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To decline offer of childcare

(27 Posts)
Itssosunnyout Thu 20-Feb-20 05:40:54

My in laws want to babysit our LO which I have no issue with if it was around 2 hours but they want her for an entire day (10.5 hours) whilst me and OH are at work 2 days a month.

My mum normally has my LO on that day each week but she is physically able to.

Unfortunately my in laws are not in good health at all both had had cancer which has returned in the past year but thankfully through treatment are on remission. One has chronic fatigue syndrome , is on remission from cancer which has involved radiotherapy causing lasting health issues, constantly falling over and unable to get up and down from the floor with ease. Other GP has arthritis where they have infusions to manage pain which also cause them to have a very low immune system, fibromyalgia, sciatica and high on high rate disability due to all of this. If this GP gets a cold it wipes them out for weeks. They avoid going to the shops often in case they pick up a cold.

Aibu for saying that as much as they want LO who is a very active 1.5 year old they just aren't fit enough. 2/3 hours are fair enough but not 10.5 hours. My LO is at nursery and brings back constant colds which she lovingly passes to us.

They've never had any babysitting duties as I've not been confident that they are well enough and after our 3-4 hours visits where I manage looking after my daughter they are exhausted to the point they go to bed. Go says They struggle to get out of bed before 10am at times
They also have had to cancel A lot as an appointment has come up for their health, or my LO has a cold.

I feel really bad but my OH wants to give them a chance this time but I am worried that they physically can't do it for that long and it will impact their health. The colds issue is also huge as if my LO has a cold they can't see her, as soon as GP white cells go up they can't have infusions so end up in awful pain.

The other issue is that they have a dog and are a bit lax in supervision at times. My LO has to be constantly monitored as she wants to give love but is always too rough so the dog runs away. We are trying to work on this. The dog is a lapdog so requires a lot of attention and has separation anxiety If one of them goes out of the room for more than a few mins.

I'm saying no to such a long day bit OH says we should give them a chance. I want to give them a real bond with my LO but their health and other commitments have limited it and they get upset that my LO is so bonded with my mum but it's not through not trying with them.

phivephatphish Thu 20-Feb-20 05:44:35

There are a long list of reasons in your post not to use your in laws for childcare. It sounds like a nightmare. They don’t sound reliable for a start, which has got to be near the top of any childcare wish list.

Bluebell9 Thu 20-Feb-20 05:47:41

Would they been offended if you explained your worries to them?
If they've not looked after him before, maybe start with a few hours so they can see what it will be like. If they need to go to bed after a few hours, how do they think they'll last the whole day?

It's a difficult one as you need to be happy leaving your DS but don't want to offend your PIL but DSs safety and welfare needs to come first.

Sally872 Thu 20-Feb-20 05:48:04

Tell Dh you are thinking of parents health. Perhaps they have her for 2 hours on a non work day once a month and build up to 10.5 if they can.

MyOtherProfile Thu 20-Feb-20 05:58:26

How old is your child? I don't think the dog is an issue if it runs away- it can look afteritself. What I do think is an issue is that you say you wouldn't mind a couple of hours babysitting but not 10, and yet you've never let them do that. Start with a couple of hours while you get your hair cut or have coffe with a friend. They will see for themselves they couldn't manage more, I suspect.

Itssosunnyout Thu 20-Feb-20 05:58:52

Me and OH have decided we will chat to then about their health. I will look at easing in a but of time without us there but due to their health and as PP has said reliability of childcare I don't believe a 10.5 hour day is reasonable. Its hard as the commute to and from work is so long and we can't afford nursery as fees are so high here. But my mum doesnt live as far from work (15 mins) opposed to 1 hour and has no health issues apart that could cause any issues.

Now it's just my OH to get to understand. He rightly wants his parents to have the same bond that my mum has as she has been much more consistent.

Its really sad as they have longed for GC but their health has limited how muvh time they've been able to spend with her as she or they have been sickly.

Itssosunnyout Thu 20-Feb-20 06:04:06


LO is 18 months old.

They've not been able to look after her without me as they've openly said they go to bed after our visits and are shattered so we've not given them the opportunity.
This is why we will ask them to honestly speak about what they are able to do and then look to arrange a brew cover or for me and OH to go out for lunch to see if they can manage that.

Snaleandthewhail Thu 20-Feb-20 06:09:11

“Oh, it’s been such a long hard winter of snot, I really wouldn’t want to risk your health. Would love you to have her for a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon if she’s not shitty/you’re feeling up for it, we can play by ear”.

If your oh needs that spelling out in, cab you use your OP?

Snaleandthewhail Thu 20-Feb-20 06:10:16

Are they volunteering because they think the ought to rather than because they want to? Do you think they’d feel relief?

AJPTaylor Thu 20-Feb-20 06:11:39

Yanbu. I never left my dc with my in laws for the same reason. They adored our children but had a raft of health issues. I made up for this by making sure they saw plenty of them and also planned days out with them. These days out were hard work for me and dh but so worth it and the GPS loved them..

smeerf Thu 20-Feb-20 06:16:56

I think if in the future you do eventually work up to them having DC while you work (sounds like it's a long way off) and they cancel (which it sounds like would happen often) then it should be your OH's responsibility to take the day off work to cover, not yours. Seeing as he's the one pushing for this.

Itssosunnyout Thu 20-Feb-20 06:35:37

It's coming from them that they want that time. They've expressed this to my OH.

This will be our focus to spend time with them doing activities.

I will explore this with OH

Thank you all for your responses. I thought maybe I was being a bit too cut and dry when me and OH discussed it. Its been a couple of weeks and the discussions have weighed on me.

