DD and SiL are very happy new parents. DD is taking 12 months maternity leave before returning to work full time. We have discussed child care and I happily agreed to look after Baby 2 days a week. I had assumed that I would help out 2 days per week from the beginning, but in the early months I settled into a routine of going round one day per week and I was very happy with this routine. I am not great with very young babies so tended to help with chores , cook a meal and generally keep DD company. DD adores Baby, spends all her time feeding and playing with him.and he doesn't seem to sleep much. A few weeks ago, I was quite surprised when DD suggested that I don't come over regularly every week anymore but just see them "whenever". However I was happy to hear that she was planning to get out more, go to mother and baby things and meet up with friends.
Over the past year I have been building up a very small home based sewing business. I was planning to do this alongside the childcare duties. However, business has been building up nicely and since DD didn't seem to need me as much right now, I have taken on lots of sewing work and I now have a full diary with enough work to fill all my time.
Three days ago, I got a message from SiL telling me that DD has hurt her back and asking if I was able to go over and help. I felt very bad saying that I couldn't as I had clients booked in that morning and had a medical appointment in the afternoon. I offered to go round after my appointment but they did not answer. I worried all night about DD but was relieved to get a message in the morning saying that DDs back seemed a bit better. The following afternoon (which was yesterday) I received messages from DD and SiL asking if I could go and help as DD was in a lot of pain and was struggling. She said she has been told by the doctor to avoid all lifting, twisting etc. I told them I was happy to go over and help, but would have to take sewing machine and do some sewing whilst there. I got on with rescheduling two clients who had appointments for the day. I then received a message from SiL asking if I had lots of work planned. I explained that I am fully booked for the next few weeks but after that I would be more free. SiL replied that they would probably have to pay to get someone in to help DD until she returns to work in 7 months, but maybe if I came to help they could give me some money as they "don't want you to worry about money" . To be honest the sewing business isn't all about money, it doesn't pay well, but I enjoy the work and I feel it is my own little project. I have spent over a year building a client base and a reputation and I don't want to throw it away. I also feel very unsuited to 100% child care. I would be embarrassed to take money from them and anyway SiL is very scatty and would probably forget.
I recognise that this is an emergency, but I currently have 3 bags of school uniform waiting to be labelled, a jacket to alter and a bridesmaid waiting for a bespoke dress.
I really don't know what to do. I am utterly torn between DD who needs me to do something I don't feel very capable of doing and my clients to whom I have made promises and taken on work.
Am I a bad Mother?
What would you do?
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