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to want MIL to babysit dds at our house rather than hers?

(47 Posts)
suiledonn Wed 19-Aug-09 20:42:23

MIL lives a couple of miles away. We have a 3 year old and a 9 months old. We rarely ask MIL to babysit but when we do it is always on her terms.
We have a wedding on Friday and she offered to babysit. I have asked DH several times if he can tell her we would prefer if she looked after the girls here as the last time it was a nightmare to bring everything to her house for the sake of one day and we ended up going back to her house for the night. DD2 was a small baby and slept in the pram last time but that doesn't suit now as we are co-sleeping with dd2 and no-where suitable for us all to sleep.
I find it hard to leave them at all and would be happier if they were at home. DH just keeps saying thatwe know what she's like and she won't agree to it.
Just wondering if I am being unreasonable before I start kicking up about it.

LibrasBiscuitsOfFortune Wed 19-Aug-09 20:44:58

In my heart of hearts I would always prefer my mum and MIL to babysit at my house as theres are baby death traps HOWEVER I do not voice these concerns as they are nice enough to babysit for me when I need it.
On this issue I think you should keep your opinion to yourself and let your MIL babysit at her house, she is going you a favour.

LibrasBiscuitsOfFortune Wed 19-Aug-09 20:45:30

going = doing.

TheArmadillo Wed 19-Aug-09 20:46:47

I think YABU

I think you either agree to her terms or you find another babysitter.

And I don't think her terms are unreasonable.

pollyblue Wed 19-Aug-09 20:48:05

YANBU. Seems mad to cart everything the dc would need to her house - why can't she come to your house? Personally, I'd ask someone else. Help like that - her way or no way - I would rather do without.

suiledonn Wed 19-Aug-09 20:48:25

but what do i do about sleeping? she wants the travel cot but dd2 has never slept in it. can see myself having to put dds in the car in the middle of the night to come home.

2rebecca Wed 19-Aug-09 20:50:00

I think it depends on if you have other babysitting options. My relatives don't live locally so the kids were always babysat at home. I certainly wouldn't have been keen on traipsing them elsewhere if just out for the evening. On the other hand if you're away all night it makes more sense for MIL to sleep in her own bed. I think if you don't like carrying them about you'll have to look for paid babysitters.

SmallScrewCap Wed 19-Aug-09 20:52:24

I think you should accept that it's going to be on her terms - after all, she is doing you a favour.

When my Mum or in-laws babysit for the night, I used to offer the option, but they always choose for DD to go to them. I think it's partly that grandparents like to unwind in their own place after a hard evening's babysitting, and partly that they enjoy having their grandkids all to themselves on their own terms for bathtime, breakfast and so on.

IneedacleanerIamalazyslattern Wed 19-Aug-09 20:52:44

What does MIL do if she comes to yours sleep over there or go home?
I can se either not being great TBH. She will probably feel more relaxed and comfortable and able to go to bed when she wants in her own house rather than wait up for you coming in and going to bed or having to go home late on.
Give her the travel cot, when mine started sleeping over with either granny they both surprised me with how they settled babaies can and do adapt pretty well to something different so sh may well surpirse you.
If you go looking for stress it will happen.

Thunderduck Wed 19-Aug-09 20:52:47


drinkyourmilk Wed 19-Aug-09 20:52:50

I would go ahead and let her do it on her terms -

a) It may work out - you just never know!

b) If it's horrendous and you have to go home with the kids then your mil has seen for herself that it's best to look after them at your house and there should be less opposition to that in the future

vinblanc Wed 19-Aug-09 20:56:53

If they are doing it for free, then you are in a difficult position to dictate details.

Of course it is easier for you if they come to your house, but it is easier on them if they can stay at home. But since they are basically doing it as a favour, then you have to think more of them and less about yourself.

ThePregnantPhantomPlopper Wed 19-Aug-09 20:59:40

She's doing you a favour YABU.

screamingskull Wed 19-Aug-09 21:09:32

i would let them stay at MIL's, they are doing you the favour.

also you can go to the wedding and have a great time without having the worry of needing to get up for the children during the night.

MummyDragon Wed 19-Aug-09 21:16:14

What difference does it make re co-sleeping if it's at her house or yours? Or have I misunderstood, and are you not staying the night at the wedding, and were planning to co-sleep with DD2 once you got back?

Whatever the answer, I think YABU, sorry. She is babysitting for free. I'd give my right arm to have a family member a) alive, or b) living within a 200-mile radius who could do this for us. If you don't like her terms, you are free to say no, and to pay a babysitter to come and look after the DDs in your own house.

