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In-laws, date nights, and some random thoughts and questions


Forum: June 2013 Playroom

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  • 1 Post By MarylandMama
  • 1 Post By zkat
  • 1 Post By BeccaMenk

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  #1  
May 6th, 2013, 07:09 AM
BeccaMenk's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Location: Cincinnati,OH
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Do you all do date nights at all? We have only had one since DS was born but are planning another tomorrow night before baby comes. Just going to do dinner and a movie. Honestly leaving ds is sooo hard for me because I don't exactly agree with all my mother-in-laws ways.But, he is comfortable enough with her I guess and that's all that matter to me right now. She just doesn't know him as well as I would like because I am usually around. But, I know she is going to care for him while we are at the hospital having the baby so I want him to be as used to her as possible. It is going to be soo hard for me to leave him. He is a momma's boy and only just turned a year old.



But, just wondering. One big thing is that my Mother-in-law smokes and the house reeks of smoke. She won't smoke around the kids but I get a headache being at their house from the smell. It has gotten worse lately. I really don't like leaving ds for a long time there. I have asked her already if she would come to our house when I have the baby and care for him. She agreed but I know it will be another story possibly later. Does it seem rude to request that? I don't say why because that is a can of worms I don' t want to open! I told her I want him close and in a familiar place while I am away. I also want him at our house because it is familiar and it is just down the street from the hospital so DH can go home whenever and check on him or bring him to visit.

The other thing is that my mother-in-law is CONSTANTLY babysitting my brother-in-laws kids. They have a boy the exact same age as my DS. I get really annoyed because he is a much crankier/needier little guy and he is always there. My mother-in-law always wants to babysit my son and spend time with him so we try to make time...but I get so annoyed because the other kids are always there and my son gets sort of pushed to the side because of them. Maybe it is just the mom in me being silly but if she really wants to babysit and spend time with him then please do it! She never tells s the other kids are going to be there and then assures us they are leaving but they never do. Last time she baby sat for like 6 hrs and DS's diaper was never changed. It really annoyed me because I knew it was that she was distracted by the other kids. My son is quiet and easy to watch, so he gets overlooked at times.

The last issue is eating. We are working with DS to get him eating foods but its been a process and he is just starting to get interested. He had a terrible issue with gagging and throwing up but is doing better since we started working with him and giving him tiny bits...slowly increasing. He still has issues though and I try to really moderate what he eats/how big and all that. I want to get him where he needs to be. Well my mother-in-law doesn't get it and tries to give him things I know he is not ready to eat..and he throws up everywhere. Or she gives him huge pieces he can't handle yet. It isn't a big deal I guess because he doesn't get bothered by throwing up...but its a mess. I guess I should prepare his food and snacks ahead of time...ugh I am just ranting.

Let me say that for the most part I get along with her and I accept her as she is. I just get frustrated sometimes. I am sure the other kids will be there tomorrow when we drop him off but they are supposed to be leaving so after. I am really hoping they do so ds gets one on one time with his grandparents and gets more comfortable with them. But I wouldn't be surprised if my brother-in-law sees they are babysitting my son and asks if she would mind just keeping his kids too so he and his wife can go out and do something.

