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MIL giving a bath and playing dress-up - Page 2

post #21 of 167
I am another who isn't quite sure what the big deal is. Is it because she's you MIL? So she was enjoying giving your son a bath, she probably has the common sense enough to know not to leave a 6 month old in the bath. I mean your DH is here.

FWIW-my DD is 2.5, but when she goes to my dad and stepmom's it's protocol she gets a bath, eats pancakes, and watches Frosty the Snowman. Oh and many times she has come home wearing a new outfit, whatever. They have played "dress-up" many times with her, I just don't care....They are watching her and having fun with her, isn't that what grandparents are for?

It's ok, I think you are over-reacting a bit, but that's just me. For me I am fine with selfish grandma wanting to hold the baby all the time, for me it's my only break, but I am a SAHM, so it may be a bit different.
post #22 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by kryztuh View Post
As far as the clothing goes, the last time she watched him for a few hours, she put on pjs and 'got him ready for bed'. It was not yet his bedtime and I told my DH to convey that getting ready for bed is my special time with DS after being away all day and it's not OK for her to do this, and that he should come home in the clothes he was wearing unless they are soiled. He said he would tell MIL. I guess I need to find out if he conveyed this.
Even if she doe change his clothes/put him in PJ's there is nothing stopping you from having your special getting ready for bed time.

Honestly, I wouldn't make a big issue over this - it could only end with hurt feelings and sometimes keeping the peace is just easier!
post #23 of 167
A big : to most of the posts above. You're overreacting.

She's a "self-proclaimed selfish grandma" who wants to hold the baby when she sees him? She gave him a bath so he could play in the water? She wanted to spend some of her week off with her grandson? Every grandchild should be so lucky. Children who are lucky enough to have grandparents who love them and want to spend time with them are blessed.

Unless there's an awful lot you haven't said, it doesn't sound like she's out of line. You said yourself that she's only watched him a couple of times while your dad watches him regularly. It sounds to me that for some reason you're jealous of any time she does get to spend with your ds. Why not try to see it as the gift it is to have a grandparent who loves him and wants to see him? The quickest way to destroy that wonderful relationship is to be the DIL who is constantly picking and criticizing everything your MIL does. Of course sometimes you have to say something, but for your ds's sake, I'd really suggest saving those for the things that are really safety issues - don't leave ds unattended in the bath, put him to sleep on his back, no solids before you give the ok, and so on.
post #24 of 167
Well, I can see why giving a 6-mo-old a bath could be worrisome. My MIL watched my son at that age, and I'm fairly certain we told her that she could skip the bath then. OTOH, at 13 months when we were going out and she was settling him to bed, we told her that a bath was part of his nighttime routine, and please do.

Some questions to consider, I do not need answers:
1) How much do you trust your MIL?
2) Is this discomfort due to anything she's done, or might it have to do with your own experiences with other people?
3) Were the clothes anything unusual / new, or just another outfit that you had at home? My MIL shows us the clothes she's bought for DS when she gives them to us. I think if dressing him up was the way of showing he had new clothes, I'd be a little offput.
post #25 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by TCMoulton View Post
Even if she doe change his clothes/put him in PJ's there is nothing stopping you from having your special getting ready for bed time.

Honestly, I wouldn't make a big issue over this - it could only end with hurt feelings and sometimes keeping the peace is just easier!
I agree-honestly this sounds more like a jealousy issue with MIL. Personally I like to not rock the boat with many things that would jeopardize my options for baby-sitting.

I'm taking my DD to MIL's for her first time baby-sitting in a couple days. I do have a legitimate concern, but it is about soda, they all drink it, my niece gives it to her DD that is 2. I don't agree with that and will make it clear that it's not ok with me. I've already told all of them before, but will have to again.

I would just be careful to not hurt feelings and burn any bridges.
post #26 of 167
I totally don't get it. I personally wouldn't be bothered by this at all. I absolutely don't understand what the problem is here. Grandma's LOVE giving baths, at least all the grandma's we have around here. They love their grandchildren and Im sure they take all the proper precautions to make sure they won't get hurt. He obviously wasn't hurt. If it's a matter of soaps and lotions, just let her know what you don't want put on him. And putting clean clothes on a baby is hardly dress-up imo. My mom loved to change the girls outfits and put bows in their hair when she watched them. She still loves to do that. She loves to put them in the bath, get them all dressed up and pretty. I think its sweet. And honestly some of my favorite photographs of me as a baby are those in the bathtub. I've taken pictures of my kids in the bath, not close ups of their particular body parts, just cute pictures of them splashing in the tub. And you don't even know for sure if she took photos, you are only assuming.

