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What's with the pressure to leave your child with the nans?

(69 Posts)
Abbie1209846 Fri 04-Sep-20 14:43:33

Hi everyone smile I'm a mum to a 6 month old girl. I've had lots of pressure to leave my little one, my family aren't bothered so it's comeing more from my partners side.

The pressure to go out and leave her when she was just weeks old was overwhelming, i had postnatal depression, was struggling to bond and was feeling really low. That pressure to give her bottles, give her formula instead of breastmilk, to change my parenting style to make her more available for babysitting. it made things a lot harder on me, I felt the mil was was focusing on what she wanted me to do rather than realising how hard I was trying.

After turning her down multiple times, i'm now getting asked by her family. Im always being told that it's great to get out and to be on your own.

What is with this pressure to leave your child? I know the mil wants to spend time with them, but she lives on the same road and sees her every weekend and multiple times through the week. The little one still cries at the fil but he doesnt make the effort to come to us, I make the effort to go them every weekend sometimes on both days, for hours and hours as they play with the little one.

Maybe ill be a nan one day and I might be asking to have the grandchild for a day like the mil is asking me 😂 I'm not in her shoes, I'm only seeing it as pressure. Do they want me to not be there and if so why? I'm asking here because I wanted answers from nans who have maybe been in my mil shoes. Is it harder to bond with the child if the mother is there? Is it easier for them to be silly when I'm not there? I dont want her to feel she is missing out on being a grandmother. She is only 48 and has watched her mum look after her and her sisters kids when they went to work. I have never needed a babysitter like that because I dont work.
This isnt me being rude, I'm curious and want to understand it from
her perspective and if theres a possibility she feels uncomfortable I want to figure out ways to help that.

Thank you for reading, I know I'm not a nan but I want nans thoughts 😁

Oopsadaisy4 Fri 04-Sep-20 14:47:57

I would tell her , thank you it’s very kind of you to offer, but I feel that , at the moment, she is too young and I don’t want to.
Then say no more , if they continue to ask then you will have to just say No. and If they accuse you of being rude, then so be it.

I think you’ve been very patient with them so far

She isn’t their toy.

midgey Fri 04-Sep-20 14:48:32

I don’t understand why grandmothers think they have any rights whatsoever. Your baby is yours. MiL should back off!

Hetty58 Fri 04-Sep-20 14:54:21

I never had any pressure to leave mine - and wouldn't ask to babysit either.

All my kids and sons/daughters in law know I'm here and available, at short notice, to look after the grandchildren, also for visits anytime.

A small baby is best looked after by it's mother in my opinion. That is ideal.

Your MIL must have her own, selfish reasons and/or expectations to want to look after your child. Perhaps she's just in competition with her own friends. Maybe it's the usual thing in her family.

Nevertheless, don't be persuaded into complying with her wishes. Do what you feel comfortable with and ignore all the pressure!

Smileless2012 Fri 04-Sep-20 15:00:40

Your m.i.l. sounds like a very lucky lady to me Abbbie. Just do what you're happy with and if you haven't done so already, have a word with your husband about his mum.

It might be an idea to be less accommodating and if they want to see their beautiful GD, get them to come to you for a change.

Good luck.

boodymum67 Fri 04-Sep-20 15:00:41

As a nan, I don't think it is selfish for nans to want to share in the new little ones.
Littles ones coo, burble and all sorts of things they don't do for long.

And bathing them is so special too.

Mums get to see and do all this 7 days a week...cant nanas have just a little too?

kittylester Fri 04-Sep-20 15:19:45

I love my grandchildren to pieces and cant wait to have them here but they aren't my children so I wait until they need me.

I suspect you mil hasn't got enough going on on her own life.

Jaxjacky Fri 04-Sep-20 15:24:39

She’s your baby, your rules, I hope your husband is supportive. I only visited my daughter when asked, I had an open invite for her and GD to visit, or leave her with us when she wanted, whether for an hour, to give her a break or longer. That worked well and when she was about a year old she slept over for the first time., but there was never any pressure. boodymum67 I don’t agree with you, sorry, but we had our precious time with our babies, OP can choose to share or not. If I was getting that amount of pressure, I’d retreat even more, babies are not ‘new toys or gadgets and a new Mum and Dad need to find their own way, it’s not as if MIL doesn’t see her at all!

silverlining48 Fri 04-Sep-20 15:32:56

Your mil is very lucky to see so much of your baby, so could it be her trying to help by giving you time to rest/ be on your own?
I dont have a dil and am probably wrong, but if she already sees her so often anyway, I dont understand the need to see her alone. That is for you and your partner to decide.
Congratulations, you seem very ready to make things work out, and I am sure they will.

FarNorth Fri 04-Sep-20 15:50:53

Your MiL is completely wrong to pressure you.
She should want to support you not try to make you do what she wants.

If you want to meet her halfway, how about if she were to mind baby at your house while you have a bath or a lie-down?

If you don't want her to have the baby, on her own, at all that's entirely up to you.

I hope your partner supports you on this?
Maybe he could ask his relatives to back off.

Bibbity Fri 04-Sep-20 16:01:12


They had that. With their own children.
Children aren’t timeshares.

