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I need help because I'm terrible at communicating but this can't continue and please, this is a JAWM type post


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This is a JAWM because I truly can't continue physically with what my son and DIL want. I've tried. Repeatedly. And I'm sorry for the following book. There has been so much on my mind.

My son and his family moved here (Florida) in July. They came from a multi family living situation that included her parents, grandmother and great aunt so there was always someone available to watch the children. How the great aunt and grandmother, both in their 80's, cared for 2 children 2 and under is beyond my comprehension. I can tell you that my parents, 81 and 76 can't. Just physically can't.

I have fibromyalgia which has worsen considerably since February. We did a joint trip with them to Disney World in April and I needed a motorized wheel chair just get through the day. At the time, we knew they were considering moving near us and I had a talk with my son then about my limitations. That I want to spend every moment with my grandchildren but I just can't do it.

When they arrived in July, her family helped them move in and the aunt stayed for about a week after to help them get settled in. Once she left though all the babysitting duties landed on me. While it was still summer, my other son's girlfriend (who is a teacher) helped me when she could and my parents helped me babysit for a super long day that my son and DIL said they needed to get their house in order. The 3 of us couldn't even move the next day. Children that small just need a lot of physical type care plus they didn't know my parents at all and the older one only knows me. So they were understandably anxious and upset. It was a lot.

I have babysat every time they've asked. I've never said no. DIL asked if I would watch the kids this past Sunday for an hour or two so she could get her nails done and just have some alone time. I said of course. For only an hour or two, I could take them to my parents' house where they could get to know them better but not be too onerous on them physically. I told her I'd pick them up at 11 and she offered to come get them and asked if 5 or 6 would be good. I said I was thinking more along the lines of 1 or 2. At 2, I knew it would be pushing mine and my parents' physical boundaries. That night on Facebook she posted a meme that said something along the lines of "babysitting kids while she goes to the grocery store (which I've done) isn't giving her a break, babysitting the kids while she cleans the house (Yep, done that too) isn't giving her a break, taking the kids to do something fun without her (yup, this one too) isn't giving her a break" and on it went. Then the next morning my son calls saying when they lived in NH they had too much help and now they don't have any. They need time for self-care. That I need to watch the kids 5-6 hours one weekend day every week and I need to watch them 1 evening during the week. I told him again and again that I can't do that. Finally, just to get off the phone I said I'll think about what he said. After I got off the phone, I realized I had a long text from my DIL saying that watching the kids for only a couple of hours and then she has to spend and hour (edited for clarity: it's 30 min each way) driving back and forth to get them just isn't worth it and that she would rather just keep them home. She's the one who asked for an hour or two so how it became 6 or 7 is beyond me. And now I'm the bad guy on top of it.

I finally got them to let me take the kids anyway with the plan of keeping them updated on how we were doing. She picked them up around 3. Yesterday I couldn't do anything. Even sitting hurt. My clothes hurt. My parents were going through the same thing and there were 3 of us taking care of a 1 and 2 yo. If we are suffering this much with 3 of us doing the work, means we just can't physically do it. Can't! I'm still barely moving today. So now I need to find someway to make them finally hear me. I'm frankly scared of the result. Her family will be moving here in a couple of months and I worry that once they do, that I'll never get the kids again. How can I communicate to them that I love them, I adore the kids, I want to spend time with them but the time has limitations? Even when we all went to the zoo for an hour and a half, I spent the next day in pain. Ugh! I hate this

Edited by stephanier.1765
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Your kids have unreasonable expectations.

 

You warned them before they moved.

I had NO reliable babysitting help at those ages. They went to daycare (Which we paid for) or I took them grocery shopping with me or dad looked after them. And I paid for babysitting when we needed it outside of that. VERY occasionally (much less than once a week. Even less than once a month) my sister took them for a few hours so my husband and I got some alone time.  But I didn't expect it. She sat me down when I moved to Texas and explained the same thing -- she loved my kids but she did not want to be the regular babysitter. So we found babysitters to pay when we needed it.

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Those expectations are definitely unreasonable given your family’s health constraints. They need to hire a mother’s helper one day a week for that kind of extended self-care and let you and your parents be fun, occasional, short time visitors. I wouldn’t expect them to bring the kids over and pick them up once a week for a two hour visit tho either, especially if there’s an added 1-2 hours of drive time tacked on. Maybe they could come once a month and you go there for an hour or two once a month and call it good.

Edited by Sneezyone
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Yup. They need to hire a babysitter for 5-6 hours.

