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post #41 of 70

I think its normal for grandparents to want to spend time alone with their grandkids, as well.

 

However, I don't think forcing your son to "get used to her" by leaving them alone together is the best thing. Sometimes we have to do that kind of stuff (ie daycare), but if you don't have to, I don't see the need for it. My MIL was constantly on us to just let DS cry with her so he'd get used to her. To the point of walking away from DH and I during family get togethers when we'd try to take our hysterical 7 mo old away from her. I saw red whenever this happened. I was able to block her on actually leaving him with her as an infant because he was breastfed and refused a bottle.  Since I gave him what he needed as an infant (a lot of holding, love, cuddles etc), he's becoming confident and not freaking out about being with anyone who isn't Mommy anymore. (He's only 13 mos old now and somewhere in that not quite an infant but not really a toddler yet stage, but the change in his confidence level of other people is huge.) I think if he's not really ready for it and you don't need to, I don't see a need to force him to get used to her.

 

Also, you said you work full time so your a little jealous of your weekends. My thought here is that its your DS's weekend with you, too. In his own 2.5 yr old way, he's probably just as jealous of that time and wants to see you.

 

Instead of forcing him to get used to her by leaving them together, would it be an option to have her come over while you are busy and in another part of the house for an hour? That way she's getting some alone time but you're still there in case your DS needs you. You could set up some ground rules like if he cries for more than five or ten minutes, you'll come in and be with them. Your MIL may not go for that since you'd still be responding to him rather than forcing him to get used to her, but it could be a good middle ground. I'd just prepare myself for eye rolling and you're babying him comments if that's her style.

post #42 of 70
Thread Starter 

I appreciate all of your thoughtful comments.

 

I think for now we will limit time alone to our house when we are still around. We do a lot of home projects so that will work. I am standing firm in not taking him to her house-the smoking is my hill to die on-I think it is so unhealthy and am not willing to risk my son's health.

post #43 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzycat View Post

 

"Last night we had my MIL babysit for two hours while my husband took me out to dinner. Apparently my son cried a lot and was generally unhappy. She said that we need to go out more so he gets more practice being with other people. Then she went on to say she wants more one on one time with him when we aren't there so he "gets used to being with her w/o us."

 

There is something about this paragraph that really bothers me.  It seems like she wants him for the wrong reasons like "hey it's ok if he is unhappy and cries, it'll be good for him?!?"  There is something not right with that. Why not "I'd like to help out more and give you a break" or "I adore him so much I can't get enough of him".  I think it is completely normal for grandparent's to want to spend alone time grandchildren, but the comfort levels of both parent and child need to be taken into conideration. 

FC

 


 

I didn't read it that way.  I assumed the MIL meant that she thought he was crying because he's not used to being around other people, and maybe if they tried it a few more times then he'd get used to being w/o mom and dad and would be ok.  Kind of like how a child might cry the first days of daycare or kindy, but then they adjust and can be perfectly happy.  Of course I don't know the OP or her MIL so it's just my spin on what I'm reading...

 

Now I don't know what her motivation is.  Other posters have suggested that it's all about *her* enjoyment of her grandchild.  That her getting time with her grandchild is worth his discomfort.  Could be.  Or it could be that she's thinking of her son and DIL and want to make sure they get "date nights" to keep the relationship healthy.  Or (more likely?) a mix of altruistic and selfish motivations (yes, she wants to spend more time with her grandson, but she also wants to be able to do more childcare to help out her children). 

 

I don't think there's anything intrinsically wrong with him spending more time with her and getting more used to her.  I do think it can be done in a more gentle than being-left-to-cry-inconsolably-for-2-hrs method though.  Would MIL be willing to start off a bit slower?  Maybe with half hour park playdates or something?  With an agreement to phone if ds has being crying for more than x minutes?

post #44 of 70

I agree that one on one time with grandparents is important.   Kids act different when their parents aren't around and grandparents are usually more comfortable playing silly games and knowing that somebody isn't looking over their shoulder all the time.

 

That being said, I absolutely wouldn't let my dc over to her apartment until she quit smoking inside for quite some time.  Not just not smoking while you're there, but never smoking inside and then shampooed the carpets and furniture, washed the walls, and aired it out for several months.  I also wouldn't do it until your ds is happy the majority of the time.  He does need to "get used to her" but not without you.  When she comes to visit, encourage your ds to play with her.  Try to leave the room periodically so they do get a little one on one time together.  He gets used to spending time with her without you around and vice versa, but you're close enough that he's still comfortable and not crying the whole time.

post #45 of 70

OK so not to thread steal, but for those who think being alone with grandparents is a good necessary thing Are you taking about a certain age? or always?

