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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.

BigSilky Tue 05-Feb-13 14:47:04

You sound as if you actually really dislike your MIL. Don't pick up the phone if it annoys you so much.

TryDrawing Tue 05-Feb-13 14:50:05

I think you feel defensive because you're worried about being the bad guy, "preventing" your MIL from seeing your dd. The very fact that you are thoughtful enough to see it that way means you are not the bad guy, you are a nice mum, thinking of your daughter's welfare. But you're also human, and you want to spend time with your dd yourself.

Don't feel guilty. Just say no when you would rather have dd yourself and be nice about it. "Sorry, we're spending the day together today. She could come to yours one day next week, maybe Saturday."

You don't need to be defensive, you are the parent and if you want to spend time with your child then you get priority, simple as.

JingleMum Tue 05-Feb-13 14:52:08

drjohnson yes, his side of the family getting too much control sounds right. One day is enough for a great relationship between them IMO. I'm also very grateful for that one day per week. But I don't like it being any more than that, I like to make plans with DD, she's growing up so fast. I'm her mum, and if I don't feel comfortable passing her to MIL more than once per week then surely that's ok? I'm a bit of a control freak, I'm known for it. MIL dictating days means I'm not in control & I don"t like it. Obviously when my DD grows up, I'll no longer be in control & will step back. But for now...

VeganCow Tue 05-Feb-13 14:52:20

wow theres a load of mil threads at moment. thank god my exmil is very reasonable.

I would never accept someone TELLING me they were having my child on such a day.
I would do as suggested and offer for her to babysit certain days, then she cant say she never sees her if she has regular days a month, maybe one day for tea etc.

Flyonthewindscreen Tue 05-Feb-13 14:55:38

I would just keep on as you are and make plans to suit yourself and your DD. If your MIL can't or won't commit to making arrangements in advance she can't be surprised if you have your own plans already. Of course if you are free and its convenient for MIL to have DD, fine. MIL demanding your DD 2 or 3 days a week on a whim are ridiculous, how is that going to work when she is in school and has friends, parties and other activities that she is going to want to do more than being traipsed around visiting with grandparents.

JingleMum Tue 05-Feb-13 14:55:59

BigSilky I love her. But I don't like her taking my DD more than once per week. I certainly do not "dislike her"

TryDrawing I am so worried about being the bad guy, I don't want to hurt MIL but I'm a bit of a control freak and like to be in control of my days with my daughter. That's why I think one day per week is right for all of us. Thank you for your post, it made sense to me.

shutthebloodydoor Tue 05-Feb-13 14:58:14

YANBU she is your child at the end of the day! If it dosnt feel right sod the rest! I think u are doing great letting her have her 1 day a week -more would be like bloody shared custody!
Im waiting for mine to start when ours gets here, its gonna be a bumpy ride!

JingleMum Tue 05-Feb-13 15:00:03

shutthebloodydoor good luck!!

fluffyraggies Tue 05-Feb-13 15:01:42

I was thinking that kamer. In another year the DD will start having a social life of her own that rivals her parents or grandparents, if my DDs are anything to go by!

School, playdates, parties, clubs etc. Factor in a weekly visit to both sets of GPs plus a trip out with the OP shopping and that's a week gone! grin

TryDrawing Tue 05-Feb-13 15:03:08

(I am a bit of a control freak too smile ) But my MIL, who would doubtless be like yours, lives too far away for it to be a problem.

JingleMum Tue 05-Feb-13 15:03:45

fluffy I'll probably have another one by then and we'll be starting from scratch with all of this wink

shutthebloodydoor Tue 05-Feb-13 15:05:27

jingle im getting my sleaves pulled up ready lol x

DontmindifIdo Tue 05-Feb-13 15:11:33

honestly OP, why should you not schedule things on the off chance MIL will want your DD. If she wants to call up on the day you can say "sorry, already have plans" - if you are not making plans on the off chance your MIL will want your DD then getting annoyed that you can't make plans that's your choice.

There's no reason to have a big show down with your DH, just make plans on your non-work days, make plans with your mum/dad in advance, make plans with your DH too. Then your MIL can ask all she wants, but you already have made plans in absence of hers.

TryDrawing Tue 05-Feb-13 15:20:53

Er, no. It is not reasonable for you to have to schedule every moment of your time with your dd, just so that you can justify turning your MIL down if it doesn't suit you for dd to go to her. That way madness lies. You'd find yourself inventing things to put on the calendar. confused

Just be honest in a pleasant way. I say again: "Sorry, we're spending the day together today. She could come to yours one day next week, maybe Saturday."

