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Advice about in-laws and babysitting(294 Posts)
My in-laws love my one year old very much and he loves them. They are incredibly loving and fun with him.
However- As often as not a visit with them will involve MIL doing something I feel is a bit dangerous or unhygienic with my son. But I am a worrier by nature and it’s hard for me to judge whether my expectations are normal.
For example, in the last two weeks:
She wiped his face and hands with a soiled dish cloth she found in our sink. I’d used it to wipe up raw egg and kitchen spray earlier in the day. She didn’t seem to understand why I asked her to use his baby wipes instead.
On another occasion my son had a wooden xylophone stick in his mouth. She picked him up and play wrestled with him, rolling him around on the floor while was holding the stick in his month. She didn’t seem to understand why I interrupted and took the stick away.
My son has started thrashing around and standing up when his nappy is changed. We change him on a changing table with a seat belt style strap or on a soft mat on the floor so he doesn’t fall or smack his head. She tried to change him on our stone kitchen bench (high off the ground and right next to a ceramic vase, a wine bottle etc). My husband asked her not to.
This is just the last two weeks, but it’s been like this since he was born. I know none of these actions are outrageously negligent. I know lots of parents are more relaxed than I am. But I feel like I’ve spent the last year asking her to be more careful about safety, and she doesn’t take 90% of my concerns on board.
I’ve just returned to work and my mother has offered to watch him one day a week. We have hired a wonderfully qualified nanny for the other days. We did not ask my In laws to babysit purely because MIL and I don’t see eye to eye on safety issues.
It was launched world war three. For days now my in-laws have called DH crying and shouting. They’ve literally said that not being invited to babysit is the worst, most hurtful thing anyone has ever done to them. They say they don’t think they can forgive us and that we have fractured the family. We visited them to try and make peace but they continued to attack, shout, insult and cry. They were incredibly hostile towards me in front of my child. They obviously blame me for all of it although my husband and I are in agreement.
If you read this far thank you.
Basically AIBU about this safety stuff? Any advice for me about childcare in this situation? I hate conflict and I am just stunned by the extremity of their reaction and don’t know what to say or do. We are devastated by this rift, and just so overwhelmed.
What a ramble... sorry. Any advice would be amazing.
YANBU. Take a break and see if they calm down. They sound exhausting. It's not like you told them they'd never see your baby again, it's just that they are not the designated babysitters. They need to get over it.
No I don’t think you’ve been OTT, thier reaction is incredibly defensive. When you go back to work and leave your baby it’s nerve wrecking enough, even knowing they are with someone you trust 100% let alone somone you have concerns about. I’d just say you have your reason of which your happy to explain to them once they’ve calmed down and stopped the ranting and raving
YANBU. Trust your instincts. I wouldn't want to leave my child with someone who kept doing stuff like that.
I can see why they are upset - there’s no need for all crying etc but given your MIL has previously ignored concerns you have put to her, it’s not a surprise they are unable to understand why they can’t look after you’re child.
In these circumstances I won’t use them for childcare either. Could they perhaps babysit in the evening if you go out. Baby will be asleep and so limited opportunity for issues to occur.
Trust your instincts and ignore the crocodile tears.
Also as a side note I never understand some people treating babies with substandard levels of hygiene that they would treat thenselves. would your MIL use that cloth to wipe her face with? Probably not so why should your DS? My mil/sil are a bit like this with highchair being dirty after sils dd has used it, then looking at me funny when I wipe it over before ds uses it. I feel like saying to them would you eat your dinner of someone else’s dirty plate!! I know I wouldn’t so why should my DS!
I think you’re being a bit OTT about some of the ‘safery’ issues if I’m honest, but their reaction is appalling. It’s for you to decide who looks after your child, not them. They have no right to speak to you or behave in the manner they have. I would stick to your guns. Ultimately, you have to decide how your child is to parented/looked after and if you don’t like the way they do it, you’re right not to use them.
Not an overreaction from you. From them, definitely. You don't owe them babysitting and it sounds like horrible emotional manipulation. Not exactly supportive of new parents is it? It's not about what they want or need.
Main thing is that you and your DH stick together on it. He needs to take the lead in diffusing the situation - but please don't give in, or suggest they learn how to, trial runs etc. It's enough to say no it's not what we want. You don't owe them a compromise and they'll still spend plenty of time with their GC.
