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To be bothered by this

(53 Posts)
princessglitter Wed 29-Jun-11 22:12:06

My mother in law is wonderful and helps us out a lot by having my dd for an hour after school, till I can pick her up after work. However, the last two times I have collected her. dd has been playing with some other little girls outside the house (it is a cul de sac) and MIL and PIL have been inside the house, doors closed, clearly not watching dd at all.

DD is just 5. Clearly the other little girls are allowed to play out too and they are a similar age to mine. However I am not entirely comfortable with a 5 year old playing out unsupervised. It is a quiet road and MIL would see dd is she glanced out of her kitchen window, but she was sat in her conservatory at the back of the house when I arrived today and didn't seem to be watching dd at all. She didn't even realise I had arrived until I walked into the house through the back door.

Am I unreasonable to ask MIL to supervise dd if she allows her to play outside?

greycircles Wed 29-Jun-11 22:14:27

I would not be happy about that at all and I would stop it happening immediately.

Either by speaking to MIL

Or by putting your DD in after school club

Or by amending your working hours if at all possible.

princessglitter Wed 29-Jun-11 22:17:28

Unfortunately I can't amend my working hours as am a teacher. Will consider after school club though if MIL doesn't change the situation. The first time I thought it was a one off, but the second time today confirmed to me that MIL thinks this is ok.

DogsBestFriend Wed 29-Jun-11 22:20:06

I wouldn't be happy either and would be quick to politely tell MIL that it mustn't happen again. I know you're in a difficult position as she's providing free childcare and if needs must then find paid care but hopefully MIL will understand and abide by your wishes.

princessglitter Wed 29-Jun-11 22:26:43

Thanks, thought I might be overprotective - but it is something I would never ever do myself. I can turn a blind eye to lots of things MIL does - like feeding dd burger, chips or pizza whenever she goes for tea - as that is grandma's prerogative(although I don't like it!). However this is worrying me sad

bittersweetvictory Wed 29-Jun-11 22:29:27

Thats just oldsyle parenting, pay a childminder if you are not happy.

princessglitter Wed 29-Jun-11 22:33:52

Can happily pay a childminder, but MIL really likes having dd.

AgentZigzag Wed 29-Jun-11 22:37:18

You're not being overprotective.

I'm sure you must have thought of this, but to your MIL there probably is nothing wrong with letting a 5 YO play in a quiet cul de sac, she's doing a risk assessment on when hers were small, but the parenting style is so different nowadays.

If she does try to brush it off as you being OTT, try not to think harshly of her, but she must bow to how you feel about the situation.

Just because she's looking after your DD it doesn't give her permission not take you being her mum into consideration.

princessglitter Wed 29-Jun-11 23:47:23

Thank you. helpful to know I'm not irritational - cos I can be!!!

princessglitter Sun 03-Jul-11 21:29:42

Well MIL did brush me off as being overprotective and dh joined in sad Am going to try and rush back from work this week to pick dd up - but really don't want a big falling out with MIL.

AgentZigzag Sun 03-Jul-11 21:36:48

Bugger sad

I think it's so unfair of GPs to start parenting their GC as if they were their own, it crosses a boundary for me.

And what makes it more difficult is when they get shitty if you assert yourself.

So does your DH really think it's OK for his little girl to be out and about on her own? Or did he just go along with his mum to stop the potential fall out?

I would have expected him to back you up tbh, whether he agreed with you or not. If he thought anything of it he should have said so in private to you, not make you out to be a paranoid mum.

WinkyWinkola Sun 03-Jul-11 21:40:32

Quiet cul de sac or not, there are still cars etc.

I wouldn't be happy at all. She's only 5. How is her road sense?

And how would your mil be aware if anything at all, even a bee sting, happened? She wouldn't.

I don't think you're being ott at all!

Stand your ground. Don't back down, be calm, firm and reasonable. You are her mother, you are ultimately responsible for her, not your mil. You would never forgive yourself for not pushing for what you want if something did happen.

