Well am I ? Mil related

(43 Posts)
NotHerRealname Wed 06-Feb-13 13:20:45

As a bit of background information I get on well with my Mil on the whole. The kids love her and she spoils them to bits when she sees them.

However, my husband and I went out for a (rare) evening to the cinema at the weekend. She came over to babysit. She was late coming over as usual and then we had to rush out feeling very stressed. Not exactly the relaxing evening we had hoped for.

When we got back at half past 10, she was still up with my 4 year Ds, who normally goes to bed at 7. I sort of just joked about him still being up, I didn't make a fuss as I know that she was doing us a favour. But then she said could she just read him a story before putting him to bed, and I didn't have the heart to refuse her. He didn't go to bed until nearly 11! I should have put my foot down but she always makes me feel bad that she doesn't see her grandchildren much.

I just feel that there is no way it is in a child's best interests to stay up that late. He was an absolute nightmare the next day as he was so tired. We had to rearrange out plans for a day out as he was too tired to go anywhere.
Also, to add insult to injury, he had a wee accident and she didn't tell us, just left the pissy clothes on the bathroom sink. FFS.

She is having my Ds for a couple of days in the half term and I am just dreading it. I just know she will keep him up late both nights and then it will ruin the days I have with him.

NotMostPeople Wed 06-Feb-13 13:26:07

Suck it up.

My Mum was a bit like this with my dc's when they were that age and is a bit now, so lets them watch things on Tv that I don't for example. It used to annoy me, I tried talking to her, she'd change for a while but not really. However, I have a great happy marriage which is in no small part due to the odd nights out and child free nights that we had courtesy of my Mum. The dc's adore her and have an amazing relationship with her, aged between 10 - 13 they know she's a bit slapdash and they'll be fed MacD's and Chinese takeaways when they go to stay. It's only a short while, isn't going to hurt, makes Mum happy, kids happy and my marriage happy. You just have to learn to let it go.

If she keeps him up late one night in half term and he's cranky all the next day with her then maybe she'll put him to bed earlier the next night? It's a difficult one cos she's done you a favour but I think bedtimes should be respected. Any way that the day you get him back you can get your ds to have a short nap to refresh himself halfway thru the day?
She might have forgotten about the accident, and I'd expect the clothes to have been put somewhere safe for me to wash if it was my ds so yab a bit u about that.
Oh and you should have put your foot down about the story and said she had had all evening to read a story and it was now bedtime.

chocoluvva Wed 06-Feb-13 13:26:34

It's completely understandable for you to wish that she'd get your DS to bed earlier, but really, she sounds so nice otherwise and, without meaning to sound sanctimonius, you're lucky to have her and her help.

She obviously wants to maximise her time with the GC while she's with you. Try to overlook this. Your half-term needn't be "ruined" by your DS being tired. He can have a nap one afternoon if he needs it.

NotHerRealname Wed 06-Feb-13 13:35:45

The thing is, she often complains that she doesn't get much time with the kids, but in that case why does she not just get over a bit earlier. Everytime it is the same. She leaves it til the very last minute to get over to our house. If she came over earlier she could have all day with them and then respect our rules for bedtime. In my eyes everyone would be a winner then.
Its not like we restrict her coming here. I understand about "nanny's rules" but really? 11pm for a four year old?
When I say it happens every time I am talking about the rare 3 or 4 times a year that she babysits. Its the bloody principle of it for me. The disregard for my rules in my house really grates.
Obviously I can bitch candidly on here, I would never ever dream of upsetting her in RL as she is a very lovely person and I am not the bitch I sound like from this post!

noblegiraffe Wed 06-Feb-13 13:39:02

When we go to the cinema and MIL babysits, we make it a lunchtime or early afternoon thing. We get a nice time out and MIL gets some quality time with DS. Babysitting when the baby is in bed is no fun at all.

fluffyraggies Wed 06-Feb-13 13:41:06

I was going to say, OP, how about keeping her babysitting times for if/when you go out during the day, and use a friend (who understands about bedtimes) to do any night time sittings.

