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To be annoyed that grandparents only want to look after ds at their house?

(86 Posts)
digggers Sun 01-Aug-10 20:12:41

My ds is 1 and a bit. My mil and fil live an hour away. They are nice people, and they dote on ds. They are eager to look after him, but only at their house. When I first went back to work I asked mil if she'd like to look after ds, as she'd been assuming, before I arranged alternative childcare. She said only if he came to them, which is dificult as I don't drive and he at the time was exclusively breastfed and didn't take a bottle. So I arranged alt childcare.

Now everytime we use other childcare they say "you should just bring him over to us" . I don't know why they won't come over here! It is much harder for us to take him there, means he's away for much longer and is difficult for me emotionally (pfb!).

Now I know that I need to be able to leave him, and I want him to know and love his grandparents and enjoy staying at their house. So we do go over and stay regularly and stay. But each time they get narky that we've brought stuff with us to use in preference to what theyhave there. (ie our travelcot, rather than their ancient one. Ds's teddies he cuddles in bed rather than the one's they have there). I get taken the mickey out of for bringing tomuch stuff (a travel cot and day ruck sack!)

However, I do want ds to stay with them, and I know I have to get used to it for his sake, so last weekend we left him overnight there for the first time. Again when I arrived they had their cot set up, and I had to explain again I wanted to use ours. They hurried me off, told me to go he'd be fine when I'd wantedto help settle him and put him to bed. But ok I went with it. Came back the next day toget him, and it transpired that they'd not put him to bed till 930pm, when he normally goes at 7. Apparently he looked like he wanted to come downstairs and play! And we picked him up at teatime, and mil had already bathed him and put him in his pyjamas because he had a "stinky bum" and not fed him. So by the time we got home, he was starving, so after dinner wouldn't go to bed till 10 ish. And then for the next week he wouldn't goto bed till 9.

Now I suppose disruption is the price to pay for free childcare and ds having loving grandparents. But is it too much to ask they follow a basic routine of tea, bath and bed by 7?

They are both fit and well, in their 60s, don't work and both drive. Is it also unreasonable for them to come here tolook after him?

Sometimes it feels they just want him on their own, in their own house and on their own terms? Why?

hairytriangle Sun 01-Aug-10 20:15:04

You expect childcare from mil and for her to travel an hour to get to your house to do it?

onagar Sun 01-Aug-10 20:16:43

YABU. They are doing you a favour.

digggers Sun 01-Aug-10 20:17:03

No I don't expect childcare. She offers, but only if I come to her. Read the post properly!

Ewe Sun 01-Aug-10 20:17:46

YABU a bit.

I think you have to accept that GPs will often have own ideas about how to do things, unless they are seriously damaging to your DC then I think you need to let it go. I would be pissed off about them not feeding him though, that's not on!

Late to bed, early bath, putting in PJs at teatime, not so much of an issue IMO. I think it's reasonable to want to stay in your own home if you're doing overnight babysitting, I wouldn't expect my Mum to come and stay here when I wanted her to look after my DD, she has a lovely big house with lots of space and massive garden and I have a two bed flat so logistically it's easier too. Is that the case with you and ILs too?

sapphireblue Sun 01-Aug-10 20:20:42

all I can think is envy that you have the option of leaving him with someone! I would be sooo grateful to have the opportunity for a night away with DH but unfortunately it's not going to happen for us until the DDs are old enough to be left on their own (approx another 16/17 years provided we don;t opt for DC3).

UABVVVVU and ungrateful.

digggers Sun 01-Aug-10 20:21:48

Will you please read properly! I didn't ask her for childcare, she assumed she'd look after my ds went I went back to work. But only if he came to her. I didn't want to, so I arrange my own. And so they are always asking "why don't you just bring him to us" and asking us to bring him there.

