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My daughter in law is inept and useless as a mum.

(139 Posts)
Modesty Fri 03-Jun-11 11:22:35

My son married his wife last year. They have a 15 month old boy. I do not agree with how they are raising him, but I think it is more my daughter in law than my son.

She still breast feeds frequently and in public, she co sleeps and has no routine for his bedtime. She says it is some rubbish called attaching parenting but I think it is nonsense and will just result in a spoilt brat.

I babysat for them last week and put him to bed ( they have a cot in their room which he has never slept in) at 7. He screamed until they got home. In the end I shut the door and left him because he has to learn.

My daughter in law was not happy but I told her that he must have a bedtime routine. She does not work so I suspect this is why he doesn't have one.

What can I do to change her? She plays with him all day, rarely does any housework and is generally not a housewife at all. I worry for my son and grandson.

GrannyTunnocks Fri 03-Jun-11 11:30:10

Sorry but you have to leave them to their style of parenting. I have 2 lots of grandchildren, one have a good bedtime routine and the others do not. Both lots of children are well adjusted and we love them equally. You can not expect to put a baby to bed by himself at 7pm if he is not used to it. If you are only babysitting once in a while it will do you no harm to sit and watch tv with him or read him stories. We have to adapt to their style of parenting or risk not seeing the children at all.

marmar Fri 03-Jun-11 11:37:31

In the words of Johnny Rotten " I predict a riot " grin

absentgrana Fri 03-Jun-11 11:47:59

Yes you are Modesty. You seem to think that there is the your way and the wrong way to be a mother, rather than a range of different ways to perform this most complex of tasks. Describing your daughter-in-law as inept and useless as a mum is pretty harsh. Moreover, sooner or later, she will realise that this is what you think of her – or in a fit of pique you might even tell her yourself – and that is likely to drive a wedge between the families. It is not your role to tell your daughter-in-law what your grandson "must have", rather than merely making a tactful suggestion. By the way, she is your son's wife, not the house's. Have you asked your son if he wants to change her? I wonder – does your son love you because you kept a clean house or because you did nice things with him?

Notsogrand Fri 03-Jun-11 12:21:35

Left him to scream because he has to learn?
Think I'll go away now.

Jangran Fri 03-Jun-11 12:28:18

My experience is the same as GrannyTunnocks. One pair of grandchildren have a very much routine-based lifestyle; the other pair do not. They too are well adjusted and equally lovable.

Actually, I rather admire Modesty's daughter-in-law. I simply did not have the patience to spend that much time with my daughters when they were small. I admire my daughters for the same reasons, although the elder has confessed that playing with babies during the day is made easier by the blessed three days a week she spends at work.

And yes, my "neglected" daughters also grew up well-adjusted and lovable.

baggythecrust! Fri 03-Jun-11 12:29:45

Yes, you are being unreasonable. Would you like someone to be so critical of you? If you really hate their bed-time routine or, as you see it, lack of routine, then don't babysit. BTW, I did put my kids to bed early, always, but that's because it suited me, so I'm not arguing against that idea, simply that your DIL is entitled to do things her own way. If she spends the day playing with her child, good for her. Housework will always be there when you've nothing better to do. Anyway, I expect she does more than you think.

glassortwo Fri 03-Jun-11 12:30:51

Oh dear I can see trouble ahead shock.

Everyone does things differently, it might not be what you consider the right way. but give you DIL some space to do things her way and dont make her aware that you consider it wrong as you will drive a wedge between you all, and it's not worth the pain!

baggythecrust! Fri 03-Jun-11 12:30:52

Notsogrand, I think I'd better follow you fast!

glassortwo Fri 03-Jun-11 12:32:57

Make room nots and baggy I am coming too.

Myfanwy Fri 03-Jun-11 12:33:34

I didn't do any housework when my kids were small and I breastfed for a long time. The only thing busier and noisier than my house during the day was my house during the night: kids in and out of our bed, changing wet pjs and sheets, getting kicked in the bread basket by sleeping toddlers etc and etc.

My MIL was pretty horrified but she was a lovely, kind woman and told me that she wished she'd been able to give her children as much time and affection as her exasperating, untidy DIL (me). Humans are the only animals who expect their cubs to sleep away from their source of food and comfort. Mums body is a natural haven for the young; a cot in another room isn't. However parents make it through the chaos - whether by buying a family bed, sleeping under the kitchen table, driving the offspring around for hours every evening or maintaining a rigid bedtime is fine by this imperfect parent and granny. Bite your tongue and remember that most kids turn out very well with love and acceptance at home.

jackyann Fri 03-Jun-11 12:52:37

Modesty, if you have looked through these forums (fora for the pedants) I think you knew the advice you would get.
It is hard to see your own style of parenting being rejected, and I hope that some of the lovely grans here have helped support you.

