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My BIL has a little girl and he gets her a couple of days a week. Lately, he has been asking me to watch her every week. Last week and this week are only for a few hours, but he only calls me the night before and it is very disruptive to our homeschooling. We homeschool year round and do extra in the summer because we have a lot less going on during the summer (plus it is usually too hot to play outside). She is a sweet 2 year old girl, but for some reason chaos reigns when she is here and when she leaves the house is completely wrecked. Then my BIL always comes late to get her and stays at our house for several hours afterward watching TV on my couch while I continue to watch his kid.


This girl doesn't have the best life and I do like doing activities with her and reading her books since this doesn't happen much, but this is just getting too much for me. I have talked to my husband and he sympathizes, but says I just need to do it. We pay my BIL to housesit our dog when we are out of town and he usually doesn't even thank me for doing this.


I feel trapped in this situation and it isn't good for my family. This usually happens on a Monday which is the day we get the most school done normally. I really just don't know what to do.

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I think a lot of men might not realize how disruptive it is. Not that all men are this way, but plenty are...partly because they often don't tend to be as organized as women, etc. Anyway, so that's the first thing. But why is he having you watch her? What is he doing? That would figure into if and how often I was willing to watch the child.


Since you do like having her there sometimes (even if it's mostly for her benefit), I would tell him that you'd be glad to do it but that it's been difficult when he calls the night before and doesn't pick her up when he says he will. And maybe say that Mondays just won't work. I think you can tell him these things nicely without any hard feelings if he knows you want to help and to see her. I'd be pretty firm about having him arrive when he says he will. As far as hanging out to watch TV for a COUPLE OF HOURS?!!! WHAT?! No, no, no! Is the TV already on or something? Make sure it is OFF, and hide the remote! Surely when you tell him he needs to be on time because you need time with your family, need to get dinner ready, need to do school, etc.... then he will not stay! Maybe be outside waiting with child when he comes to pick her up. Or if you need to be inside, then get her to him quick and make your parting words clear as you stand near the door. Or if you feel like that is rude, walk them outside and sit on the step for a few minutes - then back inside without them.


Tricky situation and you are good to watch her. I think I'd send a few books home with him as well, telling him how much she'd love to have him read them to her.

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who don;t see how disruptive it is to interrupt a homeschooling family.


Women, men ---they all do it! Old/young/married/not married/kids/without kids/even some homeschooling parents are like that--mostly the unschoolers/I even have parents of kids who homeschooled their kids once upon a time ago and now have them in school drop in at times and hang out!!!


It drives me crazy.


Perhaps you can rearrange your schedule and just plan not to do school on Monday and treat it like a weekend day.


Then you can do school on a Sat or Sun and then hubbie will be upset but you can tell him that "no school gets done when BIL has his daughter here so it will have to happen on a Sat or Sun. I am sorry it juts into our family time." But he is the one insistent that you keep doing this.

So treat Tuesday as your Monday and whatever day he drops his daughter off then it is a no school day.


It comes to a point where your husband will have to support you and focus on the needs of you and his kids but he won;t see it until it affects his time with the kids.


I am sorry that your BIL daughter is not getting the family situation she needs and I think it is very generous of you to offer that. I hope that your kids learn and get something from this situation too and enjoy their time with their baby cousin.


By the way are they divorced ?

I ask because a lot of dads (there are moms too) who are supposed to be spending quality visitation time with their kids often dump them on relatives at a moments notice. I know many parents who do this and eventually they are taken to court and expected to pay child support and have to go to counseling with the child and not dump them at relatives when they have them. The relatives take them in because they feel sorry for the kid but really they are just being codependents and not helping that parent be responsible and be better parents. Don;t know the situation but perhaps you might want to bring this up with your husband.


I don;t like the moments notice for your BIL. Perhaps you can set up a regular schedule with him so you can plan your days too. Once in a blue blue moon is ok for emergencies but not all the time.


