Anyone else not use babysitters? (long vent) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 08-28-2012, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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. 

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#2 of 27 Old 08-28-2012, 12:34 PM
 
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It sounds like you are very distressed about this and it sounds really out of control with your mom. Have you considered therapy? For now how about setting up some firm boundaries with your mom and sticking to them - if she knows them from the outset and they are the same every time it will probably be better for everyone. It is perfectly fine and normal for a parent to say - no, my child can not participate because I don't think it is safe.
 

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#3 of 27 Old 08-28-2012, 12:47 PM
 
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This doesn't seem like a problem with babysitters in general...sounds like a problem with your mom specifically. So, even though I can't really relate to your no babysitters stance, I do have experience with in-laws who sound a bit like your mother. DD is 2.5 and for a variety of safety reasons, we don't trust them to watch her or spend unsupervised time with her. (This is especially awkward because we do leave her with other people.) They do some of the same stuff...cancel last minute on things, or when we go and visit them they just watch tv and don't talk to us or play with her or anything. They think it's really funny to stuff her full of junk food, and I even kind of cringe that the "regular" food they eat. It's become even more awkward since DH's sister - who lives with them and is a recovering drug addict - had a kid of her own and they do a lot of the child care for her. That's a whole other situation, but needless to say, I don't know how DH came from the same genes.

 

Anyway, I understand the impulse to run off to Alaska so you don't have to deal with family. We sometimes fantasize about that. wink1.gif

 

What helped for us was to sit down together (DH and myself) and set some limits and boundaries. We decided we did want DD to have a relationship with all her family members. We came to the realization that we cannot control the actions or behaviors of our family members. 

 

The in-laws had two large, untrained dogs. They jump, bark, fight with each other, etc. We were absolutely not ok with going to their house if the dogs were going to be loose. So, that became a firm limit that we communicated to them. It was hard to enforce at first because they just kept ignoring our request, but we would wait outside their house until they did it, and they got the picture pretty quick. 

 

We decided that, especially as DD got older we were not going to be able to control everything she ate anyway, so we decided to relax a bit about the junk food. I feed her before we go to visit so she's not famished, bring healthy snacks to share, etc. 

 

And we decided that we didn't need to "balance" the time that she spends with both sets of grandparents. We decided that we would visit them in person or invite them to our house once a month, and if it didn't happen then we try to do a phone call or have DD draw them a picture or something and mail it to them. Beyond the once a month thing, we just decline all invitations and say that we're busy. 

 

Sometimes grandparents can do a marvelous job providing some child care. My DD has a wonderful relationship with my parents, and even sleeps over by herself with them sometimes. But my mom also makes it a point to ask us about our routines and rules and has always tried to carry them out. They eat pretty healthy and enjoy a lot of the same activities. And they did things like childproof their home without us asking. When it works, it can be awesome. 

 

I definitely think you need to make decisions together with your husband. When you act as a team it's a lot easier to say no to things, even when it's awkward or there's a fight looming.

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#4 of 27 Old 08-28-2012, 01:48 PM
 
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We have decided that our kids are just going to be grandparent-less, to avoid this same, exact drama.  (Well, I would trust them with my dad, but he lives across the country, so a no-go.)  But I seriously have limited their access to my mom because of this insanity and drama.  I am the protector of my children as their parent.  I would start WW3 personally, and then completely ignore the fall out.  Nothing you can do about it anyway.
 


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#5 of 27 Old 08-28-2012, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the replys, I am glad I'm not the only one who is going through this. We did set boundries and I have done everything I can to enforce them, like when I walked in the room and she was feeding him a cheeseburger we left. When she does stuff she knows I don't agree with I fight with her on it. We have no one else we trust, that's the sad part, out of everyone she is the best match for a care taker but she just doesn't understand boundries at all. I am so so tired of the fights and drama. DH and I do a good job at communicating and making the decisions on things together. So luckily I am not fighting with him about it. I trust my dads judgement more than my moms but my dad won't stand up to my mom at all and just does whatever she says so sadly even if he were to go fishing with them (he probably won't be there because he is on call 24/7) he would just do what she said. I thought about asking my brother to go with them because he would keep an eye on him and make sure he wasn't in any danger. I just don't know, part of me does want to let him go for a few hours but I kinda feel like that would reward her for not showing up to all the things we invite her to.

