Need help saying no

posted 1 month ago in The Lounge
Post # 31
3042 posts
Sugar bee

“No” is a complete sentence.  If it feels too terse or rude, try, “I’m sorry, that won’t work for me, I won’t be available for your childcare needs.”

When you give reasons why you can’t do something, your sister will see this as an opening for a negotiation.  But this isn’t a negotiation.   You don’t owe her reasons.

Post # 32
7800 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

You can do this Bee!! It’s perfectly reasonable that you will now have to devote all of your time to building your business and therefore are not available to babysit. 

If you have to find a compromise point on your way to independence I’ll repeat what I suggested last time: ask them to pick one day a month when they have an appointment/critical meeting/etc. and agree to cover JUST THAT ONE DAY. The challenge with this is it puts you in a position to have to deal with them more often.

The next time your mom tries to guilt you into doing this suggest that if she’s so concerned she could quit her job/change her work schedule/go to part-time so that SHE can help them out. That should shut her up pretty quickly. If she tries to tell you that she has to work you remind her that you do as well and change the subject. 

Post # 33
8384 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

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@btrfly891:  Just want to addres why my mom isn’t watching him – she works full time and is actually physically at work at her office so unless she quits her job she can’t watch him

“Well I guess its about time you retire so you can devote your days to free childcare! Have fun!”

Post # 34
543 posts
Busy bee

“No” is a complete sentence. You are not a free childcare service that came with her pregnancy bundle. I’m sorry if it sounds harsh but you’re being used and abused here. You don’t need a reason, this is your time and your life. Your nephew is NOT your responsibility. 

Repeat this to yourself several times. And OP, it’s time to stand up for yourself. You’re not a commodity. 

Post # 35
24 posts

I can’t understand why any of you (you, mom, sister) think that caring for this child is your responsibility. It’s difficult for me to even process the premise of your question. I would be the mom in your scenario. I have a married daughter with a child and another daughter who does not have a child. Yes, my daughter and her husband are working at home and parenting their child at the same time. But their situation has literally nothing to do with my other daughter’s life. Just like your sister’s situation has nothing to do with your life! You have no reason to feel guilty! Given the pressure from mom and sister I would probably share very little information but that’s probably a useful skill in this dynamic anyway. Not your kid, not your problem.

Post # 36
125 posts
Blushing bee

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@btrfly891:  Is it possible that you are resistant to disappointing your sister because you on whatever level are hoping that she’ll stop being a jerk and start treating you well if you just act the right way? This is something I have experienced, so I was curious if that might be a barrier to honesty for you.

Post # 37
9129 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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@btrfly891:  “Just want to addres why my mom isn’t watching him” — The question is mostly rhetorical. The point is, your mom’s reasons are no more valid than yours. If she cared that much about your sister being inconvenienced, she would be willing to inconvenience herself. But she’s not. She only cares enough to inconvenience YOU. That’s super shitty and I hope that realization gives you strength. You matter just as much as they do. Your convenience and peace of mind are just as important as theirs. You are responsible for the consequences of YOUR decisions; they are responsible for the consequences of theirs. If your sister ends up needing to take a stress leave, that is 0% your fault. 

I second the “no thank you” advice. I also suggested this on your previous post. I used to have a really hard time saying no to anything, and I was taken advantage of because of it. “No thank you” helped ease me into being more comfortable. The more you say no, the easier it gets. I’m a pro at it now and rarely use “no thank you” any more. If it’s a fairly reasonable request but I’m not willing or able for whatever reason, I say “I wish I could but it’s not going to work out.” If it’s less reasonable, I just say flat out “I’m not doing that.” No reason given, no apologies, just “No, I’m not going to do that.” This was harder to get comfortable with, but I find it powerful and people rarely push back. If someone does push back, I still don’t give reasons, I use a fail-safe momism: “The answer is no and it’s not going to change.” You can say this calmly — there’s no reason to be upset, right? Because you know that your answer is not going to change. If they ask for reasons, you are allowed to say “I don’t need to give a reason. The answer is no and it’s not going to change.” Practice it, bee — it gets easier! You are not wrong here and this could be the beginning of you enjoying your life more. 

Post # 38
2387 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

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@btrfly891:  Thanks everyone. Your comments have helped TREMENDOUSLY, you have no idea. The more I read them the more empowered I feel and the less guilty I feel as well!! PLEASE keep them coming!


The more I think about this the more infuriated I get. Your sister and her husband want to alleviate their stress by putting it on you instead.


If your sister had to go into work (like be physically at work) and couldn’t afford daycare, (and couldn’t get into any kind of discounted daycare plan through the county, city, or state) and you babysitting twice a week was the only way she was going to be able to put food on the table- now don’t get me wrong, this is still not something you are obligated to do- but I could see how you’d feel like you should help out because your sister would be in pretty desperate shape if you did not (although still not your responsibility).


But in this case? She’s basically trading your mental health in to keep her own. And that’s despicable. Tell her to kick rocks.

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