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My MIL and her wanting a certain amount of days with my child...

(147 Posts)
JingleMum Tue 05-Feb-13 13:43:31


Firstly a bit about our relationship; she's a lovely woman, we don't have much in common but we are family and I love her (she gets on my nerves occasionally as do all other members of my family) So no bad blood between us etc...

Ok, my DD is 3, so not a baby, she loves her Grandmother and likes spending time with her. I work 2 days per week and DD is in Nursery.

MIL usually rings me (on the day) and asks can she take DD for the day, usually if we have no plans she takes her, if we do have plans I say no but you can have her another day. She rang me on Sunday said "I feel like I never see her, so I'll take her on Tuesday for lunch, then also Friday and Saturday" This pissed me off, she does this quite a lot, one day isn't enough for her, but bare in mind my mum works full time so I have to factor visits in to my Mum with DD and also my Dad (they are separated) plus I want my own precious time with DD when I'm not working.

Spoke to fiancé about it, he of course immediately defends her and believes that because she doesn't really have friends, and because she doesn't work and is not in the best of health that she should be entitled to take DD whenever she asks. hmm He said I'm jealous because my mum works and he is correct about that, I don't want his mum to hog her, I want my mum to have equal time, I can't help feeling like that?

It caused murder between us, and this happens every couple of months when she tries to take DD a lot.

I feel once a week is enough, and basically that's what is happening. My maternal feelings go crazy when she wants her more than one day, it doesn't feel right and I don't want her too.

AIBU in putting my foot down and saying "No" next time she asks for her more than once a week. She gets bored and I think she wants DD to be her hobby, but it doesn't sit right with me. Fiancé has now listened to my reasoning and has calmed down and is happy to go along with what I decide.

noblegiraffe Tue 05-Feb-13 13:47:13

Presumably you work part time so that you can spend time with your DD. I agree that 3 days is an unreasonable amount of time to decide to simply take her off your hands if you don't want her to. Phoning up on the day is unreasonable too, I would be constantly on edge.

I think you need some sort of more formal arrangement, say 1 day a week on a Friday (or whatever) and then you can all plan your lives a bit more effectively.

EuroShagmore Tue 05-Feb-13 13:48:15

Not another thread with the "equal time" theme!

If you are not happy with your MIL having her because you want time with her or you have other plans, that is fine, but to refused because your mum can't get the same amount of time because she works is unreasonable.

drjohnsonscat Tue 05-Feb-13 13:48:20

Tricky and it's a shame that the fact that lots of people really love your DD is causing a problem. I agree that MIL shouldn't get time if that impinges on time you or your mum want to spend with DD. But I'm not sure if that's always what's happening (just not sure from your post).

Do you also want to ration her a bit, even if you and your mum are not free, in order to avoid MIL getting "more than her fair share". If that is the case then you probably should let go of that and be happy that DD is loved and you have a loving MIL.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Tue 05-Feb-13 13:48:56

YAB a little bit U.

Why don't you suggest that your MIL has your dd on the days you work, thus saving you nursery school fees?

That way, everyone wins. And if your dd enjoys the social interaction she gets at nursery you can always put her in for another day and have some time to yourself.

Squeakygate Tue 05-Feb-13 13:49:45

can you not arrange one day per week and stick to it? say every Friday or every other Friday?
That way everyone will know where they are.
Will dd go to school this year?

AmberSocks Tue 05-Feb-13 13:50:02

god i am so glad we live away from both families.

BigSilky Tue 05-Feb-13 13:50:16

Well, first of all it's great that she wants to be involved. If I were you, I would organise it for her- say, MIL, can you have her every Tuesday? And then everyone is happy.

issimma Tue 05-Feb-13 13:50:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BerthaTheBogCleaner Tue 05-Feb-13 13:51:41

Say "Oh I know, I feel like I never see her too, and she is my daughter! Would you like her on Tuesday or Friday?"

And if she doesn't work, there's no need for her to have dd at the weekends when you want to spend time as a family or visit other people who are only free at the weekends.

elizaregina Tue 05-Feb-13 13:54:12


its a horrid feeling when someone is grasping at your child like that and not creating an atmoshere where you can discuss it with your feelings too - but instead making you feel defensive.

