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To not let my MIL babysit and cancel this weekend away if we have to?

(98 Posts)
laggielatcher Fri 04-Mar-16 14:31:05

DH has booked a weekend away just us 2 for my 40th and our 15yr wedding anniversary. He has said he is going to ask his Mum to babysit. I'm torn over this.

I will start by saying I am a little dog phobic. Was badly attacked by one as a child and still have the scars to prove it. I'm OK around small dogs that I know and are well trained and happy to let DC play with them etc.

MIL has just rescued a dog from her local dogs home (not 100% sure on breed sorry) but it's a "big" dog. Very little is known about it's past- but MIL herself told me it barred it's teeth at a child who got over excited when they were out walking a few weeks ago.

She treats it like a baby- it's allowed to go anywhere in the house, sleeps on her bed, eats off her plates etc. She keeps asking me to bring DC (3 and 16 months) round to meet him.

She is quite an irresponsible dog owner. I'm not in anyway suggesting she gets rid as she is very lonely atm- DFil passed away at Halloween and she is quite isolated so the dog is her only company some days. But she has no training regime and the dog runs riot around the house. This is all at DMILs admission and from what we have seen on Skype.

She had a collie previously who ended up having to get put down because it got out of her garden and was run over. It was completely barking. The dog was lovely and wasn't aggressive but it would jump all over eldest DC when he was tiny and would push him over when he was toddling about. MIL didn't understand what the "big deal was and to see it as a learning curve for him". She would never put the dog outside when I came round with him- the best we got was he would be locked in the kitchen and would howl the place down and then you would get jumped all over if you went in for a cup of tea or whatever. Me and DH would argue with her continuously with her over this and then when her collie was run over while we felt sorry for her we couldn't help but feel "we told you so". DFil was the same when he was alive.

I don't want to pass my phobia on to my DC at all. I really don't- i'm happy for them to be around dogs and may even consider getting a small, trainable one ourselves when they are old enough to help care for it.

Now the issue:

We don't have many friends around here (or ones that would babysit for 3 nights anyway) and my family live abroad. Our options are either MIL who is an hours drive away and 30 mins away from the airport we are flying from or SIL and her DP who live at the other end of the country so to take them to SIL we would have to take extra days off work, drive up and drop the DC off and double back on ourselves to get to the airport and drive up to collect them which will be added expense with fuel.

MIL won't kennel the dog. She has never liked kennels and if she has gone on holiday in the past when she had a dog she would send it to SIL or DP had it when he lived alone.

DP doesn't want to drive to SILs. I don't want the DC going to MILs where there is a dog who will be a pampered brat and who's history we don't know anything about and has shown aggressive tendencies. Both will be more than happy to babysit

I've told DP unless he comes up with a solution we will have to cancel the weekend away. He has gone off to work in a sulk.


Sleepybunny Fri 04-Mar-16 14:38:13

YANBU, the dog is 1) not used to children 2) still settling into a new home 3) has an unknown previous history 4) had shown aggressive behaviour

All valid reasons regardless of your own personal bad experience!

MistressDeeCee Fri 04-Mar-16 14:38:50

No, YANBU. Be prepared for some dog owners to tell you that YABU though

MIL cannot know for sure whether this dog will be ok around your child, but will no doubt tell you that its all ok. You could gently explain, and ask her to keep her dog away from your child. But, she won't. Even if she agrees to. Ive known people who are really, really hardheaded when it comes to their dogs. One of whom didnt even care when her dog did growl or bite. Having said all that though, its her home. & really short notice for you to be thinking of withdrawing, and changing plans. Im stumped on that part but am sure someone else will advise well

PurpleThermalsNowItsWinter Fri 04-Mar-16 14:40:03

YANBU. We are dog owners and interaction between our young DC & the dogs are supervised. The dogs have a safe place in the kitchen away from the DC when they need space. Your mil is unreasonable and sounds untrustworthy.

Xmasbaby11 Fri 04-Mar-16 14:41:05

Yanbu. I couldn't relax in this situation. I'd have worries about the children's safety. To leave 2dc with one person - that one person has got to be totally trustworthy.

Xmasbaby11 Fri 04-Mar-16 14:42:56

Personally I wouldn't book a weekend away without agreeing babysitting first. Since it's already booked, you'll have to ask sil.

Chocolatteaddict1 Fri 04-Mar-16 14:43:06


Oysterbabe Fri 04-Mar-16 14:45:48

I wouldn't allow my children to stay with the dog there. Yanbu.

Sallygoroundthemoon Fri 04-Mar-16 14:46:06

YANBU. It sounds like it wouldn't be safe. The dog is untrained, unpredictable and allowed to do as it pleases. I wouldn't let children anywhere near it and I love dogs.

confusedandemployed Fri 04-Mar-16 14:46:43

I'm a dog owner and I don't think YABU. I'd be very unhappy with my child being looked after in this situation. All the more so because the dog is a relative newcomer in MIL's house.

