Author Topic: Need the Wisdom  (Read 26361 times)

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stilltryen

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Need the Wisdom
« on: April 20, 2011, 09:08:53 AM »
I don't work and stay at home.  When DIL found out she was pregnant, I told them I would babysit if they'd like me to.  DIL works at home two days a week, but on the two days she does go in to work (she works 4 10's and has Fridays off), both she and DS have to travel on the freeway close by.  You take an exit and come up the hill.  It takes roughly 13 minutes to reach my house after you get off the exit.  DS has to travel this way every day.  I told them I would watch the baby here at my house.

DIL took 4 months off to stay at home with her, which is great.  The next thing I know, she's lined up a daycare for $900 a month to watch baby for 2 days a week.  DS said DIL wanted the daycare to watch baby for 2 days a week, I would watch her for 1, and her mom (who has Thursdays off) would watch her for 1 day.  That way baby wouldn't get more attached to me.  I told DS I thought that was silly and thought they were nuts since they had a sitter for zero a month and I assumed they could put the $900 to better use somewhere else.  Oh, but DIL said the daycare came highly recommended, everyone who works there evidently graduated from Harvard (okay, being snarky, but guess they all have college degrees there).  I finished with my usual, "Hey, you two are going to do whatever, you know what choices you have."

Evidently DS convinced her that baby being with someone who loves her was better, so she reluctantly gave the daycare idea up and we were all set.  A month ago, DIL changes her mind and I now am being told that I must get up and travel to their home every morning to watch baby there.  It's better for her schedule, I'm told.  It's a 35 minute drive, through traffic, to get there.  Frankly, if they weren't practically passing right by my house, I might go for it.  Also, since DIL is working from home one of the days, I can imagine how uncomfortable that's going to be.  I asked DS if she had decided to take baby to daycare, would she have suddenly demanded that go to her house instead?  We're doing THEM a favor, and yet, we have to accomodate DIL.

The other day I watched baby while she went to the dentist.  Hubby was watching tv in the family room and I walked in to tell him something and suddenly realized how fascinated she was with the tv.  She couldn't keep her eyes off of it.  We laughed about it and I said, "No way missy!  We are not letting you go all tv zombie on us."  I walked back out.  Made the mistake of sharing this with DIL, that I had found out baby was fascinated by the tv.  Before I could finish, she said, "Oh, we don't allow her to watch tv."  I immediately shut up.  So then DS calls and evidently she's convinced I had her parked in front of the tube all day.  Next I get a long list of rules for watching baby.  Rule No. 1?  NO tv, and I'm not even allowed to have it on in the background because it's bad for her.  She's 3 months old.

I want to say, "You know, just forget it and take her somewhere else.  Get a stranger to come to your home."  I am so tired of always having to accomodate her.  She's a control freak and everything always has to be her way.  Can I get some advice here?

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Need the Wisdom
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2011, 09:18:15 AM »
The door is still open. I would be really careful not to let it close unless that's what you want. It certainly isn't the ideal situation...but I sometimes think working moms make up lot of rules because they feel helpless with the separation working brings. Maybe it's be seen as a "good mom" thing to them. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

LaurieS

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Re: Need the Wisdom
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2011, 09:22:33 AM »
If you can't be happy and comfortable with the situation then it will be hard to convey happiness and comfort to the baby.  I do feel that unless the baby is not feeling well, the child can and should be brought to your home.  New parents are notorious for making unreasonable demands while feeling that they are making the correct demands for their children.  But rest assure every move you make can be twisted into the wrong move.  Personally I think the original arrangement might have worked better for everyone.

Tara

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Re: Need the Wisdom
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2011, 09:34:58 AM »
Hi Stilltryen,

I agree with Laurie, sounds like the first situation may have been more ideal
for you.

My dil just had twins and through this process I have been learned to
back off and let dil do things the way she wants.  She needs to feel
at ease and secure, and if she doesn't we as grandparents will probably end
up experiencing the consequences and we don't want that.   8).  (No offense
to my dil friends.)

