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Just endured an hour of in-laws screaming at us bc we're hiring a nanny

(29 Posts)
eversomuch Sun 17-Nov-13 19:51:30

In-laws abroad are livid about our decision to hire a nanny. Have told us we're making a horrible decision, exercising the worst judgement imaginable, putting our kids at risk, etc. And bc I'm a SAHM, they aren't short of criticism of my inability to cope on my own.

We got to hear for the gazillionth time how they managed on their own w/ 3 kids under 4 w/o any help from their massive extended family. Apparently, going to the grandparent's every weekend for a home-cooked meal and, I'm sure, the chance to let ext fam play w/ the kids for a couple of hours didn't count as help.

We have no family in the UK. Good friends live on the other side of London & aren't available to help. We've luckily found some ad hoc help from local au pairs, but we're still largely in survival mode w/ a 1yo who rarely sleeps during the day & is up several tomes a night, and a 2 1/2 yo who can be v helpful w/ her little brother but is still only 2 & also very volatile.

I am too often sacrificing quality time w/ them in order to do laundry or try to make a decent home-cooked meal, etc. DH & I have zero quality time together. Zero.

I know we're in an incredibly fortunate position to be able to hire help, even if it may be only for a few months. I know a lot of people would kill to be in my position, able to be w/ their kids 24/7. We're not "leaving" our kids to be "raised by strangers", as my in-laws say. And we recognize that they're simply concerned for the kids' welfare. We've explained that it'll be a shared charge situation, but they just see it as "extreme". No one they knows ever had a nanny. You just get on with it by yourselves.

It's actually DH who really pushed for a ft nanny; I was reluctant & happy to settle for some pt help, until I met a wonderful nanny socially & saw how amazing she was with her charges. When I found out she was job hunting, it seemed the perfect opportunity to give it a go.

We've offered to introduce them to the nanny when they come over for Xmas (she doesn't start w/us til January), but right now they're refusing, saying they wouldn't be comfortable. They'd rather just keep imagining a monster.

I suppose this is mostly just a rant/vent, but if anyone has been through similar, I'd be curious how you dealt w/it. FTR, I usually get on just fine with them.

Tinlegs Sun 17-Nov-13 19:54:43

None of their business. Tell them that, if they can't respect your choices for YOUR family, then you won't share your news with them as you risk being criticised. And then don't contact them. Why are you letting them come for Christmas if they are being so difficult?

LifeofPo Sun 17-Nov-13 19:58:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BikeRunSki Sun 17-Nov-13 19:58:46

Oh God. Totally different situation to yours, but my mother is very keen on pointing out how she dealt with far more dc than me, far more easily. I try to ignore her, but have also been know to yell at her and burst into tears in a public space. Do what works for you. And I am with you on going to family every week end as " help". My GPs were an hour away, we were there often. My DM is 6 hrs drove away, and I hate the journey.

elQuintoConyo Sun 17-Nov-13 20:00:50

They ranted for an hour? Sorry, but I'd have told them to mind their own business and left/hung up the phone/switched off Skype. I've had family give out about our decisions and have always, always nipped it in the bud. A fake smile and 'oh, how interesting... change of subject' comment and it's conversation closed.
And I'm not a hard ass by any stretch of the imagination, I just shut them down when they start otherwise I'd explode and tell them to fuck off, and where'd that leave me?
Oh, and I'm with pp ^^ could you uninvite them? I'd have some prepared retorts to shut them up if the subject arises again, I'm afraid. Or have some nearby hotel information to hand in case it all goes pear shape, then you can get them out!

aldiconvert Sun 17-Nov-13 20:02:23

My dream is to have a housekeeper to do all the boring mundane stuff so that I can be more available to be totally present with kids rather than tedious jobs taking up 90% of my time .... I would need a reliable baby sitter too but my priority would be house keeper over nanny ....

MeMySonAndI Sun 17-Nov-13 20:03:31

I wouldn't bother with introducing the nanny to them, she night well be Mary Poppins but they won't care. This not about having a nanny, it is about how capable they think you are as parents, but you would be unable to change that, as people who have strong networks of support around them (be families or long standing friends) cannot imagine or understan that as an expat you may not have ANYONE to reach out for practical help in a regular basis.

Get the nanny, don't discuss the issue with the ILs, is none of their business. If it helps to keep the peace kie about it and say you have changed your mind and will not hire her.

And be kind to yourself, having domestic help might be the only way for you two to survive and prosper as a couple, when those support networks are not there.

celestialsquirrels Sun 17-Nov-13 20:10:02

It is absolutely nothing to do with them, I wouldn't even discuss it with them. When they raise it say "it is not your decision to make. I will not discuss it with you". Then if you have to repeat that more than 2ce put the phone down on them. If you have to put the phone down on them more than 4 times tell them that they can't stay with you for Christmas if they will not respect your decisions about your family. That's it.

They will get the message. Or not. Either way you won't have your jointly held decisions criticised unnecessarily. Not to your face anyway grin

Of course both you and DH have to keep the line or it won't work.

MeMySonAndI Sun 17-Nov-13 20:10:18

My mother also always points out that she had more children than me and she coped better, did better, etc etc. With time I have got quicker in reminding her that she had a maid who also cooked, a little army of gardeners and a sister who took care of us so often, and even for several days at a time, that her neighbours still remember us as if we were her own children.

