My DH and I do not use babysitters, we had a child because we wanted a family, not because we wanted to drop kids off and go on vacations or out or anything. Our DS is 3.5 and we have left him with my mom once for a night out and we have let her take him once on a day trip (she came and got him at 9 am and didn't bring him back until almost 9 pm, I was not happy about it because I expected him back by 7). I don't fully trust my mom, I know she would not hurt him or let him intentionally hurt himself, but she shares almost none of the same values as I do. We are very into whole foods and natural living, my DH is a helicopter parent for sure, I am more relaxed and let him explore more. She sneaks him candy when we are there (no telling what she would do when we are not around), lets him run wild, does not discipline him at all, stuff like that. I try really hard to encourage her to spend time with us as a family, we invite her to everything we do that I think is within her driving distance, she lives 30 miles south of the closest town and we live 30 miles east of that town, so I figure anything we do within a hour or so drive is reasonable to invite her to go with us. The last 4 or so things we have invited her to she tells us she is coming, and tells DS she is coming and then calls an hour before she should be there and says she has a headache, doesn't feel good, is tired or whatever bull crap excuse she thinks she needs to make up. I am sick and tired of it, and because we don't let her take him overnight and take him all the time like her friends get to do with their grandchildren she complains non stop about how horrible we are and just the general "poor me" sob story. She sleeps at all random times so that's why I wont let him stay overnight with her, she also has prescription medications all over her house and I see it as a hazard, she sees it as me not trusting her, she says that I survived just fine (this is questionable as I ran away when I was 16 and made lots of horrible decisions myself, so its not like she gets mother of the year awards or anything, although I do think she did the best she knew how to do). OK so that's the back story, now on to the issue I am having at this time, she wants to take him fishing on Friday, she didn't ask me, she made a comment to my DH and he said he would talk it over with me. Now just last Saturday she told DS she was going to go to a parade with us and called and canceled an hour before it started, we were already there with an extra chair for her so we could get good seats. I feel like if she cant do things with us as a family, she has no right to have him on Friday to go fishing which is a potentially dangerous situation because she does not watch him and a 3.5 year old by a lake without supervision scares me. We had also planned to take him to the drag races on Friday night because its the last run of the year and I don't want him to miss it. So I have 2 options, I can start World War 3 and tell her no and fight with her about what a shitty parent I am because I hold him hostage from her, or I can let him go and tell her that he needs to be home by 5 so I can still take him to the races, but that has the potential of starting a fight with her also because I will be "limiting" her access to him. Either way I need to have a serious conversation with her because I am tired of her flaking out on him, and I am tired of her undermining my parenting decisions and it also bugs me that she is within 20 minutes of my house 6 days a week and never comes by to see him, my in laws live 2 1/2 hours away and they make a point to come and see him at least once a month.
Sorry for the long vent, I just don't have anyone to talk to about this. DH thinks we should just move to Alaska and be done with all the drama, but I don't want my children growing up without grandparents. But we also are not the typical parents that we live around who are letting their parents raise their children.