(Closed) Sister-in-law monopolizes family help

posted 6 years ago in Family
Post # 3
8738 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

@Kailee34:  That’s really rough.

Does she live close by?

Do you think some days she’d be willing to compromise and have “play dates” at her house so you can bring your son over for a few hours? That way she gets to keep her kids and “help” in the house, but you get a few hours a week to get some real work done?

Or if your Mother-In-Law is watching your SIL’s kids while she’s not there, maybe suggest Mother-In-Law bring the kids over to your place so they can help distract/play with your son while you get work done. 

It’s hard because since Mother-In-Law sin’t getting any payment out of this (other than extra time with her grandchildren) you can’t really demand some of her time, but maybe if you can find a way to have the kids together a few times a week that could help free up some of your time as well as start to foster a good relationship between the cousins.

Post # 5
1375 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

It sounds like you’re super busy and bearing the brunt of raising a small child.  In order to free up your time AND your ILs time, why not suggest to your SIL a nanny share?  You can split the cost of a nanny, she goes to your house some days and SIL’s house other days.  You’d probably have to decide how to split it since she has two children and you have one.

I was a nanny for three children at and under 4 years old when I was in grad school.  The mother didn’t work, and it was still really hard!  She would go out and do some errands, or I’d come over on weekends so she and her husband could spend time together, but usually I would just get the kids out of her hair.  I didn’t judge her because I was exhausted after spending a few hours with them – I couldn’t imagine being on call 24/7 as a mom with a 4 year old, a 2 year old, a baby, and a husband who travels.

Post # 6
1747 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@Kailee34:  “SIL recently agreed to get a nanny during the weekdays, but insists that Mother-In-Law stay to supervise the nanny.”

Wow, that seems super counterproductive. Maybe she has some underlying issue? Maybe she has received so much help, she doesn’t know how to take care of her kids on her own? Or maybe she has postpartum and doesn’t want to be around her kids and enlists others to help her?

In any case, it seems like your SIL has some huge problems that will come to the front of the line eventually when she’ll  have to raise her children without someone’s help.

I sort of feel bad for her as she seems to have the career in order but can’t really balance that with time with her own children.

Overall, it is probably really tough for you to have no help, but in the end I think your son will fare far better, even though it’s really ashame for her :(.

Post # 7
183 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

We don’t have children, but I understand a SIL taking up all the family resources. We have this same situation with my husband’s family when it come to any sort of help. Anytime something comes up my SIL already has them tied up, they are watching her children, or they are just exhausted because she has had them running the last few days. I hate to ask (even though we rarely do) because I feel like they already have to much put on them by her. I’m not sure why, but it seems like there is a trend of the sister taking precedence over the brother in many families. 

Post # 8
3773 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 1999

I completely hear you on how tough it can be having children and being a working mom.  But to be honest that is what you signed up, regardless of who is around to help out. If your Mother-In-Law commits her time to SIL there isn’t too much you can do. Your Mother-In-Law is a grown woman who can say no.If you know in advance that you have something big coming up, maybe if you ask way a head of time your Mother-In-Law would be able to help out before she already has committed to helping SIL.

I do agree that is rediculous to pay for a nanny and then insist that Mother-In-Law be there too.


Post # 9
2247 posts
Buzzing bee

This situation seems really crappy.  It makes me sad that your Mother-In-Law doesn’t get to spend much time with her grandson because your SIL can’t handle her own children.  Why did she have them in the first place?  It seems like she views them as a burden 🙁


Post # 10
7431 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

Your Mother-In-Law needs to just simply tell SIL no, and stick to it. She will have no choice but to do somethign else with her kids. She chose to have kids without thinking about her career, and that’s her problem. She can afford a nanny, but won’t pay for one? And then finally gets one, but wants Mother-In-Law there to supervise??? That’s horseshit

Post # 12
1271 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I think you need to blame the real culprits.  Your MIL/SIL choose to go there.  They choose to help her.  They choose NOT to help you. 

Also, despite how helpful MIL/SIL are to SIL…that doesn’t entitle you to help.  It sucks, but it is life of a parent. 

Post # 13
3618 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I’m so sorry about your situation. I can see this happening in the future with my in laws and sister in law. So I don’t really have any advice for you other than to try to not let it bother you since there’s nothing you can do to change things.

Like PPs said, it’s up to your Mother-In-Law to stand up to her daughter. You really can’t say anything or do anything about it. Well you can say something, but it’ll most likely make YOU look like the bad person. I have learned to say this when dealing with my in laws’ bat sh*t logic: it is what it is.

Post # 14
46266 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Your Mother-In-Law and your SIL’s sister are choosing to let themselves be used. You cannot do anything about that.

Frankly, I don’t think either of you should be expecting grandparents to provide day to day child care. I always kept my parents and in-laws as a last resort- if the day care was sick etc. They have a life to lead too.

Why not cultivate friendships with other Moms in your area and exchange babysitting? You can work when your child is at their place and on the days when you are doing the child care, you can wokr in the evenings once your Darling Husband is home.


Post # 15
1271 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@julies1949:  I agree.

My parents assist me with my kids after school, but only because they WANT to and were adament I not hire a nanny for a few hours a day.  I would never ask or expect them to do even that, much less more.  As it is, I hire a sitter if I want to go out for “optional” activities (e.g. anything but work).

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