Others gave good choices.

You need to not be an unpaid babysitter. You need to be grandma. They are treating you like the former and your DIL's sense of entitlement is not endearing.

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I am sorry!

I could write a book (it seems lol) about a situation in my family with some similarity.

Well, it ends up that after the parents no longer needed free babysitting, suddenly they were too busy to see their former babysitters except for holiday and birthdays.  The parents acted like seeing the former babysitters once a month was a huge imposition.  

It actually makes my blood boil thinking about it.

The truth is I think it is just a huge blind spot that they have.  
 

They have been involved with elder care, for example.  It is not like I would say — they are selfish and inconsiderate.  
 

But on this issue there is a blind spot.  

 

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If DIL needs "me time" to get her nails done or whatever, she can do it when her husband is home or she can hire a babysitter like everyone else does. The idea that they would not only ask but actually INSIST that you need to sacrifice your own health so they can have free babysitting is pretty stunning. I would just tell them that what they want from you is simply not possible for health reasons, and although you love your grandchildren, they will need to hire someone who has the strength and energy to provide childcare for two very young children.

Edited by Corraleno
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Wow. Entitled is what comes to mind. Try being a military family, where there is no one but the parents! It is us, only us, all the time! 

I think they need a reality check. Maybe you could send them regular Instagram-like updates of your pain levels. They obviously can’t comprehend how much pain you live with and lack the empathy needed to give you compassion. 

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I'd agree with the others.

You must say no. Tell them you would like to spend time with all of them but caring for toddlers is beyond your physical limitations. 

 

(OK Honestly if I my kid told me I NEED to take their kids multiple times a week, I would NOT have been nice, calm or communicative... that's absolutely unacceptable on his part.) 

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I'm sorry, that's an awful way for them to treat you. I have a lot more kids than they do and never had any babysitters at those ages, so I seriously just don't have any patience of sympathy for that kind of entitlement. She should schedule her nails when her dh can watch the kids and have her "me time" that way. Does your son not understand the physical limitations? It seems like a heart to heart with him along the lines of what you said here, and then him talking to his wife would be in order. We visit my parents with the kids so they can see them, but we're the ones who are taking care of the kids while we are there. I don't know why they seem to only see you if they are using you as a babysitter. They should know that you adore the kids and want to see them, but you don't have the physical ability to provide more than an hour or two of care at a time and you hope they will come and see you for the sake of a visit, rather than only for babysitting. And you driving to them might a way to make that happen more often if the drive is an issue.

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Wow, how rude and passive aggressive of her! What would she do if her kids didn't have grandparents to babysit at all?

I think you need to simply stop agreeing to babysit except in true emergency situations, like if somebody is in the hospital.

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8 minutes ago, vonfirmath said:

Your kids have unreasonable expectations.

 

You warned them before they moved.

I had NO reliable babysitting help at those ages. They went to daycare (Which we paid for) or I took them grocery shopping with me or dad looked after them. And I paid for babysitting when we needed it outside of that. VERY occasionally (much less than once a week. Even less than once a month) my sister took them for a few hours so my husband and I got some alone time.  But I didn't expect it. She sat me down when I moved to Texas and explained the same thing -- she loved my kids but she did not want to be the regular babysitter. So we found babysitters to pay when we needed it.

Similar idea here, though I wasn't working and we never did daycare. Expectations of relatives babysitting, and even help after childbirth, are so different from what I had and experienced--perhaps because we always lived far away from family. My "time alone" was nearly always some quiet time while the kids napped/rested. They went to the grocery store with me, or dh picked things up. If I needed a haircut, I arranged it when dh could watch them. I never had someone watch them while I did household chores; it wasn't available. I don't know if this is a generational change, or a family culture thing.

Sadly, we live a long way away from our grandchildren. I love them all dearly, and would love to be able to spend time with them more often. But I don't know that I would want even a standing weekly time of childcare, perhaps because I am looking forward to having time with just dh and me doing things together when he retires. We raised six kids. I did have some housecleaning help some of the years because we were overseas and it was much cheaper to hire someone. But other than 2-3 occasions over all our childrearing years when we had a conference or trip where we couldn't take the children, we managed their childcare ourselves (i.e., either did it ourselves or paid for it). Other times, we had dates at home after the children were in bed. While I love to read to the gc and spend time with them, it wears me out to be responsible for them for long periods of time, and I'm in pretty good health. 

