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To tell MiL and FiL they can't look after DC anymore?

60 replies

BackOnceAgainWith · 14/10/2022 07:44

They are lovely. So generous. Almost too much. They literally would do anything for their son (my DH) and our kids

They travel miles every week to look after our DC for 1 day and 1 night a week. Our DC are 1 and 3 and a handful.

Twice now I've come back from work to find both MiL and FiL asleep on the sofa with the DC watching telly. Nothing bad happened. They didn't mean to fall asleep. They are both older and both on medication. I keep saying to DH its not fair on them, it's too much.

I don't wanna deprive them of seeing the kids and they're being so helpful. But I don't think I can leave the DC alone with them. The one year old especially.


OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

345 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
Radiatorvalves · 14/10/2022 07:46

It does sound like it’s too much for them. Best you have a gentle word now and reset things before there is a problem.

Squeezedsquash · 14/10/2022 07:47

Fast asleep or easily rousable?

because I’m sure I nodded off to Bing a few times when my children were that age. I’m equally sure they prodded me awake PDQ when they needed me.

when you say overnights - do you work nights?

It would be a conversation your DH needs to have

Anydaynowonewouldhope · 14/10/2022 07:48

Can you get someone to come and help while they’re there? Eg a local teenager looking to babysit who wouldn’t be able to look after the one and three year old on their own but could be a spare pair of hands and another set of eyes?

toomuchlaundry · 14/10/2022 07:49

How far do they travel and how old are they?

Anydaynowonewouldhope · 14/10/2022 07:49

That way the grandparents can still be involved and feel like they’re helping (and actually help) but have some support

ThatsTheWayIHikeIt · 14/10/2022 07:49

No you can't have them minding two tiny children if they're both going to fall asleep on duty! Doesn't mean they can't continue to see the children though, so as long as you make it clear to them that they are welcome to come over (or you go to them, or meet halfway) then hopefully they won't feel too rejected.

MrsElijahMikaelson1 · 14/10/2022 07:50

They might actually be relieved to not have to do the caring any more and can just come and visit and do the phone grandparent stuff. Just have a chat, that they seem tired, it’s too much now the little one is more active so you want to reset things, but of course keep contact-maybe they can pick up from nursery one day a week and do dinner/bathtime?

MrsElijahMikaelson1 · 14/10/2022 07:50

Fun not phone

wibblewobbleball · 14/10/2022 07:52

@Squeezedsquash you fell asleep whilst looking after a 1 yr old?

MayThe4th · 14/10/2022 07:52

Why are your elderly ILs looking after your children one night a week?

Dillydollydingdong · 14/10/2022 07:54

How old are they? I'm 70 and look after the dgc regularly but don't fall asleep. It sounds as though they are quite a bit older, maybe too old.

SeasonFinale · 14/10/2022 07:57

I fell asleep looking after my own 1 year old when he was little though whilst he was pottering. Do they wake when roused?

Whinge · 14/10/2022 07:58

How did the arrangement come about in the first place? Do they have them overnight to help with work shifts?

Do they actually want to look after them so often, especially over night? Or do they feel like they have no choice as stopping it would leave you and Dh without childcare?

girlmom21 · 14/10/2022 07:59

Fast asleep or easily rousable?

Asleep enough for OP to have entered the house and then not know on two occasions.

OP I think you're right, or they can have them but they need to be out and about with them.

Hotandbothereds · 14/10/2022 08:02

Are they travelling on the day they’re then looking after the kids? Sounds like a long journey then two small kids is just too exhausting for them.

They might be glad to change this routine now, just talk to them.

heldinadream · 14/10/2022 08:04

How old are they? There's 2 of them, if it's tiring - and it is whatever your age - they should make sure at least one of them is awake on coffee, not both napping. If they can't do that then, brutally, they are too old to be doing this. I speak as a 67 year old who looks after dgs occasionally with a long travel involved, I get knackered but nothing on this earth would let me fall asleep while I'm in charge.

Sceptre86 · 14/10/2022 08:05

It isn't a good childcare option as you are asking too much of them. The travelling alone is probably tiring. I'd look at other childcare options but encourage them to come and stay at the weekends or move closer if it's an option.

notputtingtheheatingon · 14/10/2022 08:06

They sound like lovely grandparents! Rather than stop them from looking after the children, why not have a chat with them first and explain your concerns. Say to them that if they need a snooze, they need to take it in turns so that someone is always watching the little ones. A gentle word might be enough to make them realise.

BackOnceAgainWith · 14/10/2022 08:12

Sorry I was unclear. They live 2 hours away so they stay overnight. They are always asking if they can do more and they are now set on the routine of coming up in the morning to arrive for 10am, then habung them all day, then staying overnight and leaving the next day. It will be a "thing" to change this routine as MiL gets offended if I do things like insist on putting DC to bed "I can do it, you've been at work all day, no no I won't take no for an answer" kind of thing.

They aren't meaning to fall asleep. MiL was v apologetic. They're both on medication. They're 70 but also v overweight.

I have opposite problem with my own mother who is 72, fighting fit, goes running, but wouldn't look after the kids by herself if we paid her.

OP posts:
BackOnceAgainWith · 14/10/2022 08:17

They are so good with them. I guess I don't wanna make a drama out of them falling asleep as people have said happens...but I'm sure it's the medication doing it and I just don't think it's safe.

OP posts:
AutumnLeaves5 · 14/10/2022 08:29

Can you work with them to find a solution? So maybe MIL has a nap at the same time as the 1 year old? Maybe they agree that they’re both not sat on the sofa at the same time to reduce the risk of them both falling asleep. If one’s on the sofa, the others playing with the kids on the floor or at the table?

MrsTimRiggins · 14/10/2022 08:35

I don’t think you’re being unreasonable in thinking this won’t really work out as it currently is. It’s absolutely not their fault as such but it is quite dangerous.
it may be worth having a pleasant quiet word about it and just suggesting they have naps at separate times as littlies are just bloody exhausting but only you know if they’re likely to take offence at that, no matter how gentle you are!


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SpidersAreShitheads · 14/10/2022 08:37

I don't think it's OK to fall asleep while looking after a 1yr old, tbh. Unless they're safely in a play pen/cot which they can't escape from, then I think you need to have eyes on them. Anything can happen in literally just a few seconds.

I'm a long, long way from being a perfect parent. But I don't think anyone should be sleeping with a 1 yr old loose in the room.

Sorry OP but I agree, they're not safe. You'll need to go softly, softly as they're obviously very lovely. Could you claim you're having a few days off to break the routine and then just not go back to it?? Or say you're temporarily changing working hours? Or would they still come on those days?

PorridgewithQuark · 14/10/2022 08:40

What would you do for childcare otherwise on that day? If you'd use paid childcare it's white lie time maybe - tell them you've decided to send the children to nursery/ preschool/ childminder (for all or part of) that day so they can socialise with other children as you feel that's important for their development.

If you're happy to have the in-laws in your house for 24 hours every week, which it sounds as though isn't a huge problem, then they can maintain their dignity by still doing dinner (if they do that) and bedtime and be extremely helpful by picking the children up from their developmentally valuable day of socialising with other children at nursery.

anexcellentwoman · 14/10/2022 08:41

I do a lot of grand childcare but my rule is when the child sleeps so do I. it gives me much more energy to do fun things. I can sleep anytime, anywhere though. A half hour nap is wonderfully restoring.

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