Good luck!

inbetween Fri 03-Jun-11 13:19:49

WOW! is all i can say. You call her a useless mum because she breastfeeds,co-sleeps and does things on demand. Mothers are now told to do on demand feeding and baby led weaning etc.

If i had ever found out my MIL or mum for that matter had left my child to cry just because its their way of parenting i can tell you for a fact it would be the last time they had that child alone!

You had your chance to play mummy, now its time for your son and dil to be mummy and daddy and you have to respect their way of parenting or you may find yourself cut out.

gillybob Fri 03-Jun-11 13:28:19

Me too marmar ! grinsometimes we just have to bite our lip and accept that it's their child and they will do things their way. i am sure the little one will remember all the lovely times playing with mum. There is time enough for a sticter routinie when they go to school.

harrigran Fri 03-Jun-11 13:32:22

I would not leave a distressed child to cry for a long period of time. Many children cry for five or ten minutes, but longer is cruel.

Joan Fri 03-Jun-11 14:02:10

Oh dear - you'd have hated me, Modesty. I never did the breastfeeding thing, nor did I let them sleep with us, because I need my sleep, BUT I played with them, made lots of mess, and my husband learned to live with it because the children's happiness came first.

Joan Fri 03-Jun-11 14:04:00

PS Modesty - did you really mean what you posted?

Grumpyoldwoman Fri 03-Jun-11 14:18:35

My youngest daughter has a strict routine with her 4 mth old baby and he loves it, and is the happiest wee boy. She also plays with him a lot and reads to him.........and keeps an immaculate house by getting up at 6am when her husband goes to work.
...................however my eldest is so much like your DIL Modesty.
Breastfed 3 children for well over a year, very little routine until the elder 2 started school. She is expecting her 4th in August and this baby will sleep with her and demand feed.
She often has all the children sleeping with her as her husband works a lot of nightshifts as a paramedic. Her toddler has very successfully ''led'' his own weaning, and the house is usually a tip...........not MY way of doing things at all BUT I would never critisize or comment on her way of doing things. In spite of all the chaos can 'feel the love' the minute you walk through the door and that is all that long as children are fed properly,safe, clean and loved.
I could never leave a baby to cry though.
Do try to relax and embrace a different way of bringing up children...and you will enjoy your GS and will get so much love in return xxxxx

crimson Fri 03-Jun-11 15:45:32

Sounds like a wonderful mum to me. Possibly on the more extreme side [I did at least attempt to put mine in their cot or bed, even though they usually ended up sleeping with us]. Better to have a daughter in law treating a grandchild like that than one who was uncaring towards them. Thought when I saw the heading it was going to be about a mother who went out clubbing every night and didn't feed the child!

QuackQuackBoing Fri 03-Jun-11 16:24:19

Is this a joke?

GrannyTunnocks Fri 03-Jun-11 16:38:14

I think it must be a joke as all us gransnetters seem to agree and nobody is on modesty's side.

baggythecrust! Fri 03-Jun-11 16:52:14

Very bad taste if a joke.

dorsetpennt Fri 03-Jun-11 17:34:23

He has to learn ? Learn what? The old adage leave then to cry themselves to sleep went out before I had my children in the 70's. So where did you get your information. Children bring their children up differently in each generation. I know my MIL used to think so. In her day women of a certain class DIDN'T breast feed, Dads didn't come in for the birth [she thought that was a disgusting thing for a couple to want], Fathers weren't involved like they are now, they didn't feed their baby or change it's nappy. I think your daughter in law is doing fine and unless you want to be kept out of their life I'd just say nothing and if you are with thier baby you follow their rules not yours.

jackyann Fri 03-Jun-11 17:46:43

quote -Is this a joke? - unquote

I did wonder, Quackquackboing, but if serious, Modesty (Blaise?) needs our support - if a joke, well, we're too experienced to worry about it!

And doresetpennt - am amused by your comment. My mother (working class but aspirational) wondered if she should bottle feed to establish middle-class credentials! Glad common sense (and the older women in our family) prevailed - sister & I very healthy - and there has not been a bottle-fed baby in our family, ever.

HildaW Fri 03-Jun-11 17:48:43

Dear are allowed to have any opinions you like.....but your relationship with your family has got to be far more important than anything all the lovely Grandmas and no doubt Grandads who come in here and are not allowed any contact with their grandchildren. Yes its a different way to you but please try to let it wash over you and just enjoy the chances you have to be a part of your son and grandson's life.