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To keep my children safe when visiting in-laws abroad.

(78 Posts)
desertrosefirefly Mon 02-Sep-13 01:35:26

My in-laws live over seas. They have 4 dogs that live outside which I think can be unsafe taking our 3 children aged 5 years to 14 months, since my in-laws disagree with my rules and even ridicule me. They disagree with me about my children not being left without monitoring the behaviour of the dogs or what my children could do to upset the dogs. My 5 year old had 3 of the dogs go for him when he was just about to turn 2 years old and since being here this time my 5 year old has had his bottom nipped by one of the dogs when they got over excited and one of my 14 month olds has been growled at. If my son acts fearful to the dogs he is told off and told to be brave. I had a huge arguement with my father-in-law only last night because he thinks I am hilarious how I go to watch my children when they are close to the dogs and that I would prefer that my babies were not anywhere near the dogs, since even the loveliest of animals will react if they are hurt or surprised.
My in-laws also have a balcony which after many arguements they have now put a net up since the babies could fit through the gaps, but the twins move furniture on the balcony and one infant in particular loves to climb. My rule is that they are not allowed on the balcony alone. The doors are left wide open to the balcony during the day.
My in-laws also have issues with me wanting to use UV suits and cake my children in sun block here. I am always told by my mother-in law that they will be fine if it is after 3pm (or it is cloudy today) even though it is the Caribbean (and I am also told this when she comes to visit the UK when we have sunny weather) where they live you can imagine the effect that the sun could have.
They also have a very relaxed attitude to my children around water. Since I was a lifeguard when I was younger I try to prevent things rather than having to deal with situations. I am now a primary school teacher and so very annoyed when they question every rule I have when it comes to the safety of my children.
I was told that I deserved a slap last night by my mother-in-law (twice in fact) and that children need to have accidents to learn. When I said that they are my children so my rules go, she told me that they are her children and my father-in-laws too and they do not agree with me so they will bring them up their own way.
I would prefer not to take my children out anymore but now my husband has made it clear that the children will be going out no matter if I agree or not. My husband says he agrees with me on the safety of our children but does not speak up when I am made a joke of or ignored by his parents and if left alone with his mother or father will ignore my rules all together. Any advice please.

MariaLuna Mon 02-Sep-13 01:48:21

she told me that they are her children and my father-in-laws too and they do not agree with me so they will bring them up their own way.

Apart from the dogs and balcony thing this really stood out for me. They sound deranged.

I,m sorry your husband is not standing behind you in this.

But you are visiting, right? Not living there.

Frankly I wouldn't be going back for about the next 10 years.

solarbright Mon 02-Sep-13 01:48:35

Wow. Advice. Well... why are you there?? You knew all this stuff before you left the UK (I assume?), so why are you staying with these people? Your DH wants to see his parents, and that's as should be, but you don't have to put up with the disrespect of your in-laws and the total lack of back-up from your DH. There must be a hotel around there somewhere, OP. Take the kiddies, and DH if he knows what's good for him, and move out. If your MIL has actually said, twice, that you deserve to be slapped, I'm afraid that's the last night I'd ever spend under her roof.

And 'the children will be going out whether you agree or not'?? WTF, OP? That's not right. You two need to have a serious discussion, and you need to have it somewhere other than your PIL's house.

MariaLuna Mon 02-Sep-13 01:51:43

(I was married to a man from abroad who threatened to take my son with him when he went back - we split up - indeed, I didn't visit till he was well into his teens).

desertrosefirefly Mon 02-Sep-13 02:12:58

I did think about the hotel thing. When everyone around you makes you feel like you are over reacting you start to believe it, so that is why I needed some sense from here. I am completely prepared to do whatever it takes so that my children are safe. Again there will be problems that I need to look into, since my husband lived out here and we were moving out too. I do believe that he would move out again and try to take children with him. I think legal advice may be the next step. I cannot wait to be home. Yes I knew that they were quite bad but I thought laying the law may make things change. Stupid, but since they are family, after talking to my own mother we came up with what I needed to do and say.

solarbright Mon 02-Sep-13 02:18:35

You're not stupid and you are not overreacting. If you can't wait to be home, then don't wait. Change tix for you and DC and go home.

And if you have any fear whatsoever that DH or his family will attempt to abduct the children, then call the British consulate/embassy right now and ask for help.

When are you scheduled to leave?

Feckadeck Mon 02-Sep-13 02:49:05

Yanu they sound very controlling and disrespectful of you as a mother. You husband also needs to stand up for you and discuss this seriously with his parents. I am also in the Caribbean and there can be a more laxed attitude to safety here eg it's quite normal to see children jumping about in cars with no seatbelts,etc....makes me mad! About the sun comment when you live here full time you do start to notice that late afternoon sun is less sever. Generally post 4pm. However i still insist on sun protection for the kids and would advise all visitors from uk to use even in cloud as sun still gets through. We have balcony too and the baby is not allowed out unsupervised. We have a net but even so anything could happen..Surely it's common sense to not have them there unsupervised. Dont get Why your inlaws cant see this! Definitely get legal advise re your husband leaving uk with kids but without you (I thought a parent needed a letter for the otherparentto travel with the child alone?).

desertrosefirefly Mon 02-Sep-13 02:49:23

Wednesday. Just had another row with my DH. No support what so ever. Told me I was completely in the wrong. Looked at hotels but I have no means of transport so getting there and to airport since taxis not very reliable or safe here is making me doubt that as an option now. Do not think DH will do anything in terms of taking kids right now. We live at his work and his stuff is there. I will seek advice as soon as I get home. I told him his mother said about slapping me and his answer was we are both adults and that is between us.

desertrosefirefly Mon 02-Sep-13 02:53:40

I meant to say as well I don't think I would be able to leave without DH since babies are on lap and wouldn't manage to carry both on board plane or through customs etc.

