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Old 01-14-2013, 12:45 PM   #1
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MIL dilema

I hope this doesn't get too long-if it does, I'm sorry!

First off, I love MIL. She loves my DD and likes spending time with her.

I am a WOHM. I work 4 long days each week. DD currently attends daycare 3 days per week and my parents take her the other day. They take her, not because it saves us any appreciable money, but because they want to spend time with her. Apparently MIL has voiced a similar desire to DH. Some background: MIL did watch DD 2 days a week from 10 weeks until 5.5 months when we started "real" daycare (my parents had the other two days). In that time she did cancel on us probably half a dozen times, resulting in having to call in my parents for an extra day on very short notice or me taking DD to work. So:

Issue 1=she's not entirely reliable. My parents, so far, have been entirely reliable. Both my mom and my dad take part in her care so if one of them is not feeling well, it's not a big deal. Plus my folks are much healthier than MIL (she has a few different chronic health issues). And FIL still works full-time so he is not around much to help her out (and likely wouldn't want to care for a baby even if he were home!).

Issue 2=Like I said in issue 1, MIL has some chronic health issues. She just had a knee replaced this fall and she has other arthritis and weakness issues. I'll be honest, I don't think she can physically take care of a mobile baby (and DD is VERY mobile these days). I find her exhausting sometimes when DH isn't there to help!

Issue 3=The weakness issues. I am VERY concerned that MIL is not physically capable of getting DD into/out of a car seat and especially concerned that she would not be able to tighten the straps properly. MIL has a fair number of doctor appointments on various different days of the week. IF we were to let her take DD one day of the week, it would need to be a consistant day, not changing week to week. While it's not ideal to take a toddler to doctor appointments, if MIL were to take DD with her, I have zero confidence that DD would be properly strapped in.

Issue 4=Getting DD to MIL's house. When MIL watched DD when she was little, I drove DD to her house and dropped her off. I was willing to do that because it saved us a lot of money (we used no "pay" daycare). We would NOT be saving money by having MIL watch DD once a week now (there's very little difference in the cost between a full week and a partial week of daycare). AND, MIL's house is 15 minutes in the wrong direction, so would add 30 minutes to my already 35 minute commute. With my folks this is avoided by them picking DD up on their day with her. I do usually go pick her up after work, so have the extra drive, but it's not nearly as bad as leaving for work 30+ minutes early! If MIL came to get DD, I still think she'd have a difficult time getting her out of the car. And to be honest, I'm not confident that she would be punctual.

Issue 5=So I thought maybe I would ask DH if MIL would be our "sick" backup. I would be fine with the occassional extra commute. The problem is days that DD gets sick in the middle of the day. The whole car seat thing again. I doubt MIL would keep a car seat installed in her car for very occassional use and I really do not trust that she could install one properly by herself. So we really can't use her to pick up DD from daycare, just those days when we know DD is sick from the outset.

So how do I gently get DH on board with this? MIL is rather emotional (she's a crier, not a yeller). DH was a little hesitant about my folks watching DD one day a week and I really think it was because he was afraid MIL would feel bad that *she* didn't get to watch DD. I want to ask MIL if she'd watch DD one day a month, but I'm afraid that limiting it that much would be insulting and make MIL feel bad. I want DD to a good relationship with MIL, but I can't put DD's safety at risk. Argh. I know we are super lucky to have so much family close by, but it has it's downsides too! OMG, if you read all this, you're awesome! Sorry it's so long!

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Old 01-14-2013, 01:02 PM   #2
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Re: MIL dilema

Could you ask MIL to watch DD every so often so you and DH can have a date night? That way you could drop DD off and pick her up (or have MIL come to your house), so MIL doesn't have to deal with the car seat. You could say something like "We have the daycare situation worked out well right now, but we would really LOVE to have a date night once a week (or however often you want), would you babysit DD then?" I think if you say something along those lines, your MIL won't be upset. She will feel included, get to spend time safely with your DD and you and DH get a date night!
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:30 PM   #3
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Re: MIL dilema

I would have MIL take DD on a day you don't work for a couple of hours. If she can't do it on a certain day then no big deal- if she can then great. Drop DD off and go grocery shop, catch up on housekeeping or laundry, or just pamper yourself. Date night is a good idea too.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:53 PM   #4
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Re: MIL dilema

Quote:
Originally Posted by 04liquidS View Post
Could you ask MIL to watch DD every so often so you and DH can have a date night? That way you could drop DD off and pick her up (or have MIL come to your house), so MIL doesn't have to deal with the car seat. You could say something like "We have the daycare situation worked out well right now, but we would really LOVE to have a date night once a week (or however often you want), would you babysit DD then?" I think if you say something along those lines, your MIL won't be upset. She will feel included, get to spend time safely with your DD and you and DH get a date night!
I love this idea. A once a week date night would be heavenly.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:16 PM   #5
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Can she watch her at your house for the day, or for a few hrs or a lunch date for you and DH on one of your days off? Lunch out is cheaper than dinner out, we do that a lot....
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:43 PM   #6
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Re: MIL dilema

Do you have family dinners with your in-laws ever? It sounds like you all are in the same town. Another option would be to go over for dinner once a week (or a weekend lunch). Then your dd and MIL would get time together, but you'd still be there for any safety issues. We have dinner with my in-laws once a week, and that seems to satisfy their desire for grandchild time. Good luck!
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