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MIL wants to look after baby when I go back to work

(31 Posts)
Vickalyn Sun 30-Oct-16 13:39:54

Hi please let me know your thoughts on this. My son is my MIL first grandchild, she has been very full on since he was born and will be 13 weeks on Tuesday. She has already said she wants to look after him when I return to work, but I am reluctant to let her as she was diagnosed with ME years ago and has never worked.
My argument is if she can't work then should she be allowed to look after my son when I go back to work? I plan to go back 2.5 days and would probably let her have him for half a day. She wants to have him every day that I'm due to go back but I don't want her to. Also not sure how reliable she will be either? Look forward to seeing your replys.

DartmoorDoughnut Sun 30-Oct-16 13:42:56

If you don't want her to have him then just say no

carrotcakecupcake Sun 30-Oct-16 13:48:15

When are you planning to return to work, surely you don't need to give her a response yet? Perhaps use this time to manage her expectations so it's not a shock when you say thanks but no thanks? Perhaps explain reasons for choosing another childcare option, rather than giving her reasons why she isn't suitable? So maybe you want a nursery setting to encourage DCs social skills?

LaundryQueenHatesIroning Sun 30-Oct-16 13:53:59

Surely if she has ME it would be an awful lot for her to take on? How old will he be when you return to work? Could she be looking at your tiny cute DS and thinking how great it will be to look after a little bundle forgetting that when you go back to work he could well be a boisterous toddler who requires a lot of running around after?! This happened with my dsis' mil.

Vickalyn Sun 30-Oct-16 15:07:38

I have been planning on taking a year off but depending on money may have to go back after 9 months. I do worry about how well she will look after him, I would want her to take him out and do things which just isn't her anyway wether having him will make any difference I'm not sure. I do think she looks at him and forgets that he will possibly be a year or coming up to a year so before we know it he will be on the run which again is more work.

ParaPrincess Sun 30-Oct-16 15:10:20

Why don't you have an honest conversation with your MIL with your worries? Maybe start off with one day?

EatsShitAndLeaves Sun 30-Oct-16 15:20:18

I'd be wary OP.

I see so many threads about family childcare where it's not working out and becomes very difficult to resolve without a major fallout.

From what food is being fed, what happens when someone is ill, style if discipline etc etc.

I know good professional childcare is bloody expensive but for me the reassurance of a great nursery was invaluable.

Food served to high nutritional standards, no worries about a parent/childminder being ill, proper "non emotional" protocols for raising issues and most of all a specially "child friendly" environment with structured play, toys and social engagement with other children.

It's great for you to foster a good relationships with GP's but regular childcare set ups can be a minefield.

Maybe as you suggest try one afternoon a week with professional care the other days. At least if it doesn't work out you have a plan B in place to extend the care.

Vickalyn Sun 30-Oct-16 22:08:10

Thank you for your advice, unfortunately looks like it will end up beng one of those awkward conversations with the other half when the time comes. I just wanted to know what your thoughts were on this and it has made me feel that I am not being over the top about it and my instinct is right to be slightly concerned. I do have issues with my MIL apart from this she see my son as a trophy and likes to show him off and for example at 7 weeks wanted us to take him to her to be looked after so my Other half could take me for dinner. She's not been in the good books since I had him and just feel if she wants a relationship with him she needs a good relationship with me and she is just going about everything totally the wrong way and makes me resent her so much. Thank you for your advice I will update once I've had 'the chat'

Littlefish Sun 30-Oct-16 22:12:04

My MIL looked after dd for one day a week (and she had 2 days a week with a childminder). This worked well for us. It ensured that dd had an excellent relationship with MIL and FIL, without us being completely reliant on them. There were still a few wrinkles to be ironed out from time to time with regard to differences in opinions, but it was easier to let those things go because dd was only with them for one day a week and not 3.

I think you should think very, very carefully before you put all your eggs in MIL's basket!

thatsn0tmyname Sun 30-Oct-16 22:16:03

Granny and Nana did a day each when I returned to work. They were early 70s and mid 70s and both were exhausted by the end of the day. One day a week tops, I would say. Also, if she had the baby full time and then realised it was too much for her it would leave you up the proverbial creek without a paddle. If you have a nursery place lined up they might accommodate an extra day.

thatsn0tmyname Sun 30-Oct-16 22:17:25

Also, to be petty, giving granny too much influence could give her allowance to set rules/ make decisions over you.

llangennith Sun 30-Oct-16 22:23:20

While you're still on maternity leave let her look after him two half days and see how she copes. It'll take her a short while to find her routine.
I've looked after DGS now 9 since he was a few months old. I found playgroups and parks where the majority of the grown ups were childminders or fellow grandparents.
Give it a go. If it doesn't work out at least you tried.

