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My SIL expects me to help her with her kids
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amother




Floralwhite


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 8:20 am
Israeli_C wrote:
There's also a better known dictum of "veahavta larecha kamocha".
OP fully has the right to refuse to childmind for her SIL, I'm absolutely not denying that. She can also do it in a manner which is firm, assertive and polite.
HOWEVER, catty and unhelpful comments regarding her family planning are totally uncalled for. Nobody 'loses their right' to be treated with dignity. What exactly is she trying to achieve? The children are already HERE. Her comments aren't coming from a place of kindness or genuine concern for her SIL. She's venting, and if she makes them to her SIL's face, she's downright ignorant and rude.


"she has the right to refuse..." Well, yes, of course, everyone has the right to refuse. But, its hard because it causes others to be hurt that they were turned down.

Vahavta lrayacha kamocha means treat others how u want to be treated so this means that ops sil should not be asking op to constantly do for her kids too. Her sil is taking advantage of op not saying no!! There's such a thing as asking too much. We are all busy and exhausted and deserve time to relax or only focus on our kids for once. If op has can "just say no"(life is not so simple), then I say that this sil has no right to ask the op constantly like op described. She's taking advantage of op. Very few ppl can handle constantly being the giver and never getting back(I mean this emotionally, physically..finances is different. )

And, yes, op shouldn't comment to sil about family planning but it seems she's venting here and thinking it. She has a right!!! Because clearly her sil can't handle her kids, so sil should make better choice!!! I agree with ppl here who said many women can't handle large families unless something gives...I see many times they have others watching their kids many times imposing on others. Yes, op made her choice so she could manage so too sil should think about it. Its relevant if she's imposing on op!!!
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amother




Amber


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 8:36 am
its also about expectations
no one appreciates being "expected" to help in that way
it comes across as entitlement
and ends up in resentment

I would be proactive and talk to her in advance
as warmly as possible let her know you are so excited and happy to be all together and at the same time due to whatever reason and you don't have to specify (maybe you are under the weather, expecting, have different needs/expectations/resources...) you want to let her know...set some guidelines, boundaries, ...you won't be able to do ....(if she wants to find a teenage girl to help out or something perhaps she has time to set it up...)
you can tell her that you are thinking about it and want to give her a heads up to maximize a successful happy Pesach

some people will listen some won't some people will say something like "oh my kids can take care of themselves!" -- have heard that one before

worth a try

you can think in advance of some scenarios and how to handle them

you can also talk to your bro diplomatically knowing it could be repeated and give him the same type of heads up like you are being helpful so they can make their best arrangements -- which you are

hugs and hatzlocha

(agree that their child planning is their business and setting your boundaries is your own - but this is what can happen when one starts getting resentful)
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Israeli_C




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 8:45 am
amother [ Floralwhite ] wrote:
"she has the right to refuse..." Well, yes, of course, everyone has the right to refuse. But, its hard because it causes others to be hurt that they were turned down.

Quite rich to start caring about her feelings when she's got some choice things to say about her SIL's family planning.

Again and again I see on this site the same problem (and I'm guilty of this too) --- communication issues. I'd say 80% of the problems posted on this website (non-money related...) can be solved by TALKING to the parties involved. Yes, it can be done in a kind way. If one makes their maximal effort to deliver a message kindly and sensitively, any hurt feelings are not their fault.

And where exactly is her brother in all this? Why, he most certainly plays a key role in this baby making, no? Perhaps a frank discussion with him rather than blasting her SIL's contraceptive choices online would go a long way.
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amother




Peach


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 8:52 am
Israeli_C wrote:
Quite rich to start caring about her feelings when she's got some choice things to say about her SIL's family planning.

Again and again I see on this site the same problem (and I'm guilty of this too) --- communication issues. I'd say 80% of the problems posted on this website (non-money related...) can be solved by TALKING to the parties involved. Yes, it can be done in a kind way. If one makes their maximal effort to deliver a message kindly and sensitively, any hurt feelings are not their fault.

And where exactly is her brother in all this? Why, he most certainly plays a key role in this baby making, no? Perhaps a frank discussion with him rather than blasting her SIL's contraceptive choices online would go a long way.


This is clearly a very sensitive subject for you. But the fact is that Op is entitled to vent here and there’s no reason to try to shut her down.
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ora_43




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 8:53 am
Where did OP say her SIL shouldn't have had so many kids?

AFAIK she didn't say that at all. She said:
Quote:
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.

That's not criticism! She's not saying her SIL should have had fewer kids, just that her (OP) being less busy with childcare doesn't make her more available to help.
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Israeli_C




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 8:57 am
ora_43 wrote:
Where did OP say her SIL shouldn't have had so many kids?

AFAIK she didn't say that at all. She said:
Quote:
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.

That's not criticism! She's not saying her SIL should have had fewer kids, just that her (OP) being less busy with childcare doesn't make her more available to help.


Well that's very selective quoting. Let's look at the entire OP:

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.


Do you seriously not see the glaring judgmentalism?

