Babysitter

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-05-2008
Babysitter
6
Thu, 09-27-2012 - 5:04pm

Hey everyone,

Wanted to write about something that's been on my mind lately.  I have a 6 week old daughter, and my husband and I have concert tickets for October and Novemeber.  We also have a wedding to go to in November.  We've already asked my parents to babysit for our concerts, so that leaves us needing a babysitter for the wedding.  My parents would be happy to watch her, which is cool because I have complete trust in them.  With them, it's a package deal, both my mom and dad would be watching her, both of whom pay full attention to our baby the entire time they're with her.

But, the topic comes up about my husband's mom.  If she doesn't get asked to babysit once in a while and realizes we always ask my parents to do it, she's going to get upset and start confronting us about it.  The reason I'm not wanting her to watch our daughter is because of things I've witnessed her do with her grandsons.  Twice while watching her grandson, he fell into her pool (he is only 3 years old).  Another time she was watching her autistic nephew, who couldn't swim, and he too fell in the pool.  Once I went over to visit, and her not even 2 year old grandson was playing in the living room by HIMSELF, with Hot Wheels cars (yeah, the ones that could be major choking hazards) while she was in her bedroom doing God knows what.

The other day she came over to visit and was holding our daughter in her lap.  I looked over and realized our baby was halfway out of her lap, very close to falling off the couch.  And later, I looked over to see my baby's face pushed into one of our throw pillows.  

So needless to say, I'm very hesitant to leave our baby with her.  What would you guys do?  It's hard to explain to her why we feel that way because in her eyes, she's raised 2 children, watches her grandsons everyday while their parents work, and was a preschool teacher for a very long time...she would never understand our reasoning.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2011
In reply to: anon89
Fri, 09-28-2012 - 1:10am

Having these types of conversations with family is always rough, especially when it's the MIL. But based on what you've said in your post, it seems that leaving your baby in her care could be a major safety issue. I am assuming you have discussed your concerns with your husband and that he agrees with the issue you have with his mother watching your daughter? Because your MIL may not understand the way you guys feel, but as long as you are united about it then there is no reason to feel guilty. This is YOUR baby and if you are going to be leaving her in someone's care you need to be comfortable. It's not easy to tell family the truth sometimes, but when it comes to your child's safety it has to be done. I've had to tell certain family members that they aren't/weren't aloud to be around or hold our girls when they're newborn (we have a 4 year old and a 1 month old)for various reasons, and it sucked! But there was no way that I was going to put their health at risk. If you guys aren't sure you can tell her the reason why you don't want her to baby-sit then try and come up with some excuse, like it's just more convenient to leave her with your parents etc. But I know if it were me, I wouldn't leave my girls with anyone that I felt was not safe. I know it's frustrating, but good luck with everything! I hope whatever you guys decide to do, it goes smoothly!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-07-2000
In reply to: anon89
Fri, 09-28-2012 - 1:00pm
Ugh. I think she should know the reason why you're not comfortable leaving your baby with her. If you aren't comfortable having that conversation with her, then have DH do it. The policy in our house is I handle my parents, DH handles his. It works out for us because DH isn't afraid to let them know what's going on. Of course, you could make excuses as to why your parents get to watch the baby more often than she does, but that will only work for so long. I think your concerns are legitimate, and if she knows them then maybe she will change.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-04-2011
In reply to: anon89
Sat, 09-29-2012 - 2:11am

I think the other gals have given you sound advice.  Your concerns are definitely legitimate, and frankly, I wouldn't be wanting to leave my baby with her, either.  You have every right to choose with whom you want to leave your kids, regardless of whether or not you're refusing family.  Your daughter's safety comes first.

Best wishes for handling your MIL.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-05-2008
In reply to: anon89
Sat, 09-29-2012 - 7:57pm
Yes, my husband knows how I feel but doesn't necessarily agree. When I brought it up, he said his mom was a competant babysitter...then I told him what I witnessed the day she came to visit and reminded him of the 3 times kids have fallen in her pool when she was supposed to be watching them. He was the one who actually suggested I post this on here...I guess to get some nonbiased opinions. But he's all for fairness so I think he thinks if my parents get to watch our daughter, his mom should be able to also. Its just awkward to tell your mom, "sorry but you can't be trusted to watch our baby" which wouldn't be said in those words but that's basically what we'd be saying. And I know if she did babysit, I wouldn't be able to enjoy myself. Id rather skip our plans than go ahead with them and be worried the entire time we're out. And I know it would only be a matter of time before she complained to other family members about how we don't want her babysitting, and then we'd probably have to hear about it from them, how its not right that we don't have her babysit. Ugh! Sooo stressful just thinking about it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-04-2011
In reply to: anon89
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 4:13pm
Ugh. Family dynamics can be such a pain sometimes, can't they? Is there any way to make sure (tactfully) that someone else is there as well if you do leave your daughter with your MIL? That could be a safe compromise.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-28-2012
In reply to: anon89
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 10:16pm

Wow, watch out for landmines!  You are so justified in your concerns, and in knowing that the MIL will be offended if she finds out she is not being asked.  I would suggest that you either try to keep some of your nights out on the down-low so that she doesn't know how often you are using your parents or squeeze her in for a quick babysitting stint - like have her come over at baby's naptime while you run out - if baby is sleeping then she is safe in the crib.  Just run to the store or something for a half hour and be appreciative that she helped you out.

Final advice - make your husband be the one to tell her and that the concerns are his - then you can chime in as a "second" to his concerns so if she gets mad, she will hopefully not set her sights completely on you.  MILs are sooo tricky.  Good luck, and keep that baby safe, that is the most important.  You can't even enjoy your time out if you are worrying about the baby the whole time.