Zalen Wed 06-Feb-13 13:44:18

If she's habitually late could you maybe adjust the timings when you do ask her to babysit, build in a little extra time to be sure you get out the door on time. If she does ever arrive on time you'll have a bit of time for a quiet drink at the cinema before the movie.

OnwardBound Wed 06-Feb-13 13:49:17

I really hate it when there is a thread where poster complains about mother/MIL and then people pile in saying "well you should be more grateful, at least you have a mother/MIL blah, blah..."

But I'm sort of going to say that to you now grin

DH and I have no family in this country and therefore we have quite limited babysitting option. We very rarely go out just as a couple as it is so difficult to leave young DC with someone. And if we do I always feel slightly guilty, that I am imposing on friend babysitting or that DC will be nervous without us.

So to have a MIL who loves spending time with your children and whom you trust sounds like heaven to me.

That said however I don't think YBU to be a bit annoyed with MIL keeping DC up late and leaving pee soaked pants in the sink without telling you about them.

I think though that perhaps you should just let it go and remind yourself that you are lucky to have a loving and willing family nearby who want to mind DC whilst you go out. Don't upset them or cause them to consider withdrawing their offers of babysitting fgs! Could you just perhaps gently point out that when MIL keeps DC up way past bedtime they are overtired and hell on wheels the next day? Just keep in mind that it might be difficult for MIL to settle DC to sleep at their normal time anyway as they might be excited at seeing her and also playing up a bit which they wouldn't necessarily to do for you... So might not be entirely MILs fault per se although she is also perhaps not discouraging this behaviour iyswim...

Kewcumber Wed 06-Feb-13 14:02:52

Well yes that all sounds about par for the course when grandma babysits. Kids love it, grandma loves it, parents not so much.

Don't arrange anything much for the day after she babysits

IloveJudgeJudy Wed 06-Feb-13 14:13:22

Yup, YABU. YOu are very lucky to have someone who will babysit for you. If she only does it 3/4 times a year, then you will just have to suck it up, politely. It really is no big deal in the scheme of things. Your DC will remember the times fondly, I'm sure. That trumps a tired DC for you the next day.

MsAkimbo Wed 06-Feb-13 14:14:26

I'm with you.

My mother does this all the time; complains she never sees my Dd but comes later than planned to see her, hence throwing off the whole day. Sleep for children is so important, as is a predictable routine.

Having said that, when he stays with her, she'll see what it's like fairly quickly after a day. Then it's her problem grin

nefertarii Wed 06-Feb-13 15:16:09

Tbh I think yabu.

its one night. And I think having to cancel plans because of a tired child is Ott.

She looked after the kids. The kids were looked after and tbh once she had changed his pants she probably forgot.

Yfronts Wed 06-Feb-13 16:13:24

Have you told her? Does she know what happens when your son is kept up late? Some kids seem to manage OK with ridiculously late nights. Mine would be a nightmare and actually a few days would be ruined after - not just one day.

Ask her directly to put him to bed at 7 and state the reasons why. If she doesn't look after DS properly, then don't ask her to babysit and be open about your reasons. You can be kind at the same time but really your sons needs must come first.

I wouldn't care about the wet pants in the sink.

Yfronts Wed 06-Feb-13 16:14:32

nefertarii - you obviously have kids that can cope with an extremely late night. Mine don't.

My DH's mother used to do this with DSD when kiddo stayed at hers - let a 6 year-old girl stay up as late as her 10 year old cousin (who has no boundaries or rules or bedtimes at home...) and let them both fall asleep watching a DVD. DSD thus wouldn't fall asleep until around 10pm at Grandma's and would be a nightmare the next day.

My DH finally had to talk to his DM about it, and told her he didn't want her to do it that way anymore. Caused a big stink. Of course. Sigh. But we held our ground despite her attitude about feeling criticized, and eventually, she agreed to observe a more reasonable bedtime and actually read to DSD when putting her off to bed. Did not stop her from trying to twist it (in front of the kids) into "Daddy doesn't want you watching DVDs at my house anymore, darling, EVER. sad" That was not the case - afternoon or early evening movie was fine, bedtime and overstimulation was not.

