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AIBU to have signed DS up for day care...

(14 Posts)
feralgirl Fri 17-Jul-09 20:07:14

OK the story is this:

I went back to work three weeks ago when DS was 7mo. My retired parents spend two days with DS and DH does two but the MiL wanted to be involved and this is where the problem lies.

On Fridays DH takes DS over to MiL at 10.30, she looks after DS until 2.30 (when she goes to work) then drops him with my parents who bring him back to my house for when I get home from work at 4.00. This basically means that both his naps get interrupted and he gets passed between 4 people during the course of the day.

On the first day she had him, she only offered him one small bottle of EBM for the whole time she had him (it should have been at least two feeds as we split his lunchtime one). Today she gave him one small bottle of formula and didn't offer either of the two bottles of EBM that I'd sent which meant I had to ditch it angry He's had a total of 1.5 hours naps for the whole day and was shattered. Last time he kept me awake feeding for the whole night and I just know it's going to be the same tonight...

DS has a stinking cold and we asked MiL if she could come to our place to look after him today (which is what my parents have been doing for three weeks anyway, to ease him in) in order to minimise stress for him and she said no.

When I was on mat leave, we used to go to a baby group on Friday mornings and I asked her if she would continue to take him and she said no.

I asked DH a couple of days ago if we could put DS into our (fab) local day care one day a week and he hit the roof. It's not just for this reason that I want DS to go; we have no plan B in case my parents are ill for e.g. My dad was proper ill last week and it meant that we had to rearrange everything and DH had to take time off unpaid.

I raised it again today and DH got angry angry angry but finished his rant by saying, "do what you fucking want, I don't care". So I've booked DS in. I was genuinely being adult and cool about it but he has some fairly major anger issues and we are having some big marital probs at the moment anyway...

DH isn't home yet and I know he's going to go nuts as he was obviously just saying that he didn't care to shut me up. So my questions are:
(a) AIBU?
(b) How should I deal with DH?
(c) How do I tell the MiL?

slowreadingprogress Fri 17-Jul-09 20:13:06

weeeelll, I know you won't like this but I think you might need to give it more time with your MIL.

i have been there - my MIL didn't always do things the way I would and would insist on taking him out to numerous friends and exhausting him, nothing majorly wrong but enough to stress me. however we have persisted with our one day a week and it is the only thing that has given she and ds a real relationship; on Weds he told me how much he looks forward to seeing her on a Thursday.....

it's another layer to his lovely family relationships and no it's not ideal in that she is chalk and cheese with me in her approach but ds loves her and I could so very easily have cut her out by giving her 'day' over to childminder or something.

I think your ds is very young and it's very easy to act hastily when it's not your own family who of course fit easier and have similar approaches often...

I guess your DH feels understandably embarrassed that you're taking his mother out of the equation? If you're determined though on not having her, perhaps you could explain to DH that on the two days he looks after your dd, that he can involve his mum lots etc?

ScummyMummy Fri 17-Jul-09 20:37:52

Is this arrangement in its early days? I think I'd leave things as they are to settle down for a while, if so but keep reminding everyone, including yourself, that it's an alternative option. It's always stressful going back to work and getting into a new routine so everyone might feel better in a month or two. Alternatively everyone could be in agreement that you need another arrangement! MIL/dh are pretty much bound to feel offended if mil's day is the only one that is jettisoned, I'm afraid. Can dh deal with mil and tell her what you both expect in terms of your boy's care, rather than you getting caught in the middle?

Sorry to hear about dh's anger issues.sad Has that always been a problem or is it the stress of a young 1st baby? Not that that is an excuse. Do you guys get much time alone together?

Judy1234 Fri 17-Jul-09 20:41:09

You've done it now and it will probably be more reliable. He can share care with his motehr if she doesn't work on the two days the child's father looks after the child. Also most grandparents deserve a break and at their age it's not fair for them to be constant and reliable back up particularly if you have a job that matters and you need the money. The grandparents can be the back up when the child is too sick for nursery. We always had a daily nanny at home and that worke dfine and was cheaper for 3 children under 4 than 4 nursery places.

mumblecrumble Fri 17-Jul-09 20:45:05

She threw away breast milk?!!?!!??! that would make me very angry


I think plan B issue is worht nurserying for but maybe keep up mil for a little while. Talk with her. SHe' s probably a bit unsure too.

wonderingwondering Fri 17-Jul-09 20:51:27

If you have parents/in-laws who want to look after you child, do think carefully before jettisoning it.

My parents took DS when I went back to work, and I was quite anti my MIL having my (PFB) DS, and was pretty hacked off when she didn't do things the way I wanted. In fact we had our one and only argument over the fact that I'd been home for ages before she brought him back.

But anyway. We got past the first few months - MIL wanted to do things 'right' just as much as I wanted DS to be happy/fed/well rested. It was a big adjustment for all of us, and we sorted it all out.

Six years on, my parents aren't well enough to look after my children (I now have 2), my MIL is my saviour. I don't 'have' to work (financially), but I was going up the wall being a full-time SAHM.

