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DH, MIL and DD's hair

(134 Posts)
BikerMouse Wed 10-Aug-16 12:51:27

I just need some perspective because this is driving me insane.

Dd's 2 and 4 have curly mixed race hair. Dd1's is slightly more manageable in that it's not so tightly coiled. I'm the only who brushes their hair. I've given clear instructions and shown them both how to deal with curly hair, neither of them seem to be able to. It needs brushing, plaiting or tying up before bed and in the morning or it becomes a tangled mess. Time and time again both Dd's come back from MIL with matted hair which takes ages brushing out, often with lots of tears.

I've tried everything. I've made it easier by putting their hair in plaits expecting her not to touch it. She takes the plaits out and we get matted, tangled hair anyway.

Do I need to unclench and let it go?

ParadiseCity Wed 10-Aug-16 12:54:49

I'm a little confused sorry.

Are the girls ages 2 and 4? And you have 'shown them both' - do you mean the girls? Or both=DH and MIL?

Why are they going to MIL for so long?

SeaCabbage Wed 10-Aug-16 12:55:52

Have you talked to your MIL about it? Rather than just expecting her to understand what you want?

NapQueen Wed 10-Aug-16 12:57:34

Yabu for brushing curly hair.

PotteringAlong Wed 10-Aug-16 12:57:57

Just say "I've plaited their hair, you don't need to take it out for bedtime".

Problem solved, surely?

LewisAndClark Wed 10-Aug-16 12:58:05

God, why are you brushing it?

ToastyFingers Wed 10-Aug-16 12:59:46

I don't think this is acceptable, if MIL is not looking after your dds properly they shouldn't be staying there.
My hair is similar, and works itself practically into dreads overnight if I sleep with it down, It bloody hurts to brush out too! Your poor dds.

Elizawh Wed 10-Aug-16 13:01:04

Why are they going to MIL for so long?

She hasn't said anything about how long they are at MILs, has she? hmm

ParadiseCity Wed 10-Aug-16 13:04:41

I asked why so long - not to be judgmental but because it sounds like overnight stays. If they weren't there overnight OP wouldn't have mentioned bedtime/morning hair routine. So if they could retime the visits it wouldn't be a problem. Unless they are there for unavoidable reasons.

It was a practicalities question not a judgy one I promise.

bluebeck Wed 10-Aug-16 13:11:21

Agree with PP - you need to be really clear with MIL that she is not to unbraid their hair, and explain why. If you have already done this and she is ignoring you, can you stop the overnights?

Is this an isolated problem?

RiverTam Wed 10-Aug-16 13:15:29

I take it they inherit their curly hair from you? Is this part of a wider issue regarding your ethnicity, do you think?

VladmirsPoutine Wed 10-Aug-16 13:15:54

This is something you need to talk to her about. Your children's hair requires a certain level of maintenance - it's par for the course with mixed race textured hair. It's fucking painful when it gets matted and has to be combed out. Tell her in no uncertain terms that she's not to undo their hair.

BertrandRussell Wed 10-Aug-16 13:20:48

Plait it and tell her not to unplait it. She's not psychic!.

And tell your dh to tell her. And tell the children to tell her. A 4 year old is perfectly capable of understanding and making her feelings clear.

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 10-Aug-16 13:23:05

The OP might mean finger combing, when she says brushing? Or using a tangle teaser?

Anyway - I think you do need to tell your MIL very explicitly what the problem is. Is it an issue of her not understanding/not respecting the whole process? I have come across people who think that not washing hair daily is 'dirty' - and I'm a white woman who washes her hair daily, so I see why - and I wonder if the MIL is not aware that she might be better not only not unplaiting, but also not washing, your DDs hair, if they stay with her overnight?

Also, you start your OP with 'DH' but then don't mention him in the OP - what's the issue there? And why can he not learn to deal with his DD's hair?

pigsDOfly Wed 10-Aug-16 13:33:31

Agree with pp, you need to make it very clear to MIL how your DC hair needs to be treated. As a child I had very long hair that was always plaited during the day. At night the plaits would be taken out and I would sleep with it loose. No doubt MIL thinks that is the normal way to deal with plaits.

Don't think OP said anything about MIL washing DC hair though.

BikerMouse Wed 10-Aug-16 13:35:15

Apologies but I wasn't asking for hair tips, we brush with a soft bristle brush with a conditioning spritz because leaving it unbrushed would result in giant tangled locks. And besides the brushing removes all sorts of crap grass/leaves from the day. grin

YY shown DH and MIL.

Yes I've explained to her. Hence the "this is what you do demo" which obviously hasn't worked in the past.

Dd's have extended stays with MIL as she loves spending time with them at her holiday home. Other times that I've been away I've returned to similar as DH hasn't done their hair either.

No other issues as such. Just this one that bothers the hell out of me.

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 10-Aug-16 13:39:10

So what does she say, when you ask her why she's unplaited their hair again?

And have you ever sat down with her, with the DC with tangled hair, and show just how hard what she's done is making it for you to get their hair sorted out?

HoneyDragon Wed 10-Aug-16 13:39:17

Dad's hair is similar, it's needs to be damp brushed as at 6 the crap she can get in her hair is staggering.

I've found that she can do it herself if someone sprays her hair for her, she now hands her spray to a competent looking adult if I'm not around and waves the hair brush menacingly if anyone tries to take it off her or brush it themselves grin

BikerMouse Wed 10-Aug-16 13:41:38

Honey, how I long for the day Dd1 is able to do her own hair! Oh the tears/screams, what the neighbours must think. confused

gonetoseeamanaboutadog Wed 10-Aug-16 13:42:39

I think you should point it out at pick up, sit down and show her how difficult it is to sort out, asking her pleasantly if there is a problem about doing as you asked. I would stress that it was only a big deal to me because the aftermath was upsetting for the children.

RandomMess Wed 10-Aug-16 13:43:09

I think I would speak to MIL and actually say "It is very distressing to the DDs when their hair gets matted, please leave it alone in the plaits I send them otherwise they're not going to be able stay with you until they are old enough to deal with their own hair"

Best of all I would tell DH and tell him to pass the message on.

I would be livid, it's as bad as having to sort out head lice via nitty gritty method I should imagine!

HoneyDragon Wed 10-Aug-16 13:46:25

Yeah at five it got easier, when screamed I'd always give her the brush and say show me wear it tugs, it got better gradually as she realised that her Mum really wasn't intending to hurt her hmm

BikerMouse Wed 10-Aug-16 13:53:51

So they're off on Friday and I'm here dreading their return on Monday afternoon.

I was so cross with H a few weeks ago after spending 40 minutes untangling Dd1's hair after a weekend with MIL. I think I'll have to be more blunt about it. I'd hate to stop them spending the night as they both love her to bits.

I also have a DH problem. He just cannot be arsed. FFS it's not hard! <bangs head on wall>

YY random head lice and nitty gritty. I still have nightmares! That was not fun.

PotteringAlong Wed 10-Aug-16 13:56:24

Honestly? 3 days to myself vs 40 minutes sorting out hair? I'd take the 40 minutes every time.

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 10-Aug-16 13:57:41

Yes, but it's unnecessary, isn't it? Besides the fact it is hurting her children.

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