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unhappy at leaving dd with mil when back at work

(34 Posts)
reastie Wed 27-Jul-11 11:02:54

<whispers for fear of MIL tracking me down and reading post>

Just wondered if anyone could give me an outside perspective/had the same/similar thing as this.

I'm due back at work soon from mat leave. Only 2 days a week but they are full on days and will need to be taking lots of work home with me to do when not at workplace. MIL has very generously agreed (when I was pg) to take dd for one day a week, for which I am truly grateful (although tbh I think she is desperate to look after dd). However, since having dd I have had alot of problems with mil, which I won't go into to here, suffice to say that she means well and her heart is in the right place but the thought of her actually taking charge of dd and assisting in her upbringing even though it's only one day a week, is giving me sleepless nights. I have spoken to sil (married to dhs brother so not mils actual child) as sil had mil look after their dd1 when she went back to work. Turns out they had lots of problems with mil and in the end when sils dd2 was born she refused to let mil look after her dds full stop and she gave up work completely, so I know it's not just me. No matter what I want and ask as a parent MIl WILL do what she thinks is best and I don't want a regular whole day slot for mil to have this oppertunity of messing with my parenting principles and dd

I know this seems very non specific with no examples making this a hard one, but, I'm questioning going back to work at all now as I'm so stressed about child care arrangements. Has anyone ever not gone back to work or stopped work for issues similar to this? Does it sound like I'm being OTT and just get over myself? (pfb) I'm hoping `i don't sound like an ungrateful old woman as I'm so grateful for the offer and was happy with the arrangement when pg (as I didn't realise just how she would be).

theowlwhowasafraidofthedark Wed 27-Jul-11 11:10:40

Where is your dd the other day you're at work? If it's a nursery then maybe you could get her in for the other day but still let your mil look after dd once a week. This way you will retain more control over the situation (meals, naps etc) by giving her shorter days and benefit from some free time to shop/clean/eat cake...

reastie Wed 27-Jul-11 11:19:42

DD will be with my mum, which I am happy about, but she can't (understandably) offer 2 days a week. If we send her to a nursery the cost of the nursery will mean there's no much point in me working as the money will be mostly eaten up with nursery fees (which is the whole point of using family route).

flowery Wed 27-Jul-11 11:49:33

Unless the cost of one day's nursery/childminder would be more than your entire two days' salary, surely you'd still be better off doing that than if you gave up work altogether which is what you're saying you might do?

reastie Wed 27-Jul-11 11:54:18

Yes, thinking bout it I think the 2 days salary equates to one day in nursery but 1 day at nursery might be worth looking at. thing is - how on earth am I going to explain that to MIL without looking like I don't want her looking after dd?

rainbowinthesky Wed 27-Jul-11 11:56:40

It will be very difficult to get your dd settled in a nursery if you are only going to use it for one day.

reastie Wed 27-Jul-11 11:56:53

oh, and I should add maybe MIL is a nanny for a living and I think might be ofsted inspected - so it would be like why pay for it when she is free type thing from her perspective hmm

MysteriousHamster Wed 27-Jul-11 11:57:49

If you've got lots of work to take home - why not suggest that MIL looks after DD while you're in the house on one of your off days? Then you can get work done, be around DD, let MIL have her time but still be able to supervise?

flowery Wed 27-Jul-11 11:57:50

Presumably your DH/DP will do the explaining - how does he think she'll handle it and does he think there's a sensitive explanation you could come up with between you?

You could say something about wanting her to benefit from a nursery environment at least part of the time or something?

reastie Wed 27-Jul-11 12:00:25

Just checked there is a nice nursery really locally I would be happy for her to go to one day a week but they don't take children until they are 2.....If only I could have another year out of work and return to my same job confused

reastie Wed 27-Jul-11 12:02:08

flowery DH does not agree with me and wants mil to look after dd. He thinks I'm making a fuss and being silly hmm . So it's going to be hard enough getting him on board. I just feel like I don't know what to do and completely confused but I don't want to be bullied into leaving dd with someone I'm not at all happy about

Nesbo Wed 27-Jul-11 12:09:32

She must have done ok raising DH as he clearly trusts her and ended up good enough for you to marry! I don't suppose one day a week with her will sabotage your dd's upbringing, why would she not do just as well with her?

SinicalSal Wed 27-Jul-11 12:16:30

It's hard to judge without specifics, really. I suppose you will have to think about your principles, and prioritise into non-negotiable, compromise, and can let slide for one day. For example, if you're concerned about MIL letting her slump in front of tv all day you have to put your foot down about that, but ease up on diet, that sort of thing. Or is that the sort of thing you mean?

Unless MIL is very bad one day can't do much damage and building a good relationship with her gran will benefit DD.

baabaapinksheep Wed 27-Jul-11 12:19:27

Do you receive tax cradits? And if so will that not help with nursery/ childminder costs?

