Post # 1
My mother in law is very used to getting her way and doing whatever she wants, even if she’s been asked not to. I’m worried about how our wishes will be handled when baby comes and she is asked to baby sit (she lives next door so they is no getting around her not being with/seeing the baby almost everyday). We may ask her to watch the baby while we are at work during the day instead of daycare and I’m worried she will allow things we do not agree with. One example, she gave my cousin’s 6 month old a whole tooties pop at Halloween. I know my cousin was dying becuase she wouldn’t have wanted to baby to have candy or something he could choke on, but as usualy no one said anything to her about it. She also took it apon herself to buy things she wanted me to have at our wedding even after I told her repeatedly those things weren’t my taste. I think she thought becuase she had already bought them I would use it, which I didn’t. She kept telling me what I should have up until we were decorating the church the day before the wedding, I finally had to have my mom step in an explain (again) that her taste isn’t my taste and we aren’t having the silk ivy drapped all over the alter… Don’t get me wrong, I love her and she is a very nice person. It’s just that in her mind she’s helping you becuase whatever she thinks is always right, and she just wants you to do the right thing. But I don’t want her going against our wishes and undermining us as parents becuase she thinks she knows best. My SIL lives down the street and when her daughters ask for something and she says no, they come down to grandma’s house and she lets them have whatever they want knowing their mother doesn’t want them to have it. Anyone have a similar situation?
Post # 3
I think the only way to avoid her doing things you don’t approve of with your children is to bring them to an alternate day care.
Post # 4
I would just so much rather a family member watch my baby than some random 16 year old at a day care. (I didn’t have a great experience being in daycare when I was a kid…) Plus the extra cost. And if we did do daycare it wouldn’t solve the problem becuase she lives next door and we see them all the time, not to mention holidays and birthdays, family dinners… I don’t want to keep the baby away from her, I just want to know how to express my wishes and have her accept them.
Post # 5
I am a bit worried about that as well MIL is actually really good in other areas but I have seen her feed other young kids junk food! I plan on providing the food when she looks after our child, could you do that?
You could send your child to her with a lunch box full of healthy food for the day and ask her to please only feed them that (If they are up to eating solds) or if they are younger maybe explain that they are only drinking milk for now and please don’t feed them anything else. if your cousin didnt confront her on how upset she was with the tootsie pop maybe she didnt know.
Post # 6
@Snickers95: The cousin was sitting next to her, I think she just didn’t want to bring it up and make a big deal about it.
I agree with providing food, I think that’s a good solution as I wouldn’t expect her to pay for food while babysitting. I didn’t even think about since the baby isn’t born yet 🙂 Thanks for the tip. I also worry about things like letting the baby have a pacifier if we don’t want to use them, or giving baby a bottle whenever it cries. I just don’t want to send confusing signals to the baby if she isn’t consistant with what we want to do. I’m hoping my husband will step up but I know he doesn’t want to make her feel bad (she tends to get her feelings hurt and upset when confronted because in her mind she’s only trying to help)
Post # 7
All you can really do is make it clear to her as nicely as possible that you want to do X with your baby and hope she listens. But to a certain point you have to trust her if she will be watching your baby.
Post # 8
But in all seriousness, I worry about my MIL as well. They have a LOT of baby proofing to do, and since MIL is a hoarder and pretty lazy I am sure she won’t get around to it. My thing is if the house isn’t baby proofed or a mess with stuff I guess baby can’t go there. I want him/her safe.
The most you can do is discuss how you want your baby to be handled and if you feel you can’t trust her to take crae of your child then you should probably find a different baby sitter.
Post # 9
@megz06: LMAO that is too funny! I love my MIL but man that is hysterical!!
Post # 10
Well it certainly doesn’t sound like she’s trying to undermine the way you want to raise your child (or any other person’s child she babysits). She just sounds clueless! I’d say to have you or your husband, or the both of you, ask her out to coffee, lunch, etc. and casually bring up that from day one, you are going to have certain standards and “do’s and don’ts” in how you raise your child and it will be a major help for her to uphold your boundaries when she’s watching your child. It’s normal for the older generation to provide guidance to the younger generation whether it’s asked for or not, but when it involves the manner in which you will be rasing your child, standards need to be set. Children need regularity and consistency in how they’re raised.
