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visiting relatives with children - need advice

(30 Posts)
scottishmum007 Tue 05-Aug-08 20:54:36

We have invited bro and sis-in-law over with their 2 DCs (15mo and 2yo) for lunch later this week, but it turns out they can't because apparently DC both nap at this time, so they can't visit people.
I suggested another time, but on the phone we were told that it would actually be easier if we go to them for lunch so that they can co-ordinate their DCs naps. ehh???? They have never visited us, we always have to make the effort to see them...
Now is it just me being a cruel parent, where I have to sometimes leave the house to get bare essentials to eat from a supermarket when DH is at work, and drag my DS out with me sometimes when he should be having a nap? He usually has a nap in the car if we're out or he'll make up for it later on in the day. Which I thought most parents do with their baby/toddler.
I'm really taken aback by their attitude. Now just to point out clearly that I have no objections to people having different parenting methods, but surely for ONE afternoon they could bring their kids out to visit their relatives??? Will it really be detrimental to their wellbeing to miss one nap??
Please can I have some opinions on this.

Hulababy Tue 05-Aug-08 21:01:06

Some people are just like this - very routine obsessed and unwilling/unable to have any flexibility in it.

I couldn't have been like this. I'd have felt trapped. So, we had a very flexible routine - in that it was almost non-existence, especially during the day but also at night to an extent. It suited us. It meant we could go out and about and do what we wanted, and DD (now 6y) just grew up to be flexible also.

Each to their own, they are the ones who will loose out IMO.

But if you are always the one doing the running about - just say you can't for a change. If they won't be flexible - they miss out.

mrschop Tue 05-Aug-08 21:02:40

We went to a hotel for a weekend esp to be near my Bro, SIL and their baby, and having arranged to meet at 10am, they eventually turned up at 3.45pm. Through the day we'd had texts that they 'just needed to pop to the shops', 'baby is having lunch', 'he just needs a sleep', 'he's still asleep' etc. My two were shattered by the time they turned up as we'd been out and about all day (with a younger baby than theirs!). I just thought it was a bit of a shame for them to be so limited.

I think the problem is a lack of confidence - not feeling able to just go for it. It will pass, I don't take it personally.

luckylady74 Tue 05-Aug-08 21:03:30

My children's nap time was sacred because without it I would have gone insane, but I did make it so I could get them to sleep in any house - as long as ds1 had his music player he could go to sleep. Their dc are very young and they could be sleep deprived - give them the benefit of the doubt - isn't it nice to be the ones that are given the lunch rather than you have to make it?
Tbh I would never have gone to the shops rather than let my children have their nap at the right time- I just went before or after - and I have I think had a much nicer time because I could rely on 2 hrs a day of peace/focussing on ds1.

allergictohousework Tue 05-Aug-08 21:04:52

erm can they not come and use a travel cot / your dc's cots / travel cots for sleep time in your house?

My ds is 15mo and if he's tired he wants somewhere quiet and dark to lie down but it doesn't have to be his own room. and he's knackered by the time midday nap comes round. They can bring gro bag / fave blankets, dummies, sleep toys etc and voila just like being at home.

sounds more like they are lazy and can't be arsed to make the effort, given they've never visited you.

snickersnack Tue 05-Aug-08 21:05:29

I agree with MrsChop - they probably worry that if they deviate from the routine they will suffer the consequences. I have some sympathy - we did some crazy things with dd to try and avoid breaking her routine. But 15mo and 2 years seems old to be worrying about napping. Can't you suggest making up beds/cots at your house, and eating a bit earlier? Would be good for them to give it a spin.

MissisBoot Tue 05-Aug-08 21:06:35

I always find it weird when people say they can't do things because thats when their child naps - I had quite a strict routine with dd when we were at home, but I certainly didn't stop doing things in case I she missed her sleep.

