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To not let her babysit anymore?

(26 Posts)
Strawberryswirl33 Wed 06-Mar-19 00:14:38

I had my dd 6 weeks ago and I knew it was going to be difficult for my sil as my nephew died at 3 days old last year. She and my brother were really supportive throughout my pregnancy yet when they came round a few days after dd was born I could see how heartbroken they were especially sil. I told them I appreciate their support but don’t expect them to keep coming around if it’s too difficult. Sil told me it helps and comes round to see me a couple of times a week as we only live a few streets away from each other. Yesterday I had to take ds to the hospital and sil offered to look after dd so I didn’t have to take her with me. Anyway we were only gone an hour but when I returned home sil had left a note to say she had taken dd out for a walk which was fine except she didn’t return until 4 hours later!! I tried calling her several times but she didn’t pick up and my brother couldn’t contact her either. She claims to have lost track of time, I knew she’d take good care of dd but I just feel a bit weird around her now, every time she holds her she sort of glazes over and I see tears well up in her eyes. I just don’t know what to do for the best?

AtrociousCircumstance Wed 06-Mar-19 00:17:03

Your instincts are correct. Don’t leave your baby alone with her - she is obviously still locked in the horrendous aftermath of her bereavement sad

It’s too much for her to process in a ‘normal’ way and the safest thing is to not let her babysit.

AtrociousCircumstance Wed 06-Mar-19 00:17:41

And remember your priority is not to help her, your responsibility is to your tiny baby.

Chocmallows Wed 06-Mar-19 00:18:43

She took your 6 week old for 4 hours!

You must have been out of your mind with worry.
Did she have formula and nappies etc?
No, I would not leave her with SIL again. Has SIL had counselling?

ADHMeeee Wed 06-Mar-19 00:19:44

No, i wouldnt let her do it alone at the moment.

Im so sorry for her loss, thats devastating. Its lovely that she is still making an effort to form a bond with your dc, even though it hurts her.

If there is someone else who can be with her in the future, then maybe it would be ok.

Has she had counselling support?

DoctorDread Wed 06-Mar-19 00:21:03

Sounds horrible for you both op but I'd be cautious too.

WhyTho Wed 06-Mar-19 01:33:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jackson1788 Wed 06-Mar-19 02:02:19

Trust your instincts, although she may have good intentions, the grief she is dealing with atm could cause her to act irrationally and potentially put your baby or her at risk. Even though it will probably be incredibly hard, your babies well being is more important right now. Perhaps speak to your brother about it? He may be more understanding of how you feel?

Jackson1788 Wed 06-Mar-19 02:04:58

He could also put your message forward to her in a way that won’t embarras or upset her?

Justagirlwholovesaboy Wed 06-Mar-19 02:08:45

Op, you are managing this very well, I would have freaked out and kicked her out banning her from seeing DD unsupervised . She does need help after a tragic experience but that sympathy doesn’t outweigh the fact that she shouldn’t be around babies

whywhywhy6 Wed 06-Mar-19 02:11:47


Italiangreyhound Wed 06-Mar-19 02:12:47

Strawberryswirl33 100% you cannot allow your sil to look after your children. It's terribly sad for her but taking a tiny baby out for 4 hours could have been devastating for you and could have been bad for baby too if she had no milk etc with her.

You do not owe her the chance to baby sit, your baby is not there to help her, as others have said she needs counselling.

Strawberryswirl33 Wed 06-Mar-19 02:27:10

She’s had counselling but it doesn’t seem to have helped much.

She took milk and changing bag so she had everything she needed.

She regularly looks after ds who is 4, maybe it’s just too soon for her to be around a newborn.

Even though I do trust sil I feel so guilty about letting dd down, thinking about it now anything could have happened.

Italiangreyhound Wed 06-Mar-19 02:31:56


"Even though I do trust sil I feel so guilty about letting dd down, thinking about it now anything could have happened."

Just focus on the fact nothing did happen but be cautious. It's not really a matter of trusting her or not trusting her. She is not really in command of herself, so to speak, grief does that for people. You have the evidence of that in the fact she did a very thoughtless thing and took your baby out for four hours. I just think thinking of it in terms of 'trust' seems like a moral judgment where as what you are really thinking is that she is not in a place where she can do this.