Feckadeck Mon 02-Sep-13 02:57:47


Do you know anyone else there that could help you get to a hotel? If not just stay as far away from your inlaws as you can and telldhhe is being a useless b@stard not supporting you in this...especially since he said he agrees with you re the safety issues!

desertrosefirefly Mon 02-Sep-13 02:59:14

I will look into whether DH can take children abroad without letter from me too. Thank you for all your advice. Really upset that I brought children out at all. DH just laid guilt trip on me about I am ruining enjoyment of our kids being with their grandparents, but said that all that does not matter if it is unsafe. Need to get home.

Feckadeck Mon 02-Sep-13 02:59:33

Ah ok re lap....airlines do require minimal adults per lap child. When were you due to fly home?

desertrosefirefly Mon 02-Sep-13 03:01:05

Everyone I know here is linked to the family and I do not have contact information.

desertrosefirefly Mon 02-Sep-13 03:02:16

We are flying on Wednesday so only a few unbearable days to get through.

Feckadeck Mon 02-Sep-13 03:10:53

Jus try to get through it all then. Obviously don't leave your children unsupervised with your inlaws and try to get sometime alone if possible. I'd be tempted not to discuss with H again there as will lead to rows with your inlaws being privy to all tha. When you get home have a serious discussion with him regarding all your concerns and set out what would have to change before you'd be willing to visit his parents like that again and certainly before you'd even think about moving. He agreed safety issues concern him tooso go from there and then make sure he knows how unsupported you felt. Good luck!

GreetingsFrontBottom Mon 02-Sep-13 03:11:25

Stay vigilant, desertrosefirefly. You are absolutely in the right, just keep reminding yourself that. I was in a similar situation with DM a few years ago. I never let the kids out of my sight which led her to believe I had a 'mental problem'.

Fast forward a a few years, and she now agrees that I was probably in the right hmm

If I were you, I would never go back. And leave the kids passports are your mum's house, just in case your DH gets it into his head to take them without you.

Maybe83 Mon 02-Sep-13 03:30:56

Delete this thread and post on your return.,.you are up in a foreign country with 3 small children were taxi s aren't even considered safe with an unsupportive husband I would be concerned if he read it or your thoughts to be honest...get to weds post in relationships when you land!

Footface Mon 02-Sep-13 03:46:39

Be nice for now, get home and then seek advice. Just be careful you are away from home and vulnerable

kickassangel Mon 02-Sep-13 04:39:11

And you can take steps to ensure that your dh cannot take the children out of the country without you. Get legal advice once back home.

Molly333 Mon 02-Sep-13 07:24:18

I can help you with yr decision here. My parents hv awful dogs who they treat better than people . I hv always been v wary of them and rarely take the children round as a result I get a lot of criticism . I'm considered difficult ! Well I was right as recently I relented due to pressure and both the dogs went berserk and went for my daughters face ( she's 14 and I feel sick thinking about it) , it was truly horrendous , we left in utter shock , my thoughts being what if ! It was three inches from her face ! Their pressure on me made me take them there and I ignored my gut instinct , I too was bullied by them like you. If anything happens it's too late , u will regret it forever , listen to your gut and protect yr children x

Retroformica Mon 02-Sep-13 07:56:20

You need to document everything. Their opinions (grand parents and DH) and what they have said to you in a factual manner.

I probably would ensure the kids couldn't be taken out of the country then tell DH either he either supports you fully or leaves the house permanently.

Do nog take the kids back until they are teenagers and less vulnerable. You are doing the right thing to protect your kids.

FadedSapphire Mon 02-Sep-13 08:11:13

Very good luck desertrosefirefly.
Get home safe and if next year being planned you need discussion with dh on everything.
I have inlaws overseas who I find very difficult but yours seem in a different league.

Faithless12 Mon 02-Sep-13 08:14:12

Where in the Caribbean are you? I only ask because this is totally at odds to my experience there. Also, you need your husband on side in future if you intend to come back make sure you both agree on the rules. It sounds like you have a lot of rules which maybe your husband doesn't understand why each rule is in place.

mumofweeboys Mon 02-Sep-13 08:15:02

Paste a smile on until u get home then get the chidlrenspassports and yours and give them to your mum, even I you have to post them to her. Then get Iin touch with womens aid.

mikkii Mon 02-Sep-13 08:24:21

Regarding travelling alone with DC, I am in Spain with DH and DC, but I flew here with DC a few days before DH came, I am also going back today with DC.

Two years ago I flew with DDs, and four years ago we flew out together and home separately. I have never been asked for proof that DH is "allowing me to travel with DC"

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