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When I had littles and DH was deployed/working long hours, we moved closer to our family. My mom/sister/DHs aunt and uncle would collect my kids on weekends and keep them all day. They also picked them up after school and took them to the park, etc. during the week. We weren’t going to be in the area long term; everyone knew that. Our family didn’t have your health issues tho and I did have the wherewithal to hire someone if they hadn’t been willing/able. I never had to ask; they volunteered. It’s awesome when families CAN do this for each other. It facilitated great relationships between my kids and their gramma/aunts/uncle but it’s certainly not something that people should expect/demand as their due. To the extent I am able, I hope to do for my kids/grands what my mom did for me.

Edited by Sneezyone
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18 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

You must say no.  They’re not listening to any of the other words.

And they will live. I did!

That's what I've tried to tell them. My parents babysat very irregularly even though they were only 20 min. down the road, even with my husband going on 6 month deployments (which actually was more like being gone 8.5 months in a 12 month period). It never occurred to me for it to be otherwise. I traded babysitting with other moms and even then it was when I needed to do something were I couldn't take the kids with me. But I've been told comparing experiences isn't acceptable. 

Thank you all for your responses. I can't tell you how nice it feels to be heard. Now to get them to hear me and you've all given me lots of great ideas. Since it was my son who called, I can only assume that it's through him that she wants these type of conversations to be had so I will call him and hopefully have a productive chat.

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Wow!  The entitlement is shocking.  They are being unreasonable.  I regularly took all of my children to the grocery store and anywhere else I went.  There was no other option for me.  None. It sounds like they need to invest in a grocery delivery service, a baby gate, and maybe a season or two of a cartoon series.  TV may not be the worlds best babysitter, but occasionally setting up a baby gate in the living room with a tv show while the kiddos' parent sits at the table to paint their nails while still in view of the living room is a viable option.  Even if it was weekly, no harm would be done.  DIL is being selfish and needs to grow up.  

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I have nothing nice to say.

Your ds saw that you needed to use a motorized wheelchair at Disney and has the nerve to say you must babysit?

Shopping without kids *is* a break from shopping with kids! Etc etc.

She needs to massively rethink what "me time" looks like.

My mom died when my oldest was ten weeks old.  It makes me so angry when people lucky enough to still have parents act like entitled jerks.

Do they actually not realize that many of us raise our kids without "help"?

If I were you I'd be sure to be absolutely clear going forward.  About times, about pain etc.

I hate that you need to fear not seeing them if you don't comply.

Can you brainstorm a doable, scheduled thing at their place?  (Like you'll bring takeout twice a month and spend two hours visiting.)

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You need to say no. You have explained that you cannot do it. 
That does not make you a bad grandma. Your kids have unreasonable expectations. And the post about watching the kids while parents do errands not being a break? That's passive aggressive. They can hire a babysitter. 

FWIW, when my kids were babies, my parents both worked and could not help out (they had DD overnight once while I was giving birth to DS but that was it). My DH was out of town four days a week.  We later moved 5,000 miles away and did our own parenting with no family help. 
 

Edited by regentrude
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I really want to say again that I don’t know why, but when it comes to entitled behaviors from women in particular, it works better when I have DH communicate for me. I would not be the one to tell DS.  I’d have DH do it.  

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35 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

You must say no.  They’re not listening to any of the other words.

And they will live. I did!

 

5 minutes ago, stephanier.1765 said:

That's what I've tried to tell them. 

That may be what you *think you’re telling them. It is not what they’re hearing. 
Unless you’re saying “No, I can’t “ and they’re just showing up on your doorstep anyway. Which would mean an even more extreme problem. 

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Wow, I'm sorry. You definitely can't babysit. I'm sorry they aren't understanding. Even if you didn't have physical limitations, babysitting is not a REQUIREMENT. If they can't function without you, they should have consulted you before having kids! 

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Why did they move away from your DIL’s support?  That is a lot to ask of someone with physical constraints and a lot of personal time needed for kids they chose to have.  It would be wonderful if you could do it and offered, but the amount of time they are asking for (DEMANDING really) is unreasonable in my opinion.  
 

I had twins and my in-laws came over every night for 3 hours to rock, feed, and love on them.  They stopped when the boys were about 6 months old.  My dad was over about 2 times a week during the day to play with them.  He also went places with me and the boys as it was a lot for me to do in my own.  I did it myself to, but he was a blessing.  I never demanded any time/help though.  

