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Worried about leaving baby with In laws

(26 Posts)
Newmummafish Wed 05-Feb-14 16:28:51

Tell me if I'm going mad but...
Not long after my DD was born, my partner had to return to work (long stretches away from home) and various people came to help me including my MIL. Out of the blue one day she told me she had suffered with dreadful post natal depression and that my FIL had even come home to her in the kitchen trying to self harm while her kids were there. This started a small alarm bell with me.
Then, weeks later, she popped over to see us and started talking about how she couldn't understand how people hurt babies, and I agreed with her until she said, and her exact words, "I can understand if you got so stressed with them you would shove them or push or throw them a little way"

Now, I absolutely will not leave DD with them at all. My partner has asked them to sit for us one night so we can go for dinner but I'm just not having it and I know it's going to cause and argument!

Am I being a sensible mother or am I being totally unreasonable???

Donnadoon Wed 05-Feb-14 16:31:17

We have maternal instincts for a reason

blahblahblah2014 Wed 05-Feb-14 16:33:20

YABU - You husband is fine isn't he? Do you honestly think she is going to harm your baby? NO? Well there is your answer

Aworryingtrend Wed 05-Feb-14 16:36:22

Do you think it could be that she was simply trying (clumsily) to identify with how difficult life can be with a newborn, almost letting you know that if you were finding things difficult (not suggesting you are but people can hide PND very well and perhaps she knows this firsthand) that you could talk to her about it and she wouldn't judge you?

I honestly don't think the fact that she had PND 30(?) years ago means she would harm her GD now.

Bubblegoose Wed 05-Feb-14 16:36:58

"I can understand if you got so stressed with them you would shove them or push or throw them a little way"

Erm... no. YANBU. It's one thing to put a crying baby in a room and take a few deep breaths when you are at breaking point, but 'throwing' a baby is abuse. Obviously.

Saucia Wed 05-Feb-14 16:37:12

I wouldn't be concerned about the historic PND but her comment about throwing them a little hmm would put me right off. YANBU. And its up to you who you leave your baby with even if you had no reasons at all.

HoratiaDrelincourt Wed 05-Feb-14 16:37:17


I can understand how people get so stressed with their children they would want to shove them or smack them or put them on eBay. That doesn't mean I have done it, nor that I would do it. It just means I get it. I think she was clumsily expressing "when I was at my worst I simply couldn't cope, so I have empathy for women who snap".

If MIL had PND (sounds likely, and bear in mind that's a fairly modern diagnosis) then she was not in her right mind at the time. Presumably she has been completely healthy since?

How does DD sleep? Would you be comfortable going to the pub for an hour or two with DH as a trial, when DD would be likely to be fast asleep and entirely oblivious to your absence?

Our instincts are important and shouldn't be ignored, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't examine/unpack them.

BrunoBrookesDinedAlone Wed 05-Feb-14 16:37:52

Um, blahblahblah - I think she's trying to say that yes, she thinks it might be possible that her MIL would be capable of hurting her children, yes! So as you say -there's her answer.


MamaPingu Wed 05-Feb-14 16:40:42

I think you aren't being unreasonable.
I don't think her PND is relevant but that added to her saying it's ok to lob a child around if you're stressed would ring alarm bells for me.

I have been asked for ILs to have my DS and don't really want them to because MIL has depression and I just don't feel comfortable having someone who is unable to work due to mental illness having my son. None of Ps family understand where I'm coming from hmm

Newmummafish Wed 05-Feb-14 16:41:02

I had thought that she may be trying to, in a clumsy way, offer me an opening to talk if I was feeling low yes. And had gotten around it but after the most recent comment I'm back to square one again. (Yes, she does suffer with depression now). It just makes me anxious even thinking about leaving DD with them. I know my partner and his sister are fine....maybe it's just me overly worrying

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 05-Feb-14 16:42:46


I would not leave any child of mine with anybody who had those views no matter who they were.

But to get a sensible response you should have changed the mil to mum as your thread will be descended on by the your mil can be a mad axe murderer but if you so much as consider talking to your mother about anything to do with your children then you should send your kids to live with mil just in case she feels left out brigade.

RabbitFromAHat Wed 05-Feb-14 16:44:17

YABU, though understandably over-anxious. Understanding how someone could find themselves doing something isn't the same thing at all as believing you could do the same.

