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to not want inlaws providing childcare?

(106 Posts)
MarathonMillie Mon 01-Aug-11 14:16:08

Sorry for the length of this post, just wanted to try and explain properly.

DD is 14 months. I went back to work in June and as we could not get DD into our desired nursery until today childcare consisted of me being part time, childminder and inlaws having DD one day a week. I never really wanted inlaws providing childcare as was wary that it would set a precedent that would be difficult to stop and was wary of their manipulative and controlling behaviour. If you give them an inch they take a mile.

I explained to MIL they would only be providing childcare for 2 months and then DD was full time in nursery and they were fine with that. Now DH and inlaws are bullying me into reducing nursery down to 4 days so they can continue with having DD for one day a week. DH told inlaws they could still have DD without mentioning it to me and knowing that I want DD full time in nursery. I feel that inlaws pressurise DH when I am not around as they know he is the softer touch.

I do not have a problem with inlaws spending time with DD and DD having a relationship with them but think they should be grandparents and not childcare providers. We see inlaws at least once a week as they live nearby. On the days they have previously looked after DD there have been no disasters but DD has refused to eat (and yet she eats perfectly fine with childminder and visits to nursery) so I am a little concerned about why she will not eat with them. They also will not follow DD's routine and make DD fit in with whatever they want to do. They treat DD as an accessory.

I have trust issues with inlaws since they do not baby proof their home, keep doves which sh*t all over the garden DD is playing in and insist on buying all manner of things from car boot sales. The latest was a car seat which they bought for £8 and it was broken - they didn't even realise it was broken until we took a look at it. Nor did they ask any questions about the car seat from the seller. FIL has "fixed" the car seat with glue and they do not understand why we don't want them using it. I am very concerned they might use it without telling us. On occasions they do not return DD when we ask them to (and I don't just mean 5, 10, 15 mins) so she is late back and completely out of routine.

Since DD was born inlaws behaviour has increasingly infuriated me. The day after DD was born they organised a massive family BBQ without telling us and expected us to attend to show DD off despite the fact I had the midwife coming round for the first visit. They telephoned all afternoon telling us people were waiting to meet DD and how unreasonable it was for us to wait for the midwife! They ruined our first Christmas with DD as insisted we had to stay with them for 3 days, proceeded to get extremely drunk and argumentative, wanted to wake DD up whenever someone was around to show her off to and then proceeded to verbally abuse my DH when we decided to leave a day early to get away from them. On one occasion at theirs I said we had to leave and get DD to bed (it was her bedtime) and MIL totally ignored me, turned her back on me and proceeded to pressurise DH into staying which he agreed to and DH and I ended up having a blazing row at inlaws house. There are so many other examples which I will not go into as this will turn into a mammoth essay - moreso than it already is!

DH thinks I am being precious over DD and that if we can save on a day's nursery fees we should but I truly feel like my authority as DD's mother is constantly being undermined as almost every decision I try to make seems like a compromise to what I actually want.

As a side note, I am not enjoying being back at work and feel I have made a mistake going back full time. I need to be back at work for a year or else I have to pay back enhanced maternity pay. I feel that if DH wants to cut nursery fees I should go part time but DH thinks I am then being possessive of DD.

I need some independent and honest opinions to see whether I am being unreasonable in not wanting inlaws looking after DD one day a week. DH and I are at loggerheads and for the first time in my marriage I am really unhappy.

BeerTricksPotter Mon 01-Aug-11 14:23:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Aug-11 14:24:13

If you're unhappy about them looking after your child then you're unhappy. The cost of childcare the way it is, in-laws (if I had them) would have to be seriously nasty or neglectful for me to turn them down. Then again, I think that children benefit from a variety of parenting/caring styles. So, as long as you're being rational about why you don't like them and don't trust them to look after a child then you're not being unreasonable.

Annpan88 Mon 01-Aug-11 14:26:13

Oh dear, I don't think YABU at all. Sounds like a very awkward situation. Not only for you but your DH. I can't really offer any avcide but stand your ground. I'm sure deep down DH agrees with you but it will always be tricky as its his parents!

Stay strong and trust your own feelings. Good luck

Familyguyfan Mon 01-Aug-11 14:26:34

What an awful situation to be in. Regardless of your PIL's behaviour (and in sure they adore your child very much) if you want her to go to nursery, then she should go to nursery. That isn't a comment on their abilities or skills, but you are her parent and this was a plan established several months ago, with agreement with your husband.

I think you need to speak to your husband and tell him your objections. Keep repeating 'no' and your objections and refuse to budge. As I read on here a lot (and I love it!) 'no' is a complete sentence.

