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MIL bored of doing childcare

(38 Posts)
AlphaElf Mon 13-Jan-20 21:02:23

I have never asked MIL to provide free childcare for DCs so that I can work. DC1 went to nursery everyday on my work days and after having DC2, MIL asked me if she could take care of him for 1 day a week. I was really pleased and obliged- but she asked me to change my work day to one that was more convenient for her, so I did.

As my inlaws are quite old, we just asked that both MIL and FIL were present to take care of DC. At nursery, there are plenty of people there should something go wrong.

At first, MIL loved have DC2, but soon became disillusioned I think, possibly as DC2 is more of a handful than DC1.

Now she keeps on making other plans on the days they have DC2 and leaves him with FIL who is lovely, but makes careless mistakes- think covering the buggy in a thick blanket in summer to block out the light, incorrectly fitting a carseat, giving hard foods too young. I find him hard work on my own, even when I understand his mischievous ways, so I really think that both grandparents need to be present.

This is becoming a regular pattern.
FIL doesn't seem to mind having DC at all, but I have concerns for his safety whilst he is still a baby. I have asked them if it's too much for them and they say it's not, so I don't understand why MIL continues making other plans on the days they have DC2. I think she is bored. She seems to be making less effort with DC1 also and often goes upstairs to do chores/ have a rest leaving her with FIL also.

I don't want to offend anyone, so how do I go about this? If I were to take him out of their care, they would be completely offended. They also get offended when I point out something they have done incorrectly.

Next week, MIL is leaving FIL with BOTH DCs after we asked them to take care of both at the same time, I think this will be far too much for him when they are both so young.
DH has agreed in the past that he thinks it's too much for FIL but is now arguing that it isn't probably because he doesn't want to have to deal with the fallout of looking for paying for alternative childcare.

What should I do?

Redwinestillfine Mon 13-Jan-20 21:07:30

Find alternative childcare. It's not fair on the kids or your PIL's.

stuffingball Mon 13-Jan-20 21:13:34

You will just have to bite the bullet and find alternative childcare and deal with the fallout. You could play it lightly at first and say that you think it would benefit dc from being with other children etc, but if they keep pushing then tell the truth and say mil you are never there why are you bothering.

surreygirl1987 Mon 13-Jan-20 21:15:55

Definitely alternative childcare. They might even be relieved rather than offended!

Oakeyy Mon 13-Jan-20 21:21:40

Definitely find childcare. You could explain that you feel the children are of an age to really appreciate socialising with others, hence why you are changing the childcare so you don't hurt their feelings. Then maybe arrange a group outing to a soft play/park etc or somewhere else on another day, even the weekend, so they still feel welcomed etc.

lboogy Mon 13-Jan-20 21:30:03

Depends on if you can financially afford to find alternative childcare. If not then you'll have to have an honest conversation with MIL and find out what's going on with her. Maybe *she* doesn't want to hurt your feelings by saying she can't cope.

TheReef Mon 13-Jan-20 21:37:59

Find alternative childcare

AlphaElf Mon 13-Jan-20 21:40:45

There is a slight financial problem with finding alternative childcare after I reduced my working hours (because I had the flexibility to) after MIL and FIL began providing childcare for DC2. I will have to increase my working hours again to fund it, which will mean working a day at the weekend when DH is around to do the childcare. Obviously, if this can't be avoided then it is what will have to be done.

I have communicated very clearly to DH my disappointment so I am hoping he can have an honest conversation with them. I am quite angry that DH agreed to FIL taking care of both DCs alone after we had already dicussed months ago that one of them looking after both DCs would be too much.

They will know when DH speaks to them that this has come from me and not from him.

It's odd that when MIL didn't have her set day, she couldn't have been more hands-on with the DCs when she saw them, it's lile she feels restricted bu the set day and feels the need to break free of it when she can. My DH can be like this strangely.

AnotherEmma Mon 13-Jan-20 21:41:12

Fuck offending PILs.
These are your children FFS.
Sort out proper childcare!
Spin in to the PILs how you like, but make it happen.

