53 answers

A Delicate Situation

I am 33 weeks pregnant, and when my husband and I first told my family that we were pregnant (about 10 weeks), we asked my mom if she would be willing to come and stay with our daughter when I go into labor (my parents only live about an hour away). We stressed that we want our daughter to be a part of welcoming her baby brother into the world after he arrives. My mother agreed and as usual seemed quite excited about getting to spend one on one time with her only granddaughter. A few months ago my parents informed my husband and I that they wouldn't be staying at our house with our daughter, instead they want to take her back to their house for a few weeks until we settle in with the new baby. They have a little dog that they didn't want to have to send to a kennel and since their dog is a nightmare (she snips at our daughter, she has bitten both me and my husband, and she has accidents in the house) the dog is not welcome in our home. They also implied that they would not be there for the birth of the new baby but would see him a few weeks later when they bring our daughter back. My husband and I both said that we do not want our daughter to feel left out so if they cannot stay here we will just try to get someone else to watch her at our house. So we asked a close family friend who agreed.
Well, this past weekend my parents came down and my dad again said something about taking our daughter back to their house when the baby is born. I told him that we had discussed this and that it is VERY important to my husband and I that our daughter is able to go to the hospital and see her new brother and to feel a part of this whole process. My dad reiterated that he thinks that is "dumb" and I told him that is how we feel, she is our daughter, we are not changing our minds, and we do not want her to feel left out. He stated that they wouldn't be able to come down and stay because they have things to take care of (their little dog) and I told him it's not a big deal we already have someone lined up to stay with her while we are at the hospital. He got upset that I wasn't letting "family" help, and I told him I don't care who helps, but from the beginning we've had a specific wish in terms of our daughter being part of welcoming her baby brother into the world, so since the family that we asked decided not to do it we had to find someone else. I told him I wasn't trying to leave anyone out or hurt anyone's feelings, but that my husband and I just needed to get lined up who would take care of our daughter.

He then asked if after we get home from the hospital if they could come and pick up our daughter and keep her for a week or so. I told him I didn't mind that as long as they agreed to keep their dog outside (by outside I mean in their garage which has an air conditioned bathroom which is usually where she stays when we make visits up there, so she will have ample room and nice cool air). Our daughter has never spent the night with them before unless I have been there because even though we have told them since she was born that she is not allowed to be around their dog, they will still try to bring the dog in and while my husband and I have our preference on the dog not being around our daughter, it is their house so I do not argue with them about it since I am always there to make sure when the dog starts snapping and growling that she either goes outside or my daughter is taken away from the dog. Well my dad started getting upset when I was discussing this and said that he doesn't understand why they can't keep her. I reiterated that they CAN keep her, but I just need a commitment from them that the dog will not be in the house while my daughter is there. He kept saying over and over "i don't understand why we can't keep her and help y'all out" and I kept saying you can keep her but I just need that commitment from you. I don't want my daughter getting bit or snapped at by their dog, and their attitude about the dog has always been that our daughter needs to learn how to act around dogs. Our daughter is 3, and we have a lab that ADORES her and she can pet her and love on her, but with my parents dog, literally if you pet her back or her head she will snap at you, she has done it to me. She is a HORRIBLE dog!!! So while my father kept getting frustrated that I wasn't letting them help I kept saying "you can help, but you just need to make this commitment to me, and I understand that it's your house and you enjoy your dog, but I cannot be worrying about my little girl getting bitten by your dog, so it's up to you whether she comes up there or not". My parents ended up leaving upset, and I honestly don't know what to do. I tried to call and talk to my mother about it after they had left, and then again in the afternoon, but she doesn't want to talk to me. I told them before they left our house yesterday that I wasn't trying to hurt their feelings and that I love them and appreciate all they do for us and our little girl.
I just feel so hurt and helpless. I'm not willing to compromise the safety of my daughter for their feelings. I love my parents and we have always had a super close relationship, but I don't know how to rectify this or make them see things from my point of view. Yes help is nice, help is great! But it's not going to be helpful when I know their dog is going to be inside and possibly snapping at my daughter. My mother has even said before that maybe their dog will teach our daughter a lesson not to mess with her. I just think that is ridiculous thinking. My sister has also gotten involved now and is mad at me that 1.we have a non-family member watching our daughter (my sister has a newborn and already said she couldn't do it) and 2. that I am making my parents choose between their granddaughter and their dog. (is that really even a choice???)

If anyone has any insight or suggestions on how to rectify this PLEASE let me know. I am just wanting to enjoy the upcoming birth of my son and do not want people upset at me!

