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Hands-Off Grandparent

(18 Posts)
Rogers1 Sat 08-Oct-11 19:04:27

My DH's mum has always been off-ish with me...only warming to me when I gave birth to my DS 15 months ago. She has been a very hands-off nan & my DS is not close to her at all. My family has spent quality time with DS from day one so he is very comfortable with them.
My dilemna is....I have a job interview next week & my MIL is the only person I can ask to have my family are all working.
I'm so worried as my DS is unsure of her & she is stern & doesn't listen to how I do things with him or what he likes. Please help ladies!

BerylOfLaughs Sat 08-Oct-11 19:06:21

Can you ask a friend? Pay a babysitter?

LynetteScavo Sat 08-Oct-11 19:08:36

If there is no one else you can ask, then maybe this is a good opportunity for them to have a bit of bonding.

Do you trust her, even though she is stern?

Rogers1 Sat 08-Oct-11 19:08:50

I really wish I one is free. Sounds mean but I spent 2 hours trying to find someone before I resorted to asking her.

Rogers1 Sat 08-Oct-11 19:11:42

LynetteScarvo....I agree it could be good she has declined quality time the last 15 months. I do trust her...but she had never shown me in all this time that she is interested. She would rather give DS money than a cuddle. Not my idea of grandparent.

scaevola Sat 08-Oct-11 19:13:35

He'll not come to any harm, and unless you're travelling miles, it won't be for that long.

Some one to one time might even improve things between them! And pragmatically, I'd say this was a good thing - if you got the job (Good luck!) you'd want a back up to whatever regular childcare you put in place and this might mean her.

Octaviapink Sat 08-Oct-11 19:13:50

I know how you feel, because I hate putting my DCs into the hands of my ILs, but... Your DS will be used to the idea by now that different adults have different approaches. You may be being a little bit pfb about it - your MIL may be stern, but I'm perfectly sure you can 'trust' her to look after your DS for a couple of hours. It doesn't matter a jot that she doesn't do things the way you do them. As long as she understands when he usually has a snack, and what his special toys are or his bedtime routine if she has to put him down, then it will be good for him to experience a different way of doing things. The very fact that she's willing to do it suggests that she would like a relationship that's perhaps a bit warmer - many MNers would kill for a hands-off MIL!

BluddyMoFo Sat 08-Oct-11 19:15:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Rogers1 Sat 08-Oct-11 19:19:20

I think you are all thank u all. I'm just sceptical -I would like this opportunity to ease my mind of her looking after DS. She nit-picks what I do & I find her criticism hard....(although I know I'm a good mummy). She whines to my DH that she doesn't see DS...but shows no interest when he is around her or on her rare visits.

TryLikingClarity Mon 10-Oct-11 12:27:32

Did MIL offer to take your DS when you return to work? Or are you just assuming she'll do it as she isn't working/ has nothing else to do those days you need him minded?

If she offered then that's great and shows that she wants to bond with your DS. If you're just assuming she'll do it as she's the only person you can get to do it for free then I think you're perhaps not doing the right thing by assuming....

Rogers1 Mon 10-Oct-11 12:34:01

It is just while I have an interview...I will work at weekends while my DH is at home to have our DS.
MIL was reluctant when asked if she would mind watching DS or an hour while I had my interview...I suggested nice things they could maybe do nearby to where I would be -for them to bond etc & she has said she will sit in the car with him.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 10-Oct-11 13:42:23

Some people just aren't that great with small children, don't have the 'gush factor' and your MIL is probably one of them. She's offered to help out so say 'thanks' and give her the benefit of the doubt. Your husband grew up OK and babies are quite happy with a lot of different parental/grandparental styles.

TryLikingClarity Mon 10-Oct-11 13:53:40

OP - I started a thread about 6 months ago cuz my MIL was acting in a very similar way with me DS sad Some people flamed me, told me to get over it, whereas others gave sympathy.

In the end it took another family member (not myself or DH) to have a quiet word with her and tell her to buck up her ideas about how to be a gran. Now she is great with DS, very loving and good fun. DS is 20 months now, and I think the fact that he's slightly older - is a chatterbox and can walk well help.

It took her until he was 18 months to even take him a walk in his buggy sad So I def feel your pain!

Good luck for your job interview!! brew

Rogers1 Mon 10-Oct-11 14:06:38

TryLikingClarity & Cogito- thank u for your posts. Cogito - MIL isn't a person who likes little ones much & I think I should accept that. I guess I expected her to be like my mum is- but they are different people.
TryLikingClarity- sorry to hear you have had a similar experience to me. My BIL has had a word with her as he has seen how upset my DH is about it. Any advice on how I can approach this? She hasn't listened to BIL.

TryLikingClarity Mon 10-Oct-11 14:32:41

OP - you can't force her to listen to BIL and I think if you charge in demanding she do this or that with DS it might just push her further away sad I know it's tempting to spout off though!

In your situation I would just continue to be a good mum to your DS and a good wife to your DH, as they are worlds more important than MIL and whatever she thinks.

Encourage her by saying that you're sure DS would love to go for a walk with her, go feed the ducks, go to the park etc etc and she might pick up the hint and interact more with him.

Or, she might not, and in which case there isn't much you can do. Give her time, as others have said, as she might just be a bit overwhelmed at the idea of a young toddler - nappies, tantrums, bottles, no speech etc. She might be a super gran when your DS is a bit older, maybe primary school age.


Rogers1 Tue 11-Oct-11 18:07:31

Thank u all so much for all your responses! I had my interview today & DS was perfectly fine with MIL. Although she only sat in the car with him..I have learnt (from your messages) it's the fact she did it & he was fine that is important. I got the job!!!

TryLikingClarity Wed 12-Oct-11 07:57:17


Well done on getting the job and on getting the ball rolling with your MIL and your DS.


Curlybrunette Wed 12-Oct-11 08:26:59

Congrats on getting the job smile
But how weird she stayed in the car with him, that would've stressed me out knowing he was sat outside possibly going crazy cos he was trapped in a non moving car!

Hopefully it's the start of a better relationship though if your mil realises she survived the time with him


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