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to not want MIL to babysit DS yet?

(102 Posts)
Kafri Thu 09-May-13 10:30:23

DS is 20 weeks old and MIL has offered to babysit a couple of times. the thing is, i'm not comfortable leaving him with her as she has barely spent any time with him since he was born.
She has changed his nappy once - when I kinda pushed her to do it - and was so jittery with it saying 'oh which way do i put ds on the mat' and 'what do i do with the wet nappy' and 'which way does the new nappy go'?

Now I know she is only going to learn by doing it but i'd rather she did it with us about rather than just got left with him.

DS cries each time she does hold him as he doesn't know her and she doesn't know what entertains him.

This isn't me saying I won't leave him with anyone - there are several people who I am happy to leave him with but these people have all spent plenty of time with him and ds knows them.

I take him to church on a sunday morning which lasts just over an hour and quite honestly, some of the old ladies in the congregation who pop over to say hi to him have spent more time with him than MIL.

She invites us round for eals but it is only ever in an evening and she knows I like to keep ds in his routine and in bed on time as he will not sleep anywhere other than his cot and he just ends up a frazzled mess but then i'll get another invite - 'would you like to come for supper'?

I have tried giving her a call in the daytime and said 'we're at a loose end if you're about at home, we could pop up and see you'? But their social calendar is always full so never have time

Guess i'm just wondering if i'm being U and PFB in not handing him over and walking away.....?

SirBoobAlot Thu 09-May-13 10:44:45

YANBU because she doesn't know him well enough. However, you're then causing your own problem if you aren't taking up her invitations for dinner. If he's slightly late going to bed, it really doesn't matter too much. Especially as there is a sleep regression coming up around now and any sense of 'routine' will go out of the window wink.

Hannah052012 Thu 09-May-13 10:54:23

Hi there. I think you're being very sensible and not at all unreasonable. It's quite understandable that you don't feel comfortable leaving your ds with your MIL until he is 100% comfortable with her. The only thing I can think of is to explain to your MIL that you'd like her to mind him for you, but you'd like her to be familiar with his routine/preferences beforehand - this is for her sake and for your ds's (and yours too!). She should understand that this would mean coming over during the day and spending some time shadowing you - if your comfortable with that.
Likewise I understand completely why you're declining the evening invites. You've no doubt put in so much effort to establish a routine and it wouldn't be fair on you or your ds to do anything that might upset that. As the previous comment states, there are enough things that crop up anyway that can upset their routine, but the last thing you would want to do is deliberately mess things up.
Full credit to you for putting the needs of your baby above anybody else's preferences.

wigglesrock Thu 09-May-13 10:59:09

Maybe she's nervous because you're there. When I had dd1 my mum was terrified that I would take offence at her doing something wrong that she appeared to be unhinged sometimes. She also felt a bit self conscious singing silly songs etc when I was there. I made her nervous not the baby.

Hannah052012 Thu 09-May-13 10:59:20

And if your ds is anything like my dd, a later bedtime can cause a whole's night's worth of problems!

VinegarTits Thu 09-May-13 10:59:56

Yes you are being U and very pfb

babies are resiliant, just because he hasnt spent a huge amount of time with her doesnt mean anything bad will happen, at least she is trying, she invites you to dinner (so what if his routine is a little out of syc for a day?) she is offering to babysit but she is meeting a brick wall with you really isnt she?

do you acting want your ds to get to know his grandma?

VinegarTits Thu 09-May-13 11:01:31


you need to make more effort im afraid, let her babysit for a couple of hours in your home while you go out for a bit, it will be a start at least

NKffffffffabeee2d7X127640abcce Thu 09-May-13 11:04:58

I agree with Hannah. How about you invite MIL to your place so she can shadow the evening routine? If the contact is at home it might be easier for your DS. You could also try booking well in advance as she has such a busy schedule, and explaining that evenings are difficult for bonding as DS is so tired, so how about Sunday lunch after church? I disagree that you are being PFB, your son is still young and you are trying to get things right for him, nothing wrong with that.

fuzzywuzzy Thu 09-May-13 11:09:49

If you're not comfortable to hand him over and walk away then that's fine.

When you're ready then ask MIL to babysit, altho with a full social calendar will she even be available?

fluffyraggies Thu 09-May-13 11:27:17

I must say i wouldn't let anything mess up my DCs bedtime routines. They were well established and and it's what kept me sane.

