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Family babysitting

(17 Posts)
KaosReigns Sun 24-Apr-16 09:00:37

So a bit premature but almost 8mths pregnant and have reached the point where I am having random dilemmas over things that may or may not happen. Some are rational, most are insane. For example my recent discussion with DP regarding potential baby switching in the hospital, I will freely admit was insane. But this one is regarding a situation that is guaranteed to come up in the future, and I will feel much better having a plan of attack or knowing that its a non issue, whichever the case may be.

Both my DM and MIL are very eager to babysit our DD, and take her out and have time caring for her. This would be without me, and while freely acknowledged that they are the ones requesting it both will expect gushing gratitude. Not the end of the world and I know that them wanting to spend time with their granddaughter is wonderful, but I don't feel comfortable with either of them caring for my child.

DM due to the fact that she is a terrifying driver who will happily turn around to speak to those in the back seat. DP feels the same way about her driving ability and agrees with this decision. She also fed our dog chocolate one Christmas despite a) knowing it was toxic to her, and b) having both of us telling her multiple times not to, so I do not trust her as I once would have.

MIL because I am amazed that DP survived to adulthood at all. By the age of 3 he had drunk sugar soap, eaten deadly nightshade, and fallen in a truck pit. BIL once set fire to MILs car when left alone in it. I know the car incident is unlikely to happen again, but the multiple poisonings concern me. MIL and FIL are not the most safety conscious people and DP worries about his own safety while working for them. They also have a spoilt dog who is prone to aggression.

DP however thinks that it is unfair for me to refuse to let MIL care for DD (even though I won't let DM either) and that I am being irrational by worrying about the events from his childhood.

So big girl pants on, please Mumsnet AIBU? Fully prepared to be told I am, because I'm the first to admit my mind is not in peak condition right now.

19lottie82 Sun 24-Apr-16 09:02:53

I think you're right but good luck telling them that!

Zombiemama Sun 24-Apr-16 09:04:58

I had the same thoughts during pregnancy and to this day DM has been the only one to look after my DD and it backfired so much. DD will happily interact with most family members but if me or dp leave the room even to make tea she is roaring after us.
So the only person we can rely on to babysit is DM who doesn't have the best of health. As you can imagine date nights are non existent as we tend to keep the babysitting favours for occasions as we don't want to take the biscuit always asking her. We get out together maybe twice a year.
I won't leave her with Mil I just could never relax at all

formerbabe Sun 24-Apr-16 09:07:34

my DM and MIL are very eager to babysit our DD, and take her out and have time caring for her. This would be without me

Why would it have to be without you? You are the baby's mother...it is your right to say if you are not happy with your baby being in their care. They can both spend time and bond with their dgc with you or your dp being there as well.

junebirthdaygirl Sun 24-Apr-16 09:09:22

If it's any help lm a gm and l never take my eyes off my gd.The level of responsibility l feel towards her is so much higher than my own as couldn't dare say l had let anything happen to her. Also her mom gave strict directions about stair gate etc before she came. We never had one for our own. So hopefully that will set in.

KaosReigns Sun 24-Apr-16 09:10:19

The worst part is DF is no longer with DM, and even though I dislike my 'D'SM I would completely trust the two of them to care for my child. But I could never ask them because I would feel horrible if DM and MIL found out.

I only heard the fire story this past weekend, quickly followed by "of course we know better now" after they saw my horrified expression. So it is playing on my mind.

Jenijena Sun 24-Apr-16 09:11:05

My son didn't have a day out alone with his grandparents til well after two. You really don't have to allow it...

Snoringlittlemonkey Sun 24-Apr-16 09:15:07

Your description of them sounds like something out of Roald Dahl!!!

Totally natural to feel how you do but trust me you'll be glad of a little break when your in the middle of it. Also as pp said a lot of grandparents are more cautious with grandchildren than they were with their own kids ironically! Like everyone they were making mistakes the first time round and learning as they go.

Don't make any decisions right now, see how things develop.

Herewegoagainfolks Sun 24-Apr-16 09:21:55

They can see lots of the baby, there is no requirement for it to be without you.

If you breastfeed it's not going to be practical for them to have her without you.

We had one set of GPs who although very loving are not very careful with the DC.

I just arranged that all their babysitting was in the evening after the DC were asleep (eg for us to go to the cinema). They got lots of time with awake babies too but only with us.

As the DC got older they were asked to babysit during the daytime but only in the house eg they'd play with them at our house while we went shopping or something.

It was never discussed, so I'm not sure if they noticed, but they didn't actually start taking the children anywhere unsupervised until they were about 4yo.

Recently I've had concerns about their driving (they had a small accident in their car while out with my children and chose not to mention it to me, forgetting of course that the children would tell me straight away) I'm now organising things so that they don't ever gave the opportunity to take the children out in their car (again I haven't discussed this with them it's just discreet manoeuvring on my part)

Even given this there have been a number of accidents/incidents which I know wouldn't have occurred if I'd been there so it is difficult to completely cover your bases but I try.

