Author Topic: Between a rock and a hard place (update post 43)  (Read 13531 times)

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Last_Dance

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Between a rock and a hard place (update post 43)
« on: May 01, 2013, 04:55:07 AM »
I'm house- and pet-sitting (2 cats and 2 dogs) for my parents: as a consequence, neither I nor my DF have had a full night's sleep in 4 days. It's usually the cats - only this morning, when we were planning to sleep in a bit and get some rest, one of the dogs started whining downstairs.

DF is getting sick of this situation: he already has to wake up earlier than usual to get to work and sooner or later the lack of sleep will affect his performance - which is really bad as he works on commission and has just started establishing himself in his field. Also, my parents scheduled both their vacations at the worst possible time for him.

To make things worse, the dogs are not leash-trained and so cannot be taken anywhere. There's no way my parents would bring the cats along as my mother is terrified they'd run away, so we're stuck at their house.

My parents will not hear of hiring a sitter: they don't trust anyone else with the keys and when I brought up that we might not be doing this much longer, my mother asked me (and I quote): "Don't you think you owe us something?"

The best solution would probably be for my parents to train the dogs and take them along and DF and I would move the cats to our flat - the hard part is actually convince them to do it.

(And that's hoping they don't get Cat n3 back from the shelter - see here for details: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=124998.msg2890520;topicseen#msg2890520
)

I really, really need advice. Your thoughts?   
 
« Last Edit: May 12, 2013, 06:33:06 AM by Last_Dance »
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StarFaerie

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Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2013, 05:02:15 AM »
1) Children don't owe parents anything IMHO. Parents chose to have the children and with that they got responsibilities. Children didn't choose to be born. I seriously dislike when parents pull this card.

2) If you opt out of this, what will they do? They will have no choice but to train the dogs and then bring the cats to you or get a sitter. And training dogs is a good thing, so it's win-win for the animals. Think of it as training your parents :P

At least that's my opinions.

Oh, and for the current situation, could your husband and you take turns sleeping at your parent's place so at least one of you got a reasonable night's sleep each night?

And I'm adding ((HUGS)) because this sounds really hard.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 05:09:25 AM by StarFaerie »

Nemesis

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Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2013, 05:12:10 AM »
Honestly, I would tell them that I love them, but this is not possible.

Just keep saying that it is not possible. The compromise is that you will take the cats, but not the dogs. The dogs are not possible, they either need to cancel their vacation, take their dogs, or get a sitter, or put them in a pet hotel.

If they make suggestions on how you can take the dogs, just keep reiterating, the dogs are not possible, not possible, not possible.

peaches

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Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2013, 06:02:48 AM »
Honestly, I would tell them that I love them, but this is not possible.


That would be my response in the future. If you keep saying it, they will find another solution.

For the time being, I would let DF off the hook (given his job demands) and send him back to the flat to sleep.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 09:10:43 AM by peaches »

YummyMummy66

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Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2013, 06:51:19 AM »
My advice is to develop a spine and tell them no.

When they get back from this vacation, I would tell them immediately that you will no longer be babysitting their animals.  They will have to hire a sitter or board them.    Keep saying no time and again.

When she says you owe her, what exactly is she referring to?   I would say to her, well, after this last time, you are paid.  We owe you nothing.

Geekychick1984

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Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2013, 06:54:53 AM »
I agree with everyone else - you should just tell them know. People shouldn't have children so that they will owe them something later in life.

ClaireC79

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Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2013, 06:58:34 AM »
From the other thread, which you linked to, it's not clear to me if you still live there.  If you do and it's rent free then I can see where they are coming from with the 'owe us' and you probably do have to suck it up as a condition of living there- however housesitting seems like a strange term to use about where you live so if you have moved out ignore the above

oogyda

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Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2013, 08:06:52 AM »
The simple solution is to let DF stay at your flat while you are pet sitting. 

Since it seems to be him that is most adversely effected by the situation, let him off the hook.

Then next time, say "No."

edited to make a complete sentence.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 08:14:08 AM by oogyda »
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*inviteseller

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Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2013, 08:18:20 AM »
Tell them no.  And for now, send DF home.  His career is not worth this. 
FTR - I have 4 cats and a dog and sleeping in is not possible.  Remember,  these pets have a schedule and are used to following it and there is nothing you can convince a hungry cat or a dog who has to go out nownownow with to let you sleep in.

TootsNYC

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Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2013, 08:26:30 AM »
The simple solution is to let DF stay at your flat while you are pet sitting. 

Since it seems to be him that is most adversely effected by the situation, let him off the hook.

Then next time, say "No."


I agree--this seems like a very simple solution.

You do *right now* have a commitment to your parents to care for their animals. But the pets don't need BOTH of you, and they don't really need you to sleep there.

So your DF can sleep in his own bed, and you can either stay at your folks' or not, and you can decide on a night-by-night basis, based on the logistics of traveling back and forth, etc.

