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So I've had a day trip on the calendar for several months-- absolutely can't change the date. My inlaws have recently announced that they're coming to visit that weekend (from out of state-- maybe come once a year)-- and they want my dh to go away with fil for the weekend. This is will leave mil at our place alone with dd (4.5 yo) all day (~9am-4pm)-- which is fine, I'm sure they'll have a blast. However, mil now says that she wants to drop me off for my trip so that she and dd can have the car to zip around town all day. This has me really uncomfortable. I'll admit that I'm a nervous car person in general, but I've also had a couple of very nervous experiences with mil driving, and as she is completely unfamiliar with the roads here, I'd honestly feel SO much better if they'd just hang around the house/yard/neighborhood-- walk to the park, etc. instead of exploring the city. Dh thinks I'm nuts and offered to give mil our GPS-- which is an even bigger worry to me since I do not trust her to not be fiddling with it while she's driving. She's also in the "we didn't use carseats" generation, and even with instruction on proper use, I still don't really trust her to have it tightened enough, etc. (my mom has only driven dd 2-3 times, and the last time she couldn't get the strap in and so "just held it over her" while they drove home-- and she thought that was okay) I've been mocked for my safety concerns with other issues, and just don't feel like I'm taken seriously. I have been REALLY looking forward to my trip, and now I don't feel like I'll be able to relax or enjoy it if I'm worrying about dd in the car with mil. Oh-- and I won't have reliable cell phone recption on my trip either- so I'll be likely be worming all day.<br><br>
Seriously-- am I completely, over the top insane? I know that I am a bit more uptight about safety things than many other moms. My dd was born after 3 mcs and extended pg bedrest, and while I am definitely not a helicopter parent, I'm also extra-conscious of safety issues. Regardless of whether or not I'm a psych case, the fact remains that I'm uncomfortable about it. Is it unreasonable for me to ask mil to hang around here instead? Would I be horrible for trying to come up with some excuse for why I need the other car or for maybe making a big deal out of how dd is so excited to show her such and such in the neighborhood and then hoping that keeps them too busy to putz around town?
 

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I would give her the GPS (pre-routed with home and other locations if need be), install the car seat, and let her drive you. That's just me, though, and I do understand that you feel uncomfortable about it. If it's mainly that she doesn't know the roads, I wouldn't consider that a good enough reason. But then, I still don't know the area I live and even with GPS get lost and stuck on dead-end roads and such. I am a bad driver and have an awful sense of direction - so I have a hard time imagining a MIL worse than me driving my kids. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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I agree. It is only for one day, right. Install the carseat yourself, and instruct her how to use it. Let your DD and her have some fun.
 

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I also would have no problem with it. The woman has survived her entire life driving a car, she'll be fine.<br><br>
That said, if it's going to ruin your day trip, then I would have an honest chat with her about it and just tell her that you are a nervous person and you'll be worried all day with them running around town. But I wouldn't make up excuses to try to get her to stay home.
 

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I'm in a list kind of mood:<br><br>
1) I don't think it's fair to take your <b>mother</b>'s lack of sense regarding the carseat and apply it to you MIL.<br><br>
2) My thoughts depend on where I live versus my ILs driving experience. For example, no, I wouldn't let my rural-living MIL loose in Boston or DC in a car. The opposite situation? Sure, why not?<br><br>
3) If they only come once a year, why are they choosing to split up (FIL with DH, MIL with DD)? Presumably your husband wants to see his mother and your FIL would like to spend some time with his grandchild. Is it possible for DH/FIL to go away just for one day rather than both days of the weekend so that DH is around the day you're gone?<br><br>
4) Personally, I'd want a car if I was in your MIL's situation as well.
 

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Many of our parents were of the "we didn't use car seats" type because they weren't around. When DH was a kid, he and his brother used to sleep in the back of the station wagon on the way home from his grandmothers. My MIL/FIL always wonder about how their kids survived, but they are both mega skilled and very diligent at using and installing car seats.<br><br>
I would give her a good education on proper car seat use and get hubby to back you (install it yourself) and let her putter around town. Chances are, she's going to go slow and drive everyone else crazy but they will arrive home safe and sound.
 