God bless!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks so much for all the great advice ladies. For those two responders who suggested that I need to apologize to my parents for my behavior and/or my parents raised me and I turned out fine, first I don't think a mom should EVER apologize for wanting to put her child's interest and safety first, that just seems insane to me, and yes, I did turn out fine, funny thing is we didn't have animals growing up because my parents were afraid we would get bit or hurt. But to all the rest of you, your advice, and comments have been a breath of fresh air. I absolutely do not want my daughter to feel left out OR get hurt and possibly scarred for life from a dog bite. We had suggested finding a nice place to board their dog and my husband did offer to pay for it but my father said he will never have the dog somewhere other than their house which is absolutely their choice and right. So I am going to wait a few days, try to call again, and just reiterate to my parents that I love them and am SOOO thankful for their offer to help, but what is best for us will be for our daughter to stay with us when the baby gets home and they are MORE than welcome to come down as often as they like and take her to play or spend time with us. Thanks again mommas!! :-) God Bless!

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I think you have very selfish parents. They need to get over it, it's not about them so I would tell them to pound sand.

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Oh, B.! You don't need this right now, and your family should know better. As the mom of a young child who is about to give birth, your emotional health should be paramount. It's unfair of them to put you in this position.

I speak from very sad experience on this one. My in-laws had a (ahem) "difficult" dog. They assured us over and over that the dog would NEVER bite my toddler, even though he nipped and snapped at everyone and bit me once. But to keep the peace, against my instincts, I allowed them to interact. Then came the phone call. The dog had bitten my daughter's foot, but it was "just a scratch." When I picked her up, it was obvious that the "scratch" was far more than that. After a trip to urgent care complete with stitches and antibiotics (because dog bites are prone to infection), we said "NEVER AGAIN. The dog cannot be around our daughter." My in-laws used the same ridiculous arguments with us. She needs to learn to deal with dogs, etc. Because they honestly saw it as a choice between their dog and our child, we didn't allow her to go to their house for three months. In the end, they gave in and agreed to kept them separate. (Which we later found out they didn't always do when we weren't there because they didn't agree with us!) Luckily their dog died, but it's taken my daughter two years to get over her fear of dogs. She has a nasty scar to remind her of their dog, though, and my in-laws still insist we're overprotective.

At the doctor's urging, I did a lot of research about kids and dogs. There are some people who say the two should never be together. I'm not that extreme, but I sure wish I'd listened to my instincts. Dog bites are particularly bad because it's not just a puncture. The teeth go in and tear back on the muscle and skin. I still feel guilty, and I'm just glad it wasn't her face.

I'm sorry this is so long, but I'm hoping you can learn from my mistakes. This isn't your issue. It's your parents'. There are all sorts of options for them if they want to find them. (A neighbor can let the dog out while they're at your house. Perhaps a childless/petless neighbor of yours can keep their dog in their yard while they're there.) But I doubt your parents will see those as options because they believe they're right. Please don't let your daughter go there without your supervision. If your parents feel they are right, then they won't agree to your boundaries (perhaps even if they say they will) and it will be your little one who pays the price.

But as I'm writing this overly long-winded response, I'm realizing that they're missing the whole point. You're completely correct that your daughter should not be taken away at this important time. Since spending the night with grandma and grandpa is not a regular special treat, she could very well see it as a punishment. Why is she being sent away when the new baby gets to stay home? At best, it could be very confusing. It's clear that you're excellent parents who want to do the best by your children. Having a friend come to see that your daughter is cared for is wonderful. And some friends can be closer than family. At the very least, a friend can be a lot less stressful!

Keep your boundaries firm and don't get into this ridiculous fray. Either call and tell them they need to listen or write an e-mail or send a note. Lay out your position. Tell them you are thrilled if they can support you in your decisions on your terms, but that if they can't, they'll have to figure out how they want to be involved around your plans. Let them fuss and fume and call your sister, but don't let them pull you into a discussion. Remind them as many times as it takes that they know where you and your husband stand. The world as you know it may not come to an end. When we finally drew strong boundaries with my in-laws, they actually backed down. (We were shocked!) Did they like it? No! Did they make sure we knew they were upset? Oh yeah. But our lives have been so much less stressful since we learned to stand our ground.

This is not something for YOU to rectify. That implies that you've done something wrong. You haven't. You've made the best choices for your own family. You cannot control how other people act or feel. Don't let them manipulate you into thinking you can make them happy by going against your excellent parenting instincts. It's not about them, anyway.

Okay, I'm finally done. Guess this one hit close to home! :-) I wish you all the best!

