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DM, alcohol and looking after DS, aibu?!

(30 Posts)
SigningGirl Mon 27-May-13 01:59:00

I've just come back home from a night out, the second time I've left DS (4.5 months) with anyone other than DH (and even then only the 3rd time). DM and DF looking after DS for the first time and DS a little poorly (a cold, teething, etc).

Get back to the house DM smells of wine, repeating bits of the conversation we have and quite stroppy with me when I don't bf straight away as she tells me to (despite baby still lightly sleeping).

DM has a backstory, an interesting relationship with alcohol bordering alcoholic (my opinion, non diagnosed). We had left her a bottle of wine out, as she would have looked for one anyway, but when i check, she has gone through my cupboards looking for more wine and they've gone through a bottle and a half altogether. I don't know how much either drunk, but had DS been ill I'm fairly sure it wouldn't have been a good idea for them to be driving.

DH and I don't drink that much or that regularly, so I guess I'm asking aibu to assume that DParents would have held back on the vino for the one day they are looking after DS?

(And if ianbu what the hell do I do now?!)


JoJoCK Mon 27-May-13 02:16:20

YADNBU. I would be livid with my parents if they drank that amount whilst looking after DS (he is 15 wks). I guess the only thing to do is to be honest with them about your concerns and explain your expectations around drinking whilst lolling after your DS etc. doesn't sound like it will be an easy conversation but I think it has to be had. Good luck.

JoJoCK Mon 27-May-13 02:17:03

Looking, not lolling!

SigningGirl Mon 27-May-13 02:24:31

Thanks Jojo... It's just so hard. DM not known for her tolerance of other views and will hit the roof if I dare to 'question' her.

I'm scared that by challenging her/them, the relationship will sour, but at the same time, if I don't, how the heck do I explain not wanting them to look after DS.


MrsTerryPratchett Mon 27-May-13 02:33:57

What is your DF like with wine? Because maybe they drank the same, in which case 3/4 of a bottle each. Maybe not that large an amount for a big drinker (more than I would like DPs to drink with DD but YKWIM). If DF wasn't drinking that much, that would account for DM being stroppy but means that was a relatively sober and responsible adult in the house.

JoJoCK Mon 27-May-13 02:34:51

It sounds very difficult op, I feel your pain. I've found since having DS I've got very firm(probably totally bolshie) about things related to him. That doesn't mean that my parents (or DH for that matter!) agree with all of my parenting views. But it does mean that it is easier for them to understand what is non-negotiable in terms of how I want DS to be cared for. Not suggesting you get angry with your dps but finding a way to firmly state your objections and expectations and make it clear there is no negotiation on this subject is probably needed. (Or you could do what I would do and get really angry and then cry!!!!).

Justfornowitwilldo Mon 27-May-13 02:43:20

The fact that you knew you needed to leave a bottle out 'as she would have looked for one anyway' probably tells you what you need to know. That's not something most people would have to consider. It's not something most people would want when looking after a small baby.

It sounds like your father drank too, so three quarters of a bottle of wine each when looking after a 19 week old?

There's no point in saying anything if you've tried to address their drinking in the past and been ignored. Don't leave them to babysit again. If they ask why just say you've already made plans.

SigningGirl Mon 27-May-13 02:45:20

MrsTP, DF did seem more sober, this is true. Problem is DM does hog DS (for want of a better word) and I'm not sure DF got a look in. Plus he wouldn't stand up against her or tell her to stop something.... From past experience he doesn't do conflict.

Jojo, i like the idea of being really tiger-mother and firm, but If DM gets an idea in her head however, there is almost no point in arguing as she will get really stroppy... If I want to lay out my expectations I need to be prepared for her to be a total cow and possibly the silent treatment. I'm basically scared, if I'm being honest. So much so that it is 2.45 and I can't sleep thinking about it...


HelloBear Mon 27-May-13 02:56:14

Its rubbish that you are up worrying about this. I can understand why thou. I would not have been happy either in your shoes.

Perhaps if you can't face talking about it (not suggesting this is right) just don't have any alcohol in the house next time. Would this be so odd?

Or pluck up the courage, rally support and batten down the hatches and talk to your Dm about this. Let her throw a strop but keep repeating your point of view and wishes when it cones to looking after YOUR child.

HelloBear Mon 27-May-13 02:57:51

Oh and for now put it to the back of your mind and sleep!!!!

