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In disbelief!

Posted by danity 
In disbelief!
September 23, 2018
Background:

I became an aunt two years ago. My nephew is a lovely little boy and I think I've been doing fairly well at being a part of his life but also maintaining firm boundaries regarding babysitting of any kind. Basically, you need to be on fire or having some other serious emergency before you call me. My parents are very involved and do a huge amount of childcare. My brother and his wife work full time, my nephew is in daycare a few hours a week and my folks do any extra that's needed. There haven't been too many problems so far.

I am very firm on not becoming any kind of babysitter because
A) If I wanted to look after kids, I'd shoot some out.
B ) I've been a carer for my elderly uncle who had Parkinson's for the last four years and had NO life social or otherwise and I have sacrificed enough of my life.
C) While I was caring for my uncle, not ONCE did anyone even offer me an hour or two of a break.
D) Now that my uncle has passed away, I'm heading back to college to do a degree...so when I'm not studying, my time off will be sacred.

Brother and his wife have a LOT of help from my parents. The one night my parents keep for themselves is Saturday...to go out and meet friends and have dinner. So far there have been several requests from brother and wife (mostly his wife) for my parents to babysit on Saturday night ...mainly so she can have a few drinks and sleep it off the next day. So far my parents have remained firm that Saturday night is for them. If they wanted a few hours break on Sunday to go for dinner, my parents would be happy to take my nephew. Not a bad deal, right?

Last night, my parents were out as usual and guess who got a message asking for babysitting? Yep!
It's my last weekend before lectures start, which they're well aware of and they still thought it was appropriate to ask me to give up my Saturday night so my SIL can go get drunk? Needless to say, I declined.
My brother was fine about it, in fact, I suspect he might have been a bit relieved because he is in work at 8am on Sunday. I mean, if you want a few drinks get a takeaway and a nice bottle of wine? It's what you have to do when you're a parent!! Hell, it's what I do and I'm NOT a parent, and I still feel like I had a nice evening!
I wouldn't mind but last weekend Bro and SIL had a weekend away with my parents and were wined and dined. I only stayed for one night but had to race back for college registration so cut my weekend short. They have a better social life than I do for fcuks sake!!!

I have a creeping feeling that they were hoping I'd be available during term time for the occasional Saturday babysitting. Nope.
I'll be making up for all the years of social life that I missed out on and when I'm not doing that, I'll be asleep.

Thanks for listening to the rant!!
Re: In disbelief!
September 23, 2018
You have every reason to refuse without justification because this is not your child. It sounds like your brother and SIL are very entitled---what did they think would happen if they had a kid? And they don't want to change their life one bit. And your parents sound like dummies.

It's mystifying to me why people who have done their parental duties want to enslave themselves all over again by raising their children's kids. One of my friends did this while she was still working---she watched her daughters crotch fruit while the daughter worked nights and practically killed herself. She now has a fatal neurological condition so she didn't get to enjoy her retirement. My former friend did this so the kid would this have to go to daycare, which the daughter and SIL could well afford. Her twat daughter was in a bad marriage and shouldn't have had the first one so of course she had a second.

A lot of times these situations are due to grandmother guilt and the grand duds are less than thrilled with the idea. Maybe when the kid get older your parents will come to their senses. Young active children can be very wearing to people in their 50's and 60's and beyond.

Anyway I rambled. Stay strong. ETA they sound rude and entitled because they keep asking about Saturday night. If they want to party they will just have to take turns or PAY for a sitter. My childed friends do this: one partner will have a girl's or boy's night while the other watches the kid. But it means paying money or watching your own brat.
Re: In disbelief!
September 23, 2018
Thanks Bell Flower,
My parents are far too soft on them. I think it's because they know they won't have grandkids from me so they go overboard with this one.
They have been firm on their one night for peace and quiet and I'm glad of that.

Bro and SIL are both in well-paying jobs. If they put ten euro a week away they'd have enough for a babysitter once a month.
I can't understand how they think it's okay to demand that I give up what precious little time I have off.....particularly when I've given up so much in the past.
Re: In disbelief!
September 23, 2018
Good on you for sticking to your guns. Hopefully if they keep asking, they'll notice the pattern and get the idea that they will need to look elsewhere for Saturday sitters.

My PNB friends used tactics similar to what bell_flower described if they wanted a night out when their kids were little. They would each get a regular solo night off, and they'd spring for a sitter for date nights together. They accepted the fact that free time would be much more scarce for a few years, and then once the kids were a little older and a little less dependent things would improve. Lo and behold, that's how it turned out.

