babysitting advice

helpwiththisDecember 10, 2008

Hi all. I have not been on here in a while because things with my sd, dd, hubby, and I have all really been doing great! My issue today is not really a stepfamily issue but I thought you gals would be able to give me some good advice.

So the short story is that my 19 yr old sister just moved in with us in Sept. with her 1yr old son. Her bf was a total loser and when he finally did something so over the top I got her to leave him by offering her and her son a room in my home for low rent and told her I would help babysit her son. (I lost my job over the summer as a result of my company going under).

Anyways she has been living here and paying her low rent. I had told her she would be expected to help clean around here and she has not been doing much, but she is also not home much. She leaves at like 6am and gets home from work and school around 6pm.

This schedule has taken a toll on me. I end up getting up earlier than I had to with my girls each day because my nephew wakes up by 6:30. I have him all day long. My girls get home and I have to help them with homework and make dinner while taking care of my nephew.

I know some people think this is not so bad. But its not for me! Me and dh didn't want any more children for this reason. I mentioned to my sister about having her best friend who is a stay home mom babysit sometimes and she said "are you going to drive my son there in the morning?" I said "no he is not my responsibility!".

My house is always a disaster because I can not get much done with my nephew home all day. And when he naps I nap because I am so tired! When my sister is home she does not seem to do much with her son. She frequently goes outside to smoke or to her room to talk on the phone and just expects (without asking) for me and hubby and girls to keep an eye on my nephew. The only time she really seems to spend with him is diaper changing, playing for a few minutes, and then laying down watching a movie with him at night. On the weekends it is different though and she really is good with him. I know her schedule is tough, and I remember how hard being a young single mom is so I don't want to be too hard on her.

I got myself into this overwhelming situation. I would like to watch my nephew say 3 days during the week instead of five. When I try to approach this with my sister she gets angry. I don't know what to do. I did say I would help her with babysitting but I guess I did not know what I was getting myself into. My sister makes too much $ at work to get any kind of state assistance for childcare so any childcare expenses would come out of her pocket. And her ex is a loser with no job so she won't get any help out of him.

Any ideas on how to approach this?

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Of course you're in a tough spot.

First, I think sis has to talk to her X. She should file for CS. Why cant he get a job? I know jobs are tough now, but at a minimum, he should then be helping out with baby.

Second, you have to talk to her re time line for getting out on her own. She cant live with you forever.

At the risk of getting flamed, people have to take responsiblity for having children, both sis and her X. She may have to postpone school till her child is in school.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 10:46AM
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I think the simplest solution would be to offer to drive him to daycare. You are still helping, but not to the degree you are now.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 10:53AM
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Good plan Nivea.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 3:17PM
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I think driving him to childcare is a good start to give yourself a break. Can your sister pay for that? Also, set a limit with her. Yes, it's tough to be a single mom but she chose that for herself. My sister-in-law was left by my husband's deadbeat brother and for a while I was the only reliable babysitter she had. After a while I finally started saying that I couldn't keep her daughter so she began hiring sitters and standing on her own two feet. It was a relief for me and our relationship is better too.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 11:15PM
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I wanted to give you all an update.

I finally had enough and a few weeks ago I gave my sister a piece of my mind and told her my free babysitting services were over due to her lack of helping around here. She freaked out and told me she was moving out. I told her that was not necessary but she could do what she had to do. I told her that I was only willing to babysit 3 days a week and she would have to find childcare the other days. And I told her that if she is going to be late coming home from work she needed to ask me to watch her son, not just tell me that she would be late because of whatever reason.

So I had told her I needed her to find a babysitter for Mon and Fri this week. Sunday night she was complaining about how her friend could not babysit today and how she had nobody to watch her son. I just said well I have "XYZ" to do Monday so I can't babysit either. Then I walked into the other room. Magically she found another friend.

I can tell she is having a hard time covering those two days. She has also been doing more around the house. And if she has errands to run after work she now brings her son with or has her boyfriend babysit. (she started dating a close guy friend of hers whom she has known since we were kids).

So all is better. Thanks for your advice, it gave me the courage to finally stop being her doormat.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 10:21PM
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