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Son in law not helpful and expects me to do more than 2 days/nights a week

(18 Posts)
Synonymous Sat 20-Feb-16 13:13:31

Harleysnana Congratulations on becoming GPs. flowers
You have quite a balancing act to do here and you will not be able to continue at this pace if you don't look after yourself. Sleep is essential.

You need your own time for yourself but also for you and your husband so perhaps you need to work out with DH what you jointly think is reasonable 'on call' time and when it is time for just the two of you.
You then all need to sit down together and work out what actually constitutes an emergency and is not!

While appreciating that eating disorders are an indication of instability if you are always holding DD up she will never learn to do things for herself. You need to back off to enable DD to experience the 'managing it for herself' aspect of being a mum and the same goes for your SIL. It will be tricky but it is necessary.

Your DD and SIL have now become a family with the birth of this baby and this is not something which comes naturally to everyone. They need to work it out for themselves and not have you doing it for them however tempting that may be. It won't work. Having the baby with you in your home for two days and/or nights every week will not help this process.
If you are not careful it will cease to be a joy and become a source of resentment so be careful of the effects on you all of establishing an unbreakable routine. This should not be a duty you perform but an occasional gift to be appreciated.

Cher53 Sat 20-Feb-16 11:11:29

I think my phone would develop a problem!

Neversaydie Sat 20-Feb-16 09:47:13

Think I must be a selfish cow.I have warned my DDs that while I will always be available for emergencies (and support in the very early days) there is no way I will be doing regular childcare (I have no GCs and no immediate prospects I was an old mother and it looks like DDs will be same so I will be pretty ancient anyway)
Am I really so unusual?
I have a friends who do what as I see as an inordinate amount of childcare for their second DD.The child was an 'accident'and they were very young and penniless so I can appreciate why .Child now at school .Friends heave sigh of relief .DD having another baby soon...
I admire you OP but I do think you are creating a rod for your own back

Grannyknot Sat 20-Feb-16 08:01:26

... but many very young couples cope admirably (and more than adequately) with being parents, with a measure of help from other adults.

Having said that, I agree that possibly this couple may need more help (with some setting of boundaries). It was the expectation of going "to the movies" in the first month that threw me. I never went anywhere for months other than to the shops or the doctors etc.

Congratulations on the birth of the baby.

Anya Sat 20-Feb-16 07:51:14

Wendysue you raise some interesting points.

There's a lot of readjustment being made at the moment - new babies do that - and I think a few tweaks are needed to arrangements. Looking after a young, first baby, can be overwhelming and well done for your support so far.

Wendysue Sat 20-Feb-16 07:22:58

Rethinking a little... I don't know but aren't eating disorders often the result of a feeling of lack of control? Perhaps that's why DD needs that time for the movies and so forth, so she doesn't feel as if her life is being "taken over" by childcare and so on. But is it possible that your loving decision to take baby for 2 days/nights may, in the long run, make DD feel she has lost some control, too? After all, Harley is her (and SIL's) baby, not yours. Perhaps the poster who suggested just giving them a couple of hours to go out is right. You may want to feel DD out on this.

I'm also wondering about their being in the business with you. I realize this may be their only way of making a living - and that, perhaps, you need them as much as they need you. But from a distance, it looks as if you're all wrapped up in each others' lives. Is there a goal for them to eventually find good jobs outside of the family business? I realize that if they're very young and/or immature, they may not be anywhere near ready yet. But is that idea even on the table?

Regardless, the fact that you are all so involved with/dependent on each other, suggests to me that firm boundaries are all the more necessary. Think about it.

Wendysue Sat 20-Feb-16 07:07:42

First, congratulations to all on the birth of that new baby! Since there was a strong chance this might never happen, I understand that she is a "miracle" baby and that you must be even more thrilled than you would otherwise be!

I take it that DD and SIL are very young. So I totally get your giving them 2 days/2 nights off from childcare. It has been my observation that these very young parents often need time to grow into the role and if GPs can make it easier for them, it helps them to do that. Good for you for being ready and willing!

I know many people will disagree with me and say they'll grow into it faster if you back away and leave them to it more. But I've seen GPs do that, only to complain later that their GC are being "neglected," and so forth. I think the way you're handling things is much better.

Given DD's past issues, I think your help is even more crucial. And since you say SIL was never truly parented as a child, that's another factor. Both of them may need more help "becoming parents" than the average young person, with all due respect.

As for the current issue, I'm torn between saying that I hope you agreed to take baby since illness is involved and I hope you stuck to your guns and let them figure it out for themselves. Really, even a sick parent can take care of a baby and they often do. And "getting sick" doesn't even qualify, in my book, as a reason to palm off your child to someone else. Please let us know what happened.

In the future, you may need to set a firm boundary around the 2 days/2 nights you babysit. If they need help other days, for whatever reason, other childcare options need to be found. And you need to enforce your boundaries, I think, by turning off your phone at night, period. No "emergency ringer." They know how to call the police or go to the emergency room, I'm sure, if they need to. You're doing great by them, but you need your sleep (read: health) in order to do it.

f77ms Fri 19-Feb-16 20:42:11

Are you a saint or what? Why are you looking after a new baby 2 days and 2 nights every week , I just don`t understand why the parents are letting you do this . They sound very immature and I don`t wish to sound harsh but you are enabling them to be irresponsible .

Maybe give it another few weeks and then leave them to it . There is nothing wrong with babysitting at their house once a week while they go out for A COUPLE OF HOURS ! .

