Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

MIL Vent - Long

I usually get along great with my Mother in Law. She raised 3 children to be good functioning adults. She must have known something about what she was doing. She keeps doing stupid things with my son though (her first grandchild). She and his other grandma divide up babysitting duties 3 days a week while I work part-time because we cannot afford daycare.

First she didn't see a problem with letting him play with the oven, saying it was okay because the oven was off (My husband put an end to that quickly).

Second, she doesn't thinks little kids should wear pants at home, just a diaper (nothing really wrong with this, I just don't like it, find it weird and inappropriate).

Third she taught my 1 year old how to open doors. My husband thought I was overreacting about this until the baby opened the bathroom door while the bathroom was in use. My husband and I have both told her over and over again that we would rather him not play with door handles. She just laughed and said he likes playing with it. So I had my husband be more direct with her and ask her not to let him play with them. It seemed like everything was going alright, then at his Birthday Party, was letting him play with the handle on our front door. I asked her 3 different ways to please move him away from the door with no response from her before I told her "Move him away from the door."

Apparently she went home and complained to my sister-in-law all night after the party that they are doing us a huge favor (which they are) by watching him and that we don't even pay them so we shouldn't tell them what to do. I am the parent, I believe that if I have the right to ask those taking care of my child to do things a certain way. I also feel that I should be able to trust those watching my child to respect the choices I have made as the parent. My husband has made it clear to me that I cannot be so blunt with his mother, but being subtle does not getting through to her. I am used to being extremely blunt and direct (just the way my family tends to communicate) and anyway I talk to this woman she takes as an attack.

I am so frustrated and can't figure out what to do. I would rather she not babysit him anymore if this is how it is, but don't really have another option.

Re: MIL Vent - Long

  • Repeat these words to yourself: PICK YOUR BATTLES. 

    These are not the things to get your panties in a twist over. The oven? Yeah, not good, but it sounds like that has been handled and she isnt letting him do that. Diapers at home? Who cares? Opening doors? He's going to figure that out anyway, and you might as well figure out now how to deal with it.

    And while I do not believe that free daycare should equal free reign with your kid, these things are SO minuscule on the scale of things that matter that you really do need to reevaluate the situation. You need to realize that unless you want to damage your relationship with her, or even potentially lose your free daycare, you need to learn to ignore the things that you dont like but that are not actually a danger to your kid. 

  • Sorry you're dealing with this. I think it's a husband problem, honestly. If he would be more direct with his mom, you wouldn't come off as the bad guy. At the very least, he needs to back you up with what you're asking of her.  Until you two are on the same page, I'm afraid the situation will never improve with your MIL.

    ETA I agree with pp about choosing your battles. I imagine these are just small examples, though, of the larger issue which is that your MIL thinks she can do whatever she wants because she is babysitting for free. I understand what you're dealing with - it's a respect issue.

  • And this is why I chose to put DS in a facility, rather than having a family member watch him while we work.

    This is a shiitty situation for sure.  I would definitely be looking at my options.  Different job, full-time, different family member, nanny-share, etc.  In the mean time, I don't disagree with being firm about things that really bother you.  Everything else, pick your battles.

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  • I feel like this same post has been posted about 279 times before.  If you're getting free childcare, you're going to have to relinquish some control.  Kids open doors.  Kids take their pants off.  Yeah, he probably shouldn't play with the oven, but unless she's parking him in front of it unattended so she can go watch her soaps, I get the feeling you're overreacting.

    I'm sorry you're frustrated, that does suck, but unless you're willing/able to pay for childcare, you need to stop being so nitpicky.  

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  • Honestly?  I don't see how terrible this is in the grand scheme of things.  I know that you've asked her not to teach your child these things and she clearly ignores you, but I just don't see how awful this is that you would not want her to babysit anymore.  My DH's parents don't consider my daughter "part of their family" and have refused to see her since she has been born.  Just saying....these things seem minor to me....
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  • image SookieFrackhouse68:

    I can get the oven. The pants thing, not a big deal. The door thing? You're overreacting. Children learn to open doors and burst in on you all the time. That's why it's a running joke in shows, movies, books, etc. It's one of thsoe fun perks of parenthood. I can't fvcking pee without my kid bursting in and trying to hug my knees and flush the toilet for me.

    If I were MIL, I'd be slightly miffed, too. This is really not something to get so worked up over.

    This.

    Also, if she is not picking up on your subtle ways of telling her to move him away from the door if that is what you want, then you should go and move him away from the door.  I don't see how any of these are big issues (except the oven thing).  You are over reacting.   

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  • I agree with PP with choosing your battles. I too work PT and my MIL watches my girls one time a week, so I understand the annoyance.

    However, the door handles are such a non-issue. Your kid's gonna be walking in on you and your husband in the bathroom about 4000x till they're probably out of the house. Just lock the door.  Also being in a diaper at home isn't bad either, IMO. Unless she's going out in public like then that's weird.

     

  • Yea, sorry but pick your battles.This does suck but you need to choose what bothers you.