Meringue33 Mon 27-May-13 03:18:29

Yanbu, but if she has a drink problem there is nothing you can do to control it. You will just have to find another babysitter.

lalloooooo Mon 27-May-13 04:00:37

Find another babysitter or make sure there is no booze around at all (or findable) if she is looking after ds. By leaving wine for them you are saying it is ok for you to drink while looking after my son.

thismumismad Mon 27-May-13 07:31:43

My step F once almost fell on my DT when they were toddlers, the only reason that he did not land in them was because I shoved him out of their way. I left right then and the next time he asked me to bring them see him I said only if you are going to be sober, to which he replied better make it before ten then. I said no, I'm not going to bother if you cannot. He never saw my boys again and never saw my daughter. OP you have to take charge for the sake of your DS. If they cannot reduce their drinking to stay sober when looking after your precious child then they should not be looking after him.

Pinkflipflop Mon 27-May-13 07:51:01

Very strange; I'm sure you won't be leaving your ds with these people again?

RedHelenB Mon 27-May-13 08:26:32

Find other babysitters, you needn't have a row about it if you don't want to.Your kid = your responsibility. Having a baby makes you a parent now & you need to learn from your mother's mistakes on how to be the best parent you can.

DontmindifIdo Mon 27-May-13 08:35:47

Agree, you do'nt need to have a row, just find other babysitters, you might have to just accept paying for childcare and never leaving your parents in sole charge of DS.

If your mother complains, you need to find that mummy backbone and say "You'll drink and we don't want anyone looking after DS who's been drinking." she can rant all she likes, don't give in, your DS is not a toy to keep her happy, that she doesn't realise it's not acceptable to get drunk in charge of someone else's DC means her judgement can't be trusted. i'd rather not have a night out.

DontmindifIdo Mon 27-May-13 08:37:47

BTW - if she has a drink problem, you can't accept that she'll say "i wo'nt drink then". It's hard but this is when you have to make the adjustment in your thinking, the family dynamic has changed, you are the parent of the family, she is the grandparent, so what you (and DH) says goes. Do'nt feel you have to put up with "her way" now.

galwaygirl Mon 27-May-13 08:46:47

If your parents are regular heavy-ish wine drinkers then a bottle and a half between them isn't that much at all and probably wouldn't have much of an effect on them.
I think you're being OTT thinking that's loads of wine but if you want babysitters to remain teetotal then best to have someone else you pay so you can feel easier about setting down rules.

calmingtea Mon 27-May-13 08:58:45

YABU leaving your infant with someone you feel is a borderline alcoholic. You are even more U for leaving a bottle of wine out.

What do you do know? Find a reliable babysitter with references next time you want to go out.

Spice17 Mon 27-May-13 09:03:16

This is a tricky one but you did leave out the wine, suggesting it was OK to drink? Not blaming you though, so as I say, difficult one.

Bobyan Mon 27-May-13 09:03:33

If she feels the need to go through your cupboards looking for drink she isn't a borderline alcoholic. She is an alcoholic.

mrsjay Mon 27-May-13 09:12:05

dont have her baby sit pure and simple she can see the baby during the day she can have him during the day but just dont have her baby sit at night , I assume she is a heavy drinker and you don't want your ds looked after by a heavy drinker, I think wine is seen as an acceptable social nice thing to drink change the wine for cheap cider would you leave that put for her ? i am honestly not having a go but drinkers will drink regardless, so you either dont have alcohol in your house when she watches him or dont have her watch him, oh saying all that the baby was fine wasn't he

DoJo Mon 27-May-13 09:12:49

I agree that by leaving wine out you have tacitly condoned their behaviour - if you expected them to drink a bottle of wine between them then neither of them would have been able to drive anyway, and by that reasoning another half bottle shared isn't exactly shocking.

I think you need to give them the option - we would love you to look after him, but we aren't really comfortable about you drinking when you do, so you can either stay sober, or we'll just find a babysitter for those nights and you can see him when he is with us.

Meery Mon 27-May-13 09:51:53

Op i feel for you. I have posted elsewhere about the time we left my dm to babysit my dd and got home to find her slurring away with an empty gin bottle. Whilst kicking myself for thinking that she would put her dgc care before alcohol and being so wrong, i resolved to never leave my children so exposed again. This has been easy for me as she lives abroad so there is not much opportunity.
My advice would be to put this down to experience but not ask them to babysit again. If they ask why you simply say because you don't like leaving ds with people who drink. Yes you'll get sulks etc. but will no doubt feel better for standing up for yourself.
There is a support thread in relationships for those of us with alcoholic dm. May be worth a look.

mrsjay Mon 27-May-13 10:03:02

I haddly ever left dds at my mums house when they were little my mum was fine it was my stepdad he always used to be in some stage of drunk (at the weekend) and I refused to let them be exposed to that

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