OK, so you don't get to sleep together for a few days. You'll live.


The animals need someone to feed and water them and to let them out to go to the bathroom. When I have a cat sitter, he only stops by once a day to put out fresh water, clean the box, and

Dogs need more frequent bathroom trips, that's true. So maybe sleeping there is the easiest way.

And then the NEXT time, you tell them no. Suggest they find some neighbor kid (middle school is good, bcs parents often serve as backup) to stop by.

bopper

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Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2013, 08:52:11 AM »
So YOUR PARENTS have some pets.
YOUR PARENTS decided to go on vacation.
YOUR PARENTS have not leashed trained the dog.
YOUR PARENTS don't want to let other people in the house.
YOUR PARENTS are afraid the cats will escape.
YOUR PARENTS scheduled vacation at their whim without consulting you even though they expect you to be available for petsitting.

How is this your problem?

Your parents have created a situation, but expect you to take care of it.

 "Don't you think you owe us?"

Well, of course you try to help out family!

But don't you think they OWE YOU to make sure that they have well behaved pets and it is a convenient time for you?
They may be happy with non-leashed trained dogs. They may be happy with cats that keep you up.

Also, you say "DF" and not "DH".  I assuming then you are not married and then are planning to get married.
One could argue that when you are married your primary allegiance is now to your spouse.  Will you make your husband go stay at your parents house then?  Will you sleep apart?  Consider that you should "start as you mean to go on".    Let's say someday you have kids. Are you still expected to go house sit?    Perhaps now is the time to start breaking away from your parents.


Last_Dance

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Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2013, 09:32:43 AM »
From the other thread, which you linked to, it's not clear to me if you still live there. 

That's an old thread: I linked it mostly to avoid explaining about the third cat and why I'm hoping they don't get it back.
I'm currently moving out: I meant to use this week to get most of the sorting and packing done. Let's say it's not going according to plan.

All the PP who suggested DF should stay at his/our flat: I already tried last time, but DF refuses to leave me here on my own - it's not isolated, but it's still a detached house, which is seen as more dangerous than flats over here.

About "you owe us": it's probably about "all the things we did for you and all the sacrifices we made and we always gave you everything you wanted" and so on and so forth.
Some day I'll have to start a whole topic about my mother the disappointed martyr, but it's better if I don't get into it right now.

I guess there's really no way to keep everybody happy this time. I just hope my parents can understand this. 
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Zizi-K

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Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2013, 09:47:39 AM »
Once you no longer live in their house (and they no longer know the minutiae of your schedule), it will be much easier for you to say, "Oh, sorry! We're actually not available that week. I have two important work functions that week, and then a wedding that weekend. Wish I could ... But my friend X recommend Y pet sitters, though."

Lynn2000

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Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2013, 10:41:24 AM »
I guess there's really no way to keep everybody happy this time. I just hope my parents can understand this. 

I know it would be nice if everyone could be made happy, or at least be understanding, but... I'm sorry to say, it just doesn't always happen in real life. :( For this vacation, you've made a commitment to house-sit and pet-sit, so I think you have to stick with that. The animals are used to being treated a certain way on a certain schedule; they don't understand they're irritating you and it's not really their fault, so I think you just need to work with them as best you can.

And for the future... I think if you don't want to repeat this experience, you'll just have to say no to your parents. It won't be easy and they won't be happy, and they'll probably try to pull guilt cards and talk about how much you "owe" them and so forth. It will not be a fun time. But I think you either have to do this, and free yourself from the obligation of house- and pet-sitting; or you can continue to accept the obligation, but find a way to make it work better for you.

Depending on the times and distances you might be able to commute instead of staying over, or host a friend at night instead of DF if he needs more sleep to work, or something like that. I'm guessing your parents don't pay you for doing this; but would it be possible, and worth it to you, to pay someone else to do the sitting, or at least help you out? That's an extreme way to avoid confronting your parents, but it might work for you, since the current arrangement seems untenable.
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WillyNilly

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Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2013, 10:47:02 AM »
I understand this is a stressful situation but honestly, your DF is choosing to stay there because he doesn't trust you to be safe as a adult, with 2 dogs in a home. Personally I wouldn't tolerate any complaints from someone who chooses to be miserable while simultaneously calling me incompetent. You lock the doors and be aware of your surroundings, of course, but surely other people spend time alone in houses and aren't all instantly victims.

And while you are currently planning to move out, you do still live there. And there are responsibilities and favors owed to parents when adult offspring continue to live n their parents home through adulthood. Plus if you live there, surely you are used to the animals and have had ample time with them to contribute to their training.

I foresee several ways to avoid this situation in the future, once you don't live there, and once you have started a new family by way of getting married. But for now, I think you should accept the situation as natural consequences and make the best of it that you can.