MIL and Baby and Day Care

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-19-2010
MIL and Baby and Day Care
Tue, 04-17-2012 - 11:14am

MIL is driving me insane. Here is some background.

As most of you know, I have a 6 month old daughter. I was laid off from work on my due date. Initially I was really upset but then got over it as I realized it was a blessing in disguise and I would get time to focus on my daughter. DH and I decided that I should stay home for at least 6 months and then if I wanted to go back to work, we'd look at daycare options (and if I didn't want to go back to work at that point, it'd be fine and I could stay home for a bit longer.)

Throughout the first 5 months, MIL (she is a homemaker) insisted that I make time for her and the baby to spend time together so I tried. I told her to come over whenever. Well - bad idea. She would show up for fly by visits (30 minutes at a time) and then get upset if the baby was sleeping. Then she started calling and asking if baby was awake. I would say "She just woke up and should be awake for another two hours." MIL would decide to take 2 hours to get out of her house and act annoyed when baby fell asleep by the time she got here.

Then FIL and I talked and we came up with plan C: Out of the five days a week, we decided that she would come over on Tuesdays and Thursdays at my home and spend time with the baby. (That lasted a week - and then she would always make excuses that she had to get XYZ done so she wasn't going to come.) Despite this, she would still complain that she didn't get enough time with the baby. (She would complain more every time she saw pictures of the baby with my parents. I spend about 5 weeks with my parents on the west coast when the baby was 2-3 months old. My parents put aside their entire life to maximize time with the baby while we were there since its their first grandchild.)

So then we moved to plan D: DH asked her (as well as FIL) to stay with us a couple of days a week while FIL was at work. I offered to cook for them in the evenings so that we could all have dinner together as a familyif FIL didn't want to stay over (FIL owns his own business and works 2 miles from where we live.) MIL complained and said she would rather we come to her house because she has a bigger house (rather a mansion) while we live in a 2000 sq. ft house. DH, baby and I stayed with them for 2 weeks (she wanted us to stay for 5 weeks since I was staying with my parents for that long but DH put his foot down. His commute to work is extended by 30 more min each way since their house is farther from the city.)

Anyhow, month 6 was approaching and I started interviewing just to see what kinds of jobs were out there in this economy (and I didn't know how long it would take me to find a job that I liked and fit my criteria). Luckily I got two offers and one of them fit all of the criteria DH and I had discussed (hours, distance, flexibility, etc.) so I accepted the offer. MIL flipped out becuase this meant that I would have to find put the baby in day care.

She keeps saying "I will keep the baby" but her past behavior makes me feel very nervous. Once I start working, I can't deal with excuses. I need reliable daycare and not someone who will flake out on me. She keeps calling me everyday saying "What kind of mother are you? I sacrificed my career and everything to raise my three children so they can be raised right. I don't understand the kids these days. They're so obsessed with making $$$ that they don't realize what is right for their family."

Avatar for 3togetready
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-19-1999
Tue, 04-17-2012 - 5:37pm

First let me say that my oldest went to a home day care at 8 weeks old. He is now

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2007
Tue, 04-17-2012 - 5:40pm
Good heavens, you aren't doing anything wrong by putting your daughter in day care!! It's what's best for you and your DH and that's all that matters. Period. You don't want MIL to take care of DD while you are at work? That's perfectly fine as it's your choice as YOU are the parents, no one else.

And I hope you know it's not your fault that she's not able to spend time with her granddaughter. You came up with a plan and it's not good enough and she chose to do something else with her time. That's her choice!! I think the only way you will "win" this is if you just handed over your daughter to her for her to raise. Obviously that won't be happening. Life is about choices and she's making hers.

>>She keeps calling me everyday saying "What kind of mother are you? I sacrificed my career and everything to raise my three children so they can be raised right. I don't understand the kids these days. They're so obsessed with making $$$ that they don't realize what is right for their family." ...All week, ever time she sees her, she makes comments like "She looks so small" or "She's so skinny compared to other kids that I feel bad she has to go to day care" or my favorite "You need to start her on formula since your breastmilk doesn't seem to have enough vitality for her. Look at the poor thing - how could you stand putting her in day care!"<<

Tell DH that all communication needs to be through him and you will no longer be answering her phone calls. Unless you think giving an answer to her questions would do any good, ie. "The doctor says she is doing great and her weight is perfectly normal."

