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My mum criticising childcare choices(16 Posts)
My 18 month old daughter has been going to nursery for 3.5 days a week for 2 months now and to me, seems happy and to be benefitting from the experience (confidence growing, interacting with peers). I’m back at work full time and my mum looks after her the other 1.5 days.
My mum has told me recently that she thinks my daughter is miserable, misses me so much that it’s “tragic” and is causing her sleep problems (which I think is down to the multiple viruses she’s had since starting) and that she can’t believe I can even consider this arrangement long term (I’m on a fixed term contract until Christmas but may have the option to extend, which I’d like to do). I told her how upsetting her comments were and her response was that “it’s not about you”.
I feel really backed into a corner- she criticised me for having a weekend away with friends last weekend and I feel unable to spend any time I away from my daughter now outside of work... she’s basing her opinion on nursery photos (me and my husband see as her enjoying herself, she interprets the photos as my daughter looking miserable) and her clingy behaviour to me and recent sleep problems. Comparing her to other babies her age, they seem to be going through the same clinginess and change in sleep regardless of how much time they’re spending with their mum so I disagree that it’s to do with missing me. I feel like she’s really overstepped a line in terms of criticising our parenting and childcare decisions but as she’s made it clear that my feelings aren’t of concern here, I really don’t know how to approach the situation. It’s planted a seed of doubt for me and my husband that we aren’t doing the right thing by my daughter and I’m annoyed that form my perspective, she’s making a positive situation into a source of anxiety and conflict. Anyone experienced anything similar and have any words of wisdom? Am I wrong for going back to work full time? Apart from anything else this is upsetting as normally me and my mum are really close, but frankly she’s been pretty mean about this.
Please ignore your mum. Your daughter is benefitting from her routine. You've summed everything up well. Maybe time with GM is the problem!
Does she think your DH should stay home? We’ve found that once people (luckily not family) start muttering about the fact I work FT that the best response is to call them out on their sexism (assuming they don’t think he should, which they never yet have!).
DH (to colleague who said this): ‘How would you decide who stayed home?’
DColleague: ‘Base it on earnings.’
DH (to me): ‘Would you like a househusband, darling?’
Me: ‘Entirely up to you, darling.’
DColleague: ‘Oh, whatever works for you!’
Do you work very long hours? Have a long commute?
Of course you’re not wrong. I think you need to move your daughter into 5 days nursery if your mum is going to behave like this
Is she basing her opinion that your dd is miserable and misses you/has sleep problems only on nursery photos or the 1.5 days she spends with her?
Thank you all, just having some messages of support has lessened the feeling of guilt already...!
@InDubiousBattle No- I don't have a long commute or work long hours- It's a 20 min drive away and I work 8-4 so collect my daughter by 4:30pm most days.... so i think i'm pretty lucky with this comparatively.
@jannier My mum said that if I continue to work full time, she wants to have my daughter more, so I don't think it's that she finds her portion of the childcare too much.
@BunnyCake when I asked her why she thinks my daughter is unhappy, she said because of the behavior I've talked about (sleep issues and clinginess) and the photos from nursery. She's definitely a very happy baby when she's with my mum and goes to nursery willingly when she's dropped off...
You're happy and your DD is happy. Presumably your DH is happy. These are the only people that matter. It's very kind of your mum to offer childcare, but it doesn't give her the right to question your parenting choices.
Maybe your dm is worried dd will love her teachers more than her?
Is your child okay with going to nursery? Does she say anything like she doesn't like it or she feels bad when she's there? Kids need to interact with other kids, they need to learn to stay with each other and socialise, it will make them ready to start primary school with a different attitude. It's not healthy for the kids to stay 24 hours with adults everyday.
I had some female friends saying how I should quit working and stay at home for the benefit of my son but it's just not right neither for me or my child.
Don't listen to your mother, you know what's best for your daughter and if she likes it, then everything it's fine.
I will be sending my baby boy to nursery next year for two days a week. He will also have a nanny two days a week. On the remaining working day I will be at home.
My mother is constantly dropping comments left right and centre about how it's just not the same when other people look after your baby. How if it was her looking after him she would tell me when he's had an accident and how it
happened. How if it was someone employed it would not be the case. That even if there are cameras you cannot fully trust anyone. Then she quite happily sends me random things off the internet about carers abusing children.
Unlike yours, my mother has not offered to look after my baby whilst I am at work so I cheerfully tell her where to shove it.
If she was looking after him I would feel as if I couldn't as she would be helping raise him and therefore reasonably has a say in things. Not the end say mind, but she would certainly be allowed an opinion.
I suppose you have to weigh up what you consider the best option for your child and partner. If she is the type of mother to reign her comments in and be understanding (mine is not) then have a heart to heart with her. If she is like mine, your options are to bite your tongue or put your child in full time.
Just bear in mind, regardless of how it may come across, she's not doing this to spite you. She is doing it because she loves your daughter. So be kind.
Kids get all sorts of bugs when they start at nursery, I reckon they will lighten up by the end of winter, maybe April and things may get better. Our kids adore nursery and the older they get the more they get out of it. I wonder if the half day mucks with routine a bit and 3 & 2 might work better and save some cash but I can also see the point in going 5&0!
Has your mum made hurtful comments about other things before this? When you were growing up was she controlling and judgemental?
You need to nip this bullshit behaviour in the bud right now. You are the parent, it's your decision. She has had her turn at being the parent already. Now it's your turn. Simple.
Her response to you calmly sitting her down to say that to her will tell you A LOT about whether she sees you as an adult or just a child of hers.
She doing this because she has a 'vested interest'. She wants DD more days for whatever reason and so by trying to say negative things about the nursery she's refusing an adult conversation about what's really going on. It really gets my back up when it's so obvious and is something that you need to nip in the bud.
DD (4 months) is becoming increasingly aware and clingy. There was an incident with my parents where I went out for 2hrs and she screamed, and refused to feed. I was explaining to MIL who feels that we should be leaving her overnight or even a long weekend that DD is telling me that she isn't ready. MIL said 'Well blackcat you just need to be leaving her more don't you'. Eh no MIL I'll be leaving her less as in for shorter periods. It's just because MIL would rather have the baby --and pretend she's her own.
On the half day your mum has her, does she have to do the nursery pick up or drop off? If so, that might explain a bit about how she thinks she's miserable if she sees a reaction such as not wanting to go in or being ecstatic to leave. Most need coaxing into nursery and most run out to see the collecting person with joy. Doesn't mean they're unhappy in there!
Perhaps your mum could do two full days?
Also, our perfect sleeper started nursery in a September and the entire family have never been so ill and his sleep went bananas for a good 3-4 months until his immune system could cope. Everyone was miserable so it might be that, as you suspect, that's causing disruption.
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