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To ask how my 3 year old is?

(70 Posts)
PJFaks Sun 07-Apr-19 01:23:50

Just want to know if I’m being OTT and need to get a grip here or if I’m the norm? I have a 3 year old DS. I work full time and he goes to nursery full time but until recently my MIL also had him 2 days a week. My MIL is very full on and often gives me constant updates of every tiny detail including bowl movements and lots of updates on when he has touched his ear etc “could be an infection” (she is a bit of a hypochondriac- another thread!) and the nursery often post photos of the children on a closed Facebook group of what they are up to most days. So although my MIL’s updates are a bit too detailed I am used to and happy with getting updates about DS when I’m not with him.
My own DM has DS overnight maybe once every 2 months whenever DP and I have a night to ourselves. If I text her once throughout the night to casually ask how he is she usually replies quite shortly with something like “hes fine!! Enjoy your night and stop your worrying!! He’s very well looked after here”. I know she means well completely and I know he is being well looked after. But I now feel I can’t casually ask how he is and that she could be taking me asking as a dog at her- which it is absolutely not. I also feel it is possible to still ‘enjoy my night’ and ask once how he is? Especially if he has been under the weather slightly which he has been the last few days? My DM and MIL are polar opposites and one extreme to the other.
Am I just too used to getting updated on my kid? Am I being reasonable to ask how my 3 year old is or do I need to get a grip and not ask at all?! I don’t want constant updates just 1 would be fine.

SneakyGremlins Sun 07-Apr-19 01:25:49

She's your mother! Of course shed tell you if something was up. She just wants you to enjoy your evening! I think your MIL updates you too much, personally.

WonkoTheSane42 Sun 07-Apr-19 01:25:49

She’s trying to give you the night off. Do you not think she’d contact you if there was something wrong?

RubberTreePlant Sun 07-Apr-19 01:29:09

Just reply "I always enjoy my night better after I've checked in with you about him". And ask specific questions if you want to know specific things.

BadPennyNoBiscuit Sun 07-Apr-19 01:29:26

I thought that ''hes fine!! Enjoy your night and stop your worrying!! '' was nice but then it looks like she thinks you are being critical.
Its totally normal to want to touch base once in the evening. Can you talk to her about other things or does she get defensive generally?

Mammyloveswine Sun 07-Apr-19 01:31:33

I long for my parents to have my 3 and 1 year old overnight.... chill and enjoy it

PJFaks Sun 07-Apr-19 01:39:50

Oh yer I agree my MIL definitely updates me too much. I have often been in work wondering what to reply to the ‘very smelly poo’ or the 5th ‘he has a very runny nose’ text that just aren’t completely necessary when I’m working. But I do appreciate the sentiment and at least I know how he is. But seriously 1-2 texts on how he is/what they’ve done is fine. Same as one post on Facebook including a photo of DS in amongst his classmates makes my day. I know he is happy and I can go about my day in work knowing this.
My DM looks after my DB’s 2 young children every weekend. His ex, their DM has 2 other kids to another partner and I doubt very much she (or my DB tbf) ever ever ask how they are whether they have been sick or not once they are there. So maybe she is not used to asking and I am just not used to not being told. I may try and talk to her and tell her I’m not criticising her whatsoever it’s just me casually asking how my son is. I suppose though once he’s in school I won’t get updates so will have to deal with it!

sleepylittlebunnies Sun 07-Apr-19 01:54:18

I don’t know, it sounds like your MIL was doing 2 full days of childcare a week so maybe felt you might need to know a bit more. My mum never phoned or messaged me as I work nights so when she had the DC it was so I could sleep in the day, but she would give me a handover including bowels, food and drink, nap, what they’d done and behaviour etc.

For occasional babysitting I wouldn’t expect it. Maybe you could just explain to your mum that you get a bit anxious and would be able to relax and enjoy your night if you know he’s settled. Suggest she texts you with a simple DS’s eaten well, had a play and he’s asleep now after a bedtime story, enjoy your night off. That way she won’t feel so defensive.

I must admit I don’t ever ask if mine have been sick, they aren’t sickly kids and if they had been sick my mum would just tell me.

RedHatsDoNotSuitMe Sun 07-Apr-19 02:14:27

Obvs what they (pps) have said. But, I'd just say that if I was a MN viper, I'd tell you that you were being totally U, and completely controlling and that you were incredibly lucky in terms of the support you get, which many on here don't and that you just needed to unclench.

Luckily for you, I'm NOT a MN viper (and hopefully my post has put them off)

So I'm going to add to what RubberTreePlant with a specific example... I had a DD who would always come out of school and say "fine", no matter what the question. And the only exception to this would be the week her class had an assembly and I was involved (in helping her practice her lines or helping with costume/props). And where I knew the situation better, I knew the questions to ask. So instead of "how was your day?" or "Who did you play with" (which both got me non-answers) I'd ask "did you practice today" or "was the annoying child who's pissing you off [I'm paraphrasing!] annoy you today?"
And I realized these kind of questions got me MUCH better answers.

It'll be the same with you, OP. Stop sending messages like "how's it going?" and replace them with "what did DC eat for dinner?" or "did DC muck you around at bedtime?" or "how many stories did you have to read?"
Think about the question you want answering and then ask a specific question.

dreichuplands Sun 07-Apr-19 02:27:34

Honestly you are making something out of nothing as regards your dm. Be grateful that she will give you a break and look after ds for you. Unless you think you weren't parented safely by her in which case fair enough.
A professional babysitter wouldn't give you the level on info you expect unless you asked them to.

dreichuplands Sun 07-Apr-19 02:28:38

Sorry redhats

Redskyandrainbows67 Sun 07-Apr-19 02:30:54

If you wanted to know how your 3 year old is - look after him yourself!!
Do you actually spend any time with him or do you outsource it all?

