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AIBU to be upset that MIL lies to me?

24 replies

Lousummer · 01/11/2018 21:30

Ok, this is a tricky one and I am at risk of seeming quite ungrateful but I’ve found myself in such an awkward and quite stressful situation and I just don’t know whether I’m justified or just plain tired, ugrateful and maybe a little nasty?
So where I live, it’s in the sticks a bit and there are no childminders so we really on MIL to look after my 3 year old and pick my 7 year old up from school. She stays with us from Sunday and goes home Wednesday night then my partner who can work from home the rest of the week takes over the child care. We are very lucky this works and it allows me to work so I can save up for the nice things for the kids. But, I’ve had to tactfully ask MIL not to feed the kids junk food as it transpired she was giving my 3 year old biscuits and crisps for lunch when he refused to each his sandwiches and then cakes and chocolate bars with my 7 year old after school. I m not one if those militant mums who doesn’t allow any junk food I just want my children to know those foods are treats, not every day food especially not lunch substitutions. Any way we had a chat and MIL Was fine, seemed Unoffended and we moved on no fuss. Except, apparently the chocolate bars and cakes (I’m talking 3 cakes and a kitkat chunky) has continued after school and not only has she been lying to me about it but has told the kids to not tell me also.
AIBU to be upset that she’s feeding the kids junk, lying and telling the kids to lie? I want my kids to grow up healthy and know right from wrong - is that bad? My partner says I’m ungrateful and just making his mum out to be the bad guy but I’m not I just don’t know how to handle this situation?? Any advice would be so gratefully received

OP posts:
Redken24 · 01/11/2018 21:31

Are they in the house or is she bringing them?

Lousummer · 01/11/2018 21:32

She brings them with her

OP posts:
Justmuddlingalong · 01/11/2018 21:33

You either trust her to follow your rules or find another form of childcare. Simple as.

Redken24 · 01/11/2018 21:33

Say the dentist has said no extra sweeties?

NerrSnerr · 01/11/2018 21:34

She clearly isn't going to follow your rules so I think you need to make a decision whether to put up with it or find some alternative childcare (I suppose after school clubs and nursery/ preschool).

Maelstrop · 01/11/2018 21:35

I’d have the rage with her. It’s tricky when you have few other options, so I think you need to have a proper talk. She is wrecking your kids’ teeth and manner of eating. Is there really no other option?

Lousummer · 01/11/2018 21:39

There really isn’t any other option. This is a small village with a tiny school with breakfast club but no other clubs or child care. The alternative would be to put my eldest in a taxi 10 miles to the nearest child minder which I just don’t feel comfortable doing.
I do feel the rage, more frustration and hurt ... why she would deliberately ego against my rules and tell the kids to lie about it? I m beginning to take it as an act of passive aggressive protest against me. I have really taken it personally

OP posts:
Redken24 · 01/11/2018 21:42

Would you confront her again?
I would be very annoyed about the having the kid's lie about it. I must have missed that first time reading. In fact would your dh?

MyShinyWhiteTeeth · 01/11/2018 21:45

The person we had help us was the same. She refused to cut out the crap and deliberately did things her own way. I'm still fuming now just thinking about it.

I think some of it was competitive - trying to get herself chosen as the fun relative - she got very annoyed when we didn't dress our child in clothes she'd bought or when she wanted her mummy instead.

All our rules were ignored.

Lousummer · 01/11/2018 21:45

DH says I’m being ungrateful and forgetting she’s doing us a favour. He doesn’t want to argue with her, she is his mum after all but i just don’t know what else to do I don’t want to have to quit work or move. But it’s looking as though moving is the only option !

OP posts:
Lousummer · 01/11/2018 21:47

You’ve hit the nail right on the head. DH doesn’t see it or just refuses to admit what’s going on and I think that’s adding to the frustration

OP posts:
NerrSnerr · 01/11/2018 21:48

Is she struggling and giving them crap food is an easy option for her and that's why she's doing it? Does she actually still want to do the childcare but can't tell you she can't because you have no other option. It sounds like a huge commitment for her, is she missing out on things at home?

I'm wondering if she's being purposefully rubbish so you tell her not to bother or because it's genuinely too much? Or maybe she just wants to do it her way and knows there's fuck all you can do about it.

Redken24 · 01/11/2018 21:49

Haha he will just need to bite the bullet! I'm sure if roles were reversed you would tell your mum?
It's not just about an annoyance to you, it's very undermining behaviour from her I mean regarding the lying. Also the damage to their teeth if that is all she is giving them.