 

 

I don't think I'd feel comfortable leaving DS with ILs until he could talk, explain his own allergies and report back if anything wasn't ok.... BUT I'm coming from a not so great relationship. I have other people who I would leave DS with for a few hours if I needed to.

post #46 of 70

Oaktreemama,

what's nice is that you have natural boundries you CAN fall back on to keep it to what you feel comfortable with.

 

doesn't matter if she thinks he needs to be around other people more or not. He's YOUR baby. It matters what you think about that.

 

But yeah, if she brings it up again you can always fall back on the smoking. I'd even say you could tell her your pediatrician discussed smoking adults at your last visit or whatever, and say you were encouarged to keep him out of areas where there is frequent smoking....and that you feel itis too smoky there for much visiting. But that she can have one on one time with him at your house (yay!  free babysitting!)

 

side note: my mom spends a TON of time with my son. It was what is normal for OUR family. For one thing, I was 22 and alone when he was born. BUT because my mom has a tendency towards codependency (and tries to be too involved with me in general), I lived in a neighboring town. This way it was always clear that she was babysitting....and that she WANTED to baby sit. When he was 2 years old she asked me if she could start bringing him to church with her (I am comfortable with her church and their values), which meant he would sleep pver her house most Saturday evenings (except in summer) and I'd pick him up when we met for lunch on Sundays. I was a 24 yo single mom.....hell yeah. lol.gif

Anyway, he chooses when he goes with her now (he is almost 13) and if he wants to go. What's nice is he has a really good relationship with her. BUT we are a small family, he has me and her and his Godfather and everyone else is pretty extended or people we visit at specific times of the year.

 

post #47 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakotablue View Post

OK so not to thread steal, but for those who think being alone with grandparents is a good necessary thing Are you taking about a certain age? or always?

 

 

I don't think I'd feel comfortable leaving DS with ILs until he could talk, explain his own allergies and report back if anything wasn't ok.... BUT I'm coming from a not so great relationship. I have other people who I would leave DS with for a few hours if I needed to.


I don't leave mine alone with Grandparents other then an hour or 3 for babysitting before they are 18ish months.  At that point in time I am comfortable leaving them all day, if both the Grandparents and child are comfortable with it.

 

That being said both my parents and in-laws do listen to DH and me and are respectful of our choices, they won't feed DD or DS food we don't approve of, and do keep DD's milk allergy in mind and don't feed her foods that are not okay for her, they also respect the fact that we don't feed the children meat and won't offer then meat. That being said they do get a bit more sugar and more treats with their Grandparents then I would get them, but I am okay with that, and if I said something they would limit that as well.

 

That being said we have a great relationship with both sets of Grandparents so it is easier to think about leaving my children with them, or letting my children fly to my parents house with my Mom for a night or two before I come down.  This is because I know they won't intentionally do anything to undermine how DH and I are raising our children, and if they unintentionally so something we will discuss it and they won't do it again.

 

If I had a less great relationship with my parents or in-laws it would be a different matter, but we don't we have good and open relationships where we can discuss issues that may come up with them being alone with the Grandchild and they respect our thoughts and beliefs.

post #48 of 70

My inlaws seriously creeped me out by asking for 'alone' time with my first dd by asking when she was only two weeks old - to take her for the weekend.

 

It was never about spending time with her, or whatever. They were crappy parents to my exdh, and it was totally an opportunity for them to play mommy and daddy again (not saying this is necessarily true of anyone else's parents/inlaws) and it really weirded me out.

 

My mother on the other hand - was a wonderful SAH parent. She started offering to watch the girls in order to give me a break. She was also the parent that came by and cooked and did laundry when I was newly postpartum... whereas my MIL would come and eat all our food and sit on the couch holding dd - that was her 'help' to me.

 

I never had a great relationship with my exILs. They first started taking my dd 'alone' when she was five years old (for a few hours). She was old enough to tell me if she needed something, or if something had happened.

 

My mother started taking both kids when they were about four months old. I knew that she could be trusted, and that while she wanted to spend time with them, it was also about helping me.

post #49 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakotablue View Post

OK so not to thread steal, but for those who think being alone with grandparents is a good necessary thing Are you taking about a certain age? or always?

