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Old 08-07-2011, 05:04 PM   #1
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Unhappy Is there any way to put this delicately...?

My mother in law wants to babysit my kids every time she visits. This would be a great thing--but I don't feel that they're safe in her care--and she is a NURSE.

My daughter who is now 2 was allowed to walk up a flight of cement stairs by herself at 18 months, and she fell and cut the back of her head up pretty well... this most recent visit, they brought a ziploc of LATEX BALLOONS for my 2 year old to play with and were offended when I told them that I intended to pop them immediately after they left and throw them out...

My son is getting baptized in a few weeks, and my MIL is flying in to town to spend a weekend. My DH and I have a wedding to go to that's an all day affair on Saturday, and she wants to keep my DD (who I've already made other arrangements for). She's pressing that she should get "grandma" time while she's here (she lives out of state)--but I feel really uncomfortable about that, and so does my DH thankfully...

Any helpful ideas to let her down gently that there's really no way that that's going to happen....??

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Old 08-07-2011, 05:15 PM   #2
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Re: Is there any way to put this delicately...?

I was going to say that your dh survived- then I saw that he is uncomfortable too- that can't be a good sign.

Her feelings are probably going to be hurt no matter what, but I would tell her that you've already made plans for her and the person who is keeping her had plans for them that day. Then maybe let her have "alone" time that evening or on Sunday (not sure how long she is staying) when you guys are home, but kind of leave them be- kwim? Tell her have a lot of house work to do or yard work or something. Have her watch your lo while you do whatever around the house. That way you can passively supervise and grandma feels like she gets her time and is feels useful. My MIL has a thing about feeling needed. Good Luck.
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:36 PM   #3
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Re: Is there any way to put this delicately...?

I think I will wind up offending her eventually anyway... She just seems to me at least to have no common sense at all when it comes to taking care of the kids. She refuses to tell my daughter "no" ever, and gets upset when we put DD to bed at her normal time when she's visiting, as "she should get to stay up late on special occasions...." so our rules and routine would be completely disregarded. I'm admittedly a bit of a control freak, I'll own up to that... but if DH and I would be fretting about the situation all day, it seems to not be worth it--feelings hurt or not. My DH is very much more comfortable with my mom taking care of either of our kids--and I didn't even have to convince him of that...
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:48 PM   #4
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Re: Is there any way to put this delicately...?

My mil completely babies my dd- doesn't make her do anything and still gives her suckers for going poop on the potty- She's been pooping on the potty for a year. But she follows all of our rules except for food. We tell her what she can have for snacks and mil always just gives her cookies. We expect it and know it going to happen- she's grandma and grandmas are suppose to spoil. Not sure how would handle a mil that didn't want to stick to our normal schedule or rules.

You could just rip off the band aid and tell her how you really feel. I prefer the more gradual approach of avoidance. But I'm a chicken.
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:10 PM   #5
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I'm in a very similar situation with my five year old and mother. I just say no, and play it on myself being over-protective and clingy. It's always incredibly awkward, but manageable.

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Old 08-08-2011, 12:21 AM   #6
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Re: Is there any way to put this delicately...?

I would just say simply, "Oh, we already have a babysitter for the wedding, what we really want to do is go to the zoo (or wherever) as a family on X other day, DD really loves it there and wants to show you all about it. Are you up for that, she's really going to hog your attention that day!". Or something along those lines (without sounding condescending, of course). If she presses about babysitting during the wedding, "No, it's okay, you're so sweet to offer, it's already all arranged, we don't want to work you to death when you're here on vacation". etc etc. I really don't think you need to come out and say "because we don't trust you with our children", that would be unnecessarily harsh, IMO.
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:29 AM   #7
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Re: Is there any way to put this delicately...?

I don't see how the stairs thing is a big deal, that could happen to anyone, even you guys as parents. Some 8mths old go up stairs alone how was she to know what you did with your kid? Unless you specifically told her not to an she did it anyways.

I don't get her bringing balloons as toys as being horrible either.

No matter how you say anything to her, you're going to hurt her feelings and it's going to be obvious you don't trust her.

Unless she has done lots of other little things, I don't think those 2 things are means to cut her off from being alone with your kid.
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:34 AM   #8
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Re: Is there any way to put this delicately...?

I must be missing what is so bad but I would not straight up say anything to her that you don't trust her. I think it is good for kids to develop a relationship with a loving grandmother. Just tell her you made plans for the wedding already and maybe do as pp suggested and give her time while you do stuff around the house so she does kind of have time with her but you can see what is going on. Honestly though those two incidents would not make me not trust someone. My mom and MIL don't always do things how I would but when they visit I think it is good to let them spend a little bit of time alone with the kids. I know when I am a Grandma I hope to have that. I feel bad my parents and ILs don't live closer.

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Old 08-08-2011, 12:55 AM   #9
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Re: Is there any way to put this delicately...?

I can understand not trusting MIL alone with the LOs. My MIL has a history of mental illness and destructive behaviors. The ONLY time she was ever left alone with DS was when we were visiting and DH and I took the pup out to potty for like 7 minutes. She had mentioned wanting to have some alone time with DS and that was all that I could stand. I agree with the suggestion of "getting things done around the house" while your MIL enjoys some grandma time with your LO.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:01 AM   #10
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Re: Is there any way to put this delicately...?

Mama I know the feeling It is a tough situation and I have been there. I think no matter what you will hurt you MIL if you tell her you dont trust her. I was at a breaking point and told my MIL in a very nice way why I didnt want to leave me children with her, also Highlighting the things I love that she does with them, but she still was very hurt. As someone who doesnt trust their MIL with my children, I say you need to tell her and why you dont trust her, so she has the chance to fix it. But I would wait until the end of her stay, so she is not upset at you the whole time. I also agree with giving her grandma time while you get stuff done around the house. You can just walk by and check on your DD and will be able to hear all that is going on too. Good luck mama. Its a hard situation.
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