We will look to arrange a brew with the IL to discuss it.

BabyMoonPie Thu 20-Feb-20 06:46:25

Each set of grandparents look after DD for 1 day a week - they are early 70s and relatively fit. They openly say they are tired at the end of the day and go to bed early. As your child gets older they will get more active and need more attention and it sounds like your in laws just aren't up to it. It doesn't sound like a safe situation for any of them. Hopefully you can find other ways for them to spend time together

Aufgehts Thu 20-Feb-20 07:16:47

From what you're describing, even 2-3 hours sounds like too much.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 20-Feb-20 07:21:25

Let them have 2/3hrs one sat am while you and oh chill

Sure they will reliese how hard And not want a full days care

99problemsandthecatis1 Thu 20-Feb-20 07:28:03

If, after you've discussed it with them, they still want to do it I would let them. BUT I'd either have my mum on stand by, work from home etc for the day as I'd expect it to not work out. I'd also expect it would be a one off! I think they don't realise how exhausted they'll be.

Hepsibar Thu 20-Feb-20 07:35:41

It is a definite no no. But maybe there is a way round it. Maybe you if they live near, they could come to you for an afternoon or lunch once a week ... leaving the lap dog at home. They can all play safely then. Obv your other half should be involved in ensuring the comfort and engagement of parents and domestic chores, perhaps picking them up and dropping them back if necessary so as it doesnt all fall on you.

I would suggest once they get in a routine of coming to you it will all be very natural etc.

billy1966 Thu 20-Feb-20 07:47:39

Your husband's desire for them to have time together does not precede what's best for your young child.

His parents are patently not able.

He needs to focus on a regular slot at the weekend that they can spend time together.

I wouldn't engage in any real discussion about them covering a day, it's simply not feasible.

Focus positively on a time slot that will work for everyone at the weekend.

You are being perfectly reasonable OP.

Nanny0gg Thu 20-Feb-20 08:01:40

They dont need a 'chance'.

Your DC is not an experiment to see if it works out.

I'm perfectly healthy but I'm wiped out when DGC go home and there are a zillion reasons why it's impractical in your case.


reefedsail Thu 20-Feb-20 08:02:16

I think if you make it clear to your OH that every time it cant happen because his parents have an appointment or your DC has a cold then HE will have to take the day off work, he might go off the idea quite quickly.

Suze1621 Thu 20-Feb-20 08:12:00

This would not a sensible or practical arrangement and not in the interests of your daughter or your in laws. With regard to them having the same bond with your daughter as your mum, then the way to go is quality rather than quantity of time together. So planning simple play/activities, taking photos and posting these afterwards. Do they have any particular interests that they could share with your daughter as she gets a bit older - I fondly remember pottering in the garden with my grandad, learning to knit with my grandma and have a photo of me as a toddler stirring the christmas cake with my 90 year old great grandma.

MuddyPuddlesAndPrettyBubbles Thu 20-Feb-20 08:18:46

I left DC1 with my in laws, who have their own health issues, during a childcare emergency. DC1 was about a year old. I had been at work for one hour and they phoned me to come back because they couldn't cope. My own DM lives a long way from us and only sees us every 2/3 months, but she's fit and well and has had both DCs overnight.

Both sets of GPs have great relationships with my children and luckily DH and my ILs are sensible enough to know my ILs aren't fit to mind small kids. It just seems utterly unfeasible in your case and risky for everyone concerned.

I genuinely don't get this craze with GPs having small children alone for long periods of time. Neither of my sets of GPs did, and we had fantastic loving relationships with them.

Bella2020 Thu 20-Feb-20 08:28:30

Oh crikey. I can understand your concern. I'm 50 with Fibromyalgia and riddled with arthritis and couldn't take safe care of a toddler for an hour, let alone all day! I spend most of the day bed bound, knackeredvor fast asleep and/or in awful pain.

It must bad very hard for your ILs as they so want a strong bond with your daughter. I think a gentle discussion about your worries and maybe starting off with some shorter periods of them looking after her, with you at the end of the phone just in case? Hopefully this will be enough for them to feel a part of her life.

Danascully2 Thu 20-Feb-20 08:46:27

The 10.5 hour day for work childcare sounds like a completely mad idea. Even a few hours sounds like it will be pretty challenging. It might be different when she's older eg a 5 year old doesn't usually need lifting, can sit at a table and do puzzles/drawing etc rather than needing someone on the floor with them, can go to the toilet on their own, could be taught to use a phone for emergencies. Why don't you suggest you visit them for a few hours but wait in the garden/upstairs/in the cafe round the corner so they can phone you if they can't manage (depending on weather and layout of house).

Laiste Thu 20-Feb-20 08:50:50

after our 3-4 hours visits where I manage looking after my daughter they are exhausted to the point they go to bed. They struggle to get out of bed before 10am at times. They also have had to cancel A lot as an appointment has come up for their health, or my LO has a cold.

It's quite obvious it's bleedin' daft to think they could look after the child for a day.

The sensible thing is to gently explain (the obvious) that their health isn't up to it, but you appreciate they want time with DD. I'd make a firm arrangement for an accompanied weekly visit. Your DH can be the one to take her round some times so you're not both tied to the routine. I wouldn't be leaving her alone with them. I'd stay and take a back seat, but would definitely stick around.

A child isn't a thing which should be somehow 'shared out equally', by the way. What is in her best interests should be top priority with everyone else's wishes sorted out as best you can after that.

Good luck OP x

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