If you are unhappy with arrangements, chances are you'll end up giving up work or being extremely miserable. In sure your husband doesn't want this. They'll just have to see her during their weekend visits. It doesn't sound like you are holding her hostage!!

Good luck! Stick to your guns!

RabidRabbit Mon 01-Aug-11 14:26:54

At first I thought you were being a bit unreasonable, but they sound ghastly. Completely relate to in laws who refuse to follow routines and show a huge disrespect to you as a parent. I am having a battle of my own with DH's mum and I feel like I am the only one on my side. Show DH this thread, let him see your worries in black and white instead of hearing them and letting them go in one ear and out the other.

bananasplitz Mon 01-Aug-11 14:27:14

poor kid being stuck in a nursery five days a week sad

BrummieMummie Mon 01-Aug-11 14:30:26

I think YANBU, although obviously as DD's father (I assume), DH is just as entitled to an opinion as you are.

Would you have to pay back your enhanced maternity pay if you went part time? (Sorry, youngest is 11 so don't know what the current system is!). How much less income would you have if you went part time and how much would you save on nursery fees? If you are not enjoying your job anyway then this seems like going PT might be a good solution but obviously depends on finances.

FWIW I don't think you are being precious. It sounds like your DH finds it hard to say no to his parents. I would be surprised if he really feel happy letting them look after your DD considering their past form on safety?

Familyguyfan Mon 01-Aug-11 14:30:34

Bananasplitz, are you kidding? My daughter's nursery is so fabulous I want to go!! They do things there which would be extremely difficult and messy at home, engage with other children and adults and have different tots to play with.

Parents have enough guilt about their parenting choices as it is, without adding to them.

hormonalmum Mon 01-Aug-11 14:33:43

The fact you are not enjoying work will have a massive impact on your feelings. Is this because you are not entirely comfortable with your childcare arrangements or is it because of other issues? If it is any consolation it took me a good 3 months to feel ok about going back to work and I was 100% happy with my childcare and I am part time.

With regards to your il's. Can you not negotiate that they are used in emergencies - illnesses that your dc cannot go to nursery for but when dc is not that ill and doesn't need you around so you can go to work?

With regards to the equipment that the il's have bought- you need to provide the car seats etc and then it will be to your liking. Anything they buy and you are not happy with (charity shop things you mention) you can accept it with good grace and just not use it. If they make noises about buying something, you say you already have one ordered,your friend has promised you one already etc. Either that or you state you want nothing second hand as dc is your pfb.

You need to force your opinion as soon as possible -otherwise it will be harder in the long run.

BrummieMummie Mon 01-Aug-11 14:34:21

bananasplitz I'd rather my DC was in nursery than being looked after by someone who I didn't trust to keep them safe hmm

MarathonMillie Mon 01-Aug-11 14:46:24

Familyguyfan - yes, PILs adore DD and I know they wouldn't willingly do anything to hurt her. It is just the whole undermining of our parenting that is really wearing.

bananasplitz - ideally I would want to be at home some of the week with DD so understand what you are saying. But DD nursery is amazing and so much fun. Think I need to seriously think about going part time.

Brummiemummie - yes DH is DD's father so he is entitled to a say. That is the probably really as he is now saying he wants PILs to look after DD and I am saying no. We are at loggerheads. I don't want to back down as I feel I have done that too much already but do appreciate that its a joint decision.

Thank you everyone for your words of support. DH is making me feel like I am being so unreasonable so its nice to hear some words of encouragement.

MarathonMillie Mon 01-Aug-11 14:47:04

Sorry, should say "that is the problem really"!

DontAskMeSums Mon 01-Aug-11 14:49:56

I think you really need to sort this out with your husband. If he is your child's father, he has an equal say (and responsibility) in who looks after your child. If he feels strongly that he wants his parents to be involved in his child's care you need to do a very good job of persuading him otherwise. If you don't get him 'on side' and push ahead with ousting the in-laws on your own, that could spell difficulties all round.

Having said that, they sound like a nightmare!
Good luck.

potoftea Mon 01-Aug-11 14:56:36

You say that them minding her is something your dh wants. But can he explain to you why, other than just money. It seems to me that he is being pushed into it by his parents rather than it being his view of what's best for dd. If he really believes it's for her best then you need to really try to see his viewpoint, but money isn't a good enough reason.

At first I thought ywbu, as it would be nice for dd to spend time with her grandparents too; but reading the rest of your post makes me think that you need to set boundaries on how they treat you as her mother, and giving them this level of control in your daughter's life, isn't a good idea until the other issue is sorted.