BerthaTheBogCleaner Tue 05-Feb-13 13:55:42

No no no don't arrange a regular day! Don't do it. That way madness lies. Or at least, major tantrums when you want to do something else with that day one particular week.

But def phone your MIL and say "get your calendar out, lets arrange which days you're having dd" and book a months' worth of days in. And then when she phones up on a morning, say "no, we've got plans for today" like a stuck record.

diddl Tue 05-Feb-13 13:56:37

Me too Amber

I understand that she wants to see her GD as much as possible-but surely both her parents do also!

Why does she have to have her alone if that isn´t what OP wants?

JingleMum Tue 05-Feb-13 13:58:49

Thanks for the reply guys.

DD doesn't't start school until sept 2014.

I can't help how I feel about my mum having equal time. I know it may sound unreasonable, but I can't change how I feel and that's how it is.

As for MIL having her on days I work, it wouldn't work, she holidays a lot and is also under the hospital, Fiancé wouldn't allow it and only wants her to have our DD if she's feeling well & up to it (which totally contradicts this thread, she seems to want her multiple times every week)

Sticking to a set day is a good idea, but I don't like the thought of my friends asking to meet up for a play date on that day and me saying "no, sorry, it's MIL's day to have her" same applies to if my mum's day off falls on MIL's "set day"

holidaysarenice Tue 05-Feb-13 13:59:57

It sounds as though she wants to feel needed, I wud use her in a more pro-active way, a day less nursery or a nursery pick up/drop off. Something that makes her feel useful and helps you.

Or just say yes to x and no to y, or invite her to do something with you and dd. Or offer to drop her off whilst you do a mundane thing like the supermarket.

JingleMum Tue 05-Feb-13 14:00:39

eliza you've hit the nail on the head!

Bertha I agree with you on that.

BigSilky Tue 05-Feb-13 14:02:39

I feel a bit sorry for her. Either you make plans with her in advance or you put up with her phoning on the morning. You should be glad she wants to be involved.

LemonBreeland Tue 05-Feb-13 14:02:54

I like Berthas line about you feeling like you don't see her either.

Also do not go down the route of a particular day or it will be written in stone forever.

You need to take your Mum out of the equation. She doesn't have as much spare time, that is just the way it is. You need to think about how much time you are happy having your DD away from you and allowing MIL that amount of time. Also it is not your fault that she doesn't have any friends and is bored and lonely.

pippop1 Tue 05-Feb-13 14:03:11

Does it have to be a whole day? Could she have her in the morning only? Perhaps when you have something on in the afternoon that you have to get back to?

Yfronts Tue 05-Feb-13 14:05:25

Have a regular day for them and stick to it. That way you all know where you are. One day a week is reasonable, three days is a daft amount.

Yfronts Tue 05-Feb-13 14:06:09

and in reply to your MIL say 'yes I feel like I never see my own DD too!'

BarbarianMum Tue 05-Feb-13 14:07:32

<<I can't help how I feel about my mum having equal time. I know it may sound unreasonable, but I can't change how I feel and that's how it is. >>

You can't change how you feel but, if you recognise it's unreasonable, you can decide not to let it affect how you act.

However, there is no suggestion that you are being unfair. Would you prefer a more pre-arranged schedule of when she can have dd? Or just not more than once a week (which sounds v reasonable)?

Juanca Tue 05-Feb-13 14:08:38

YANBU. I agree with the poster who said that you should sit down with a calendar and work out the next month or so's worth of days, and stick to it rigidly.

JingleMum Tue 05-Feb-13 14:09:36

See, I feel a bit sorry for her too, but surely one day is enough?! We go for dinner to hers or vice versa a couple of times per month so she sees her more than once in a week sometimes.

She's my child, MIL is not my mother, so maybe that's why my maternal instincts go off when it's more than once a week? Then again, my aunt whom I'm very close to (she's like another mum to me) asks for my DD a lot and my instincts go off when she does it too much.

I know they love her, and I'm very grateful, but they are bored with nothing else to do, that's not my problem and I don't want my DD being someone's hobby. Once a week is enough or I find myself getting very defensive.

JingleMum Tue 05-Feb-13 14:11:02

Tbh I don't think my MIL would like the calendar approach, she's so laid back and I've tried in the past to put something a bit more rigid in place & she doesn't really like it. I think she just wants her when she feels like it.

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