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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.

Primafacie Wed 06-Feb-13 21:19:05

*Count your lucky stars - as in count your blessings and thank your lucky star blush

DontmindifIdo Wed 06-Feb-13 21:26:34

Primafacie - I see what you are saying, but the OP neither wants nor needs free childcare, this isn't something that 'helps' her in the sense it improves her family life, by effectively reducing her time with her own daughter, they are making the quality of the OP's life worse, not better.

It's hard when someone is doing something you are supposed to feel grateful for that you don't want.

OP - I also work part time, I find a lot of people who either are currently or have been SAHMs find it hard to see that if you only have a smaller amount of family time with your DCs because you are at work the rest of the time, you don't want to give any of it up, effectively you've already had a 'break' from them while you've been at work.

MyDarlingClementine Wed 06-Feb-13 21:31:45

"basically your MIL, mum and aunt are falling over themselves to have your DD and to help you."


Op has clearly said she treasures her time with her Daughter, I fail to see how hounding this mother to give up her child to her is helping in any way.

BTW I am a SHAM and I treasure every moment with my DD too, and in particular the weekends when we can all spend time as a family together.

JingleMum Wed 06-Feb-13 22:29:35

I understand what some posters mean, it may look like I have all this free childcare and am ungrateful but I assure you that's not the case. I'm very grateful, but my aunt & MIL usually want DD to satisfy their boredom, trust me. It's also very last minute, never planned. My mum offers occasionally if she thinks I need a break, or if I have a night out coming up I will ask her, if she's not working and has no plans, she says yes.

shutthebloodydoor oh god!! Good luck with it all when little one is born, sounds like you have a bumpy ride in front of you! grin

maninawomansworld Thu 07-Feb-13 11:32:47

Just ringing you up in the morning is no good because then you've got the day free and nothing to do. Why not use it to your advantage and insist upon it being regular / planned each week then you can organise some nice fun childfree adult centred activities with yor DH or friends.

zipzap Thu 07-Feb-13 11:52:29

How much time did your mil let her mil take her dc?

Do you think she let them take them lots and therefore feels she is owed time with your dc now as payback? Or did she freeze her mil out for any reason and is therefore determined that she isn't going to let you treat her the way she treated her mil?

Would be interesting to have a conversation with your dh about his relationships with his gp and if there was any difference - and if his mum treated her PIL differently from her own parents. And then have a similar conversation with mil and see how she thinks she treated her mil!

If she treated her mil badly and she's hacking you off you can always then ask her why she thinks you should treat her any differently than she treated her mil [evil grin]

weegiemum Thu 07-Feb-13 12:04:06

I think you really need to try to get your dh on side about this.

My story (and it's a loooooong time ago, dd1 was 13 yesterday) was that when we announced the pregnancy, and due date, mil immediately negotiated 2 weeks off work (unpaid, as she was a teacher and the due date is term time) one either side of the due date, and booked flights (she's in Ireland, us then in the far north of Scotland) to be there for all that time!

Dh "put his foot down" and basically told her to cancel the flights and not book anything until we asked her to. BIL tells us she took 3 days sick from work to "mourn" the fact she wouldn't be there when her dgc1 was born.

But she came when dd1 was 10 days old, stayed 5 days and we've never had a problem since. We let her be "first" 2 years later when ds was born, and dd2s early arrival was so chaotic that I'm still not sure who I saw when!

Dh being protective of our family unit laid the groundwork for our relationships. Now, I probably talk to mil more than he does, shes come to stay a couple of times when he's been very busy with work, I enjoy spending time with her. She's devoted to our dc, they have flown to Ireland on their own to visit her, and when after dd2 was born we had a real crisis with my pnd, she dropped everything and came for as long as we needed her.

I have no contact with my own mother, but a very similar one with my dad and DSM who live 90 mins away from us (we're no longer in the remote north!). Boundaries, negotiation and a united front with the ability to say a firm "no" have really stood us in great stead, and we have excellent relationships.

