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  1. #1
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    Mar. 31, 2004
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    Default MIL wants to watch my first baby but I'm not OK with this....UPDATE P2

    UPDATE PAGE 2!!!!

    Oh I so hope I didn't entirely miss this OT day! I've been waiting!!!

    I'm 34 weeks preggers (and no, not trying to "sell back" my horse ), and my issue is my MIL. No surprise, right?!?

    Anyway, I love my MIL. She is a sweet, kind person, but she has some issues that make me uncomfortable with her watching DH's and my baby when it is born. OF COURSE she's overjoyed to have her first grandchild and talks and talks about being able to babysit. Uhoh.

    The issues, I'll try to be brief....

    1. She's a smoker. Now, I don't have an issue (AT ALL) with people smoking on their own time when I don't have to breathe it in. I know she wouldn't smoke around our child, and she rarely smokes in her own house, usually outside. The house isn't smoky smelling or anything. I just don't want her smoking around our kid AT ALL (inside or out) and am concerned about the smoky smell that lingers and lingers and lingers on her clothing. I've heard that can be very damaging to immature lungs.

    2. She's a drinker. Now, I don't have an issue (AT ALL) with responsible adults drinking. Or getting drunk. Buuuut.... it is common for me to come over in the afternoon and she's totally in the bag and doing her gardening or whatever. And yaknow, that's FINE with me, but I worry that she'll have "a" beer (or more) and then put our child at risk.... especially if she has to take the kid to the ER or something, then she'd be driving drunk. This past weekend we were traveling somewhere together (6hr trip) and she offered to drive. She was slurring her words when I picked her up. She did not drive. I did. But to *offer to drive* and then *show up having had drinks* shows clear bad judgement to me. And to clarify, I love me some wine, I love some tipsy drunky nights in, but I'm against drunk/buzzed driving.... and my MIL is the type with low self esteem that uses "liquid courage" to get the guts to go out and run errands in public, for example. Scary.

    3. I'm not sure how to phrase this issue, but some of her beliefs and values and language I'm uncofmortable with. She is very crude in her language most times, and very distrustful of many people and all government agencies of all types. Now, I'm not saying that everyone is perfect, but I really don't want her imparting little gems on my child such as "all men are assholes" or "science lies to you." Science isn't always right, no, and men can be assholes, yes, but I soooo don't want my kid getting this type of info from their grandma!!!

    4. She (and her husband) REFUSE to get vaccinated against Whooping Cough. I have big issues with this as we have it *in our town* *right now* and I'm VERY concerned that there could be an exposure to the baby. MIL's excuse is "I never get sick because I never go anywhere" (true, she rarely goes places but does get sick because her immune system is rarely tested).

    DH has offered to talk to her about issues 1 and 2. I don't know what to do about 3 and 4. My mom says that it is my job to be the parent (first kid here!) and watch out for my child's best inerest, and I agree, just not sure how to approach the situation since DH has not talked to MIL about these issues and I don't want to hurt her feelings. She is truly a kind and loving person who has been a darn good MIL but I have my doubts about her as a childcare provider.

    And after this last weekend w/her, I've got some concerns about her emotional status--not that she's unstable, just that she sees things that occur as being very different than what ACTUALLY happened... she is constantly thinking that someone "mad" at her etc.

    I know that she wasn't always like this (seee ALL of the above) because DH is not like this, and SIL has confirmed that as her kids grew up and moved out and she became more and more isolated, she got more and more sensitive emotionally etc.

    FIL is a whole different story.... lets just say he was apparently a great dad but a terrible husband.

    I don't want to ruin this relationship because DH helps out a lot on the farm and MIL and FIL do a lot for us in terms of gardening/land/produce, etc, and I know that I'm one of the few people that sees MIL on a regular basis.

