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Not wanting DD to stay with grandparents

(124 Posts)
greenfrog21 Tue 19-Mar-19 05:09:01

DD1 is 3 (4 in May). DD2 is 8 months. My PiL (in their 70s) have just announced that as DD1 will be starting school in September and “that will be it until she’s 18”, they want to see her once per week next term. They live 2 hours’ drive / train away and want to collect DD1 by train after nursery mid-week, take her to their house, and drive her back the following evening.

I loathe the idea, for a number of reasons:
- I love the time that I have with DD1 (even meal times and taking / collecting her from nursery) and don’t want to give it up

- I do not like her staying overnight away from me, particularly that far away (she has stayed overnight at PiL once before, when I and DH were staying in a hotel nearby); she still comes into our bed every night

- I’m uncomfortable with FiL driving her that distance every week

- I will need to take DD1 out of her lovely nursery one day per week (reducing her number of days from 3 to 2)

- After a difficult period when DD2 was born, I have settled into a good daily routine with DD1 and DD2, which makes everyone happy, and I am reluctant to disturb it

- She is exhausted after nursery and I don’t think she will want to spend 2 hours travelling without me to stay somewhere without me

- I hate that PiL seem to think they have a right to do whatever they like with DD1

I have suggested that, instead, PiL come up to London for a day each week and take DD1 out, but they are insisting that they entertain DD1 on their own turf (they live in the country and don’t like London) and don’t want to spend 8 hours travelling in a day to do that.

By contrast, my DPs live 3 hours away and frequently come up for the day to spend time with DDs.

DH thinks it’s important for DD1 to spend time with others who love her, away from her parents. He’s happy for her to go, and thinks IABU (particularly with not wanting her to stay overnight), although equally thinks his parents are being unreasonable not wanting to come up for the day.

AIBU? How can I stop this from happening?!

YesimstillwatchingNetflix Tue 19-Mar-19 05:12:39

YANBU. You have completely valid reasons for not doing it.

I wouldn't agree to that, it's too disruptive. I would also take issue with the fact that it seems to be an expectation rather than a request.

Palace13 Tue 19-Mar-19 05:19:30

No, that's excessive and disruptive. You have every right to say No. I'm a Grandma as well as a mum, and I hear a lot of pushy grandparents wanting the GC "on their own". I don't see the need for it. And then they wonder why the mum gets a bit defensive!
If they really want regular contact they need to fit in with what works for your family rather than trying to dictate to you

SnapesGreasyHair Tue 19-Mar-19 05:20:16

Every week!! Far to much when it's that distance away. Maybe once a month. My DC went to my parents once a month and they live over an hour away. Felt we had the right balance and ultimately everyone was happy with the arrangement

maras2 Tue 19-Mar-19 05:24:04

I've never heard such nonsense and I say that as a very hands on Grandma.
Sounds like you have a great routine with your family so just tell the PIL's that you don't want it disrupted.
I can't see that arrangement lasting, PIL's will soon get fed up and DD will be the one upset.
Try to get your husband on side, I don't think he's thought it through properly.
Best of luck. Mx.

Palace13 Tue 19-Mar-19 05:25:08

P.S. and I do have my little GC overnight every few weeks, but it's when their mums have asked me to do so for a night out. It's not something I insist on myself!

userwithnumbers Tue 19-Mar-19 05:32:59

Often I think people on here are a little precious when it comes to their child seeing their in laws, but absolutely not in this case. How bloody ridiculous.
Never mind your in laws though, why does you dh think this ludicrous plan is okay?

Wallywobbles Tue 19-Mar-19 05:33:05

My DDs have court ordered contact with their GM (not in UK). They have 30 days a year. When they were small that felt huge and scary. Now they're teens it's ok and sometimes it a good thing.

If you can make it work for you find a way to do so. But it needs to work for you.

Phillipa12 Tue 19-Mar-19 05:34:13

You stop this from happening by just saying no. If one parent is unhappy with whats been suggested then it dosent happen, end off.

stayathomer Tue 19-Mar-19 05:39:01

Can you tell them you'll bring her down to visit as in one day? I'm not Great for saying no to people, but I would to this just say you can't you'd miss her too much. You'll hear about it for a long time but block it out!!

UbbesPonytail Tue 19-Mar-19 05:46:23

My in-laws live an hour away. Since DD started school they’ve had her to stay in the holidays. We started at one night but now she’s 8 she stays for two.

However, after an emergency when she was three and they had to have her for a few days, I knew she was ok staying on her own and actually their relationship has blossomed, and their understanding of her as a person too.

But I still feel pangs of panic especially around her being driven by anyone other than me, DH and my dad. I know that’s a bit silly but I know I wouldn’t cope with what’s being asked of you.

And, it also irks me that they make little to no effort to see her otherwise unless asked. But they’re very friends focussed and I’ve always known that. They were the same when DH and his siblings were small. (The flip side of that is I’m quite impressed by how they have such strong identities outside of being parents.)

In your situation, I’d say that I’m not pulling her out of nursery, but will try an overnight in half term and if that goes well then she can come for one overnight in the school holidays and if they want to see her more then they can visit for dinner/weekend.