RainYourRottingMyDhaliaBulbs Wed 05-Feb-14 16:45:57

I know this is serious, but throwing the baby a little comic has tickled something dark in me.

I also dont think the pnd years ago would worry me and to be fair i think she is trying to talk to you and it may not be coming out right, gp's do go mad when gc come along....maybe its bringing back strong memories for her....and she is sort of re living it...and thinking out loud...

anyway, baby in my mind is too young to be left, i think you should polity turn them down on basis baby too young and just keep an eye on her how she seems and so on and say postive things to her...about her own dc your partner and so on..

RainYourRottingMyDhaliaBulbs Wed 05-Feb-14 16:47:45

grin @ socks...

Aworryingtrend Wed 05-Feb-14 16:47:52

It doesn't have to be a cut and dried decision right now as to whether you leave DD with MIL though does it? Can you build up to it and reassure yourself by inviting her round, seeing how MIL is with her, popping to the kitchen/bathroom but surreptitiously keeping an eye on them...just until you feel reassured that nothing is going to happen? or invite her over to help you with the bedtime routine one night? Then from there decide about leaving DD to go out for a meal.

Maybe83 Wed 05-Feb-14 16:54:05

Yabu I think she was sharing her experience as mother when her children were young.

She didn't say she felt it was acceptable she said she understood how that could happen. So can I think it's correct no but I understand how a parent can get so stressed they can have a bit of break...

I'm sure she didn't think sharing her experience with a new mother of how things can deteriorate would be used against her at a later date in being not suitable to spend time with your dd.

I'm sure she was trying to let you know parenting isn't easy and neither is no parent is perfect.

DanceParty Wed 05-Feb-14 16:58:32

I think you are overreacting, quite honestly. Perhaps it has brought up things she felt during her PND. I think she is quite safe.

This is a bit like saying that someone who had MH issues, who has recovered, will always have MH issues. Not true, and would not be tolerated on MN.

TrampledUnderfoot Wed 05-Feb-14 17:02:24

I agree with DanceParty, her PND shouldn't be held against her for the rest of her life.

WaitingForMe Wed 05-Feb-14 17:08:28

YANBU at all. Nobody who said that would ever be left alone with my DS.

The reasons for why they said it would be irrelevant to me.

blahblahblah2014 Wed 05-Feb-14 17:14:35

Do you HONESTLY believe she would hurt him OR are you just anxious about leaving him anyway?

bouquetofpencils Wed 05-Feb-14 17:20:20

I had a similar reaction when my mil left my 19 day old dd alone in a shut room with a cat. I lost trust. I cancelled planned babysitting using a diplomatic reason until I could be sure she wouldn't do it again. I have rebuilt trust now but these things are always a balancing act. Maybe you could back away now until your confidence in her can return? Or not as the case maybe. YANBU.

frogwatcher42 Wed 05-Feb-14 17:24:03

I think you are way over reacting but you need to be comfortable with YOUR decision (and only you can do that).

I can quite understand how somebody can lose it with a baby or toddler and hurt it. I have never done it but totally get how it happens. Its not excusable but it is understandable in certain circumstances. She may clumsily be sympathizing with you about how hard it is having a baby and offering you a lifeline if you are secretly on the edge as she was with newborns. She may actually be protecting your children more than you realise by trying to support you in case you have PND before you get to the stage of hurting your child. She is probably scared you will go through what she did.

Floralnomad Wed 05-Feb-14 17:25:15

YANBU , I never left my DCs alone with my Inlaws ( for different reasons to yours) , I just didn't have any confidence in their capabilities . She is your baby and you should only leave her with people you are comfortable to leave her with and your DH should respect that ,likewise if he has people he doesn't trust you should respect that as well .

rumbleinthrjungle Wed 05-Feb-14 17:46:50

Instincts are there for a good reason. YANBU.

Scrounger Wed 05-Feb-14 18:18:21

Agree with frogwatcher42 and Maybe, she may be remembering how she felt when she had young children or letting you know that you don't have to be perfect and that babies and small children can be stressful at times and to recognise that so that you can see the signs. I also agree with Aworryingtrend there is no need to rush a decision now, see how it goes.

Years ago I was very close to self harming and I can still empathise with people who self harm. It also takes me back to how I felt at that time. 20 years on, I am going to self harm? No way, I've moved on and I and my life have changed.

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