In need of advice - how to confront my uncle for taking advantage of my free time...

  1. Hi everybody,

    I need some advice on how to confront my Uncle in this situation. I'm not sure if I've written about it on here before, but just in case I haven't, I'll give a brief synopsis.

    I babysit my little cousin (she's 3) for my aunt and uncle when they're at work. My aunt typically works from 2-8pm and my uncle usually works from 4am - 6pm (he drives a truck). My cousin goes to kindergarten (Day care) from 7:30am-12:30pm. I pick her up from kindergarten everyday and take care of her until around 8:45pm when her mother gets home. My uncle gets home at around 6:30, but he's got his "stuff" to do at home, so he leaves my cousin here until my Aunt gets off of work. Currently, I don't work or go to school - so there is no great conflict in schedules - but it does make it a little inconvienient for me if I want to go shopping one day and they won't allow her to go with me.

    So...He's had vacation all this week, and every day my cousin has been over here after Kindergarten. He put her in kindergarten every morning, and I would go and pick her up at 12:30. He was at home during this time, but claimed that he had "things" to do (ie. catching up on sleep) and that he wouldn't be able to get her until later that evening. Well, later that evening ends up being 15 minutes before his wife gets home from work so that she thinks that he's been taking care of her all day.

    I don't really dare say anything to her, because I don't want to cause a problem between those two...But it's really starting to bother me. It doesn't bother me that I watch her when they're at work. I understand that childcare is expensive...but what really bugs me is that when he has VACATION - I'm still babysitting!!! He doesn't want me driving anywhere with her, which drives me COMPLETELY insane, since I bought a carseat for her and that means I basically have to stay in this itty bitty town. :yucky:

    How would you all suggest I go about saying something?
  2. Tell your aunt that you need a break. I think that they should be paying you something for all of this. I mean family helps out family but he's clearly taking advantage of you - don't let him. Believe me I'm sure they won't be so helpful if you have a kid. And since you're not in school or working you should be enjoying your time off - it goes by very, very quickly. You don't want to look back and resent them for having you babysit day and night. And what is this about not letting her go shopping with you?! That is ridiculous, you're a free babysitter! I think you should have unavailble times when you'll be busy too. God please stand up for yourself, this is ridiculous.
  3. oh that makes me mad! how rude. they want you to take care of her on your free time and wont even let you drive anywhere?!?! what are you, a prisoner!?!? do NOT let him get away with this! tell his wife everything. she will smack some sense into his lazy ass.
  4. When you talk to them, they should both be together, and you should bring it up as if you were asking a question and not like a confrontation. Maybe you can say something like, oh you know on Monday when you picked her up (or when you dropped her off), I wanted to go shopping and I got a car seat and was wondering if it would be ok now to take her out with me. (Say something to let your aunt know that the child was actually with you the whole day without embarassing your uncle.) That way you let your aunt know that you have been a babysitter everyday but you are not being confrontational eith either of them.
  5. Good advice everybody, thank you! I mainly just didn't want to cause any trouble with anybody. Naturally, I don't mind babysitting - but I truly do feel like a prisoner sometimes!! I'm going to casually bring it up to my aunt, like mas2388 said, hopefully the point will get across.

    Now, don't ask me why I can't drive with her anywhere. They're the ultraparanoid type, I guess. I've got a clean driving record (minus me flying into a ditch during a snow storm) and have never gotten a speeding ticket, etc.

    Hopefully things will change soon - if not, I will MAKE them change.
  6. You have to set up a work schedule for yourself with your aunt and uncle. You have to have your own days off etc. They may be family, but it is also a job- and you need free time. Talk to them both about it because it is 'work' and you do need a set time schedule for it- including time off etc.
  7. They can't afford to be so paranoid if they are not the ones taking care of her or paying to put her in daycare...are they really paying you nothing? sorry it is how i feel...there are people who take advantage of others especially of the young, but it's a good lesson to learn to be able to stand up for yourself. This whole situation does not sound very fair to me, and even if you do not mind baby sitting, you should be compensated....loking after a toddler for 8 or 9 hours a day is not a small thing! are you just doing this on your vacation? i am someone who has been "too nice" and believe me, it is not a good way to go through life!
  8. They're seriously paying me nothing. My aunt works at a bakery, so she brings bread and rolls about everyday - but nothing cash wise. I think that she really does appreciate it and I don't necessarily find the problem to be her (although she's the only one at her work who works those crazy hours and she hardly ever sees her child because she doesn't speak up!)