Don't leave your DD with ANYONE you are not happy with, it will be more hassel than its worth. Could you explain to your MIL that if she wants to look after DD then she has to do it your way? Or will she just do what she wants anyway?

omletta Wed 27-Jul-11 12:23:08

I think that you have a great opportunity here to get the balance right straight off. You have already acknowledged that there is a potential problem and you have identified that you have clear ideas on how you wish your child to be raised. Most of us (from what I have seen) just sort of slip into finding our MILs behaviour to be contrary to our expectations and ideals.

I would be tempted to try and embrace the opportunity; decide what the routine / rules are going to be, write them down and ‘train’ your MIL in them. The very first time she deviates gently, but firmly, put her back on track and continue to do so until she realises that it’s your way or no way. Practice saying things like ‘this is the way I have decided to….’, or ‘that’s very interesting (in response to her way of doing things) however things have moved on now and this is how we are doing…’

I worked (a lot) when my DS was first born and sometimes was away for prolonged periods of time, so I wrote a manual ‘Omlet – how he works!’ and issued it along with him to DM, DSIS, MIL and anyone else who was kind enough to offer to help. My MIL had very different ideas to me, indeed she still does, but I am always mindful that without her help my life would be much harder so I try to let the little things go (the insistence on ‘keeping tidy’ whilst playing in the garden) but insist on the bigger things (teeth brushing – oh yes, she once told me ‘I don’t believe in all that!’).

Believe me good quality, cheap (or even free) childcare, with an adult who truly loves that child is worth making a few compromises for.

DuelingFanjo Wed 27-Jul-11 12:23:22

I think trust yourself and don't let her do it. With or without details I think that's the best choice.

CaptainNancy Wed 27-Jul-11 12:33:40

You need to make a list of all the things you have concerns about and discuss them with your DH. If you think your MIL can address them, then go ahead, otherwise you need to book formal childcare for your child for the 1 day- and do it soon, as waiting lists are very long at good nurseries/CMs.


reastie Wed 27-Jul-11 12:37:20

siniscal nothing like letting slump in front of tv. Let's just say for one example she took dgc (not my dd) shopping when they were say 3 and 6 and bought them things she knew bil/sil disaproved of (like child make up) and when dgc said but their parents don't let them have that she told them to hide it in their bedrooms and not tell their parents (I was there too and was shock ). This is just one example btw, could give more on a similar vein.

baba I think I don't quite work enough hours to get tax credits. Plus sil/bil tried going through with mil what they wanted her to do/not do parenting wise but she still didn't do it (but was very good at thinking she was doing the 'right' thing IYKWIM).

omletta I WISH I was confident enough to be like that. plus, it's not necessarily routine things she wont do it's more what she will do/say/teach/behave with dd which is unacceptable/not ideal.

reastie Wed 27-Jul-11 12:38:57

nancy there are ALOT is issues re: mil which even she prob doesn't realise due to her upbringing/history. It's a really difficult situation and I realise even more difficult that I you know nothing about what I'm talking of!

steben Wed 27-Jul-11 12:39:20

I think you should stick with your instincts and look into nursery for one day a week. Make the argument about socialising etc...(obv find a really good nursery you are really happy with) becuase i think it is hard enough being back at work without the constant worrying which is what you would do if MIL had her. Also think about it in terms of you would be doing this FOR MIL becuase fwiw i think that if you do this you are going to have loads of problems/arguments which will upset everyone.

Inertia Wed 27-Jul-11 12:48:05

I think MysteriousHamster has a good idea- ask your MIL to look after your DD one of teh days when you're doing work at home but not away at work- that way you can ask MIL to come to you, or drop in unannounced, or drop the arrangement completely if it's not working out without creating child care hassles.

Can you put her name down for the nursery you love, and investigate other local nurseries/ childminders for the second day that you're at work?

CaptainNancy Wed 27-Jul-11 12:49:04

Then make a long list! grin

If it's too long to tackle, then arrange formal childcare. Why would you stop work because of this?
Honestly- it is fine not to want family members to care for your child smile ... it's not really usual to give up work because of it though. Childcare costs are a biggie though, I agree, but if it's only 1 day you have to cover it's most likely doable. There are childcare tax credits (dependent on income, but it sounds like you don't earn much), and childcare vouchers (schemes are ending soon though, so you'd need to get in quick on that).

reastie Wed 27-Jul-11 13:07:37

oh nuts, I was thinking that would be good (ie nursery one day and mil helping when I'm doing stuff from home) but then just realised mil can only help me one day a week as working on the others and I've requested work the day she can help,and timetables wilb be done by now so that won't work <stamps foot>

CinnabarRed Wed 27-Jul-11 13:18:49

TBH, I wouldn't be that fussed about the make-up thing, but then I think GPs are there to spoil their GCs and so things that their parents wouldn't allow. It's not as if she put them in danger, and then told them not to tell their parents.

Your MIL is a trained nanny. Your DH was clearly raised to acceptable standards grin.

I'd second CaptainNancy - treat the arrangement almost like formal childcare, and make it clear to MIL that if she doesn't stick to your rules then the deal is off. Make a long list, with input from your DH because he's entitled to a view too, and insist on going through it with MIL before you go back to work.

HeatherSmall Wed 27-Jul-11 13:19:20

If she's a nanny she can't be that bad, other people trust her.

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