I just don't know why they only want him there. I don't want them for childcare. I only want them to have a nice relationship with their grandson and for him to be happy to stay at their house sometimes. Not for childcare, but for the fun of staying with grandparents.

onepieceoflollipop Sun 01-Aug-10 20:22:35

Lots of gps prefer to babysit in their own home, for lots of reasons.

My mum did agree to look after the dcs here when they were small (she lives 2 hours away) but it was always on the understanding that when they were a bit older she had them at her own home.

Some gps are also more accommodating at fitting in with the parents' wishes (and some aren't)! I think you will have to grit your teeth at some of the more (imo) minor issues like early bath due to stinky bum etc.

Perhaps you mil noted that his bottom was sore and thought that he would be due a bath in an hour so thought she was saving you a job? Re the food, as his mother you knew that he had an hour's journey ahead. You could have clarified nicely with her if he had had his tea or not? Some people are less oorganised with mealtimes even for small children.

redskyatnight Sun 01-Aug-10 20:22:50

Well you always have the choice of organising an alternative babysitter who WILL come to hour house and follow your routine to the letter. By paying for one.

Other than the not feeding him (v. odd - were they about to do so when you arrived?) there is nothing too beyond the pale tbh. Particularly if it is the first time they have had him overnight and they were no doubt finding their feet to some extent.

SloanyPony Sun 01-Aug-10 20:22:50

I think they are probably trying to avoid 2 hours of driving to do you a favour, much as they are happy enough to do that favour by the sounds of it.

Hey, you have options, its all good.


DorotheaPlenticlew Sun 01-Aug-10 20:23:14

I think you are going to get flamed horribly, but I have similar ILs and I feel the same way about some of the ways they insist on caring for ds, (and like you I would be quite happy to not have the free childcare, it's their wish to spend time looking after him when it suits them) -- so I think YANB entirely U.

But I do think you are being U to expect them to come to you for childcare regularly, if they are 1hr away.

sapphireblue Sun 01-Aug-10 20:23:50

I did read properly. You are complaining because you left him with them overnight and they put him to bed a bit later than you would.

Ragwort Sun 01-Aug-10 20:27:12

My parents have made it quite clear that it is so much easier for them to care for my DS in their own home; they have their own 'routine', they know where things are etc etc - it is just much easier than being in someone else's house. Ask yourself honestly, if you were looking after someone else's child wouldn't you rather the child came to you rather than the other way round?

DorotheaPlenticlew Sun 01-Aug-10 20:27:17

also hate phrase "you have a stinky bum", which my ds has also learned from ILs. (MIL has also taught him that breasts are called "booboobs" and are hilarious, and that he should grab/slap them when I am bending over to do something eg put his shoes on hmm)

Sorry, hijack, but our ILs must be quite similar! We just have to put up with it though -- they love him, that's the important thing.

Nomorerain Sun 01-Aug-10 20:27:23

In that case, why not let them just look after DC now and again so that they can build a relationship with him and make alternative arrangements for day care? If you're uncomfortable and worrying about it then it's best not to carry on imo. Good luck.

FakePlasticTrees Sun 01-Aug-10 20:28:04

It's not a favour if it makes your life harder and you'd happily use alternative childcare anyway.

Stick to using alternative/paid childcare, get yourself details of reliable babysitters for evenings so you don't have to ask them.

Just make sure you regularly invite them over on weekends for lunch etc so they can spend time with your DS and he won't miss out on the relationship. If they push for you to take DS to them, just agree for daytime visits, but say you'd rather not do overnight as it ruins his routine and makes everyone's life harder for a few days afterwards.

digggers Sun 01-Aug-10 20:28:54

Ok, so I need to grit my teeth, be thankful for the time they want to spend with ds and not sweat the small stuff. Ok I can carry on doing that!

