In Law Problem

12 Replies
Aud1441 - July 6

Some might find this question to be rather odd, but I have no idea what to do. Lately the feeling of nervousness has came over me. I am trying to prepare my life for a new baby. ( first) Its the first grandchild on both sides of the family. Lately my husbands mom has been driving me nuts. She talks to my stomach and rubs it and says " my baby". She drinks over the weekend with her husband until they are completely unable to walk. They smoke cigarettes. While over at their house for the holiday weekend and the conversation came up about baby-sitting. My husbands mom started talking about all the days she wanted to baby-sit, and how she didnt want to share with anyone. I have a hard time going over there myself let alone leaving my baby unattended while I go out and have a bit of alone time with my husband. Am I being stingy for being overly protective about my new baby? Some of my friends think the grandparents will change. But offering me alcohol while I am pregnant doesnt show me much respect or my baby I am growing inside me. What will change when the baby is actually here? Its a hard question that I am battling over. Should I just feel like they will be responsible? I know the newly grandparents will be excited to watch my baby, but how do I peacefully tell them that they are way to irrisponsible for my baby. Does anyone else have this problem, or been thru this???


MEO - July 6

You are not being overly protective. Hopefully your husband will back you up on this (he should) and just decide if you will need caretakers, first of all, and second of all, who you are comfortable with those people being. Then, as far as being inebriated and spewing second hand smoke around your little baby, you have every right and have the responsibility to say or have your husband say "we need for you to abstain when we have the baby around" and don't feel that you have to let the woman babysit - if she asks, explain or have her son explain that you want your baby to be in a safe environment and second hand smoke is not safe, even clothing with second hand smoke in it is not safe, for a baby. You could just explain also that you have certain caregivers lined up and that you do not think you will need to ask them to sit but that they can set up times to visit with the baby while you are there. I think it will be hard to put your foot down, but it will be even harder if you a) resent that irresponsible people are watching your child or b) god forbid they would injure your child or put it in danger due to their issues. Get your husband on your team and have him do the talking - hopefully that will help. Hopefully you two can be united on this. I also feel protective when I think about letting people watch my baby - I have waited this long for my own baby and I don't plan to let other people watch her just because they want to. I figure I get first choice. It's my baby. Obviously you want to give your child a chance to know and trust other people than yourself, know their grandparents etc but the other people's need do not supercede yours or your baby's.


melanie - July 6

Oh, you would love my inlaws then, they don't drink or anything like that, but before I had my kids, she would babysit her daughter's baby and actually wen't shopping and left the bbaby at home sleeping. She said she forgot about her because she was sleeping. Umm hello how do you foget you are watching your grandaughter? She was one at the time and she could have woken up and fallen down the stairs or something. Imagine if she would have actuallly taken her to the store and forgotten her in the car. The I let my Fil watch my kids a few days ago. well they are 4 and 2. When I came home my front door was wide open which I thought was strange because it was like 100 degrees outside and the air was on. well I am pulling up to my house and here comes my 2 year old twins in running out of the neigbors yard up to my car and where is my Fil? Sleeping on the couch, he didn't even know they were outside.


Been There - July 6

I haven't been through this, but I don't blame you for feeling this way. No, don't expect a change if they didn't even respect that you shouldn't be drinking while pregnant. You would do well to err on the side of them being insulted rather than beat yourself up later thinking you should have gone with your first instinct. If your instinct (and you'll be doing this alot from now on) tells you something isn't right for your child, then you listen to it and don't worry about whose feelings are hurt. The safety and well-being of your child is all that matters and you have to put it first. Unfortunately, you may end up having to just tell them the truth about why they can't keep the baby unattended.


Aud1441 - July 6

I do know its common for newly grandparents to be protective, and tend to be overly excited. I am just scared that it will cause more of a problem in the future of my child because I dont want his parents having hateful feelings towards our family because I am an overly protective mom. I just want what is best. Thanks all for replying to my post. Its great to know that some have been through experiences like this. Melanie... I would have seriously got so p__sed off. I couldnt imagine what you felt like walking into that house with nobody attending your baby. People seriously!


melanie - July 6

these are just the most recent incidents my inlaws have done. I ahve plenty more stories I could write a book, But you better believe they will NEVER EVER be watching my kids again.


Aud1441 - July 6

I AGREE!!! I guess when you have your first child you are not worried about others feelings if it is the safety of your children... I guess I have to wait and find out how strong I can be. :)


Mingill - July 6

You're not being overyly protective at all. I have a similar problem with my FIL and I wouldn't dream of leaving my child with him for any amount of time. This man smokes like a chimney and drinks like a fish, we have to constantly remind him to b___t out when I'm visiting and that I don't want any "juice" which is really an alcoholic fruit cooler he's offering. He tries to tell me it's the pollution in the air that causes cancer, not his cigerettes! I've told my husband his father can only see the baby if a) he's sober b) he's supervised and c) it's not in his smoke filled apartment. I've also stated that if his father wants to come to the hospital he can, but again he must be sober and he can't bring any of his drunken cronnies or "lady friends". I understand he's very excited about his grandchild and that he genuinely does and will love this baby, but he just isn't responsible enough, nor has he earned my trust in anyway that I would ever let him babysit or be alone with the baby. I'm not sure how you can tell your in-laws that they can't babysit. I guess if they press the issue you will have to tell them if they want to babysit they can't smoke or drink, and maybe have your MIL come to your house, instead of leaving baby at hers. Good luck, I hope you find a solution.


