rosequartz Sun 26-Apr-15 10:43:50

A good title for a book though! grin

'Disgruntled and Ever so Slightly Vicious'

AshTree Sun 26-Apr-15 12:49:23

Your SiL probably sees you as having all the time in the world, being retired, so it's perfectly easy for you to give him help when he needs it. But as he's working, he doesn't feel obliged to reciprocate.
This is wrong, and very unfair because what he's not considering is that these things are very much harder to do as we get older, so it's not just about the amount of time involved, it's the effort as well. What he would take a couple of hours to do might well take you all day.
Trouble is, our kids, including our kids-in-law, just see us as they always have - the parents who've always done things, always coped, always been there for them. I don't think it really registers fully with them when we start to slow down and have health issues which make life difficult for us. And consequently it takes time for them to recognise that actually they need to start 'being there' for us.

annodomini Sun 26-Apr-15 13:16:11

Katek, what does your daughter have to say about this situation? Does she know that you are not in the best of health? I find it doesn't do to keep them in the dark. Then they can never say, 'But I didn't know...Why didn't you tell me...?'

fluttERBY123 Sun 26-Apr-15 13:17:14

The kids don't want to have to acknowledge that we are not as up to everything as we used to be.

I think back to when I was working f/t and had 3 kids - yes, busy.

Fab book title.

Starting a fight with in-laws inadvisable, maybe make negotiations a bit tougher next time he asks you for support.

janerowena Sun 26-Apr-15 14:22:29

I thought it was an excellent book title, too! grin

I have learnt that I can ask my OHes (nos. 1 and 2) to help a relative, but cannot expect them to agree, they are their own people. Asking your DD for help from SiL may not go down well, but it's worth a try. At times you just have to pull the 'elderly relative' card.

When my sister, who had far more money than us, was widowed she seemed to expect DBH to be her substitute OH and do all sorts of DIY for her. As we had masses of our own to be getting on with, and very little time at weekends to relax because his work spills into the weekends, he soon became very disgruntled. When I told her that she should perhaps start looking for a good cheap reliable handyman she was furious with him. She then proceeded to remind us that about 6 years ago she had passed on to him her OH's laptop - which was about 6 years old at the time. By her calculations this 12 year old laptop was still worth about £800, so she reckoned that DBH owed her a good 200 hours of forced labour! We were astounded! Let's just say that relationships have been a little strained ever since.

janeainsworth Sun 26-Apr-15 15:35:44

Goodness janer your sister as playing a risky game wasn't she?
What if your DH had given her the laptop back and started charging her by the hour grin

AshTree Sun 26-Apr-15 15:42:43

A 12 year old laptop is probably worth about half a crown! Sorry, slight exaggeration there, but seriously what planet is your sister living on? hmm

annodomini Sun 26-Apr-15 15:55:54

I'vee got an old laptop that I've been thinking about getting rid of as it's just sitting there looking at me. DS, however, lives too far for regular DiY, though when he does manage a few days up north, he always says, 'Do you want me to bring my tools?' What do you think?

Parcs Sun 26-Apr-15 20:36:21

katek you have EVERY right to be angry. You have two choices stay angry and stew in your own juices or pick up that phone and tell him in no un certain terms that he needs to find the time to help you and your DH. Just as You and DH found the time when he needed you. There are times to let things go and there are times to pick up the phone and sort it. You and DH deserve this help.

Maggiemaybe Sun 26-Apr-15 21:01:34

But the third option is just to let it pass... I agree with those who say that our offspring and their partners often just don't see us as slowing down and don't understand how we can possibly be busy once we're retired (how wrong they are on both counts). For the sake of family harmony, I would let this go, unless you really can't persuade someone else to help, in which case yes, you do need to let him know that you need his assistance - you mustn't compromise your health. I can completely understand why you are furious - I would be myself - but is it worth a big family fall out? As others have said, just refuse calmly next time you're asked to help, quoting your health issues. He'll get the message, and let's hope he starts to feel a wee bit ashamed of himself. flowers

Katek Sun 26-Apr-15 21:26:19

DH is still working 4 days so affordability wouldn't be an issue. Family are well aware of all our health issues, but as Flutterby says they seem to find difficulty in acknowledging these issues. It's almost as if they think DH and I should try harder! DD will always take the opposite stance to me...on the odd occasion she does agree with me I'm in shock! They're a very outgoing and sociable couple with lots of friends and social activities and somehow we get pushed to the end of the line. It's always us that visits them for instance, but they're very sociable and always make us very welcome, I just wish they would make an effort to come to us. Like many though we keep our counsel for the greater good, and we do have a fab relationship with our DGS. The knock on benefit of busy parents means we get a lot of time with him as we babysit and have him to stay quite a lot.

SIL's diy exploits are legendary - that's what I could actually write a book about. They even merited a mention in DH's speech at their wedding. He fitted a new shower tray and a few weeks later there was a 3' bulge in the living room ceiling. DH had to drain the water, cut out and replace damaged ceiling and reseal the shower tray. The staircase collapsed when Sil removed the handrail and spindles from an open tread staircase, despite warnings that this was what was holding the staircase together. Boxing Day morning we got a phone call asking if we had a ladder-on enquiring why we discovered that as Sil was coming downstairs that morning the treads had all started to pop out from the wall, one after the other, and he went with them. I'm sorry I missed it, it must have been like something out of a Laurel & Hardy movie! The ladder was to rescue DD who was still upstairs. DH and other SIL managed to fix stairs - even making up tie bars to hold it all together. I could go on and on and on......! It's not just been simple bits of diy that DH has helped with. but some fairly major emergency repairs. That's why I didn't think it was too much to expect a little help when we were struggling.

Soutra Sun 26-Apr-15 22:05:34

So why on earth would anybody want any help from him?
Don't really see the issue. DIY is massively overrated IMHO anyway, keep tradesmen and craftsmen in a job and get the professionals in!

Katek Sun 26-Apr-15 22:07:57

It was the muscle power we needed not the diy skills! Had trades in for all that.