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Another vote for letting them go, though I'd definetly be sure to get the carseat installed, and show her how to use it, but beyond that? let'm go have a fun day. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">
 

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There are very few people I'd be comfortable with driving my DD around an unfamiliar town. Could you just tell her that you have anxiety issues about safety and would worry ALL day long? Make it an "I'm the one with the problem" situation. Surely no one wants you to have a really awful time worrying.
 

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Well, I don't think your concerns are totally out of line. Personally, we have our own issues with both of our mother's driving and wouldn't exactly jump at the chance to give them free reign of either car or trust them blindly about car seat use. If you feel uneasy about it, there's no reason you should agree to it just because everyone else thinks it's fine. So personally, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask them not to use the car and stay around the house/neighborhood - it may be that there's enough places of interest nearby that your mil doesn't know about? It wouldn't be unreasonable to ask where they plan to go either, if you did decide to leave the car (which knowing, might just put you at ease about their plans - maybe she just wants to take your dd out to lunch somewhere easy to get to, yk?).<br><br>
If there's been previous issues over your parental concerns not being respected, I think that's where your issue lies. And if you know that that is going to be a problem, don't make yourself do it - there will be times in the future where they can drive around together without this issue hanging over you.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mumkimum</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15412346"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If there's been previous issues over your parental concerns not being respected, I think that's where your issue lies. And if you know that that is going to be a problem, don't make yourself do it - there will be times in the future where they can drive around together without this issue hanging over you.</div>
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I think you're right on. We would definitely install the carseat back in the middle for safety and give her a serious lesson (have her practice several times) on fastening and tightening the straps. I also appreciate the suggestion to talk about where they plan to go beforehand. It's only from 9am-4 pm (dd and I are home alone together for that long reguarly without getting in the car) and they don't see eachother very often at all-- so I guess I don't quite get why they need to tour around instead of just spending time together here-- dd would LOVE to play together in her play room, bake cookies together, have a lunch picnic in the backyard, introduce her to her neighbor friends, and show her how she can ride her big girl bike to the neighborhood park. It just feels like an unneccessary stress for me (dd has only ridden with people other than dh and me maybe 3 times ever), and I'm feeling a little snookered since I had planned my trip thinking that dd wold be having a nice day with dh-- and now this whole change has been planned without my input. I just want to enjoy myself and not be worrying.
 

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I think a day around town may be fun for both of them, possibly funner than staying at home if your mil isn't the type of person who wants to be cooped up in a house for seven hours with a four year old. My mother watches my dd a lot, is very fun, loves her a lot, and is very on top of safety things that she didn't use when we were kids; and even she couldn't handle that long of a stretch without having serious burnout and the option to bring dd out and about. The few times she has stayed home with dd for that long she is obviously in need of a break by the time I get home and has no patience with her after that. I also think that if your husband who grew up with her trusts her then you should also try to, especially if you install the car seat and teach her how to buckle her in properly.
 

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I think you need to trust your instincts. I hear what others are saying about just letting them go and relaxing a bit, but I have first-hand experience with a less-than-good driver (my mom) and I would feel the same way. Do you have reasons why you think she is not a very good driver or do you just worry about driving in general?<br><br>
My mom had a serious car accident nine years ago and had a brain injury. She has problems with peripheral vision now. She also just gets confused at times. I let her take my kids on short drives in her town, but would be incredibly uncomfortable with her driving them any distance or in unfamiliar places. She gets lost a lot and talks on her phone while she drives even though she has trouble multitasking.<br><br>
So I hear you! What about renting a car for yourself and leaving the family car for your MIL so they can get around your town easily?
 

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I think your fears are a wee bit irrational.<br><br>
i am saying this as someone loaded with irrational fears, so it's not an insult. I understand completely.<br><br>
It's hard. I know. But you could just as easily be anxious about them being home alone with no transportation?<br><br>
Unless she is someone who has serious issues with driving I think I would just tell myself she has XX years experience behind the wheel and she's raised her own kids and chances are things will be fine since she's made it this far.<br><br>
maybe she just wants the option of a special lunch out together, or a trip to the playground?
 

