{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "My brother has 2 kids, aged 6 and 3. They never call or keep in touch but take full on advantage of my 77 year old mother who has health issues and debilitating back pain. They put her in stressful situations...she never says no because she’s too nice. Today called and said dropping off both kids FOR 6 days while they go on vacation to Florida for someone’s bday. I live in another state but am summoned to help take care of their kids with absolutely no notice. I say no & im the problem...", "post_id": "6109c60114e7e6002ea8b94f", "reply_count": 6, "vote_count": 2, "bowl_id": "59e88be7e2808e00149b0443", "bowl_name": "Women In Consulting" }

My brother has 2 kids, aged 6 and 3. They never call or keep in touch but take full on advantage of my 77 year old mother who has health issues and debilitating back pain. They put her in stressful situations...she never says no because she’s too nice. Today called and said dropping off both kids FOR 6 days while they go on vacation to Florida for someone’s bday. I live in another state but am summoned to help take care of their kids with absolutely no notice. I say no & im the problem...

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I’m so absolutely fed up of selfish people taking advantage and burdening others. I have a major event happening this week and so indicated I can’t just drop my own life to accommodate. And now the rest of the family is giving me side eye ans worst of all I’m constantly worried about how my elderly mother will handle two small children for 6 damn days. What do I do?!

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To clarify, has your mom indicated that she finds this stressful and doesn’t want to participate or are you assuming?

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Yes she has said it to me privately on several occasions but always follows up with “it’s ok, its for my kids so I’ll figure it out, need to help family”. The problem is everyone expects me to just drop what I’m doing as tho I don’t have a life of my own and take care of everyone… my mom, brothers kids on a dime, etc. I am single and live an hour and a half away and during Covid spent 85% of my time caring for mom so she wasn’t alone. She has significant health issues and can’t take care of herself (77 yo) let alone 2 kids under 6. Brothers live im the same town <4 min away.

Nothing really.. you just need to set expectations as the person whose life is full of enriching important things. Then your family will default be extra happy when you go out of your way to do something like this. As opposed to having an expectation of you to do this! It’ll take time to do this.. but I’d say start with some self aggrandizing comments of what you have to do this week to anyone who will listen. Also, it’s hard to not worry about your mum - I get that.. but end of the day it’s her life and you need to pick the moments when you make her aware of her accommodating nature.

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Not your monkeys, not your circus. It's hard, but aside from encouraging your mom to say no, there is not much you can do. She's an adult and has made her choice she'd rather suffer with this than say no. Your brother in my opinion is taking a risk leaving kids with your mother, who doesn't sound like a safe carer, but that's also his choice. If you refusing to go help causes them to cancel their plans, good. You are not obligated to enable your brother's assholery.

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