YANBU. The stuff you’ve mentioned is unsafe and the thing with the cloth is disgusting. Does your MIL do gross things all the time or only with the baby? I wouldn’t let her babysit.
The safety issues sound exactly the same as my parents and they won’t be babysitting. @Lelly0503 is totally right. Why do people do that?
The crying thing is so weird.
I agree with PP let things settle for a while.
They are being unreasonable and overreacting and almost trying to use emotional blackmail.
I see your points on most the safety but if you are so up on hygiene and safety why would you leave a cloth like that on the sink and not rinse it properly.
I'd like to hear their side of the story because I suspect, like most threads, this isn't the whole story
I was ready to eye roll at your concerns but actually l agree with you.
Ignore their current hysterics - for that reaction alone l think you are correct in not having them in sole charge for a length of time.
Well, they've just proven why they should not be trusted with childcare. Not that proof were needed.
And you are not being OTT with regards to your child's safety.
I'd just leave then alone for a while and stop explaining. No one is entitled to care for a child apart from his parents. All of the examples you gave could have caused serious harm and they didn't learn when you pointed out the problem. It's good your husband feels the same way.
Good that your DH is on the same page/dealing with it. I’d support him but continue to let him lead this.
please remember baby sitting is not an automatic right for GP
I also don’t think you are overreacting with those examples, the xylophone thing made me feel just reading it
In terms of the rift there is only so much you can do. I’d give it space if they love your baby and their son they should calm down. They also need to apologise as it sounds like they said some terrible stuff to you.
Has you actually spelled out the implications/logical end point in the dangerous examples eg baby will fall off bench smash head and possibly vase on too may get cuts /need hospital...? I don’t get how they think it’s okay...
is your DH an only child? It might partially explain the hysteria
I’d give it some space for now and see if they come round in December/for Christmas
Don’t let them dictate Christmas or your relationship through histrionics.
I think your being OTT but it isn’t a right to look after a grandchild all day and their are valid reasons you might prefer to hire someone rather than have your mil do it aside from questioning her safety. I think you’ve probably been PA rather than upfront and they have bitten their lip in return to keep the peace and so this is actually an arguement that has been long brewing. They aren’t it the right about childcare but maybe are fed up of the dynamic where you treat them as potentially life threatening when they have safely raised (at least) one child to adulthood.
Not sure there is an easy solution.
YANBU. I’m not a stressy mum and I find your PIL negligent. They just need to accept your decision. It will take time. Good luck.
YANBU- leave them be until they calm down.
I was on the fence, with regards to the poor hygiene and safety but their reaction has totally convinced me that they are not people who should be left in charge of children.
I have had exactly the same situation with my mother in law to the extent that I have changed my job. I now work early mornings so that when I get home my partner goes to work. This means we don't have to rely on anyone for childcare. I'm not suggesting you do anything as drastic- I felt I had no choice as we can't afford to pay for childcare. Now my mum and my MIL each have my son for 2-3 hours once a week. We have found it's worked well as the only expectation we have is that they play with him rather than us needing them to do any looking after. The most they need to do is change a nappy and give him a drink. They both still do things that I'm not entirely happy with but it's only a few hours and my little boy is becoming very good at expressing his feelings if he's not happy with something - he's 17 months.
Would this be a good compromise for you? Could your MIL have him for a few hours here and there to play?
My PIL would always say- well our kids survived..... as if minimal standards of survival were ok...... drove me potty. I do hope that when my kids have kids I will be able to grandparent their children in the way that they would hope.
YANBU going back to work is hard enough. You need to leave your child with people you can trust to keep them safe so you're not worrying about safety on top of the usual worry about leaving them.
@splishsplosh35 We we're thinking along those lines last week. What started the whole debate was that my husband asked them to play with him while he worked from home one day (nanny called in sick on her first day). They then asked why he couldn't be at work while they looked after him, and that's when DH spelt out that we don't have the same approach to some safety issues, and so right now, while I'm literally in my first days at work, this is how we want to ease into it. Then they blew up.
I would definitely have looked at a part day, or sending them on a weekly activity in a safe environment or one of the compromises you suggested. But now the relationship is so toxic and their behaviour so irrational, I don't think I am open to those arrangements anymore TBH
Does your dh feel he had a dangerous and neglectful upbringing or did they actually do a half decent job?