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SD27 using DH as last minute babysitter

Ohsoconfused's picture

This has been going on for the whole 10 months of dear little SGS's life .... SD thinks she can call up her Dad at the last minute and ask 'us' to babysit whenever she and her partner decide they want to go out.  Last time it happened, I told him not to offer my services for such things, and he's pretty much allowed her to use him - in the fine tradition of her role as his mini-wife.

I have sat back, not offered any advice, and watched him get gradually pissed off at the situation.  While he loves spending short periods of time with the baby, he is not into spending 6-8 hours at a time at their place entertaining and feeding him. 

So, last night she texted and asked if 'we' would babysit SGS on Christmas Eve for 8 hours while they attend her husband's family gathering,  Apparently taking ones baby to a family party is not their scene.  DH read out the text to me, I just sat there a little stunned, and he suddenly said 'right then, time to have a proper talk with her'.  The only thing I said was, does she not think that perhaps we have other plans for Xmas Eve?

The real problem for me is, BM has just announced she is COViD positive - she babysits the SGS frequently and mixes in thir household, and now they are trying to continue socialising and dumping a child who,could be a disease vector in our safe space.  We are in our 60's and have tried really hard to avoid unnecessary exposure.  SD knows this.  I hope he finally clarifies some boundaries. 

Kes's picture

This particular request is ridiculous - a family party is precisely the kind of gathering you can take your baby and hopefully lots of willing arms to take care of him/her.   It's good that your DH is finally seeing that she is taking advantage of the two of you and hopefully he will set some boundaries as you already have.  Fortunately my two adult SDs have not yet seen fit to procreate - but if that time should come, like you I am in my 60s and don't want to spend long hours babysitting when it's not necessary.  Especially important to have boundaries atm,  since you are currently doing your best to avoid getting covid. 

tog redux's picture

As the expression goes, "no" is a complete sentence. She keeps asking because he keeps saying yes. Stop saying yes every time and she's likely to stop seeing him as a last minute babysitter.  Is he willing to risk her being mad? That's the real question. 


Ohsoconfused's picture

You are right that he needs to learn to say no.  These mini-wife relationships are so complex.  In the time I've known DH, he has evolved from being a man who worshipped the ground his daughter walked on, to being a lot more realistic about her.  

When she was younger, the cheating ex was so busy with PAS that daughter from the time she was 6 until 18, never spent a single night at her Dad's house.  The most he saw of her was when she came to,sporting events with her two brothers, or got into his car for a ride home from,BM's house.  Despite being almost totally deprived of time with her over the years (if you have to ask why, picture a BM who is bat shit crazy, screamer, detached from reality simply not worth poking the dragon), he kept 'hoping' that once an adult SD would be friends with him.  

This has actually happened, and she has seen her dragon mother for the fool she is, and apologised to DH for the lost years.  However, DH carries a deep wound from what he calls 'being robbed of his children' which although partly his own fault for not litigating, is actually understandable given what BM is like.  I met BM for the first time this year, and she is a melodrama queen, demanding beyond belief, manipulative, who really is the bane of her childrens lives.  I feel for them.  One son hates her, one son still dreams of his parents reuniting (!?) and the daughter says nothing, just puts up with it.

So,when BM announced this week that her boyfriend had 'given her Covid' (gotta pity that guy) we all just shrugged.  However, it wrecked her plans to dominate Christmas like she has for the past 25 years....and SD then turned to DH and asked if he wanted to come for Xmas dinner at her place.  When he first read out the text I thought he would be thrilled.  Instead, he just mumbled 'fuck that I'm sick of being second choice' and replied that we were busy.

i must admit that surprised even me...although SD will be hurt.  This was his chance to mend fences, but it's becoming quite clear that he is no return on this.  Sad to say, SD also left him out of her wedding planning last year, then sent him the bill for everything.  He must have written her off back at the time of the wedding, because I had to coax him to actually attend and 'give her away'.  These people just party on with no idea that they are creating permanent alienation.


tog redux's picture

When I read that she invited him because BM is sick, my thought was " second best" before you even said that. 

He's not "mending fences" if he's just going along with a one-way relationship in which he gets crumbs when BM isn't available. I'm glad he's standing up to her - she might actually start to respect him more.  If she still puts BM first all the time, then she hasn't really resolved that relationship and reconnected with her dad. Being spineless so she will want him around isn't the answer.   Next time, don't coax him into doing things he doesn't want to do - he's got the right idea. 

Rags's picture

My DW and I had a decidedly different perspective on this than my brother and my SIL had.  They would dump, and run, their kids off on my parents on short notice for group runs, yoga, dates, etc....  Though we did have SpermLand visitation times Skid free so we could have our date/couple time without having to deal with Skid care.

My DW and I never asked for my parents to watch our kid.  Though mom and dad would ask for  him fairly regularly.  My son (SS-29) is about 18mos older than my niece (27)  .  Then it goes Neph1 who is 24, then Neph2 who is 20.  My parents loved having all 4 of the  GrandSpawn. 

We just were not comfortable using my parents as our beck and call baby sitters.  Ulike my brother and my SIL.