My DH left the house at 6 am and came home at 7:40 pm 5 days a week.  I was pretty much a single mom on the weekdays until 3 years ago when DH started working from home.  We do what we have to do.  My dad and in-laws were pretty elderly so their helped dwindled, as expected, after a while.  Now I care for my dad, which is pretty hard, physically and mentally, and I hurt so bad when I am doing for him.  It takes me a day to recover each time.  I could not physically do the hours they are asking of you and have a decent physical quality of life.

They really need to line up other care for their alone time.  Maybe you could do a set time every other weekend or something so they can plan for those hours.

I agree with the poster above about having your DH talk to them.  What does he think of all of this?

 

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I'm sorry that you're struggling with health issues and not able to do so many things you'd like to.  And I'm even more dismayed that your kids are so incredible dismissive of you and your health issues.

I'm saying this with kindness....Why are you not setting boundaries with them and just saying no to what you are unable to do?  You are a human being with the right to decide what you can commit to.  You do not owe them unlimited babysitting, or frankly, any babysitting if you aren't able.  It doesn't matter what you did when your kids were young, or what other people do, or what her parents did.  You can set boundaries that are healthy and functional for you.  And you must, if you want to safeguard your own declining health.  You can do it in a loving way, but you don't need to give them long explanations or try to get understanding from them.  No is a complete sentence.  "No, I'm not able to do that."  Repeat as many times as necessary.  And don't accept browbeating and guilt-tripping from them.  They are adults who are responsible for their own family.  

(((Stephanie))).  I hope you are able to work through this and enjoy having their family nearby.

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I agree with everyone else that you have to tell them flat out you can't do this.  

 

And then you're going to have to deal with the fact that the kids are going to have a different type of relationship with your DIL's family than with yours.  Because that will happen, and that's okay.  Her family can provide childcare, you can't.  Try not to resent any of it.  

My MIL is 13 years older than my parents and was not able to supervise small children by the time ours were born.  My parents were, and took my kids to museums and zoos and on overnights . . . things that MIL could not have managed.  We invite her to do things with us as a family, we didn't ever send the kids off with her alone.  She is still much loved, but the relationship is different.  

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9 minutes ago, happi duck said:

My mom died when my oldest was ten weeks old.  It makes me so angry when people lucky enough to still have parents act like entitled jerks.

So sorry!  That must have been so hard dealing with her passing with a newborn.  My mom died before my boys were born and that was hard enough.

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2 minutes ago, Denise in IN said:

 I'm saying this with kindness....Why are you not setting boundaries with them and just saying no to what you are unable to do?   

I'm not the OP, but I imagine that wanting to see the grandkids regularly complicates the situation and creates more anxiety about just saying no. 

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I just got back from spending two+ weeks caring for two of my grandchildren (ages 5 and 3). Four of those days, I was the only adult to care for them, and another week of it, I provided at least 90% of their care. It was hard. I'm getting older. Because they are not my children, I had to try to fit into their home and their way of doing things, at least under these circumstances. But I was glad I could do it, because it was due to an emergency medical situation that none of us could have foreseen. It gave me the chance to love on my gc, ds, and ddil. But this was not because anyone had any frivolous ideas of what parenting truly is or what a parent should reasonably expect others to do for them. It was a crisis situation, and I was thankful I was available to step in and help, as well as get some time with gc whom I rarely get to see. But it was not a normal situation by any stretch of the imagination. In your situation, it looks like someone doesn't understand what parenting is all about. 

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I like the idea of inviting the entire family for Sunday dinner each week (if this is something that you can manage). It would be a nice tradition to establish, you’d get to see your grandchildren, and your son and DIL would be there to care for them. When her family arrives for the endless babysitting for DIL’s “me time,” the tradition will already be started and it’s less likely that they’ll pull it so you never see your grandchildren again.

I do think that if someone else sat them down and explained to them, look, your mother/MIL doesn’t like to say anything, but she is really suffering and just can’t babysit the children for long periods of time, even though she would like to, they might take it more seriously. One hopes. But egads, the sense of entitlement is something else. I’m so sorry you have to deal with this. It must be so disappointing. 

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3 minutes ago, bibiche said:

I like the idea of inviting the entire family for Sunday dinner each week (if this is something that you can manage). It would be a nice tradition to establish, you’d get to see your grandchildren, and your son and DIL would be there to care for them.  

But don't be offended if they say no, or if they stop at some point in the future. I personally would never have wanted to commit several hours of my Sunday every single week. 

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19 minutes ago, katilac said:

 

Son is also being selfish and also needs to grow up. It is both of them. 

