DM, alcohol and looking after DS, aibu?!(30 Posts)
I've just come back home from a night out, the second time I've left DS (4.5 months) with anyone other than DH (and even then only the 3rd time). DM and DF looking after DS for the first time and DS a little poorly (a cold, teething, etc).
Get back to the house DM smells of wine, repeating bits of the conversation we have and quite stroppy with me when I don't bf straight away as she tells me to (despite baby still lightly sleeping).
DM has a backstory, an interesting relationship with alcohol bordering alcoholic (my opinion, non diagnosed). We had left her a bottle of wine out, as she would have looked for one anyway, but when i check, she has gone through my cupboards looking for more wine and they've gone through a bottle and a half altogether. I don't know how much either drunk, but had DS been ill I'm fairly sure it wouldn't have been a good idea for them to be driving.
DH and I don't drink that much or that regularly, so I guess I'm asking aibu to assume that DParents would have held back on the vino for the one day they are looking after DS?
(And if ianbu what the hell do I do now?!)
YADNBU. I would be livid with my parents if they drank that amount whilst looking after DS (he is 15 wks). I guess the only thing to do is to be honest with them about your concerns and explain your expectations around drinking whilst lolling after your DS etc. doesn't sound like it will be an easy conversation but I think it has to be had. Good luck.
Thanks Jojo... It's just so hard. DM not known for her tolerance of other views and will hit the roof if I dare to 'question' her.
I'm scared that by challenging her/them, the relationship will sour, but at the same time, if I don't, how the heck do I explain not wanting them to look after DS.
What is your DF like with wine? Because maybe they drank the same, in which case 3/4 of a bottle each. Maybe not that large an amount for a big drinker (more than I would like DPs to drink with DD but YKWIM). If DF wasn't drinking that much, that would account for DM being stroppy but means that was a relatively sober and responsible adult in the house.
It sounds very difficult op, I feel your pain. I've found since having DS I've got very firm(probably totally bolshie) about things related to him. That doesn't mean that my parents (or DH for that matter!) agree with all of my parenting views. But it does mean that it is easier for them to understand what is non-negotiable in terms of how I want DS to be cared for. Not suggesting you get angry with your dps but finding a way to firmly state your objections and expectations and make it clear there is no negotiation on this subject is probably needed. (Or you could do what I would do and get really angry and then cry!!!!).
The fact that you knew you needed to leave a bottle out 'as she would have looked for one anyway' probably tells you what you need to know. That's not something most people would have to consider. It's not something most people would want when looking after a small baby.
It sounds like your father drank too, so three quarters of a bottle of wine each when looking after a 19 week old?
There's no point in saying anything if you've tried to address their drinking in the past and been ignored. Don't leave them to babysit again. If they ask why just say you've already made plans.
MrsTP, DF did seem more sober, this is true. Problem is DM does hog DS (for want of a better word) and I'm not sure DF got a look in. Plus he wouldn't stand up against her or tell her to stop something.... From past experience he doesn't do conflict.
Jojo, i like the idea of being really tiger-mother and firm, but If DM gets an idea in her head however, there is almost no point in arguing as she will get really stroppy... If I want to lay out my expectations I need to be prepared for her to be a total cow and possibly the silent treatment. I'm basically scared, if I'm being honest. So much so that it is 2.45 and I can't sleep thinking about it...
Its rubbish that you are up worrying about this. I can understand why thou. I would not have been happy either in your shoes.
Perhaps if you can't face talking about it (not suggesting this is right) just don't have any alcohol in the house next time. Would this be so odd?
Or pluck up the courage, rally support and batten down the hatches and talk to your Dm about this. Let her throw a strop but keep repeating your point of view and wishes when it cones to looking after YOUR child.
Oh and for now put it to the back of your mind and sleep!!!!
Yanbu, but if she has a drink problem there is nothing you can do to control it. You will just have to find another babysitter.
Find another babysitter or make sure there is no booze around at all (or findable) if she is looking after ds. By leaving wine for them you are saying it is ok for you to drink while looking after my son.
My step F once almost fell on my DT when they were toddlers, the only reason that he did not land in them was because I shoved him out of their way. I left right then and the next time he asked me to bring them see him I said only if you are going to be sober, to which he replied better make it before ten then. I said no, I'm not going to bother if you cannot. He never saw my boys again and never saw my daughter. OP you have to take charge for the sake of your DS. If they cannot reduce their drinking to stay sober when looking after your precious child then they should not be looking after him.
Very strange; I'm sure you won't be leaving your ds with these people again?
Find other babysitters, you needn't have a row about it if you don't want to.Your kid = your responsibility. Having a baby makes you a parent now & you need to learn from your mother's mistakes on how to be the best parent you can.
Agree, you do'nt need to have a row, just find other babysitters, you might have to just accept paying for childcare and never leaving your parents in sole charge of DS.
If your mother complains, you need to find that mummy backbone and say "You'll drink and we don't want anyone looking after DS who's been drinking." she can rant all she likes, don't give in, your DS is not a toy to keep her happy, that she doesn't realise it's not acceptable to get drunk in charge of someone else's DC means her judgement can't be trusted. i'd rather not have a night out.