So MIL has my children while I work. It means if they are a bit poorly, or had a bad night, she can still look after them as they get the one-to-one care. And she can stay a bit late if I'm held up. And she can stay at my house if needs be - your MIL prob wants to get used to having your DS before being in an unfamiliar house, too.

I'm not criticising paid-for childcare, nor am I saying every grandparent is the ideal childcare choice. But do think about the pros and cons in a less emotional way before making a decision. And do give it a few weeks/months of being back at work to see how things settle, it does take time for everyone to adjust.

wonderingwondering Fri 17-Jul-09 20:53:30

And I shamelessly gave a 'schedule' (typed!!) with bottles and food (labelled!). Which I know made me look bit barmy, but it made me feel better and at least MIL (and my own mum) knew what the usual routine was. I suspect, looking back, that some of the finer points may have been disregarded!

hairymelons Fri 17-Jul-09 21:11:24

Not unreasonable at all to want to find the best childcare situation for your son.
It's a wierd dynamic with the MIL too. I had issues with her doing things differently when my son was little but he's 12 months now so feeds, etc, aren't such an issue.
A few things spring to mind though- in my case, it was always when I was pissed off with my OH (which has been often since we had a baby!) that my MIL wound me up. She sort of became the enemy and everything she did properly got my goat! If your relationship with her is fraught to begin with, it's going to be hard to trust her with taking care of your child. In which case, you may be better off using the day care place.
Second, going back to work is always stressful. Our regular childcare arrangements were a fantastic nursery and my OH but it was still difficult leaving him with other people- I used to make my OH text me when he had had a feed, or a nap, or a poo and he had to give details!! If the nursery had provided that service I would have taken it up...blush 3 weeks isn't a long time and it might be that your MIL will come round to your way of doing things and you might find the whole situation becomes easier over time anyway.
Finally, if your OH's anger issues and your marriage generally is causing stress, I would highly recommend Relate. I went to my doc's complaining that I hadn't regained my mojo since my son had been born IYSWIM and we've ended up getting couples counselling on the NHS. And it's brilliant, has saved our bacon.
I haven't answered any of your questions, sorry! Just wanted to share a similar experience and a happy-ish ending.

hairymelons Fri 17-Jul-09 21:13:24

p.s. there is nothing more annoying than when someone gives your baby formula instead of the EBM it took half an hour to express. Grr!

fannybanjo Fri 17-Jul-09 21:17:54

It is hard to tell the older folks how to look after your DC, they think they know it all BUT to be honest, you are very lucky to have 2 sets of grandparents to be offering their time to look after your DS, I wouldn't knock what the MIL is doing too much, there are worse things she could be doing. smile I would kill for my MIL to offer a day a week to look after one of my DC, if that was the case, we wouldn't be in the financial mess we have been.

feralgirl Fri 17-Jul-09 22:03:16

oooh, thanks all. Think I might have been a bit hasty! Nothing's signed yet though so it's not definite.

The MiL and I have always had a good relationship and I would hate to upset her. However I have given her a handbook blush and I label everything so there is no excuse. To be fair, is there ever an excuse for not actually feeding a baby?! I offered her a million and one opportunities to come and spend time with DS and I when I was still at home so as they could get to know each other but she always had some excuse...

I'm a teacher and have timed my return to work well so I've just finished for the summer; I have got a while to think about it I suppose. I'm just really worried that, come September, I'm going to be getting home knackered after a week of teaching and having to deal with a screaming baby who will wake all night coz he's not had enough to eat during the day.

With regard to DH and I, we are seeing Relate, his issues are all since DS was born and we get most evenings together after DS is in bed but that's not quite the same iyswim.

I guess the whole issue probably just boils down to the fact that I have a stressful job at the best of times, a new baby and a distinctly rocky marriage. Probably not fair to take it out on the MiL!

Thank you all for giving me a different perspective smile

frazzledgirl Fri 17-Jul-09 22:09:40

Tough one, and I think you sound lovely and like you're just trying to do the right thing, FWIW smile.

It's early days, and MIL loves him, and you want them to have a good relationship - for those reasons, worth sticking with it for a bit.

BUT, not feeding him enough is a HUGE red flag, as you say.

What would happen if you emphasised the dangers of dehydration etc, AND sent only EBM rather than formula?

fannybanjo Fri 17-Jul-09 23:08:01

feralgirl - I minded my nephew once and wondered why he was screaming the house down, I had forgotten to give him his bedtime bottle! blush Its amazing how the most sane people haven't a clue when it comes to other peoples children!

As you have spelled it out to her, she has no excuses, just reiterate to her that he will be starving if he doesn't get all his milk. It will eventually hit home. Don't take away from her what time she has with her grandchild, she will feel very let down. It wpuld be different if she was neglecting him.

Also some people find it hard to spend time in other people's homes, I know I would be far more comfortable in my own home looking after a child. Makes it easier iykwim?

feralgirl Sat 18-Jul-09 15:50:22

Thank you frazzledgirl I am lovely! If only DH thought so too...

Like you all say, I'm going to give it some time and see how we go. If it hadn't been for you all then I would have just gone ahead with my (crazed) plan, pissed everybody off and made life harder for myself in the long run.

Thank you all again.

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