And FYI, to those who say she has a right to vent etc - certainly! And I have a right to give my opinion on it. Don't want opinions? Get a journal.
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Rappel




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 8:58 am
southernbubby wrote:
She loves them but doesn't want to take care of them. She comes away from these visits tired and annoyed. It does not seem like helping with the kids is reciprocal.

Maybe she is making a mountain out of a molehill but if the kids are really challenging, I can't blame her for loving them but not wanting to take care of them.

Maybe you are a wonderful aunt or have a SIL who is one.


I'm definitely nogea b'davar Smile I live across the ocean from my nephews and niece, and I long to take care of them.

But that's not why I responded the way I did.

Overall, I view children as a semi-communal responsibility. I also feel responsible for my friends, and for any other mother who is tired. If they need some help, or a break, then I get it - I'm often there myself. As sisters-in-arms, I would be remiss if I didn't offer all the help I am able.

When I go away for Shabbat, I don't expect it to be relaxing - it takes a lot of work to make Shabbat go well. But it's usually worth it, and much better than spending Shabbat sitting on my behind.

The same goes for the park. Playgroup. Everywhere.

If you saw a mom or a child who was struggling, and you could make a difference, would you refuse them help?
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Israeli_C




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 9:01 am
amother [ Peach ] wrote:
This is clearly a very sensitive subject for you. But the fact is that Op is entitled to vent here and there’s no reason to try to shut her down.


I rather wish you'd keep my own family out of this.
I chose not to go anon because I have a backbone and if I'm making a strong opinion, I'll put my name on it.
FYI any comments I've ever received regarding my kids, even those which weren't particularly well phrased, all came from a placed of genuine concern for MY welfare. Wish I could say the same for OP.
I'm not trying to shut anyone down. This is my opinion, and if my opinion is that she's in wrong, then it's as relevant as any others.
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ora_43




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 9:06 am
OP, you got a lot of good advice here. Basically, just tell her no. Nicely, with a smile, but "no." (Or "that's a bit much for me right now," "actually, I was just going to go (XYZ)," "oh, dd and I are just having a bit of a talk, maybe later," etc).

I would think in advance about what you are willing to do - give her kids breakfast? Take 1-2 of them with you and your kids to the park? watch them for an hour so she can nap? keep an eye on them after they fall asleep, so that she and her dh can go for a walk? Whatever works for you, however big or small. And then say no to the rest.

Knowing that you are helping her (just not every single time) might help with the guilt. And proactively offering to help at certain times might help your boundary-setting at other times to go more smoothly.

Also, if your SIL isn't ridiculously entitled, just hearing how often you say "no" might help her realize how much she's been asking you to do.

(If she is ridiculously entitled and starts pushing back on your "no"s, that would be the time for the "SIL, I love you and your kids, but I'm limited in how much I can do to help" talk. Or for the "bro, I love you, but you gotta do more to help your wife, she needs more help than she's getting" talk. But hopefully it won't come to that.)
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ora_43




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 9:10 am
Israeli_C wrote:
Do you seriously not see the glaring judgmentalism?

And FYI, to those who say she has a right to vent etc - certainly! And I have a right to give my opinion on it. Don't want opinions? Get a journal.

I really, seriously don't.

Just saying that someone has a lot of kids, in itself, isn't judgmental. Saying she has too many kids or that she can't handle all of her kids would have been judgmental, but OP didn't say that.

As for the comment on staying sane, OP is saying that she, OP couldn't stay sane while dealing with that many kids. Which is why she, OP doesn't need to feel guilty for saying "no" even when she's objectively much less busy than her SIL - after all, if she could/wanted to deal with that many kids all the time, she could have had more kids herself.

(maybe OP will come back and clarify herself, but in the meantime, that's how I read it)
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ora_43




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 9:14 am
Also, the different family sizes are an important part of understanding the situation. Of course it wouldn't be OK for the SIL to be asking OP to help her all the time even if SIL only had one kid. But the dynamic where SIL has a lot of kids, and really does have a lot of moments during the day where she could use a helping hand, changes things.

(It doesn't change OP's obligations - which are minimal either way - but it explains why SIL is assuming OP can help her, and why OP feels guilty saying no.)
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amother




Tan


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 9:14 am
amother [ Apricot ] wrote:
Tan,

You are reading a lot in that's not there. It doesn't sound like sil is an elf cleaning and doing her share after eveyone is asleep. Telling OP not to come because she resents mothering another family is wrong. Maybe her in laws want to see OP's family and doesn't want overburdened sil to drive them off.

OP is looking for a workable solution to share space with someone who is looking to OP to be a free nanny when she has her own children to raise.

Do you think it is fair for sil to use OP like that?


Asking someone to watch your baby isn’t looking for a few nanny.

If op said I watch kids on the morning when mom sleeps in or naps. I feed them while she reads a magazine. Then she is being a nanny. To me the example are not.
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little neshamala




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 9:17 am
Rappel wrote:
I'm definitely nogea b'davar Smile I live across the ocean from my nephews and niece, and I long to take care of them.

But that's not why I responded the way I did.