It's been taking awhile to learn how to gracefully manage our expectations with MIL, but it can be done. I think if we were able to go about it again, we would have been clearer up front about expectations for bedtime - e.g., announcing to MIL before we left, in front of DSD, "Her bedtime is at 7:30." That would have given us much higher ground to stand on if MIL let us down after agreeing (begging!) to look after DSD.

WilsonFrickett Wed 06-Feb-13 17:18:16

You see 'babysitting' as an opportunity for someone to sit in your house while your kids sleep. She sees 'babysitting' as an opportunity to spend time with her grandchildren.

So really, the solution is to offer babysitting slots through the day, or to suck it up, really. Or hire a babysitter, who will then stick to your rules.

usualsuspect Wed 06-Feb-13 17:22:10

YABU.

Nicolaeus Wed 06-Feb-13 17:26:30

When I was 4 my parents would put me to bed and then go out. I waited until they left and told my grandad I couldnt sleep grin so he would give me a chunk of cheese and we'd watch ballet together on the TV.

These are memories that I cherish as he died a few months later. My mum didnt find out until 20 years later!

happyhorse Wed 06-Feb-13 17:27:10

My MIL does this too. Could come at any time, is more than welcome to, but always turns up at DS's bedtime so I feel that I have to let him stay up, then if she's staying to babysit I know he'll be up for ages and moody and miserable next day. I begrudgingly put up with it as I value the babysitting and DS always has a good time with her. I try to plan it for times when he can have a quiet next day and early to bed the next night.

usualsuspect Wed 06-Feb-13 17:29:39

It's one night,it doesn't matter.

bakingaddict Wed 06-Feb-13 17:36:45

It's difficult for GP's to insist on DC's going to bed at their normal times and I think it's slightly unrealistic for parents to expect this. Kids know it's not the usual night-time routine and obviously play to this fact.

No matter how strict GP's were when they were parents, they don't want to be the big bad ogre of a grandparent making them go to bed at 7pm. They want to be watching DVD's and eating treats till the GC crash out. When me and DH go for dinner and a film we get back around midnight to find DS 5 and DD 2 asleep on the sofa or floor. MIL reports that everyone has had a wonderful time and they didn't go to sleep till 10pm. Sure they may be overtired and cranky the next day but they've had their bonding time with GP's and us a well deserved night out

i have this. and now i pay someone to babysit if it's during the week. mil has twigged too, because she joked that she couldn't get them to bed on time. but when they've got school the next day i'm not prepared to send them tired. so they stay up with her on the weekend to their heart's content and everyone's happy.

if i were you, i'd move the time forward by 30 mins / 1 hour from the time you actually need her. that way she'll get to be late and you'll get to leave early smile

ihearsounds Wed 06-Feb-13 17:50:18

Its one night. Nothing will happen to your ds from staying up late. Yes he might be a bit tired/cranky the next day, but again no big deal.
But then I am not extremly anal about bed times. Sometimes shit happens anyway and children stay up late.

MrsSlocombesPussy Wed 06-Feb-13 17:55:02

I also have treasured memories of my gran babysitting me and my cousin. We were allowed to eat what we want, and stay up to watch Hammer House of Horror films!

1) Pay a babysitter

2) Let MIL see her grandchildren during the day (assuming that "she doesn't see her gcs much" means she only sees them once every couple of months - if she already sees them weekly, tell her to stop moaning and be grateful she sees them as much as she does)

3) Tell her you've changed your plans for half-term, and would she like to come visit for a day when you are there / go out with you and the gcs for a day instead

If she can't look after them she doesn't get to look after them, simple.

crunchbag Wed 06-Feb-13 18:19:08

YABU

She wanted to actually spent time with the gc rather than watching tele whilst they were asleep.

The clothes could have been an oversight, have you never left something for later and forgot about it?

If you know she always arrives late then just ask her to come an hour later, that way you won't stress.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 06-Feb-13 18:23:11

the op says that MIL can see them when she wants, she does not restrict their time.

I think keeping a four year old up till 10.30 is a ridiculous thing to do and wouldn't ask her to babysit again. It would not be worth the fall out the next day.