  I mean this kindly but it sounds like you have tried
to exercise some control too by not just accepting her original iidea of part daycare
and part grandmothers care (by 2 grandmothers).  I don't mean sound critical
and maybe I've misunderstood.  I know your intentions were positive. 
I can tell you I've had so many difficulties with my dil that if she said something
 like this, I'd say "that would be fine" if it worked for me.  The new generation of
 families have to learn as they go
like we did.

Is it possible to give them a months notice and go back to dils original
plan. (this may not be what you want at this point)

holliberri

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Re: Need the Wisdom
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2011, 09:42:12 AM »
ST,

If I were you, and I knew the best place for the baby was with me and not in a daycare or with a stranger, and it was something I really wanted to do, b/c I spent time with the GK, then I think I would abide by all the rules, no matter how silly.

I have a list of silly rules for my DD too, but I pay a lot of money to a daycare so I can make demands as ridiculous as "her hair better be braided with ribbon by noon" and I'm quite comfortable doing so (er, I don't actually do that.). Last week, one of the caretakers said, "I was letting her play with my hair." I said, "NOPE. She pulls my hair, I don't like it, so hair is off limits." My MIL lets DD play with her hair and I'm still trying to figure out how to tell her nicely to stop encouraging that. (I have knotty curly hair and a really sensitive scalp, ya'll  ;) ). 

If it is really making you uncomfortable and unhappy, then maybe the daycare isn't a bad idea. Just be sure that it is the right decision for you. Until then, it's probably easier to put up with us crazy new parents than it is to try and change it.

My hat is off to you. I know that if/when the time comes, I'll never offer to do anything like you did b/c I'd be afraid of a battle or two. You're doing a wonderful thing, no matter what you decide.

AnonymousDIL

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Re: Need the Wisdom
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2011, 09:44:54 AM »
Wow, She sounds all nice and pleasant to have as a DIL.... lol

I probably shouldn't say this because it is "wrong" but since the little one can't talk yet, I would totally have the tv on lol Just "Don't tell Mommy!" LOL

What about a radio with little kids songs?

Sounds like she will really only be happy spending *shudder* $900!!!!!! A month for Daycare. Holey Moley, That's more than my house payment! And for only 8-10 days a month? Is this daycare Harvard?

But really, unless you want her cut out of your life forever, I'd play by the rules....

stilltryen

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Re: Need the Wisdom
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2011, 09:46:40 AM »
Tara, no, we exercise absolutely no control over their lives ---- at all.  I told DS that I thought the daycare was silly because a) it was leaving a small baby with strangers, and even in the best of daycares, it's not the same as having one on one care with someone who loves the baby, and b) I thought $900 was a lot of money for 8 days worth of work  . . . BUT we never interfere with them.  I flat told him that they were going to do what they wanted, but I was giving him my opinion.

They were the ones who came to us and said that they had decided not to use the daycare and that DS would be dropping her off at my house so that I could watch her.  It was set from the time baby was born in December until the first of April, when DIL suddenly decided to change everything around.  I realize that some of it is coming from separation anxiety.  I know that she feels if I go down and watch the baby, then she can watch me and control the manner in which I handle the baby, etc., etc.  I also know that EVERY comment that I make will be fodder for some other rant (just like the tv comment).  I don't like being in their house, they have two large dogs that jump all over me and leave big bruises, etc., etc.  It's simply not a comfortable environment for me.

Offline pam1

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Re: Need the Wisdom
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2011, 09:47:43 AM »
ST, do they ask you for money?  Just curious

To be honest, this is why I avoid family behaving as work.  No, it's not easier for me to have MIL babysit b/c she's assumes then she has a right to get into finances and other topics I really just don't consider her business. 

In my mind, family is family, work is work.  That's why I don't ask any family to mow the lawn or any other chore either.  Just not my cup of tea.

I have noticed as I've gotten older and hoping to be a mom in the next decade that I'm a lot less willing to do things another way.  When I was younger I might have stewed and resented it, now I would most likely tell you if you were my MIL that we've got it handled, you just enjoy being a grandma.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

holliberri

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Re: Need the Wisdom
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2011, 09:53:00 AM »
Sounds like she will really only be happy spending *shudder* $900!!!!!! A month for Daycare. Holey Moley, That's more than my house payment! And for only 8-10 days a month? Is this daycare Harvard?