No justification is required beyond the fact that it doesn't suit you. If your MIL wants to make plans in advance, then you can agree them with her if you want to . If planning in advance doesn't suit her , then she will have to deal with the fact that spur of the moment plans may not suit you .

You are already being more than reasonable, don't doubt yourself.

fluffyraggies Tue 05-Feb-13 15:24:23

Ah, jingle, when DD no.s 2 and 3 arrived on the scene the dynamic changed dramatically here.

Suddenly neither my mum nor my ILs wanted so much time with the GCs because it's not so much 'fun' having *3 under 5's to entertain wink

JingleMum Tue 05-Feb-13 15:26:27

Thank you guys, some great advice. X

angeltattoo Tue 05-Feb-13 15:29:14

YA most definitely NBU.

I also think one day per week is too much, especially as you work and this day would be in addition.

Once a week for lunch/popping in, fine. For a whole day, once a fortnight would be more than enough.

JingleMum Tue 05-Feb-13 15:34:05

Thanks angel I don't mind once per week, but strongly disagree with any more than that. Sometimes I feel like "back off or you won't even get one day per week" feel awful thinking like that.

BabaYaya Tue 05-Feb-13 15:35:20


I don't understand this business of adults wanting private time with young children. Maybe mil should buy one of those real dolls or whatever they are called.

Fundamentally, why would mil think that if you work 3 days a week, it's in your daughter's best interests to spend 1/2/3 of the 4 remaining days away from her mother? Unless she thinks she can do it better than you.

I'd limit contact to seeing mil on a visit e.g. "we are doing x, would you like to come" or short visits alone e.g. "would you like to take gc to the park and I'll meet you afterwards, in an hour or two". If mil is not 100% healthy and can't commit in advance, I'd be wary of any private time.

Pandemoniaa Tue 05-Feb-13 16:19:09

YABU about the equal time nonsense. Your MIL, like it or not has the same status as your mother so far as being your dd's grandmother is concerned.

YANBU in wanting to spend time with your dd when you aren't at work and 3 days a week seems an excessive demand. However, I don't think it is up to you to determine that "one day a week is enough". Instead, you should determine what is practical for your family. You do sound very resentful though and suggesting your dd is your MIL's "hobby" is unkind.

aderynlas Tue 05-Feb-13 18:19:07

Take my dgc for trips out whenever their mums and dads need me to. Also if I am doing something in the week that they might enjoy a quick phonecall is all that is needed to see if its ok for them to come with me. We enjoy eachothers compay and they love hearing about when their mums or dads were little etc.
I have lovely memories of my gran and times spent with her when I was a child. Im sure you can work this out so everyone is happy op.

JingleMum Tue 05-Feb-13 18:28:15

Again, thanks for all replies.

Pandemoniaa I'm aware she has equal status as my Mother, never said she didn't. And I beg to differ, I think it's absolutely up to me to determine if one day per week is enough. I gave birth to her, I'm the main carer, certainly nobody else is going to decide when my daughter spends time with other people, besides her father, and even then that is within reason. Resentful? Of the fact MIL has more free time than my mum? Maybe a little in relation to DD. But bare in mind my Mum still sees DD every week and they are very close, so not much to be resentful about.

diddl Tue 05-Feb-13 18:32:02

But aderynlas-surely what you are doing also fits in with the parents?

With my Mum it was a case of a quick call & yes/no-it was or wasn´t convenient.

With MIL, a no seemed to be a personal insult.

In fact when my husband first moved here, I was in UK with the children for 3months, about 10 mins away from them.

She phoned once to see us, it wasn´t convenient, & she never asked again!!!hmm

CrapBag Tue 05-Feb-13 18:37:35


She needs to get herself a hobby and something else to keep her occupied other than your DD.

Also she needs to know that she can't just have her when she wants her.

I am saying this as someone who wishes my MIL would actually want to have her DGC even a little bit. I wouldn't want it all the time though. Once a week for yours should be more than enough!

thebody Tue 05-Feb-13 18:44:37

No op I think 3 days I'd a ridiculous amount for her to take dd.

You want her too.

Why does she feel the need to see her alone? Visit in the afternoon and stay a few hours or say yes to a day a fortnight.

DON'T set a special day of the week in stone as your dds life will get busier as she grows and she needs to be flexible.

Sounds like your mil is just thinking of her needs and not yours or dds.

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