 

 

I don't think I'd feel comfortable leaving DS with ILs until he could talk, explain his own allergies and report back if anything wasn't ok.... BUT I'm coming from a not so great relationship. I have other people who I would leave DS with for a few hours if I needed to.


For me, always.  My ds was left with my parents at like 9 or 10 days old so that I could run out and get a prescription filled, and buy myself some lunch.  BUT - I have the most awesome of the most awesome parents, and I REALLY needed my prescription filled.  I didn't want to take DS b/c he was born in January and it was freaking COLD outside!

 

I also had to return to school at 11days pp, so ds had to stay with a sitter, and my mom was around until ds was 3 weeks - then he was left with someone we trust. 

 

My views are definitely skewed from having such an awesome relationship with my parents, but I'm also much much MUCH more lax about certain things than most people on MDC (ie, ice cream won't kill him after a certain age, being allowed to do things I won't let him isn't terrible so long as its relatively safe, etc. - other things, like CIO or smoking would be my hill to die on - my parents don't smoke and would NEVER leave him to CIO, my brothers and I were not left to CIO, so I trust my parents).

post #50 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakotablue View Post

OK so not to thread steal, but for those who think being alone with grandparents is a good necessary thing Are you taking about a certain age? or always?

 

 

I don't think I'd feel comfortable leaving DS with ILs until he could talk, explain his own allergies and report back if anything wasn't ok.... BUT I'm coming from a not so great relationship. I have other people who I would leave DS with for a few hours if I needed to.

 

I didn't have a good relationship with my mom at first, but she was wonderful with my dd when I was there and I felt comfortable leaving her with my mom to run an errand, go to a job that I couldn't bring dd to (I worked for a sitter agency and usually I could bring her), and have a date with my husband before he went to bootcamp before she was 8 months old.  By the time I had to find a steady weekend job when she was 10 months old I felt very comfortable with my mom being with her, I always felt more comfortable with my mom taking care of her than I did with her father taking care of her.  Our relationship also got better and we have a great one now.  I think that my dd spending time with them as a baby was good because she got very comfortable with them.  When she was little the time was all about caring for her needs and finding ways to keep her happy, as she got older it changed to doing fun things like walks, lunch dates, and listening to books on tape together.  I think kids can also get used to their grandparents with their parents around, but in our case that may have been hard due to our bad relationship.  We actually came together and put our past baggage down because of my dd and built a stronger relationship with our love for her as our common starting ground.  My dd doesn't have serious allergies so that isn't an issue.  If I didn't think someone would make sure to avoid deadly allergens then I wouldn't send a child to them. 

post #51 of 70

I left my children in the care of my own mother since birth. I trust her completely.

 

My former mother in law has absolutely no parenting skills of any kind. She has no common sense either. She did not understand why it wouldn't be okay to leave a 14 month old in the bathtub, she never understood why carseats were such a big deal, she refused to put her large, aggressive dogs out of the house when we were visiting with our then-toddler.

 

My oldest is a teenager and I still wouldn't feel comfortable letting her be alone with my ex mother in law.

 

But my own mother has a lovely relationship with my kids.

 

So it definitely depends on the grandparent.

post #52 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakotablue View Post

OK so not to thread steal, but for those who think being alone with grandparents is a good necessary thing Are you taking about a certain age? or always?

 

 

I don't think I'd feel comfortable leaving DS with ILs until he could talk, explain his own allergies and report back if anything wasn't ok.... BUT I'm coming from a not so great relationship. I have other people who I would leave DS with for a few hours if I needed to.


I think I mentioned upthread that I still haven't left my 22mo with the grandparents -- and I mean, not even for 5 minutes while I'm in the other room. I'm completely not comfortable with it (though there are other people I would hypothetically be OK with leaving him with although we haven't yet!) I feel he needs to be old enough to very clearly communicate with me, call me if he needs to, etc. and even then I'm not sure I'd be OK with it. I actually have a great relationship with both my parents & my inlaws, but my concerns are all over the place -- concerns about following certain 'rules', physical discipline, smoking & drinking, possible abusive behavior, physical/health limitations, etc. -- maybe I'm making it sound like they are horrible people but they are most certainly not, it's just too much of a gray area for me to feel it's worth the possible 'risk' just to have time alone with them. DH & I both had awkward pasts with our families and seem to do much better NOT living with them & under their constant influence. DS loves his grandparents (after about a year of being terrified of them -- and anyone else besides me, for that matter) and asks to see them, call them, etc., he makes crafts for them, gets mail from them, and spends as much time as possible in their arms or interacting with them when we do visit! It hasn't seemed to interfere at all with him having a positive relationship with them, and I am able to have peace of mind knowing he is emotionally & physically safe.

post #53 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakotablue View Post

OK so not to thread steal, but for those who think being alone with grandparents is a good necessary thing Are you taking about a certain age? or always?