    I'd be happy to discuss more via PM if this OT day closes. I'm jsut frustrated and concerned by the whole situation.... sorry if this post is a little rambly, trying to get it posted before the forum closes!!!
    Last edited by RegentLion; May. 8, 2011 at 07:43 PM. Reason: update



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2008
    Posts
    838

    Default

    the whooping cough issue would be reason enough for me. she can KILL your child with pertussis. not kidding. it's totally not even a laughing matter at all.
    Jazz- 4.9.01 OTTB, loved since 12.6.09
    Skip- 3.3.91 APHA, i miss you buddy



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2004
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    Whidbey Is, Wash.
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    Default

    Listen to your mother. You have the ultimate responsibility to watch out for your child, and if that means not putting your child in a risky situation or one that you do not approve of at the expense of someone else's fragile emotions, so be it.

    End of story.

    How this affects family relations is up to them. As long as you aren't uber bitch about it and explain it reasonably, it's up to them whether or not to get their knickers in a twist. Plain and simple. Surely Gramma-to-be understands smoking around babies is BAD and driving buzzed is BAD (btw, slurring is SERIOUS impairment, not "buzzed") and not being vaccinated for potentially deadly infections is BAD; the emotional crap and her personal paranoias are a different story, tread lighter there.
    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2008
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    838

    Default

    p.s- you have two #4's

    just kidding- i have no reading comprehension skills today- sorry
    Last edited by skip916; Mar. 21, 2011 at 02:36 PM. Reason: my stupidity
    Jazz- 4.9.01 OTTB, loved since 12.6.09
    Skip- 3.3.91 APHA, i miss you buddy



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2005
    Location
    The Prairie
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    5,454

    Default

    NONONONONONO

    Any ONE of those reasons is good enough.

    You don't need to say why, just don't ask and if they offer, come up with some reason why it won't be necessary.

    My MIL had frequent TIA (little mini-strokes) and offered to baby sit. We just always had a reason why it was not necessary.
    I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2006
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    1,867

    Default

    gee, you paint such a lovely picture of her, I can't imagine why on earth you wouldn't want her around your child?

    I think any of the items are concern enough to not leave your child alone with her, but since hubby will talk to her about 1 and 2- doesn't seem to be a need to discuss the others...my guess is she isn't suddenly going to NOT have an addictive personality and not smoke or drink.



  7. #7
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    Mar. 31, 2004
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    Upper Peninsula, Michigan
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by skip916 View Post
    the whooping cough issue would be reason enough for me. she can KILL your child with pertussis. not kidding. it's totally not even a laughing matter at all.
    Thanks... I thought so too... but DH and I (and his parents certainly) are concerned about childhood vaccinations (not for autism reasons).... and for my In Laws that has translated into vaccinations for themselves as well.

    If Pertussis wasn't a killer, I wouldn't be worried... and IIRC you can carry it and be asymptomatic. I have offered to take her to get the shot done at the health department ($10) and pay for it for both her and FIL. She says "FIL WILL NEVER AGREE!" and she won't either.... and she thinks that the vax at the HD are "the cheapo ones that have the bad preservatives in them." Agh.

    Thoughts to get this thru to her???? While I'm NOT ok with her watching the baby, I WOULD like her to be able to visit it!!!



  8. #8
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    Mar. 21, 2005
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    michigan
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by skip916 View Post
    the whooping cough issue would be reason enough for me. she can KILL your child with pertussis. not kidding. it's totally not even a laughing matter at all.

    THIS! over and over again, this! The other factors are scary as h**l, too. As the mother of two daughters, I would not let this woman watch my baby. Ever.
    Lapeer ... a small drinking town with a farming problem.
    Proud Closet Canterer!



  9. #9
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    Mar. 31, 2004
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    Upper Peninsula, Michigan
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJenners View Post
    Listen to your mother. You have the ultimate responsibility to watch out for your child, and if that means not putting your child in a risky situation or one that you do not approve of at the expense of someone else's fragile emotions, so be it.

    End of story.

    How this affects family relations is up to them. As long as you aren't uber bitch about it and explain it reasonably, it's up to them whether or not to get their knickers in a twist. Plain and simple. Surely Gramma-to-be understands smoking around babies is BAD and driving buzzed is BAD (btw, slurring is SERIOUS impairment, not "buzzed") and not being vaccinated for potentially deadly infections is BAD; the emotional crap and her personal paranoias are a different story, tread lighter there.