    It's not really my vacation :smile: I just moved to Germany and I'm in the process of finding a job and applying to various schools - so I'm kind of in an "in-between" point right now!

    I honestly feel like the parent at times. I decide what type of diciplining is done (since they don't do any!) when bed times are, etc. Currently, I'm trying to break her of cosleeping because it honestly drives me nuts and if it isn't stopped soon, she's going to be 18 years old and want to bring her boyfriend home overnight and she'll have to tell her dad to move over to make room for the boyfriend, lol.

    I never thought I'd be raising a toddler at 21, lol!
  9. Well this situation does not sound healthy...Of course your aunt appreciates it (who would not appreciate a free nanny who is great with your child?!) but that's not really the point. It seems like boundaries are very fuzzy and no one has thought anything were they managing before you came along? The child is probably benefitting a lot by having you in her life, but if you have other plans for your life it is important to expend your energy really going for what you want instead of being chained to the house everyday...If you choose to be a parent that's one thing but it is simply not right that you should be a full time parent for your relatives children, uncompensated, and by default. they are taking advantage of your good nature and you really should stand up for not feel that this role is something you "have" to do, because there is no one else. When people choose to have children they need to have a plan on how they want to raise them, not foist them off at their convenience. I think you should have a talk with your aunt and tell her how you feel. I am sure she will understand that the situation cannot go on as it has been for much longer.
  10. Is there any way you can get a real job that actually pays you? I mean even if it is babysitting another child. You are being taken advantaged of and it is not fair. You are trying to get things in order with your life but you do not OWE them your free time to watch their child just because they think you have nothing better to do. I would just tell them that you can no longer babysit for them that you have things to do and you do not owe them a explaination. I mean volunteer work even has set hours, your family is really taking it too far. You should be paid and have set hours. You should be enjoying your free time while you have it. I would quit today and let them deal with their own child. I am sure they would have no problem paying a stranger if they had to.
  11. As a parent, I am franky stuck on a dad who finds it more important to attend to his own needs/wants rather than coming home to be with his child after work!
  12. You sound like a really sweet person, but honestly you should be getting paid something, you'll need the money soon enough. They are taking advantage, sorry. I've seen plenty of arrangements where family members pay other family members for day care. Besides I'm sure you'd have a job if you weren't taking care of the kid day and night - btw how are you looking for a job if you can't even leave the house?! What do your parents say about this?

    (Actually in law school we worked on a project for domestic helpers and how they aren't treated right - a huge issue was mandating a salary, even among family members).

    Don't even get me started on your uncle - he sounds like a father who doesn't want to be bothered by his child.

    And they won't let you drive the child even though you're a free babysitter?

    I wouldn't treat someone in my family that way, honestly I'd pay. The only person I've ever babysat for free was my little sister.
  13. They were relying on my grandmother (who my mom and I are living with until our new place is ready) who is 73, has a bad knee (she's debating knee replacement) and who is just all around tired. No 73 year old woman wants to raise another child! Let alone a child that needs to be kept busy every second of the day because nobody ever showed her how to play by herself.

    I think my aunt and uncle really screwed themselves over 10 years before they even had Nicole (my cousin). They built a house that is entirely too large and entirely too expensive for them. Hence the reason why they can't afford to pay for child care - because they're spending a huuuuuge chunk of their income on their mortgage and such. I know many other families are like this, but if my aunt didn't work, they absolutely would not be able to live there any longer.

    Finding a job in Germany is very difficult right now, and competition is really tough. I did actually have a meeting set up to be a nanny with another family (I did it for nearly a year when I lived in the US) but she never gave me her address and I didn't have her phone number to call back, lol.

    He's very consumed in himself. Hell, my birthday was 2 days ago and he didn't even come to my BBQ party because he was "busy helping" his friend make hay. I mean seriously, he could have at least come by to say hello.

    Couldn't have said it better myself!