Like letting a very upset, distraught person get in a car and start driving, we just wouldn't do it, we would take a taxi or find another driver, we just know it's not for the best for that person to be in that car. If that makes sense.

But either way you do not need to justify yourself to your sil, your brother, yourself or anyone. You are the mum, your word goes!

Be kind to yourself. You've had a shock. thanks

AtrociousCircumstance Wed 06-Mar-19 10:07:32

Don’t feel guilty. It will hinder the processing of her grief if she gets obsessed with your baby. Going awol for four hours was a mini kidnapping. She’s not ok - she’s not a bad person, she’s a deeply traumatised person and looking after your baby right now will hurt her, as well as being a potential danger to your child.

FizzyGreenWater Wed 06-Mar-19 10:13:07

What was your brother's response to this?

You must have been out of your mind. He must have seen that.

She clearly needs more help with this.

outpinked Wed 06-Mar-19 10:14:52

I feel so deeply sorry for her, nobody should have the pain of losing a child. It’s just awful but YANBU at all, she is clearly suffering as anyone would and I don’t think now is a safe time for her to be caring for a newborn. Bless her though, it’s so tragic and horrendous sad.

M4J4 Wed 06-Mar-19 10:21:11

God how devastating about her baby sad

I agree that she shouldn't babysit.

Is DBro on board? Can he explain to her if she asks to babysit? Perhaps just limited to visits when you are there.

Patienceisvirtuous Wed 06-Mar-19 10:45:56

Maybe just supervised time with baby for a while. What an awful situation.

@Justagirl your post lacks empathy, coldly so.

Tinkobell Wed 06-Mar-19 10:50:39

Your SIL sounds like a good but broken woman OP. I would actually sit and talk to her. Tell her that she completely freaked you out taking the baby for 4 hours like that unagreed. You need to explain the feelings of panic and dread that she made you feel for everybody's safety - unintentionally, but that was the impact. Say you were close to hitting 999. I'd say she's got to go and get further counselling and support. Have her come visit and engage with the baby but not alone....not until she recognises that she needs help and actively tries to get it.

CaMePlaitPas Wed 06-Mar-19 10:54:35

I would be delighted if someone took one or either of my babies out for 4 hours but at the same time, would be very upset and stressed out if they were ignoring my calls.

I would understand if she was at the park with a young child or toddler that she's not looking at her phone but it's unacceptable that she (from what it sounds like) actively ignored phone calls from you and your DH.

This sounds harsh but her grief doesn't trump your daughter's security and your peace of mind. I would ask her if she's OK - grief is a very complex thing, reassure her, listen to her but I am unsure I would allow her to babysit at least for a while yet.

CaMePlaitPas Wed 06-Mar-19 11:15:02

Ah I'm sorry, my post lacked empathy, I thought she had a miscarriage, that must be bloody horrendous for your SIL - a terrible situation. Please encourage her to get the support she needs and I agree with a previous poster, supervised visits for the time being.

Ohnonotuagain Wed 06-Mar-19 11:17:36

It's a very sad situation for your brother and SIL but I do think you'd be right to not have her loom after your DD for a while. I imagine she is still grieving and isn't thinking clearly about how her actions would hurt you and worry you.

MimiSunshine Wed 06-Mar-19 11:26:58

There is absolutely no justification for taking a child of any age, let alone a newborn baby, out for 4 hours unagreed with a parent and not being contactable throughout that time.

Having formula doesn’t make it any better, it just means the baby was at least fed.

SILs grief and situation is awful but it doesn’t explain the behaviour or justify it.
You can have sympathy and understanding but doesn’t mean you have to accept her actions as ok.

If you haven’t already, I would speak to your brother and let him know that they are both still welcome and you want to continue to support them but those actions are a huge breach of trust and all visits will be ‘family occasions’ from now on I.e. supervised

Mmmhmmm Wed 06-Mar-19 11:31:02

I don't think being around your baby is helping her MH at all, she's obviously not thinking clearly.

She needs more counselling or a different counsellor if still going.

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