Sorry if I'm sounding snarky. It just sort of seems like you are overreacting to me, but we are all different and we all have different boundaries.
post #27 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by kryztuh View Post
Wow, you mamas are quick! Thanks for all of the replys!

I think some of it is my own issues with not being with DS during the day (no choice). The other part is that if she had asked if it was OK first (she had instant access to me via email and phone), I could have addressed the soap/lotion/safety/photo issues and felt like she was respecting me as the mama. Again, I guess this is my issue. I feel like I am the subject of subtle dismissals from her very often, but need to figure out if those are my issues coming to the surface or if she is being manipulative.

It honestly NEVER crossed my mind to go over baths with her because never in a million years is that something my dad or mom would do when watching DS. If he had a blow out or something, I know my parents would call me asking about bath protocol. I am very particular about the products we use and everyone knows it.

As far as the clothing goes, the last time she watched him for a few hours, she put on pjs and 'got him ready for bed'. It was not yet his bedtime and I told my DH to convey that getting ready for bed is my special time with DS after being away all day and it's not OK for her to do this, and that he should come home in the clothes he was wearing unless they are soiled. He said he would tell MIL. I guess I need to find out if he conveyed this.

Overall, you're right, this isn't the end of the world and she's only watching him for a few days. And it's not worth getting stressed out over. Sometimes I just feel like DH's family treats me like an incubator/milk factory and that's it. Need to think about it some more.
Just wanted to let you know that i totally can see where you are coming from and can sympathize. As you said, a lot of it probably does stem back from your issues with your MIL, especially if you feel she isn't someone you can TRUST. If she isn't someone you feel like you can fully trust, and you've felt manipulated in the past, then it isn't really about jammies, or baths, or pictures, or whatever. Then it's about THAT person being with your child doesn't sit well with you. It can make it even harder when that person is a grandparent and expects to have that one on one time with your child.
post #28 of 167
I'm sorry it upsets you. I honestly don't see it as a boundary issue, though. I don't think I know anybody who would hesitate to give a baby/young child in their care a bath. IMO, it's not something that most people would think needed explicit permission, or a discussion of protocols.

I, personally, don't like bathing kids that much. Most people seem to find it fun, but I usually find it stressful. However, I've noticed that many, many people find bathtime to be a lot of fun, so I wouldn't be at all surprised if a childcare provider gave my child a bath.

I hope you can find a reasonable resolution to this. Oh - and I would ask about whether she took photos, and make sure they're deleted, if she did. That's not something that worries me overmuch, but I definitely understand why people do worry about it.
post #29 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeliphish View Post
not to be dismissive of your feelings at all, but I PROMISE when your DS turns about 2...you will say "OMG thank goodness I don't have to worry about a bath tonight!!" These mama bear "I will kill anyone who even thinks about endangering my child" will settle....it'll make things like this easier I promise.

:

i was very "mama bear/lion" up until a few months ago. dd will be 2 on the 24th. i understand the feeling of overwhelm/irked-ness about the situation though. if anyone other than dh or i batherd her before now, i'd have probably freaked. i hardly let anyone touch her for the first six months. i think it may be a 1st time mom thing, although i haven't given birth 2 the second baby yet, so i can't say for sure i think your feelings are normal, and i think grandma's desires to bathe and "dress up" are also normal. i think stating what you are ok with grandma doing and not doing is in order. it is your son, and your comfort level. it doesn't matter her capabilities; if you are uncomfortable about what she does with your son while she's caring for him, you have a right to line out the boundaries.
post #30 of 167
Well, I guess I'll be the one to go against the grain here and say, given your second post in this thread, that maybe you aren't overreacting. On the surface it seems like you could be, but you mention that you feel she undermines you in other, more subtle ways. And if that's the case, and your gut is telling you that this is not a precedent you're comfortable setting with her, then you need to have your DH say something.

And I mean your DH should say something, not you. People generally take friendly advice and requests a lot more seriously when they're coming from their own blood children. Maybe it shouldn't be that way, but it's reality IMHO.