Inertia Sun 03-Jul-11 21:51:02


I'd start organising looking into childminders TBH, in case MIL does a "my way or the highway" turn on you.

princessglitter Sun 03-Jul-11 21:51:41

Dh agreed with me in private and then seemed to side with MIL in front of her, accusing me of being like a security guard.

They both said she has to learn boundaries and how to play with other children. I have no problem with her playing with other children if she is supervised. I don't think safety boundaries are something it is fair to expect a 5 year old to understand or be responsible for.

I think even watching from the kitchen window is not really good enough as with MIL's relaxed views I can't trust her to continuously watch her. She would go away and make a cup of tea or something.

dh now says he will have a word with her, but after the way they both undermined me and accused me of being overprotective I don't feel very comfortable.

MIL thinks it is ok as lots of the dads come out and supervise the children - but they are not in charge of my dd.

shuckleberryfinn Sun 03-Jul-11 21:55:35

We started allowing out DS to play outside at about that age, it's a quiet I can see both points of view here, we did go out to check on him a lot though. On the other hand it's your kid and your opinion is what matters here.

princessglitter Sun 03-Jul-11 21:57:48

I'm not sure how her road sense is - as I have never allowed her to cross a road on her own. She is aware of looking both ways before crossing etc, but I don't trust her to always remember.

MIL's house is right at the bottom of the cul de sac, so cars can clearly be seen, but dd could easily run off after the ice cream van or something, 5 year olds can be impulsive like that.

EmmieEmEm Sun 03-Jul-11 21:59:57

You need your husbands support on this. How dare he agree with you in private and go against you in front of her. The big coward sad

Loonytoonie Sun 03-Jul-11 22:03:39

DD2 is 5 and I wouldn't be at all comfortable with this. Fair enough, our children have to learn boundaries, but your MIL and DH are endorsing that she more or less goes it alone out there. Other children, regardless of their age, cannot be responsible for your daughter. Other Dad's cannot be responsible for your daughter.

YOUR daughter OP. Take control. Perhaps tell your MIL gently, that if supervising your little one whilst out on the road is too much for her, then fine, you'll get her into the after school club. It's unfair that you feel undermined. It's a cop-out that your DH didn't back you up. I'd be double disappointed with that.

AgentZigzag Sun 03-Jul-11 22:05:16

Agree with you emmie, that is pretty low of him.

So he's effectively arguing for his 5 YO to play out on her own when he privately agrees with you.

What's his mum got over him for him to treat you and his DD like that?

Loonytoonie Sun 03-Jul-11 22:06:26

I also meant to say that I've been teaching my little one road sense for the last 18 months or so. She's a sensible child, but I wouldn't trust her to lose her head when she's excited and with friends....

Your DH needs to back you up on this. EmmieEmEm is right - that was really cowardly of him sad

itsastrawpoll Sun 03-Jul-11 22:07:32

No, no, no, no, no. YANBU.

AgentZigzag Sun 03-Jul-11 22:08:58

I think around 10 YO is the time when DC have the cognitive ability to judge the distance and speed of traffic.

princessglitter Sun 03-Jul-11 22:10:42

dh agrees that she should be watched but thinks that watching from the kitchen window is ok.

I noticed that actually there are some blind spots if you are looking from the kitchen window and dd can disappear from view. I know this makes me sound really paranoid - but also I think MIL needs things simplifying, no grey areas.

Watching from the window means that MIL can interpret 'supervision' differently to me if that makes sense. If I stipulate that she has to actually sit outside or keep dd in there is no margin for error.

As it is summer hols soon and I am able to leave work early next couple of weeks I think I will do that.

Am also disappointed with dh sad He is being v dismissive and saying he'll speak to his mum, but he has heard enough about it now.

AgentZigzag Sun 03-Jul-11 22:13:21

'he has heard enough about it now.'

I bet he fucking has, not wanting to be reminded of the shitty way he's behaved.

princessglitter Sun 03-Jul-11 22:15:17

yep - frustrating habit he has when he is in the wrong. Will not engage in discussion about it at all - but that's a whole other thread...

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