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Drinking in presence of GC

(31 Posts)
Abi30 Mon 19-Aug-19 21:31:00

As grandparents do you drink alcohol in the presence of your GC?

A bit controversial, especially as everyone’s drinking habits differ from one person to the next anyway. Ive just become uncomfortable with my in-laws drinking habits and the effect it might have on my child, bearing in mind she’s only 5 months old at the moment, so quite vulnerable to be around anyone who isn’t sober. You wouldn’t drink and drive, you wouldn’t hold a baby/look after a child if you weren’t sober IMO, other people might feel differently on what they’re comfortable with and that’s fine for you.

I only ask as it’s just been brought to my attention following a long weekend stay from my in-laws, it was the first time they stayed with us since the birth, with us only having day visits every few weeks beforehand. Unfortunately around 10 beers and a bottle of wine was consumed between the two of them on one afternoon and I felt incredibly uncomfortable with them holding my baby, along with several beer breath mouth kisses on my baby - all big red flags to me! They’d conveniently “forgotten” that I don’t find that acceptable. You wouldn’t do that to anyone else, you shouldn’t do it to a vulnerable baby IMO! I let it slide, deciding to pick my battles, but it’s resulted in a lengthy conversation with my husband and limiting future stays to 1 night only or just allowing day visits as previously planned. We are not going to mention the drinking because they are unlikely to alter their habits as it is their way, and I also don’t want to cause offence by insinuating they drink too much and be blamed for it.

I would love to hear what other grandparents take is on something like this!

DoraMarr Mon 19-Aug-19 21:55:08

I don’t drink when I have the grandchildren to stay, but we all drink alcohol when there is a gathering, or when we go for a meal- but only one or two. The oldest grandchild, nearly three, knows that adults drink wine and beer, but she doesn’t see us drink to excess. It’s a tricky one- I certainly wouldn’t have liked my children to be around heavy drinkers when they were small. I think you are wise to limit visits. We had the added problem when my children were small that all my husband’s family were smokers, and because they lived a long way from us they always had to stay. Some of them were offended when we asked them not to smoke in the house.

SueDonim Mon 19-Aug-19 22:07:12

I'd be under the table if I'd had that amount of alcohol to drink! I certainly wouldn't be up to holding a baby safely.

I think you're being perfectly reasonable with your baby - it's not worth the risk.

FWIW, my dh & I and our son had a glass of cider with dinner this evening, with our small GC at the table too, but I don't think they can tell the difference between cider, apple juice or fizzy pop at that age. One glass of anything is the limit though.

Sara65 Mon 19-Aug-19 22:09:00

Drinking those amounts of alcohol during the day time, seems like serious drinking to me, I think you’re entitled to feel uncomfortable. Whether or not you say anything is another matter, unless it starts to pose a real problem, I’d be inclined to let it go for now.

Pantglas1 Mon 19-Aug-19 22:12:52

I never drank when I was in charge of my grandchildren on the basis I was looking after them and if they’d hurt themselves and needed a doctor or hospital I could drive them immediately.

Summerlove Mon 19-Aug-19 22:14:22

A glass of wine or two with a family dinner? Absolutely.

I would have a glass of wine when I had newborns as well.

I would never be sole carer if I drank that much, but I also don’t drink that much.

You are not unreasonable wanting them to not hold your child after drinking that much. However, you cannot police how much people drink, so your job is to take care of your child. If you are uncomfortable letting them hold your child then don’t. I would be very uncomfortable with that as well

Luckygirl Mon 19-Aug-19 22:21:22

You are right to be concerned. Their drinking habits are their own affair until it impinges on the safety of your child, then it is very much your business. I would also be concerned that this level of drinking is going on in the afternoon which leaves a lot of day left to get completely blotto.

Day visits with you or OH in attendance would be the way forward I think. I do think you need to state your position if they ask to hold the baby. Just say that you do not think it is wise after so much alcohol. If they do not lime it then that is not great, but the baby's safety is paramount.

How irritating for you to be having to deal with this.

Luckygirl Mon 19-Aug-19 22:21:50


EllanVannin Mon 19-Aug-19 22:24:56

A baby shouldn't be kissed on the lips whether a person's had drink or not, it's a dangerous practice.
I'd have said something if someone had reeked of alcohol around a child anyway.
Tell them next time that you'd rather they didn't kiss the baby on the lips.

BlueBelle Mon 19-Aug-19 22:45:02

I wouldn’t expect anyone to be drinking around a baby or child not at all

paddyann Mon 19-Aug-19 22:52:08

our family weren't big drinkers but FIL was a heavy smoker and he wasn't happy when I told him he had to go to the bottom of the garden to smoke.My son was very prem and when he came home I didn't want all the hard work by medical staff to be ruined by him inhaling smoke.The old boy finally gave in and when my son was 4 he told his GF that smoking would kill him so GF stopped there and then after 50 years .I was very impressed

Hithere Tue 20-Aug-19 12:42:48

A beer or glass of wine is ok.

