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Another PIL's thread, advice required.

(29 Posts)
NewYorkDeli Wed 12-Feb-14 16:48:54


So many PIL's/MIL's thread today, so apologies.

Ok, MIL asks to have DD once a week (she'd like to have her more but I think one day a week is sufficient) It's not free childcare, I don't work on the day MIL takes her out, however I have started a College course on the day.

MIL is not in the best of health, gets tired easily, suffers with angina. DD has just turned 4 and is well out of her tantrums with me, but still throws the odd one for MIL as she refuses to discipline her, no matter how many times i'd tell her i'd like her too. Due to MIL's health, FIL insists of going out with them once a week. They are both retired and I really don't think FIL wants to go out with them, he seems frustrated at having to do so.

Yesterday an incident took place. They where crossing the road and DD wanted to press the button at the traffic lights as MIL said she could, FIL said "no, let's cross while we can" DD threw a strop once they'd crossed the road (not whilst they where crossing) this caused FIL to scoop her up from behind, under her arms, causing her coat to start choking her. She became distressed as he was shouting and it was hurting her.

FIL didn't return home with MIL and DD, he stormed off home in the car. MIL tried to play it down a little as DD was telling me Grandad had hurt her, she said she doesn't want him to take her out anymore, only MIL. MIL agreed that he often loses his temper on their days out and she'd rather he didn't go.

I'm angry that he's hurt my DD, even though it was unintentional, but I don't want to cause a rift. I feel sorry for MIL as she wants to take DD on all these days out and I don't think she's well enough to do so without supervision. DP doesn't want to upset his Mum by insisting she only takes her local or just stays in our home with DD, basically he won't upset his Mum or Dad no matter what.

There's been so many things with inlaws that I am sick of it all. What would you do? I don't want to hurt anyone and no matter what I do I come off as the unreasonable one. All I know is I don't want FIL taking DD out anymore. What shall I do? What's the best solution?

remotecontrols Wed 12-Feb-14 17:18:49

I would like to know what is your DH's point of view?

selladaw Wed 12-Feb-14 17:21:57

Can you put your daughter into childcare for the one day, so you can do your course and have a day out with MIL and daughter at the weekend? I completely understand your concern around FIL, and not wanting to be unfair to MIL. It is quite a dilemma, but I think I would definitely put a stop to daughter being in FIL's care without myself or DP being there. Especially as it doesn't seem to be a one off and MIL says he struggles to keep calm on their days out.

Do you have a good enough relationship with your MIL to have the conversation yourself? If she knows her husband has a temper, perhaps she would be understanding and would be pleased to still have the opportunity for a day out?

Sparkletshirt Wed 12-Feb-14 17:23:18

Could you change it to one day a month she sees her gran? You could put her in nursery instead and change the day gran sees her to a different one. I think being consistent is more important than discipline, but it's important to choose your battles too. 4 is still very little and I myself have no problem letting dd push lift and traffif light buttons, it's a big deal for such a young child have that sort of control, but if you don't allow it then gran mustn't allow it too. It's not fair on the child. I'd also insist on being there when she's with dd, in fact I'd have it as gran having a day out with you so you're in charge as she said obviously can't handle it.

Sparkletshirt Wed 12-Feb-14 17:24:40

traffic? Traffic lights.

Sparkletshirt Wed 12-Feb-14 17:25:20

Grr, auto correct is fussy when it works.

ohfourfoxache Wed 12-Feb-14 17:34:06

Agree with selladaw.

What does DH say?

ohfourfoxache Wed 12-Feb-14 17:35:51

Actually, what's the backstory? May well influence how to go about tackling this issue

NewYorkDeli Wed 12-Feb-14 17:57:30

Thanks for replies so far, about to bath DD but will be back later to check and reply a bit more but basically MIL doesn't want me there all the time, woukd rather have one to one time with DD. No need to put her in childcare on that day, only started the course because MIL wants one day a week with DD and I was sick of cleaning whilst DD was out! MIL would have DD 4 days a week if I let her and would be heartbroken if I said "no, just once a month"

DP knows his mum has no hobbies, few friends and he'd like DD to be his mother's hobby. He feels sorry for MIL as she's retired & bored. He would be happy for FIL to continue to accompany MIL & DD, I, however don't think it's wise. The man clearly doesn't want to go, and if there's another incident where my DD is hurt I'll go balistic.

