Feeling pressured to babysit sisters kid overnight

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  • Nicole
    June 5, 2018 at 7:33 pm #755667

    Hi all-so my sister is a night nurse and she has a 2 year old. She lives with the father but her predicament is that he will be out of town Friday night and she needs to work. Our parents often watch her son but they will be Oceanside on vacation. So she defaulted to begging me to watch him. I KNOW it sounds awful and I’m torn by guilt, but honestly I don’t want to watch him and this is why:

    1. Shes known for at least 3 weeks now that her usual options wouldn’t be available-I don’t understand why she didn’t try to change her shift. She often has someone watch him and I understand that working nights with a toddler is probably extremely hard and being childless myself I couldn’t possibly totally understand…but I still feel like she doesn’t really enjoy watching him. I know that sounds awful but she has someone else taking care of him more often than not-so even if she had the opportunity to change her shift, a part of me doesn’t think she would and that’s frustrating.

    1. I have chosen not to have a kid at this point and time myself for a reason And that reason is that I like being selfish! I was supposed to go camping Friday night. I don’t want to stay in and be tied inside of her apartment all night long.

    3. It’s OVERNIGHT. I’ve often babysat during the day but this is just a whole other type of obligation.

    4. I’m currently in clinicals, aka an internship, in which I’m “working” M-F 630a to 4p. After clinicals I have homework…so I’m just exhausted and was looking forward to the weekend. (Again , selfish, but this is why I have decided to not have a kid for awhile so that I could be).

    5. I’ll have to find someone to watch my dog because she’s not good with kids.

    I talked to my mom about this, expecting her to be understanding because she often gets frustrated with my sister for always asking her to babysit as well. Yet I was surprised at how much she pressured me, saying I was being selfish and I didn’t understand what it was like. I feel completely cornered and I am a little frustrated but…I guess I’ll have to get the internets opinions. Am I being totally selfish and heartless and should I just suck it up? And if not, how do I even say no?


    June 5, 2018 at 7:36 pm #755668

    *sigh* not sure what happened to #2 but…you all get the point

    June 5, 2018 at 8:03 pm #755676

    I would just babysit the child. Your reasons would make more sense if this were a pattern rather than a one-off request, and you don’t indicate that this happens a lot.

    Finding child care overnight from someone you trust is hard. Not everyone can get their shift changed when it’s assigned to them. In terms of your own life preferences, sure, we all like to be “selfish” and have fun and we all are busy, but sometimes you just put that aside and do something nice for family. As for your sister’s interest in watching her kid, I think that’s a hard thing for you to judge. Having to use child care doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t like seeing your child. And even if she didn’t, that doesn’t necessarily change the fact that she is supposed to work, the father is out of town, and her regular child care is unavailable.

    I can see your mom’s perspective. If I watched a kid quite a bit, then I would want to know that other family members were willing to pitch in sometimes, if I was that giving of my time. And just in a practical sense, you never know when you might need a favor yourself.

    So, yeah, unless this is a situation where she asks you all the time, then I think this is one of those situations where you do a favor for someone that isn’t fun because they are family and you want to be a kind person.

    June 5, 2018 at 8:06 pm #755678

    I get where you’re coming from and if it was a constant thing but one overnight? You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to but I’d do it the one time.

    June 5, 2018 at 8:39 pm #755682

    I think you should do it, too. It’s just one night. Let her know that in the future, she’s going to have to give you more notice (or just let her know that you will be pretty busy with school from here on out and she should cultivate another source of back-up care). If she’s a nurse still early in her career, she probably could not change the shift. Do you really think someone would rather go to work overnight than spend it in their own home in their own bed? Also, if you just can’t stand the thought of doing a favor for your sister, think of it as doing a favor for your nephew. Presumably you love him and want him to grow up safe and healthy, right? You may even hope to have a positive relationship with him, and be his fun cool Auntie. Maybe that can start with spending one evening putting him to bed, and then feeding him breakfast the next morning. (What is your sister realistically going to do if you say no? My mom, a single mom, lost her nursing job when I was little and got sick one too many times and she didn’t have back-up care.)

    Avatar photo
    June 5, 2018 at 9:01 pm #755684

    +1 in the suck it up camp.

    June 5, 2018 at 9:08 pm #755685

    Suck it up and help her. This is the first time she’s asked this of you. Overnight is easy because (shocker!) the kid is asleep.
    She probably had tried to change her shift, and she can’t. Just help her.

    And you’re judgemental comments about how she doesn’t actually like to watch her son…wtf? Parents vent. Parenting under the best of circumstances is hard. I love my children to the ends of this earth and also I absolutely complain about them because kids are hard, life is hard, and being a parent is hard. I can only imagine what it’s like to work nights and take care of kids during the day. Have some compassion, suck it up and help her out or hire a sitter for her. Stop judging her.

    June 5, 2018 at 9:09 pm #755686

    Is everyone missing that OP already had plans? Just tell her you’re going camping end of story.

    June 5, 2018 at 9:20 pm #755690

    Who cares that she had plans to camp? It’s her sister. Sometimes, you suck it up for your family.

    June 5, 2018 at 9:22 pm #755692

    Your problem was making it a big deal. Should have just said sorry sis, I have plans.

    I am surprised that your sister does not have a baby sitter other than family.

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    June 5, 2018 at 9:27 pm #755693

    @Ange, I didn’t miss it but I think anyone who follows up with another five reasons why they reallllly don’t want to do something…just plain doesn’t want to do it. And that’s fine, she doesn’t have to but she asked if she’s going to comes across as selfish and yeah, she is. If she’d responded to the request with ‘ooh, sorry, I’m going camping’ I would feel differently but she didn’t which makes me think the plans are not that set in stone (or existent).

    June 5, 2018 at 9:34 pm #755694

    I saw that she had plans. But my point was that if it’s an uncommon request, then for me, it would be worth changing my plans. If I was asked every couple of weeks, then no.

    It sounds like the sister typically can rely on the father to watch the kids when she’s on night shift, and when he’s not there, her parents. I know plenty of people who have babysitters for days or evenings, but don’t necessarily have someone they could call for an overnight. Generally because they don’t often need to have someone stay overnight. At least not in the first two years.

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Feeling pressured to babysit sisters kid overnight

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