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Child care by grandparents not working out

(184 Posts)
Onlyforthis2 Tue 21-Jan-20 06:47:31

Long time lurker, first time poster. Signed up to give one person advice, hense the username, but find myself needing to ask opinions.

My mum and dad have very kindly provided free childcare one day a week since November when I increased my hours at work. When the arrangement came about DH and I agreed that we would only increase my hours if we could afford nursery for that extra day should grandparents childcare fall through. All good.
As much as it works well for us, my parents love having DS once a week and frankly don't shut up about it the rest of the week either! Which makes this next bit even more difficult.

Yesterday, got home from work to find DS over tired and all in a fuss. Fine, annoying for me but take it he's had fun with them so just deal with it. Then find DM is patting DS on the bum using more force than I was comfortable with and playfully saying 'naughty'. I straight away said no we don't pat like that or use the word naughty. The patting especially alarmed me for some reason. Anyway, DS then slaps me on the face and DM on the back. So I explain to DS that we don't hit and explain to DM that that DS doesn't know the difference between a pat and a hit so me telling him not to hit and them patting him will be confusing. They seemed to understand. It did bring back some awful memories for me being punished with a slap as a child though and I felt uneasy.

Then find out DS routine was all out of sorts, having lunch 2 hours late, sleeping in his buggy (explains the over tiredness, sleep was not long enough and of poor quality) due to DM deciding she had things to do in town and dragging DS around with her.
DM has in the past not fed DS enough despite me preportioning (leftovers) because she didn't feel he needed it. Has slapped DS hand when he bit her once. DF has also tried to force parenting styles on me and Dh a few times too.

I feel I should just stop it and put DS in nursery the extra day. It's an additional 200 pound a month for us but is there really a price on your kids being somewhere you have no doubts about?

So my AIBU is more of a WWYD.
Would you use nursery for those days?
Trial DS in nursery the extra day for a while to see if behaviour and routine improves?
And how on earth do I sack my parents?! They're the types to hold a grudge and I will have other family on the phone within minutes asking how I could be so mean.
Please help!
DS is 16 months if that's relevant

Dyrne Tue 21-Jan-20 06:53:29

The routine thing could probably be overlooked or worked around, but the hitting and withholding food would be unforgivable, in my mind. It sounds like your parents struggle dealing with him all day so regularly, and don’t know how to deal with him. Fair enough, not everyone can, so absolutely send him to nursery for the extra day. Your child’s health and happiness is far more important than your parents’ disappointment; and I think it speaks volumes that you are expecting emotional abuse to come of it. Don’t subject your son to that for much longer.

Nanny0gg Tue 21-Jan-20 06:57:59

Can you word it so you say you want them to be grandparents and not childminders? And make sure you see them regularly to make up for it?
And maybe let them have him for a couple of hours every now and again?
How old are they?

Cherrysoup Tue 21-Jan-20 06:59:03

Tricky but I think essential. I don’t think leaving him with them is an option.

Thehop Tue 21-Jan-20 06:59:24

“I really don’t mind you ignoring his routine, I can deal with the extra pressure of him being grumpy and overtired but, the ignoring portions and punishing him/teaching him unwanted behaviour is really bothering me. You love him and he loves you so we’d like to keep up with you spending time with him, but it would be easier for him and us with working if he had that day at nursery.”

Or you could say you feel guilty for them having the pressure as he gets older? That nursery say he’s more settled with the extra day?

stripeypillowcase Tue 21-Jan-20 07:00:02

the hitting - and that's what the 'patting' is - is the biggie for me. use the nursery an extra day.

PermanentTemporary Tue 21-Jan-20 07:02:10

I would have some sort of 'issue' for the next couple of weeks - nursery key worker day swaps or something, or you needing a day off for a doctor's appointment or something. Give yourselves a bit of time to think. As for the 'meanness', just be honest - say you like grandparents to be grandparents not carers and theyve earned the fun parts.

Tink1990 Tue 21-Jan-20 07:03:54

Go with your instinct and send him to nursery. You'll end up worrying at work and, honestly, it just isn't worth it.

NC4this123 Tue 21-Jan-20 07:05:41

I think it’s wrong to expect people to follow all your ‘rules’ when providing free child care, tbh even paid childcare! Unless you use a childminder or nursery with no children your child would have to fit into their routine and what suits all the kids on a whole not what suits you. If they have actually HIT your child fair enough but you said you explained about the patting and they understood? So what’s the problem ? I think you are the problem with your anal parenting.

