Post # 1
Sorry this is long but I just need to vent or see if anyone had any advice on how to handle this. I’m a new mom, my baby boy is just a week old. Just a little background- DH and I live right next door to his parents, sister and her 2 kids (6 and 8 mos). Since my SIL has kids, I’ve known that my way and his family’s way of raising kids are very different. My niece who is 6, has behavioral problems. For example, she has set a fire in the house, called 911 for no reason and is very rough with my nephew and animals. She does not get in trouble for any of these things because she says she’s sorry and that makes everything ok. She also gets in trouble in school almost on a daily basis.
I’m very scared to let my MIL watch my baby because of my neice living over there and them letting her do whatever she wants. Also, they had given my nephew different real food items since he was only a few weeks old and I don’t agree with that. I’m worried she would not respect my wishes or that my neice would try to feed him things when they’re not looking. They also smoke. My MIL is somewhat controlling and believes she’s always right. She comes over almost on a daily basis. Another thing that bothers me is that because I’m breastfeeding, his family seems really uncomfortable with it. Other relatives are afraid to visit incase I’m feeding. They do not want my neice to know about or see me doing it. And I know it bothers MIL that SHE can’t feed him.
When I go back to work, it is possible that MIL may have to watch him occasionally. I’m freaking about this already! It’s making me really upset and I wish I could be a SAHM or just hide him away from DH’s family. I know that sounds horrible.
Post # 3
Wow that sounds bad… I really hope you find a solution but I would not want your mil watching my kids either. I hope you find a solution… maybe have your dh talk to her/them and let them know what you expect. I don’t really know what to say except everything you mentioned raises a red flag as to reasons why you should not leave your child with your mil. I live right next door to my il’s as well but I trcut them for the most part to follow my wishes and take care of my kids the way I want.
Post # 4
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
Honest? I’d move. I would also not allow my child into that home under any circumstances due to smoking. Even if they are not lighting up at that moment, all of those carcinogenic chemicals are on every single surface in that house. There is no way that I would willingly subject my child to that.
Of course this is coming from the person who has to limit her child’s exposure to her own mother unsupervised. I love my Mother, but in her current state of mind she’s a toxic influence, and I will not allow her around my kid without my presence to counteract her toxicity and keep her in check. It helps that we live an hour away, as that gives us a built-in barrier that we didn’t have when we lived closer.
Post # 5
Hiring a nanny might be a good option. It’s not unusual for them to cost less than daycare, and you can get someone who is certified in important skills like CPR.
I know that a nanny might not be ideal, but it sounds like a much better option than your MIL.
Post # 6
Is there any other option for childcare when you go back to work? I would absolutely not want his family watching my children! Definitely hold your ground if they try to make you feel bad for not wanting them to watch him. Also, their behavior regarding breastfeeding is really bizarre!
Post # 7
@SummerGirl21: Wow there are so many things wrong here. Like a PP said, smoking alone is a reason not to let him be minded here. And the niece’s bad behaviour.
Your husband should be the one who deals with them, because it’s his his family. He’s the one who needs to say, “Sorry no, you can’t mind him all day.” I had the luxury of being able to be a SAHM till my kids went to school. But in your case, I’d prefer child care to leaving a toddler at their house.
Thinking longer term, I think you and your husband should try to find another house. It’s just not healthy having them so close, especially when they have so many issues.
As an aside, I think it’s good for young kids, especially girls, to see you breastfeeding.
Post # 8
Thanks for the replies, at least it seems like I’m not being irrational to not want MIL to watch him. We have talked about moving but are worried that we would have trouble selling due to the close proximity of our property and FIL’s business.
The only good thing about them being uncomfortable around breastfeeding is that they are keeping my neice at a distance or else I’m sure she would be sneaking over to my house all the time. I just wish I could think of a nice way to tell my MIL I don’t want her to come over EVERY evening to see him. She says she is going through withdrawal. ugh.
Post # 9
@SummerGirl21: There’s a lot wrong here. You are right not to want your MIL to watch your little guy. I’ve had to limit my little guy’s (9 months) contact with my borther because of smoking (except my brother is now trying to stop because of him–yay! And is making significant progress), and it’s tough. It’s hard to tell someone that their personal decisions are wrong, so try to approach it without judgment (hard if not impossible to do…) I asked my brother to change shirts and wash hands when he held little guy if he’d been smoking.
As for your MIL coming over EVERY night (holy crap, I would go nuts!!) can you have DH tell her that you guys really need some alone time to bond as a family. Tell her that Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (or whatever) are “family-only” time (as in, just the three of you), and she will need to make her visits other times. My mom was around almost every day in the first few months, but only because I wanted her there!! If she had been a frustration to me, I would absolutely have set some boundaries. Maybe you could give her a task to make her feel included on a couple nights. Say “We want M,W,F to ourselves, but on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we’d love for you to watch him so we can take a short walk together/take a shower/nap/whatever.” If she feels like she has a purpose for visiting on certain evenings, maybe she won’t feel the need to be there all the time… or at least understand that your reasons for not wanting her there aren’t personal (even if they are…)
Post # 10
I think it would be best if you guys moved. Not far away , but far enough that there is some space between the in laws and you & your family.
Post # 11
I agree with PPs; all sorts of things wrong with this situation. I think moving would be the best solution, but I know that’s not always easy to do, and not something you should even have to consider with a week old baby.
I would die if my MIL just dropped by every night. 🙁 So sorry you have to deal with all of this. It’s like you’re living Everybody Loves Raymond…
Post # 12
I would explain to his family that you dont want to be a burden, and don’t expect them to babysit, you will make back up plans. That way you seem thoughtful without putting them out. Then, don’t let them watch the baby. I wouldn’t go over to their house if they are smoking, and don’t allow the niece to be alone with your kid, no exceptions.
I don’t know how I feel about the breastfeeding. I can understand people don’t want to be in the way, but maybe you can establish ‘visiting hours’ where people can drop by (once you establish a bit if a schedule with the baby). I do know that it would not have been a good idea for me to see breastfeeding when I was a kid, it would have been traumatizing at that age. Mostly because I had the kind of parents that didn’t explain anything so it would have seemed scary and offputting, not natural. I would have to agree with the niece’s parents on this one. Maybe if she was a bit older.
Post # 13
@SummerGirl21: That sounds like a dangerous situation. Your husband is going to have to set strict limits with them. I’d either move, find a daycare, or absolutely put my foot down and stick to what I think is best for my child, consequences be damned. Your husband had damn well better care more about what YOU want than what his mommy wants. She’s offended? Too bad. Your wife is more important and so is your child.
Stick to your guns on this one please.
Post # 15
@SummerGirl21: Sorry you are going through with this.. I know how you feel, my ex’s dad tried feeding my son potato chips when he was only a couple months old.. it scared me and I made it clear to my ex that his dad was not allowed to feed my son anymore. I even had to look up on the internet to prove that it was not safe for the baby because they would not believe me..
I think breastfeeding is great because they know they cannot feed the baby and you are a strong person to allow your MIL to come over so often. It would drive me insane..
You should definately find an inhome daycare or someone else to watch your baby. You don’t want to have to worry all the time when you are at work especially if something bad was to happen.. can’t take that chance especially with a newborn. Good lucky and I hope your husband supports you with this..
Post # 16
- Wedding: April 2012 - Chateau Briand
I agree with PPs who mentioned smoking being a HUGE issue and reason enough for not wanting your son over their house. I also think you need to set boundaries with when your MIL can visit, that’s frustrating that she comes over every night 😐
How does your husband feel about your MIL being over so often and/or setting boundaries with her?