DontmindifIdo Thu 07-Feb-13 13:15:11

yes, even if she gave you say, 2 days notice, you could then get on to your hairdresser and book an appointment, reserve a table for lunch for you and DH etc, but just calling on the day isn't about 'helping you'.

Do'nt get suckered into thinking this is in anyway a 'favour' to you

JingleMum Thu 07-Feb-13 22:25:18

zipzap really interesting point... DH goes so defensive when I ask about his relationship with his paternal gran. He saw her once a week for a few hours, his dad would take him to visit her on a Saturday afternoon. But he was very close to his maternal gran, saw her most days. His older brother didn't see the maternal gran at all, seriously. He was practically raised by maternal gran. If I ever ask MIL how often both gran's saw her boys (I don't make it that obvious though!) she kind of gets out of answering me...

weegie that's good advice, thank you. So nice you have that good, straight, honest relationship.

Dontmindifido I totally agree with you. Calling on the day, on a regular basis, is selfish, it isn't a favour.

MagicHouse Thu 07-Feb-13 22:52:05

That would drive me crazy! I don't understand all this sharing the grandchildren either. I pretty nearly always go visiting with my children anyway. My dd probably stays alone with my (now ex) MIL about once a year! (though we visit together once or twice a month). My own mum lives a way away, so she visits every couple of months and stays with us. She's also had my children without me just a handful of times when I've needed her to.

I think you just have to be firm, and go at it like a broken record. "No, I'd like time with her this weekend, but you're welcome to come for lunch/ coffee if you want to see her". If she moans she doesn't see her, arrange to meet for an hour or two WITH you. Just keep saying it. Say you miss her too much if she's away from you when she doesn't need to be, and follow up with the invite for coffee when the moaning starts.

mercibucket Thu 07-Feb-13 23:03:27

another completely different life! hard to even imagine. ok, well at 3 i'd want routine and nursery so limited taking them out of nursery, but that would be preferable to taking them when i was off, which would be out of the question. ditto weekends. so, essentially, thats a big no to mil requests

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 07-Feb-13 23:06:36

Yanbu but Its simple this should do the trick


SomethingOnce Thu 07-Feb-13 23:22:22

Since this is AIBU, I'll be more frank than I'd usually be.

I don't think somebody in this situation would necessarily be being unreasonable, but there is something about the way you come across that makes me think this has more to do with your self-confessed control freak tendency than the situation itself.

Sorry, that's probably the wrong answer!

Makes me glad I'm unlikely to have a DIL (unless DD turns out to be a lesbian, but the odds are probably in my favour there), tbh.

JingleMum Fri 08-Feb-13 10:26:38

SomethingOnce so you would be happy for your MIL to very often ring you on the day and say "i'll come and take your child for the day" or for her to drop your child off after taking her out and say to you "i'll ring at the weekend and see about taking her again"

You're right, some of it is my control freak ways, but i think i'm only like that because of the way MIL is, how she approaches me regarding to DD.

She's on her way now to take her, she pre-arranged this on tuesday after she dropped her off. So it's been twice this week, but "she never sees her"

It won't be twice next week. Not after some of the advice i've had on here.

MortifiedAdams Fri 08-Feb-13 10:37:04

Can you pre-empt her?Ring her MOnday and say DD has a really busy week so does she want to wait til.the weekend or take her out.on THursday as she has nothing planned that day?

Once MIL has decided, if she calls any other day just say "Sorry, we are run off our feet this week hence me calling ahead about Thursday"

JingleMum Fri 08-Feb-13 10:42:01

Mortified good idea, i like that. I guess we are a clash of personalities, i'm very organised, like routine and like plans. MIL is very laid back & last minute.

Lemonylemon Fri 08-Feb-13 10:44:58

OP: Make some mark on your calendar on the days MIL does take DD. Just an asterisk or something, then when she starts, just point to the calendar and tell her that those were the days she took DD.

