I've been thinking about this a lot lately, because I am finally feeling comfortable enough with the idea of leaving Q with a caregiver for short periods of time (i.e., church nursery, gym childcare, mother's morning out). The reason I ask about grandparents is that I have just realized that I more comfortable with the idea of leaving Q with a "stranger" than with either my mother or DH's parents!! The thought of Q spending ANY amount of time alone with either set of grandparents really makes me sick to my stomach.
My mother is an emotional basketcase. Her life is just a train wreck right now, and has been for about 2 years. I've been purposefully avoiding her for the past year, since she came to visit me in the hospital the day after Q was born and proceeded to spend the entire afternoon (and the rest of the week that she was visiting) crying and complaining about her personal and professional troubles. I believe that her behavior during that week was a major factor in my developing postpartum depression, which, thanks to intensive therapy focusing mainly on our f*cked up relationship, has subsided. Her situation and her behavior (evidenced by the emotional mini-meltdowns she has every month when we talk on the phone) has not improved since then.
Now, on to the ILs... which mainly focuses on my MIL, who since Day 1 of Quin's life has been openly hostile about every aspect of our parenting style. She is constantly saying to my DS that his father and I are mean-- for not starting solids at 6 weeks old, for "starving" him by giving him only breastmilk; now that he is eating solids we are mean for not giving him more, or not giving him sugar, ice cream, steak, whipped cream, cookies etc. She tells my DS that we are mean for giving him vegetables, all of which are "yucky" (her word), not letting him watch TV, for not turning his car seat around, for carrying him in the sling. She asks my DS if he is worried that his father and/or I will roll over him and smother him in bed.
Mind you, DS turns 1 this Sunday.
Additionally (you mean there's more???), DH's parents are openly racist and homophobic. They use derogatory language to refer to their housekeeper, who is African American and who has worked for them for over 30 years and took care of DH when he was little and taught him how to tie his shoes. They use derogatory language to refer to one of my and DH's closest friends (who is gay) and who also is DS' godfather. When we are with the ILs there is at least one (usually more) cringe-inducing episode having to do with race and/or sexuality.
I don't doubt that my mother and DH's parents love DS very much. In spite of their downfalls (nobody's perfect, right?) I do want them to be able to see their grandson and I want DS to get to know their talents and good qualities. HOWEVER, I don't want him to spend any extended amount of time with them, and as I said before, the thought of DS spending even 30 minutes ALONE with them makes me sick to my stomach with fear.
It makes me sad to write this. But, I don't want the good girl/people pleaser in me to be "guilted" into letting DS spend a lot of time with these people. Obviously, it is not very easy to set limits with close family members and I am struggling with how best to approach this.