- 2 months ago
I’m finding myself in another tough situation and could use some advice/other’s perspectives. This is long-winded to please bear with me.
We have a 2 year old and another on the way this fall. When I went back to work when our firstborn was 1, we put her in daycare 3 days a week and she stays with my mom the other 2 days. To be completely clear, my mother was very adamant about wanting to watch her, she was the one who brought up the subject and asked several times before we even considered it – we had many many discussions about it and the logistics because I know that it’s a lot of work watching a child. My mom has stated many times how happy she is to be watching her, and her and our dd have a great relationship. I am so grateful to my mom for watching her, it’s been really good overall.
However, in the past few weeks, our LO has gone on a nap strike at my mom’s house and was refusing to sleep when she’s there. Not ideal, but not the end of the world, we were trying to come up with solutions to try and get her napping there again. It turns out that our Dear Daughter has decided that she’s done sleeping in a crib/playpen and she prefers to sleep in a toddler bed at home and on a mat on the floor at my mom’s. I have no problem with this, but it’s meant that we’ve had to do some serious childproofing at home because she can open doors, can roam around her room, etc.
When I broached the subject of babyproofing the room that she sleeps in at my mom’s it’s gotten a bit uncomfortable. We have these childproof locks that stick onto the outside of the door in our home to help contain her to her room – I asked if this could be an option at my mom’s and she said no because she doesn’t want to risk damaging the finish on the door. I understand and wouldn’t want to do any damage to her home. We brainstormed some ideas and decided we would put a baby gate at the door so she couldn’t get out or we would switch the door handle to put the locking mechanism on the outside. When we dropped off Dear Daughter this morning, we went upstairs to rearrange some things in the room so she couldn’t pull the dresser down on herself or get at the electrical sockets/cords. My mom mentioned that she had talked to a friend, and her mother used to put a cloth in the door jam, making it hard to open the door so she couldn’t get out when she was a baby and maybe we could try that. I was apprehensive but I said we could see how it works. We tried it and the cloth simply fell out and the door opened easily so I said that’s obviously not going to work, and we’d have to stick with the baby gate plan. My mom seemed annoyed? The bedroom is at the top of a steep, hardwood staircase and there is no baby monitor so I’m not comfortable with her being able to get out. Not to mention that the other rooms upstairs aren’t baby proofed (and rightfully so, our LO just sleeps in the one room). My Darling Husband also noticed that when we were there to pick her up the other day, the baby gate she has blocking off the basement stairs was so loose that Dear Daughter was able to open it no problem.
Am I being totally unreasonable with my requests? I adore my mom and am so grateful to her, but I’ve been really stressed/upset about this. I’m going on mat leave again in another 7 weeks so it’s really just a super temporary solution that we need to find, but I’m finding it so awkward to have these discussions with her. When #2 comes, we are just going to do fulltime daycare for both of them when I go back to work, to avoid anything like this again, no matter the cost. I feel like some of the apprehension comes from my mom’s husband (we love him so much too, he’s fantastic but…) – he is very particular about his home and hasn’t had young kiddos around since his kids were young. When my mom got together with him, she moved into his house and I feel like she isn’t completely comfortable making changes in the home. When she lived in her townhouse, she had baby gates up all over when the other grandkids would come just for a visit. I know a lot of the baby proofing gadgets weren’t around when we were growing up, but they do exisit now, and for good reason (Just like seatbelts didn’t used to be a thing). Last year, we lost my step-SIL and her baby very suddenly, so we recognize how fragile life is and how things can change so drastically in a second. I guess I’m just hurt that vanity seems more important than our DD’s safety in this case. We have provided all of the childproofing gear, and would absolutely pay if any of the modifications we were asking for ended up causing damage in the home.