I just still don't know why they only want him at theirs, with their stuff and on their routine. Is this usual then? Is tea, bath and bed by 7 really that unusual and controlling to expect?

curlymama Sun 01-Aug-10 20:32:35

As with most things, if you want something done your way, you have to do it yourself. It's just the way it goes. I think if they are that keen to have your ds, then they will adhere to some of what you want if they don't think they will have him any other way. It's up to you really. If it bothers you alot then just don't let them look after your son so much. If they ask why, then you can tell them your reasons. If they don't ask, and they don't have him, at least you know your child is being looked after the way you want.

one good thing is that if they are disrupting his routine at their own house, it will probably be less of an issue for your ds because he will differentiate between the two environments, and now that his normal routine is for when he's at home.

As for them travelling to you, I think that depends on whether you need them to babysit, or they are doing it just to spend time with their gc. If it's for their benefit, they should travel, if it's for yours,you should.

I think sometimes we find it harder to let our in laws do things their way with our dcs because it is often quite different to the way we ourselves were brought up. It seems easier somehow to let our own parents get on with it because we have first hand experience of their parenting.

MrsC2010 Sun 01-Aug-10 20:34:16

YANBU. You haven't asked them or expect them to do it as people on here seem to think, they want to do it and are surprised when you don't let them.

FakePlasticTrees Sun 01-Aug-10 20:35:27

Not that unusual - but if they won't do it, then I don't see why they need to see him without you? (I wasn't regularly left with GPs, we tended to have them to our house or go to them as a whole family - don't get people wanting to spend time with their DGC but not their grown DD/DS...)

WhereYouLeftIt Sun 01-Aug-10 20:36:52

YANBU, but neither are they particularly. But, you (and partner) are the parents and you should not feel you HAVE to use the GP as babysitters. Next time they say "you should just bring him over to us", explain that the hour's drive makes the alternative childcare more practical for you. And do not feel guilty for saying so.

Mind you, having said that they're not being unreasonable - why would they expect your DS to be happy to use their toys rather than his usual bedtoys? All hell would break loose if my DS didn't have his special bedtoy.

compo Sun 01-Aug-10 20:38:54

When I have grandchikdren and I look after them for the night I'll spoil them rotten , if they don't seem sleepy I'll cuddle them until they are
after all it's only one night
and I'll want them to be happy
and I know I'll get a good nights sleep the next night grin
the joy of granfparenting is you don't have to stick to rules and you get to hand back

poppincandy Sun 01-Aug-10 20:39:07

In answer to your question of why they want him at theirs rather than come to yours.

With a year old, they are still sleeping a lot of the time, and they are happy whilst you are doing your own chores, so they are thinking they can be getting on and doing stuff while they have him, e.g. sticking on a load of washing, watering the garden, if they were in your house, without you there it can be awkard, you end up sitting on the sofa, when child is sleeping, as you can't go and sort out the lounge or anything as it's not your stuff to move around.

Also I don't like being in other's houses when they are not there, so would always have someone's child to my house rather than look after them at theirs.

digggers Sun 01-Aug-10 20:40:26

As I said, I'm happy to push my own boundaries as I think it's nice for ds to stay with his grandparents and visit their house. I don't expect childcare from them, I arrange my own. have no desire to make a difficult relationship with them.

But personally if I was babysitting I'd rather do it in the child's house as I'd think it easier for the child and me if the child was in familiar environments.

I can see 2 hours driving is a hassle. But they both drive, I don't. Tis a whole lot harder for me to get to them. My partner drives, but works fulltime so if was to take ds over it'd be at 6am, or after 6pm.

Och I dunno. I'll continue the way I'm going and developing ds's relationship with them, just don't really understand. Thank for the perspectives. And the reality checks. It's always good to remember how lucky you are.

Pancakeflipper Sun 01-Aug-10 20:41:56

I think few grandparents obey the parental bedtime rule. Mine never did and 3 grumpy kids would return home on a Sunday after Saturday night at Grandma's where we'd have watched a horror film and played cards until last 11pm oh and had a huge sugar rush.

My mother hated it. But we still went every month cos' our Grandparents loved us so much and we loved them and my parents got a night without kids.

Grit your teeth. Your kid will love them regardless what cot he sleeps in.

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