Who keeps a toddler up till this time? I don't know anyone who would do this.

BrawToken Wed 06-Feb-13 18:23:32

YABU

MrsOakenshield Wed 06-Feb-13 18:27:06

if you know she's always late then just tell her you need her over half an hour before you really do - ridiculous I know, but at least she get there when you wanted! She sounds a lovely grandma, and really, the odd late night isn't the end of the world.

catsrus Wed 06-Feb-13 18:29:14

we left my dad babysitting once, came back to find the furniture upturned and children and dogs playing steeplechase. "they've had a lovely time" he said.

He's long dead but the memory isn't. Sorry YABU, let them make memories of fun and slightly 'naughty' times with your mum.

Hissy Wed 06-Feb-13 19:17:11

Anyone that keeps a 4yo up, in the child's own house until 10 or 11PM is an idiot.

YANBU OP. Change the night time plans, the halfterm ones too. use this latest occasion as a lever to alter the rules. She can come and see them daytime, but that you'll find other people to babysit at night.

It's not on to tell the OP to suck it up, the MIL is supposed to be caring for her GC, making them stay up till 11PM is not on. And I say keeping them up, and making them stay up because if left alone on a sofa. That child would almost certainly have nodded off themself! MIL could have played with and put the DC to bed a bit later than usual, but she didn't even attempt to put a 4yo to bed, and that is ridiculous.

How are you ever meant to be the matriarch in your family if you can't set the rules/guidelines to appropriately provide for your DS. Say nowt for now, but reorganise the haf term quietly, and don't get her to sit at night times again.

If she asks, tell her the truth, calmly and quietly. Her behaviour is indefensible.

I don't know how you kept quietish at the time, I'd have flipped!

ihearsounds Wed 06-Feb-13 19:27:07

Anyone that keeps a 4yo up, in the child's own house until 10 or 11PM is an idiot.
I wear my idiot t-shirt with pride.

Bowlersarm Wed 06-Feb-13 19:29:41

The only thing I can say, OP, is that my MIL was a bit like this with my DS1 which really annoyed me at the time (by keeping him up, feeding him things I didn't want him to eat etc) and I got really annoyed. Then she died unexpectedly and DS2 and DS3 weren't able to enjoy having her around and I really regretted sweating the small stuff - which I think this is - when she was so good with him overall. I just wanted her back so they could know her. So YABU.

MrsOakenshield Wed 06-Feb-13 19:32:50

I must say I never knew I was meant to be the matriarch of my family hmm.

WilsonFrickett Wed 06-Feb-13 19:38:54

How did you choose your NN hissy wink

usualsuspect Wed 06-Feb-13 20:01:01

lol at Hissy,She is joking,right?

Fightlikeagirl Wed 06-Feb-13 20:03:07

Nicolaeus, what a lovely memory you have to cherish

ihear do you have a spare one of those idiot tshirts for me please?!!

HumphreyCobbler Wed 06-Feb-13 20:06:26

Well I also said I wouldn't keep a child of four up till ten, especially if they were used to an early bedtime. I wouldn't expect the responsible adult I had left looking after them to do this either.

ceebie Wed 06-Feb-13 20:14:45

If she's always late, then why don't you ask her to come an hour before you really need her to... if you need to leave at 7, tell her you need her there by 6 at the latest?

thegreylady Wed 06-Feb-13 20:20:23

Now when I babysit...bedtime/bathtime/ story time are right on time with everyone snuggled down by 7pm including grandma who is snuggled down with a mug of tea and a bar of chocolate and a good book grin

NotHerRealname Wed 06-Feb-13 20:32:32

I guess the general concensus is pretty much suck it up then! I do like the idea of the daytime babysitting though. The only trouble is I would feel like such a cow going out during the day and not taking the kids. Its hard when you work and feel like you have to spend every available minute with them to make up for it.

Fightlikeagirl Wed 06-Feb-13 20:38:29

With you on the guilt thing notherrealname. I'm a childminder and feel so guilty that I can't give my children my full attention when working that I too feel I have to make it up to them when not working.

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