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URGENT step-mother advice (rant included)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
My step mom watches dd every other Wednesday for 5 hours while I work. I am always a little disappointed with the quality of care. Just little things that irk me. I try really hard not to be too picky because I think its good to expose dd to different types of people but I'm really p-o'd this morning!! My step mom and I have had the "I don't want my 9 mo. old plopped in front of the t.v. screen to watch a video" conversation before. My stepmom also watches my two neices and they watch videos all the time. She told me once that she understoon and would honor my wishes. Well today I had to go back to the house unexpectedly and when I walked in step mom asked "where'd your VCR go?" and I told her we had to take it off the t.v. because I was worried dd would have it fall on her head. So she turns to dd and says "oooh, I guess no Baby Mozart today".
I said "Actually grandma, that's no big deal because I don't want her to watch videos anyway"
and off we went....
I won't type it all but she basically said "that's weird" in a really bitchy way and I told her I didn't care, I wanted my dd to be able to talk TO someone and explore her environment instead of being mesmerized by a video and left for work. I have to go home and deal with this though... any advice??
I feel like she doesn't enjoy INTERACTING with my child. I come home and often dd has a binky in her mouth and step mom is on the phone. Or she's taken her for a 30 hour (exaggeration) walk in the stroller and now the video. She's only with dd 2 times a month for 5 hours... can't she just PLAY with her for that time???? Not to mention that I don't trust her as far as I can throw her (and I'd like to right now) She promised before that she'd honor my wishes and I don't believe her anymore. What do I do? Fire my step mom? That would cause some family turmoil but I am willing do deal with it??? help.
post #2 of 7
Yup, girlfriend, I think you answered your own question. The fact that you have had the video conversation before really reinforces it. I am going to give you some support- YOU ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING. Since its only 2 times per month a replacement shouldnt be that hard to find. You don't have to 'fire' her, just say you found someone new, but thank her for looking after dd until you found the replacement. Good Luck with everything, hope the family turmoil won't be too difficult to deal with, but atleast you are prepared for it.
post #3 of 7
Yea, I'd have to agree...it's one thing if she's stressed out & needs 5 minutes to herself (as many momma's do...) but twice a month!?!? I don't understand that. And even if she was too stressed out, she should let you know that a video was to only way she could "handle" taking care of a baby -- not lying or being sneaky. That way you could have found someone else sooner.

It almost sounds like she isn't even interested in taking care of your 'lil one. It might be a relief to her if you "let her off the hook." Then she can enjoy her grandbaby when you visit WITH your dd -- and not feel this horrible pressure : to entertain her all by herself!!

Bottom line: TV/video watching is a parenting choice -- not a step-mom/grandma's choice. End of conversation.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
just a little update...
I went home and talked to step mom. I told her that the video thing had really made me angry because it was something that we had specifically talked about before. I told her it made me feel that I couldn't trust her. When she decides on her own that its okay to ignore one of my specific requests it calls into question everything else... like is she letting dd cry her self to sleep? That's something I've asked her not to do. Is she feeding her things that I don't approve of? I told her that I thought it was incredibly disrespectful and that it bothered me that she had never made an effort to understand or even listen to our philosophy about raising our child, although I've offered. Her response then was "I don't need to know all that, I'll just honor your wishes" :
She told me that she didn't ask if they could watch the video because she knew what the answer would be... but that way, if she hadn't asked she wasn't directly disobeying... Wow is that demented or what?
I told her to please give me a little credit. I am not totally inflexible and rigid. If she would've ASKED and explained to me that she was going to watch the video WITH dd instead of plopping her in front of it to be hypnotized alone... and that it was only a once in a rainy day (it was raining) kind of thing I probably would've said "sure, go ahead".
Soooo, long story short (is it too late for that? ) she's still going to babysit twice a month and I hope we have come to some kind of understanding. If anything happens like this again though I will find a replacement immediately. I can't have someone watching my kid that I can't trust. I don't like her slippery slope reasoning about what is "honest" and what isn't. KWIM? Thanks for the support!
post #5 of 7
The old "forgiveness is easier to obtain than permission" concept.

I'm impressed that you were able to be so open. I can't do it. I'm still scared of my step mom.

Silly story I just have to share: my step mom watches ds... well, it's not very regularly and that's another story. But when ds was about 3-4mo and he had figured out how to reach for things, she told me that he was reaching for the fan. The fan was off, so he was safe, but I needed to "teach" him not to do that. OK.. he's 4mo and doesn't understand cause and effect. Lost cause. The funny part is, the fan in question is one on a stand so it's about chest level. The only way ds could have been reaching for it is if he was in her arms. Um... how 'bout not holding the baby when you're standing right next to the fan? I just said, "oh, ok" and laughed later.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

update number 2

oh boy, my DAD called me last night to ask "what did you do to your stepmom?" because I guess he came home from work and she was crying.
Here I though we had had such a nice, honest, adult conversation. I guess not. When she left we had hugged and she said "I'm glad we talked, I feel like the air is cleared now"....: :
So LUCKILY my dad is spectacular and very fair and he listened to my side of the story and gave me his sage advice. "it doesn't matter if you weren't MEAN to her, she's upset nonetheless and something needs to be done".
I'm thinking that since step mom and I have never really had a normal mother/daughter fight before she is thinking really "doom and gloom" kinds of thoughts. Like that I hate her, or our relationship is ruined, etc. etc. I feel bad that she feels badly but at the same time... she WAS wrong. Sooooo... I'll be going over there to see her today to talk some MORE and see if we can't get back on track. : Keep your fingers crossed for me.
post #7 of 7
Oohh, good luck! I am sorry all of this is happening to you. Theres nothing quite like differeences of oppinions where kids are concerned to upset the family dynamic!
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