 

 

I don't think I'd feel comfortable leaving DS with ILs until he could talk, explain his own allergies and report back if anything wasn't ok.... BUT I'm coming from a not so great relationship. I have other people who I would leave DS with for a few hours if I needed to.



I wouldn't say alone time with the grandparents is necesary, but I do think it's an important part of a close relationship. but it totally depends on the grandparent. I've left DD with my mom since she was a couple months old, though only for a couple of hours, at 19 months she sometimes spends about 4-5 hours with grandma. but my mom is totally AP, she was a LLL leader for over a decade, extended breastfeeding, cosleeping, babywearing, etc. my mom also has allergies, and had allergic kids, so she's really good about foods (better about not giving sugar than I am, didn't give DD any dairy until a couple months after we had introduced it, at one point had me make a list of okay foods). DD hasn't had as much alone time with my dad, but really it's because I don't usually think to offer, and he doesn't ask, he doesn't like being pushy. my MIL lives farther away, so doesn't have alone time with DD just because it isn't practical, but if we did live in the same town I would trust her with DD, not quite as AP as my mom, but pretty close. my FIL will never have alone time with my kids, he isn't a good parent, and hasn't shown any interest in being a grandparent.  

post #54 of 70

I didn't leave dd with the grandparents ever.  It wasn't about them, it was about her.  First of all, I was breastfeeding and she ate frequently.  She didn't get teeth until she was a year old and didn't really start eating solids until she was 15 or 16 months old.  By that time she was firmly emotionally attached to me and to dh.  She didn't want to be left alone with other people.  Sorry, but I don't think you have to "let them get used to it".  That's not what AP is about, IMO.  After she was about 4, she was fine to spend the day with others, but still wouldn't spend the night.  She still co-sleeps and she'll be 9 in several weeks.  She *can* spend the night elsewhere, but she doesn't *want* to spend the night elsewhere.  I will continue to respect this.

 

The other factor for us is that my parents were not good parents to start with.  I won't go into the details, but I wouldn't trust my dad and his wife with dd even now.  She has undiagnosed mental problems and his response to everything when I was growing up was to remove his belt and start hitting.  NO FRICKING WAY would I let them have dd unsupervised.  This is actually a sore spot for them and it's caused some strife.  My dad's wife is a mental case, though, so there is no reasoning.  She also doesn't understand why kids have to be restrained in a vehicle, can't eat McDonald's for every meal, can't take a bottle of formula instead of breastmilk and shouldn't be spanked. 

 

My mom was a yeller and even now (she lives with us) I have to call her on raising her voice to dd.  But my mother respects my parenting, has even said to me, "You are a much better mother than I ever was" and she TRIES to be as AP as she can with dd.  She fails sometimes, but then, it's hard to undo 70-some years of ingrained behavior.  Since dd was 3 she's stayed for periods with my mom by herself... but dd still won't even sleep down in mom's rooms (in the same house!)  I trusted my mom, but still followed my dd's cues.

 

So, no, I don't think grandparents have to have alone time to have a good relationship with their grandchildren.  If you can trust them, then I think it's a wonderful part of extended family.  We are extended family living together and it works for us, for the most part.  But alone time, I guarantee you, is not somehow the magic bullet to making inter-generational relationships work.  Dd and my mom had a great relationship long before she was left alone with her because my mom established the relationship on MY DD'S TERMS, not her own.

post #55 of 70
Mil is constantly asking. The one time I did, though, (a couple years ago) she made 12 month old ds1 CIO like 2 hrs before his normal bedtime, and lost my trust. Sil, however, is perfectly happy to let her baby stay overnight... puts a lot of pressure on us, unfortunately.
post #56 of 70

"I wouldn't say alone time with the grandparents is necesary, but I do think it's an important part of a close relationship."

