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Help with MIL

(8 Posts)
popcorn123 Thu 24-Sep-09 22:46:12

MIL (now ex-MIL) for 2 years has helped alot with watching dc while I work.
2-3 days per week.
Now ds1 is at school and ds2 nursery. She lives quite a distance away (10 miles) and is unable to easily commute to school/nursery to do pick ups - so I use out of school club - I live 2 minutes away.

So now she collects ds1 one afternoon (3.5 hour round trip on the bus as she always want to go back to her house).
ExH doesn't see dc's that often (his choice) usually 1 day at weekend 2-3 weeks a month. He always takes them to hers.
I have been happy to arrange for them to go to hers for family birthdays etc.

She is upset about seeing them much less and is annoyed that I have annual leave over the October week when she assumed she would watch them.
I have explained that there will be loads of times I will need her help and said i will arrange for dc's to go one day during October week when she wants to take them out for lunch with a friend.

I feel very guilty that she watched them 2-3 days a week and now sees them 1/week but i feel it is just how things have progressed re dc's getting older.
I feel like I have "taken" them from her which I don't think is the case but I know she finds it hard.

Am I doing anything wrong?

Hassled Thu 24-Sep-09 22:48:38

No, of course arrangements will change as they get older. Maybe have a chat with her - reassure her that whatever happens re you and your ex she will always be part of the DSs' lives. She's probably feeling a bit twitchy about where she stands.

CrackWhoretoPaulDacre Thu 24-Sep-09 22:51:19

Agree with Hassled - make sure she knows that you value the DCs relationship with her. GPs can be terrified of losing touch when the parents split, so maybe just some reassurance?

daffodill6 Thu 24-Sep-09 23:04:16

No - you're juggling things the best way you can, but also seems shes not getting any info from her son.

I think you value her input and as others have said - let her know this - it will be helpful to you and her.

But also, whatever happens IMO keep in contact, its very sad when contact breaks down.

popcorn123 Thu 24-Sep-09 23:04:19

Thanks I think you are right - she is probably worried that this is the beginning of the end as seeing her grandchildren regularly which it isn't.
I think the arrangement would not be any different if I was still with their dad.
Will try and reassure her.

muddleduck Thu 24-Sep-09 23:17:58

Could you make it clear that this is about them growing up by pointing out some of the positives - for example by suggesting an age when they might be able to stay over with her at the weekend. Anything to reassure her that she fits into their plans for the future.

2rebecca Thu 24-Sep-09 23:28:37

I think being upset because your grandchildren are getting to spend a week with their mum is very selfish. My ex and I only use relatives during school holidays if neither of us can get the time off work. We have sane relatives though who think it's great if we can get school holidays off and see our kids.
I actually wouldn't be happy with my kids spending over 3 hours on a bus for an afternoon. That isn't quality time it's torture. Ex and I live over an hour apart but wouldn't dream of dragging the kids to the other's house for the afternoon.
I would make exMIL either stay local or get another childminder.
It's your ex's job to liase with her, not yours. She's seeing them nearly twice a week anyway. Far more than I ever saw my grandparents, as they get older they will want to play out anyway.

2rebecca Thu 24-Sep-09 23:31:26

Also you shouldn't be arranging for them to go to hers for family birthdays your ex should. Tell your exMIL to get her son more involved. He should be taking them to see her and doing all the arranging.

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