Family situation, how to handle?(80 Posts)
NC for this as DH knows my username and I really don't want to upset anyone. I'm just really needing some advice to see if I'm being U.
We are going abroad for Christmas next year to spend it with DH family. He immigrated to the UK 13 years ago.
Taking DS with us, he will have just turned 2 by then.
MIL is very excited about having a grandchild and so far she has visited for 3 weeks when he was born and we Skype regularly. I also send her pictures and videos of him via what's app.
I suggested we buy her a surprise plane ticket for her birthday this year to come over for DS first birthday as I want both sets of grandparents to be there.
She is asking that myself and DH leave him with her for a week when we visit on Christmas and go off and have "a break".
Now I'm grateful for the offer and perhaps a romantic 1 overnight stay somewhere would be lovely for us but I don't want to leave my 2 year old son for a whole week.
It will be new surroundings for him in a new country, being left with someone he doesn't know very well.
When she suggested it, my husband immediately said, maybe 1 or 2 days will be lovely. But she's insisting on a week.
I adored both sets of my grandparents and they passed away when I was quite young. I want DS to know both sets of grandparents and have a wonderful relationship with them like I did mine.
AIBU when I say no to a whole week? I know she's overseas and rarely sees him. I know that the distance is difficult for her and she loves DS so much. But I don't consider a week away from my son "a break". To me it would be hell on earth, especially at Christmas time.
Plus it will be unsettling for him, he will have only ever have seen them on Skype and his first birthday prior to this visit.
Some advice on whether I'm BU and if not, how to deal with this without upsetting anyone would be greatly appreciated.
She is effectively a stranger to your ds. . You would be doing him a huge disservice by leaving him imo. . !
Even 1 night he won't be happy I would imagine. .
Leave it to dh to explain. .
YANBU. I don't understand why she's being so insistent but stand your ground and explain that your DC doesn't know her and wouldn't settle.
She can't "insist" on a week, because it's not her decision to make.
How long will you be going to visit her for ? If it's 3 weeks or so, could you settle in for 5 days or so and let her spend loads of time playing with him then go off for a night or 2 and come back to them? Then towards the end of the break have another mini 1/2 night getaway. That way she's getting plenty of time with her grandchild and you get a little break too. I think if she will be visiting this year and you Skype lots then he will recognise her. And by waiting half a week or so into the trip he will be nice and used to her. This is of course, if he becomes the sort of toddler who will go to other people and not just you or dh.
Insist on 'no, it would be hell on earth to be without him for a week, he does not know you well enough'. Ad infinitum.
Anything short of your wholehearted enthusiasm is a good reason for you to not allow this.
It's a request to look after your child. The second you let someone "insist" in that context you have taken a decision not to be in control and you may regret that choice for years to come. Nip it in the bud now.
It's completely up to you what you do YANBU. it's only a favour and nice thing for her to do if you are happy with the arrangement. I leave my DD with my parents for about 4 days every year for some time away with DH. I would feel uncomfortable with any longer and she knows my parents really well and sees them often. It's your decision.
She can't insist on anything/it's not her child! Just say no. My eldest was very clingy at that age and would have beenutterly miserable for a weekend let alone a week!
While YANBU.... it might be nice for all concerned if you and DH had a night or two away towards the end.... you will feels it more than the baby.... baby will be quite happy... MIL will be ecstatic and you will get s few days away just when you are starting to lose patience with MIL
I wouldn't leave DD with somebody she knew well for a week so yanbu for not wanting to when your dc doesn't know her that well! I'd just say, "no, I wouldn't want to leave him for so long. I'd miss him."
Just keep saying no. But position it as 'oh what a lovely offer, but...'
She can't make you go away for a week so just say you'd love a night away and if it's alright with them you'll plan to leave early on the Saturday and get back for dinner time on the Sunday so you can make a whole weekend of it.
Doesn't have to be those days obviously but by positioning it as a good weekend, it sounds longer to the enthusiastic grandma.
If she really persists and becomes over bearing. Then you both just have to tell her that you are not interested in leaving DS with anyone for a week as it's not what any of you would enjoy
YANBU. I wouldn't do longer than a night at that age, with a child who is not used to grandparents being a second home / second family.
I would see how you feel when you get there, anyway, about a night or two. You can't know how you or baby will feel so far in advance. It'a your holiday! Why would you want compulsory or prescriptive arrangements put on you?
Just say 'no'.
"That's very kind of you but I don't want to leave him."
It's not her decision to make and her insistence would really worry me that she is completely out of touch with what a 2 year old's needs and behaviour are like. She primarily wants him to herself over and above his and your own preferences.
I wouldn't want to be away from my kids over the Christmas period at all, regardless of how well they knew the person. But a 2 year old with someone they don't know? Not a chance!
But the likelyhood is that once you are there your MIL will realise that a week is unrealistic.
She has built up a romantic view of her relationship with your son. I doubt that will stand up in real life. Unless your son is very friendly and very comfortable with people he doesn't' know it will be obvious that a week away from his parents will be difficult for him.
She's not planning on getting him circumcised is she OP? That would explain the week as by the time you see him again he is over the worst of it.
YANBU. She is a stranger to him and he will be upset. A day yes, a week no chance.
My son is 4 and has seen his Grandma about twice a week since birth. I still wouldn't leave him for a week!
My DD is 2, she would be hysterical if I left her with a stranger, sorry but thats what your MIL will be to your child.
I would do no more than an overnight and that would be towards the end of your stay so your child has had plenty of time to get to know her and feels comfortable with her.
Good God, just no. He'll be in the throes of peak separation anxiety and his language won't be developed enough for you to explain that you'll be back soon. It will be hideous for all concerned.
And ignore her 'insistence' he's your child, you have to do what is best for him and leaving him with a stranger will be so frightening, upsetting and unsettling for him.
Most 2-year-olds of my acquaintance (and myself, from memory) would be pretty traumatised at not seeing their parents for a week, especially if they were in a strange place. It's good for them to learn to spend short spells being looked after by other people, but parents to bugger off for such a long time (a hundredth of their entire existence to date) would be bewildering and upsetting. He'd probably spend a large proportion of every day howling his eyes out. Besides, who wants to be away from their precious little DC for that long? (Don't all shout at once...)
We had a similar situation, going to Mexico to spend 3 weeks with DHs family when DD was 15m old. MIL, PIL and two SIL (plus a million extended family relatives) all dying to have one and one time with DD and unable to understand why we didn't want to drop her and run off to be child free lol. In the end we went out for two evening meals after doing bedtime, and one afternoon trip out less than ten minutes away from where ILs were with DD. Its unnecessary for you to leave him with her. She can still play caregiver if she wants, without you physically absenting yourselves. My MIL liked making and helping DD with her breakfast for instance, great. Don't feel pressured, it will work out fine honestly, let your DH be firm, and only agree to what you're happy with xx
I left my two year old with my husband (very capable and loving dad) for a weekend recently and it felt like eternity. I wouldn't leave him with anyone for a week unless it was completely unavoidable. Tell her thanks again but no thanks.
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