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Parents..... And Childcare(7 Posts)
Posting in relationships as not really sure what the right area is, but it's definitely a bit to do with relationships!
Will try not to drip feed but I'm typing in my phone so trying to keep it shortish!
My parents moved in with us at Christmas. My mum is disabled and my dad has intermittent depression so sometimes struggles to care for my mum alone but 99% of time he is fine. They are both retired. I am on maternity leave, DH is on full pay but recovering from an injury sustained at work and likely to be at home on full pay for another 6-9 months. We have 2 DS aged 6 yr and 6 mo.
Plan was initially for them to have baby DS 4 days per week when I go back to work, nursery 1 day, and do school run for 6yo DS. They volunteered this. They currently have my nephew 1 day a week - he is 16 months, and again they volunteered.
My mum has had several recent hospital admissions which have left my brother scrabbling round for last minute Childcare on "their" day - luckily his nursery is great at fitting my nephew in the extra day. Additionally, my mum has recently (with the support of my dad!!) begun snatching my baby DS from mine or DH arms and is in denial that this is in anyway rude when confronted.
DH and I have had several instances where they've attempted to undermine us with ds1, eg he was being told off and they attempted to interfere. Ds1 is a very good boy but they let him do anything he wants - instances of him eating butter from the tub with a spoon as a toddler for example! He sometimes plays up when they are eating dinner with us for example, if he doesn't want veg he whines and doesn't eat because he hopes my dad will take the thing he doesn't want so he doesn't need to eat it.
Whilst they have been watching my nephew, there have been issues eg not putting him in his cot to sleep, feeding pudding before meal resulting in meal not being eaten, not using a car seat for a (short, admittedly, like 2 minutes) journey, refusing to use plastic spoon despite repeatedly being asked to as apparently nephew prefers metal one and is a big boy so needs to use big boy cutlery (16 months...) according to my DM!
Anyway, DH and I are pretty sure when he goes back to work that we would rather baby DS went to nursery/ childminder where we can tell them what we want done as we are paying for it, rather than worrying about them doing random weird and dangerous stuff, and even just other things that are against our wishes. Brother and sister in law thinking similarly re the day nephew spends.
How am I going to handle this? Am I being reasonable? My mum has strops about nothing as some of her medications have affected her personality, eg she went in a mood because we don't need two potato mashers..... She us an ex health visitor so thinks she knows best despite my brother and I pointing out these are our children.
The plastic sppo vs metal one seems a non-issue - but the car seat is not.
If you have your DS at nursery for more than one day, I would have thought it would be better for him; give him more time to build up a relationship with his key worker. Also they would be more likely to fit you in at short notice for extra day. Would you be happy with him spending one day a week with your parents?
I suspect you are right in thinking that if they have your DC more, then they will let them get away with more/interfere more.
They've come to live in your home and you're going to have to treat it that you've acquired two more DCs. There is no place for kid gloves here. Has to be your house, your rules etc or you will have a breakdown. You and DH must present a united and uncompromising front. You're going to be unpopular quite often and subjected to 'strops' but that's the price you pay for being the grown-ups
Whose idea was it to have them move in with you?. Clearly this arrangement is no longer working - and was likely not to work out at all well in the first place given their own health issues. There's a lack of respect (from them to you) and a complete blurring of boundaries as well. Was there ever a moving out date planned?. Likely not, again this was a mistake.
They've done the parenting job and they should not be acting as surrogate parents to your children now. DS should certainly go to a childminder/nursery. Your mother's own knowledge as a health visitor is likely to be badly out of date.
It was a joint decision that they move in as we were spending hours travelling and staying at their house to help look after her when she was having relapses so this believe it or not is much easier.
She has a 90% chance of not being here in 5 yrs time so DH and I are not prepared to put a time limit on their stay.
We do want them to treat the house as theirs as well, we have created an annexe for them for that purpose with a lounge and bedroom. However we expect boundaries to be respected and our wishes regarding our children to be followed.
I think I may consider 4 days at nursery and one day with the parents, that way it will be a lot more stable and reliable, and as someone pointed out better for ds2.
DH and I are planning together how to handle this, we will be united in whatever approach we do take, and also in discussion with db and dsil about it as well.
The car seat thing did make me freak out, the spoon isn't a lot in isolation, it's more an example of how repeated requests from parents are ignored.
Thanks for the replies.
How about using a childminder and your parents collect about an hour before you get home????
I can tell you it is near impossible to raise children under the same roof as the grandparents - even if the kids are in child care full time. You will always be undermined.
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