Being late and staying late is not ok. Disconnect the TV or stop paying for Cable. haha..Well not sure how husband will feel about that...Perhaps you can say "the kids and I have somewhere to go and leave the house when he shows up." I have done this with other people's kids who are late, I take them with me wherever I have to go and they show up at the house late and I say "Sorry. We had to be somewhere." They don;t pull it very often after that cause they don;t like not knowing where their kids are and inconveniences THEM to have to wait for you to come home with their kid.

Again your husband is allowing his brother to be irresponsible and rude and then teaching his child to be the same way.

Can you get any dinner done before he comes? Have your kids eat and then put them to bed early. Lights out in the house. Sorry.

Edited by happycc
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He has to work so that is where he is. As far as trying to get him to leave, subtlety does not work. The TV is never on when he gets here. Last time I told him I had to get the kids ready for gymnastics and he still didn't leave until I was loading them in the car. I think I will tell him that Mondays don't work and that I need more notice than the night before. Please pray for me.

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that doesn;t add up...Usually there is a regular work schedule.


Yeah I figured the two grandmas raise her. This was the case of my stepdaughters until I took over but it was with one grandma. Lots of TV going on there too and next to no discipline which is why your house is a wreck when she is over.


Well if he is genuiningly working then.....you may just have to accommodate her temporarily. What about Headstart preschool?


I take it mom works too or something else going on?


Well you can be that Aunt that she will one day "If it wasn't for my Aunt, I wouldn't be the awesome person I am today."


Give her the structure, discipline and time she needs. Perhaps you can take her full time? A family adoption kind of thing. I have had many people be that for me as my parents always dumped me onto some relatives house because of whatever reason. Now I never really leave my kids with anyone and I did have an Aunt that was awesome and would have done anything to have had her adopt me and raise me. She did the best she could.


I will pray for you and I am sorry that your life is this way right now.


Basically, the two people who made her are the ones who should be responsible for her and if everyone steps in then they will never grow up and take care of their own child.

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Tell your husband NO. Tell your BIL NO. Even if they both get mad at you. Set the boundaries you can live with and let them figure out how to deal with it. This is ultimately what you will have to do. I learned this the hard way. It's better to cut to the chase than to suffer while you drag out getting to that point.


If you want to offer some time with her to help enrich her life, offer it on your schedule and terms.


He should not get to dictate when he drops his child off with you, for free babysitting, just because he is your husband's brother. And shame on your husband for saying you have to put up with it. You DON'T.

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I suggest you build it into your schedule as an actual PLAN. Like make a bubble that says "When Gracie (or whatever her name is) comes we will do: xyz" and list some cool things. That way when he calls on the spur of the moment you know exactly what you want to do when she comes and you aren't disrupting your plans but actually fulfilling them. And since she's chaos for your house and high energy, you probably want to make plans that involve taking her somewhere else and wearing her out. Fieldtrips. ;)

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I wish I could adopt her, but that would never be a possibility. The parents both love her. Thay just need to grow up and raise her. BIL is 35 and lives at home. He pays nothing to his parents who make less combined than what he makes. It isn't a good situation.


I just talked to my husband about the comment that people don't understand what disruptions mean to a homeschooling family. I think he really got it. He is going to back me up on the no Monday's and the notice. He definitely knows further in advance than this.

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When my husband was a single father with three little daughters and had to live with his parents for a year...he paid them $1000 for rent and they were asking for $5/hour for childcare. Anyways, he was planning to live indefinitely with them but I said I could not respect a man who still lived at his parents house in his 30's. I had dated two men previously who were single dads and were raising their kids themselves and were living on their own.


He got the clue and made the move and moved in and married me. I did have to quit nursing school to stay home for his kids but I also did it for my preteens at the time as well. They still needed me home for them too.


When I was a single mom of three kids, I was in nursing school and I homeschooled them and living on my own!!!


Anyways sounds like the grandmas are codependents. They have raised a mooching lazy son who can't be a responsible parent. Gross!


I am glad that your husband is finally seeing the light. It is hard to break old habits and if he finally is able to tell his brother what the limits are he is truly teaching his own kids to not be a doormat to people who choose not to be responsible. He is teaching them to be assertive and that it is important to be responsible adults someday. I hope he stays supporting you.

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