TheScience Wed 12-Feb-14 18:00:23

I'd insist she looks after your DD at your house. It doesn't sound like she can manage out and about by herself and FIL doesn't want to be there.

whiteblossom Wed 12-Feb-14 18:03:28

Is it possible to have simple conversation with MIL, just explaining your concerns. Personally I think FIL was out of order, he sounds like he has quite the temper.

Fil hurt dd, he should apologise. Can Fil not help mil one day a week with their gc?! It appears not. I would not be happy exposing dd to such a temper- storming off and leaving them is appalling behaviour and not something DD should consider normal.

AuroraRoared Wed 12-Feb-14 18:04:57

Does your DD want to go and enjoy these days out? At four, I think she should be able to give some indication about that, and that should be your answer. If she really genuinely does enjoy herself, then you, DH and MIL need to work together to make it possible for them both to enjoy their days together. (Definitely without FIL.)

However, it sounds a little bit like a lot of this is about your MIL's wants/needs and not your DD's. If that is the case, then I think you'll have to say no to unsupervised weekly visits/days out.

And to your DH - a child is NOT a hobby ffs!

Wibblypiglikesbananas Wed 12-Feb-14 18:09:34

A child isn't a hobby! She can't be used as an emotional prop for MIL, who appears to have few other interests - that's awful!

I wouldn't want her to be left with FIL and I think MIL needs to accept she can't cope alone. DD comes first, and if that upsets people along the line then it's tough luck.

NewYorkDeli Wed 12-Feb-14 18:14:33

tried to have a chat about it with DP before i got DD from nursery, he just feels sorry for his mum, wants her to be able to take DD wherever she wants. there's been quite a few issues and he always automatically jumps to his mum's defense. fair enough, it's his mum, he always sees my point and agrees with me in the end, but there's an awful lot of arguing between us before he does.

i personally think it's fine for his mum to take DD out alone, as long as it's local. will i upset her if i have a discussion with her about this next week? probably, but what else can i do?

yes, he very much sees our DD as his mum's hobby. he would love her to see her every other day to occupy her.

DD genuinely enjoys her 1 day a week out with MIL, but she has stated she doesn't want FIL to accompany them. she said this in front of MIL last night, MIL said that FIL loves going on days out with them, he just has no patience and flies off the handle. did the same thing when her kids where small.

i just don't want to cause any issues, because it always leads to me and DP fighting. my family never cause these issues!

ohfourfoxache Wed 12-Feb-14 18:17:27

Oh dear, you're in a sticky position sad

As others have said, she isn't a hobby - but I think you know that already!

Do you and mil get on? Could you perhaps up the time you spend with her to twice a week on the condition that you are there too? Even if she wants to come and see dd at yours whilst you potter around? Or all go out and mil, for example, feeds the ducks with dd/pushes a swing whilst you get a coffee?

It must be very hard for mil wanting to spend time with dd but not being well enough to.

However, having said this, it depends on what previous issues have been.

ohfourfoxache Wed 12-Feb-14 18:20:06

X post.

Could she take her out locally once a week and then the three of you could go further afield together once in a while? That would provide the variety of going to different places whilst ensuring that everyone is safe?

Sparkletshirt Wed 12-Feb-14 18:21:28

I know it's hard, we've had this with my mil. Visits have gone from 9 - 7 to 10 - 3 weekly and now to fortnightly, and always with dh there. Mil means well, but she has no idea how to interact with children, she puts tv on and gives dd lots of chocolate but has no idea what to talk to her about and is bored stupid going out. Dd is under stimulated and bored stupid in return. Your Mil's an adult. You need to d what's best for your dd. She needs an able, competent adult looking after her and that doesn't sound like your mil.