My PILs aren't even retired yet so none of this is age related - they are just rubbish at risk assessing.

LunaLoveg00d Sun 24-Apr-16 09:35:56

Some kids are just good at getting into scrapes - my eldest son managed to split his head open 3 times within the space of 4 months after trips/slips/falls but that doesn't mean I can't be trusted around children.

I wouldn't write off your MIL because of some incidents which happened in the distant past. The driving thing is an issue, but can be got around by dropping children off and picking them up.

I think it's healthy for children to have time away from their parents with grandparents, everyone benefits. What you don't want is the situation we're in now - my daughter is 11, everyone is getting ready to go on their school residential trip, and her two best friends aren't going because they have never spent a night away from their mums and they're terrified.

diddl Sun 24-Apr-16 09:39:46

"But I could never ask them because I would feel horrible if DM and MIL found out."

If you ever would like to leave your daughter with your dad, don't not do it just for the sake of being fair to others who you don't trust.

Your daughter isn't a toy to be shared out!

You can make sure that you are with you mum & MIL, and maybe when you see them with her you might decide that they are capable.

In the mean time though, tell your partner that you aren't risking the safety of your daughter for the sake of being fair!

Lightbulbon Sun 24-Apr-16 09:40:45

Lots of women are much more competant at being dgms than dms.

Maybe you will actually want a babysitter?

VerbenaGirl Sun 24-Apr-16 09:50:03

Go with your instincts. They sound right to me.
Like others have said, they can see her plenty with you around.
What I really found helpful was when in-laws came round to sit with DD while I caught up on a bit of housework, prepared the dinner (or even had a bath a couple of times!). And when she was a bit older and mobile, it was nice to have my Mum there when out shopping etc as an extra pair of hands.
Make requests that suit you!

IronDuchess Sun 24-Apr-16 10:22:14

I felt the same when I was pregnant with DD, I was worrying about all of these sorts of situations. Firstly, I'd say relax and enjoy your pregnancy, worry about this sort of stuff when/if it arises. My MIL is in her 70s (not that it matters as such but is less able physically)and is very opinionated about how children should be raised, I have not and will not leave DD alone with her because I do not trust her one little bit! My DM on the other hand is much younger and very respectful of mine and DHs views on how we want to raise our little girl. MIL doesn't know that my DM babysits and that's the way it will stay. MIL keeps asking to babysit (DD is only 4 months) and I keep politely refusing saying there is nowhere we need to go.

Cornishclio Sun 24-Apr-16 10:43:19

I am a GM to a 7 mo GD and both me and my DDs MIL have babysat a lot for our GD since she was born as my daughter had a traumatic birth and my GD is not a great sleeper. Don't under estimate the need you may have after the birth for support from willing volunteers. Sleep deprivation is tantamount to torture. If it helps I, like many other GPs I have spoken to am much more cautious with my GD than I ever was with my DDs when they were little, firstly because I am older and aware of my own limitations, secondly because she is not my child and the thought of anything happening to her when I am looking after her is horrific and thirdly because I am not fitting in other jobs. When I babysit I only have her to think about.

I would agree why not do visits with you there initially so you can see how your DM and MIL cope while you have a nap upstairs or do other stuff. Initially my GD would not sleep unless in someone's arms so having an extra pair of hands may be useful while you shower, cook tea or whatever. Also there is nothing to say you have to let your baby travel in your DMs car if you are not confident about her driving ability. Just tell them you can't move the car seat and drop her off or ask her to come to you. I would be worried about the aggressive dog though. Safety must come above hurting your ILs and DPs feelings. Similarly if you trust your DF and SM then ask them and don't worry about hurting DMs feelings. Most new parents do need support so it seems a shame to be discarding offers before baby has even arrived and you don't know how they will be with her.

Peterspan Sun 24-Apr-16 11:03:01

There's no reason why you have to let them babysit! I agree with PP that it may be useful to have them do it on your terms, however, in your house, holding baby so you can nap/catch up on chores etc. No reason for them to have baby for any length of time away from you though. I also agree with PP that breastfeeding is a great way of ensuring that baby can't be away from you for too long ;)

wheresthel1ght Sun 24-Apr-16 14:17:07

Totally reasonable in my book!!

My parents both smoke so it took me a long time to trust them to go outside and not smoke in the house - even the poxy vape thing mum has started with.

As for the baby switching thing, I don't know if it is common practice but dd was fitted with an alarm bracelet when she was born is our local hospital, it was designed to sound of someone tried to leave the ward with her or if it was removed without first being deactivated. It was fitted to her in the delivery room and not removed until we were ready to go home

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