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Unhelpful dh

(10 Posts)
dcolagirl Fri 04-Apr-03 14:38:25

I have recently returned to work after 18 weeks off with stress. The factors were many including work, degree, dh, young kids...the usual.

Anyway, things were getting back on track and I organised a childminder. Dh didn't want or have any involvement in the selection process, other than to accompany me to visit 3 of the 4 we saw.

I decided to go with the fourth one we saw for various reasons and was very happy with my choice. She advertised one of the highest rates but I would rather have a good minder than a bad cheap one.

She gave us a fabulous deal £3.75 an hour for 2 kids aged 2.5 and 15 months) so I was even happier.

My sister picks them up 2 days a week and dh and I work the rest of the days between us (I always drop them off).

They have been with her for 5 weeks now, ds is very happy there, loves the minders kids and has no problems at all. I was worried that he would be difficult because he is very picky about who he likes and who he doesn't, but he is fine. dd is a little more difficult but she is younger and is used to having me with her. I do call intermittently and listen to the background noise and I never hear the kids crying, usually I hear ds playing or laughing.

The second week they were there, both dh and I picked the kids up together and the minder had a huge black eye. Neither of us mentioned it but dh went mad at me when we got home, saying I should have asked how she got it. I phoned her and asked - in between apologising for my nosiness) - and she said it had happened when she was play fighting with her dp and her 12 year old son. It doesn't seem like a violent household, all the kids (mine, hers and the other one she minds) seem very relaxed and happy so I've no reason to disbelieve her.

Dh told me last night that there is 'something about her' he doesn't like and he would rather the kids didn't go there. I tried to dig deeper but he said he doesn't know why he feels like that. I asked him if he would have been happier with one of the other minders we saw and he said no.

I'm really pi**ed because he didn't get involved with choosing the minder but now he feels justified in criticising my choice. He has made me start worrying about it now and I couldn't watch the programme that was on tv last night called "Who's looking after your kids" because my mind was working overtime.

What do you think I should do? Disregard dh's concern and go by my initial reaction and the kids behaviour or respect his views and find another minder?

jac34 Fri 04-Apr-03 15:39:56

what does your sister think of her ???
Perhaps your DH is just reacting to the black eye thing.

SoupDragon Fri 04-Apr-03 15:50:45

I think you'd notice something in children's behaviour (minder's and yours) if there was a problem. I agree with Jac34 that your dh's reacting to the black eye.

I'd leave it but be on the look out for any signs of a problem.

Maudy Fri 04-Apr-03 15:52:17

It's so hard isn't it dcolagirl. My Dp was jsut the same and wanted no input in the finding of the carers for out kids and yet when I introduced him to them he said to me afterwards - "they're not really who I would have chosen"!! The bloody cheek! If he had had the slightest interest in the fist place then maybe he could have had an opinion but I think that it's a bit unfair to but all the responsibility on you. It is such a stressful process and you need all the help you can get.

I personally think you should go with your gut instinct. If, deep down you feel uneasy too then you should look for someone else, but if you feel that she is an honest person who your children seem happy with then stay.

If your husband is unhappy then ask him to find someone else as he is clearly not happy with your choices. That's what I said and I haven't heard anything since!!

clucks Fri 04-Apr-03 20:00:22


I'm afraid I don't have good news from my personal experience... I too would be concerned about the black eye, You will have to ignore your DP's accusations as he is excusing himself of resposibility.

I took on a nanny after interviewing several (with DH) and on her first day at work she turned up with a black eye and told me she had banged her head cleaning the shower door. Over the next few months various facts/half truths transpired that I ignored (this tears me up) because I had a good gut feeling, she was warm and apparently loving.

In the end she had to go, too many fibs etc. If you can trust your gut reaction then sure go with your choice, but in my own case when I made my selection I was suffering with pnd and lived in a haze of stress. I notice you have had time off with stress, sometimes we are happy to accept things that please us on the surface to avoid getting more stressed, if you see what I mean. Whilst your DP is clearly in the wrong not to take on more in the decision-making I would say that you cannot ignore his concerns.

I would encourage you to discuss it with him again and ask him to take some of the load off you and take this black eye seriously. Your kids seem safe and happy enough for now but you need a safe carer for them too and I won't forgive myself for taking on someone who was being beaten up, not saying that this would be the case with your minder of course.

Lindy Fri 04-Apr-03 20:10:12

I would have said just ignore it if it is a 'one off' - however having watched 'Who is looking after your children?' last night I am now feeling paranoid ....... but today my DS (2) really bashed me on the nose ...... it was so painful I screamed out ..... there isn't any bruising but had he hit my eye area it would have been a black eye (is this mum abuse ?) .. obviously it was a genuine accident and no harm done, but I can't wonder why in your minder's case, she didn't make a joke of it when you saw it for the first time, I think I'd always do that, if I had nothing to hide.

Batters Sat 05-Apr-03 09:12:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tigermoth Sat 05-Apr-03 10:37:58

I also saw that programme,'who's minding your child' and, like Lindy I am feeling worried now for you. I do think it's odd that you childminder didn't refer to her black eye when you picked up your children. How about making a few surprise visits? call in unannounced, and insist on coming in, not having your children brought to the door. Ask your sister to do the same and also your dh if possible. Do this over the next few weeks. If the childminder is very cagey or asks you to phone in advance, keep pushing for answers. If you see her dp or son, refer to the black eye incident to see their reaction. If you haven't spoken to the childminder's referess, do so now.

At the same time, ask your dh to come with you to check out other childminders. If he's that concerned he should put in the time to do this. If he can't be bothered, then don't feel guilty about making the final choice alone.

layla Sat 05-Apr-03 16:52:02

I would say always ere on the side of caution,don't be fooled by the happy front,abuse can occur in middle class normal looking backgrounds too.That's not to say panic though as luckily your children are older and not very young babies and can communicate with you.I would question them in a certain way such as "was Mrs X happy today?"and "is she always happy?"and maybe "is everyone happy there?"Those sort of probing q's sometimes get responses from very young children.Obviously not your 15 month old by the way.Also I'd agree with Batters and if your Dh is not happy then change,you never know they might love the new childminder to bits.What I would say to people who are looking for a childminder is try and pick the one who seems to genuinely love children and who isn't in it just for the money.It isn't a very highly paid job and like a lot of care work this is half of the problem if you ask me.I would find it very difficult to trust my instincts here,I simply wouldn't have a clue.Good luck.

dcolagirl Mon 07-Apr-03 09:10:38

Thanks for the feedback guys. I was very happy with the care provided up until he put the seed of doubt in my mind. I always go in to the house, I ring intermittently and my sister thinks she is very down to earth and normal!

She split up with her Husband about 3 years ago and he has no contact with her 3 kids now. She met a new guy a year ago and I've met him, he is a builder so very brusque but seems a genuine softy - my picky daughter loves him.

Ds is the one I watch. He is VERY fussy about who he likes and doesn't like - and makes no bones about it. He is very happy there and has progressed with this speech a lot too.

Dh can sometimes put a seed of doubt in my mind just to get a reaction. I think it may have been a safeguard for him so that if anything ever went wrong, for whatever reason (genuine or otherwise), he could say "I told you so".

I do keep a keen eye for bruises and marks on my kids, and hers, when I am there, and can find no reason to think she isn't looking after my kids in the way I would want. It makes me feel sick to think that someone could mistreat them and I'm sure she wouldn't.

My Mum looks after them one day a week - Thursday - and they react the same when I take them to either house (or pick them up), except the minder is more diligent with dirty nappies!

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