- 6 months ago
- Wedding: May 2014
I’m feeling shitty about a situation with my parents and would love advice.
TL:DR – my parents aren’t respecting car seat safety guidelines with our kids but they want to spend time with them and we need them to babysit occasionally, so I feel stuck.
They always bug us to have our kids come stay with them (8mo and 2.5yrs). I’m breastfeeding so logistically being away from the baby isn’t great, but I asked them to keep them overnight on NYE, thinking it would be a good opportunity and give us the night to go to a friend’s party. They wanted to drive them at least one way, so I said they could bring them home. It’s a 45 min drive.
I went to take the baby out of her car seat and saw that they hadn’t tightened the straps at all and drove the entire way with her basically unbuckled, and didn’t act too apologetic and was basically like, oh whoops. They have been lax about car seat stuff in the past too and I try to minimize any driving they do with the girls.
They’re the only ones we have to keep the girls overnight and selfishly it would be nice to occasionally have a night to ourselves or be able to go on a short trip. We’re going skiing in Feb and they said they’d watch the girls for us. Unfortunately it’s already paid for or I would cancel it and just suck it up that we don’t have anyone we trust to watch them. They insist on being able to take them places while we’re gone.
I sent my mom a text after this happened saying how upset I was and how important it is that car seats are used correctly 100% of the time. I said I’d be sending them some videos and asked them to have the seat installed at a firehouse so it’s done correctly and she said they would. She wasn’t very apologetic for putting my child’s life in danger and basically brushed me off.
They didn’t talk to me in the 2 weeks since this incident except to ask to keep our kids home from daycare yesterday to hang out with them. I said fine.
On Wednesday I sent my mom several links and videos and asked her and my dad to read/watch them and that I would be testing before we left to make sure they knew basic car seat safety (things like the pinch test, where chest clip should be placed, etc. basic shit). I also sent a list of locations to have their car seat installed by a professional and asked them to do that before our trip for practice, which my mom had previously agreed to do, and said I’d be installing the seats in their car when we drop the girls off before our trip. I also asked them to send me a quick picture of them buckled in their seats before they drive anywhere while we’re gone so I can ensure they’re buckled in safely.
My mom ignored all of this and only answered me asking if they’d be getting a seat for the baby or using ours.
When they came over yesterday they barely said hello or talked to me before I left for work. When my husband and I came home my mom said they needed to talk to us about trust. She basically said you either trust us or you don’t (to which I replied, I don’t), said that having to take pictures is ridiculous and it should be enough to have me install their seats and show them how to use them and have that be that. I said I didn’t think they think car seat safety is a big deal and my mom just kept insisting that it was one mistake that happened one time, and she wasn’t hurt. She just kept saying it’s about trust (why should I trust them?? They’ve shown me they’re not trustworthy). The fact that they’re not willing to take an hour to watch some fucking videos is obnoxious and shows me they don’t think it’s a big deal. I would be HORRIFIED if I put someone else’s child in danger and would be bending over backwards to rectify the situation, especially my own grandchild!
In the future I don’t think I will let them drive them if this is going to be their attitude. I just feel stuck since this trip is already planned/paid for. We don’t have anyone else to watch them, and don’t have anyone we could pay to stay with them.
My husband thinks it should be fine to install the seats and show them how to use them and practice a bit. Which in reality, I would hope they’d pay enough attention to do it correctly after that. But I don’t see what the big deal is to take a few extra steps to show us they’re taking this seriously. My parents and I have never had a great relationship and Darling Husband thinks I’m trying to “punish” them for being dicks to me in the past, which is insulting AF and not true. I just need to keep my children safe. I haven’t felt very emotionally supported by him in a long time but that’s a whole different story.
Am I overreacting? What would you ladies do? I’m sick to my stomach about this.