I agree that until she has spent more time with your DS doing daily stuff like nappies, feeding and comforting i wouldn't want to leave her in soul charge. Perhaps you could actually put this to her? Say ''come over MIL during the day and you can bond a bit with babykafri. Seeing him in the evening all the time is a shame as he's always asleep/grumpy/in bed''.

BerthaTheBogCleaner Thu 09-May-13 11:33:25

So your ds is 5 months old, his Grandma lives nearby and doesn't work (or at least not all day every day?) but she has barely seen him, never looked after him, and he cries when she holds him because he doesn't know her. After 5 months, living nearby.

This sounds like a woman who doesn't really want to make the effort to know her grandson, or perhaps imagines that she can suddenly start having a relationship with him when he gets older and pays her more attention. And the invitations to supper and offers of babysitting are either her going through the motions or simply her wanting everything on her terms.

I think you need to make it explicit to her - next time she asks to babysit, say no, not until ds knows you better, so would you like to come over and spend the day together (in three weeks time, let her name the day so she can't say she is busy) ...

Or you could say "oh thankyou sooo much for offering, that's very kind but we have plenty of babysitters. You're his grandma, I'd like you to be able to have fun with him, and enjoy him while he's awake. Why don't you come over ... etc ...

If she makes excuses not to come, then that's her choice. You can't force some to have a relationship with their grandchild.

Kafri Thu 09-May-13 11:35:07

vinegar - it's not that I think anything bad will happen to him, it;s more that he doesn't know her and cries whenever she holds him as it's so infrequent. Night times have been a particular nightmare for DS so now we have some sort of routine in place, I'm reluctant to upset them. Also, I'm not sure I see why I should always be the one to disrupt my routine with DS in order to see them if they are unwilling to disrupt their routine to see us and spend time with DS.

They are more than welcome at our house at any time they like, either planned or at short notice (to fit in with their busy schedule) but the phone call never comes. It's not like i'm not trying to get them involved and allow MIL to participate - to be honest, i'm getting sick of being declined. She only wants to see DS in her own home. I'm struggling a bit as DS seems to bore very easily - at home he has all his stuff but he tires very quickly of it and wanto to move on to the next thing - playmat to jumperoo etc. This is fine at home as I can accomodate but MIL has absolutely nothing at her house for me to try to entertain him with and he is very much a whiny baby - always has been.

I'm not trying to stop MIL getting to know her grandson, just want a bit of flexibility on how/when it happens and not to be expected to just leave him with her when she's so nervous and so unfamiliar to DS. I wouldn't leave him with a complete stranger so what's the difference??

I can still count on my fingers how many times she has seen DS since his arrival.

Kafri Thu 09-May-13 11:42:20

Bertha You hit the nail on the head - PILS are both retired and live all of a 5 min drive away yet are always too busy.

She has made reference to the fact that her parents used to take DH and SIL on holiday when they were young but this was when they were 'children' rather than babies. So yes, i do get the impression she wants to be a grandma later on.

She made it perfectly clear that she has no wish to look after DS once I go back to work (which is fine by me, i'll look at nursery/childminder etc for the few hours i'll be going back - DH will have him one day so I just need a CM for 1 day) but then in the next breath is going on about how all her friends are now enjoying looking after the GC while their DC work.

To be honest, they are in a 'keeping up with the Jones' social circle and its all about bettering each other. DH was sent to private school for the qudos of it rather than the educational benefit and MIL had housewarming party for HER friends in DH's first flat purely to show off etc.

VinegarTits Thu 09-May-13 11:42:55

so you wont fix in with their schedule but your expecting them to fit into yours? still very pfb if you ask me, wait until you have your second you will be handing them over without a second thought when someone shouts 'i'll babysit'

stopmovingthefurniture Thu 09-May-13 11:54:57

vinegar: stop being so needlessly antagonistic. There's nothing wrong with prioritising a routine at this stage. I well remember the distress of trying to comfort an overtired baby and thinking that I owed it to DD to safeguard her routine. Maybe your babies didn't have one, fine, but some babies need one. The OP is being reasonable when she says that she's be happy to accommodate/offer hospitality at any other time of the day. Don't twist that into 'so you won't fit in with them but you're expecting them to fit in with yours?' Ridiculous. Grownups are supposed to respect children's bedtimes. That's how it works. Very apt name by the way.

FrogInABog Thu 09-May-13 12:09:15

You don't have to leave your baby with anyone until you are happy to, simple as that. Do what works for you and DS, and unless you and DH are both happy about someone , then don't leave him with them.
I don't understand some people's desperation to have a baby
away from its mum as soon as they can. Every baby I've known is happier with mum nearby , and the baby should come first.

