Alex is a caring brother who tries to help out his brother’s family but is faced with a difficult situation when his sister-in-law pressures him to watch their kids. Here is what he had to say:
A Caring Brother
Meet Alex (30), a caring brother who tries to help out his younger brother’s family whenever he can. Alex’s brother is married and has two pre-school age kids. He travels a lot for work, leaving his wife, Alex’s sister-in-law (SIL), as a stay-at-home mom. Whenever he leaves the country, he tells his wife to contact Alex if she needs anything.
Not on Good Terms
However, Alex and his SIL aren’t on the best of terms after a previous encounter left Alex feeling offended, but he still tries to help out for his nephews’ sake. Alex feels that whatever has previously happened with the SIL, he remains that he is the bigger person and will do his upmost to protect and look after his nephews when possible.
Alex Declines Sisters Help
Last week, Alex’s brother flew out of town for work, and the next day, Alex received a call from his SIL asking if he could watch the kids while she got her hair cut for her sister’s upcoming wedding. Alex declined, saying that he had to attend his girlfriend’s art event.
A Guilt Trip Ensues
His SIL tried to guilt trip him, saying that his nephews were more important than the art event and that his brother was counting on him. Alex stood his ground and said no as he felt he was totally in the right with his decision and would have preferred if the SIL had asked with good time, so Alex could at least try to make alternative arrangements.
The Sister Arrives Anyway
Minutes later, Alex received a text from his SIL saying that she was on her way to drop off the kids and that he better not leave. Alex didn’t reply and quickly got dressed and left before she arrived. His neighbor called him later, saying that he saw his SIL knocking on his door relentlessly and checking his windows in an unusual way. Alex told his neighbor to let her be and that she would leave soon, which she did after calling him non-stop.
The Brother is Furious
Hours later, Alex’s brother called him and was furious, saying that what he did was childish and that he was a terrible uncle for bailing on his nephews and SIL when they needed his help. Alex explained what happened, but his brother sided with his wife and called him unreliable, irresponsible, and a weasel.
The Reaction Shocked Him
Alex tried to cut the argument, but his brother said that he was disappointed in him and his childish behavior. Alex thought that his brother’s reaction was too much when he knew that he would always do his best to help the family out when he could.
Left Feeling Confused
After the whole situation Alex was left feeling completely and utterly torn and at a loss. He understands the sister needed his assistance, but he also resides in the fact he had prior arrangements which were important to him. Struck at a total loss of what to do, he turned to the internet and visits a popular online forum for advice:
The Internet Responds
One person writes, “This right here OP, you don’t need to apologize. You said no and that should be the end of it, if they refuse to see you… good guess, that means no surprise dropping off the kids right?
You need to establish boundaries right now. Tell her that unless it’s an emergency she needs to give at bare minimum a 24 hour notice if she needs you to watch the kids, but that if you say no then that should be the end of it. Also in the foreseeable future if the wedding is child free, tell her you charge by the day… and that IS the family discount.
Edit: tell her if she doesn’t respect your boundaries and abuses the system that you’ve set up that you will no longer watch her kids, and if she drops them off that you will call CPS for child abandonment.”
A Second Person Comments
Another person comes forward with, “Right? OP seems pretty cool and loves his nephews and helps out when he can. That’s what people do when they have a good family relationship. But at this point it seems like his younger brother and sister in law are trying to take advantage of that good will.
OP isn’t an on-call babysitter and it’s childish of SIL not to take no for an answer.”
A Final Comment
A final person comments, “It’s not like a hair appt is a surprise. If she had called OP he would have said he had plans before that day and she could have made other arrangements or she could have rescheduled her appt. Super entitled behavior. Apparently brother and SIL are the only ones with lives.”
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