I totally agree!  I did say they are being unreasonable, but was I just addressing the bulk of the post in which the daughter in law seemed to need more "me time."  The son definitely needs to grow up and should be more sensitive to his own parents' health issues!

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They want you to take the kids more than half their waking hours on a weekend day, and one evening a week so they can have "me time"???  WTH?  That is a totally unreasonable expectation even if you didn't have health problems.    Sure there may be grandparents who want and are able to provide that kind of babysitting, but it's certainly not a requirement and shouldn't be an expectation.   They are being totally selfish, unreasonable, juvenile, passive-aggressive and need to get off their butts and parent their own children.

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Is driving as hard on you as babysitting?

Because if not, I'd be inclined to offer to care for the kids at their house 1-2 nights per week, during a time period that includes bedtime so you can rest while the kids are sleeping.  

I think that once the DIL's family moves to the area you will be shut out if you don't participate a little more now.  I'm sorry about that--it's rotten--but I have seen it too often.  The assumption mix just tilts.  So I agree with others who suggested establishing a Sunday dinner tradition if possible, if you can't manage the care at their house for limited periods.

ETA:  I THINK THAT THEY ARE BEING RIDICULOUS, TOO.  I'm addressing your goal, not their behavior, which is atrocious.  It would be atrocious to shut you out once the other family arrives, also.  And your son is incredibly nervy to *tell* you that you need to do certain things.  DIL is probably right that driving an hour does not make a 1-2 hour babysitting stint seem worthwhile, but it was assinine for her to post about it like that, not to mention to ask for 1-2 hours and then assume that your assent applies to 6-7.  

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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That’s nuts.  Society is kind of hard the way it’s structured for new mums and I’m usually one to advocate for more help because I remember how crazy those days were but that seems really over-the-top demanding.  I hated asking for babysitting help and tried to be home as early as possible from any necessary appointments.
 

Any chance the dil has PND and that’s why they’re so focused on getting her out for me-time?  

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I haven't even read all the responses, but what.the.ever.living.HECK??!!

I had three kids in 2.5 years, first two were twins.  My parents live nearby, and so did MIL.  My mom was very upfront that she had her own life and any babysitting would be done on her terms only and Saturdays were right.out because they went dancing.  MIL was about 10 years older than my parents and not good with little kids. I pretty much had no babysitters, like ever.  I think I hired someone who worked as a nanny a couple of times for an evening out when it was just the twins.  My mom pretty much told me when she wanted to see the kids so she could have 'grandma-time', which was pretty much never when it was convenient for me.  When they were really little, I found things to do with them out of the house - it was one of the only times in my life I wandered the mall, becuase they'd be happy in the stroller.  I joined mom's groups and playgroups.  I had to do things like cleaning and shopping and cooking with three babies in tow.

I am not sure where these newish parents have this idea that they're entitled to eat up all your free time whenever they want so they can have (apparently huge gobs of) for 'me-time' and that they also want your services so they can do housework and shop??  I'm speechless.  Heck to the NO.

I myself, if I'm ever lucky enough to have grandchildren, think I'll be more willing than my mom and MIL to do some babysitting, but your situation is the whole other extreme.  Just no, no, no, no, NO.  At this point, I'd figure out how much YOU can do, say, I can watch them for, say, a couple of hours once a week, TOPS.  Too bad, so sad - they are parents now, these are their kids, and they should be graciously accepting whatever time you offer, not demanding, well, anything.  

22 minutes ago, Alicia64 said:

I'm so angry on your behalf I can barely type.

Pretty much this except apparently I managed to type... 

Edited by Matryoshka
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17 minutes ago, katilac said:

But don't be offended if they say no, or if they stop at some point in the future. I personally would never have wanted to commit several hours of my Sunday every single week. 

That wouldn't have worked well for us, either, but I wonder about proposing bringing over a weeknight dinner once a week. That would give them a break from cooking once a week and, unfortunately, it seems they are the type where you will need to propose something where they feel like there is something in it for them personally.

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Here's the help I had when I had two under two. 

My mum came over after work one night a week to help me with baths etc. 

On weekends, I could sometimes take the kids over to her place for lunch. With me parenting. 

Sometimes my parents would then take the kids to the park or for a walk.

I was beyond grateful for this help. I rarely asked for more. And my parents were young and fit!

This five or six hours care every weekend?! Totally unreasonable. 

 

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As a military wife who had ZERO family in the same country, never mind state, the selfish, entitled, and downright rude behavior of your DS and his wife makes my blood boil. The audacity astounds me.