Onlyforthis2 Tue 21-Jan-20 07:05:46

Great advice so far, thank you!
I will say I have a day off for the docs next week and then will book him in as of Feb I think. Reasoning will have to be that he's getting older and more testing and he is more settled on nursery days

blackcat86 Tue 21-Jan-20 07:06:45

Your gut feeling is telling you something is wrong and you should listen to it. I have the same issue with the PIL and DD (17 months) and they I am dreading telling them I am putting DD in nursery for 'their 2 days'. However, she isnt happy and I'm feeling anxious about her being there. Her happiness and wellbeing is more important than their feelings and sense of entitlement over her. I suspect the same is true for you. One day PIL will be gone and I will be answerable to adult DD for the choices I made throughout her life and how they impacted on her.

cptartapp Tue 21-Jan-20 07:12:25

We paid thousands for nursery for two. Didn't begrudge a penny, and as parents get older and more demanding we're beholden to nobody.
Family response is irrelevant to your parenting decision. Your loyalty is to your DC.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 21-Jan-20 07:12:38

I’d use the nursery too, they haven’t changed their child rearing style since they had you have they?.

Bluerussian Tue 21-Jan-20 07:13:20

Good Onlyforthis. I wouldn't worry about 'routine' for one day a week but would object to smacking. Tbh I think it is unusual for grandparents to smack despite them having smacked their own children. I can't imagine my mum or my in laws doing that even if it was done in their day. It's just not right - please explain that to them and then put your plan for extra day at nursery into practice.

lowlandLucky Tue 21-Jan-20 07:19:40

They must have been the worst parents in the world, so why did you ever leave your child with them? Did you have therapy to get over the trauma of being raised by them ?

Readordead Tue 21-Jan-20 07:26:15

as parents get older and more demanding we're beholden to nobody.
That’s nice

MrsEricBana Tue 21-Jan-20 07:35:24

Agree, nursery more and just see them for social visits. Better for ds, you and your parents.

Straycatstrut Tue 21-Jan-20 07:48:17

If you can afford Nursery it's the obvious way forward. I wish I could!

I'd be totally honest about why. You need to say something otherwise you'll have to be doing supervised contact with them and they'll obviously notice.

I made it clear with my parents, shouting, threatening, being rough in anyway is completely unacceptable with my boys. I also have flashbacks of all that and I grew up with social anxiety. Not doing that to them.

YouJustDoYou Tue 21-Jan-20 07:51:13

Routine tends to go to pot a bit anyway in childcare - they don't always eat their lunch, won t nap etc. But the slapping and hitting etc is utterly unacceptable.

Thestrangestthing Tue 21-Jan-20 07:57:01

OK, for a start she patted his bum, she did not slap him so he wasn't hurt, and she took it on board when you told her not to. I'm pretty sure she isn't with holding food, parhaps your ds didn't want it. I have looked after children who are being over fed to the point it's unhealthy, sometimes children just eat because its in front of them. Oh and good luck finding any other childcare that will be able to follow your exact routine.
You have written that in a way to make it sound like they are starving your child, and slapping him about.

TabbyMumz Tue 21-Jan-20 07:59:04

You have to ask yourself what would you have been doing with your child that day. Would you never ever go out of routine, and take him to the shops. Would he never sleep in the buggy? Ultimately you have to ask yourself are you prepared to out put up with these things if you arent happy with them. If you arent you then decide is it bad enough to change it, or put up with it.

dottiedodah Tue 21-Jan-20 07:59:11

They sound old fashioned really .I always think you if you dont feel happy in a situation then to trust your gut feeling .At 16 months he is probably getting more energetic ,and as head towards 18 months/2 years will probably become quite hard work for an older couple .They probably think well we looked after you OK so whats the problem? However they are older and have less patience and will tire more easily .I would just say that its probably easier right now for DS to attend Nursery ,and he needs to be there a little more now as there are other children to play with and he needs the extra stimulation .

GiveHerHellFromUs Tue 21-Jan-20 08:02:07

100% put him into nursery. The naps thing is fine - DD goes to GPs once a week and doesn't nap well there - fine. She's occupied and happy, just gets a bit grumpy around bedtime.

If they were to start hitting, telling her she's naughty or withholding food that'd be then end of that arrangement.

SmileyClare Tue 21-Jan-20 08:02:49

Why not set out some non negotiable rules with your parents? No hitting to discipline DS seems to be the one that stands out.

Not keeping to a routine isn't the end of the world. It's likely that your parents will settle into DS' natural routine because it's also easier for them if your ds is secure, not over tired etc. I would give that time.

Sorry but "pre portioning" food for your DS seems a little PFB! They won't starve him and he'll let them know if he's hungry.

It's hard to tell if you actually think your parents are abusive or you're just annoyed because ds came home over tired with some left overs in his snack pot.
If you can trust your parents to not smack now you've explained that to them then I see no reason not to give this more time.

Vulpine Tue 21-Jan-20 08:05:02

So a round of pat-a-cakes is out then hmm

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