Luckygirl Fri 04-Sep-20 16:04:51

I have noticed this too on some Mumsnet threads where GPs seem to want to have their GC on their own to "bond" with them - what the heck!

The only times I have ever had my GC on their own with me are when my AC ask me to help them out: school pick-ups etc. I love having them of course, but they are not mine to "bond" with - in fact they are not mine at all.

I would be tempted to just tell them to back off - extremely politely of course!!

NotSpaghetti Fri 04-Sep-20 16:07:03

Just don't if you don't want to!

You want your baby with you but you are constantly under pressure - oh how I remember that!
I never gave "alone time" to grandparents till the children were old enough to want to go (4 ish).
I just said "thank you SO much for the offer, I'll let you know when we feel we are ready", or "you are SO kind to offer me a night off but really, at the moment I feel my happiest place is with my little one".

Feelings are hard to argue with. Say it with a smile!
Good luck.

NotSpaghetti Fri 04-Sep-20 16:12:06

Just want to add that you have done SO well Abbie to have got to this point after suffering with post natal depression.
I hope your partner is supportive.

welbeck Fri 04-Sep-20 16:16:41

you are being too easy-going with this woman.
you are a parent now, she has no authority over you and you need to put your foot down.
how dare she pressurise you. just repel her. least said the better. don't engage or try to explain.
save your energy and attention for your baby.
i hope your husband has your back.

Grandmabatty Fri 04-Sep-20 16:18:53

I don't think it's a thing in real life that grandparents demand overnight stays or demand to be left alone with a new baby. There are maybe a minority of people who behave like that but not the majority. I think OP you have been unlucky and need to be firm, with your partner, that it is your child therefore your rules. Your partner should be on your side with this, if not, you have a partner problem. I look after my dgs two days a week and sometimes my dd and sil will visit at the weekend. I have never pushed to have dgs and I rarely give advice and only if asked. I keep thinking, "not my child". I am having dgs for a sleepover next Saturday to let his parents out for a meal but they asked if I would. So, in short, it's not a common occurrence, you and your husband need to be on the same page and stay firm. Disengage gently if they push too hard.

Chewbacca Fri 04-Sep-20 16:19:49

Your baby, your rules. Your MIL had her turn when she had her son.

Abbie1209846 Fri 04-Sep-20 16:20:34

Thank you for all your comments, when shes here with the little one I'll go do the dishes or something 😂 I'd feel comfortable with babysitting when she is able to talk for herself and tell the mil what she wants, I'll still keep sticking to that smile

janeainsworth Fri 04-Sep-20 16:25:16

Are you planning to be a SAHM Abbie or are you thinking of going back to work?
It may be that your MiL thinks that if you are going back to work at some point, your little one might need to get used to being looked after by people other than you or your DH.
But it’s your call, absolutely. Grandparents don’t have ‘rights’ and you should never do anything you don’t feel comfortable with.

Lucca Fri 04-Sep-20 16:32:19

I don’t understand Grandparents who behave like this. Although I have had my DGD and now DGS For overnights from when they were about 18 months old it’s only by mutual arrangement if you like, I.e. so parents can go out or have a couple of days away. The parents know I love to do it but I would never ask to have them.
They see so much of your baby (I’d say possibly too much!) that frankly I think demanding more is a little pathetic !!

Daisymae Fri 04-Sep-20 16:39:26

The question I would ask is how come you are living on the same street as your in laws? Perphas you need to take control of your family and only see the in laws when you want, or when it fits in with you. I would also think about moving away to give yourself some space. There's no need whatever to see them multiple times in the week and at weekends. Start living your own life, with others of your own age.

25Avalon Fri 04-Sep-20 16:39:58

1 think 6 months is a little young tbh but in any case it should be what you feel comfortable with.
When my children were young my mil and fil would turn up without notice and say they had come to take them out, to take them off my hands and give me a break. The children wanted to go so I kowtowed, but I never wanted a break from the children and would like to have gone too. I wish I had stood up to the in laws more, so do be careful what you do now.

NotSpaghetti Fri 04-Sep-20 17:25:58

I know this is more common than on this thread from what I see around me. Lots if grandparents believe they are "helping out" when really they are taking over.

My daughter-in-law told me recently that she's enjoying her second baby more because she's finally saying no to her mother, father, sister and auntie who all want to "help".

If family offers "help" repeatedly they can grind you down, just as Avalon says.

tickingbird Fri 04-Sep-20 17:36:01

And bathing them is so special too.

Yes boodymum. It is special - FOR A MUM! Grandchildren don’t belong to grandparents. You bathe, feed, play with your own babies. You may sometimes do these things with your dgc but it isn’t a given and certainly not
a right.

I would advise the OP to stick to what you feel is best and don’t cave in under pressure. This is your little one and for you to enjoy.

vegansrock Fri 04-Sep-20 18:02:29

Bathing and playing with baby is nice, but what about - clearing up sick, poo, getting up at all hours and the crack of dawn, dealing with teething and grizzles- it’s not all fun times. I would only agree to look after GC when the parents ask, I wouldn’t dream of asking for sole care for my own gratification.