MarathonMillie Mon 01-Aug-11 15:07:18

potoftea - DH's only reasoning is the money. But we both earn good full time wages so nursery fees are easily affordable and they won't be forever as if we have DC2 I intend to give up work. DH also says that "everyone he knows" i.e. 3 people at work(!) have grandparents looking after DC so its the norm.

I do want DD spending time with grandparents - I would never stop that - but agree they need to treat both me and DH with a bit more respect as parents.

Sarochenka Mon 01-Aug-11 15:10:09

YABU. If they're all right to use for free childcare for two months, why are they suddenly not suitable now? And it's not just your decision any more than it is just your husband's.

teaandchocolate Mon 01-Aug-11 15:12:11

YANBU. Childcare is such an important issue and you have to feel comfortable with whatever decision you make - you wouldn't leave your child at a nursery that you weren't happy with so I don't see why you should leave your DD with your in-laws just because they are your in-laws. If you were having doubts about a few hours of babysitting then I think I'd probably tell you to relax as they managed to bring up your DH fine (I presume?!) but a whole day every week is a bit different.
However, I agree with the other posters that I think you also seem stressed/guilty about your work so maybe reconsider the decision you made to go f/t straight away if you can? Is there any way you can start off part time and maybe increase the days gradually?
I also think your DH must support you in whatever decision you make. I have similar issues with my in-laws and whilst I'm sure my DH thinks I'm being totally precious about my DD, he has learnt to try and see my point of view and not contradict me infront of his family as I am the main care giver and know our DD better than anyone. But I am also trying to become a bit more laid back about DD's routine etc when my in-laws look after her as they insist on doing things 'their way'.
Good luck, I sympathise!!

giveitago Mon 01-Aug-11 15:14:14

Ok - this must be hard for you. They have pissed you off - you need all the childcare you can get but if you place dd with them you'll need to get used to their care that is clearly not to your taste.

Go properly with nursery. My mil also a nightmare and couldn't look after ds as she couldn't even cross the road with him. She's also an selfish and manipulative person who gives only conditional love to ds. My dm is very different and ds just really gets on with her. However, she's very elderly and wouldn't have the energy to look after ds so I don't go down that route either.

For me it's practicalities and nursery has worked out for us in that ds has access to other kids etc. We ensure he sees plenty of both grandparents.

Best of luck to you.

GwendolineMaryLacey Mon 01-Aug-11 15:14:26

I'm with Sarochenka I think. Why is she good enough when you're stuck but not at any other time?

memphis83 Mon 01-Aug-11 15:19:21

Sounds like an awful situation for you to be in, could you as a couple sit down with them and give them guidelines to stick to if they kept having DD one day a week? like they throw away the car seat and buy another one or use yours, that she is brought hom when you say and not an hour later etc on issue of food do you think they are feeding her food you wouldnt want her to have? my MIL has said in the past she will take my 1yo DS MacDonalds and not tell me when so she hasnt had him since. If you set guidelines for them you could then say if they overstep the mark then you will stop them having her? It sounds harsh but if thats a way of them having DD and making it easier for you then they have to deal with it

MarathonMillie Mon 01-Aug-11 15:25:32

Sarochenka/Gwendoline - its not a case of them being good enough/free childcare for 2 months. I never wanted them to look after DD for 2 months and was forced into it by DH as he said it would only be temporary. Now DH and PILs have moved the goalposts.

TribbleWithoutACause Mon 01-Aug-11 15:26:09

You obviously do want to spend more time with your daughter, working part time can be a good compromise, and, BTW is not being possesive of your daughter. She is YOUR daughter and it is only bloody natural for you to want to spend time with her.

Also think about it, after a days nursery fees, petrol and what not, are you any better off? Don't forget a reduction of a day will mean you pay less tax and NI, so it may not be as bad as you think. I did this and was surprised at how little the difference was (obviously still paying nursery fees but there you go).

Going back to work is hard enough without having to worry about if your ILS are looking after your daughter in a way in which you would like. If this issue is making you unhappy, I'd say the only thing is to say talk to your DH and try and explain the way you're feeling.

lisianthus Mon 01-Aug-11 15:27:07

Holy moly. That car seat issue would put the lid on it for me. Besides that, keeping her with the inlaws, given the way they are behaving, may actually wind up damaging the relationship between you and them. If you can't rely on them to keep your child safe, send your DD to nursery.

And on the "why were they good enough" - I don't know that the OP thinks they WERE "good enough". She didn't seem to have a choice here, given that the nursery couldn't take her daughter until now.

lisianthus Mon 01-Aug-11 15:28:10

Obviously you need your DH on side, but with a safety issue, I'd be arguing pretty hard for this.

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