I try to offer the grandparents each one day a month that I will travel to them, after that they are responsible for if they see him. If I drive to meet the in laws somewhere other than their house like for lunch or something that is their visit, if I ask my parents if they want to go do something with us and they say yes then I figure that is their day and if they don't show up its on them. My mom is extremely jealous of my in laws, she tries to out do them on everything and I just could not take it anymore so that's why I made the decision to plan one thing with each of them each month. We even have 2 of each holiday because of the issues over who bought him what and who spent more its just bull crap.

Anyway thank you for the replies, I will try to figure out what to do about Friday, either way I'm going to talk to her and hopefully it won't turn into a huge fight but I expect it will no matter what I do.
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#6 of 27 Old 08-28-2012, 02:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pogo0685 View Post

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.

 

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. 

You do have to realize how offensive the bolded statement sounds. It sounds like you are making the assumption that those of us who do use sitters didnt want a family. While I understand that you dont want to drop you're kids off and go on vacation (there are people in my family who do this 2-3 times a year and I dont understand it, but it's their vacation not mine), using a babysitter every now and then (or even every day) doesnt mean that you dont love your children and want them to be your life and your family. I use a sitter 3-4 times a month, for dates, appointments, or to just get some housework done.

 

It sounds like your mom is just different than you. If you dont want your kids to grow up without grandparents, then you are going to have to let go of some of the control.  Grandma is going to give candy, that's just part of what happens when grandma gets the kid. You can create boundaries, but you cant tell her that if she isnt just like you, then she cant have the kid if you are wanting her to be a part of his life. I do understand that it's frustrating that she constantly cancels plans and leaves prescription medication all over the house, and I'd address that with her, but as far as the fact that she doesnt eat whole foods and she gives him candy goes- you are going to have to pick your battles.

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#7 of 27 Old 08-28-2012, 04:05 PM
 
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I agree with others here:  I tend to think this is more about your mom than babysitters in general.  I also was a bit taken aback by the first sentence of your post ("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").  If you don't like sitters, that is fine, but it doesn't have anything to do with love of family or reasons for having a family, from my perspective anyway.  

 

Good luck in deciding what to do.  I live far away from my family and generally I am able to avoid this type of drama.  We had a long-time sitter in our building who was a great person and we were so sad to see her go pursue her dreams after college (not sad about her dreams, just sad that she was leaving...DD really loved her and she was a great alternative when we needed to do something or desired to do something just for DH and myself.  But, that comes from the realm of thinking that it is okay to have a break and connect time with a significant other.  

 

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#8 of 27 Old 08-28-2012, 04:21 PM
 
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If she doesn't like to show up at things you put on then maybe you need to look at why. Either she is truly to ill or tired to go or she is avoiding them for other reasons. Since she enjoys spending time with your son maybe those reasons have nothing to do with him. My mother and I love each other and my dd but we don't particularly enjoy spending large amounts of time together. We mostly talk on the phone because it is much easier to not misread body language and get defensive for no reason.

Also, having a life outside of your children doesn't make you someone who doesn't care for their family. Imo it makes you someone who cares enough about your family to make sure you are meeting your emotional and social needs. I assume you don't think ill of your husband for having the audacity to go to work so his financial and social needs cam be met. Why would you judge yourself so harshly for letting your son have a fun time being spoiled by his grandma a few times a year while you do something just for you or just for your marriage?
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#9 of 27 Old 08-28-2012, 04:45 PM
 
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I understand the frustration. I got a lot of flack from my in-laws who wanted to babysit when they felt like, for how long they felt like it, and the way they felt like it. I didn't feel comfortable with them. And since my husband wouldn't allow anyone else to babysit, my son was not with anyone besides us until he was 8or 9, and he and I went to stay with friends and I needed something at the store and he didn't want to go with me. Since my friend was OK with watching him, and he was OK staying there (his idea), I allowed it. My husband never knew and life went on.