CheshireChat Sun 07-Apr-19 02:40:17

Ignore the twat.

Maybe ask specific questions like a PP suggested- so stuff like 'is he still running a fever' or 'is his leg ok'?

PJFaks Sun 07-Apr-19 02:44:45

Haha Jesus Christ! redsky I’m sorry but are you joking?! I work full time but flexi time to purposely revolve around my son so that I can be there for him as much as is physically possible whilst bringing in as much money as I can to support my family. He is my absolute world. Myself and my DP have very little time to ourselves as we are ships in the night providing for our family, and therefore my DM has him now and again so we have that opportunity. I am VERY grateful for this. I’m sorry if you or anyone else doesn’t have this privilege and I’m well aware a lot don’t and count my lucky stars. But my post was about my casual enquires as to how my son is whilst I am having a very well earned break- (NOT to trigger anyone) - which ALL parents are entitled to whether they have the luxury of having it or not. There’s always one hmm

CheshireChat Sun 07-Apr-19 02:51:18

I think redsky misread your post actually as had a look at her posting history and it looks absolutely fine. Only checked because apparently there were loads of issues earlier and was wondering if it needs flagging up

clairemcnam Sun 07-Apr-19 02:51:48

I suspect it has not even occurred to your mother to give detailed updates about poo and other things. I worked in nurseries in the past and we did not give detailed updates. It is a fairly recent thing. I admit if I was your mum it would not even occur to me to text you about poos or anything else, unless there was a problem.

IAmAPersonToo Sun 07-Apr-19 02:53:10

I know what you mean op and yanbu.

I have two ends of the spectrum (although my mum isn’t as ott as yours).

If my mum has my youngest and I text to ask how he is she’ll reply with ‘he’s having a great time! Been good as gold and has just eaten his body weight in pasta! Him and ds1 are playing blocks, it’s so sweet!’ (Or similar). She knows that if anything is wrong with the dc she needs to call me (in the middle of the night or whatever) and has once before...knowing she will makes no contact from her ok and comforting iyswim?

MIL on the other hand shoos me away and almost point blank refuses to answer questions (general, rare ‘how’s everything?’ questions). She’ll say ‘fine! I have done this before you know!’ or ‘he’s leave the kids to me, don’t worry’.

She’s also said before she’d only call if one of the dc got sick if they needed A&E or something. It was impossible to explain that she needed to call us, as parents, before it progressed and we needed to be sure of that before feeling comfortable in leaving them.

It makes me very uncomfortable and as a result I rarely leave the dc with her (she asks btw, I’m not dumping you them there) and would choose other options first if I could.

I don’t think it’s unreasonable or controlling to want to have an open dialogue about the wellbeing of your child with the person caring for them.

PJFaks Sun 07-Apr-19 02:59:49

I don’t want updates on poo etc. I find that very unnecessary and is something my MIL takes upon herself to update me on. I find it difficult to know what to reply to that. With my one DM it is a simple response to my text I am after as to how he is. But I take on loads the PP’s about the more specific questions and that’s a very good point. I’m probably being too vague. As I said I don’t want any massively detailed or constant updates. I just don’t want to feel like I’m annoying or bothering her by simply asking how he is.

I’m not sure how what you mean about redskys previous issues. But if there are any that I may have touched on then that wasn’t my intention.

PJFaks Sun 07-Apr-19 03:01:02

Autocorrect is a bitch.

It’s my own DM and I take it on board

Redskyandrainbows67 Sun 07-Apr-19 03:19:22

Er I don’t have ‘previous issues’?!

I guess op to me it comes across that your relationship to your son is akin to that of an Instagram follower - so long as you are getting a text or two a day of what he’s eaten, what he’s done etc you are happy. If your mum sent you a picture of him smiling playing playdough it sounds like it would apease you. But this isn’t actually knowing or spending time with your son - it’s ‘candy floss’ interaction and pretty meaningless especially to him who can’t even see the texts or know you are enquiring about him.

That’s probably what your mum is thinking - you left him here for a BREAK so get one.

I do actually leave my kids with my family every now and then but limit my interaction to ‘are they ok’? I basically get ‘yes’ back and I’m happy with that because I usually know all the minute details of their life myself and know how they are feeling etc. Getting a picture of them playing play dough is meaningless and not proper parenting.

Yes you deserve a break and it’s good to prioritise your marriage. But - you have to accept that when you have left your son you’ve left him and you can’t patch up parenting by proxy on texts and email.

Redskyandrainbows67 Sun 07-Apr-19 03:23:32

And it’s not like she’s not reassuring you he’s ok - she is. She just isn’t providing you with sufficient detail for the ‘Instagram post’

Redskyandrainbows67 Sun 07-Apr-19 03:43:02

And ps sorry if my first post was a bit harsh - it is 3am and I’m not sleeping!!

Oysterbabe Sun 07-Apr-19 04:02:49

He's fine seems like a perfectly reasonable answer to me. What do you want to know?

ItsSomeKindOfWonderful Sun 07-Apr-19 04:05:21

I think you are being a bjt U.

That is the exact message I would receive from my mother or even from one of the girls from the nursery if they've babysat our DC. You're meant to be having a night off and that's what she is trying to give you. I have full trust that if my DC were not ok they would contact and tell me. If they want to tell me the minute details (poos, wees, what's been eaten etc) they can do that at handover. I think you're making a mountain out of a molehill.

Sculpin Sun 07-Apr-19 05:04:20

Personally I think it’s fine to receive no updates. I’d assume no news is good news! But I guess if it’s really bothering you you could try chatting to your mum about it.

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