Kafri Thu 09-May-13 12:14:50

oh vinegar I asked on here for some sound advice and support butni guess theres always one ready to antagonise.

I repeat vinegar I am happy to arrange anything MIL likes apart from bedtimes. I was just saying im fed up of ut always being is having to pack up for a week just to take ds to MILs and have enough stuff to entertain him. I wouldnt mind so much if they returned the favour and came to us occasionally and yes, observed/helped out with DS routine to get to know him better.

anyway, for gods sake crawl back under your rock until you have something helpful to add.

everyone else (even those who disagree with me) thanks for your help. ill keep plugging for MIL to spend more time with him and build her confidence and hopefully he'll get to know her a bit. I just dont think you can pick and choose when you want to play grandma! mine certainly never did.

VinegarTits Thu 09-May-13 12:24:00

No. You asked if YWBU and PFB, my opinion is yes, if you dont want opinion that differ from your own that dont ask

if you were expecting advice and support your in the wrong place dear

Nimthenamechanger Thu 09-May-13 12:45:15

Vinegar.. I think you know that you're being unecessarily rude and patronising. FWIW, I agree with OP. In a few months the baby will be able to make his preferences known, he will recognise Grandma and a better time will be had by all.
The OP is not being PFB; she is actually giving a stuff about how her baby feels and not wanting to upset him for no good reason.
You say the baby needs to get the know his Grandma? I see no mention of OP not wanting that to happen; it is the Grandma who wants it to happen on her schedule, not the OP's.
If the OP just leaves him with his Grandma, OP, Grandma and baby will be stressed and unhappy and he will start out with negative associations with visiting Grandma. How is that helpful to anyone?
OP, you are in the right.
Keep suggesting the daytime visits. You can only do so much.

LucilleBluth Thu 09-May-13 12:59:32

How do you know why they sent your DH to private school.......fuck me I'm dreading being a MIL......maybe she is nervous around you.

valiumredhead Thu 09-May-13 13:00:45

I'd let her get on with it and enjoy your time away. It's a good thing to develop.

Fairylea Thu 09-May-13 13:07:03

I have two dc and my ds is 11 months and my mum wants to babysit but I don't feel happy leaving him with anyone yet. (Dd is 10 years old and now sleeps over at mums etc).

Mum is always welcome to visit ds here. There's no law that says you have to leave your baby with anyone if you don't want to, family or not.

Kafri Thu 09-May-13 13:07:50

lucille - how do I know? I quote MIL 'we sent (DH) to (school) as (friend) was sending their ds to (school - different one) and didnt want to seem outdone. in hindsight, (DH) would have fared better in a less academic environment but we cant change it now' pretty clear there lucille isnt it?

Sparklymommy Thu 09-May-13 13:10:38

Op I know EXACTLY how you feel. When Dd1 was born my SIL and MIL were FOREVER trying to get hold of the baby. I was still in hospital and SIL was practically arranging for me to go to her house so she could play with the baby whilst I "napped". This from a woman who snubbed me in town when I was 3 months pregnant and made it quite clear she thought I had "trapped" her precious baby brother by falling pregnant!

Being young (I was 18) I spent months trying to keep everyone happy before being diagnosed with PND after breaking down at my fathers wedding. I sat down with MIL and explained that the pressure of constantly being asked when they could babysit was making me ill. I made plans for her to have dd1 on a Friday afternoon for a couple of hours so that everyone knew where they stood. I still wasn't really happy but it was a compromise.

I have to say that now, 10 years later, MIL hardly sees any of my four children even though she lives in the same street! Now when I could do with the help she finds coping with MY children exhausting. I suspect this is due to my SIL now having her own children whom MIL spends all get time with. Her loss at the end of the day!

fluffyraggies Thu 09-May-13 13:17:00

My MIL always wanted her GCs at her house or not at all too. We lived 5 mins walk away from her for 9 years and she came round twice, despite being invited. Neither of those times was to babysit btw.

I would like to say that i did not 'jump at' any old offers of babysitting when my 3 were young, and i had 3 under 5 at one point. MIL didn't know them very well and I liked to know my kids were in good hands, in their own beds if it was late while they were very young, and if that meant going 3 or 4 years without a regular night out with DH out that was ok.

My mum wasn't too keen on babysitting unless it was daytime at hers either. So we just got on with it, and i'm proud of myself.

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