You can't control what she goes telling everybody else. You can't. Good call on not saying anything negative to the relatives though, which is what you CAN control.

I don't have any phrases to use at the moment as your post just got me riled up a bit. And if the work situation doesn't work, then you can always go back to staying back at have options!
Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Tue, 04-17-2012 - 8:35pm

Its fine to put your 6 month old in day care. You and your dh together made the decision that you would return to work at this point based on your family's needs, and its none of her business. He needs to back you up on that when his mother starts her comments and criticisms. Regardless of MIL's opinions or how she raised her kids, things are very different today and in many families both parents must work in order to afford to send their kids to college or pay for enrichment activities.

I agree that professional daycare is the correct choice rather than letting MIL watch her. The daycare will be open and available during established times. Because its a business they need to keep an income stream and they understand that you need to go to work too. MIL didn't show herself to be particularly reliable in the past so its understandable that you don't want to be dependent on her now. You didn't mention her age but caring for a little one 40 hrs/wk can be tiring and MIL may not be up to it; and is her home completely babyproofed? Then there's the part about whether she would do things your way or her way. There are a lot of potential problems that could come up and it doesn't sound like the communication with MIL is good enough that you could all of them ironed out satisfactorily.

Congratulations on your new job!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2004
Tue, 04-17-2012 - 10:12pm

As a former home daycare person I think in this case the decision to utilize professional childcare services is wise.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2008
Wed, 04-18-2012 - 12:25pm

Oh My - you are doing EVERYTHING Absolutely RIGHT!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2008
Thu, 04-19-2012 - 8:17am

I can really sympathize with how difficult this must be, for a number of reasons!


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 2:04pm

You're an adult.

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
Wed, 04-25-2012 - 12:16pm


I want to ask "Whose the baby here? Your 6mo daughter or your MIL? LOL!

Seriously, she's behaving like a spoile brat!

My first piece of advice is get your husband and tell him "grow a pair" and stand up to mommy dearest. HE is the head of HIS household not mama! If he can't seem to see that tell him you want to see a marriage counselor. Seriously. Your MIL is going to topple your marriage, not just your parenting, because you husband can't be a man.


Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
Thu, 04-26-2012 - 12:59pm
As a grandma, mil & a working Mom, IMO, you are doing the right thing by putting your child in daycare. My eldest started at 3 mths & at 32 is a very adjusted, successful woman with a career & child in daycare! The other 2 were with nannies but it's the same, they well adjusted adults.

You should ask your MIL if she will be your backup for when the baby becomes ill as this will happen a lot when a child is in daycare. It's just a fact of life & if they get sick at 1 yr then they won't get the same virus when they start school at 4. It all evens out in the end. You need to be firm with your MIL that she will have to drop everything without much notice if you need her to babysit. My goddaughter had her MIL babysit & finally had to put her DD in daycare because MIL wasn't reliable. Caused a lot of bad feelings on both sides. MIL didn't understand why DIL couldn't change her work schedule at the last min & DIL was having problems at work by doing this.

Your DH needs to remember that he supported your decision & that the two of you make the decisions without his mother's input. My DH (retired) babysat our grandson for the first 3 yrs my DD went back to work. It was in our home & they moved in during the days daycare was needed. From a grandparent point of view, it was wonderful! I couldn't get done working soon enough so that I could spend time with DGS. But, we didn't travel for those years except when DD was off, we had to say no to a lot of commitments, I reduced my travel at work & would take time off if DH was sick. It was worth it to us to give up our lives for 3 yrs. Now for the downside for DGS, he spent too, too much time with adults. We put him in nursery school for a few days a week & then he moved into daycare at 4 full time. This wasn`t because we wanted to give up babysitting but because kids need to be with other kids! His adjustment to nursery school & daycare was very difficult. It took him several mths to stop crying when he was left.

Finally, from a MIL`s point of view. I said too much & had too much input into decisions made regarding DGS than my SIL was happy with & it put a strain on our relationship. DGS was in our home & in our care for 10 hrs a day which was the majority of the time since he slept for 12 hrs each night. I tried to back off at times but frankly, I was making decisions based on my parenting style which DD adopted & SIL didn`t always agree. So it became 2 against 1 which wasn`t fair to SIL.

Sorry for the long response. To sum it up, Mom, you are doing a great job!!!! Relax & continue to do what is right for you, your DH & DD.