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Re family childcare

(72 Posts)
olafisking Fri 02-Jan-15 00:55:09

DH and I both work full time. DS started school in September and goes to afterschool club but we made no formal childcare arrangements for holidays as after discussing with both sets of grandparents we decided we could cover what was needed using our own annual leave and support from them. At October half term we took AL and at Christmas my holidays matched, however we now need to think about Feb half term.

ILs always said they would help with this one and so we discussed the logistics today. They live at a distance (about 2 hour drive) and MIL had got the impression that we would drop DS with them and leave him for the week. I said no, he's not 5 yet and has only ever been away from us 1 night, 5 would be too many for him and for me. Maybe when older but not now. I had meant them to come and stay here, if not for the full week then 3 days would be enough.

MIL got really annoyed about this and was trying to push it saying they couldn't come here, jobs to do at home, wanted to take him to see family etc. I just said if that was the case then my parents were available as back up if needed which she didn't like.

It's been left that they will have a think and get back to us but WIBU to not be willing to pack my four year old off for 5 nights?

Gabriola Fri 02-Jan-15 00:58:34

God no. I wouldn't do that. Find a good holiday club or use your own patents and tell the inlaws thanks but no thanks.

fuctifino Fri 02-Jan-15 01:00:34

Yes, I think YABU.
Why should they stay away from their home to look after your son? It is they who are doing you the favour.

Have you thought of an out of school club?

Darkandstormynight Fri 02-Jan-15 01:08:13

Please tell me you are not serious. You are asking your IL's to live (with? by?) you every week or even half a week, driving four hours back and forth every trip to provide child care? I have to be understanding that incorrectly, right?
If not, YANBU to not want your child living there, I completely agree. But you are being U asking them to ferry back and didn't say where they would stay even. Hire child care. I can't see Anyone going along with driving 4 hours and not living at their own home!! I MUST be misunderstanding something!!

duplodon Fri 02-Jan-15 01:09:16

I would find it hard... But.... When your ds has kids, what would you like to happen if you were the MIL? I make all decisions related to my MIL on this basis, that you sow what you would like to one day reap.

SaucyJack Fri 02-Jan-15 01:19:44

YANBU if you're willing and able to make alternative arrangements that suit you.

Demanding she came to stay would be a big no-no tho.

bananaramadramallama Fri 02-Jan-15 01:31:03

Nearly 5 is perfectly fine to be away for 5 days ime, if you trust the people he is going to be staying with.

If it is not acceptable for you then you're unfortunately going to have to rely more on your own parents, or suck it up and pay for full time holiday care too.

YAB a bit U imo, but that's probably because I was used to going away from mine from a v young age.

SorchaN Fri 02-Jan-15 01:32:10

I wouldn't have chosen to leave my children with my in-laws (or my parents, or anyone else) for several nights at the age of four - except that I had to when my father died suddenly, and my youngest was four and I couldn't take him with me. So he and my five year-old went to my in-laws for about a week, and everything was absolutely fine. You know your in-laws, and of course it's harder with a first child than with subsequent children... So I can understand where you're coming from, and I wouldn't say you're being unreasonable exactly - just a normal protective parent of a first child. But it's worth considering the in-laws' suggestion because it will probably be all right in the end.

musicalendorphins2 Fri 02-Jan-15 01:59:00

I'd do it. Have a back up arrangement made with your parents just in case your dc does get homesick.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Fri 02-Jan-15 02:06:08

I don't personally think a child staying with grandparents a few days at nearly five is a big deal. My parents look after my doses in the holidays sometimes and it never would have occurred to me at any point that they would stay at my house. They also life 2+ hours away.

If you aren't happy, you should make alternative arrangements. It really isn't reasonable to expect them to come to you.

Morloth Fri 02-Jan-15 02:09:41

My two have spent entire weeks with their grandparents from very young ages.

We are all a very close family though so it isn't a problem.

I miss them more than they miss me.

YvesJutteau Fri 02-Jan-15 02:28:37

You're not unreasonable, exactly, to not want to have him go to his grandparents for five days at this age, but (assuming there's no hidden backstory) it is definitely at the fussier/tending towards overprotective end of the reasonable spectrum. So I can see why your MIL is annoyed.

My DC1 has spent a week with MIL every summer since he was that age and both of them (and their relationship) have gained immeasurably from the experience.

PhaedraIsMyName Fri 02-Jan-15 02:58:33

If you really don't think he will cope it's not unreasonable not to send him.

It is however completely unreasonable to except your in laws to come and stay with you if that's not what they want.

You said you made no formal arrangements for holidays- may be you should do so.

