2nd May 2007 12:12I have two older sisters, one of them in married with a lovely little girl. My two older sisters live in Dublin and the rest of the family live about 120 km away. My sister expects my mother to do alot of babysitting. My parents absolutely adore their only grandchild and really look forward to her coming on holidays. The problem is, my mother has severe back problems and will need an operation in the next year. Basically she has a hump and the bones at the top of her spine are disintegrating, the bone particals are now dislodging and may be pressing on her spinal cord. This is my understanding of it anyway. My mother also has high blood pressure, and has very limited use of her left arm. Apart from all of this my mother works full time in her own business and runs the house for my father and brother. They are typical mammies boys and everything is done for them, cooking, cleaning washing ets. Our family is pretty chauvanistic and there will be no changing of my father, he is just not able to look after himself. In fairness to my brother he does look after himself but my mum sees it as her role to do as much as she can for them both. The problem I have is my sister literally comes down to visit and dumps her child and either goes off to the pub or shopping. The weekend just passed my sis dropped her little girl to Granny at 2.00 on Friday afternoon, worked for a few hours (she works for herselt - 3/4 days a week) then went shopping, she arrived back home at 8.30 and pranced in showing off her new clothes. On Saturday she went away and spent a few hours working and was due to collect her child that evening. Instead my sis called back home for 15 minutes and agreed with Granny (mum) that it was easier if she left her little girl with Granny till Sunday. Sis then drove to Galway to meet her hubby for a night out. On both Saturday and Sunday I took my niece for 4/5 hours to give my mum a break. I dropped my niece back to my parents house at 8.30 p.m. on Sunday only to find that my sis and her husband still hadn't arrived to collect my niece. I found out from my brother that my sister called at 9.30ish on Sunday night suggesting that maybe my niece could stay down until Thursday night. My brother is doing his final exams at the moment and told mum that he would not be able to study with a toddler in the house, so my mum had to put my niece into the car and drive a one hour journey to meet my sister and her husband ( half way point en route to Dublin) to return their daughter . I am absolutely appalled by their actions. I feel their are taking advantage of my mother. This is not the first time this type of thing has happened, this is a regular occurance. They ask mum to go to Dublin to baby sit (120k away) and Mum does it. She is afraid not too as my sis is a drama queen. In the past my Mum has said to me that she is worried in case they can't cope with raising a child. They both have good jobs, are financially well off, my niece is in a creche from 8-6 Monday to Firday, my sis only works 3/4 days a week and can do her own hours as she works for herself, her husband has been off work for the last six weeks due to a leg injury ( he is fully mobile). Both of them have plenty of time to go to the gym, throw parties etc, they go on aprox 4 holidays a year, 3 out of 4 they leave their daughter with my mum. I simply think they are selfish and their social life/appearance is higher up on their list of priorities than both my mums health and their daughter. The problem is everyone is afraid to say anything to them in case it turns into WW3. my sister usually starts crying if anyone says anything to her. I am afraid of saying too much in case the backlash is ' well we wont visit again' Mum is the type of person that just wont say no, she is constantly worried in case there are any relationship problems between them, but to be honest they are really in your face about what a great couple they are and how they have everything going for them. What should I do ? How can I approach this subject without turning into the bad guy and causing a huge fight?