BTW - if she has a drink problem, you can't accept that she'll say "i wo'nt drink then". It's hard but this is when you have to make the adjustment in your thinking, the family dynamic has changed, you are the parent of the family, she is the grandparent, so what you (and DH) says goes. Do'nt feel you have to put up with "her way" now.
If your parents are regular heavy-ish wine drinkers then a bottle and a half between them isn't that much at all and probably wouldn't have much of an effect on them.
I think you're being OTT thinking that's loads of wine but if you want babysitters to remain teetotal then best to have someone else you pay so you can feel easier about setting down rules.
YABU leaving your infant with someone you feel is a borderline alcoholic. You are even more U for leaving a bottle of wine out.
What do you do know? Find a reliable babysitter with references next time you want to go out.
This is a tricky one but you did leave out the wine, suggesting it was OK to drink? Not blaming you though, so as I say, difficult one.
If she feels the need to go through your cupboards looking for drink she isn't a borderline alcoholic. She is an alcoholic.
dont have her baby sit pure and simple she can see the baby during the day she can have him during the day but just dont have her baby sit at night , I assume she is a heavy drinker and you don't want your ds looked after by a heavy drinker, I think wine is seen as an acceptable social nice thing to drink change the wine for cheap cider would you leave that put for her ? i am honestly not having a go but drinkers will drink regardless, so you either dont have alcohol in your house when she watches him or dont have her watch him, oh saying all that the baby was fine wasn't he
I agree that by leaving wine out you have tacitly condoned their behaviour - if you expected them to drink a bottle of wine between them then neither of them would have been able to drive anyway, and by that reasoning another half bottle shared isn't exactly shocking.
I think you need to give them the option - we would love you to look after him, but we aren't really comfortable about you drinking when you do, so you can either stay sober, or we'll just find a babysitter for those nights and you can see him when he is with us.
Op i feel for you. I have posted elsewhere about the time we left my dm to babysit my dd and got home to find her slurring away with an empty gin bottle. Whilst kicking myself for thinking that she would put her dgc care before alcohol and being so wrong, i resolved to never leave my children so exposed again. This has been easy for me as she lives abroad so there is not much opportunity.
My advice would be to put this down to experience but not ask them to babysit again. If they ask why you simply say because you don't like leaving ds with people who drink. Yes you'll get sulks etc. but will no doubt feel better for standing up for yourself.
There is a support thread in relationships for those of us with alcoholic dm. May be worth a look.
I haddly ever left dds at my mums house when they were little my mum was fine it was my stepdad he always used to be in some stage of drunk (at the weekend) and I refused to let them be exposed to that
The only iffy bit about this is you left the wine out in the first place that usually means I do not object to baby sitters drinking.
But you don't have to justify a thing just never ask them again and if they ask then you just say I don't need a baby sitter.
You won't need o e because you will have already arranged a sober one.
If you use your parents for childcare then I don't think you can object to them drinking wine if they want to. Three quarters of a bottle over a whole evening isn't likely to make a regular wine drinker very drunk. I think you're being very precious, to be honest. I understand that your DS is a precious, fragile creature to you, but you have to accept that other people are going to be a bit more laid back in that regard. Otherwise don't leave him with anyone until he's a bit older.
Thanks to everyone for their input...
To those who have said I enabled it by leaving wine out... I understand that, but she would have looked for wine anyway and I didn't want her just drinking anything in my cupboard. I hoped by leaving one out that they would have maybe a glass and a bit each... Everything in moderation; I don't mind her having a glass with food when she is looking after him, but she wasn't sober so can't have been self regulating... I don't like her when she is tipsy/drunk, she tends to get more stroppy etc.
They live an hour and a half away and we don't need childcare that often (she offered for this one off event), so it's not like we are regularly taking up her weekends/evenings and restricting what she can do all the time. The borderline alcoholism was something I first noticed a while ago linked to a bout of unacknowledged depression and I hadn't seen her drink like it for a while, she is on some fairly hefty tablets that you aren't meant to drink on now, so I genuinely thought she wasn't drinking that much anymore (sorry if I am drip feeding, didn't think to mention that at 2am).
I don't think I have the strength to confront at the moment, I might take the advice to just stop letting her see him unsupervised for a while and maybe graduate to only during the day (I've not seen her drink in the day, she doesn't think her drinking is a problem and so wouldn't hide it....)
Thanks all for your support and views... I'm shattered now having mulled this over for ages! Thank goodness DH happily playing with DS!
1- your df may not have drunk a drop.
2- you know she has drink issues and still chose to leave your baby in her care
3- why have drink in the house, let alone.leave a bottle.out when leaving an alcoholic in your house?
4- does one of you or dh always remain sober each night just incase?
5- "I dont mind her having a glass with her meal" - controlling much?? you left a bottle.out for her. She obviously thoight you didnt mind her having a drink.
For all of these points above, YABU.
Dont leave your child.in the care of an alcoholic or enable them.by having drink readily avaliable in your house. Dont presume that yourdf drank - he may not have.
I would suggest you start educating yourself about alcoholism, maybe go to an Alanon meeting.
You could also read the Stately Homes thread.
I would rather leave my baby with a teenager than an adult who is going to get drunk/tipsy whilst babysitting.
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