    Thank you. I was worried I was overreacting... and she wasnt' CLEARLY slurring (DH doesn't notice) but I've been around her enough to notice it.... I have no idea if she was totally plastered or just buzzed but that is irrelavent... she had been drinking. I don't know that I will even need to go to the personal issues.... given that I don't think she'll get the vaccination.



  10. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by skip916 View Post
    p.s- you have two #4's
    Do I? Crap... that is what I Get for speed posting!!!



  11. #11
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by appaloosalady View Post
    THIS! over and over again, this! The other factors are scary as h**l, too. As the mother of two daughters, I would not let this woman watch my baby. Ever.
    Yeah.... I agree.... hence my concern. Fortunately DH shares the concerns but hasn't had The Hard Converstations with her. DH is a wonderful person and so she clearly did something right (or he got lucky??) but these last years have clearly changed who she is as a person.



  12. #12
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    Mar. 31, 2004
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    Upper Peninsula, Michigan
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    NONONONONONO

    Any ONE of those reasons is good enough.

    You don't need to say why, just don't ask and if they offer, come up with some reason why it won't be necessary.

    My MIL had frequent TIA (little mini-strokes) and offered to baby sit. We just always had a reason why it was not necessary.
    I hope I can come up with a reason... but when Maternity leave is over and I go back to work/school there will be a need for childcare, and I'm pretty sure she's under the impression she'll be the provider (AGH! NO!).... But I must come up with something.... because MIL just can't be alone with my child and have me feel comfortable. I think that the extent of my comfort would be her coming over to the house and watching the baby while I shower or go for a jog, if she' sober and vaccinated....



  13. #13
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    Feb. 22, 2007
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    I would say that whatever you do, you need to make sure your husband is on board with it. You need to present it as "We are concerned about x, y, and z" (preferably said by your husband, since he is her child). I just want to throw that out there because I have seen it be an issue lots of times. Is he willing to talk to her about the other concerns, or does he just not share them?

    Otherwise, I think your mom is right about you needing to do what is best for your child, but I don't really have tips on how to handle it. I'm curious to read other's suggestions, though, as if I ever have children with my current partner I will likely have to do the same thing. Not with his mother, who I love, but with some other members of his family who he is just as close to.

    Personally, at least until your child is fully vaccinated, I would use the whooping cough as an excuse. I had it last fall and it was seriously nasty for me, a healthy young adult with a good immune system. I can't imagine a baby having it. Tell your MIL that you aren't letting your child around unvaccinated people until (s)he has immunity, and try to more gently work on the other issues in the meantime.

    The alcohol consumption would also really worry me. Although you can't diagnose this sort of thing over the internet, it sounds like she has some big red flags for alcoholism. I think you are right to worry.

    Good luck, and keep putting your child first.

    edit, because I left the window open too long: As far as the vaccination thing goes, I would just lay down the law and tell her that you love her and you really want her to be a part of your child's life, but since there is a whooping cough epidemic going around you just cannot allow unvaccinated people to spend time with your child, and then you and your husband enforce that. That will get something across to her, I'm sure.



  14. #14
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    Mar. 31, 2004
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    Upper Peninsula, Michigan
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    Quote Originally Posted by gloriginger View Post
    gee, you paint such a lovely picture of her, I can't imagine why on earth you wouldn't want her around your child?

    I think any of the items are concern enough to not leave your child alone with her, but since hubby will talk to her about 1 and 2- doesn't seem to be a need to discuss the others...my guess is she isn't suddenly going to NOT have an addictive personality and not smoke or drink.
    I was afraid my post would do that... as an adult that is not responsible for anything other than her dogs/garden/farm animals, etc, she's great. As an adult responsible for MY CHILD... uh. no. I was so afraid that I was overreacting, but I guess that is not the case.... And no, I don't see her suddenly stopping her vices, although perhaps she will since she wasn't always a smoker or a heavy drinker--but I'm not familiar enough with alcoholism to know if she a). is one, and b). is capable of quitting on her own cold turkey.



