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AIBU to want to mind my grandson in my own home when his mum goes to work?

(87 Posts)
GrandmaJosey Mon 18-Jul-22 09:37:55

Just looking for some advice really. My son works away and DIL has a flexible cleaning job. I have quite a few weeks off work for summer and have said I’d like to see more of him and help her out in the day now that I can. She told me I could pick the day initially but now seems to have forgotten about that and is planning my time with him. They live a 20 min drive away from me and although DIL works not far away from where I live, she wants me to drive up there and either drive another 20-30 mins to playgroups or just mind him in their house. It is a nice house and in a lovely area but it is very small and I find it quite stressful as he’s only 15 months and is into everything. They only have two small rooms downstairs and I find it quite claustrophobic. There is a park up the road but apart from that the village they live in is quite small and there’s not a lot to do. Whereas I have shops up the road, a few swing parks and a beach a stones throw away. I also live in a large ground floor flat with plenty of light and space for him to run about and play. She likes him to have a nap in the morning which is fair enough and sometimes I do struggle getting him to sleep as it’s a change of environment for him but the way I see it is it’s only one day and its not the end of the world if he doesn’t sleep dead on time? She’s a great mum don’t get me wrong and we get on really well but she can be quite controlling with him. I have just text her asking if when she’s working this way would it be ok to have him in my own home as it’s easier for me and there are places I’d like to take him here like all the little parks I used to take his dad etc but she has not replied and has silenced any notifications from me on her phone? Am I being that unreasonable? Please help

Daisymae Mon 18-Jul-22 09:46:59

No, you're not being unreasonable but it's her child so you are a bit stuck. Why not alternate between homes or suggest it after a few days and see how it goes. After a while his mum might be more relaxed and pleased for you to have him at your house. It would be good to build your relationship with him whatever the setting.

Hithere Mon 18-Jul-22 09:48:28

Very much yabu

The person who is the most interested in an arrangement is the one who holds the least amount of power about it

Your dil is accommodating your request to babysit her child - yet you ask for additional conditions to fulfill your expectations

Take it or leave it - please talk to your son if you are unhappy with the arrangements

This is the second grandma that clearly disapproves of the son and dil's home, not helping the case either

PoppyBlue Mon 18-Jul-22 09:52:31

Yes a bit.

' I have quite a few weeks off work for summer and have said I’d like to see more of him and help her out in the day now that I can. '

So help her out, don't put up obsticles to make it more difficult.

luluaugust Mon 18-Jul-22 09:58:00

As it is only one day in the week I would go to their home, you can always take him for walks in the pushchair if you need to get out. Once the routine is established you might be able to suggest he comes to you on a couple of occasions. This sounds like a summer arrangement so make the most of it.

Farmor15 Mon 18-Jul-22 09:59:45

I'd start with going to his house a few times and stick to his normal routine as far as possible. At 15 months he'll be happy enough with local park - wouldn't actually appreciate the more exciting things near you!

If minding him at his house works out ok, you could ask about bringing him to yours, after a few weeks.

PoppyBlue Mon 18-Jul-22 10:00:32

She likes him to have a nap in the morning which is fair enough and sometimes I do struggle getting him to sleep as it’s a change of environment for him but the way I see it is it’s only one day and its not the end of the world if he doesn’t sleep dead on time?

Yes because it then domino's throughout the days. If he doesn't nap, he's overtired, then who is left with an overtired, grumpy toddler when you've gone home? Your DIL.

Blinko Mon 18-Jul-22 10:08:02

I would go with DiLs wishes for a while and build trust. He is very young and you'll have plenty of time to show him where you used to take his father when he's a little bit older. Take it steady, don't panic. All will work out.

toscalily Mon 18-Jul-22 10:08:02

Perhaps try to gently explain your reasons and suggest a compromise if it is one day a week. Alternate ,one day a week at his house and next week at yours.

Hithere Mon 18-Jul-22 10:10:08

"She likes him to have a nap in the morning which is fair enough and sometimes I do struggle getting him to sleep as it’s a change of environment for him but the way I see it is it’s only one day and its not the end of the world if he doesn’t sleep dead on time?"

You are treating your gc as a toy.
Your gc is a person with needs that you dont see the point in accommodating what's best for the child

Your dil is solely taking care of the child 24/7 as your son is away, yet you plan to make life harder for both of them

Your dil is working while you are on a break for summer

Dont you see how unreasonable you are?

GrandmaJosey Mon 18-Jul-22 10:13:48

I don’t disapprove of their home at all, you have me wrong there. Yes it’s small but it is a lovely home. He’s very busy there is what I was saying and it’s stressful as I don’t know it the way I know my own home, he’s always wanting to climb the stairs etc and seems to get bored with his toys or his environment more whereas in my house he seems to be more occupied with the toys he doesn’t play with everyday and exploring. And as far as her ‘accommodating my request’ this isn’t a business, we are family. It is symbiotic, she can pick up more work and I get to see more of my grandson. No one is wielding any power here.

MawtheMerrier Mon 18-Jul-22 10:14:33

Little children tend to like familiar surroundings, toys, cots, high chairs, blackout curtains or blinds for the nap, extra clothing for emergencies, feeding equipment, nappies etc and of course safety gates come into it too.
Is your house set up for a tiny- with duplicates of what he has at home?
As it is only a short drive away, and only for one day a week, I would go to theirs . When GC are a little older, an away day or a sleepover at Granny’s is a novelty, but it still often involves duplicates of everything they need.