10 beers and a bottle of wine in ONE afternoon is too much

Sara65 Tue 20-Aug-19 12:46:50


I think they must they must be pretty hardened to it, I’d have passed out long before I got through that lot!

Hithere Tue 20-Aug-19 13:00:02

Totally agree.

MawB Tue 20-Aug-19 13:02:38

There’s drinking and there’s drinking
Total thumbs down to the sort OP quotes - yes, if that constitutes normal consumption, they drink too much

Jane10 Tue 20-Aug-19 13:04:57

At a family meal out I might have one glass of wine but 9 times out of 10 I don't finish it. If I'm babysitting, either at their house or ours, I don't drink (alcohol) at all. My DD usually very kindly leaves me a little bottle of wine or can of G&T if I'm sleeping over but I just take it home with me the next day. I just want to be compus mentis just in case!

Septimia Tue 20-Aug-19 13:07:56

We don't drink much anyway, only perhaps at Christmas or with a meal out. Even then it's very little, so our DGD gets a low alcohol influence from our side of the family.

However the other grandmother was supposed to take care of GD after a family event and was so drunk that someone else had to look after GD. What kind of message does that send?

clementine Thu 22-Aug-19 18:01:08

I would have a glass of wine once I got the grandchildren to bed, but that would be my limit. From what you describe, your in laws have a serious problem with alcohol and I don't think anything you would say would change their drinking habits. You are dealing with it very sensibly and I would keep the interaction to a bare minimum if possible .

Being drunk in charge of a vulnerable child is every bit as bad as drunk driving .

Madgran77 Thu 22-Aug-19 18:10:44

Well there is drinking and then there is DRINKING!!! We have in the past all shared a bottle of wine between five adults over lunch with the two grandchildren sitting there! But that is not exactly the same as 10 beers and a bottle of wine in one afternoon is it! I think that is not appropriate around children,

And that amount of drinking suggests a problem with alcohol which has implications about the future with your child if they ever want to babysit etc.

M0nica Thu 22-Aug-19 18:26:39

We drink with meals on special occasions, and DS likes the odd small bottle of craft beer.

Our DGC have grown up in an environent where all the adults like an occasional drink, red wine, cider, craft beer and DH enjoys a glass of sherry, but they have never seen anyone in the family drink too much or even be slightly squiffy. I hope this attitude to alcohol will rub off on them.

Grannyknot Thu 22-Aug-19 18:32:46

Call me old-fashioned smile but I find it incomprehensible that someone around my age (70) would ever willingly want to get drunk.

I agree with you, you are right to be concerned. I also think that is a serious amount of alcohol to put away between two people. I'm of the two-glasses-of-wine-tops school.

Also, of course they will have "forgotten" that you disapprove once they are have put away that much.

TwiceAsNice Thu 22-Aug-19 19:17:39

We have a drink with a meal but I usually only have one glass and sometimes don’t have anything. If I have sole care of the grandchildren I would never drink at all. I might need to drive . It seems a lot of alcohol to drink especially in the day, excessive I would have thought.

It is up to you what you allow them to do with YOUR baby, I also agree babies should not be kissed on the mouth.

BradfordLass72 Fri 23-Aug-19 12:01:22

Abi30 I agree with you and you are wise to realise they won't change. But as you say, you can. Day visits only.

Guidelines put down now and strictly enforced by you and your husband (about all aspects) will show them you are serious about the safety of your child.

Tipples and toddlers don't mix and I'm afraid you might find yourself one day being forced to mention their drinking if it affects your little one.

Your husband is probably the best one to tell his Mum and Dad, kindly that it's not acceptable, if it comes to it.

fizzers Fri 23-Aug-19 12:11:55

a couple of drinks at a family get together/BBQ/party etc is fine, but the amount they are putting away is too much, I couldn't handle that much without throwing up lol. Let them hold the baby as much as they like before the drinking starts, after that it would be a no.

I regularly take my GC's off for short breaks, and I only ever have one or two drinks max, but, they are older GCs not babies or young children.

NanaMacGeek Sat 24-Aug-19 10:00:53

As a Gran whose visits to my oldest GD are being severely limited then cancelled at the last minute, I'd like to be told why. (We don't drink alcohol.) I gather that you have already made your disapproval of your in-laws drinking known but I think they need to know their visits are to be limited because of this.

I'd certainly be willing to make changes in my behaviour to be allowed to see more of my GD but worry that my DIL just doesn't like me. I don't get the chance to find out what is going wrong. It will be a tough call by your husband but they are his parents.