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AIBU to want my DM to just back off a little

(71 Posts)
merrygoround51 Wed 04-Nov-15 12:13:27

Backstory - DM is alone, has been since I was 11. She did sterling work raising us alone and on little but can be a bristly difficult personality which I usually manage and don't let bother me. She relies on her DC's a lot, which is fine and I just see this as the carousel of life.

I work 3 days and Mum looks after my 2 DD's - 4 and 8, 3 afternoons a week. I pay her as you would a childminder.
She is caring, kind etc but is hypercritical - clothes too late, lunches too big, kids too tired etc etc etc

The problem is that my 4 year old DD is quite a challenging character and can behave quite badly. She goes through phases of being absolutely fine and then just being a terror and I am doing the best i can to control this but thus far am not getting it right.

My DM has taken to basically constantly telling me I need to get this in order and adding to the stress when I get in of an evening. Basically I get in at 6, DM wont drive anymore so I have to pack DD's into the car and drive DM home. This in itself is annoying but ok, but quite often my DD will kick off as she is tired/acting naughty. Rather than allow this escalate I quietly get her into the car but my DM can just throw fuel on the fire saying things like ' well you can get another minder if you dont want to drop granny home' cue more screaming from DD and me then letting rip at DD and tut tutting from my DM.

I know my DD can often be challenging and that its important to deal with these things but AIBU to want to come home to a house where my children are happy and my DM/CM isnt adding to stress.

Its really wearing me out!

Apologies for the rant.

WorraLiberty Wed 04-Nov-15 12:18:08

Well the thing is, she's not your "DM/CM", she's your DM who is probably trying to do her best, in a rather difficult situation.

It might be better all round, if you used a proper CM now and then your DM can have more of a "Grandmother/Grandchild" relationship with your kids.

I reckon it would probably be best for all of you.

boodles Wed 04-Nov-15 12:18:40

I think that maybe you need to find a proper child minder. If you don't want to do that then maybe try paying for a taxi Home for her on the nights she minds?

I do sympathise, my mum sounds similar and she will have full on arguments with my 11 year old ds who has ADHD.

PittacusLore Wed 04-Nov-15 12:20:27

I agree with Worra. Time to get a proper childminder and give everyone a break.

merrygoround51 Wed 04-Nov-15 12:35:04

I am afraid that I can't get a proper CM as my DM needs the income. It wouldnt be so much giving her a break as drastically cutting her standard of living!

I know this can sound petty and I really do value my DM but I just don't want to be accosted by this chaos every evening.

Its my DD who I really need to sort but she is 4 so thats harder than it looks!

PittacusLore Wed 04-Nov-15 12:38:34

How old is your mum?

merrygoround51 Wed 04-Nov-15 12:41:34

She is 63, a young 63 but 63 nonetheless.

Gottagetmoving Wed 04-Nov-15 12:42:07

It is just 3 afternoons a week and enables you to work.
Ask your DM not to provoke your DD as it does not help and ignore the tut-tutting.
If you cannot do that - Get a childminder as previously suggested. Personally, I would put up with it for the benefits.

SaucyJack Wed 04-Nov-15 12:43:19

How far does your mum live? Can't she get a bus home?

She isn't doing you a favour (as you're paying her) so you both need to stop pretending she is.

She should make her own way to and from your house. Call her bluff if needs be.

TJEckleburg Wed 04-Nov-15 12:43:28

No, it's not your dd. she is a child, who is still learning how to behave. Your mother should know how to behave by now, but bv doesn't. I would imagine that getting rid of your mother and employing a decent childminder will significantly help your dd to learn how to control her emotionally driven outbursts, as it seems that your mother can't control her own, let alone teach your dd.

It is not your job to provide a job for your DM.

PittacusLore Wed 04-Nov-15 12:45:54

Could she get other work then?

I was in a similar position, but stopped having my retired parents childmind as they were unreliable. My df then got a job... at 70!

TweeterandtheMonkeyman Wed 04-Nov-15 12:48:47

Sounds like a nightmare - i'd pay for a taxi for your DM or get a proper childminder instead. 4 year olds are a pain at 6pm, it's totally normal. I find older people can struggle with it a bit - I know my DM gets very anxious when the dc have tantrums because she worries about me, at the end of the day I'm her dd who she feels protective of. It can be a tricky three-way relationship to balance, and not one I would feel like negotiating at 6pm when I got back from work!