 

That's where we come down on the issue, as well. As to "when," well, both my mom and my MIL have gotten stuck with a fussy infant when I simply had to be elsewhere (either for an appointment, or because I needed a respite), but nobody has ASKED to have alone time with my kids until my kids were happy to be hanging out with them. At this point, all three of my kids love the alone time and can be put to bed by their grandmas with no fuss. 

post #57 of 70

My experience might differ since we live in a different country than my family/my inlaws. Even when we move back next year we will be a 10 hour drive from my inlaws and a 10 hour plane trip from my family.

 

In my experience, yes and no. My father would be horrified at me suggesting I leave either of the girls with him. Hes in his late 60s and has mobility issues. So, he barely wanted to spend time with them when I was in the same room with them. Likewise my grandmother is in her 80s, wheelchair bound and mostly blind so no way I would ever leave her with them alone, nor would she want me to. Her opinion is she raised her children now we get to raise ours. Of course shes not a fan of young children, growing up she never spent any alone time with us before we were teens then we would spend 2-4 weeks a year alone with her at her house.

My MIL/FIL/Grandparents in law loves to spend time with the girls when they can. However, only if the girls and I are comfortable with it. Its really hard on my MIL because she loves the girls so much but she restrains herself whenever she sees us and waits for them to approach her first. I can tell its a little draining because she wants to give them hugs/carry them to the car/just be there since they are so tired from the flight but she realizes that it would be worse for them than her leaving them alone and letting them adjust so she gives them space to come to her. FIL is the same way. Pays off too, last time we visited my oldest happily went with FIL about 10 minutes after we met up at the airport to help him pick up pizza and my youngest let my MIL carry her around the grocery store as long as she could see me. While we are there if my oldest wanted to go somewhere with them and they didn't mind I didn't mind. They knew they had to use a carseat, what I allowed my girls to/not to have and they had a full water bottle so they weren't tempted to give her juice/soda (which is a def NO in my house!). My youngest they only watched once while we were there because she nursed every 2-3 hours and wasn't happy with me leaving her. My MIL agrees with me that she rather wait for DD2 to be totally comfortable being left than having to deal with a crying baby. Also, if she started to cry and couldn't be calmed within 5 minutes they called me (she was prefectly fine when we did leave her for 2 hours so we could go out to dinner together). Both agree that under 1 is a no go since they are both breastfed and don't take bottles.. Although I did leave DD1 with them for 15 minutes when she was 3 months old so I could run to the store without taking her out in the rain.

post #58 of 70

I have left DD1 with my mother since she was 4 months old and I went back to teaching ballet a couple hours a week.  I completely trust her and DD1 has seen my mom at least once a week if not more since she was born.  They have a great relationship and I think the one on one time has been great for both of them.  Now my mom is watching DD1 and 2 (6 months) while I go back to work.  I totally trust my mom to follow my instructions, she is extremely gentle and even more patient with my DDs then me.  Once my DD1 was talking I was happy to leave her alone with my younger sisters and more recently with my in-laws. She has always been excited to have this special time with those people.  Growing up I had one on one time with my grandmother and my aunts and it really helped build those relationships.

 

It would be totally different if I didn't trust those people. I love my in laws but I wouldn't want to leave a baby with them.  MIL has some old ideas (did the soother in honey) that would make me nervous.  Now that DD1 is older though I totally trust them to watch her.

 

I would not be leaving my DDs in a house of a smoker.  I don't even like to let smokers hold my kids.  I think your MIL is totally normally for wanting alone time.  If it were me I would invite her over and have her watch LO for increasing amounts of time and see how he does with it.  Maybe 15 minutes while you run and errand or clean up outside etc.

post #59 of 70

I don't think its weird but a lot depends on the relationship. 

If we lived closer to our parents. I would in a heartbeat leave DD with my parents for one on one time. MIL I would let in small doses but not as often as I would with my parents. And that is just because of a few outside factors. 

 

My greatest memories for as early as I can remember before I started school was going and spending time with my (maternal) grandparents going out of state a few times a year with my Poppie to go see my great grandma. I was always with my grandparents as much as I could be and I want DD to have the same relationship with her grandparents. 

post #60 of 70

I do think its a little interesting how people will be ok leaving them with their parents but hesitate with leaving them with their spouse's/significant other's parents. I wonder if anyone else has noticed that?

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