I'd be quite upset if I were you especially if you're always the one visiting them. Can you speak to your brother and tell him the real reason why you are upset?

ivykaty44 Tue 05-Aug-08 21:09:01

If they want to live like this let them get on with it - not my cup of tea at all. No you'r not cruel to my mind and actually probably far more sensible.

When there is perhaps some type of crisis or drama that throws aout the schedule and the dc dont get their "nap, tea, or bathtime routine" on time all hell will break lose and it will be a complete blardy nightmare.

So continue to be a flexible parent and enjoy the freedom it brings and let your IL do it their own way

scottishmum007 Tue 05-Aug-08 21:11:49

allergictohousework, that's what i would havethought. i was actually going to say their DC could nap in our DS's cot! But I'm sure she'd have had her answer ready to fire out 'no'. As a family they are just goign to alienate themselves and it's the kids i feel sorry for the most. they are going to miss out big time. i imagine their parents will have a nervous breakdown of some sorts when the DC have to go to nursery and nap times are totally out of their control.

scottishmum007 Tue 05-Aug-08 21:16:52

luckylady, sorry, what i meant was that sometimes as parents we have to go out the house to get food, we have no choice and sometimes that's coincided with our DS's nap time. But because we go on day trips togethr as a family, at any given time, we don't schedule things round naps, then I suppose he is at an advantage because he is used to being flexible and he is pretty sociable (our DS is 16mo) and loves being around others.
I suppose I should see it that they are maybe lacking in confidence and dont want to deviate from the routine incase it all goes bonkers. I just think it's ashame on their DC, they are really missing out on life if they just nap like clockwork.

scottishmum007 Tue 05-Aug-08 21:19:55

thanks for all your input, girls. I was beginning to think i was the weird one!!!wink
mrschop, that's really ashame about your bro and sis in law too. they must have missed out.

tbh, i'm frightened i put my foot in it when we go for lunch by asking if they ever leave the house as a family! lol

muggglewump Tue 05-Aug-08 21:22:13

I had no routine, DD napped where she fell asleep, whatever time, wherever we were but then because that was fine for her maybe I feel it should be fine for others and don't understand that missing a nap for their DC might get them the night from hell.

scottishmum007 Tue 05-Aug-08 21:27:11

mugglewump that's the kind of routine i have with my DS during the day - it's relaxed. As every day is different he gets tired when he really feels tired and then just nods off. it's not forced.
i couldn't be a prisoner in my own home and never get out the house because of napping. that's crazy. we can't let kids rule our lives from that point of view.
just my opinion ofcourse.wink

luckylady74 Tue 05-Aug-08 21:32:34

naps only last for 3 years anway so they're not missing out on much of their life really! I found freewheeling hard with a 2 yr old and newborn twins - my routine saved me from insanity. We went out all day - they were just put in their pushchair and taken for a long boring walk at the appropriate time. My holidays were enhanced by our long child free lunches! Routines make me feel secure and as it turned out my ds1 is autistic and so he certainly appreciated it too!

scottishmum007 Tue 05-Aug-08 21:35:36

fair enough, lucklady74, but i'm sure you don't lock yourself at home with DC because you get obsessive with routines, even with an autistic child. Surely you cope well when visiting friends and relatives. That's what I'm getting at from ths thread.

luckylady74 Tue 05-Aug-08 21:46:21

I thought I coped well when visiting, but I think relatives were raising eyebrows when all 3 dc disappeared for 2 hrs!

scottishmum007 Tue 05-Aug-08 21:50:12

at least you made the effort though which speaks volumes. I am so peed off with their attitude that I feel like not going. I am only being civil for the sake of the kids, DS deserves to grow up knowing his cousins.
The thing that is geting to me most is DH says he doesn't care, that it's none of my business how they raise their kids. It's like he doesn't want to support me or see where I'm coming from.