Ricardian Wed 04-Nov-15 12:50:42

If she's saying "well you can get another minder if you dont want to drop granny home" then whether she needs the income or not you would be perfectly within your rights to take her at her word.

caravanista13 Wed 04-Nov-15 12:52:20

I think you need to talk to your DM about this. You're the parent now, you're paying her and she needs to back you up. If you were paying an unrelated CM you wouldn't accept this sort of behaviour.

OnlyLovers Wed 04-Nov-15 12:54:57

Tell her calmly that the things she says upset DD and ask her to be careful what she says in future.

Seriouslyffs Wed 04-Nov-15 12:57:16

'I am afraid that I can't get a proper CM as my DM needs the income. It wouldnt be so much giving her a break as drastically cutting her standard of living!'
If she's relying on the money she should be more professional then.

You're doing her an enormous favour and as for the lift business, of course dc doesn't want to go for a drive at 6.
It all sounds like an enormous hassle. For which you're paying.

PittacusLore Wed 04-Nov-15 13:01:53

well you can get another minder if you dont want to drop granny home

I missed this actually.

I think this is your cue to say "ok mum, I can see this is stressful for all of us so I'll make other arrangements"

pinkdelight Wed 04-Nov-15 13:01:57

Sympathies. The thing is, even if you could get a CM instead, it wouldn't be stress-free. I've had several CMs and there's always been something, whether it's personality or logistics of pick up and drop off. In some ways, your DM is better than a CM, not just in terms of her love for the DC, but I'll bet she's more flexible and there's none of the aggro with T&C and other kids there. So on balance I'd suck it up for now and see if it eases as your 4yo gets older - do you think this behaviour is a phase or something deeper-seated? Unless it's the latter, I'd say evenings just are stressful with little ones. I always start out with fine intentions and end up shouting one way or another. You can of course ask your DM in the nicest non-confrontational way not to criticise you. But unless you can pay for a cab instead, I'd give her a lift home and give the DC a sweet to shut up her. That's my mother of the year tip anyway! smile

DinosaursRoar Wed 04-Nov-15 13:04:02

I don't think it's your responsibilty to provide an income for your mum, especially as it appears to be at the expense of your DCs' happiness and them having a good relationship with her.

Your mum could get another job. She could become a childminder to other children in her own home (which might be easier for her).

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Wed 04-Nov-15 13:04:02

Offer her a reference and give her notice or talk to her and keep her on. Either way she needs to either be the children's CM at work and granny at other times or you find someone else to be CM.

runlulurun Wed 04-Nov-15 13:08:22

How about asking your Mum if she thinks the situation is working? If she's huffing and saying 'well you can look for another minder' perhaps she'd rather do a different job.

I think she thinks she's doing you a massive favour but actually sometimes paid childcare is the better option. Perhaps a chat with your DM about whether this is what you both want might help her appreciate the benefits the situation has for her too.

I think it's fine to ask her not to inflame your DD. She's only 4 FGS. DP used to do this dreadfully (he has improved but still...) By berating a 4 year old at the time of day they are not going to achieve anything except anger and upset all round.

pinkdelight Wed 04-Nov-15 13:12:19

I doubt she's going to jump through all the hoops of registering as a CM and starting up that business, esp at 63. She's not a CM, she's looking after her grandchildren (at the OP's home, so more like a nanny/babysitter) and making some money out of it. It sounds like a good arrangement except for the sniping. Hopefully she can reign it in or the OP can ride it out. Unless there's an afterschool club, it can be hard to get decent convenient care for those hours/ages.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Wed 04-Nov-15 13:19:18

Sounds more like a nanny than CM which requires no registration.

In this particular case the DM is not doing the op a massive favour so they need to know their place and responsibilities in this working relationship. If the DM can't or won't do that then the OP shouldn't feel bad about looking for something else.

Personally if I was the DM and in such a precarious position I'd hold my tongue a bit more unless I wanted an excuse to leave.

ImperialBlether Wed 04-Nov-15 13:20:36

How far away does she live? How much would a taxi cost? Does she still have her car and does she ever use it?

You're in quite a strong position where she needs you for company and she needs the money. I think you need to speak to her on her own and tell her that it's just not working - that yes, your daughter is difficult at times but your mum really isn't helping both a) with not driving and b) with the way she talks.

merrygoround51 Wed 04-Nov-15 13:28:01

Thanks for all the replies, there is some good advice about calmly dealing with the situation.

How far does your mum live? Can't she get a bus home?
Yes there is literally a bus at the end of our round to the end of hers - short enough journey (15-20mins max) but I feel terrible putting her on a bus.

Its hard to describe just how responsible I feel for my DM - its been drilled into me from a very young age - as my oldest friend put it 'Your mother is the only mother I know who thinks her children should thank her for giving birth to them'

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