Tinkerball Fri 02-Jan-15 05:58:46

YABU, what's wrong with getting your DS used to staying away with his Grandparents now without you for a few days? Nothing in my eyes. He will survive. Sounds a bit precious to me sorry.

silverstreak Fri 02-Jan-15 06:32:52

I wouldn't do it but my pfb is still not yet 2 so it's a long way off for me (plus my mil & I don't see eye to eye on a free things childcare related...); do you have any childcare disagreements with pil generally or are you both/all on the same page? And do you think he would enjoy/benefit from it??! Sometimes mum's anxiety is more the issue..!?

Isetan Fri 02-Jan-15 06:47:29

You were both BU by making assumptions. As you're the one needing childcare, it really isn't OK to start making demands. Expecting someone to uproot themselves for a couple of days so you can benefit from free childcare is very hmm.

JennyBlueWren Fri 02-Jan-15 06:54:09

YABU. We used to go to my grandparents (3 hours away) for a week (5 days alone and the weekends with my parents) at Easter and in the summer. We loved it! It was GPs house so GPs could do things their own way. It taught us to feel comfortable away from parents whilst still being with family. And they were always at the end of a phone line if we needed to talk.

PowderMum Fri 02-Jan-15 06:58:26

YABU unless there is a massive back story why can't your DS go and stay with his GPs.

whitechocolatestars Fri 02-Jan-15 07:02:00

To me it sounds like the problem is actually not whether your MIL and DS stay at your house or theirs, it sounds more like an alarm bell that she is beginning to question the childcare arrangements.

Do you think she feels over depended on (regardless of how much time she actually spends doing childcare - it's up to her to decide what's too much), does she say anything else or do they come over regularly after school or weekends?

Personally I would be taking the hint to reevaluate my arrangements, particularly for upcoming summer. I think YABU to have no clear understanding in place now that DS is at school, you need to agree it so that everyone is clear and you can make alternative arrangements if necessary without appearing put out (which will win you no favours).

On this occasion, your DS might enjoy staying with them for the week, I think you should be open to it if that's what she wants in return for free childcare.

Finally, playing the other grandparents card is only ever going to get their backs up, that's really unreasonable and doesn't actually address the problem in hand that you have.

I would be thinking very hard about what you want to happen in the long term with your in laws and listening to their wishes too, this isn't about where ds stays in feb IMO.

MaryWestmacott Fri 02-Jan-15 07:04:50

I think YANBU to assume you can't just leave your 4 year old for the first time overnight and it be a whole week.

I think they ANBU to want dgs at theirs so they can get on with their normal lives while he's there. Practically, dropping him off every day won't work.

If you do want to use pil for holiday care long term, you'll have to accept it happens at theirs.

My advise would be call mil back, say you are sorry for the mix up but for the first time ds stays somewhere else, 5 nights is too long, how about you just do one night at this holiday and see how he copes, perhaps they come to yours on the Wednesday night, stay with you at your house, take ds back with them on the Thursday morning, he stays over Thursday night and you pick him up Friday evening after work. Then use your mum for Monday - Wednesday care.

If it goes ok and ds likes staying, you could look at a longer time next holidays.

Otherwise, can you afford to pay for childcare? You can't tell them how to do free childcare, and even if they suck it up this time, this is not something they want to do and you've got years of juggling holidays to do, if they are going to turn around and say no, you need alternatives in place and your parents might resent it all falling to them.

BikeRunSki Fri 02-Jan-15 07:06:51

DS was 4 when he started spending a week of school holidays with my mum. They both adore each other and love their weeks together. Mum is 5 hours drive away.

insancerre Fri 02-Jan-15 07:07:17

They are doing you a favour. You are in no position to be dictating the terms.
I would think that a holiday club would be better

FishWithABicycle Fri 02-Jan-15 07:07:45

I wouldn't send a reception-class child to stay 5 nights away from parents if they'd never stayed away before, but YWBU to have concluded that holidays and half terms could be covered by parents and grandparents without being open and clear that this meant provision of care in your home.

This is a marathon not a sprint. There are many years of this ahead. It's ok to take your time to work up to a solution that works.

Investigate holiday club options for this half term but arrange a one night "sleep over" with your PIL - potentially with you staying in a nearby b&b if you're worried there might be issues. At the next break you can arrange a 2 night sleep over without being nearby, and cover the rest with holiday club, and gradually this way you'll get to the point where 5 nights is no problem.

Don't increase the amount you ask of your parents while you are doing this - both to avoid over burdening them and to ensure they don't feel put out when their contact time is reduced as the other grandparents get up to speed.

Catsize Fri 02-Jan-15 07:17:41

My mother went to boarding school at that age not that I think that was necessarily a top plan, but if you are not happy, that is the end of it. Why isn't your OH doing the negotiating with his/her mother?

Iggly Fri 02-Jan-15 07:20:01

I wouldn't let my ds stay away but that's because he's tired after school terms and would be a nightmare! He just likes to be at home.

I suggest you reevaluate your childcare including considering part time for you, your DH or both to cut down the reliance on gps.

Also yabu - your mil is doing you a favour. I can see why she came to the idea that she did.

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