Elkat Wed 06-Aug-08 09:55:20

I think some children need to have their naps at home too. I deliberately didn't want to get into that trap, so my children had to get used to sleeping anywhere but I do know of people who started off making sure their children had their nap at home, and before they knew it, the baby was stuck in the routine of only going to sleep at home in the cot or whatever... I think it can be an easy trap to fall into.

throckenholt Wed 06-Aug-08 10:05:40

I have some sympathy for you SIL - two kids are harder than one - and two overtired kids are not something to take on lightly (in my experience).

How far is the journey ? Could they fit it in in the morning or afternoon between naps, or time it so nap time ti the journey (if it is long enough) - that is what I used to do when mine were that age.

gladders Wed 06-Aug-08 10:40:09

surely between you all there are enough travel cots/cots/beds?

or do they not want their children to sleep in another house?

how odd.

CuckooClockWorkShy Wed 06-Aug-08 10:42:25

Scottishmum, that kind of rigidity annoys me. I used to meet up with a friend who had to feed her daughter on the DOT of 12.00, or, or, the SKY WOULD HAVE FALLEN DOWN.

my own son meanwhile could sleep in his buggy, have a bite of my sandwich to keep him going!

Her dd was about 2 at this point, so not a hungry newborn.

wannaBe Wed 06-Aug-08 10:59:07

tbh I can see this from both sides.

I was a great believer in routine, and it's something I wouldn't have done differently in hindsight. My ds very much needed his lunchtime nap, and if for any reason he didn't get it then he was the child from hell for the rest of the day. But although I, for the most part, did put him down to nap at home, if we went to family then we would take growbag/travel cot/favourite bear and ds would nap in a room at their house. But I was very harshly judged for it, especially by dh's family, but also by my own family to an extent.

My sister on the other hand, had no routine what so ever, and she also went by the principle that her children would nap when they were tired. However this sometimes didn't happen until 4/5:00 in the evening, which then meant that the kids were often awake until 10/11:00 at night. I have to say that given the choice between losing out on going out for a couple of hours during the day because of nap, and losing my evening because of awake children, I know which I would choose. smile

ceebee74 Wed 06-Aug-08 11:08:15

I agree with Wannabe a little - I am a 'routine' person and always try and ensure DS has his afternoon nap so we get our child-free evenings (even to the extent that if we are doing a short car journey home around his nap time I will make sure he doesn't fall asleep in the car as I want him to fall asleep in his cot at home so I can have a nap too - my excuse is that I am pg and need my nap wink)

However, I am also quite flexible in that I know if we are, say, going to visit my parents for the day (who live 90 minutes away) that DS will sleep in the car going and then not need his afternoon nap. He will then sleep on the way home (usually 6-7ish) and then he will generally still be up until we go to bed - but this are one-off's and aren't going to do him any harm.

Or other occasions, I will time the drive (if it is a longish one) to wherever we are going for around his naptime so at least he gets a little sleep.

However I know I am very fortunate that DS is very adaptable and seems to be much more happy to 'go with the flow' than I am.

I think your BIL/SIL could be a bit more flexible tbh but it is probably more of a comfort thing for them rather than their children NEEDING it.

ForeverOptimistic Wed 06-Aug-08 11:19:29

When ds was small I prefered not to have lunch at peoples houses because ds would not nap and would just scream. In restaurants he was ok he would normally sleep in his pushchair.

I would have probably declined the invitation because it would not have been an enjoyable experience for anyone.

scottishmum007 Wed 06-Aug-08 14:53:32

The thing is they couldn't do lunch on another day either because the eldest 'goes to his granny's i'm afraid'. so does he nap at her house then???? you see, it's almost like they are making excuses up not to visit us - naps being the biggest thing.

yeah, foreveroptimistic, but surely we could have compromised on a time, rather than lunch, i was happy to say any time of day, but no, she jumped down my throat 'i need to co-ordinate the boys naps'. weird.
she's manipulative aswell, so i suppose her dh has to just go along with what she pathetic.
DH came round after his night shift and this morning he did admit that 'perhaps' she is being inflexible about it all, and that its either her way or no way. so ridiculous...they obviously haven't heard of the saying 'coming and going' with folk.

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