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MIL minding DS & issues before we've even started!

(28 Posts)
Mum2D Thu 12-Jul-07 14:22:30

Hi, this is my second topic posting. If anyone saw yesterdays, I asked about an old cot that MIL was going to use for DS when he stayed over. From posts, I decided to get a new mattress and not worry about the cot being old. I had been worried the cot might not be up to current safety requirements but I'm not worried anymore once I have the new mattress.

Anyway, the full story, MIL is taking DS one day a week when I go back to work. She has raised 4 children and fostered many more over the years, and is mad about DS.

However, she and I have never been very close. She is often judgmental about me, my housekeeping, and now there is this. She doesn't say anything to my face but rather gives out about me to my DH or hers. Usually I discover after a week or so she wasn't talking to me over something trivial after she's gotten over the event. I usually don't notice. She can be quiet and withdrawn about lots of other things going on in her life. Normal stuff, she just is kinda sulky by nature. She's not like that with DS though.

Anyway, I rang her yesterday to tell her I was picking up a mattress, and when did she want to take DS. She was horrified and barely said two words before hanging up and ringing my DH. She thinks I am judging her ability to look after my son.

The other thing annoying me is after she agreed to take him 1 day a week - her offer, not our request - she told us the first day she is due to do it she will be on holidays. Now I've to work with my family to get DS shared out between my two sisters that day.

We're meeting tonight - all 4 of us - to iron out some issues and see if we can keep going with this plan to have her take care of DS. The other days I work he will be in a creche.

Anyway, the reason I am posting is because I am on the verge of being physically ill thinking about it. How do I tell her that I am the parent, and how to I make sure she follows my routines for DS. I'm not questioning her ability, but I need it to be consistent with the routine he has with us and at creche. Am I being too fussy? Should I let her go with whatever she thinks is best or am I entitled to ask her to do things I want done?

I feel silly even writing this, because I think I am entitled, but I guess my question really is have others experienced any problems with MIL's minding their kids, or have this kind of relationship with their MIL, and how do you get over it and get on with it..

Sorry for long post....

MrsWeasley Thu 12-Jul-07 14:26:59

my mothers looks after my brothers DC and whilst it was a great novelty for her in the beginning it soon became a bit of a pain.

IMHO: I would be tempted to find a registereed childminder or nursery and let MIL have LO everyone now and again when in suits you.

singingmum Thu 12-Jul-07 14:31:37

I lived with my mil after my eldest was born.I even started having a 'drink' everyday to keep myself calm(would not advise this).
You have to be kind but firm.If she is to have your ds then she also has to have a copy of the routine either in her head or written down.You have to make her understand that you love that she wants to help out and that she loves and will help care for your ds but that he needs the routine so as not to upset him.Thank her lots for helping and even if you know the answers to some parenting issues refer to her and ask her opinion as then she will feel included and maybe it will also help your relationship with her as she will feel special.
My MIl and I get on ok now,not perfect but ok.There will be times when she does things you're not happy with but give a little lee-way but not to much.

PregnantGrrrl Thu 12-Jul-07 16:27:10

you have to just say that while you'd love her to take care of him, you are the parent, and you call the shots for the most part. also, she needs to be reliable and consistent, otherwise you'll have no choice but to put him elsewhere.

if there's this much hassle, i'd be tempted to not use her at all, especially if your relationship with her is like this.

muuuuummy Thu 12-Jul-07 16:40:32

Sorry to poke my nose in, but it sounds like you really need to open up the lines of communication.

Could you try going to her for advice and make her feel wanted, and therefore give her a route to open up back to you?

cornsilk Thu 12-Jul-07 16:44:00

If you're this stressed you might be better off finding a childminder for your ds. You could say it's for consistency to MIL.

LIZS Thu 12-Jul-07 16:51:06

I think you either have to accept that she won't always stick to your routines and requirements to the letter but may not actually endanger your ds or find an alternative for that day. I think he'll be more adaptable than you think and hopefully you can have a more relaxed "routine" which suits suit everyone.