falafal0 - July 6

Do not let ANYONE watch your children if you have the slightest doubt about your ability to trust them - you have only one chance with children sometimes, and if someone else b__ws it, you'll never get them back. It's not worth it. This is our fourth baby, and my husband has never let any of our children be babysat by anone other than his family (mine are 4 hours away north). Even then, it was only his mother or sister and only in our house. His mother went through a mini-nervous break down and she hasn't watched them for nearly two years now. His niece has recently turned 18 and she has started to watch out kids, the oldest being 10 so it's not too bad, now and then. It's only because our youngest who is four, is only comfortable with her and has no qualms about us going. He is EXTREMELY protective and has never let the children go to anyone else's home to play unless either he or I are there - no drop offs, no sleep overs. He won't let them sleep over at his mother's, (well, the one time we went to the movies when our oldest was 18 months, it finished at nearly 11pm, he wouldn't just go home, he stopped by to pick him up - "My boy sleeps at his home, nowhere else - I don't care what time it is...). He does not in the slightest apologise to anyone if they get offended when he says no thanks, to invitations to come and play, and over the years, especially when our daughter was born, he became even more protective. It is very suffocating sometimes for me, because he doesn't mind their friends coming to play here, but doesn't trust anyone with them. After doing law, and hearing and reading about many things that were part of the degree, the apron strings were tightened even more. The earliest one of our children was watched was about 18 months, he won't let them go too early, and only even then, only for a few hours now and then. He won't let them be unsupervised at his families homes unless he takes them there, everyone smokes, there are dogs, he jsut doesn't want anything to happen to them AT ALL. As theyget older it is much harder to keep them so close because even though they know the 'rules', they still have many friends at school. These friends come over without their parents meeting us, knowing who we are or what standards we have, and I often wonder if they know where they're kids are. They can meet me once when our children ask to play together, and they say they'll pick their child up at 5 pm - no hesitation. Every one is different, but it sounds like it'd be a good thing if you didn't let you in laws watch your baby. I would have a hard time leaving a baby, As they get older, it requires more work. I used to notice that even before we left to go out, my MIL wouldn't know where one of the kids are of what they are doing. She just isn't that type of person, old I guess and not in 'kiddy mode' which is essential when taking care of another person's child. My mum finds it more difficult when they visit that she's not allowed free reign with our kids as she is with my brother's three kids in their town - but she knows why, it's not personal, my DH feels that way wether your family or not. His family knows it too, but as the kids are getting older, his family thinks he's holding on too tightly. True, they are safe, but there are lines you have to draw too...just because your children are with you doens't mean things won't happen. Our children have been hurt while with us becasue there have been no other alternatives to BE hurt with anyone else (middle child has had three sets of st_tches - on the bath tap, and two from the door frames while running after his brother - everyone has baths and door frames, right?) and our youngest had a set of st_tches while playing at the park and her hand slipped while getting onto a slide, with my DH only two metres away - it really is very easy and can happen to anyone, I guess it just depends on wether you WANT it to happen while your children are being looked after by someone else. DH thinks he can prevent everything from happening but you can't. Because babies are totally helpless, it makes all the more for careful decisions. And they are hard ones to make. Good luck in the decision you make. How does your husband feel about it?


falafal0 - July 6

Also, he has taken chances before and let our oldest go to a friend's house when he was 6. WHen I went to pick him up, like melanie's experience, they had gone out briefly and left their kids and ours with the wife's father (who we've never met) and he hadlet the oldest child take them next door to their friends house. He had to go searching for them DH literally had a heart attack and it proved his point that you can't trust anyone else with your own children. "I've seen the way people care for their own children, you think I'm going to let them take care of MINE!?" Good point to be careful. Too many things have happened to people who thought it would never happen to them. No regret.


Tanya2 - July 6

I had a similar problem with my SIL, she is not a drinker or smoker but before my daughter was born she would make stupid comments like 'I had a horrible dream and my niece ended up looking like you (refering to me), she was and is convinced that my daughter will look just like her, when my daugther was born she said that in her culture the kids of the brothers belong to his sisters, the aunts of the baby, my dh is very supportive and told her its not true. She doesn't even have kids of her own. Anyways many other comments were made and my daughter is now 9 months and I'm still very protective of her when it comes to my SIL, probably because of those annoying comments. I think I"ll always be protective of her. Sometimes I feel sorry for her but then she comes up with an even more stupid comment. Now we are having a boy and she has started again. I try to stay away as much as possible, with the escuse that I"m busy, which I am and with 2 kids I'll be even more busy. The good thing she doesn't live in the same city as me but used to call everyday to find out how my daughters day had been, i stopped returning her calls and now we keep it up to once a week. So to answer your question, I think you will be even more protective when your little one arrives especially since it will be affecting the baby's health and safety.


ashley - July 6

I wouldn't tell them they are irrisponsbile I would just say you already made other arrangements and thanks but no thanks. No explanation needed. Just dont tell her if/when you'll be needing babysitting just make other arrangments. What does your husband say?


Aud1441 - July 7

My Husband is really open to my oppinion, but I feel almost like I shouldnt bring it up until she gets here. I want him to know how uncomfortable it is for me to have them watch the new baby, but I dont want him to think my side of the family is ten times better. I am sure we will have a talk about it all soon. I just have to find a good way to bring it up nicely. Thanks for all the replies. Its great to know how many ladies out there dealt with this same situation, or similar situations.



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