The kids are their responsibility. They chose to have them. When you choose to have kids, you are choosing to sacrifice your "me time" for several years unless you are willing to pay for childcare. 
 

As hard as it is, you need to tell them No, in no uncertain terms. You want to visit with them, not take care of them. You already had, took care of, and raised your own kids. Now it's their turn to figure it out.

 

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I'm so sorry. I do believe their expectations are not realistic for your situation.  

I'd have my dh call or go visit and explain that physically you and your parents just can't do that. That you love the children and you want to be a part of their lives but there is limits to what you can do. I'd have an idea of what you could do - maybe Sunday dinner where they all come, or they drop the kids off -and you and your DH and your parents are all there and you all eat together? Or some other day of the week? - Have him say you guys will do that (whatever) it is, but that is all you can do. 

And quite frankly, I never had any help with my kids. Two, 2.5 years apart, and my dh traveled internationally and worked very long hours when in town. I had no help, and I managed. They had kids, they need to learn to care for them. The children are their responsibility.

Best wishes for you to navigate this in a successful way -to maintain relationships and to not be taken advantage of. 

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I would have laughed in my child's face if he tried to tell me how much childcare I needed to provide them.  But seriously,  first figure out if you want to watch them regularly and figure the hours your willing to unless it is an emergency. 

She does have a point that it isn't really worth it to do a bunch of driving for only a few hours of a break but her expressing that to you was uncalled for.  That is a her problem not a you problem.  If it wasn't worth it to her she should have simply cancelled with you.  If you do want to help maybe offer a long day of babysitting once every 2 weeks or once a month.  Do not continue to put your health at risk because they don't want to pay for childcare

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Sorry you are having to go through all this. I watched my parents go through this almost exactly, with one of their kids (an ex-sibling) and grandkids.   Anyway, once you figure out your limits and what you can do I would suggest not looking at her Facebook page so that you don't feel guilty for doing "self care" for yourself.    You can't control how they will react.  Take care of yourself. 

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Just in case you need another supporter, I am in agreement with everyone. 
They are being unreasonable. Maybe they got spoiled by their previous living arrangements, but that doesn’t mean that you are required to provide all the free babysitting they want.

Based on how you describe your medical condition, I would argue that it is not safe for you to be watching two babies/toddlers with only your parents around. Even if you didn’t have those medical issues, it isn’t reasonable for them to “require” you to babysit so much. 
im old enough, and my kids are old enough to have kids. I don’t have any grandkids yet, but I still have my own life. I would not be watching anyone’s kid on a regular schedule for free.

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I don’t think grandparents who regularly do this kind of thing generally consider it babysitting. It’s just spending time and having fun with their grandkids, IOW, not a chore. This couple sounds OTT nervy but I don’t think ‘well I suffered through it, they should too!’ Is a healthy approach either and certainly won’t help OP have the kind of relationship with her grands that she’s after. Being present (in however a limited a capacity) is needed for that.

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55 minutes ago, Excelsior! Academy said:

Wow!  The entitlement is shocking.  They are being unreasonable.  I regularly took all of my children to the grocery store and anywhere else I went.  There was no other option for me.  None. It sounds like they need to invest in a grocery delivery service, a baby gate, and maybe a season or two of a cartoon series.  TV may not be the worlds best babysitter, but occasionally setting up a baby gate in the living room with a tv show while the kiddos' parent sits at the table to paint their nails while still in view of the living room is a viable option.  Even if it was weekly, no harm would be done.  DIL is being selfish and needs to grow up.  

This is  what is going on in my head too.  Wow, wow, wow.  I don't even get how you could be so rude.  

We don't have family nearby and we have never ever had a babysitter.  We have never asked our family to watch our kids and nobody volunteered once we had more than 2.   Family enjoyed spending time with them at our house with them or us bringing them there.  But that was because we handled the grunt work and they could just play with them.   One time in our whole life our family came up to watch them and we went out to lunch for a hour as a Christmas present to us.  Other times my mom would come and watch them when I was pg and very sick or in the hospital having a baby.  But dh was always around too at night and things to handle the cleaning, put kids to bed, and so on. 

I would never ask my family to watch my kids so I could shop, do my nails, or whatever.   Dh and I do that on our own for each other.  And if we wanted to do more we would pay someone to do it. 

I would never in a million years ask someone that had health issues to watch some young kids.  And now that I am getting older I understand how much harder it is to take care of little ones being older. 

I have a lot of bad words in my head for them.  

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