GrandmaJosey Mon 18-Jul-22 10:23:52

Excuse me?!! Treating my grandchild as a toy? I know he has needs and I do as she says and put him down for a nap when she says to. I said I struggle sometimes-as she does at times too. They don’t always want to sleep when you need them to but as a very knowledgeable person on the subject you will already know that won’t you? My grandson is certainly not a toy and all his best interests are at the heart of my post. Thinking we could have nice times together here where he is also very happy is not me being cruel as you’re inferring. It’s me wanting to build a bond with him in my home. Is that such a crime?

lixy Mon 18-Jul-22 10:27:27

It sounds as though you will need to be at their house for the first few times at least. Can you take a toy with you in the car? A different one each time so there's something fresh?

We used to swap some toys around throughout our houses - both sets of g'parents and children's own homes - so G'chn found a new lease of life in them when they found them in an unexpected place!

15 months? Encourage him to go up the stairs a few times in the build up to nap time - good exercise and he'll be tired by it! Not being facetious here, it's exactly what I did with GS.

I hope it works out for you. The bottom line is that G'parents have to abide by parents' wishes, but there's always room for a bit of creativity.

Maggiemaybe Mon 18-Jul-22 10:28:37

Sorry, but I agree that you’re being a bit unreasonable here. For a full day, your DGC at 15 months will probably be happier going to his playgroup, having his own things around him, and sticking to his usual routines. As others have said, his parents might be happy for you to mind him at yours further down the line, when he’s used to you looking after him. But for now I wouldn’t push it.

If it helps, just to ring the changes I always take my capacious “Nanna bag” when I look after my lot - packed with some of the toys and books that live here for their visits. They always look forward to seeing what’s in it, and it comes home with me afterwards (much to their parents’ relief).

Hithere Mon 18-Jul-22 10:29:33

My clarification about "power"

What your dil seems to be doing now for her son is working for her, she does not need your babysitting, she didn't initiate the request

If I want somebody to do me a favour (see your gc during summer break), I am the one who has to be sure that the exchange is convenient for them and does not add unwanted complexity in their lives.

Yes, she can get more work if you babysit one day a week - does she want to more work?
Who says the additional work is located near your home?

PoppyBlue Mon 18-Jul-22 10:31:13

No it's not but he's still tiny and will thrive on routine. There's a reason your DIL wants you to look after him at his home. She's not doing it to be mean but because its in her sons best interest. If its difficult to get him to sleep in his own home imagine how difficult it would be somewhere different.

3 years onwards is when making memories and having fun at the beach will mean something to him.

Hithere Mon 18-Jul-22 10:31:44

"It’s me wanting to build a bond with him in my home. Is that such a crime?"

Why is it not enough to bond with him, regardless where you are?

Why does it have to happen in your home?

Oopsadaisy1 Mon 18-Jul-22 10:33:10

All I can advise is that next time you offer to help out you add, ‘at my house’ then your DIL can choose what she wants you to do.

Personally I would prefer to babysit in my own home, but I have driven to London to babysit for a day, and a couple of times just for an evening. A neighbour of mine went up to London and back each week just for 1 day to babysit for nearly 3 years, so it isn’t unreasonable.

Allsorts Mon 18-Jul-22 10:39:17

It’s moms rules, but I don’t think you are being unreasonable, yet I wouldn’t rock the boat. Keep that relationship going.

winterwhite Mon 18-Jul-22 10:42:28

Have I missed something here? I think your Dil is fortunate to have your offer.
What alternative childcare does she have in mind? Wouldn't that involve her taking him somewhere with minor changes to his routines?
He'd surely quickly get used to having his morning sleep at your house.
Seems to me that your dil needs to be more flexible.

cornergran Mon 18-Jul-22 10:48:44

grandmajosey can I just check as you live in a ground floor flat if you are ok with stairs? It seems your grandson has access to the stairs in his home, just wondered it you are ok with trotting up and down with him.

To answer your questions, I don’t think you’re unreasonable to want to have your grandson in your home, there is something special about it. We used to mind one of ours when his Mum went back to work, usually a day a week, took him to places accessible from there. It has always been in their home, about an hour away, until very recently and he’s 7 now. It hasn’t stopped us having an excellent relationship which endures. Perhaps be patient a while longer, the time will come I’m sure.

GrandmaJosey Mon 18-Jul-22 10:53:35

Yes she does want more work. She has also since he’s been born told me how she wished I didn’t work so much so I could have him more so she could work more. So me offering to have him over the holidays s something she wants too. She is not doing me a favour as I am not doing her a favour we are both gaining from the arrangements.

Hithere Mon 18-Jul-22 10:58:34

That's great! I am sure it will all work out

DillytheGardener Mon 18-Jul-22 10:59:14

It’s all about routine when they are small and causing as little disruption as possible for mum when she finishes work and has to take over.

My MIL provided childcare (I wasn’t given a choice I was pressured into it by her carping onto DH and DH giving in for an easier life. I would have far preferred the local daycare where their cousins were at, it had healthy food and regular naps and they would have been better socialised).

MIL used to send them back to me tired and cross as they hadn’t had naps, loaded up on rubbish food which they weren’t allowed at home, it really caused more trouble than the money it saved ,as when I was exhausted after a long day I then had to deal with over tired and hyped up children.

As you have offered the care and DIL didn’t request it, I’d go along with her wishes for now and then ask when you have some more skin in the game and she might be more receptive by then.

As other posters said, don’t offer something then over complicate it.