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Old 06-13-2012, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
14 posts, read 103,498 times
Reputation: 33

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I'm a SAHM now with a 2 1/2 year old, a 15 month old and I'm 7 months pregnant, my husband is incredibly supportive and we have a great relationship. My children are not ill behaved in any way, they are very well mannered (for being toddlers) and listen to what you tell them. The problem lies in our families.
My parents both drink way too much and we don't feel comfortable with them watching our kids. Also, neither of us have any close friends or relatives that are available to watch the children... We have thought about care.com, etc. but would hate to leave the kids with a stranger.
My sister in law has 5 kids who have no sense of discipline and refuse to listen to anyone. My husbands parents will watch her kids for 2-3 days at a time, with a moments notice. They always buy them clothes and shoes, bikes and toys (just randomly, not for bdays or anything).... When wesk them to watch my 2 kids (2 weeks in advance even) I always get a answer that eventually leads to a "no". They never think to buy our kids anything... etc. They obviously favor my sister-in-laws kids. The few times they have watched them, they call us at exactly two hours saying we need to pick them up. I am stressed out of my mind because I just want to be able to have a date night where we're not limited to 2 hours on the dot. Now, recently, with having the new baby due in a couple of months, we're worried about who we can leave the kids with while we're giving birth in the hospital. (They watched my first child when I had my second but and everything was okay....)
I need some serious advice but I don't know how to approach it with his parents and my husband doesn't feel like he can say anything either (I think he doesn't know how to go about it). We deserve to have some time together and I take it extremely personally that they won't watch our children. How do I handle this? Our kids LOVE my husbands parents and when we're all together everything is perfect so I don't know what the issue is...
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:10 PM
 
606 posts, read 791,042 times
Reputation: 822
I have a dear friend in a similar situation. In her case neither her kids nor her sister's kids are local to the grandmother, but the other sibling gets long visits and invitations to have the kids stay for a week or so for childcare. It sounds like, just like my friend's situation, the real thing that's piqued your frustration is the disparity between how your in-laws treat your kids and your sister's kids, not the absolute number of hours of childcare you're getting or not getting from your in-laws.

So I'd suggest you decouple the two in your mind. Unfortunately I've never seen a situation like this (and I've seen a fair number) where the favoritism issue got resolved to the less-favored kid's satisfaction. You could try confronting them, or asking them directly why they're willing to spend a lot of time with SIL's kids and not yours, but I would assign that a low probability of success. Still, worth a try.

You have every right to be annoyed by the favoritism, but the fact that you need childcare is a separate issue, and one that you need to deal with relatively quickly given that you're having the baby soon. And the obvious answer here is a paid sitter. You say you don't have any close friends or relatives who could watch, but I'll bet that someone you know has a trustworthy sitter that you could hire -- which would solve the date night issue too, even if you could only spring for it occasionally. I think the solution here is to get a recommendation for a sitter from a friend or acquaintance with kids, have that sitter come over once every week or two at a time when you're home with the kids (so that you can observe how they interact with your and get a sense of how responsible you think they are), and if the first two or three sessions go well, arrange for them to look after your kids while you're in labor, with your in-laws as a backup.

Just a suggestion, of course! I hope things go well for you.
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Savannah GA/Lk Hopatcong NJ
13,103 posts, read 24,877,263 times
Reputation: 11136
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonimaloney View Post
I'm a SAHM now with a 2 1/2 year old, a 15 month old and I'm 7 months pregnant, my husband is incredibly supportive and we have a great relationship. My children are not ill behaved in any way, they are very well mannered (for being toddlers) and listen to what you tell them. The problem lies in our families.
My parents both drink way too much and we don't feel comfortable with them watching our kids. Also, neither of us have any close friends or relatives that are available to watch the children... We have thought about care.com, etc. but would hate to leave the kids with a stranger.
My sister in law has 5 kids who have no sense of discipline and refuse to listen to anyone. My husbands parents will watch her kids for 2-3 days at a time, with a moments notice. They always buy them clothes and shoes, bikes and toys (just randomly, not for bdays or anything).... When wesk them to watch my 2 kids (2 weeks in advance even) I always get a answer that eventually leads to a "no". They never think to buy our kids anything... etc. They obviously favor my sister-in-laws kids. The few times they have watched them, they call us at exactly two hours saying we need to pick them up. I am stressed out of my mind because I just want to be able to have a date night where we're not limited to 2 hours on the dot. Now, recently, with having the new baby due in a couple of months, we're worried about who we can leave the kids with while we're giving birth in the hospital. (They watched my first child when I had my second but and everything was okay....)
I need some serious advice but I don't know how to approach it with his parents and my husband doesn't feel like he can say anything either (I think he doesn't know how to go about it). We deserve to have some time together and I take it extremely personally that they won't watch our children. How do I handle this? Our kids LOVE my husbands parents and when we're all together everything is perfect so I don't know what the issue is...
I don't know what the issue is and you may never know without flat out asking them. Perhaps they take the sister in laws kids because the grand parents think they need some structure if they are unruly.....is perhaps the SIL not in the $$ position to buy these things for her kids and you are??? you need to have a frank open discussion with them. Explain your feelings and ask them if there is a problem/issue you may not be aware of.....
You deserve some alone time but that doesn't translate into the grand parents being obligated to baby sit. As the poster before me said you need to seperate the two issues at hand..favoritism and child care