NewYorkDeli Wed 12-Feb-14 18:25:54

ohfourfoxache previous issues have been usual over excited MIL stuff, phoning last min to take DD out, getting hurt when i say we have plans, turning up unnanounced when DD was weeks old insisting on taking her out in the pram, going behind my back with a few things etc.. it's all resolved now but it's stressful at the time, as DP automatically sides with her and it causes rows.

she's a lovely woman, and i want her to have some quality time with my DD, but she's not the easiest person to talk to. i guess i feel guilty about upsetting her because of her health, which by the way is not horrendously bad, but she has ongoing treatment for various problems with her heart, but it's all under control with medication.

do i say to her "i'd rather FIL didn't go with you once a week, but we'll continue the arrangement as long as you stay local or just stay at our house with DD because i don't want it being too much for you?" i'm sure she'll think i'm patronising.

ohfourfoxache Wed 12-Feb-14 18:30:39

That's why I wondered whether you have the type of relationship where you could ask if she wants to go out, just the 3 of you? Might make it easier to say that you would prefer hem to stay local when she takes dd by herself?

Does mil have a mobile phone? Could dd be taught how to use it in an emergency?

magoria Wed 12-Feb-14 18:38:32

Your MIL isn't capable of taking your DD out. It doesn't come down to upsetting her it comes down to your DD being safe in her care. That is non negotiable. If your H won't accept this perhaps he should be the one to go with them?

Without knowing what the other issues you mention are I think you are over reacting regarding your FIL. He shouted at a child having a tantrum and picked her up. This is something a million and one parents would also have done. Would you rather he let her tantrum near a crossing/road?

Yes he hurt her but it was an accident. Not deliberate or malicious. I think he was not out of order in what he did. Consider that some of the older generation would have thought nothing of giving your DD a whack over her behaviour

Will you go ballistic if you or your H hurt your DD accidentally? Or your family?

Many children say they don't want a particular parent to do things with them because that parent is stricter. I think your DD is doing this because as all young children do she would rather just go out with the soft touch who will let her do anything.

I would rather trust the person who was a little stricter than the one who let my child get away with whatever they wanted to look after them.

You are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Good luck resolving this!

This may be a relatively time limited problem if your DD is starting school in September so perhaps a compromise solution would be the best. Could you arrange an activity that day that MIL could take DD to so things are a bit more structured?

MaryWestmacott Wed 12-Feb-14 18:48:53

You could try saying that after this week, it's clear the current arrangement isn't working, and point out things will have to change later this year when dd starts school anyway, so how about a new arrangement, she comes over once a week/fortnight for an afternoon, takes dd somewhere local or plays at your house ("where all dd's toys are"), and then mil stays for dinner, so she can "have some quality time with her son too".

MaryWestmacott Wed 12-Feb-14 18:50:30

Oh yes, could you sign dd up for a class local to your house on that day- a dance or sports class, then ask mil if she could take dd to it, come back to yours for lunch?

hamptoncourt Wed 12-Feb-14 19:04:01

OP these are your real problems:

"DP automatically sides with her and it causes rows." and

" basically he won't upset his Mum or Dad no matter what. "

So he would rather your DD was out and about with his DM even though it may be unsafe cos he doesn't want to upset her?

This is a huge problem and if he won't stand up to mummy and daddy I can't see it getting any better, only worse. Stick to your guns OP. One of your DDs parents has to have her best interests at heart, and clearly that isn't going to be your DH.

NewYorkDeli Wed 12-Feb-14 19:57:17

magoria i agree it wasn't deliberate or malicious, but she was crying asking him to stop, it was hurting her, and he never. yes, i would go balistic if my family repeatedly shouted at her on days out and didn't stop when my daughter was shouting "you're choking me, stop" those where her words, she told me and MIL confirmed. MIL also confirmed he "blows up and goes mad, has no patience, never did when mine where little" i don't plan on calling him out and causing a scene over it, he's a lovely man and we get on well, however i don't think it's fair to him, MIL or DD to continue this arrangement. if he done it again i would be furious. there's been plenty of things i've let slide with PIL's that most wouldn't, but that's another thread.

if i tried to change the arrangement that MIL has DD once a week there'd be a whole load of hassle and stress. spoke to DP again, he is going to speak to FIL tomorrow.

roll on september when she's in school and i won't have this hassle. i wish MIL was happy to just have DD at our house, why she insists on these days out is beyond me.

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