Overall, I view children as a semi-communal responsibility. I also feel responsible for my friends, and for any other mother who is tired. If they need some help, or a break, then I get it - I'm often there myself. As sisters-in-arms, I would be remiss if I didn't offer all the help I am able.

When I go away for Shabbat, I don't expect it to be relaxing - it takes a lot of work to make Shabbat go well. But it's usually worth it, and much better than spending Shabbat sitting on my behind.

The same goes for the park. Playgroup. Everywhere.

If you saw a mom or a child who was struggling, and you could make a difference, would you refuse them help?


Can I ask how old your oldest is? Your idea of children being a semi-communal responsibility sounds very sweet but once you have your own brood to take care of, you tend to want to focus on them. Not make yourself a worn dishrag because now youre taking care of someone else's brood as well.

I always help my sibling with their kids. But its really just simple things like pouring cereal and keeping an eye on them while they play nicely with mine. And my sister would never ask me to just take care of them for her-she's always around herself, taking care of her kids alongside me.

I love my nieces and nephews. LOVE THEM. but you need to take care of your own children without relying on me. Will I help? Sure thing. When I feel up to it, for as little or as long as I want. But dont rely on me for help. Just like you dont rely on me to bring in your mail and clean your kitchen.
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amother




Mustard


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 9:25 am
Ugh my SIL is the same way.
I just say No! “I’m not really in the mood of feeding extra kids now, or I wanna play a game with my daughter now, or I’m too tired to watch your kids now”, etc
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SuperWify




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 9:33 am
I have a sister like this. She goes to bed and expects others to pick up the slack. I love my nieces and nephews and have no problem watching them if I’m up anyway as long as they are playing nicely. But if their whining and made a dirty I take them to their moms bedroom.

But it’s no big deal. They are adorablely cute and I don’t see them often.

I have another sister who won’t mind watching my son while she’s minding her own three.

We’re fsmily. We do for each other. But we can say no and set boundaries too.
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ectomorph




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 9:38 am
abound wrote:
I know a lot of ppl that have lots of children close together, and I agree with the sentiment that this is two different issues. I also know a lot of people who have 2 children and expect that since they only have two kids, it is no big deal and dump their children on the ones with the big families, "since she is anyway busy with kids"
This is two separate issues and the amount of children she has should not factor in your decision if you want to help her.
If she only had 2 or 3 kids that were spaced out, would you care to keep watching her kids? You probably would...........but what difference does it make to how many children she has?


Yeah
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amother




Khaki


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 9:38 am
I understand OP. It’s tough situation. I don’t like taking care of other people kids either. If it’s too hard for you you aren’t being selfish just say sorry I can’t but it’s something that you can do it’s nice to help out. Just wondering what she does at home when no one is around....
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ectomorph




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 9:40 am
Rappel wrote:
I'm definitely nogea b'davar Smile I live across the ocean from my nephews and niece, and I long to take care of them.

But that's not why I responded the way I did.

Overall, I view children as a semi-communal responsibility. I also feel responsible for my friends, and for any other mother who is tired. If they need some help, or a break, then I get it - I'm often there myself. As sisters-in-arms, I would be remiss if I didn't offer all the help I am able.

When I go away for Shabbat, I don't expect it to be relaxing - it takes a lot of work to make Shabbat go well. But it's usually worth it, and much better than spending Shabbat sitting on my behind.

The same goes for the park. Playgroup. Everywhere.

If you saw a mom or a child who was struggling, and you could make a difference, would you refuse them help?


I'm with you. And I pull my weight.

I actually find families with fewer kids imagine that It's fine to drop off their kids because they'll just join the "pack"
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southernbubby




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 9:45 am
Rappel wrote:
I'm definitely nogea b'davar Smile I live across the ocean from my nephews and niece, and I long to take care of them.

But that's not why I responded the way I did.

Overall, I view children as a semi-communal responsibility. I also feel responsible for my friends, and for any other mother who is tired. If they need some help, or a break, then I get it - I'm often there myself. As sisters-in-arms, I would be remiss if I didn't offer all the help I am able.

When I go away for Shabbat, I don't expect it to be relaxing - it takes a lot of work to make Shabbat go well. But it's usually worth it, and much better than spending Shabbat sitting on my behind.

The same goes for the park. Playgroup. Everywhere.

If you saw a mom or a child who was struggling, and you could make a difference, would you refuse them help?


I would refuse them help if helping meant that I wouldn't be able to cope with my own kids.
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amother




Plum


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 10:45 am
For those saying to have a talk and communicate better ......that's easier said than done. For all those dealing with in-law siblings - some are easier, nicer, and more mentshlich than others. There are those who take advantage, and do NOT take criticism well. It takes a lot of finesse to handle a conversation like that properly, and at the end the other person may be angry at you, and it can have a negative effect on the whole atmosphere during y"t. For those who can manage to make themselves understood without creating animosity, or who have a light touch when saying no - good for you. Not everyone has that ability.
I'm not sure where the grandparents and the husbands are in all this. I do feel that some hired help can alleviate a lot of the problems. For myself, I'd have a hard time saying no, if someone asked me to help them.
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