If your MIL's behavior made you uncomfortable because it is part of a larger, ongoing pattern, then you should address it. But please, please be sure that you're not just overreacting for whatever reason. I see nothing wrong with her giving your DS a bath and changing his clothes, but only you can know whether she shouldn't have done it or not.

Most people would see nothing wrong with my son's grandmother (my bio mother) taking a picture of my baby when he was three weeks old; however, I have enough experience with her to know that when she used the flash repeatedly, only a few inches from his eyes, even after he started crying, and even after I politely asked her to turn the flash off, she did it on purpose to get a reaction out of me. Toxic people often act out in very subtle, deniable ways.*

Listen to your gut but be sure before you say something. And if you do need to say something, think about having DH be the one to say it.


*I'm not saying your MIL is toxic! Just pointing out that it's not always so clear-cut as "She just gave him a bath--what's the big deal?"
post #31 of 167
One other thought. OP, you said your MIL sent you a picture of your DS while you were at work. To me, this sounds like she was really trying to reach out to you, and be considerate of you by sending you a photo of him during your work day. It's human nature to see what we expect to see in someone else. For example, when I'm mad at DH, I tend to only see his faults, and I totally miss the good things that I normally see, even though they're still there. Do you think perhaps you're doing some of this with your MIL? From everything you've said, it doesn't sound like she's really crossing major boundaries, and it sounds like she's trying to be a good grandmother.

Good luck with getting it worked out so you're comfortable.
post #32 of 167
Add another to the list of those who are wondering what the real issue is here. My MIL watched my children when they were babies while I worked part-time. I loved that she bathed them, took pictures, bought them cute clothes, and pampered them. I knew they were well taken care of, and I was grateful every day that she was the one caring for them. They got a lot more love and attention than they would have anywhere else. I would examine what your underlying issues are with your MIL and why you are not comfortable with her caring about your DS. It sounds like she is being a normal grandma to me. IMHO, the grandparent relationship is the second most important relationship other than the parent/child relationship. These times with grandparents won't always be there because unfortunately they don't live forever. I would take advantage of this now and see her as a blessing to you and your DS rather than an interference.
post #33 of 167
I just saw your post regarding the bedtime/PJ's routine. I really think that the issue you are having is due to jealousy and guilt of not being there with him. Which is totally understandable, because I have to woh, too, so I know how you feel about cherishing your time together. But she isnt' trying to take these moments away from you. She just wants special moments with her grandson, too. My dad told me that he's never known love the way he now knows it being a grandpa. He says it is so different than the love he feels for my mother and myself and my siblings. He said he couldn't quite explain it, but there was just something extra special about being grandpa...

Give your MIL a break. And give yourself a break, mama. Try and remember that she loves your son so much. Give her a chance to be grandma and do grandma things, like give baths, and dress them up and get them ready for bed and read stories and make special grandma treats.
post #34 of 167
Honestly, if my MIL gave my baby a bath I would look at as she saved me having to bathe him. My MIL did a good job raising my DH and keeping him safe so I trust her with my children.

Why not pack your preferred baby wash for her to use? And no other outfits other then what you put on him?

I would approach it like MIL was doing me a big favor and not like she was replacing her. That attitude might take the wind out of her sails too.
post #35 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by kryztuh View Post
Overall, you're right, this isn't the end of the world and she's only watching him for a few days. And it's not worth getting stressed out over. Sometimes I just feel like DH's family treats me like an incubator/milk factory and that's it. Need to think about it some more.
It's not the bath, it's the underlying crap that is sitting just below the surface! With my dh's family I always felt like they thought ds was a toy, or a puppy. Something to come play with and amuse them. "Feed him this lemon slice!" or just other little things that didn't sit right with me. One day dh looked at something his mom was doing and said "Mom, he's not a puppy!" and I instantly felt validated, even though I never said a word to him about it.

The playing dress up thing would probably bother me, plus if my Mil felt that my kid needed a bath I would probably feel judged, like I don't keep my kid clean??? I can see where you could be bothered. You may or may not have a valid reason, but you're entitled to your feelings.
post #36 of 167
Ok, first, I think what she did was within the realm of norm and there is no place for complaining about it. It is not like she took your breastfed baby and threw out the breastmilk and purchased her own formula. She gave him a bath and changed his clothes. That is it.

