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MIL helps with childcare and she's a royal pain in the a**, please help!

My DH and I use his mother to help us with childcare for our 1.5 yr. old son for 2 reasons. She insisted repeatedly, and we really can't afford full time daycare. However, I'm considering going into debt and putting him in nursery school to keep my sanity. MIL is continually changing her schedule on us, she needs us to drop him off late and pick him up early. She always tries to get us to give her our toys and equipment, even though she can easily afford to by her own -and we can't. I finally told her that this was causing us a huge amount of stress, and that we'd really appreciate a consistent schedule without demands, and that we can put him in daycare if this is too much to ask. She told me I'm crazy and I insulted her by bringing this up. If she doesn't even believe that she is doing this, how can I make it better? She's waiting for an apology right now, and I don't feel that I can offer her one.

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Asked by Anonymous at 12:26 PM on Oct. 30, 2008 in Relationships

Answers (12)
  • well she is watching your son and it hard to work around there scheldule but if you have to do do it bring toys over for him and to keep at her house she should not buy him toys it your son even if she has the money to do it thats not her problem

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:30 PM on Oct. 30, 2008

  • Just to clarify: when I say equipment, I don't mean toys. We always bring toys for him. I mean she wants us to buy her a car seat, stroller, food for her to have on hand and feeding utencils. Of course we pack him food and sippy cups every time he goes over there, but she expects us to buy food and feeding supplies specifically to keep at her house - she's not a fan of the packed lunch or of us dropping off our stroller and car seat - she wants her own.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:34 PM on Oct. 30, 2008

  • That's a hard spot to be in -- My Dad (Grandpa to the kids) takes mine one day a week to give me a break and we have similar issues.. I try to plan to get doctors appointments handled and he shows up late and wants to drop the youngest off early. Its hard, because complaining about free help seems ungrateful -- but trying to work around an ever changing schedule is frustrating. I would talk to her and say that you really appreciate the help, you know how hard it is to get things done with a child, and its saving you guys a lot of money for her to watch them but you need set hours so you can count on coverage. See if you qualify for daycare assistance? Maybe keep a calendar and write down every time she changes something on you -- so you can *show* her.. maybe she doesn't realize how often its happening. And, if its not happening very often it might open your eyes too :)

    Answer by Serafyna at 12:35 PM on Oct. 30, 2008

  • I'm guessing you don't pay her for watching your child....If it's that stressfull on you to have to deal with your MIL pay the high cost of child care then...Why can't your husband deal with his mother??Let him bring the baby to and from her house.

    Answer by louise2 at 12:36 PM on Oct. 30, 2008

  • My mother watches my daughter and does not listen to anything I say.
    She saves me money, so my daughter does not have to go into daycare. I would prefer
    my daughter with my mom instead of daycare anyway..
    Suck it up if you can....

    Answer by Dannee at 12:38 PM on Oct. 30, 2008

  • You don't!

    Your child and your family needs stability. There's no way that can take place if she's always changing things. I would skip Daycare and try to find a SAHM-sitter. Not only will you save money, you can then allow you MIL to sit for the two of you on weekends. She's being selfish.


    Answer by Pexagon53 at 12:40 PM on Oct. 30, 2008

  • I do hate the changing schedules of people tho when it comes to my children. My sis in law loves my kids and will watch them for me but I have to tell her that my dr's appt is at 10 if it's really at 10:15 so she'll be here on time (was late to a lot of things because of her timing). I don't buy toys for her house, in fact I gripe cause she buys too many (she's not loaded in money) as it is and ends up sending a lot of the home with her.
    If it gets too much for you.... tell her that your child really needs to learn to interact with other children (it's true unless there's atleast another sibling or regular playmates) and you need to know the schedule so you can make the appointments for certain times and know your child will be cared for. Maybe you could change it to where pick up and drop off?

    Answer by lisa_ann_p at 12:50 PM on Oct. 30, 2008

  • That's the price of free childcare....I'm conflicted with this situation, on one hand, if she agreed to watch your child she should keep a consistant schedule as much as possible....but in her defense, she shouldn't have to go out and buy all of the things that your child needs, you should provide it (even if you have to shop the thrift stores or go to a yard sale). Ultimately, you do owe her an apology for not addressing these concerns before it reached the point that it did. But you really are going to have to decide which price is higher...putting up with the MIL or paying daycare. Good luck.

    Answer by Kimebs at 12:57 PM on Oct. 30, 2008

  • My mother is 77 and changes the schedule, not daily ,but yes has to change it.
    I figure it out...I am thankful that she will take care of my daughter.
    I do not think MIL is being selfish...You will never find better day care that you can trust like family.
    I would try again to create a schedule and ask her in advance to tell you the days that she will need to change. I was a nanny for 8 years...daycare can not even compare to one on about stability.

    Answer by Dannee at 1:12 PM on Oct. 30, 2008

  • you are not going to like this, but i would just suck it up and say i'm sorry. trust me, day cares/pre schools do things that will not make you happy, either. you will be the same situation with different gripes. i would say just let her do her thing and work something out as far as car seats/strollers. can she borrow yours? i would work it out, remember that this situation will not last forever. and if she is already hurt, i would just say you're sorry and mend it before it gets worse. you dont want to damage your relationship over something as little as this (little compared to the large role she plays in your life). good luck!

    Answer by CNehneva at 1:13 PM on Oct. 30, 2008

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