It would drive me absolutely bats to be continually phoned ad hoc without any prior arrangement. Your MIL needs to realise that people have their routines etc. That applies to anyone, whether or not their MIL. It's common courtesy in my view.

QOD Fri 08-Feb-13 10:47:36

What about saying she can pick dd up one of the days she is in childcare on an ad hoc basis? S she gets to pick up her up and have her while you're at work?
That's what I'd do

charlottehere Fri 08-Feb-13 10:49:36

YANBU. It would bother me too.

Ariel24 Fri 08-Feb-13 11:29:00

Jinglemum I've not really got any advice just wanted to add I don't think YABU, well maybe a tiny bit but I totally understand why! You can't help how you feel, I think it's totally normal tbh. And I would be incredibly pissed off if my MIL announced she was having my DD on the days she wanted. My DD is 4 months, whenever I've had offers of babysitting I've been firm saying no, as I don't have the need for it and don't want to be away from DD, she's ebf for one thing too. Oh how I will miss that when she's onto solids! I still plan on being firm. I don't understand the need for grandparents to have to see grandchildren alone, is it not nice for everyone to spend time together?

pollyblue Fri 08-Feb-13 13:01:56

If she was my MIL or Mum, I'd feel slightly under seige.

Her comment 'if your not doing anything (on a particular day) I'll take her' made me cringe a bit - why can't you just have a day happily pottering about at home with your dd? These early years soon fly past and now my oldest dd is at school it's her company at home i really miss, just spending time together doing nothing-in-particular. You shouldn't be having to fill your diary with activities just so you have a reason not to let your MIL take her.

I would've been very unhappy if either my MIL or Mum had wanted to 'take' my dds away from me several times a week when they were toddlers.

It doesn't matter how much she loves your DD, she is (imo) trying to monopolise her.

JingleMum Fri 08-Feb-13 13:54:34

Thanks guys.

QOD that wouldn't be enough for her, she physically wants to take DD on days out every week. She is bored, doesn't work, doesn't have friends to socialise with for coffees etc..

Ariel exactly, it's the way she announces it? It rubs me up the wrong way.

pollyblue you've hit the nail on the head. Neither she, nor DP see why i wouldn't let her take DD if we were just staying in. But those days i like to help her with numbers, bake cakes, watch dvds etc.. Little things i won't be able to do when she's at school. MIL would expect me to say (and i often do) "ok, you can take her as we are only staying in" i'm going to say no next time.

DontmindifIdo Fri 08-Feb-13 14:06:56

well if you like routines, set one up that works for you, leaving only one possible 'granny day' - have groups you can go to lined up, classes, book play dates etc. If on the day you decide to have a 'at home day' then fine, don't go to that actitivity, but you can then say when MIL calls up "oh, we go to Musical bumps on Thursday mornings now then we've arranged to meet a friend afterwards, so no, but we are free on Friday morning for you to see DD, but she has a play date in the afternoon." If you then don't go to the group/class/meet the friend, at least you're not answering the phone saying "no we're not doing anything."

Eventually we'll start to realise you usually have plans and she needs to fit in with you.

QOD Sat 09-Feb-13 09:02:30

what I meant was that she could go get get from the child care place. herself.
you drop Dd off at 8 or whatever as planned. she picks her up from lunch til you finish. you're paying for care and its there when MIL can't have her but you're keeping your time for you

MrsMushroom Sat 09-Feb-13 09:48:34

It's your child...of course you are right. I wouldn't let my MIL @take@ my DD three times all day in one week.

My SIL wanted to take my DDs out on a long journey....would have been driving for 4 hours....I said no. Reason was that they're a nightmare in the car and I don't believe SIL has the patience to deal and I won't put her or them in a situation where she's going to tell them off. Also she teaches them bad phrases and child, my choice.

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