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My SIL expects me to help her with her kids
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amother




OP


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 8:10 pm
We'll be spending a good part of Pesach with SIL at my parents.

I have a couple of kids spaced out. She has about as many as possible with the oldest 9. Every time we're in this situation together she expects me to help her mother her kids.

As in: please watch Sara while I change the baby. Can you take Sara and Yossi while I feed the baby. Oh you're feeding your DD lunch? Great can you give my 5 kids here lunch too while I do xyz.

Her kids are wild and unruly and I deeply resent this.

But I the same time I feel like a selfish person for not wanting to help her.

But at the same time I chose to space my kids and be sane. She decided to have as many as possible and keep asking me for help whenever we get together.
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amother




Taupe


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 8:14 pm
You have to find a nice way to telp her that you'll be taking care of your kids only, and if you feel like helping her, you'll offer.
My sis n law used to do the same, she would sleep for hours while expecting everyone else to take care of her kids. She came for vacation. Till we started banging her door down every time a kid kvetched & ignoring her requests of us to watch her kids.
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allthingsblue




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 8:21 pm
I totally hear you. I'd feel the same way- resentful but selfish.
If it were me, I would set up boundaries before yom tov and let her know. I'd day "I'm happy to do xxx for you but that's really all I can do. I'm just not able to do more than that."
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amother




Lavender


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 8:31 pm
Where is her husband in the picture?

I have a sibling that used to ask me to change her baby (not because she had alot of kids, but because she didn't like changing diapers. Nowadays she makes her teen change all of her little one's diapers. It's not a great situation) and I just said I'm sorry, no. If she got mad at me, that was her problem.

I used to avoid being at my parents at the same time that she was there....
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amother




Pearl


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 8:50 pm
amother [ Taupe ] wrote:
You have to find a nice way to telp her that you'll be taking care of your kids only, and if you feel like helping her, you'll offer.
My sis n law used to do the same, she would sleep for hours while expecting everyone else to take care of her kids. She came for vacation. Till we started banging her door down every time a kid kvetched & ignoring her requests of us to watch her kids.

It doesn't sound like the sil is sleeping for hours, she's just overwhelmed and can use the help. Tough situation, OP. Can you offer to help on your terms?
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amother




Orchid


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 9:02 pm
Learn the art of saying no.
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tweety1




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 9:12 pm
I see this is quite a common issue. I have a sil the same way. She often sleeps in late and has her kid's roaming around, asking for food, and expecting "somebody" to take care of her kid's. Untill I decided enough is enough. When I served breakfast to my kids and her kids asked I nicely told them "go ask your mother". So they responded but she's sleeping. So I'd tell them to either wake their mother or ask their father who also slept. But I didn't care. I was so fed up. And I'm not talking abt a dysfunctional home at all. Just when they came to my in laws they decided to go on vacation and I decided that theyre not on vacation. I get up for my kids, I take care of them no matter what and you will too. It took a while for them to get the message but I'm ever so glad I put my foot down. I felt I needed to do it cuz I felt horrible that I resent my dh siblings for a something that can be easily resolved.
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amother




Green


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 9:52 pm
So I honestly believe (as a woman and as a morah who's taught over 100 kids by now) that mothers who can ACTUALLY handle large families are very, very few and far between. I do know some and the ones I know have all been blessed with very healthy childhoods, helpful spouses, lots of energy, and matter-of-fact personalities. More often than not though, when people have large families, something's going to give - the parents' emotional wellbeing, their ability to give each of their children enough attention, their shalom bayis... Or they won't supervise their kids enough, or they'll leave it to others to do so. The situations where it DOESN'T work are far far far more common than the situations where it does.

Vent over.
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amother




Green


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 9:53 pm
Back to you OP- I think probably the only way to really make a change is to have a conversation with her, but that's uncomfortable...
I had a similar situation with an SIL who lived across the street and we.... moved.
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 10:05 pm
tweety1 wrote:
I see this is quite a common issue. I have a sil the same way. She often sleeps in late and has her kid's roaming around, asking for food, and expecting "somebody" to take care of her kid's. Untill I decided enough is enough. When I served breakfast to my kids and her kids asked I nicely told them "go ask your mother". So they responded but she's sleeping. So I'd tell them to either wake their mother or ask their father who also slept. But I didn't care. I was so fed up. And I'm not talking abt a dysfunctional home at all. Just when they came to my in laws they decided to go on vacation and I decided that theyre not on vacation. I get up for my kids, I take care of them no matter what and you will too. It took a while for them to get the message but I'm ever so glad I put my foot down. I felt I needed to do it cuz I felt horrible that I resent my dh siblings for a something that can be easily resolved.


I would have done exactly the same thing. "Go ask your mom. Go ask your dad." Rinse, repeat. No mercy.
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amother




Plum


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 10:09 pm
Is there any way to suggest that she hire someone for a few hours to help out?
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amother




Powderblue


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 10:18 pm
amother [ Green ] wrote:
Back to you OP- I think probably the only way to really make a change is to have a conversation with her, but that's uncomfortable...
I had a similar situation with an SIL who lived across the street and we.... moved.


Totally disagree, I would not have a conversation and make it into an issue to be discussed. I would just say no each time she asked unless it’s something I really didn’t care to do (unlike on an overwhelming yt... but something like pour two more bowls of cereal fine).