They sound as if they need to grow up a bit and stop taking advantage of you . they will only do this if you let them .

obieone Fri 19-Feb-16 19:37:32

I am going to try and be generous here.
He lacked any real parenting as a child. So everything is a steep learning curve for him.
He also apologises later for his bad behaviour.

If I were you, I would give him 3 golden rules which he should not break with you.
Once he has mastered them, he may need some more.

Now I have written that, it feels and seems like training a dog. But I think he needs training in bite size pieces.
And probably needs praise too.

Alea Fri 19-Feb-16 19:25:52

This new baby is only 4 weeks old and mummy and daddy are going out to the cinema?? And you are looking after the baby 2 days and nights a week??
I don't know whether to applaud their stamina(?) your self sacrifice (?) or say this is totally surreal. How old are they anyway?. These young people need to bond as a family and more importantly they need to start acting like parents and grown ups.
I think you would be wise to back off and let them sort themselves out - their child, their responsibility.
Your SIL and frankly your DD will not respect you as long as they are taking advantage in this way.

Tresco Fri 19-Feb-16 18:46:31

I read the OP with disbelief. Babysitting for a tiny baby so the parents "have time to adjust" and go out to the movies?! How is that helping them to adjust? No wonder their behaviour is immature if they are being enabled in this way. petra and Grannyknot make good points. It's rather like the advice to put your own oxygen mask on first in the event of a problem on an aircraft. You can't help anyone properly or think clearly if you are exhausted.

annsixty Fri 19-Feb-16 11:43:23

petra I am going to have that printed and framed.

petra Fri 19-Feb-16 11:29:56

Be careful that you don't rescue people to the point that you have to be rescued.

FarNorth Fri 19-Feb-16 08:48:48

Four weeks is still very early for everyone to be adjusting to having little Harley around.
That said, I think you, your DD & SiL need to have a calm discussion at a time when you are not sleep-deprived, to explain to your SiL what he needs to do. Maybe he is genuinely at a loss and needs specific instructions rather than a general request to help more.

annsixty Fri 19-Feb-16 08:42:19

They are lucky to have you and to be employed by you,which means they are able to take time off when one of them is not well. He needs to recognize this and grow up but how you achieve that I do not know. Perhaps not belong so available might help.

Grannyknot Fri 19-Feb-16 08:38:01

You look after the baby so they can go to movies?! What...?!

I don't know how old this couple is but I'd make it clear that I'm leaving them to it...after say three months or so.

I call it "on the ropes" syndrome. You need to bounce back, tell them him need your sleep etc. because, er, you run the business that by the sounds of it supports them. Right there is your priority, and your time with your grandson should be for enjoyment. Great that your daughter is on board.

I must be a real cow, because I am way too selfish with my own time to start raising kids all over again. Two days plus 2 nights babysitting a week plus running a business, flowers for you.

tiredoldwoman Fri 19-Feb-16 05:39:06

Yes, my daughter for a long while abused me like this . I had to run to them at every call , sometimes even when at work .
I had to babysit whilst they worked shifts then go to work myself. I cut down my own work from 60 hours to 40 and that helped me but I got more babysitting !Everyone was stressed and I got snapped at a lot , I think I was the whipping boy /saviour.
Happily 12 years and another 3 children later I just have the kids every weekend and life's easier for me ! I have an excellent relationship with the children .
I couldn't cope with it all if it all restarted so well done you - I hope it gets better for you .

Harleysnana Fri 19-Feb-16 05:14:59

My daughter and her boyfriend have been together since before high school. I have always struggled with a relationship with him and I know that's due to him lacking any real parentlng as a child. Now however he himself is a father and I have seen in the 4 weeks since Harley came home countless times when he has made excuses to not care for the child and support my daughter. My daughter recovered from an eating disorder that was so severe she was told she couldn't have children so little Harley is out miracle baby. I and my two daughters own a successful and busy/stressful online business. I take Harley two night and days each week as well and other times so they can go to the movies and have some time to adjust. I felt this worked well as I can manage the no sleep for that amount of time lol.

The issue is that he doesn't appreciate the effort I make. He is disrespectful, apologizing later once my daughter takes him to task and fails to recognize that I still have other responsibilities such as being at work tomorrow morning a mere 6 hours from now.

My D text (it's after 9 and that the house rule) to tell me that she is getting sick. I let her know that I would talk to her in the morning and that I am sure we can find a way to take care of this but that I hadn't gotten any sleep and that for now I am sure her boyfriend can offer some support till the morning. SO at 11 pm the phone rings (husbands up at 5 so not happy) and he said he will stay home and watch over them tomorrow (he works for our compnay) Okay great! He's going to step up! Nope 11:30 just fell asleep for the second time and he's calling again saying he "thinks" he "might" be getting sick and doesn't know what he can do. I responded that one think he can do is not call and wake everyone up when it's a non-emergency and everyone know I wake up to the sound of my phone alerts. At at that point he hung up on me. I am so done with the constant disrespect of not just me but my husband and all of the extended family. We all tolerate his behavior. I may love him as I have know him since he was a kid but this has to stop. My D agrees and is on board but I don't want to interfear with them building there family I just don't want to be taken advantage of by him. My D truly values what I do and makes every effort to take care of things if she can. He will take care of anything that is easy and requires no inconvieince. What do I do? How can I help her without ensuring that he gets to play dad while still being a rude child?

SO frustrated and I am sure the 2 hours sleep in the last 30 hours isn't helping lol. If i am way of base or you think I am wrong or out of line I need to know. I want to be a valuable support just not used.

Harleysnana <3

p.s typos are being blamed on sleep deprivation lol