Weekly how they’re proposing is going to be exhausting for your DD and disruptive at a time when she needs to start getting used to the routine of school.

babyworry2018 Tue 19-Mar-19 05:51:09

I think what they're proposing is utterly ridiculous- that level of access wouldn't be unusual for a non resident parent, it's insane for grandparents. Also so soon after she gets a new sibling I'd be worried in case she thinks you're sending her away to spend time alone with her younger sibling.

No way I'd agree to that. You're her mother- try to get DH on side but otherwise put your foot down. This isn't just about you I really think that amount of time away from her parents would be negative. Agree with others one or two nights at holidays as a special treat sounds much better as a way to achieve what they want.

greenfrog21 Tue 19-Mar-19 06:01:27

Thank you all. This is really helpful and makes me feel much more confident. DH thinks my arguments can be overcome- he thinks I’m being illogical not wanting DD1 to go away overnight so regularly with people who will obviously look after her; he generally thinks I’m too wedded to routine; and he doesn’t have a great understanding of child emotions. I think he also feels stuck in the middle - not wanting to piss off his parents or his wife. I’m struggling to convince him it’s not a good idea but, as you say, if it comes to it, i’ll just have to put my foot down.

Kaleela Tue 19-Mar-19 06:02:37

I'd be saying no purely for the attitude behind their request. Stuff that

FrancesHaHa Tue 19-Mar-19 06:12:26

No way is what they are asking ok. They are being very rigid about what they want (when they could come and spend the day with you) which really isn't best for your DD.

You shouldn't have to justify saying no, but one thing you could say is that her nursery days are a really important routine in preparation for school.

My DD never stayed with in laws at that age but now she's older has started to stay a few nights in the school holidays. This has worked well now she's a bit more independent and able to manage being away from us.

Your DD has years of childhood yet, don't see why they need to rush to spend this time with her, which would clearly be too much too soon

RoseGoldEagle Tue 19-Mar-19 06:13:28

Two hours away, every week, on two consecutive days? Your DD will be exhausted! If you’re generally happy with them looking after her (and more importantly she is too- and she’s happy with an overnight stay)- I’d maybe say you could try every 6 weeks or so, but every week is crazy, it would be way too disruptive for DD

ThatFalseEquivalenceTho Tue 19-Mar-19 06:13:49

Erm, no.

You can stop it by telling Nursery not to allow them to pick her up. They have zero legal rights to do so.

Mummyoflittledragon Tue 19-Mar-19 06:16:08

This plan has disaster written all over it. Far too young to travel after a full day at nursery. Your dd will probably fall asleep on the train perhaps following an almighty tantrum, awaken confused then be awake half the night wanting her parents. Then their suggestion will be to pick your dd up from nursery after lunch and they will claw more time for them without regard for your dd. Then after one or two difficult episodes or when they get ill, they’ll decide it’s too much and leave you unable to work for 1 1/2 days because your dds nursery place has been filled. Cue more disruption and a very confused and upset dd as you find alternative care. Just no.

Perhaps suggest they come down once a month or choose an appropriate frequency and stay overnight either at yours or in a hotel if there’s no room. They can take your dd out for the day then.

SnuggyBuggy Tue 19-Mar-19 06:17:17

I laugh in their face. It's ridiculously entitled. Children are not dolls for the extended family to get their share of.

toomuchtooold Tue 19-Mar-19 06:17:24

he generally thinks I’m too wedded to routine

I'm guessing you do the lion's share of childcare? I wonder how he would feel if he had to regularly deal with the consequences of two overtired kids who don't want to eat their dinner. My in-laws were like this, they used to moan gently enquire as to whether I could be persuaded to mess with the kids' routines for this or that family gathering and be a bit miffed when I said no. (Then DMIL would turn round to SIL and comment that my kids were so much better sleepers than hers and she thought about getting them into a routine, which really promoted family harmony as you can imagine)

user1480880826 Tue 19-Mar-19 06:19:48

She is your daughter, they can’t just decide that they’re taking her away from you. As you say, it’s also a very long journey after nursery when she will be tired.

Have you asked your daughter if she likes the idea?

Blondebakingmumma Tue 19-Mar-19 06:20:00

One night a week is too often. Maybe one night a month to start with and then once she feels more confident staying away from you, two nights in a row every 4-5 weeks.
No way would I be separated from one of my kids one night a week

Blondebakingmumma Tue 19-Mar-19 06:20:37

Also, were you asked permission or informed of the new arrangements?

YesimstillwatchingNetflix Tue 19-Mar-19 06:27:21

@greenfrog21 my husband struggles with feeling 'stuck in the middle' between wife and parents as well. But I've told that I'm not parenting via committee- GP don't get a vote. there aren't two sides to the debate because I don't recognise their right to have a 'side' and certainly not a view that should be given the same weight as mine.

They've raised their children. Now you're raising yours. If grandparents fit in with you then lovely. But I don't hold with contorting everything around for the amusement of grandparents. Children are not pizzas to be sliced up and passed around.

user1493413286 Tue 19-Mar-19 06:28:45

You stop it from happening by just saying no.
When saying no I’d focus on what’s in your DDs best interests and say it’s too much driving to do every week and she’ll miss too much nursery which is supposed to be getting her ready for school so could effect that.
Could you compromise and let her stay there a couple of times within that period? However if you think she’s too little to be so far away then just say that. This is also your time with her before she starts school.
I think they’re being quite ridiculous really as there will be plenty of opportunities in the school holidays.

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