However, that being said, I never allow anyone to bathe my children and always tell them straight up, because I am afraid of drownings. I feel like I cannot guarantee that anyone would be as diligent as me. I never take my eyes off a child or move away from arms reach in the first couple YEARS of life. But, I really rarely leave my young children with sitters, relatives, or otherwise, and if I do, I specifically say no baths from moment one. I do not even allow my non-swimming young children to visit people with pools without me present.

I would not get on your MILs case. I would wonder if you would be mad if it were your own mother to give a bath to the baby or someone you are close to. I wonder, just reaching here, but if you are more upset over your personal relationship. She changed his diapers all day so not like she did not see his privates anyway. I really think a bath is no big deal and that there are other issues at play here.
post #37 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by kryztuh View Post

As far as the clothing goes, the last time she watched him for a few hours, she put on pjs and 'got him ready for bed'. It was not yet his bedtime and I told my DH to convey that getting ready for bed is my special time with DS after being away all day and it's not OK for her to do this, and that he should come home in the clothes he was wearing unless they are soiled.
That doesn't mean you can't do your normal routine once you get him back. He'll probably need it actually.
post #38 of 167
is this your mil's first grandchild?

is this your mil's not first grandchild but one close by that she can interact with?

i really see no problem with her giving him a bath and using any bath products on him either. its just one day. or even getting him dressed in pjs.

also asking your dh to kinda go inbetween is not a good idea either. he is getting caught between what's up btw your mil and you. and does she really need to be told about the clothes thing you wanted to convey to her.

i would go with your dh's gut on this since this is bringing up things for you. if he thinks its not a big deal it may not be one.

you probably have issues with your mil. and it seems to me you feel judged. just coz ur family is different doesnt mean your inlaws will follow the same rule too.

i can relate to how hard it is to leave your baby behind and go to work. but you must also remember you are the mother of my mil's grandson. i did not have a good relationship with my stepmil but i never came in between my dd and her because they cared about each other so much. some of the things she did i felt she did to spite me - but i knew that was my issue. she didnt really mean to spite me. i was just too sensitive about it.

this is a long journey and ds is still just a baby. it would really help to figure out what you want to do about gma and gson. otherwise it will ultimately take its toll on your marriage.

sometimes imho poison turns into healthy food when offered with love. my next door neigbhbour my dd's real gma could not understand why i would object to her giving my 18 month old an ounce fo watered pepsi. she woudl sneak it behind my back. and i let it go. just coz the relationship btw her and my dd was so much more than an ounce of watered down pepsi.
post #39 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by kryztuh View Post
It honestly NEVER crossed my mind to go over baths with her because never in a million years is that something my dad or mom would do when watching DS. If he had a blow out or something, I know my parents would call me asking about bath protocol. I am very particular about the products we use and everyone knows it.
Wow, they would have to call you about "bath protocol"?! What would happen if they couldn't get hold of you? Your DS would have to sit around filthy till they got the OK to bathe him?

I think you have control issues.
post #40 of 167
Without reading the responses...

I do think you are making a mountain out of a mole hill. Sorry. And I know about MIL's being annoying!

Unless you've told her not to put him in the water/use soap/lotion on him, I don't think she even thought twice about having him in the tub. Babies generally like water, and I'm sure he had a great time. As for the nakey pictures...we have a million of them, and continue to take them of our oldest, who is 4. No, we aren't some perverts or anything, she just likes being nakey and loves the bath tub, so we've snapped tons of pics when she's in there playing!

If you are worried about the safety of MIL bathing your baby, I understand. My own MIL wasn't 'allowed' to bathe my dd until she was old enough to pretty much sit in there without help, about 2 years old. HOWEVER, my MIL is not very mindful, and she also has a hard time with her joints and things, making it dangerous for her to support a slippery wet baby/young toddler. I think you should just tell your MIL if you don't want her to bathe the babe. Or to only use water, ect.

As for the clothing thing, I doubt she was forcing him or making him miserable...I can't say that for sure, but I can't imagine anyone purposefully making a baby miserable just for clothing?

The thing about having other people watch your baby is that they WILL do things differently. I feel like so long as they don't undermine you or go totally against your beliefs (CIO< spanking, ect) then, it's ok. It's why I don't leave my kids with anyone but dh and my own mom.
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