Babysitters should be chosen with care. Anyone you or your husband feel might not be a good caregiver should be avoided as a babysitter. Visit as much as you like, but leave your child with those you feel confident will do a good job.
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#10 of 27 Old 08-28-2012, 05:00 PM
 
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My DS is basically growing up grandparent-less. We have no contact with my family & only see DH's a couple of times a year for just a few hours, very supervised (and they are usually drunk or involved in adult conversations most of that time). Honestly, it's not an ideal situation. He has no family outside of me & DH that he can turn to & trust, and that makes me feel so sad for him. However, we have very serious reasons for choosing not to have them in his (or our) life, and in our case it does feel worth the sacrifice, at least right now. We are focusing instead on developing relationships with other adults (friends) who he CAN trust.

So there is nothing wrong with setting boundaries and sticking to your limits but you need to look at the big picture and figure out what things you are willing to compromise on & let the rest go.
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I just don't know, part of me does want to let him go for a few hours but I kinda feel like that would reward her for not showing up to all the things we invite her to.

Does she know that showing up to whole-family activities is a prerequisite for spending one-on-one time with your DS? If for whatever reason that is what you've decided, I think you need to be much more upfront with her, "You need to spend more time with us as a family before we can let you spend time alone with DS, because XYZ."

There is nothing wrong with saying no. I wouldn't worry about starting WW3 but I would worry about the message you are trying to send her, which sounds a little confused to me. I'm not sure if you are trying to punish her for not showing up, or you don't feel your DS is safe with her, or something else -- what's the real issue? Can you address that one issue and loosen up about the other stuff?? Can you directly and firmly say you do want to him to spend time with her, but only when you are around (if that is indeed what you want)?

I don't know exactly what this has to do with babysitters though. We don't use babysitters either but that doesn't really have anything to do with whether DS spends time unsupervised with family. Unless you are trying to say you never get a break and it would be nice for her to watch him? Or you want him to spend unsupervised time with other adults but you're not comfortable with family doing that?

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#11 of 27 Old 08-28-2012, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am sorry that I offended anyone, that was not at all me intention, I was just trying to get across the point of why we personally don't use babysitters. In the area I live, the people I have had the displeasure of meeting, or trying to be friends with utilize babysitters 5 nights a week, plus have their children in daycare, I am not saying everyone is like that but this is how my mom expected it to be when we had DS because this is what her friends children do. If you use a baby sitter that is your choice, we just don't see the point unless we have something we want to do where we can't or don't want to take DS but both of us like to stay home, we are pretty much hermits if that's what you want to call it so we have never really wanted to go out and do much anyway. When we do go out its to go grocery shopping or hiking or to the zoo, stuff that is very family oriented that we did before we had him anyway. When we did leave him the first time it was to go to a NRA dinner and while children were welcome I did not think he would have much fun sitting at a table for 6+ hours listening to gun law legislation. There is another banquet coming up in a few months and we will probably go again.

Some people don't understand my food thoughts. I do think that HFCS is poison, and I will fight with her to not feed him that crap, I buy her chocolate bars and real sugar candy that she can give him but she prefers to give him mainstream brands because I feel she has to prove me right. We have been in a battle of the wills since I was about 12, I'm 27 and it has never stopped. If I bring him home made say chicken nuggets and carrot sticks with cheese and yogurt for lunch and he doesn't eat it, she will give him French fries, I don't see why she would do this, he will eat all of this fine until he knows that she will give him her food if he just holds out long enough and then he will try to play this game at home.

