Putting myself first – am I selfish?

posted 2 months ago in The Lounge
Post # 31
155 posts
Blushing bee

Ugh as someone who’s dealt with this in my own family, you are by NO means obligated to watch the kid THEY brought into the world.

Sometimes when you offer people an inch, they take a whole damn mile, and it’s up to us to remind them what our original offer was. 

If you want to spend quality time with your nephew it should be on your terms and not as their unofficial nanny. 

It can definitely be hard to say no to family, and if you feel like a flat out “no” is too harsh, rather than say “I can’t do that,” you could try “Here’s what I can offer…” then state the days you are available to babysit.

And if you can’t offer anything at all, that’s totally fine–it’s their responsibility and theirs alone to make other arrangements.

I promise you’ll feel better and less taken advantage of once you put down that boundary! 


Post # 32
896 posts
Busy bee

You have no reason to feel selfish. Your feelings are valid. Have a talk with them.

Post # 33
1387 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Were you part of the decision to have their child? Doubt it. Therefore, you are by NO means obligated to watch their kids – so there shouldn’t be any guilt in any way. 

Now, if you WANT time with your nephew and want to do them a HUGE favor (not that it seems like they are deserving of it) you could look at whether there is some limited childcare you could provide such as 1 day every 2 weeks. But put boundaries in place:

1. Kid comes to you and they provide bare necessities for care (e.g. if a cot is needed, they buy a used cot to be used at your house; they provide any diapers, spare clothes, bottles etc on a daily basis). 

2. They respect hours – meaning if you agree to watch from 9-5…they drop at 9 and they are there with kid gone by 4:59. 

3. if you get too busy for your day, you tell them and they respect that. You are a BONUS, not their lifeline. 

Alternatively you say that you are their emergency care…i.e. if their standard childcare falls through that you will act as back-up. This is the arrangement we have with my mom. Our son has a childcare provider but if he were to get sick (so can’t go) or if childcare provider is sick and can’t watch him then my mom has agreed to step in so we don’t have to take days off work. But we drop him off, we’ve bought basics for their house, and we respect the hours decided on.

I am so appreciative even for that emergency back up care, but my mom has also made clear that if she feels we’re abusing the offer that she’ll take it back. And we fully recognize and respect that!

If you don’t feel appreciated – don’t keep bending over backwards. As a PP said, “No.” is a complete sentence.

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