Mine is 1200. Same price if you go half time. Still worth every penny. They don't boast a good Harvard Education, but they are 4 stars on the Keystone Stars List (Pennsylvania Child Education State program), and most daycares around here are 1500/mth, so I'm still getting a bargain.

$900 sounds like a steal to me. I just couldn't bring myself to leave DD with a stranger down the street, and even though my mom has since quit her job and is at home, I'd never go that route. Not worth even one battle about rules/limits/my parenting/stains on DD's clothes.

Offline pam1

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Re: Need the Wisdom
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2011, 09:55:56 AM »
Yeah, that's what I was thinking about daycare.  It's been a long time but when DD was a baby it was over a 1000 for part time.  And I remember that every daycare I looked at -- well, there wasn't much difference monetarily between part time and full time. 

My parents had a hard time with accepting that's how daycare is now too.  I remember my dad couldn't figure out why I wasn't saving as much to buy a house and kept hounding me, it just didn't click with him.  If he would bother me now, I'd clearly say he should mind his own business with love lol
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

holliberri

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Re: Need the Wisdom
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2011, 10:01:37 AM »
My mom wasn't happy about the daycare at first. She said the baby wouldn't be a loved, taken care of, etc.

I've had her pick DD up from school a few times, and she's since changed her mind. There was talk of me quitting work a month or two ago (eh...there is still talk, I'm so indecisive about it), and she said, "WAIT? WHAT!? DD MUST be in a daycare. I'm surprised you and your brother turned out half normal since you were home with me all day long."

LOL, not sure how she really meant that...but I'll take even a back-handed compliment when I get one. Still waiting for her to butt out. There really is no right way. To each their own.

Offline Scoop

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Re: Need the Wisdom
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2011, 10:04:24 AM »
ST - there has to be a happy medium here.  Have you asked them WHY they want you at their house?  Maybe Baby is getting old enough to need more stimulation and they have an exersaucer for her, and they don't want to ask you to buy one.  Maybe it's just too much for DIL to get Baby ready in the morning, with all the stuff they need to pack.  Maybe DIL misses Baby so very much that she wants Baby close by, so she can have lunch with her.  Maybe they're looking to the future and Baby crawling and they just feel better having her at their (baby-proofed) house.  Maybe they're thinking about all the stuff they'll have to bring to your house when Baby starts eating.

So ... happy medium: Can you ask them if you can go later on?  I'm imagining that DS brings the baby by at 7:30 am, but DIL doesn't start work until 9 am.  Well, then, maybe you could go over at 8:45 am?  So that you're working around DIL's schedule and not DS's.   Can you ask them to lock up the dogs?  If you're getting bruises, that's not right.

If they were prepared to spend $900 a month on daycare, and you talked them out of it, then please KNOW (deep in your heart) that they think they're doing YOU a favour, not the other way around.

And if you decide to opt out, I truly believe that you will be crucified over it.  They will say "See?  We should have just stuck to daycare, they would NOT be allowed to just cancel on us like that!"

Summer's almost here, the drive should be nice (-ish), I would go and be the best Grandma ever, but I would leave a caveat that you will want to renegotiate next winter, or if the gas prices get too high.

holliberri

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Re: Need the Wisdom
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2011, 10:07:45 AM »
Just out of curiosity...Is this couple one in the same with the couple that hasn't dusted the dustbunnies?

Um, er...I'm thinking asthma, allergies, choking hazards. I'm not sure that I would consider a house like that babyproofed even if the walls were rubber padded and they cut of the electricity.

Offline Rose799

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Re: Need the Wisdom
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2011, 10:34:16 AM »
The next thing I know, she's lined up a daycare for $900 a month to watch baby for 2 days a week.  DS said DIL wanted the daycare to watch baby for 2 days a week, I would watch her for 1, and her mom (who has Thursdays off) would watch her for 1 day.  That way baby wouldn't get more attached to me. 

WARNING, WARNING! Seriously, proceed with caution, ST.  I could have delivered dd the moon, but it would never have been enough.

holliberri

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Re: Need the Wisdom
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2011, 10:36:34 AM »
Rose...you are a trip. You are always making me laugh. (However serious you were just now).