The things she has skipped out on are things like going to watch fireworks, going to parades, going festivals, going to the zoo, going to the playground. And she knows that I schedule those days as my once a month visit to go see her once she says yes she will come. DH is not at all comfortable with him being at the lake with her alone, he has a very long list of reasons. And I see the logic in them and agree that they are valid concerns. She says she won't smoke around him but is a chain smoker, what is she going to do when she wants to smoke? Send him away? Because as much as I love her I know she won't just not smoke. What is she going to do when she catches a fish and at that exact moment in time he decides he is going to run away? Will she put down her pole and go get him, or let him run and go get him in a minute, my bet is she will wait.

I am replying on my phone so hopefully I answered everyone's questions and again I am sorry to offend anyone that uses a babysitter, I was just trying to start off so people understand my decision to not use one because both my parents, my in laws, and friends all wanted to start watching him at a few weeks old because around here that is normal but its not what we want.
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#12 of 27 Old 08-28-2012, 06:13 PM
 
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My parents gave my son foods he reacted badly to behind my back when he was young. Then when he would cry (we found he was getting migraines ), my mother would tell me a was a bad parent for comforting him. Instead I was supposed to tell him to "buck up". And I was supposed to "realize " that he was crying to manipulate me. Things got worse from there.

My point is that if someone's not respecting your food rules, there may be other issues that will surface. I would err on the side of not allowing that person to babysit.
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#13 of 27 Old 08-28-2012, 06:42 PM
 
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It sounds like it would be better to just have visits with her rather than letting her babysit. If she can't even follow your rules & requests when you're right there, how is she going to follow them when you aren't there? And it sounds like there are some safety concerns as well. Just tell her if she wants to see him that you want to be there too. Offer to join them on their fishing trip... maybe let her make the plans for whenever you get together, and then perhaps she might be more motivated to keep them? (Or not, who knows, I do find backing out of plans last minute to be incredibly disrespectful, and maybe an ingrained pattern...)

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#14 of 27 Old 08-28-2012, 06:54 PM
 
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The consequence for respecting my boundaries is that my family will not interact with you. If you put my child in potentially dangerous situations you will not be trusted to supervise my child. It sounds like your mom has some major problems and you probably have some issues related to that. It is okay to say no and stop putting all the effort in until she is able to respect your decisions. You can give her a gateway in, she is welcome in your house anytime as long as she calls to set it up first. It is sad for her and your son but it is also her choice.

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#15 of 27 Old 08-28-2012, 09:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

It sounds like your mom is just different than you. If you dont want your kids to grow up without grandparents, then you are going to have to let go of some of the control.  Grandma is going to give candy, that's just part of what happens when grandma gets the kid. You can create boundaries, but you cant tell her that if she isnt just like you, then she cant have the kid if you are wanting her to be a part of his life. I do understand that it's frustrating that she constantly cancels plans and leaves prescription medication all over the house, and I'd address that with her, but as far as the fact that she doesnt eat whole foods and she gives him candy goes- you are going to have to pick your battles.

I have to agree with this. It sounds like she truly loves your son which is a huge blessing - not every child has a grandparent that cares so much. When it comes to food if it isn't an allergy it's personally not a hill I would choose to die on. A cheeseburger once in a blue moon will not make a huge difference in his life but the time spent with his loving grandma certainly will.
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#16 of 27 Old 08-29-2012, 04:11 AM
 
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Speaking as someone who has no family around, if the choice came down between having a grandmother who loves your son and eating a cheeseburger as a side effect of that,  and having no one but getting to stick to the idealistic diet in my head for my kids, I'd pick the love of a grandmother each and every time.

 

Yes, they sometimes come with drama.  Yes, they sometimes come with luggage.  Yes, they sometimes come with cheeseburgers.  But having other adults who will unconditionally love your kids is invaluable, and irreplacable, IMO.  

 

I think you need to give a little to get a little and it sounds like you are both feeding the battle of the wills.  You may be right about the food but in the grand scheme of things, the more you fight her the more she will fight back, as she seems you being extreme and fears that your son may become more and more different from a regular happy childhood as she knows, so she tries to counteract it.   