    My kid hates pants and runs around in his diaper at home. It is not cold right now and with diaper changes it is just easier. He waers bottoms when people come over or in public. If you hate it that much buy him one piece playsuits maybe. It is the last battle I would pick as long as he is not cold.Really all my friends kids do this at home....

    The oven door, ok I agree with you 100%, but your DH took care of that.

    The door.. Ok I can see your point because no one would want him to walk out the front door, but the harm is done and he knows how so you have the choice of locking all the doors or trying to teach him not do it anymore. Have DH talk to her if this is a rule that is SUPER important or set the rule at home, he will learn that it is ok at Grandmas but not home.

    I am sorry you are going through this and no matter what LO is your child and YOU and DH have final say so over them, but at the same time I would choose to pick my battles because your MIL does not have to say yes to watching LO. Just pick and choose and try to let DH handle his mom and you handle yours

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  • In general is playing with knobs the worse thing she can let him do....No... But you and DH asked her not to and she continued to do it. That is where I think she is wrong. I do not think it was wrong for her to let him play with the knobs but to directly do something you had already addressed with her is not right. And I am a firm believer that free child care absolutely DOES NOT mean you have to give up any rights or control as the parent of your child. My Mom watches LO once a week it saves us about 40.00 a week and I love that she wants to drive down and do it. She would never deliberatly go against the way we want our child to be raised. I have had to talk to her about specific things. i.e. I know it is fun for you two to play hide and seek with the curtains but she does this on her own now and has actually pulled the curtains down on her so the game has to stop. ect....

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  • these seem minor to me but if you have a problem with it put your child in a center or stay home. No your MIL should not get free reign since she is providing for free but honestly that is a huge inconvenience for her.  you need to pay her or move your child.
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  • I can kind of agree with some of the whole "pick your battle" argument. We don't have family living near us so it isn't an issue. However, for me, yeah in the grand scheme of things these might be very "little" issues, but the bigger issue here is respect for the parents wishes. If she doesn't listen on the small things....then what about the big things?

    One thing I would change is instead of having DH talk to MIL, why not you go directly to her? My DH refuses to bring my minor problems to MIL. And to some extent I understand b/c it is putting him right in the middle.

    My DH and I are on the same page that if we ever did live near family, we would still put our children in DC b/c we don't want to have these problems.

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  • Thank you for all the comments. This is exactly the sounding board I needed to get my head on straight. I guess my biggest issue is that respect should go both ways. I don't like being ignored and she doesn't like being told what to do. Everyone was right in saying that I am too worked up over these little things. On the whole, she has been wonderful and generous to help us out..
  • image soldiersgirl78:

    And this is why I chose to put DS in a facility, rather than having a family member watch him while we work.

    This is a shiitty situation for sure.  I would definitely be looking at my options.  Different job, full-time, different family member, nanny-share, etc.  In the mean time, I don't disagree with being firm about things that really bother you.  Everything else, pick your battles.

     

    This, although I know my mom would never do any of these things and would respect my choices/requests...I want my mom to be Grandma, not caregiver.  To each there own and if it works out for you...great.  Daycare is a huge expense but we make it work.  

     

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  • Get door handle covers or otherwise make them useless to him.

  • Also, the first time your son takes a dive from falling out of a door, he'll learn not to open doors.  As long as he's not falling down steps or into anything truly dangerous, he'll be OK if he takes a fall.  And he'll never play with a door handle again.
  • image emiliemadison:

    Repeat these words to yourself: PICK YOUR BATTLES. 

    These are not the things to get your panties in a twist over. The oven? Yeah, not good, but it sounds like that has been handled and she isnt letting him do that. Diapers at home? Who cares? Opening doors? He's going to figure that out anyway, and you might as well figure out now how to deal with it.

    And while I do not believe that free daycare should equal free reign with your kid, these things are SO minuscule on the scale of things that matter that you really do need to reevaluate the situation. You need to realize that unless you want to damage your relationship with her, or even potentially lose your free daycare, you need to learn to ignore the things that you dont like but that are not actually a danger to your kid. 

    I strongly disagree with you. The diaper bit may be an over reaction, but playing with the oven and the door knobs is a big deal. My kid does not know that hot hurts yet, and I would rather he not learn that lesson when I am baking something that can result in very severe burns. Right now, all ovens and stoves, regardless of use, are off limits, in our home, at my parents, and at the sitter's. Its an important enough battle for me to fight if I ever have to. For the doors, the same thing, although my passive aggressive option would be to buy those door knob protector thingees and give them to my mom or sitter to use. Another battle that is important, because he does not need to have access to the door to the extent that he can open it and walk through it to go outside, or the back yard, or another room where he may close himself in and not know how to get out. Compared to these, I could let the occasional sugar rush or processed food slide.

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  • The oven thing yes I agree. But I would be happy to have free daycare and let my LO run around opening doors just in her diaper (I pay nearly 9k a year in daycare). The only issue I would have the only diaper thing is 1. if the baby is cold 2. if the baby is taking the diaper off

     

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  • This. My MIL wanted to watch DS once a week, and we declined the offer. I knew I would deal with issues like this all the time.
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