RevelsRoulette Sun 17-Nov-13 20:15:06

You sat there for an hour while people who are not even in the same country yelled at you?

why on earth would you do that?

Put down the phone / turn off skype / unplug the webcam and ignore them.

Really all you need to say is that they are your children and you find it insulting that they are implying that you would put them at risk or that you don't know how to / don't want to care for them.

And that if they aren't going to respect your choices, there's no law that says they actually have to come over at Christmas. So you suggest they choose now whether they intend to come over and respect your decisions as parents, or stay away and yell about them

I imagine that they will calm down but if you allow them to yell and demand and all that crap, you can only look forward to more of the same and in the end, it will totally destroy the relationship for good. Whereas if you are very clear right now, everyone knows where they stand.

Procrastreation Sun 17-Nov-13 20:17:43

Ach - they are just mis-chanelling their guilt that they aren't there for you.

GP love to have a rose-tinted view of the lives of the younger generations - and they hate to have that dented.

gemmal88 Sun 17-Nov-13 20:23:48

I wouldn't take notice of them, do they really have to meet the nanny?

It's a decision for you and your partner, based on what is right for your family unit.

Sod them!

AliceinWinterWonderland Sun 17-Nov-13 20:24:23

and it's their business how? confused

your kids, your decisions. If they don't like it, too bad.

MisForMumNotMaid Sun 17-Nov-13 20:26:29

My mother can in the same breath criticise both my sister and I. Her for working and needing help, me for being a SAHM and not asking for help.

We have each other to giggle with about it.

I smile, nod and change the topic. Sometimes I even visit armed with half a dozen points of interest to her ready for topic changes. We'll never agree on everything.

Your post sounds riddled with guilt about your decision. Their passion in their argument shows they care. Do you think you can agree to disagree? Sweep this under the carpet because time will pass, the children will get older, you will eventually catch up on sleep and then school will start and you'll no doubt evaluate your nanny need.

comemulledwinewithmoi Sun 17-Nov-13 20:28:39

Well jel wink you should have put the phone down. Would live some help.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Sun 17-Nov-13 20:28:44

Why on earth did you tolerate a minute of screaming, never mind an hour? confused

EldritchCleavage Sun 17-Nov-13 20:33:14

You are giving the in-laws far too much sway: not just to challenge your decision (and there is a range of possible reasonable opinions on it anyway, not one single right answer) but to feel they can flout all social conventions to shout at you.

In your place, DH and I would be cancelling their Xmas stay. Whether or not you want to go that far, I do suggest having higher, stronger boundaries laid down before they arrive.

CoconutRing Sun 17-Nov-13 20:33:36

Your children, your decision.

HereIsMee Sun 17-Nov-13 20:34:31

Just hang up. When your children are grown they might let you know their opinion but for the time being it's your choice. Whatever you choose has to work for you and them. I'd just ignore them and carry on doing whatever is the best for you all.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Sun 17-Nov-13 20:35:35

Why on earth are you allowing them to shout at you for an hour?

Why on earth are you discussing this with them?

Why on earth are they still coming for Christmas?


Why on earth did you say they could meet the nanny as if they have the right to approve her or change your mind?

Both of you need to ask Santa for a back bone! For goodness sake... you are adults not children.

I would hate to have a nanny in your situation, I'd much rather have someone to do the cleaning and cook some meals - but this is your life and your decision, NO ONE elses - stop allowing them to treat you so badly!


toffeesponge Sun 17-Nov-13 20:36:33

Do not under any circumstances tell your PIL you have changed your mind and will not be employing the nanny hmm. Even if it isn't true they will think they have some kind of say in how you life your own life and bring up your own children.

AliceinWinterWonderland Sun 17-Nov-13 20:38:41

Definitely agree with Chipping on this: Why on earth did you say they could meet the nanny as if they have the right to approve her or change your mind?

This will make it seem as if they are part of the approval process. No, no, and no.

Don't run it by them, don't seek their approval. On things like this you just DO it. And if they comment, act surprised and say "Really? It never occurred to me to ask your opinion. They are, after all, OUR children, not yours."

MeMySonAndI Sun 17-Nov-13 20:46:25

Hey, it may look like the OP might be lacking some backbone but since she mentions she has no family in this country, and the fact the ILs have even dared to scream while discussing this, makes me think that she comes frim a cukture where elder relatives have a strong hold on how the whole family is run. And it takes a lot to escape such powerful influence (that saying that goes "you can take a person out of their country but you cannot take their country out if them" it is relatively true).

So, take it easy, lie if you need to, at then of the day they cannot come and check on what you are really doing, but avoid getting into arguments when they simply cannot understand. It is pointless.

grabaspoon Sun 17-Nov-13 20:50:20

My bosses parents don't like her having a nanny and are very vocal about it - my advice is keep the nanny out of it. I do not like being in this position and thankfully have made it clear I work for my boss so limit any/all interactions with the grandparents

alwaysneedaholiday Sun 17-Nov-13 20:56:14

Do whatever is right for you and your family. If you can afford it, go for it!

I have listened to my MIL complaining about how awful the school run was for her....her DCs were weekly boarders from the age of 7!!! Amazing how time alters reality.

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