Anyway, if brother and/or sister-in-law keep asking, keep saying no. I personally like to avoid going into reasons why I'm saying no, because some people take that as a discussion entry point and try to talk more about it. Keep answers short and polite (unless they give you reason not to be) and enjoy your Saturdays.
Re: In disbelief!
September 23, 2018
" because some people take that as a discussion entry point and try to talk more about it."

Yes, and these people sound like JUST LIKE those kind of people. For example, if you tell them you have to study, they'll say that Snotleigh will be going to bed and in bed by X hour so you'll have PLENTY of time to study and suddenly you are the bad person for wanting a night to yourself.

Remember JADE. Don't justify, argue, defend or explain.

Sound like a broken record: "Sorry, I'm not available that night." "I have already made plans that night." etc.
Re: In disbelief!
September 24, 2018
Thanks again!

Granny and Grandad were summoned this evening and went over to babysit. Apparently, Bro and SIL just wanted a "break".
They had a better weekend than I did last weekend and now they want a break this weekend too?
I'm going to have to monitor this one closely!

Randomcfchick: If I agree to Saturday night even ONCE, it opens up a potential pattern where I'll get asked even the odd time.
I do not want to start that crap!

Bell Flower: It's funny you should mention about studying. I was studying a bit last year in preparation for college applications. I did go over to watch my nephew one evening. I had been promised he would be in bed and I'd be able to study.... and of course when I got over he was still awake and wired to the moon. I didn't get a tap of work done that evening! So I've been burned there before! Parents will straight up lie to you to get you to babysit!

I will avoid Jade-ing because it only opens up a discussion on why you can't do something. Great point!
Re: In disbelief!
September 24, 2018
Completely agree that you shouldn't give in, even once danity.
Once you've said no, don't feel the need to have to repeat yourself.
You sound like such a nice, giving person and I'm concerned they won't respect your boundaries.
I think your parents are the same way and you may want to have them try this too (if you like the idea and it works for you).
Parents (even ones who typically respect boundaries) can become very capable of not respecting boundaries and being pushy about wanting time away from their bundle of self-inflicted high maintenance pain in the ass brat joy. There is a solution to this.

If they are incapable of understanding boundaries and that no means no (really hope you don't have to use this but just in case):
Find 2-3 babysitters and the next time they ping you about babysitting interrupt them and state you have the perfect solution and recommend a babysitter and give them the phone number. I'd make a point of interrupting them as soon as you know they are going to ask because you shouldn't have to listen to that. And just keep doing that any time they ask. Be just as relentless with offering babysitter names as they are with asking but sweet as pie in your tone. At this point it is best to cut the conversation before they can think and starting whining about not having money or some other push-back, so have a quick exit always ready: "gotta go, homework" etc. And hang up/stop texting. See, you offered a solution but didn't have to say no. It avoids a confrontation and takes the focus off of you. If anyone ever dares to question you about it you become the problem solver instead of the one who said no.
Re: In disbelief!
September 24, 2018
Not saying you should agree to Saturday night...quite the opposite. I mean that you're sticking to your guns, and that if they keep asking and keep getting "no, I have plans" then hopefully they'll notice the pattern and look elsewhere for their babysitting. Sorry if I was unclear.

As my friend put it, "NO is a complete answer in and of itself".

Freya, your proposed course of action (offering names of sitters) is excellent because it does indeed shift the focus back to the real issue: the need for a sitter, not danity's "no" answer, her schedule, etc. Offering names of sitters is like a proactive subject change. Nice one.
Re: In disbelief!
September 25, 2018
Quote
randomcfchick
Not saying you should agree to Saturday night...quite the opposite. I mean that you're sticking to your guns, and that if they keep asking and keep getting "no, I have plans" then hopefully they'll notice the pattern and look elsewhere for their babysitting. Sorry if I was unclear.

As my friend put it, "NO is a complete answer in and of itself".

Freya, your proposed course of action (offering names of sitters) is excellent because it does indeed shift the focus back to the real issue: the need for a sitter, not danity's "no" answer, her schedule, etc. Offering names of sitters is like a proactive subject change. Nice one.

Thanks randomcfchick. I 100% agree that no is a complete answer. But there are potentially those relentless ones who will push/prod to get their way if they think it will work.
Re: In disbelief!
September 27, 2018
You're quite right, these two are the relentless types. Funny how relentless some parents can be when it comes to getting a break from the magic of it all. Brilliant advice about having a list of babysitters, Freya. Sends a clear message that I'm NOT AVAILABLE but here are some people that are! Oh, totally agree. If I did have a weak moment and caved, I'd be hounded forever more! Not happening!
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