Last edited by njkate; 06-13-2012 at 12:20 PM..
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:37 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
11,157 posts, read 20,437,717 times
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How old are the SIL's kids? If they're older, then that might be why...no diapers to change, no worries about the house being absolutely childproof, just put the older kids in charge of the youngest ones and stick them all in front of the TV for the day. My mom used to do the 2 hour thing with us (on the two or three occasions that we actually asked her to babysit) when our kids were still toddlers. Now she would be happy to have them for hours or even all day. Of course now they're not as happy to be stuck at Grandma's house...it's hot there, her TV is too small, she's stingy with the ice cream, etc.

Personally, the best solution for date night babysitting is to hire a sitter. If you can't afford one, maybe find another mom you can trade with, she watches your kids one Saturday night, then the next Saturday night, you watch her kids. Save asking the inlaws to babysit for emergencies and medical things...that shows that you value their time and it's harder for them to say no or to call you after two hours and say you have to come home. Also, I can understand wanting your husband to be there for the actual birth, but after that he should be able to go home and take care of the kids...my husband was such a nuisance in the hospital when we had our first kid that I was delighted to be able to send him home when we had our second child.
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,484 posts, read 43,730,834 times
Reputation: 47257
I doubt confronting them, even in a very nice way, would change anything. Am I right they are more attentive to their daughter's kids than they are you their son's (your) kids? That may be the issue right there.

I don't think any body should expect grandparents to offer free babysitting. Yes it would be nice for you but remember there are a gazillion couples who live without relatives close by for sitting. We either don't go out or we hire sitters.

see this old thread about maternal grandparents
http://www.city-data.com/forum/paren...show-more.html
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
14 posts, read 103,498 times
Reputation: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgehog_Mom View Post
How old are the SIL's kids?
Her 5 kids are.... 9, 7, 5, 3, and a newborn (1 month old).
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
14 posts, read 103,498 times
Reputation: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by njkate View Post
You deserve some alone time but that doesn't translate into the grand parents being obligated to baby sit.
You are right.... I guess it's just hard to not take things personally. Thanks for your advice.
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:10 PM
 
Location: NW Montana
6,258 posts, read 12,910,648 times
Reputation: 3429
So my MIL has only our children as grand kids and was too busy with her single life to pay any attention to them. Fast forward 20 years now she suddenly is fascinated with a neighbors little kids and claims to be their "grandmother" does the overnights and all the crap.

So trust me and do not give a moment's bit of time. They are what they are, you just go ahead and enjoy your life. Check with your provider to see if there are any mom/kid groups in the area or check with a local church. Sometimes they have playgroup times and you can get to know other families. Good luck and happy birthing!
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:14 PM
 
16,083 posts, read 17,880,433 times
Reputation: 15867
Do you have any friends with children around the same age. If so, perhaps you can exchange babysittting with them? When my kids were little, we had no grandparents close by and no one else, so we joined a babysitting co-op. We got to know the other parents and then began exchanging sitting - during the day at first and later on in the evening.
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:32 PM
 
6,633 posts, read 4,592,221 times
Reputation: 13344
I disagree that the OP should discuss the issue with her parents-in-law. In my experience, these types of conversations never go over well coming from a DIL. Her husband should be the one to have a talk with his parents. Perhaps they don't see the problem and he can let them know it hurts his kids to have so little time with the grandparents they love.

I agree with all the other posters that a good sitter will help fill the gap. I didn't have parents or PIL nearby when mine were little. We found an older sitter who came a half day every week so I could run errands with out the kids and every other Saturday night for date night. She was a sanity saver!
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