Okay rant over...I just hate dealing with in-laws. I am a very independent person and I like to just do it all myself...but sometimes you have to take a break and I know DH wants some time alone with me too. My family all lives out of state but it would be so much easier if my mom was here to watch him too. Oh well...Part of this is just the moody pregnant lady in me right now. I have been so emotional the last week!
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Last edited by BeccaMenk; May 6th, 2013 at 07:18 AM.
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  #2  
May 6th, 2013, 07:32 AM
MamaSkunk's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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DH and I really don't do dates by ourselves. Our dates are when he takes DD and I out to a fancier restaraunt and we do some special family activity. The only one I trust to watch DD is my mom and she's an hour drive away. My dad is nearby and he loves DD and she loves her grandpa but he's much older school and the last time I let him watch her he spanked her for running around and away from him in a public waiting room. He spanked her right there in public I was so MAD!! So without bringing my mom down here then no dates alone.
We also are making my mom watch DD here instead of at her place. My mom lives in a small one bedroom apartment with my youngest brother who just got out of college while he's looking for a new place. So in her tiny apartment she has her stuff and his stuff plus two dogs and 5 cats. Its crammed and kinda stinks like dog(you can't even smell the cats over the dog) like wet stinky dog. And anytime DD has been there to be watched (like only a handful of times...seriously less than 5) she comes home stinking like a filthy wet dog.
So I don't think its bad you ask her to watch DS in your home at all. Your his parent and you call the shots. Every reason you've stated is exactly why I am making my mom watch DD here when we are having this baby. Heck I've even told my mom she can't take my DD to the park because I know my mom wouldn't follow my two year old up the slides and such and my DD is at that age where she's doing it herself but still needs someone right there to catch her if she falls back.
Also 6 hours going without a diaper change and sitting in a dirty diaper??!! Omg your poor lil guy. I would just tell her if she wants to watch your DS he can do it at your home then she would be less likely to be also watching the other kids. I honestly would have raised heck. Also even if she doesn't smoke in the home when the kids are there she obviously does smoke heavily when they aren't at her home. And smoke does leave a film on everything that can be harmful as well. Basically if your DS touches a smoke film covered window then puts his hands in his mouth there is nicotine in that film left over from smoking. Yucky.
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  #3  
May 6th, 2013, 07:43 AM
MamaSkunk's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Also I would add If she asks why you no longer let her watch your DS at her home etc then I would make no bones about it with her and tell her and say her home smells of smoke and he stinks of it when he comes home. And maybe she will think about quitting then.
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  #4  
May 6th, 2013, 08:01 AM
zombiemommy's Avatar Veteran
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My dd stays with my in-laws once a week usually... but we never do a date night really. Occasionally, we might go out, but it's never a special event.

If you don't want your kiddo in the smoke house, then speak up! If you can still smell it and it bothers you, kiddo can to and it might bother him as well. I think it's perfectly reasonable to request that he be watched at your place. It's what's best for your peace of mind and your kids health, not what's easiest or convenient for anyone else! Open that can of worms!
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  #5  
May 6th, 2013, 08:11 AM
MarylandMama's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I would absolutely insist that she watch your son at your house. Even if she doesn't smoke around the kids, toxins hang in fabrics and are still inhaled. I grew up in a house with a smoker (my dad) and it is so not healthy being in that environment. We moved when I was 8 and in the new house, my mom would not allow him to smoke inside, so the house where they live has never smelled like smoke. He quit completely when I was 11, so it's be a non-issue for a long time. DD usually spends the nights there now when we have date nights. When she was smaller, they would come to our house and put her to bed there. She's 2 and a half now and thinks sleep overs are the best. She is the only grandchild, so we definitely don't have the attention issues you have. My in-laws live super far away, so leaving DD with them is pretty much a non-issue, which is nice since neither DH nor I would be comfortable with their ability to care for her. Another perk to having your MIL come to your house, in addition to getting your DS out of the smokey house, is that your BIL's kids won't be there. You could try saying that is has more to do with the food issues and you have food the way he needs it all prepared at your house, in addition to his stuff and bed, so it would be easier for everyone for her to come there. Another option could be to use a family friend or a trustworthy teenager in need of some money as a babysitter. You really have to use your MIL for when the baby is born and hopefully it will work out for her to come to your house. But for date nights, maybe you could find another option.
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  #6  
May 6th, 2013, 08:22 AM
zkat's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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We do date nights about once a month. It is usually dinner and then shopping or just hanging out at the book store, but it is great for our relationship to have the ability to chit chat without a 2 year old's thoughts on the world interjected at every moment.

Bourne has 4 grandma's. My mom comes to our house about once a month to watch him for date night. It's about an hour - hour and half drive for her, but she spends the night. DH's step mom watches him a lot while we are visiting and she does great. Neither do things the way we do, but that is OK. Grandma's are for spoiling. We have been very clear with both on our disciplne desires (no spanking, if he loses a toy for throwing, then he hands the toy to them, not the adult taking away etc.) The rest - as long as he is happy, healthy and safe - I let it go.

My step mom and DH's mom have never watched him without us around. My step mom never offers and DH's mom lives in another state and only sees him a couple of times a year. It really bothers me, because I want be to have a close relationship with all his grandparents, but he just doesn't warm up to them the way he does the other two. It is very sad. I would love for them to spend more time with him so his face lights up for them the way it does my mom and DH's step mom.

