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Want to send DS to a childminder rather than MIL, but will cause massive offence - help!

(30 Posts)
PlinkPlonkPlunk Mon 03-Oct-16 14:17:15

I'm sure to return to work soon, for 3 mornings per week. DD is at school, but DS is at home with me, so we'll need to arrange childcare. My mum is happy to do one morning a week, which is great, as they adore each other and she's great with him. The problem is the other 2 mornings. I have a friend who's a childminder and lives round the corner, and I'd love him to go to her. He knows her and likes her, and he'd have other children to play with, which is great as he doesn't know many friends his age.

However, DH reckons that MIL will want to do the remaining 2 mornings, and will be hugely offended if we don't ask her. The problem with this is that I don't trust her. She has 6 grandchildren, and favours 2 of them over the others. The 2 can do no wrong, whereas the others (including my two) she'll describe as "spoiled". I've heard her describe niece as "nasty and violent", which is totally untrue. She has minded the favourite 2 since they were tiny, and the other 2 a bit, my 2 only occasional days (we haven't needed childcare before). She is totally uninterested in my DCs (possibly in the other 2 non-favourites as well; certainly she never talks about them). When she minded the favourite 2, she always did loads activities with them, took them out, bought them toys every day. When she minded the other 2, she did nothing with them all day, didn't buy them anything, and complained about their behaviour all the time.

Worst thing was, one of them went through a phase of biting, and was biting one of the favourite GCs (possibly because she saw them getting away with all sorts of things, and being allowed to take her toys etc). MIL decided to solve this by biting her back (although her daughter, the biter's mother, had asked her not to). She then boasted about this for about a week, how she'd finally got the awful child to behave.

I really don't want to leave DS with her, as I think he'll be shoved into the living room all morning and ignored. If he misbehaves, I don't trust her to handle it the way we would ask her to. I just think it would be best all round to get and pay a childminder.

However, DH thinks MIL will be really offended and we should send DS to her. I'm really not comfortable with it at all. What would you do?

PlinkPlonkPlunk Mon 03-Oct-16 14:21:59

By the way, DH fully agrees that MIL has no interest in our DCs, and that she favours the other 2. His opinion on the childcare is based entirely on not wanting to offend her.

Rainbowshine Mon 03-Oct-16 14:23:17

Well you need to choose what's best for your DS, not what will suit MIL. What are the things that he will benefit from that he won't have at MILs? Does DH accept that she has these favourites?

Giratina Mon 03-Oct-16 14:24:50

I wouldn't send him there either. Ask your DH if not offending MIL is more important than his son's happiness.

WatchingFromTheWings Mon 03-Oct-16 14:25:05

I'd be using the child minder 3 days a week, never mind 2. If she is biting kids she'd not be going anywhere near mine. Not unsupervised at least.

Rainbowshine Mon 03-Oct-16 14:26:25

Sorry cross posted, I see DH accepts she has favourites. I think you need to highlight that as parents your job is to make the best decision for DS, his mum is an adult and can deal with it. DS is a child and cannot be expected to just "cope" and adjust to the favouritism just to avoid an awkward conversation.

Cherryskypie Mon 03-Oct-16 14:27:41

Ask him what is more important to him. The risk of offending his mother or the welfare of his DS.

isupposeitsverynice Mon 03-Oct-16 14:29:52

Tell MIL you have to use registered childcare because of employer voucher system. She can't take offense at that. Well she probably can, but it's worth a go.

Kr1stina Mon 03-Oct-16 14:30:10

What cherry said

QforCucumber Mon 03-Oct-16 14:33:14

We have used the reasoning that 'we want ds to socialise with other children outside of the family so he gets to know relationships and build friendships'

OldGuard Mon 03-Oct-16 14:34:03

Send to cm for all three days

If pressed state that this is the best option for your family (and don't elaborate)

OldGuard Mon 03-Oct-16 14:34:35

And what cucumber said

dazzlingdeborahrose Mon 03-Oct-16 14:36:21

Same situation I was in. Friend who was childminder. Didn't entirely trust MIL to follow my instructions. Used childminder as was more convenient for me and better for DC as there were other children for them to play with. Never regretted the decision. Was there grumbling to start with. Yes. Eventually just put down to strange and difficult DIL. I can (and have) lived with that.

dazzlingdeborahrose Mon 03-Oct-16 14:36:26

Same situation I was in. Friend who was childminder. Didn't entirely trust MIL to follow my instructions. Used childminder as was more convenient for me and better for DC as there were other children for them to play with. Never regretted the decision. Was there grumbling to start with. Yes. Eventually just put down to strange and difficult DIL. I can (and have) lived with that.

Rainbowshine Mon 03-Oct-16 14:37:47

There's always the MN favourite, "no thanks that won't work for us. Nice of you to offer ".

sorenipples Mon 03-Oct-16 14:59:15

I would try and make my DH realise he needs to put his DC above his mum. With his current attitude this will not be the only challenge you face. Good luck OP!

annandale Mon 03-Oct-16 15:03:08

In an ideal world I think paying for professional childcare, and having grandparents as a beloved and safe backup, is better for all concerned. Can you switch the conversation to whether your MIL can do emergency calls, how early/late could you call and when could she come if that happened? Would she mind, or find it rude?

If you never have an emergency, well that's just one of those things isn't it.

MadAsABagOfCats Mon 03-Oct-16 15:15:51

I think Mil will offended if you send your dc to your mother's but not to her. Agree with sending dc to cm for three days or one day in each place.

Caper86 Mon 03-Oct-16 15:22:11

Never leave your children with someone you don't fully trust. I was pressured into leaving my babies with my MIL, who I then caught drinking on the job (hiding bottles of wine in her handbag and polishing them off while babysitting). I felt guilty and annoyed I was pushed into letting her help.

Just say thanks but no thanks and let her sulk.

useyourimagination Mon 03-Oct-16 15:26:56

Presumably she knows you're going back to work and hasn't offered. No offer, no problem. Just use the childminder.

PragmaticWench Mon 03-Oct-16 15:32:23

I'd try and avoid a day with each grandparent and a day with the childminder, it would be quite unsettling to have that much change.

Can you sit your DH down and stress how important it is for your DS to be looked after properly?

FetchezLaVache Mon 03-Oct-16 15:32:59


Is she expecting you to come cap in hand asking her to mind DS? If so, problem solved - your DM offered, but she didn't, so you've already arranged childcare (if she asks why you haven't asked)

Nan0second Mon 03-Oct-16 15:34:26

I just said how kind it was for her to offer but that I felt it best for DD to go to childminder. I then asked if she would mind terribly being one of our back up people to help us when childminder was on holiday / any other problems. This went down well and DD is v happy With CM so win win.

TimTamTerrier Mon 03-Oct-16 15:40:08

I would just sort it out as you want it to be. If she kicks up a fuss you can say it's very sweet of her to want to help but you don't want to take advantage of her.

AmeliaJack Mon 03-Oct-16 15:40:25

Someone who bites a child is not suitable child care.

Arrange childminder and if it comes up with Mil just say "I felt that you had enough on your plate with the other 4, we are very happy with the Childminder."

And don't budge. Your responsibility is to your children.

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