TheFishInThePot · 01/11/2018 21:50

I have this shit too with my ds's fathers family.
It now transpires they lie to me and tell my Son to lie to me about every other fucking thing they do (constant late nights, shit food, excessive presents, leaving him in the care of someone I don't want him left with) I don't have a solution either, but just chipping in to say I've realised over the years that if someone is like that, then they are like that.
I think some people just agree with you to shut down conversation, then just do what ever the hell they want and try to create an illusion that they respect your point of view.
Honesty is important when you leave your child with someone, and it doesn't matter what they lie about, the fact someone tells your child to lie to their Mum is far worse than the sweet thing.

Justmuddlingalong · 01/11/2018 21:50

She's made a massive commitment. Have you asked her recently if it's still working for her?

Lousummer · 01/11/2018 21:51

Nerrsnerr is the later. Her own eating habits are crap and doesn’t see the problem, and like myshinywhiteteeth says if competitiveness, she’s nan and if she says chocolates ok then it’s ok

OP posts:
AmIRightOrAMeringue · 01/11/2018 21:53

No YANBU to be upset in my opinion. I would be mad. Yes grandmas can take on the fun treat giving role. But she could just give a jaffa cake or something, 3 cakes and a biscuit is a bit of a binge to me - it's more than an adult is supposed to have. And crucially it's not a one off its every day, in which case it's not a 'treat' anyway - it's am expectation and most children would stop eating a normal lunch if they knew they could just get cake instead. And then the lying on top - directly lying to your face and then getting the kids involved, is awful - I don't think teaching kids to keep secrets unless it's a present for someone else, is particularly healthy.

I would have to speak to her about it. She can't ask them to lie again. And I'd also see if there is any other childcare at all - au pair? Sharing with another mum? Childminder for one day?

NerrSnerr · 01/11/2018 21:54

If that's the case then you'll have to put up with it or somehow do something else. There must be some kind of plan B in your mind for if MIL changes her mind, breaks her leg, decides to go on a cruise etc.

PotteringAlong · 01/11/2018 21:54

She’s giving up 4 days out of 7 to be your live in childcare. For free. There’s an extent where you have to accept it’s her rules at that point.

Tistheseason17 · 01/11/2018 21:58

Get an au pair.

Telling my kids not to tell me something is unacceptable. If your DH does not get it then you also have a DH problem.

TheFishInThePot · 01/11/2018 21:59

directly lying to your face and then getting the kids involved, is awful - I don't think teaching kids to keep secrets unless it's a present for someone else, is particularly healthy.

This exactly. Sorry I'm aware I'm projecting here and may sound ott but when someone says to your child "don't tell Mummy" you want alarm bells to ring, you want your child to think 'why not?' 'what are they doing so wrong that I can't tell my Mum?' Dickheads like this condition kids to think that that's a normal thing to say.

Jlynhope · 01/11/2018 22:15

She thinks she is spoiling them that's all. IT's a shitty thing to do and to have them lie to you but she thinks she's being a good gran. Given she lives with you in order to help out for free I think you either suck it up or find alternative care. Maybe you need to hire a live in full time nanny.


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shiningstar2 · 01/11/2018 22:40

Difficult one. Firstly she stays in your home sunday to wednesday. More than half a week away from home. This is massively generous. I think if I was staying out of my house for half the week every week I would expect access to the type of food/drink I like, either available in your home or brought in by myself. Also as a grandma she might expect to be able to give the kids the odd treat but you are talking about 3 cakes and a kitkat so this is not the odd treat it is excessive.

Are you sure this was all consumed by your child op? Could it be that granny had some of this herself?

I would make sure there are plenty of healthy snacks available for after school pick up. 7 year olds can feel really hungry after a long day at school and it wouldn't be great for granny, after a long day with the younger child and probably tired herself to have to contend with a tired and hungry 7 year old. If fruit cereal bars yoghurt ext is what you would prefer, if granny knows these are always available she will have no excuse for feeding them quantities of rubbish.

You say you are not averse to giving them the odd treat. Could you maybe give a specific day/time when a little treat would be allowed...maybe Sunday when she arrives or Wednesday before she goes home? That way her desire to be spoiling granny occasionally rather than childcare would be satisfied.l

Times change...I think previous generations were not as clued up about the importance of healthy balanced choices. She must care about her grandchildren if she is willing to do all that childcare and leave her own home for half the week to do it. I would tread carefully, keep gently but firmly reiterating your wishes, show genuine appreciation for what she does do with maybe the odd bunch of flowers, make sure you have plenty healthy snacks available and accept a little compromise.

shouldwestayorshouldwego · 01/11/2018 22:44

Could their next dental appointment fall on one of her days and the (forewarned) dentist discuss diet with her.

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