LaundryQueenHatesIroning Mon 31-Oct-16 06:52:32

'She's not been in the good books since I had him and just feel if she wants a relationship with him she needs a good relationship with me and she is just going about everything totally the wrong way and makes me resent her so much'

I could have written this myself about my own mil, Vickalyn so I really sympathise with you. My mil treated me in such a terrible way when my DS was small and she steamrolled in and acted in a way and said somethings I don't think I will ever forgive her for. As a result, she has barely seen me as we now aren't comfortable around each other meaning she hasn't seen as much of her GC as she would have liked, and I am certainly not planning on leaving her with him anytime soon. All of her own making. I agree, I think they perhaps don't realise they need a good relationship (at least respectful and with mutual understand, if not affectionate) with their DIL and if they don't have that if will affect their relationship with their GC. Good luck getting it sorted out flowers

Sierra259 Mon 31-Oct-16 07:08:29

My DP's looked after DC1 1 day a week before I went on mat leave with DC2. While they enjoyed it, my DM said one day was definitely enough for her. It also means that I don't feel as bad asking them for help in emergencies (they took DC1 for a day when she had chicken pox so I only had to take one day off work), or for babysitting in the evenings etc. That might be a plus point for your DH?

I think your idea of a half day is a good compromise. I would push the development of social skills/confidence at nursery and concerns about MIL's health. You obviously don't want it to exacerbate her condition, but also you don't want to be left in the lurch with childcare if she decides she's too unwell to take him some days. My DP's are late 60's and in good health but they're exhausted after 1 day!

BubbleGumBubble Mon 31-Oct-16 07:16:15

do have issues with my MIL apart from this she see my son as a trophy and likes to show him off and for example at 7 weeks wanted us to take him to her to be looked after so my Other half could take me for dinner.

How is this a bad thing?
Most grandparent are proud of the gc especially the first.

If you dont want her to look after him then say no.
Or like pp suggested let her have him on the half day and see how it goes.

Munstermonchgirl Mon 31-Oct-16 08:00:20

Agree completely with eatsshitsandleaves.

Aside from situations where people genuinely cannot afford proper regulated childcare, and have no choice but to get free or very cheap care from a relative, I cannot fathom why people agree to situations like this.

You only have to read a few threads to see the sort of battles people have.... toddlers being given unhealthy meals, too much tv, too little interaction with other children....
Most people are prepared to pay a high price for their home, their holidays... our children are our most precious thing of all and therefore why shouldn't people want the optimum care for them?

Stand firm and don't be guilt tripped into something you don't want. It sounds as though her reasons for wanting to be his child care are rather dubious... seeing him as a 'trophy'. If she doesn't get out much your ds will end up spending too much time indoors. I'm only 51 and In good health and TBH I know I wouldn't have the energy to cope with a toddler all day and Do as much as I did with mine in my early 30s, so goodness knows how someone who is chronically unwell would manage. You say she's never worked, so it could be that she's trying to fill a gap in her life too? Your child is too important to be used for that.

Emphasise to her that you want your ds to have the privilege of a proper grandparent/grandchild relationship and not to try to mix that with her being his childcare - hopefully if you encourage a good relationship between them she'll come to her senses and realise that's a far better way

Vickalyn Mon 31-Oct-16 09:02:34

Thank you all so much for your replys. I will definitely be looking at nurserys and to put his name down somewhere even if it is just for a back up. I am very lucky that my sister is due any day so there is 3 months between our kids and she has another 2. She will probably not be going back to work as it wouldn't be worth her while she has a 3 yr old that will not be starting school until next yr then she will need to find childcare for The 3rd one. I have already discussed with her if she could look after my boy when I go back for 1 day and I could also return the favour if she did decide to go back to work. I know nurseries are funny on you only wanting childcare for 1 day as it's not really worth it to then they would prefer to have a child that required more days. It's something else I need to look into.
For the ladies that mentioned about me saying that MIL treats him like a trophy and that she was to look after him when he was 7 weeks there is more to the story 1 being she had already looked after him the previous week (this was my husbands fault for not arranging with my mum to make it fair) but also feel she should have said to ask my mum first and if she was unavailable then of course she would help. The making him go up to her would have been totally her idea not my husbands and I would have preferred him to stay at our house in same surroundings routine etc. In the end we did not go out as I was upset (only having him 7 weeks ago hormones everywhere) he had been screaming practically all day I was tired and just did not feel right to leave him with her. I just feel she could be a bit more accommodating considering she has had 3 children herself. The trophy remark yes for her to be proud of her grandchild I know everyone is different but for example last night we went to her for dinner and I was dreading it, he met his great grandparents from my DH step dads side, GG was uncomfortable holding DS so he gave him back to me my MIL was most put out and kept coming over purposefully trying to wake him kept stroking his head and kissing him while I was holding him! I did say to her if he wakes he will cry as it was nearly time for his feed. Surely everyone knows not to wake a baby when they are asleep especially when you have told her how hard evenings have been for us for for the past 3/4 weeks. It's like she longs to have him to herself whenever she sees him. I just want her to relax and appreciate the fact that my DH and I are there are it's not all about our son. She had nothing to do with me throughout my pregnancy, I have tried since he was born to suggest going out and doing a bit of shopping going for a coffee but because she doesn't drink tea/coffee and she is diabetic she would much rather I just popped to her or her to me. She even said last night about going out and I felt like I had already given her that olive branch. It seems to be always on her terms. Sorry for the very long rant but having someone else's opinion from people that do not know me does make me feel better and it's a weight off my shoulders.

