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Advice needed, not sure if this is under the right topic

(8 Posts)
NewbeeMummy Wed 09-Sep-09 12:53:45

I was wondering if anyone could offer me any advice on how to deal with my in laws (well mainly my MiL)

They have offered to come and spend a week with me once DD is born, to help out with house work etc.

Now don't get me wrong, I do really appreciate their gesture, but the problem is they don't go anywhere without their dog. I'm an animal lover so normally would love to have a dog come stay, but this dog seems to be obsessed with trying to eat my 2 cats who I love dearly, and as she (the dog) has to sleep in the house the cats effectively move out whenever they come to stay (never more than one or two nights previously as they are aware this causes me a great ammount of stress)

Last week when visiting them, they commented that they were unsure how the dog would react to a baby as she's never been around a small child before.

This really has me worried, the dog is basically untrained, and has on occasion jumped and snapped at a cat when I was carrying it, to remove it from the reach of the dog. So I am really worried it's going to have a go at my baby (which if it does I'm afriad it will get a boot) but I can't refuse to let them hold their grandchild, and I just don't know what they'll do if the dog were to jump up.

To give you an idea of how important this dog is to them, they can only visit their new grand daughter before a certain time (the first month) as they are hoping to breed from her, and will not move her around once she's in season as this can cause the dogs pregnancy to fail. Ok so call me unreasonable but it seems to me like the dog is more important that thier first grandchild.

I have spoken to my OH and he agrees it is a concern, but we're both unsure how to address this, as we don't want to say that they can't see their grandchild, and we're going to be going up to visit them at christmas anyway, so even if we avoid this first visit we'll have to deal with this eventually.

Am I being unreasonable, should I just be greatful for the help or do I have a reason to be concerned, if so how do I deal with this?

Sorry for the long post

thehairybabysmum Wed 09-Sep-09 13:05:36

Personally, i would ask them not to bring the dog when they help you out, state both cats and baby worry. If they have said themselves that they are unsure about the dogs reaction then use this as your reason.

You do not have to state that they cannot see their grandchild, just that they need to make other arrangements for dog. Do they have a kennels/sitter that they already use when on hols etc?

For staying with them i would ensure that baby is never left on its own with the dog even for a minute.

In reality i think once their new grandchild arrives the dog will move down a bit in the pecking order!

meemarsgotabrandnewbump Wed 09-Sep-09 13:10:54

You do have reason to be concerned. As well as worrying from a safety point of view, this is your early days with a new baby - you don't need the stress of 2 house guests with a misbehaving dog.

I would tell them your concerns. If they can't get a sitter/kennel for the dog maybe suggest that only one of them comes to stay. They don't both need to be around to help with housework.

NewbeeMummy Wed 09-Sep-09 13:15:14

Thanks very much for getting back to me, your replies are really appreciated.

I wasn't sure if the OH was just humouring me.

A sitter really isn't an option (as the people they have used previously won't have the dog again as she's such a nightmare )

So the idea of just one of them coming to visit does appeal.

I'm hoping you're right about the pecking order, life is tough enough for kids without having to compete for attention with a dog

MaryBS Wed 09-Sep-09 13:16:49

I agree, the baby comes first!

bevlin Wed 09-Sep-09 20:37:09

Oh fecking hell. Right, maybe it's just me but....Id rather eat their dogs feces than have my in-laws stay with me FOR A WEEK when id just had a new baby. There's no hoovering or bathroom cleaning than bloody urgent.
Trust me, when that baby arrives you will be in a totally different place mentally.
You will want to just look after your baby, in peace and when the visitors come, 1 hour can feel like a week anyway!
I remember getting home from hospital saturday tea time and my in laws coming for a visit sunday afternoon. Honest to god, I nearly died of exaustion by the time they left. Suddenly he wasn't my precious little baby, he was a game of pass the parcel. Who can have him next, then again then again. Conversation feels like a 10 mile run after the birth. I had no idea i'd feel like this as im quite laid back. Put the whole idea of them coming to stay off until the baby is months old. Tell them you have thought about it and you'd rather they came when he/she is a few months old as you'd imagine the housework will be more of a problem once the baby spends more time awake during the day and you'd like to get used to dealing with things initially on your own to get used to it and bond with the baby.
Oh tell them anything but get rid! One week with hootch is more likely to be a problem than a few visits here and there.
Tell them you love their precious bloody dog but as they said, who knows what it will be like with a baby so we'd be better off easing it in gently than suddenly having to share affection with a baby - wouldn't be fair on the poor dog >rolls eyes to ceiling!
Im actually stressed for you now, im off for a bath!

bevlin Wed 09-Sep-09 20:42:56

Oh, and when they do come with the mut, just watch the dog and get ready with your size 5's. The protective instinct you'll have for your baby will be a lot stronger and quicker than the dogs reflexes!
First sign of it being aggresive - there's the get out clause. It's the dog or your grandchild and if they can't understand who's more important, tough. Your DH will also have the protective instinct and may even bodily remove his own mother with the dog if the dog as much as flashes a canine!
Right, im calm now, im definitely going for that bath - I have in-law issues!grin

NewbeeMummy Thu 10-Sep-09 11:38:51

Thanks Bevlin x

I used to have issues with them and I am really nervous about them staying the whole week, I can handle them in small doses (a couple of days) but a whole week does just seem like a life time...

I did float the idea of just seeing them at Xmas (as they won't travel due to the dog being "lined" what a horrible word) but they really wanted to see their grandchild sooner.

Currently trying to find a B&B that will take them and the dog, or even a local caravan site, my excuse being that the dog has a very high pitched bark and barks constantly (and can't be left outside), and when we visited a couple of weeks ago, every time she barked the baby would kick. So I'm thinking that if I use the approach that it'll disturb the baby when I'm trying to get her used to new surroundings. I may be able to have them visit but give me and baby some space when we need it. Thankfully my OH has agreed to take the week off as well, so he can take them out for lunch, walks whatever and give me and the baby some space and time to ourselves.

PS - sorry if I stressed you out, but it is nice to know that others think the situation is a bit off.

To meemarsgotabrandnewbump I floated the idea of only one of them coming down, but as they live 6 hours away they weren't too keen on that

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