Said as someone who is totally Bh obsessed with her nieces and nephews and happens to not be blessed with many of my my own yet so I pitch in a lot - but ever since I’m married and I have to consider that my energy belongs devoted mainly to my husband, to my hosts and to make a happy yt for myself I say no to many more things and they totally learnt to accept it (I get ‘what’s the big deal’ once in a while and I just smile and say idk I honestly just don’t have patience or something dumb like that and move on) I never make it into a convo like why would u expect me to help with ur big family etc- I think that’s just nasty and uncalled for- I do what works for me and they manage fine without me (even if fine means that their kids tandrum and don’t get breakfast, not my business)
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amother




Blue


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 10:51 pm
This happens for me too sometimes. I am not a babysitting service - though I am happy to watch the kids in the room where I am if a mom needs to run change a diaper really quick. But that’s only 2 minutes.

I love being at home with my sister - we are good at watching our own kids and taking turns giving one another a break. She’s really good about not being burdensome or asking for more than she gives.
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amother




Green


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 11:43 pm
amother [ Powderblue ] wrote:
Totally disagree, I would not have a conversation and make it into an issue to be discussed. I would just say no each time she asked unless it’s something I really didn’t care to do (unlike on an overwhelming yt... but something like pour two more bowls of cereal fine).


Said as someone who is totally Bh obsessed with her nieces and nephews and happens to not be blessed with many of my my own yet so I pitch in a lot - but ever since I’m married and I have to consider that my energy belongs devoted mainly to my husband, to my hosts and to make a happy yt for myself I say no to many more things and they totally learnt to accept it (I get ‘what’s the big deal’ once in a while and I just smile and say idk I honestly just don’t have patience or something dumb like that and move on) I never make it into a convo like why would u expect me to help with ur big family etc- I think that’s just nasty and uncalled for- I do what works for me and they manage fine without me (even if fine means that their kids tandrum and don’t get breakfast, not my business)


I hear, I'd have a really hard time saying no in the moment & in front of the kids... I'd probably just do it and silently seethe... teach us your tricks! What exactly would you say?
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amother




Powderblue


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 11:58 pm
amother [ Green ] wrote:
I hear, I'd have a really hard time saying no in the moment & in front of the kids... I'd probably just do it and silently seethe... teach us your tricks! What exactly would you say?


I will literally just say ‘no sorry’.

For example- ‘ oh ur giving ShirA (ur two year old) lunch good ari and Chavi sit here and tante will feed you’ — ‘sorry sis I would love if u keep us company but I’m not sure how long ShirA will sit for and I’m just focusing on her now’

I don’t think I’m a nasty person lol it just comes naturally to me to be assertive (I am a social worker:) and I also know that I am very nice and giving within my limits at least as much as is expected by social norms...).

At least for me, whenever I overextended myself in such a situation it backfires- I don’t have enough energy for things that are my responsibility, I’m resentful or cranky etc. so I just don’t think there’s anything wrong with saying no.
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soap suds




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 12:03 am
amother [ Blue ] wrote:
This happens for me too sometimes. I am not a babysitting service - though I am happy to watch the kids in the room where I am if a mom needs to run change a diaper really quick. But that’s only 2 minutes.

I love being at home with my sister - we are good at watching our own kids and taking turns giving one another a break. She’s really good about not being burdensome or asking for more than she gives.


That's the difference here. When you do it for each other, it's a fair trade-off. You both benefit. When it's one sister always asking the other one for favors without reciprocating, it's understandable that OP becomes resentful and feels taken advantage of.
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flowerpower




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 12:04 am
WhAt you can do is say things like this-

“I’d love to but I was on my way out now actually”

“Sorry but my daughter wants me some mommy n me time at the moment”

“ my son wants to show me his hagada, maybe in a half hour”

You can help her a bit since it is your sil...and she seems overwhelmed but pick what you feel is the most helpful and convenient for you. How do the grandparents handle the hubub and all?
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soap suds




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 12:06 am
FranticFrummie wrote:
I would have done exactly the same thing. "Go ask your mom. Go ask your dad." Rinse, repeat. No mercy.


I wouldn't do that though, if the parents are sleeping. It's sending a bad message to the kids. Kids are always taught not to wake up their parents, so I wouldn't direct them to do so. (For the kids' sake, not because I think it's ok for the parents to be sleeping and depend on me to take care of their kids). If the parents are busy in the other room or something, than yeah.
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Rappel




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 4:41 am
She's family. These are your nieces and nephews.


Don't you want to take care of them???
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Israeli_C




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 4:57 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
We'll be spending a good part of Pesach with SIL at my parents.

I have a couple of kids spaced out. She has about as many as possible with the oldest 9. Every time we're in this situation together she expects me to help her mother her kids.

As in: please watch Sara while I change the baby. Can you take Sara and Yossi while I feed the baby. Oh you're feeding your DD lunch? Great can you give my 5 kids here lunch too while I do xyz.

Her kids are wild and unruly and I deeply resent this.

But I the same time I feel like a selfish person for not wanting to help her.

But at the same time I chose to space my kids and be sane. She decided to have as many as possible and keep asking me for help whenever we get together.


This is absolutely none. of. your. business.
Your SIL's contraceptive choices are HER business, not yours.
I don't even see the relevance of you comparing yourself to her.
And yes, even if you resent her for asking for help, it's still none of your business.
If you don't want to help, say so politely. That's derech eretz.
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