My FIL can be bossy and a know-it-all sometimes but he has good intentions. He’s helpful to the point of being overly helpful… trying to tell us what kind of headlights to put in our cars, how much we should spend on certain things. DH and I have stopped telling him when we make certain purchases like a new computer or anything big and worth mentioning, because he has a fit and tells us that we don’t need it or we spent too much. It’s annoying but I’ve learned to brush it off. 🙂
Post # 11
@Mrs.D: Stand your ground. I’ll use my BIL as an example – they live above his inlaws, and all the grandparents are overinvolved and always go against what BIL and his wife say or do with regards to their kids. This has led to them all but giving up. Now? They have severe issues with the boy – so severe that they are now seeing a psychologist to try and fix the problems.
The first thing the psychologist told them was to set ground rules and sit the g-parents down and lay them out. Either stick with them or stay out. If MIL is babysitting I would also try to get the babysitting to happen in your house – say it’s for the baby so he has all his things around him and less for you to carry over. Then have food ready in the fridge and don’t ask but insist that’s what he’s to eat.
Post # 12
Your baby, your rules. your number 1 job is to keep your baby safe. Be very clear about your expectations as well as the consequences- she will not be allowed to be alone with the baby. Mean it. She walks over people because they let her. My head would be spinning if she gave my infant CANDY, let alone a choking hazard.
my best advice is a serious conversation and mean it when you say she will only have supervised time with the baby.
Post # 13
@Mrs.D: Mmm…I think you have to do one of two things here:
1) Find alternative daycare arrangements for your child
2) Suck it up and stop bitching about your mother in law if she’s going to babysit your kid every day for free.
You know when you said that if your nieces can’t get what they want at home they run on over to Grammy’s house and she gives it to them? Yeah, that’s what Grandparents do. I know it seems maddening and unfair to you that she does stuff like that, but she’s an overindulgent grandmother and that’s the risk you run living so close to grandparents. If you know that you two are prone to disagreement then I’m assuming you must be in a bad financial position or something, because I can’t think of another reason you’d choose to move next door to a woman you obviously dislike and disagree with on everything from Wedding decor to lolipops.
If she’s going to be looking after your kid then you should maybe lay some ground rules. Don’t insinuate that she’d be doing anything wrong raising the child ‘her way’, just be clear that you and DH have your own way and you’d like her to do certain stuff certain ways to make sure the baby has a consistent upbringing. I think that if you try to confront her you will DEFINITELY offend her, so a gentle approach is required.
If you don’t trust your MIL, there are things you can do. If you believe that she’d hide how she was spoiling your child from you then you could maybe ask your SIL to spy for you. maybe she could go in and casually observe how your MIL disciplines/interacts with her grandchild and report back to you and DH.
I have to ask though: does your MIL watch your nieces a lot? Maybe she spoils them because she is only a grandma to them, not a free daycare. She might be different with your child if she is looking after it day to day. If you think she’s spoiling your kid then move them to daycare.
Post # 14
Providing your own food and schedule is the best solution. Have her write down feeding times/what the baby was fed. Be strict, put your foot down with her to start. Don’t let her have the upper hand. Been there, done that.
Post # 15
@BridieBea: We are not in a bad financial situation (but thanks for assuming that), it was a great house with lots of land and living next to my in-laws was just a perk. Like I said, I love her and she is a very nice person she is just used to getting her way (which I also blame on the people around her for letting her get away with it). We do not disagree on everything we simply have different opinions and I seem to be the only one who will voice mine. I did not say she would be watching our baby for free or that grandparents spoiling a child is wrong, but I think purposely going against the parents’ wishes can cause confusion, especially to a small child.
Post # 16
@Mrs.D: Okay, sorry if I got things a little mixed up. And yeah, I know what you mean: my grandma has this serious ‘Granny knows best’ thing were she treats everyone like a confused child. Ugh, it’s infuriating!
your MIL is a grandparent though, so you should expect her to spoil your kid a little and yeah, she probably will go against you at times. But as long as you make sure your child looks to YOU as an example and is brought up with the values you think are important then there’s not necessarily anything wrong with that.