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#17 of 27 Old 08-29-2012, 05:30 AM
 
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Ignoring all the rest, I'll comment on Friday plans.

 

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#18 of 27 Old 08-29-2012, 07:24 AM
 
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Quote:
 I do think that HFCS is poison, and I will fight with her to not feed him that crap, I buy her chocolate bars and real sugar candy that she can give him but she prefers to give him mainstream brands because I feel she has to prove me right.

 

She is doing exactly the same thing you are doing.  by bringing the candy that you feel is okay you are saying she is wrong and you are right.

 

 

 

Quote:
If I bring him home made say chicken nuggets and carrot sticks with cheese and yogurt for lunch and he doesn't eat it, she will give him French fries, I don't see why she would do this, he will eat all of this fine until he knows that she will give him her food if he just holds out long enough and then he will try to play this game at home.

 

You are setting your son up to have the same battle of wills with you(and your mom) that you have with your mother.  He is almost 4, he can understand Grandma may feed you this but at home we eat this instead.

 

 

Quote:

The things she has skipped out on are things like going to watch fireworks, going to parades, going festivals, going to the zoo, going to the playground. And she knows that I schedule those days as my once a month visit to go see her once she says yes she will come. DH is not at all comfortable with him being at the lake with her alone, he has a very long list of reasons. And I see the logic in them and agree that they are valid concerns. She says she won't smoke around him but is a chain smoker, what is she going to do when she wants to smoke? Send him away? Because as much as I love her I know she won't just not smoke. What is she going to do when she catches a fish and at that exact moment in time he decides he is going to run away? Will she put down her pole and go get him, or let him run and go get him in a minute, my bet is she will wait.

 

Does your mom enjoy the activities you invited her to?  Where these things YOU suggested to do as a family with her or things SHE suggested?  Ask her what she'd like to do with all of you as a family 

 

Have you asked your mom how she would keep your son safe at the lake, or what she would do if she caught a fish & he ran away or are you automatically jumping to worst case?  Does your son have a habit of running away or going into the water by himself?   

 

When you are around her does she still chain smoke or does she go longer?   I now quite a few people who do(or used to) chain smoke & are fully capable of going through long stretches between smokes when in a place they can't smoke.

 

Have you considered going to the lake with them & then you can leave when you need to for the races?

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#19 of 27 Old 08-29-2012, 12:32 PM
 
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First, I can see where some of your statement would be off-putting. There is an implication that those who utilize trusted caregivers occasionally "don't want a family" or want to pawn their kids off on people. That's terribly misguided -- you may find in a few more years with another child or two that your opinion changes :) I changed my username a few years back because the posts from when my oldest was a baby make me CRINGE now ( I knew everything about parenting, you see) lol

 

Secondly, I can understand a lot of what you're saying because I was like you early in my parenting journey. My mom had hurt me a lot as a kid and I so desperately wanted to protect my child from some of her ways of being that I felt had hurt or damaged me as a child. I had certain "standards" I wanted to live up to and that I'd set for my child (involving food etc etc etc) that I died on many hills about. You know what, though? I robbed myself and my mom from a few good years of my oldest's life that I could have really lightened up about. I don't live in regret (it's pointless) but I'm different now and we're all happy. When God restored me and healed me from my past (ymmv) I realized that my mom does love me, she just didn't know how to love me in the way that I wanted -- and she does love my kids, she just may not always love them in the way I want. However, so long as she is not a negative force in their life (many boundaries were laid), she is welcome in their life.

 

I can see your point in some areas though -- For example, my mom chain smokes as well, and isn't physically able to care for young children (imo). So, we don't visit her home except when the weather is nice and we can all sit outside while the kids swim or whatever. My kids aren't alone with her -- not that I feel she would intentionally harm them but she is in her 70's, has some physical issues, is on medication etc -- I don't feel it would be fair to her and it would be nerve-wracking for me to let me children be alone with her. I let her know this is my issue, not hers, and it's not at all personal. It's also a safety issue.