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I understand your concerns. My MIL and FIL just do not "get" carseats, either, no matter how much we try to teach them. I have seen how they buckle in dn... I pretty much avoid having them drive the kids anywhere. Even in our vehicle with our carseats, MIL complains she can't buckle the kids with the seats "so tight" and then can't get them adjusted right. Now, she does have issues with her hands, but FIL doesn't, yet the last time they drove the kids, the belts are scarily loose when I went to buckle them in afterwards. I'd like to think they just loosened them to take the kids out, but having seen dn's carseat in their vehicle numerous times, I know better. They haven't driven them since.<br><br>
And there would be many times it would be really convenient to ask them to drive ds1 to school or pick him up, for instance. But I just can't justify it.<br><br>
I have no problems with my mom driving them around, and I would show my dad/stepmom how to use them if the occasion warranted. But then, we all lost my brother in a car accident, so we know it can happen to anyone. Now, he was too old to have been in a carseat even by today's standards, and he was belted in a seatbelt properly. So I know there are no guarantees, but I at least need to know I've done everything I can, as car accidents are the number one cause of death for children (well, just bout everyone, actually).<br><br>
But then, my ILs have been given the opportunity to learn and just aren't interested... I don't know if that is the case with your MIL.
 

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I'd let her go. You MIL is probably thinking that it will be fun to have one on one time with her granddaughter. I bet she plans on taking her to lots of funs places.
 

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I also think that your anxiety is a bit irrational. I'd send them on their way, I'm sure they'll have a great time.
 

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I wouldn't be concerned about her driving on unfamiliar roads.<br><br>
But this would give me pause:<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SweetPotato</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15412154"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">She's also in the "we didn't use carseats" generation, and even with instruction on proper use, I still don't really trust her to have it tightened enough, etc. (my mom has only driven dd 2-3 times, and the last time she couldn't get the strap in and so "just held it over her" while they drove home-- and she thought that was okay) I've been mocked for my safety concerns with other issues, and just don't feel like I'm taken seriously.</div>
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Do you feel that SHE has mocked you about your safety concerns? Do you have a real reason to believe that she won't buckle your dd in tightly, etc? Even if she doesn't think car seats are important, she may respect you enough to take it seriously, kwim?<br><br>
Seriously, if I was pretty sure that someone wouldn't buckle ds tightly enough in his seat, I wouldn't let them take him anywhere without me. Period.<br><br>
But give her a chance. If you think there's a chance that she'd let you show her how tightly to get the straps, etc, and that she respects you enough to do it properly, I'd let her have the car and have fun with dd.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
I'm an overprotective mom. I'd still let her go. I'd acknowledge my anxiety for what it is, I'd mitigate those fears by having DH instruct and supervise a car seat strap in test run, and I'd force myself to let it go. Make sure she has a cell phone on so you can call & check in if you're feeling panicky.<br><br>
My mom, I swear, cannot watch my DD for more than five minutes without taking her somewhere. My mom's driving irritates the hell out of me, but KNOCK WOOD she doesn't actually get in accidents where she's always at fault or anything, so as long as she can adequately strap DD into the Britax, well, life is a series of risks. I think with my mom, it's a combo of not being able to stay still personality and also wanting to do grandma stuff and "show off" her granddaughter everywhere. As a nanny, I remember getting a little thrill out of taking the kids out when their parents allowed it, it was just fun to be with them around other people like "See how sweet and cute these kiddos with me are?" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
If she raised your DH well and they have a good relationship, that's a strong sign that she will be good with your DD as well. And we have to let our kids learn to trust and enjoy being with their grandparents, even if it means getting over our own anxiety- and trust me, I really DO get it- I ask angels to protect DD while she's out with my mom!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Maybe I'm the only one with both a chronically careless driver in the family and an aging driver who is having more near-misses but when you say she's not a great driver, I believe you.<br><br>
My chronically careless driver relative (aunt) would LOVE to take my daughter for the day but I do not trust her driving at all. She rolled her car with both of my brothers and both of her kids in it (some with seat belts - hers, some without - my brothers). She wrecked the car while driving my grandparents. She HIT A SCHOOL BUS (you know, big, yellow? BUS!). She has caused and been involved in enough accidents that I won't let her drive my kid. And then I have experience with aging drivers who are becoming more apt to pull over on top of another car or pull out in front of a car they didn't see. My kid won't be riding with them either.<br><br>
If you really worry about her driving, that's ok. It is ok to notice when someone is either a really bad driver (some people just ARE) or when someone's driving skills are slipping and it's certainly ok to make up face-saving excuses for not letting them have your car and your child for the day.
 
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