My mum used to only babysit DS in her house and it used to drive me mad but now that she's dead, I realise how lucky I was. She saved me a fortune, and I had the peace of mind of knowing that, after DH and me, DS was with the person who loved him most in the whole world.

suiledonn Wed 19-Aug-09 21:30:20

I guess I am BU so. I think what bothers me is that when we do favours for her well, it's a favour so it is on her terms and then she does us a favour and well that's on her terms too. She is our only available babysitter and we have always been very conscious not to take advantage. We don't do random nights out - just the occasional wedding or such.

She would have the option to sleep at our place or go home. We plan to be back by 1.00am at the latest.

I had PND after dd1 and still have anxiety problems which MIL is aware of and still she wouldn't try and make life that bit easier on me just this once.

Knickers0nMaHead Wed 19-Aug-09 21:35:06

What stuff do you need to cart? One bag really, two max. And a travel cot. Let her have them at theirs. It wont hurt.

suiledonn Wed 19-Aug-09 21:39:02

Buggy, travel cot and entertainment centre for dd2, favourite toys, a couple of small blankets.
Then the usual clothes, bottles, nappies etc.

MummyDragon Wed 19-Aug-09 21:39:08

Yes, but she is presumably not young any more, and probably feels more comfortable in her own home, and perhaps she finds it incerdibly hard work/stressful looking after your girls, even if they are asleep? It's different when they are grandparents - they can't be as carefree with the kids because they are not their kids iyswim. When I have my DS' friends round to play, I am very conscious that I am responsible for them, and I take far more notice of them - e.g. on the trampoline - than I would if it was just my own kids ... not that I'm neglectful or anything, but you see what I mean??

I'm sorry about the PND and anxiety, which are utterly sh*t I know, but your MIL is making your life easier by the very fact that she's prepared to babysit at all! If she didn't babysit, what would you do? Miss the wedding? Or pay a babysitter?

I know I may sound fierce about this, but you can't assume that parents will do what you want them to!

Reading between the lines, does your MIL not understand / agree with co-sleeping? Is this the real issue?

suiledonn Wed 19-Aug-09 21:53:44

Mummydragon It is the breastfeeding at 9 months that is more of an issue than the co-sleeping for MIL.
DD2 still wakes for a feed or two at night. She won't take a bottle for these feeds so I will have to be home. I need somewhere we can feed & sleep safely but trying to get MIL to understand......

lola0109 Wed 19-Aug-09 22:06:45

I know I'm going against what everyone else is saying here but I agree with you suiledonn.

It may very well be unreasonable but a lot of what you think at this stage usually is.

I am not very happy about my MIL babysitting at her house, only because my DD is a difficult sleeper at times and I know MIL just relents and takes her into bed as I fully understand that at 4am it's quite tiring trying to settle a baby but once she has done it we have about a week of trying to get her back to sleeping all night.

I'm sure it was the travel cot as she wasn't used to it. MIL has since got second hand cot with second hand mattress. What a fight we had to get her to allow us to buy new mattress.

My other main concern is that MIL smokes heavily, not in the house when DD is around. But I object to the co-sleeping because of this.

Anyway, the point I wanted to make is that we had to relent and allow DD to stay over. But we try to get MIL to our house as much as possible, so if its an early night to cinema etc then MIL comes to ours, and if we have wedding etc then DD stays at MILs.

What we have started doing also, as like you I had/have seperation anxiety (for want of a better phrase), is visiting for dinner, letting MIL bath and feed DD and settle her, then we sit for another hour or so having adult time and head home. we then pick up DD around midday, this is all more so to allow me to get used to leaving DD and also makes MIL think that the time is special and not just getting used for babysitting.

I hope this helps slightly? And good luck coming up with happy compromise

violethill Thu 20-Aug-09 08:54:03

I agree with mummydragon.

You have a choice here - either pay a babysitter to come to your house and do things on your terms, or accept that you are getting a freebie and let your MIL do it her way.

TBH I cannot see why one overnight stay requires masses of luggage anyway!

Bung a few things in a bag, stick the travel cot in the boot and go and enjoy a night out. Or alternatively, find a babysitter and pay them to come to yours.


thatsnotmybelly Thu 20-Aug-09 08:56:49


screamingabdab Thu 20-Aug-09 09:12:10

Sorry, I do remember what a pain it is, carting everything around, but I agree with MummyDragon. YABU

hocuspontas Thu 20-Aug-09 09:13:18

Lol at entertainment centre! Sorry op - in the 'olden days' that's what we called our record deck/amp/tuner/cassette player.

Really - do you need all that stuff? Why a buggy AND a cot? Why entertainment centre AND toys? Just a spare sleepsuit and nappy and a bottle will do! Then dump and run. I'm sure MIL can improvise if they get bored!

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