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to ask grandparents to pick DS up a few times a month when they care for him.

(32 Posts)
Bambi1980 Tue 01-Nov-16 20:16:47

Hi, I have one DS who is 2 years 2 months. Me and my partner both work FT. I work shifts so get 2 weekends off in a four week period. I do get some days off during the week. When I first found out I was pregnant my partner's parents offered to look after DS when I returned to work. My Mum passed away when I was a child and my Dad is elderly. I have no one else to turn to for support family wise and my few friends work/have their own lives. We accepted their offer and fortunately I didn't return to work until DS was 14 months. As it happens my in-laws now have DS for 5 full days (7.30-4ish) and 3 half-days (12-5ish) a month. This was their decision and they have never complained. I started DS in nursery for one half day a week in August. My MIL wasn't too impressed with this, worrying it wouldn't be good for DS and 'what would he eat'. It really wound me up at the time because I did it so he is around other kids and socialising/doing stuff as bless them, the in-laws never take him anywhere and he spends a good proportion of the day watching tv or youtube on granddad's phone (another bone of contention!)
I'm just getting so stressed with their conflicting ideas on childcare. Still at his age DS won't fully feed himself, MIL insists on spoon feeding him his meals like he's still about 6 months old! When I've said anything she says 'he's only a baby.' She doesn't seem to get it at all that I want DS to start being more independent with feeding and in general like playing alone, trying to dress himself etc. They follow him around all day answering to every beck and call. I'm dreading potty training! I've noticed that compared to his peers he is very reluctant to try new things or to join in with play. Eating is a nightmare as every meal he refuses my MIL presents a cheese sandwich which he gobbles down. I don't tend to talk face to face about things with her so it's either a text to MIL asking her do/not do things (in a nice way) or through my partner who never wants to say anything to them. I just feel awful saying anything to them as they've done us a favour and saved us money on childcare. We feel beholden to them. I kinda wish I would have put him in childcare sooner!
Anyway, I've started to really struggle when I work my week of afternoons as I don't finish until midnight, get home then have to wind down it's then the early hours. I'm then up early with DS next day. It's then such a rush to get him ready, get myself ready, prepare my meals for lunch and tea, sort his lunch out as well as chores, constant attention he demands. I end up rushing about like a mad woman and have to drop him off at in-laws in time to get to work. I then get a comment like 'You're late' from her, with no thought of the amount of stuff I have to do before I even leave the house. She isn't very understanding, although lovely I just want them to offer to start picking DS up to save me all this hassle and stress. I have a stressful job in the emergency services as it is, I'm getting to work to start a 10 or 11 hour shift absolutely exhausted and worked up. It would be great if they would just offer to pick him up, it would only be 3 times a month. I've offered to buy them a car seat. I've asked my partner to ask them but he hasn't yet. In-laws have a car that never moves from outside their house. My MIL is 70, she's mobile but has a bad hip which she gets some pain from. My FIL is 68 and is mobile but never moves from his chair. He has had some health problems in recent years. Both can drive but tend to just use public transport, they live about 4 miles from our house but never visit. They just always expect us to come to them.
Any advice, and before anyone says. I am extremely grateful for all their help and they know it. Just get so frustrated ......

Sirzy Tue 01-Nov-16 20:22:19

I think if your not happy with the care they are giving you need to reconsider the set up, or at least actually sit down and talk to them about things.

I don't think it's fair to expect them to go out of their way to pick up, especially when it seems they don't particularly like driving. You can ask but make it clear that if they don't want to that's fine.

hotdiggedy Tue 01-Nov-16 20:22:39

My advice is to sign him up for as much childcare outside the home asap. They are doing him no favours and he will really struggle with nursery/school the longer you leave it.

SolemnlyFarts Tue 01-Nov-16 20:26:38

I don't think there are any easy solutions, here - you either have to accept the whole package as it is, or risk offending PILs by asking for even more than they're providing. It would be a lot to ask, no matter how tired you are. To be honest, it doesn't seem like them providing full-time childcare for a toddler is a viable long-term proposition - have you considered that they use screens because they simply can't keep up?

