A mom writes in asking for advice about watching her sister-in-law‘s kids. This mom-of-three (who is currently pregnant with her fourth) says that recently her sister-in-law asked her to watch her two daughters. This mom agreed and continued to help with her SIL’s kids over the last couple of months. Between the cost of feeding two additional children and scheduling issues, this mom is feeling stressed and is thinking she may not be able to watch her SIL’s kids anymore, but she doesn’t want to create drama. What should she do?
A member of the community asks:
“Would I be the bad guy if I told my sister-in-law that I couldn’t watch her kids anymore?
I’m almost 23 and have three boys and one on the way due in September. My SIL called me about two months ago saying she needed a sitter because her other one got injured and couldn’t care for her two daughters anymore. I said I’d help as long as I could, but it would be tough seeing as how I barely keep food in the house.
At first, she sent baby food for her youngest and snacks for the oldest, and I cooked dinner every night. She stopped for whatever reason, and I was now trying to feed breakfast, lunch, and dinner to 5 children and whatever snacks they wanted. I was supposed to get around $50 every two weeks when she got paid but didn’t end up seeing anything. I let it go because I know she needs help.
She is well aware I’m pregnant and knows I have a high-risk pregnancy, so I see my doctor often. I tell her when my appts are and the last one she told me I was putting her where she could lose her job. I told her I was sorry, but I do have things I have to do also. My husband works full time, and our car couldn’t handle all five kids if I had to go somewhere, and I can’t carry an 11mo and 15mo baby at the same time plus hold the 7 5 and 4 yr olds hands.
My husband told me to tell her I can’t do it anymore because its a stress to me and the baby, but I don’t want to leave her hanging if she truly doesn’t have another option. I don’t want bad blood between me and any part of his family… What should I do? Would I be the bad guy if I tell her i can’t watch them anymore? Thank you for any advice you have to offer.”
Community Advice for This Mom Who Is Wondering If She Should Tell Her Sister-in-Law That She Can’t Watch Her Kids Anymore
To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.
The community offered this mom in need a lot of great advice. Read some of their responses below.
“I think what you should do is put yourself first. You are only one person and can only do so much especially being pregnant on top of a full-time mom. I know it’s hard sometimes to say no when it comes to helping people but honestly, it’s just too much. She’s putting you in a really tough spot but if I were you I would just let her know you can no longer help it’s just too much for you.”
“Where I come from, that is called being taken advantage of. I get she needs to work but if she isn’t paying you, where is she putting the money? She should be providing what she agreed to in the first place. She is saying that her kids take priority over your high-risk needs. That is manipulation…
… You can be nice and give her 1 to 2 weeks to find alternative arrangements or you can choose to terminate the business relationship aspect immediately. It depends on how you feel about her. If she wants to cause bad blood, that is on her. Make sure you also document everything i.e. no money, no food, etc. Because this covers your end just in case she starts. Hope your pregnancy continues more smoothly.”
“To me, it sounds like you’re being taken advantage of. Put yourself and your own family first! That’s so much extra unnecessary stress for you… especially while pregnant.”
“Either tell her you can’t do it anymore or tell her she will be paying way more at a daycare than the money and food she should be giving you for your kindness. Or she can apply for state daycare help if she qualifies.”
“No way would you be the bad guy! I would tell her immediately. She should understand that you have your hands full, and, soon even more full!! Take care of yourself and the little one.”
“Of course she’s going to be upset that she’s lost her free daycare. You did help her all you could. She should’ve gotten herself together and figured out what to do by now and if she hasn’t that’s even more reason to STOP. You have done what you can. Don’t for a second think you’re a bad SIL for stopping. You have your own problems to deal with! You take care of yourself and your family FIRST!! Prayers for the strength to do what you need to do!”
“Give her like a week’s notice. And just tell her the truth.”
“She has lots of options, you’re just the easiest, cheapest one for her.”
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