RatherBeRiding Fri 04-Mar-16 14:46:51

Cancel! I am a dog-owner and one of mine is a rescue. Completely unknown history. She is soft as muck and has never shown an ounce of aggression so far, but I wouldn't let small children anywhere near her without strict supervision, because I have no idea if she has ever had anything to do with young children in her previous life.

So someone with a rescue of unknown history and who sounds completely incapable of instilling any discipline into their dog - not a chance in hell would they be babysitting my young children!

AlpacaLypse Fri 04-Mar-16 14:47:43

We do professional dog walking and sitting. We won't have rescue dogs to stay for minimum six months after rehoming to allow time for them to settle. YANBU.

rumbleinthrjungle Fri 04-Mar-16 14:48:05

Dog owner. YANBU. I love my soppy spaniel to bits but I still never take my eyes off her when we have the family toddlers and babies in the house, she's never put a foot wrong but I still don't trust her or the toddlers to make good decisions all the time and she spends plenty of time chilling out in her crate while they're here. Rescue dog still settling in with goodness knows what history and the children strangers to him, potentially going to get stressed and jealous and an owner happy to let it roll and hope for the best? No way.

The consequences of something going wrong would be devastating and possibly permanent. What are your other babysitting options?

HooseRice Fri 04-Mar-16 14:48:13

YANBU about the dog. I don't know how to solve your babysitting issue. Perhaps hire a dog sitter to look after you MIL's dog while she stays at yours. Explain to MIL that your DCs are NEVER to be around the dog with out your presence as she can't be trusted

If it can't be resolved, cancel. When you hear about dogs attacking kids in the news, the children always seem to be being babysat.

Nanny0gg Fri 04-Mar-16 14:50:23

Your MiL is an incredibly irresponsible dog owner (the sort that gives dog owners a bad name).

You absolutely CANNOT leave your children with her if the dog will be there. Your DH can sulk all he likes. It is nothing to do with her being his mother, it is to do with her being an idiot.

It wouldn't be the dog's fault, but how would he feel potentially coming home to a maimed or dead child? This is a rescue dog whose history you don't know. It is entirely possible. And a reputable rescue centre probably wouldn't recommend that your children should be there anyway.

SiL or no-one.

rumbleinthrjungle Fri 04-Mar-16 14:52:54

sorry meant to add: any of the children in nursery and a nursery member of staff might babysit? 24 hour nursery in the area? Nanny?

Veterinari Fri 04-Mar-16 14:53:13

Despite MisstressDeeCee 's prediction, I expect that most dog owners will tell you that YANBU.

Anyone with dig experience understands that unknown dogs and children are not a good combination, especially when coupled with an unreliable owner.

Google the 4 stages of active dog child supervision to show your DH why its not enough for your MIL just to be there

Whitney168 Fri 04-Mar-16 14:53:37

YANBU, the dog is 1) not used to children 2) still settling into a new home 3) has an unknown previous history 4) had shown aggressive behaviour

And most importantly of all, doesn't have a sensible dog savvy owner by the sound of it.

I am a dog person, with no kids, but even I think YANBU and no way would I chance it.

CestTout Fri 04-Mar-16 14:53:40

Could you ask SIL to come down if you pay her fuel etc?

NanaNina Fri 04-Mar-16 14:57:30

Totally agree that the children should not be left with MIL and the dog. Many years ago I acquired a rescue dogs when my boys were teenagers and he seemed fine with them. Then my friend visited with her 6 year old who wanted to see the dog. We were all in the hall and the dog had his paws on my son's shoulders and the child was gently stroking his back and he suddenly turned and bit her on the lip - she needed 2 stitches and fortunately the marks faded over time. We took the dog back to the rescue kennels.

The fact that this dog has barred his teeth at children already is a big worry. Also most of the stories in the media about dogs mauling babies and attacking children are dogs that belong to the grandparents and so there must be an element of jealousy involved. Your MIL sounds a very irresponsible owner - a dog is a pack animal and needs to be the lowest in the pack (even a pack of 2) and the owner should have control at all times.

I don't understand why your DH is not worried about the children and his mother's dog.

tabulahrasa Fri 04-Mar-16 14:57:41

The issue isn't the dog, not in's whether your MIL is able and willing to supervise the children and dog together appropriately and she's not.

If your MIL isn't going to look after the DC properly (and not ensuring their safety around a dog is IMO not looking after them properly) then she just isn't a viable option for looking after the DC.

diddl Fri 04-Mar-16 14:59:19

All else aside, how the buggery fuck is she going to be able to walk the dog?

I looked after my parents old, placid dog when my pfbwas about one.

So he was in a pushchair.

But it was still a bloody night mare walking the dog!

HopeClearwater Fri 04-Mar-16 14:59:37


Cancel! This is a foreseeable risk. Don't take it.

You'll have no peace on your weekend away anyway.

PennyHasNoSurname Fri 04-Mar-16 14:59:56

Take them to SILs and fly.from her local.airpor

notquitehuman Fri 04-Mar-16 15:01:06

YANBU. The dog is unproven around children, and it sounds like your MIL doesn't have a clue about responsible dog ownership.

Any chance you can take the kids with you? It's a long shot but if going to SIL is that much trouble then it might be your only choice.

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