Personally I would start using full-time paid for childcare to avoid this sort of conflict... Where is your partner in all this? What does he think, and can't he pick up some slack? You will both have to communicate directly to face-to-face to change arrangements - are you willing to do that?

Jodie1982 Tue 01-Nov-16 20:31:26

Can't your partner drop him off some mornings?
He definitely needs nursery a couple of times a week, social interaction and other areas of development, it'll benefit him more. He's your Son. Your In laws seem like lovely helpful people, but aren't helping your Son by holding him back with his development.

Bagina Tue 01-Nov-16 20:39:16

Are you serious? Why are you letting him spend his days like this? You've identified all the problems, now what are you going to do about them? You need to pay for good quality childcare. A childminder would have him out and about and would be doing age appropriate activities with him. They're also cheaper than nurseries. I'd be letting the in laws have him once a week only. It sounds really upsetting.

holidaysaregreat Tue 01-Nov-16 20:47:22

It's tricky - to an extent you have to accept their way of doing things. It's not many days out of the month really. He is however getting to the age when he needs to be socialising and YANBU to put him in nursery. What about the days where he is there from 7.30 him staying overnight the night before - so a few sleepovers. But then instead of the half days have him in nursery. So you drop him at 9ish and then have a window of time to get a few things done. Obviously this only works if it's a set day per week. Perhaps the in laws could just have set days too and then he goes regardless of whether you are working. They may not be up for that tho, mine wouldn't ever have the kids unless we were physically in work.

MiMiMaguire Tue 01-Nov-16 20:49:02

They're elderly and minding him for free, I think you should put him in full time daycare, does the playschool he attends do day care also ?
My mum used to mind my daughter while I worked part time 2/3 days a week from 6 months until she turned 3, I got those "she's only a baby" comments also from my own mother whenever I tried to give out to her for anything,if anything I'm Soft so this was rare, but it's hard cos your stuck between your role as a daughter (DIL for you) and mother, it's hard to say things as they are providing childcare to allow you to work. Myself and mum are very close but We actually had a bit of conflict due to opposing opinions on things..
I'd never have expected her to collect my daughter though as I did feel she was helping me and enabling me to work.

Anyway, for the past 6months my daughter has been in day care at the facility she attended playschool, she is in preschool now and stays on full days 2 days a week, sure it costs money but in this situation I am the mum, there haven't been any issues but if there were I just say it and expect it to be respected, I'm nobodies daughter there I'm just my daughters mother, my child is an only child and is mixing with other kids, learning things etc, as she got older my parents found it harder to keep her entertained and it's tough going on us never mind older people, also now when we see my mum it's just us visiting and its more relaxed , I always had a bit of guilt and felt I couldn't or shouldn't visit socially or ask her to babysit at the weekend occasionally as she'd already minded DS for me that week, my DS and her get to just enjoy each other now.
Sorry quite the rant, I think you should cut that arrangement and put him in creche, you'll be glad you did, specially as he's getting older

MiMiMaguire Tue 01-Nov-16 20:50:37

Sorry DD not DS !

Floralnomad Tue 01-Nov-16 20:59:09

Agree totally with bagina , you are doing your son a disservice with the current arrangement.

OneEpisode Tue 01-Nov-16 21:02:17

Your son isn't with the pils that much? Mostly he is with you or his dad?

GabsAlot Tue 01-Nov-16 21:03:45

late for what if they dont go anwhere?

i agree with other pp you cant go on like this its not doing your son any good either-hes not a baby hes 2

for instance my niece ha just started pre school to socialise with he peers not that she hasnt been taken out and about meanhile

where does he play does he go anywhere?

HummusForBreakfast Tue 01-Nov-16 21:04:34

It doesn't work.
It doesn't work for you and fir your ds.
Why would you ask them to look after him MORE?

YY to finding some childcare system that works better for you and him.

The PIL can still see him, look after him etc... but maybe not as much.

Having said that, he isn't there for so many days (the equivalent of 2 days a week) so all the stuff you are talking about (feeding, dressing etc..) he should still be able to learn them when he is at home with you.