Obviously many things will have changed since she had your dh and foster children - like lying on back to sleep , compulsory use of car seats, no cereal in bottles, later weaning etc - and she needs to be aware and agree to follow this or it is a non starter. It is always goign to be hard to leave him and more so if you lack confidence in the care giver.

Good luck

Tommy Thu 12-Jul-07 16:58:41

this is one of the problems when you use family for free child care - all the emotional baggage that goes with it.

Talking it all through sounds very positive - make sure you and DH are presenting a united front but, IME, if you decide to go ahead with it, I'm sure she willjust do things her way anyway!!

cylonbabe Thu 12-Jul-07 17:01:11

dont do it.
your sanity is worth more.
leave your ds in the creche

Speccy Thu 12-Jul-07 17:04:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hoolagirl Thu 12-Jul-07 18:54:49

I would say something along the lines of ...... I know your going to spoil him rotton (grandparents exclusive right) but could you try and stick to xyz for the moment whilst he is so young.

Remember she's not going to harm him, she loves him and want's to spoil him.

Just explain about your routine and the creches and it would be great if she could follow it as it would make your life so much easier.

Show up with a big bunch of flowers and totally fox her !

moondog Thu 12-Jul-07 19:01:04

Are you paying her?
If not,she is doing you a favour and you can't really order her about.

Arrangements like this rarely work.
You'd be better off using a chilminder/nursery.

LucyJones Thu 12-Jul-07 19:07:47

what does your dh think of the situation? Does he think it will work out? It's up to him really to tell his mother when she's out of order etc.
The going on holiday thing though is going to happen lots or she will have other things planned so you'll need contingency plans.

southeastastra Thu 12-Jul-07 19:10:41

my mil looks after my sons and has done for years. it took me alot of time to form a relationship with her and i wouldn't have it any other way now, iykwim.

i think you all need to talk. these arrangements can work

gegs73 Thu 12-Jul-07 19:23:17

My MIL looks after ds1 two days a week and will ds2 in February when I go back to work. She has had ds1 since he was 9 months old.

I was paranoid at first about routine, dangers in her house and well everything. I told her how I liked things done and she stuck by it in her own way. However, I do know that she does do things with him that I wouldn't and has done since she has had him, feeds him things that I wouldn't all the time (though if I say def no to something she wouldn't give it him), doesn't put him for naps when I would (though he has cut them out now anyway and she had to deal with the consequences not me). However, he loves it, she loves it, it has never upset his routine on any other days I have him and it costs me nothing. He also really enjoys his time with Granny, meets people he wouldn't otherwise and goes to places I would never take him. If I were you I would give it a try but do tell her your rules but in a gentle way. If it doesn't work out you can always make alternative arrangements.

mumsville Thu 12-Jul-07 21:09:18

She's clearly a competent carer from what you say but on the other hand you're his mum yesterday, today, tomorrow, when your at work and when ds is in her house. If she undermines you now she'll undermine you more.

I couldn't imaging my mil looking after ds (for practical reasons - she hasn't got a clue and the accidents he's had when she's around...) and I too would feel stressed if she even offered.

Until your relationship with mil is better you'd be better off forking out for that extra day's childcare.

I don't like the idea of her calling your husband re child issues. She mustn't play you off against each other. I have this with my mil and it does cause problems. You and your husband are legally responsible for your kids and that's that.

Try balancing her competence against your negative feelings towards her - see which one is more important right now.

rookiemum Thu 12-Jul-07 21:29:00

Its probably too late for this now but if you don't want this arrangement to do ahead then a nice way of explaining it would be to say that you hadn't thought of your MILs other commitments and her being on holiday this week makes you worry over it being too restrictive for her. Therefore you are going to put your DS in the creche for that day, but you would really appreciate having her as first back up if DS is ever ill and not able to go there.

I don't know if that approach would work, but if it did then you would have vital back up that you need, and she can back out and save face, because it does seem as if she isn't keen in reality if she organised her holidays for the first week you go back to work. Maybe she doesn't want you to go back to work and is trying to sabotage it.

