Post # 1
I have 3 really young nephews from my SIL. They’re a lot of fun and everything, but here’s the thing- I work long night shifts, averaging 60 hours a week due to staffing issues. I don’t mind as the paychecks are great and its helping pay for our wedding. The downside is that I’m exhausted on my days off and usually sleep and spend it with Fiance since we don’t see each other a ton due to my schedule. Fiance also is struggling with mental health issues and it’s really been tough lately. He makes it to work every day, but I know it’s really difficult for him to go every morning and how much effort he puts into it.
Recently FI’s mom and dad gave him crap for not “doing his part” in taking care of nephews. FI’s brother lives with SIL and is essentially a live in babysitter right now. At this point, we see nephews about once a month. Fiance was really mad about the conversation with his parents, but let it go. Then, he and SIL got into an argument and she yelled at him for us not babysitting her kids enough or doing as much as Brother-In-Law. Wtf?? Should we be obligated to babysit for them, is this a thing? Quite frankly, I wake up when the kids get put to bed, usually on my days off as well to keep a regular sleep schedule. While FI’s family know he’s suffering from depression, I don’t think they take it seriously (and tell him he’s just being lazy).
While I’m sure if my schedule was more regular I would be more helpful, but their attitude is turning me sour and I don’t even want to help now that they’re making this a huge expectation of us. This may sound crass, but we’re not the ones who decided to have kids, so why are they suddenly making it our responsibility? Especially with having Brother-In-Law there all the time? I don’t get it. What do you think?
Post # 2
Sounds like they’re not doing their part of being parents. While it’s great that they have family who are willing to help them, by no means should any of them be “obligated” to take care of kids who aren’t their own. You’re right, you’re not the ones who made the decision to raise children so there’s no reason you should be parenting for them. Your life doesn’t revolve around them or their kids, it’s ridiculous that anyone expects you to sacrifice your time/life just for them when you never asked to be involved in the first place.
Post # 3
You’re not obligated to. At all. I will say that they probably need help, are stressed and are asking for help in all the wrong ways and I get why you’d be sour. It is not your problem but they are your family and family depends on family in times of need. I think this is a communication issue more than anything. If they came to you and Fiance saying, “look we know you’ve got a crazy schedule but need help watching little one, is there any time you and Fiance could do?” I’m sure your probably feel differently. If they came to you like that you’d still have the right to say no. But if you feel like your answer might be different, then don’t carry on the cycle of negative communication and work with them to see if there’s something you two can do to help out.
Post # 4
Um, no, not your obligation AT ALL. You aren’t the ones who decided to have the kids, they are not your responsibility. SIL is not entitled to your time or your DH’s.
Post # 5
The only people obligated to watch the kids are the parents. You have your own lives, I assume they didn’t consult you on thier decision to have the children, so no there’s absolutely no obligation on your or your fiancé’s part to babysit.
Thier attitude would turn me off as well and I certainly wouldn’t be going out of my way to babysit for them.
Post # 6
I think that unless they are both working 60+ hours on the night shift, then they need to step off. They decided to have kids & it sounds as is they are already getting considerable help with their children from your Brother-In-Law and their parents. No need to try to make you feel guilty.
Post # 7
SIL is super entitled. She & the father decided to birth these children so it’s no ones responsibility or obligation but her own and their father. Don’t let her guilt you guys into doing things you don’t have the time to do. You’re dealing with enough without having to worry about taking care of children who aren’t your own.
Post # 8
- Wedding: April 2017 - City, State
Absolutely not your obligation. Ever. Raising children is the sole responsibility of those who brought them into the world.
Post # 9
I dont understand why people have kids if they dont want to/cant look after them. NO it is not your job. I would not do anything different tbh.
Post # 10
That’s a hard no. Not your responsibility or obligation. It is nice when family can help out in a time of need, though her approach is flawed and it doesn’t sound like you and your partner have the time or energy right now. Where is the children’s father?
Post # 11
if they need the whole family to babysit their child, they should not have had one. Have they ever asked or do they assume that all of you have an urge to babysit and you would be fighting over the baby?
Post # 12
Ummmm NO. No one is “obligated” to those children but their parents. Yes, it’s very nice when family helps out but by no means are they under any obligation to do so.
Post # 13
Definitely not your job to babysit. I would wonder if this is a cultural thing since I think some cultures have greater reliance of extended family. In any case it sounds like y’all have enough on your plate, so try not to worry about them.
Post # 14
Only people who “did their part” in conceiving the child have a part in raising the child. If you don’t get to tell them not to have kids then why the f would you have to take care of the kids?
Post # 15
Heck No! You don’t have to do anything. Especially with an attitude like that. They are not your kids. What are the parents doing? They better call a babysitter.