Mishegoss Tue 01-Nov-16 21:06:59

Asids from your stress, the current arrangement sounds really bad for your son. That alone would prompt me to look into proper childcare. If they carry on treating him like a baby it'll have a severe impact when he starts school. He needs to be getting out of the house, socialising, getting to grips with some self care..
However if you chose to keep using them you kind of have to deal with the negative side of it.

JustMarriedBecca Tue 01-Nov-16 21:11:34

My parents look after my DD and it works like a dream two days a week. I found it really useful to explain the developmental milestones she should be achieving with them. Maybe if you say to MIL that you have a check with the HV coming up and they said to compare him to the EYFS guidelines and could she, as his primary caregiver Mon-Fri help you assess where he is. If he is behind then this should show her where he should be.

It's easy to say 'put her in nursery' but if you work shifts and long hours then I doubt nursery or a childminder will work. I also think it's good for children to have some one on one attention (I say this as someone who worked FT too, not some smug git that can afford to stay at home all day) and it's good for that to come from grandparents if they are willing to do it.

Bagina Tue 01-Nov-16 21:13:58

not some smug git that can afford to stay at home all day


RepentAtLeisure Tue 01-Nov-16 21:18:19

I'm then up early with DS next day. It's then such a rush to get him ready, get myself ready, prepare my meals for lunch and tea, sort his lunch out as well as chores, constant attention he demands. I end up rushing about like a mad woman and have to drop him off at in-laws in time to get to work. I then get a comment like 'You're late' from her, with no thought of the amount of stuff I have to do before I even leave the house.

There's no mention here of your partner. How much of the parenting does he do?

MoMandaS Tue 01-Nov-16 21:23:21

Did you mean to be so rude about SAHPs, Becca? Also, read the OP - PIL aren't the primary care givers Mon-Fri.

OutDamnedWind Tue 01-Nov-16 21:24:45

Was going to ask the same as as RepentAtLeisure - you don't mention your DP in this. How do his working patterns fit around yours/what's the split of care?

category12 Tue 01-Nov-16 21:25:22

Yeah, where's dh in this?

Your elderly in-laws are doing their best - I think it's unfair to ask them to do pick-ups as well, when they evidently choose not to drive much for whatever reason. Possibly because they don't feel competent or confident.

If it's only a few days (8?) out of a month they have your ds, then they can't really be responsible for any perceived slowness of development, either.

I think you need to get your dh to step up a bit and do more of the parenting so you're not constantly on the go and pretty much doing all of the childcare at home from what I can tell.

WeAllHaveWings Tue 01-Nov-16 21:26:49

If it's not working then it's not working, but I don't think us fair to imply he not feeding or dressing himself when he's only there 5 working days and 3 half days each month and I assume he arrives at your PIL dressed. He's at home the other 22 days, 3 half days and evenings when he could learn this at home.

If they arent using their car often and using public transport I'd rather drive my dc to them myself as it could be a lack of confidence behind the wheel.

MiMiMaguire Tue 01-Nov-16 21:27:56

Cos SAHP parents are all minted aren't they.. not struggling and cutting out things.. or come to the conclusion that working and paying for childcare isn't worth it financially when all is said and done. Or heck, just want to mind their kids themselves.
And and their definitely not "sitting at home all day", they're minding their kids and all that entails.

mirime Tue 01-Nov-16 21:29:04

Can you afford more paid for childcare?

Everyone is going to suggest it, but it's not cheap.

If you can look at what the options are. I know my ds would be a nightmare of he were kept in that much.

MadMags Tue 01-Nov-16 21:32:42

If he's only with them a few days a week, then the developmental stuff that you're not happy about is coming from you and your dh, not the PILs.

The answer to these threads always boils down to the same thing:

If you're not happy with the arrangement, find a new one.

I know that sounds easier said than done (and I'm not a smug git that stays home all day hmm ) but it's really your only choice.

Tell dh to get off his arse and help, is my other suggestion!

Livelovebehappy Tue 01-Nov-16 21:39:39

TBH, I wouldn't be stressing about this as your inlaws only have him for a total of six and a half hours each month, so I don't think any damage is going to be done. Unfortunately when you use any sort of childcare there are always going to be some compromises to be made. He'll be starting school in a couple of years, so it's only a short term situation.

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