 

Some other stuff I've just dropped, though. For example, she tends to love on my kids with food -- bringing them cookies and stuff that I wouldn't let them have normally. I just suck it up. It's only a rare treat and they know it doesn't fly at home generally, but to keep peace and see the joy in my mom's face for making them smile is worth it.

 

Your mom isn't perfect, but guess what? Neither are you. If you genuinely feel your mom loves your son -- and just doesn't show it in the ways you'd like, I would encourage you to see the best in her and choose your battles very wisely. Many things we see as huge deals really are small potatoes in the end.

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#20 of 27 Old 08-29-2012, 05:00 PM
 
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I hate to be argumentative, but my experiences were opposite. I tried for too many years to be nice and give my son time with grandparents. They did too many hurtful things. Looking back, we would have been better off cutting ties sooner!
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#21 of 27 Old 09-01-2012, 07:42 AM
 
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 We are ones who rarely use "babysitters" and the only ones who were ever chosen were grandparents or our best friend and is 19y/o son.  My son will be 6 in Novemeber.

That said...I know that when he is with any of them he will likely get candy/junkfood etc...BUT...with 99% of his time with us you know what?  In most cases he will choose healthy foods.  He refuses to eat non-natural peanut butter-he hates it, and wonderbread sucks...he doesn't like dips and things for his veggies he just likes them raw and plain.  He will complain to my mom that it isn't like how I make things.  Sure he loves candy....but candy isn't off limits (we generally save it for Saturday and he knows this) and chips etc. 

The way I look at it is that the occassional additional piece of non-healthy food won't be detrimental to him...plus he gets lots of grandparent time.  I loved my time with my grandparents and looking back am sad that I didn't spend more time with them when I could.  Sure I remember being able to have lots of penny candies and ice cream and everything else I couldn't usually have but you know what my favourite memories are?  Learning to peel potatoes and apples with a paring knife, picking raspberries for her to make pie, learning how to make butter tarts, learning lots of  ways to make potatoes as my grandpa had to have potatoes with every meal, playing games and doing puzzles with her, learning the basics of knitting and embroidery.  Everytime we have raisin bread I think of my grandparents, when we have KFC I think of the big (huge) family gatherings we would have in the summer with KFC being the easy choice.  When I have welsh rarebit I think of my other grandmother same thing goes with homemade cocoa.  Scotch mints make me think of my one grandpa who always, always had a bag of them in the house.  Homemade coconut cream pie is my favourite pie...my grandma made the best. 

 

I would never sacrifice my son's memories and learning opportunites just because he might spend a day eating garbage food and doing things we might choose not to do with him.  Unless it is endangering (I installed his car seat) him then I let them have fun and build memories together.


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#22 of 27 Old 09-01-2012, 07:55 AM
 
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The way I read the original post it sounded like the memories her child(ren) would be getting aren't necessarily so pleasant. And it would seriously depend on why the candy or whatever is being given. My son gets migraines from sugar (and artificial things), and my parents didn't accept or respect my choice to keep such things away from him (before we knew it was a migraine problem). And they weren't very accepting when he was older and declined the foods himself (politely, I might add).

I'm not sure if the OP has a similar circumstance or not, but if she has concerns about leaving her child with anyone, for any reason, she should respect those instincts.
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#23 of 27 Old 09-01-2012, 08:50 AM
 
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We live very far away from any family members. If I need a break for my sanity or physical health, or even just someone to watch the kids so I can get dental work done or something, I have to rely completely on my DH (who sometimes has to take PTO from work for things like that) or pay a babysitter. We moved to a new area a few months ago, so we haven't yet found a regular, trusted babysitter. I am desperately looking. I have high hopes for a mother's helper I am planning to hire next week. But any help we get will be very limited because we can't afford to pay someone more than a couple hours a week.

