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I feel like I'm SM to 3 kids now

ladybug3's picture

I've decided that my heart is too big and I need a reverse Grinch ASAP so my heart can grow three sizes too small. 

My SIL is living with us because her baby daddy is an a-hole (see OT - SIL's ex got arrested). She has two little girls, 4 and 2. She has them three days on, three days off. I love my SIL, don't get me wrong, but when her girls are at our house she almost completely ignores them. She makes sure they're fed and important stuff like that, but otherwise she's on her phone sitting on our couch. There is zero parenting going on. 

I'm having flash backs to when DH and I first got married and I naively started parenting SS and got sucked into being the sole disciplinarian when he was at our house. A couple of heart-to-heart conversations later and DH got the message that I wouldn't do that anymore.

Now my SIL is doing the same thing DH used to do. She sits back and lets other people parent her kids. And they're completely wild. I've never used the word "feral" to describe a kid before but the two-year-old... she's crazy, even for a toddler. The two of them run wild through the house and when I get home from work there's food all over the floor and toys everywhere.

The four-year-old is smart and sassy, and not in a cute way. My DH once told her to stop doing something and she rolled her eyes at him and said, "Why don't you worry about your own business with ladybug?" What kind of four-year-old talks like that to an adult? For whatever reason she listens to me pretty well, but she does this whiny manipulative thing that gets under my skin. 

Don't get me started on the two-year-old. When I say she's crazy, I mean trying to talk to her is like talking to an alien. She runs around giggling with her eyes rolling in the back of her head. I was trying to put her to bed one night and she kept cackling like a maniac and rolling her eyes in the back of her head and throwing her body around. Scared the sh*t out of me. 

Throughout all of this insanity their mom sits on our couch talking to different guys and will occasionally yell at her kids. She rarely gets off the couch so they don't pay her any attention. And don't get me wrong, I love my nieces. They have their moments. I'm just not their mother and I am absolutely tired of my SIL not doing a single thing to parent. 

The saddest part about all of it is that DH and I got sucked into being "parents" because SIL won't even get off the couch for bedtime. These little girls, even the two-year-old, were going to bed without so much as a kiss goodnight. DH and I always sing songs to SS and read him a story so of course we included the girls. The rest just kind of followed from there. They've been living with us for almost 5 months and I am losing my mind.


Gimlet's picture

Time for a Come to Jesus, ladybug. You are doing her a giant favor and you should not be parenting or picking up after any of them.

DH and you are enabling her to be a lazy parent because you are picking up her slack. 

What is her deadline to leave? 

ladybug3's picture

I know, I know. The bad part about the situation is that she wants to move back to the state she was living in before this crap happened. So she has said she doesn't want to find her own place to live until after court and the judge decides whether or not she can leave. DH is being pressured by everyone in his family to let her stay at our house since we are the only ones who can accomodate her. 

She was a lazy parent before we did anything, which is why I say my heart is too big. I couldn't sit by and do nothing although I know I'm only causing myself more stress.

So there is no deadline, and that's part of why I'm losing my mind.

Gimlet's picture

There are PLENTY of discounted AirBNBs open right now and many owners are willing to cut a deal because of the loss of travel business.   I know because I looked into it this week because YSS was scraping my very last nerve and I was/am considering a short break.   

It doesn't really matter what she prefers or what his family thinks.  She is being an ungrateful and thoughtless houseguest and you are not obligated to take that treatment.

The other alternative is to have the talk and tell her that she needs to step up or she won't be welcome any longer.  Your house, your rules. 

ladybug3's picture

She's barely working. Like she works 10 hours a week. DH doesn't want the conflict and I understand why, his family is pretty bad. We're hoping that her stimulus check and tax refund run out soon and that forces her to get a better job or take more hours, that way we can ask her to leave without forcing her into a bad situation. She's bought a lot of expensive things lately so I'm sure her money is almost gone. 

I know I need to grow a pair. I keep making excuses for her because I hate conflict lol. But I'm going to talk to DH soon and see if we can both approach her about moving out. 

Cover1W's picture

Your DH doesn't want conflict so someone else, a guest who is acting upon your own good intentions and goodwill, can run your household.  Um, No.  I would have a nice talk with your DH and tell him exactly what you said here in your post.  That cannot continue.  You are hosting them and they should be appreciative and treat your home as you want it.  Meanwhile, write up a lease agreement - this will protect you if you have to kick them out.  This should include a minimum amount of rent, even if it's only $20 a month or whatever, quiet hours, cleanliness expectations and child care requirements.  You can find free lease templates on line.

ladybug3's picture

DH and I have had a lot of conversations about it and he agrees with what I said in my post. Like I said though we both don't want conflict. We have discussed possibly charging her for staying here, so that could be a good next step. 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

But from what you've told us, your resentment doesn't stem from money, so making her pay won't fix the problem. This is a behavioral issue. You want her to parent her kids and be a more considerate guest.

A good first step would be for you and your H to stop taking care of her kids for her. Redirect them to Mom, every time. 

"Hey Sis, the kids are hungry. Do you want to feed them blah or blah blah?"

"Hey Sis, you need to take care of Bratleigh. He needs a bath before bed."

Hey Sis, DH and I are going out for dinner. Can you watch the skids for us? You can make ____ for their dinner."

Hold yourself accountable. TELL SIL how to parent if you must, but don't reward bad behavior by doing it for her. And have more confidence in yourself and your judgement. You know right from wrong, and you know your H's family is ... not great, so place no value on their opinions.

Mommymode1985's picture

Hell yes a lease is paramount. Pleaae consider it! Even an agreement written between you 2 amd signed will hold up in court if it comes to it. It will also let her know you're serious about her actually respecting your property.

Gimlet's picture

This is DH's sister?  Then he needs to have the conversation.  And if the family is so concerned, one of them can take her.  

So she's sitting on the couch all day, playing on her phone, eating your food, not cleaning up after her kids, and spending money on frivilous items.  Sounds great.  How much rent is she paying you? 

It's really unlikely that she is going to get a better job or take more hours when you two are supporting her and taking care of her kids.  

+1 to the lease agreement suggestion.

advice.only2's picture

So you guys are just helping her delay the inevitable that she will either end up back with baby daddy d-bag, or until she finds new baby daddy d-bag. Nice.

SIL your kids need to go to bed!
SIL you need to clean up the mess your kids left!
SIL you need to watch your daughter she's over here having a seizure or something!
SIL your daughter has a quiet a mouth on her you need to deal with that!
SIL you need to go to the store and pick up XYZ since you and your kids used it all us!
SIL you need to come check on your kid she appears to be climbing the wall and needs an exorcism!
SIL your kids are hungry and need some food!

Stop making is comfortable and easy for her, force her to get off her lazy a$$ and be the parent. If she asks if you can do it, let her know the going rate for babysitting services and that you charge by the hour.

Mommymode1985's picture

There's a clear difference between causing friction and parenting FOR her. You aren'T causing friction by expecting her to parent her own children ... Lay out the rules to the SIL. Have a family meeting where the girls know the rules and then leave her to do the rest. You're not being an ass by having her parent her children. And the mess? No. I'd tell her that its unacceptable and it needs to be cleaned up or she can leave. The last thing you need is bugs. She can either parent her kids and clean p after them or ... Really its not that hard. God bless.

thinkthrice's picture

No good deed goes unpunished.

 Do a little more each day and each day a little more will be expected.