Sakura Sat 14-Jul-07 00:12:33

I agree with MrsWeasley, I planned on letting MIL take care of my baby, but she slowly morphed into MIL from hell, and it reached the point where she was acting like she was doing me a huge favour for looking after DD that I should be obligated to her etc.
Forget that! I found a lovely nursery that I like and DH takes DD round to MIL`s once a month on a saturday...without me
You`re well within your rights to change your mind and your priorities as your DS`s mother.

Flibbertyjibbet Sat 14-Jul-07 00:28:30

My mum looks after 2 ds's one day a week but obviously I expect her to have holidays sometime! She is saving us over £2500 for the one day they don't go to nursery but if I wasn't happy about how she looked after them the money just would not matter (and we are not well off).
I don't tell her a strict routine as I know she will take care of them and I don't want to worry about the minutae of their care. I just trust her to get on with it in her own capable way.
I look on it that they do certain things at nursery, some things with us, then maybe a slightly different 'routine' with granny, and trust me it all works and they enjoy the variety. After all, a day with granny should be enjoyable. I know so many people who line up mother or mil for free childcare and it all goes wrong. If you are not entirely happy then put ds in creche and let mil have him over at weekends when he is older.

Paddlechick666 Sat 14-Jul-07 12:47:12

my mum has dd 2 days per week at my house, which means she also stays 2 nights a week.

she loves it, dd loves it and i am very lucky in that on the whole she follows my routine. also as it's at my house then all the food and environment are provided by me to my standards!

there's rather a bit too much cake going on during outings but hey what can you do.

in actual fact, the big issues are more about her staying overnight 2 nights. it drives me nuts! we're not massively close and i am very tired after work and treasure my quiet evenings on MN watching crap tv!

i am also horribly ungrateful in that i really don't appreciate how much she does for me and dd. i really ought to be much more grateful and nice - note to self LOL!

i do make sure we have nice suppers and wine when she's here tho. i also have a sneaky suspicion that she likes the break from my step-dad

every 3 weeks or so she takes dd home with her which is a great arrangement for us all.

to be quite frank, i couldn't cope financially as she's saving me £100 p/w.

having said all this, i wouldn't leave dd alone with dd's father's mother for 5 minutes!!!

wheresthehamster Sat 14-Jul-07 13:01:10

This will never work.
If she thinks that your methods are wrong anyway when you ask her to impose your routine she will just do the opposite because she probably thinks she knows best.

As an aside, it never occured to me when my parents looked after my dds as babies that I should tell them a routine. Not that I had one really but as long as people use common sense e.g. baby crying = needs feeding, changing or winding is it that important?

Don't shoot me - just interested

VoluptuaGoodshag Sat 14-Jul-07 13:19:45

Try looking at things from her point of view (just playing Devil's Advocate here so don't shoot me). If I had brought up 4 kids and fostered others then I'd feel like I was doing my DIL a favour by looking after DS for a day. If she didn't like my routines then she could look elsewhere.

Don't mean to sound harsh but grandchildren should be a joy not an endurance. I think perhaps you'd be better off with a childminder then when DS goes to stay with his Gran once in a while it's a treat for both of them.

IsabelWatchingItRainInMacondo Sat 14-Jul-07 13:28:54

I think one of the big problems is that we expect our parents to take care of our children in the way we like but they are as any other person who you may "interview" to take care of your child, you should choose them if they fit your expectations or keep looking.

My MIL don't follow instructions, my mum is over aprehensive. DS is only allowed to stay with them in an hourly basis for the benefit of everyone.

gordieracer Sat 14-Jul-07 14:00:32

I really don't get all the worrying about routine, I would be glad if MIL would look after my LO, They often won't follow a routine they have at home in a different environment anyway.
I wouldn't try and make someone follow my routine, imagine if it were the other way round, or if you offered to look after someone elses baby for the day, I'd be really put out if they gave me a written day plan or something!

Speccy Sat 14-Jul-07 20:38:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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