So to answer your question, no, we don't typically use babysitters because it's not currently an available option to us.

Humans were not meant to raise children without the help of extended family--it can take a huge toll. I know you only have one child so maybe you haven't yet come up against your own limitations. But from my point of view, I think you should consider yourself and your child VERY fortunate to have a grandparent within driving distance who actually wants to spend time with the child. It is a huge blessing!

I second what others said--that this issue is not about babysitters. It's about a lack of appropriate boundaries and communication with your mom. If your mom can't be trusted alone with your kid, don't leave her alone with your kid. Not every grandmother makes a good babysitter, and maybe you should just see her as a family instead of sending the kid alone with her.

But don't assume that everyone is in the same position as you. And that they send their kids off with relatives they don't trust, because they just don't value their family--sheesh! Do you know how bad you'd make someone feel if they work full time and their kid goes to day care (even if it's a wonderful daycare and they're happy with the decision) to know that you are judging them for it and assuming they "didn't want a family?"

I'm really missing my own mom right now and wishing that having her babysit were an option for me, not for 12 hours but maybe like, 4. I haven't been on a real date with my husband in 3 years, and I would like to. I don't think having that wish makes me a lesser mom.
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#24 of 27 Old 09-01-2012, 10:01 AM
 
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I've been thinking about this and one thing I've noticed about my own situation is that someone is probably watching DD for 3-4 hours at a time 8 times a month. 3-4 of those times are her grandparents and it's because they want her, not  because I need her to go somewhere. When I need someone to watch her it's usually during the day and my parents still have jobs, so I have to use sitters.

 

Most sitters dont give junk food and candy because babysitting is their job and they are aware that sugar makes kids intolerable. Plus, they have no emotional need from the child. They arent striving to be the favorite, or be the one to first introduce them to something, etc. They are there to watch your kid, and sometimes they give treats, but not so often.

 

Most grandparents love to give kids sugar. Everyone knows grandma lets kiddo have way more cookies than mom ever would. It's an age-old problem.

 

This is the primary reason I prefer paid babysitters to our parents.

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#25 of 27 Old 09-02-2012, 08:03 PM
 
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Quote:


This is the primary reason I prefer paid babysitters to our parents.

Agreed. I personally prefer a paid sitter because they care for my children the way I want my children to be cared for. Especially for younger children, I want very specific things in terms of food, sleep assistance, and play.

 

My mom is fine and loving and she doesn't overindulge and is fine asking about specific behaviors. But she is kind of a lump on the couch with little kids. She is better with older children who need less active care. But she would also be loving towards someone who cried for six hours or was seriously ill. She has reserves and doesn't panic.

 

My MIL is a totally different story. She loves them dearly and they love her but it is always boundary-pushing, junk shoving, and control-needing behavior that is as much as about having her needs met as meeting the needs of the kids. She is unpredictable and will panic about things and feel the need to control (freaking about minor fevers and get medicine at the wrong dose without consulting us, etc.).

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#26 of 27 Old 09-04-2012, 06:09 PM
 
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I haven't read everything, but what about having her watch him in YOUR house, this way it is your food, no pills lying around and just plain safer. You could limit the time to 2 hours, or just long enough to go on a mini date and connect alone as adults?
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#27 of 27 Old 09-04-2012, 06:36 PM
 
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Wow a lot of people read way into this post. I know what you are going through and my son is only 9 months. My mil takes him away from me as much as possible and hides away with him. One time I caught her showing him youtubes of sexy toddlers in bathing suits. Sure he wont remeber. I don't care. I can only imagine the huge fallout we will ahve when he NEVER stays with her.

 

Your mother is manipulative and usuing her "headaches" as punishment for you not letting her have her way with your kid. I would tell her she can't watch your son since she has been so unwell and if she gets a "headache" when hes  with her she might get too overwhelmed.  I don;t know what all of these people are talking about memories and stuff. Your son will be manipulated by her when he visits and you bet your butt he will remember it.

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