In-laws

  • I recently gave birth to my first child, a beautiful healthy little girl! I will be returning to work (I'm a teacher) in 2 weeks and fortunately for me, my husband goes to school 3 days a week so he is able to watch our daughter the other two. Well we worked his school schedule around my mother's work schedule so she could watch our daughter so we don't have to pay for daycare.

    His mother doesn't work and she would also like to take care of our daughter. MY problem is that she has MANY health issues, including severe anxiety in public and with people in general. She also has a sorted past as far as how she raised/treated my husband when he was younger.  I really don't want her to take care of my child for a whole day because 1) I'm worried something will happen to her and she won't be able to take care of my daughter; 2) if something happens to my daughter she could have a panic attack and not be able to go anywhere, like the doctor or hospital and 3) I'm REALLY worried about her trying to discipline or raise my child they way she did with my husband.

    What can I do? More importantly how do I tell my husband that I don't want his mother to take care of our daughter?

  • This sounds like a tough situation! It sounds like you have several concerns: 1-That your mother in law is not fit to care for your baby for long periods of time 2-How to address this with your husband. 3-That a parenting style similar to that which your husband was raised with will emerge. I think that the first thing to tackle is talking to your husband in a compassionate and honest way about your concerns regarding his mother caring for your baby. You may be surprised to learn that he may have the same concerns that you have,esp. since he was raised by her! This is an issue that you are your husband should approach together, and not being alone in dealing with this may make a tremendous difference in your stress level over it. It may be that having your MIL do activities with your baby on some of the days that she is with your husband will be a good start, then move to having her for short periods of time. She may not remember how much work a baby is and may decide on her own through this process that she only wants to spend time with the baby when you or your husband are there as well. Then you won't have to tackle talking with her about this! Overall i would have her ease into caring for the baby, and then perhaps you all can talk about it as situations arise. I hope this helps a bit, it's a tough situation. I'm hoping that others that have had this experience themselves will see your post and reply as well. Take care, Jess
  • be honest, up front and keep your emotions in check. but be firm.  have an alternative for childcare ready.

  • I know how you feel.  I went thru the same thing with my MIL.  I just don't trust her to be alone with my daughter.  I explained it to my husband on how I feel and we came to the same agreement.  That she can not watch our daughter a lone.  If she wants to spend time with our little one she has to do it with one of us around.  so far that works. 

  • I had a simalar problem. I just had my little girl, but im not working or anything.  I dont feel comfertable with my MIL watching my daughter because of how she is raising my nieces, and because she lets people smoke in the house.  My husband and I talked about it and just set the same rules for everyone.  1) she will not go over to anyones house that allows smoking in the house, and 2) she wont be left alone with any one until both me and my husband are comfertable with it.

  • This is a tough one, but a situation I am familiar with. I too have a mother in law that is like this. She is an alcoholic and has panic attacks. I have never let her watch the kids, and we have always had some "excuse" why we didn't need her to. Luckily, she lives out of town as well and so it isn't much of an issue. I would encourage your husband to talk to his mom and gently let her know of his concerns. OR you could tell her that you have the "daytime" thing covered, but you would love it if she could be available for evenings once in a while etc... It will be a situation that you will have to tread gently so you don't hurt her feelings, but you do have to protect your baby as well. Good luck and let us know how it goes. 

  • My husband and I have had the same discussion several times. You need to do what you feel is the right thing to do regardless of what anyone will say of feel. It is your child and you know what is best.

  • I agree with all the posters - some good advice here for sure. Have you been able to talk to your husband yet? Was he understanding?

  • I talked to him and we got in a big argument-I remained calm when I approached him and I really thought I made my side clear but he didn't take it well. I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but I am so worried about going back to her and having my MIL take care of her instead of my mother. I'm starting to think that I just need to demand that she be with my mother until I feel more comfortable with his mother because otherwise I'm going to go crazy at work!

  • He can't MAKE you let your MIL watch her.  If you don't feel comfortable, then don't let her watch your daughter. If you do, all thats going to happen is you will worry all the time about your daughter and thats not good for you at all!  Try and just have her come around and watch your daughter with you in another room or something just to see how she does with her. 

  • I agree w/Jess here -- you may be surprised to find out after talking to your hubbs that he actually may have the same concerns you do. Bottom line is that you're the mom here and what you say goes. If your gut is saying no, don't do it! I'm having a hard time with something like this right now too (involving MY in-laws!) but I don't want to become a pushover early in the game. You have to stand up for your baby because she can't stand up for herself. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  • When you spoke with your husband, did he acknowledge and agree with some of your concerns? Hopefully he is just hurt about the truth and not living in denial. MAybe you can have his MIL watch the baby at the same time your mom is there... that way, you don't have to slight his mom, but you still have peace of mind. Do they get along?

     

  • Hi mandysnb:)! looks like youve got alot of good advice here! I understand tho that sometimes things are easier said then done! If it still applys, and your worried how your husband will react to your feelings about his mom watching your child, may i suggest that you address your concerns with him in a way that sounds "caring" verses"your mothers incompitant". like, maybe," you know your mom has alot of health problems and i feel like having her take care of the baby is putting too much on her.im really not comfortable with the idea,ect....." definately voice your concerns with him honestly but try to make a concious effort to not come across as insulting or judgemental about his mom.No matter how he reacts tho, stand your ground! goodluck to you!:)

  • I'm sorry that you had a big fight. That's discouraging. I, too, am in the same boat. My MIL and FIL are not going to be able to stay alone with my son due to their tempers and drinking. Fortunately for me, my husband agrees with me. I think, however, if necessary you ought to seek a counselor to help you resolve this dispute. A third party can look at the situation objectively (which we are all doing) and see that this is not a safe situation and take the emotion and relationship out of it. Hopefully they could help your husband see the situation from that perspective. Good luck!