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Greetings. Being the son who is single and can do most of the work from home, I am tasked with caring for my aging mother (both her and my father already asked me, half-joking, to move back in, but that's not the case). Question is, every December my sister-in-law gets a temporary job, so she sends her two daughters (6 and 4 y.o.) for my mother to babysit. Since she can't, I have to travel 65 miles to handle my mother and two kids. They're the sweetest things (that goes double for my mom), but nevertheless they drain me. After the kids leave, I am too tired/overwhelmed to work. In short, every December I have to stop working so my SIL can. How can I make my family understand and respect my career and still help my mom? Thanks in advance.

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Jeannegibbs:
they're both in school. December/January is summer vacation time here at my corner of the world. The cleaning Lady schedule is pretty full already. But yes, I talked with SIL today, we'll discuss options mon /Tue. Looking good. Thanks all
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I see it's your SIL. Depending on your relationship you might want to try to discuss this with your brother. Word it right and perhaps you can make him understand that your parents are going to be needing help going forward and as much as they would want to watch the children they just aren't able without your help.
Just curious but since SIL only works in December does she help with your parents the other 11 months? It might be a good time to approach her as well on future care taking.
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"How can I make my family understand and respect my career and still help my mom?"

Have you tried English?

Seriously, if you don't explain the situation to your sister it is not fair of you to expect her to read your mind. She is going to have to do what other working parents do who don't have near-by healthy and willing relatives to do childcare. Pay for someone to come into the house, or send the kids to a childcare facility, or arrange her hours so Dad cad be with the kids. This may mean that her seasonal work may not earn more than she spends for childcare. Whatever you feel you owe your parents, you do not owe your sister a months worth of income so that she doesn't have to pay for childcare. Tell her. (As nicely as possible, of course, and with much regret.)

Here is a thought: Could the cleaning/cook person take on childcare duties, too, for additional income? Would she be a suitable choice for that?

Isn't the older girl in school? How does that work out in December?
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freqflyer, they have a cleaning/cook lady who helps a bit during daytime, my father at night time. From almost two years now I felt it was my duty to go to their house almost every weekend, so my father can rest some. That is, it began with weekends now it's friday lunchtime to monday very early in the morning - often I am at the road just before 07:00. I felt I own the old folks this. And I know it's a matter of months before I will have to consider moving in for real. So far, my father only complains about lack of energy and patience; my mother has mobility and sight issues, but her mind is probably the sharpest in the house.
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coyoteBR, who takes care of your Mom between January and November? Is your Dad able to help?
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You don't have to do anything you don't want to do. If this arrangement isn't going to work for you this year you can say so. If your mom is looking forward to the kids coming and having you back at home you just have to explain to her what you told us.

Be true to yourself. Don't do something for someone that's going to cost you something you can't afford. Like a month of work.

And like Countrymouse said, be quick about it so other arrangements can be made.
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Your SIL and the rest of the family probably think you love it.

And you do, in a way. Gorgeous little poppets, what's not to love. And it's great that you're still so fond of your parents, too.

But you're too busy, and this is too much. This year, tell them deadlines make it impossible for you to manage more than weekend cover and they'll need, between them all, to hire in help. And be quick about it, too: it would have been better to bring this up earlier and give them more notice. Still, can't be helped.
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