AlphaElf Mon 13-Jan-20 21:43:52

Would others have an issue with a baby being left with FIL as opposed to both grandparents? I don't know if I'm overreacting. He's great, can't do enough to help, but I'm just not that comfortable with it for long periods. A couple of hours would be fine, but a full day on his own is too much I think...

lboogy Mon 13-Jan-20 21:49:21

I've left my ds with my dad all day. He's been totally fine, but then he's super careful. Does everything as I tell him and he's early 60s so young enough to not be forgetful. I'm not sure how he'd cope with 2 kids though.

AnotherEmma Mon 13-Jan-20 21:49:51

It doesn't matter what others think.
You made a decision which was that both grandparents would look after the children together.
The arrangement was made on that basis - they could have said no but didn't - and now they are unilaterally changing it without discussing it with you.
I wouldn't trust these people to respect your basic requests for looking after your children.
They are not childcare professionals.
Get them to help out on an ad hoc basis at weekends instead.

lowwintersun Mon 13-Jan-20 21:52:22

Of course it's a problem. Arrange different childcare. They'll be relieved. I think it's pretty common. All excited wjth DC1 then fed up and older by the time DC2 comes along.

PenelopeFlintstone Mon 13-Jan-20 21:55:35

How old are the children and how old are the PIL?

AlphaElf Mon 13-Jan-20 22:06:18

DCs are 1 and 4
Inlaws are 70 and 71

SingingSands Mon 13-Jan-20 22:12:46

Your in-laws, however lovely, are going to struggle at that age. Very young kids are exhausting - as we know - and it's not just physical effort, but the mental planning and preparation too.

You definitely need to arrange alternative childcare, which not only puts your mind at ease and is better for your children, but gives your PIL a break so that when they do spend time with their grandchildren it is less work and more pleasure.

Also - don't leave your DH to break this news alone, do it together. You are both parents and it should be a united decision.

AlphaElf Mon 13-Jan-20 22:20:21

DH will never agree to it... 😫

Redwinestillfine Mon 13-Jan-20 22:36:43

They're his parents, will he not want to ease their burden? If not talk to them directly. Say it's both of them or none of them, say it's not fair on them, kids are demanding, and ask them what, if anything they feel they can commit to. Talk to DH about a plan b. Your kids are very young, PIL are only getting older. Even if they can manage now, it may only be a few years until they can't.

8paws8legs Mon 13-Jan-20 22:40:22

You should get free childcare for the 4 year old, if you haven't already got a code you will now need to wait until after easter to claim the free hours, I'm assuming if eldest is 4 they will be starting school in September so I would go with you want him used to more days before it gets to school time, so would only need to pay for the younger one so not as expensive.
Would you be able to change your hours we are only allowed to change ours once every 12 months? If not could you get an evening job once or twice a week to help towards it and instead can keep your weekend for family time.

AlphaElf Mon 13-Jan-20 22:48:04

4 year old is in reception so we don't usually need childcare for her- only the odd one-off.

AlphaElf Mon 13-Jan-20 22:50:49

FIL will argue that he's more than capable of lone grand-parenting. They are quite stubborn and he wants to help out a lot more than he's able. I am not sure MIL feels the same way anymore. If she didn't, he would still want to.

DH keeps saying they both "love" it and he doesn't want to take it away from them. I think he's delusional and doesn't want to face up to the truth.

AnneLovesGilbert Mon 13-Jan-20 22:53:01

Your DH priority should his young children’s safety and comfort. Yours is. Why is he more bothered about upsetting his parents than his wife?

I can see how awkward you feel but you’re going to spend all day at work stressing and you don’t really have a choice.

JKScot4 Mon 13-Jan-20 22:58:14

70 isn’t quite old! I know plenty people in their 70s who are very fit & active with full lives. If you don’t like it drop asking them, I think you are rude & presumptive; you want free child care then moan about it.

runlift Mon 13-Jan-20 23:09:54

My dad is older than that and is very capable of looking after my kids by himself. Though he tends to go to McDonald's or something if my mum isn't there to do tea! I guess only you can judge your fil's capability but I don't think she is necessarily a factor. Especially if they are looking after them in and around their own home.

runlift Mon 13-Jan-20 23:10:33

Age not she!

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