  15. #15
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    Oct. 29, 2007
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    TN
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    Those are some delicate issues. For the time being, cite the whooping cough vaccines as reason enough. Say you've talked to your doctor about it and he/she thinks it could be very very dangerous. That'll at least buy you some time without hurting her feelings.
    "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

    Phoenix Animal Rescue



  16. #16
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    Jun. 24, 2005
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    Alabama
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    No way anyone without vaccinations would be near my child. And it's not just whooping cough, but measles, mumps, chickenpox, and anything else we get vaccinated for that puts you child at risk. All disease has the capacity to seriously damage or kill you child. And a secret drinker who is in the bag in the middle of the day isn't just someone who takes a few sips, it's someone with a severe problem that could hurt your child through neglect or driving drunk with your child in the car. What if she's baby sitting and some emergency comes up? She's not calling a cab instead of driving. And what about when she decides to have just one little smoke, and catches the house on fire when she nods off?
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  17. #17
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    May. 15, 2008
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    as far as convincing her to get vaccinated for pertussis, try showing her the NUMEROUS PSA's about it. youtube even has some sad, but convincing footage of babies with whooping cough- they are hard to watch, but once you've seen them you would NEVER want to be the one to do that to a child!

    whooping cough cases are on a major upswing- it's scary. if i were you, i would use that as reason #1 for no contact/babysitting until they entire family is vaccinated. "i know you are sooo excited about the arrival of your first grandchild and would be absolutely devastated if you or grandpa ever made them deathly ill, so here's the date/time of the appointment i made you at walgreens to get vaccinated!"

    there are some vaccinations i am on the fence about for children and adults, but pertussis is NOT one of them. and the "bad preservatives" thing is not a valid excuse at all.
    Jazz- 4.9.01 OTTB, loved since 12.6.09
    Skip- 3.3.91 APHA, i miss you buddy



  18. #18
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    Sep. 24, 2003
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    Bristol, TN
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    I've got a MIL who has apparently also developed some substance abuse issues as she ages. I'm not sure if it's prescription meds or alcohol, or, most likely, a combination. We see her infrequently--very infrequently, these days--and two years ago, before I really understood what was happening, she babysat our two children, then aged 11 and 14, while we were out of the country. We got a series of restive, unhappy emails from the children, and when we returned (thankfully they were all okay) the kids reported that Gram several times scared them with her driving. They didn't pick up on what seems to have been a substance abuse problem, but I think that's what it must have been--she drove over the center line, over the speed limit, over curbs. I told them I would never allow her to drive them anywhere again, and they were really relieved.

    But when I told my MIL she went ballistic. How could I even hint that she have any sort of problem at all? I will add that my only previous tipoff had been one evening a few months before our trip, when she seemed to get inordinately tipsy after having one glass of wine at a restaurant. She tried to insist that she drive home, but she was slurring her words and acting loopy.

    My guess is that if either your or your DH suggest to your MIL that she has an alcohol problem, she will react with anger and/or denial.

    But honestly, to leave an infant with the person you describe would be child abuse. Your MIL is responsible for her issues; YOU are responsible for your child. Thank God my children were old enough to tell me what was going on.

    Say No. Tell her she needs to be vacinnated to be around the baby, but then tell her you prefer to make other child care arrangements. Make them. Don't discuss your reasons with her or offer excuses or apologize in any way. You prefer to make other arrangements. Period.



  19. #19
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    Sep. 6, 1999
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    While my MIL is far from all of this - with the exception of the whooping cough thing. She can't look after her own self. She'll leave the oven on, drive into inanimate objects, etc. So while she does want to babysit and such, I make a joke of it stating that she'll need to bring one of the kids(nieces) or my SIL so she won't burn our house down.
    A friend had a SIL who was absolutely adamant about what happens to her newborn. Family grunted and groaned but understood that she's THE MOM. And what she says goes.
    Even duct tape can't fix stupid



  20. #20
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    Mar. 21, 2005
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    I wanted to add something else here. If you think you are feeling protective about your baby now, just wait until it gets here. I had several people offer to babysit for me anytime while I was pregnant and told them all that I would love them to watch my baby for me when I needed someone. Once my first daughter was born I couldn't leave her with anyone except for my husband or my mom and dad. I knew the other people were fine and wouldn't ever harm her, I just couldn't do it. Motherhood is a strange and glorious thing.
    Lapeer ... a small drinking town with a farming problem.
    Proud Closet Canterer!



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