Racheyg Mon 31-Oct-16 09:21:22

I love my mil and without her help my nursery fees would be unmanageable.

We got on well, she looked after ds1 for 2 days and the third day he went to nursery.

When ds2 came along while I was on mat leave she had a break then she asked if she could look after ds2 for 1 day a week. When I went back to work. Dc1 goes 3 days and dc2 2 days.

My dcs are very close to their Nannie and love spending time with her.

Look at how much child care will cost as this was a huge factor. Maybe get her to look after dc 1 day then a nursery for the rest?

Spadequeen Mon 31-Oct-16 09:29:45

God forbid a grandmother should want to see her grandchild. Remember op, one day your son will grow up and start a family with another women.

I get that you are worried about going back to work, it's tough. I get you don't want her to look after your son when you go back to work, not a problem, I would t either with the circumstances you mentioned but you just really don't seem to like her at all. I actually feel sorry for your mil, unless there is a bigger back story here.

PurpleCrazyHorse Mon 31-Oct-16 10:17:55

My PIL had DD two days a week for us and we used a CM for the three other days. They found it exhausting the older our DD became as they needed to occupy her, worried a bit about their house being safe enough etc, all that just made them worn out. They are young and healthy. I would worry about any existing health issues with your MIL. DS is 16mo and a handful already.

However DD has a very close relationship with PIL. They didn't get everything right but their actions are always because they love DD and I do have to make an effort to remember that sometimes. We did have to be clear with PIL (they asked to have DD) that them doing childcare was a year long commitment as we had no alternative other than to take time off work ourselves if they weren't available. Not to be nasty to my PIL but you do need that assurance.

You also need to factor in regular childcare done by one grandparent vs when do other grandparents get time, especially if everyone lives locally. How would your mum feel or how would you even things up?

I'd start with nursery/CM for the full hours and use MIL if that's helpful for the odd extra day (work flexibility, meetings etc). You can always move to more MIL hours if it works. Definitely better than having to take away childcare.

PurpleCrazyHorse Mon 31-Oct-16 10:24:45

Oh and PIL often seem to get things 'wrong', they're not your parents, they can do things differently to your family and their loyalty is often seen as being more to their son than you, the mum.

Unless there's a huge back story, it seems like they're excited, have forgotten what it's like to have a baby and have a lot of love to give. They will get it wrong, but if they genuinely love your child and their actions are in that light, then they could well come into their own with an older child (my PIL have endless patience with my 7yo and do so much with her while I put my feet up!). Babies are little for such a short time, they're children for much longer.

Clankboing Mon 31-Oct-16 10:30:38

I would ask her to look after him for the half day. The other two I would use nursery / childminder. It does help with socialising. Explain that you don't want it to tire her too much.

ThinkOfTheMice Mon 31-Oct-16 10:34:57

Why not pitch it as:

"It's exhausting looking after a little one and I don't want to put a strain on your health. I want the time you spend together to be fun for both of you. I'm putting dd in nursery - of course you can take her out for days/half days now and then but we need to know we have a solid backup at all times - if you were ill we would have no backup."

That way you have nursery there. Granny can take dd for odd half days when it suits, but you won't be let down if she's ill etc.

My 60/70yeR old parents (who I love to bits and trust totally) are knackered after looking after him for a day. The time grandparents spend with them should be fun not exhausting and a few days a week

ExploraDora Mon 31-Oct-16 10:38:21

My friend had a similar situation with her MIL who hadn't worked for a decade due to a bad back and depression, but insisted she wanted to have her GC 3 days a week. On the second week, as friend was getting ready for work, she got a text 'Too tired to have DC today, will see you tomorrow'. Friend had to take the day off with 40 mins notice. The next week, as she was picking up her DC, her MIL said 'I think I just want DC for one or two days, it's a bit much having him for 3'. She ended up having to find a nursery place immediately, one that she wasn't entirely happy with, but was the only one available. And MIL was unhappy with her as she wanted to pick and choose when to have DC and couldn't understand why friend was being obstructive!
That's the situation you'll end up in, if you allow MIL to steamroller you into this. And she'll be much more offended if you pull DC out of her childcare, clearly indicating you're unhappy/annoyed/disappointed, than if you had 'always wanted' a nursery setting. What about suggesting she does the pick up and gives your child dinner once a week or so as a sweetener? That might be enough to give her time to spend time with GC alone/pose for FB photos/show off to her friends without risking your job!

MissBattleaxe Mon 31-Oct-16 10:39:09

She sounds like a grandparent who is very excited about being one. You could be MIL yourself one day, just remember that. No matter how much she irritates you, I can't see that she's broken any laws and your child is as much her grandchild as it is your own mother's.

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