Maybe the best course of action is to have her always watch at your house for multiple reasons. The smoke smell, her undivided attention and your DS's comfort. For short visits - feed him before you go and leave some acceptable foods that are clearly marked. For you stay in the hospital, you will probably want to prepare all his food ahead of time and leave a note with specific instructions. Also, before you leave remind her that he needs his diaper changed every X amount of time otherwise his skin gets really broken out and sensitive. If you clearly set out your expectations, just like with a regular babysitter and pick your battles then it may go more smoothly. The benefit is you will get a nice evening with your DH every now and then and your son and his grandma can start a great, close relationship.
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  #7  
May 6th, 2013, 10:37 AM
BeccaMenk's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Thanks for the comments ladies! I feel better that I am not just a crazy picky mom lol. I guess the hard part is that my husband is so used to his mom and her ways ( and she drives him nuts at times too lol) that we have to work it out. He agrees with me about the smoke though. Now that he no longer lives with them, he really notices how bad it has gotten. He used to get horrible migranes when he lives at home and I am convinced it had to do with the smoke.

I think I will be very firm about her staying at our house for the night. If not we will find another way. The hospital has no rules when it comes to visiting and such, so if worst comes to worse I will make ds stay with us! Or since our house is right down the street then DH will go home with him, as long as the labor is over and baby is here. We will figure something out.

I know that my husband's family think I am a hovering over-protective mom to some degree...but honestly, I was raised that mom and babies stuck together and so do family. They know I get really mad when they bring their sick kids around ds ( who now has the 5th cold we have caught from them!) I am not the mom who wants to constantly shove her child on someone else and have grandma raise it( like my brother-in -laws wife seems to have become these days) I really believe that my kids are my responsibility and they need to stay with me. Period. When the time comes they will branch out on their own. It is how I was raised and maybe that seems weird to others ( I don't know why) but it is not for me. I am just to much of a worrier about confrontation...but I would do anything for my babies.
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  #8  
May 6th, 2013, 11:04 AM
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We hardly ever have date nights out. But we do make it a point to spend time together after the kids are in bed eating popcorn and watching a movie at home or whatever we decide that night. We live about 5 hours from family so that is out of the question. We do have a couple here who watched our kids while we went to the concert but that was the first time we have been out in awhile. My husband feels he has spent so much time away that we are taking advantage of all the time we can have together as a family before we go back to sea duty.
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  #9  
May 6th, 2013, 12:34 PM
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DH and I have more time out together now that the girls are older, probably a few times a month. Most are more work/community obligations for DH that I go on. Very rarely do we actually have an actual date where we do something fun with just us. We rotate between my MIL, my parents, and two non-family sitters. A lot of the time the sitters come to our house. It's easier with all their toys and beds here if it ends up being a late night. I guess that's the benefit of having family close by. My parents are down the street and my MIL is only 45 minutes away. Once this baby comes, there will be a whole lot less going out for me, which is fine.

I don't think it's unreasonable that you request your MIL to watch your son at your house. You can always use the excuse that you are trying to make it easier for her by prepping the food you want him to eat ahead of time and keeping him out of the second hand smoke.
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  #10  
May 6th, 2013, 04:47 PM
MrsLat's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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We only do date nights like once a month. My mother is really picky about when she will babysit.

As far as the smoking bit... my mom smokes. She doesn't do it in the house though. But if she did, I would definitely ask her to babysit at my house. I would probably say that the kids are more comfortable in their own environment. Especially with how young your child is, I don't think that is unreasonable at all
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  #11  
May 6th, 2013, 06:11 PM
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I was raised with "It takes a village" mentality. My kids love and enjoy going to spend the night at friend's houses, my mothers, my MIL's and other family. My family smokes outdoors only because of the kids and because of other family members with asthma problems. My mom won't even smoke around me now that I'm pregnant.

I think it might be a cultural difference, however. My family is very involved with each other. There isn't one I don't think that wouldn't help me bury a body if I needed it.

That being said, I wont allow them to go to certain friends houses for certain reasons. For example, one friend's dad is a drunk and I know he has the capacity to get violent with at least his wife. Another mom drinks and parties with her friends after the kids go to sleep and ive actually called her one morning and couldnt get in touch with her because she couldnt bother to get up by noon.

But basically, if my kid comes back happy, healthy, mostly clean (they are boys and like dirt and we live in the country) and fed...I don't stress too hard.

I usually have a couple extra kids sleeping over on the weekends as well so their parents can get a break.

No biggie.
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