13 moms found this helpful

I don't know if there's anything to be done to "rectify" the situation, but I just wanted to say that I think that you handled it perfectly. You were beyond considerate to your parents, responsible about caring for your daughter without being insane about it, and clear about why you were making the choices that you are. I don't think that you have done anything that requires "fixing" at all. In my opinion, the ball is in their court (I just wouldn't bring it up again with your sister, there's no point in her getting in the middle of it) and that's that. Hopefully they come around before the baby is born, but if they don't, hopefully you can find some way to just focus on your immediate family and have a wonderful experience bringing your new little one home. Good luck.

10 moms found this helpful

You're right. They're wrong.

I love dogs. I have 3, and I am active in animal rescue. I believe most aggressive dogs can be trained and rehabilitated, and that your parents' dog could probably be trained to be good around your daughter. Having said this much, none of that matters. Your parents are not only unwilling to put in the time and effort, they don't even think they have a problem. I cannot BELIEVE how irresponsible it is to suggest that the dog will teach the CHILD a lesson! THIS IS ASKING FOR TROUBLE with a capital T! This is NOT asking your parents to choose between their granddaughter and their dog. I have read unreasonable posts on here before about women who want their parents to get rid of their dogs for one reason another for their own convenience. This is not what you are doing. You are asking that they put their granddaughter above their dog - for a week. Boarding a dog for a week is not a huge deal, but if your parents can't handle that, keeping the dog in the garage seems like a very reasonable compromise. Don't back down. Your daughter's safety is the most important aspect.

I think it's really sad that your parents have chosen to take a hard line on this, because it would have been wonderful for you and your daughter to have grandma living with you for a couple of weeks. I would LOVE it if my mother could come for that long when my baby is born (she works, so she can't come for that long). However, this isn't your problem. Don't worry about rectifying this - it isn't your problem. I think the best you can do is to refuse to hold a grudge and be welcoming if they contact you again with a more reasonable suggestion. Congratulations on the upcoming birth of your son.

10 moms found this helpful

You should be able to enjoy this time without worrying about any of this. All of the people involved here should be making an effort to make sure that this is wonderful for you instead of being so damn selfish. It's not every day that you give birth, so it IS a special thing. Since your family is unwilling to quit their bickering, suck it up and do what they need to do to help in the way that YOU need, then just forget about them for now. You REALLY don't need the stress right now and they should know better than to piss off a pregnant woman! lol!

What your dad was telling you when he "wasn't listening" to what you are saying is that their dog IS more important to them than helping you and having your daughter, so I wouldn't trust them to keep it away from her if she did go.

What I would do: Call them and leave a message. Tell them that you don't need this stress right now and that you're going to forget about all of this and just enjoy these last few weeks of your pregnancy. Tell them not to worry since you have everything under control and that you'll call and tell them when the baby is born if they want to come and visit your WHOLE family at that time. Then hang up and in your head ball this whole issue up and throw it in the trash. Don't think about it again. If they're not talking to you right now that's perfect since it won't keep coming up. If they do call and start issues just say "I'm hanging up now" and hang up. Block out the stressors, focus on yourself and your own precious little family. The rest of them are adults and they can take care of themselves.

PS: I find your parents' kind of behavior so weird. When my children were born, my mom's first words were "What do you want me to do? What do you need? You just let me know how I can help and I'll get it done!" When she visited (from 3000 miles away) she didn't suck up all the time with the new baby, instead she took over the house for me so my husband, son and I could bond with baby. To me, that's appropriate for grandmothers. (Don't get me wrong, she was holding baby as much as anyone else, but she never got possessive of him and made sure that she let me know she was proud of what a great mom I was!)

9 moms found this helpful

I agree with all of the other posters about your deciding to keep your daughter safe and choosing a safe and appropriate option for her.

Also, since there will be enough disruptioin in your dd's life right now, I think keeping her in her own home with her own routines would be the best thing for her, rather than go to an unfamiliar home with a mean dog.

Sorry you are going through this, good luck with the upcoming birth!

7 moms found this helpful

You did the right thing by putting your family first. They just have to deal with it. I wanted to add one thing that bothered me about your post. If your folks don't "get it" then I would not allow your daughter over their house unless you and your husband are there. It sounds to me like your parents are oblivious to the fact that this dog may harm your daughter. I wouldn't trust my child alone at their house with this dog.


7 moms found this helpful

You have handled this great so far.
Maybe your daughter could learn to be around the dog without messing with her, but now is not the time for that.
Don't worry about your sister being mad. It's not her decision.

I agree you should want your daughter close by. And, if it wasn't for the dog, I think it would be great for her to go stay with your parents for a while. I stayed with my grandparents for a while after my sister was born. My mom had complications and my grandparents let me sleep in their bed and feed their cows and they took me fishing....it was all good.

Anyway, I don't think you should worry about this too much even though I know you love your parents and don't want them to be upset.
Maybe they and their dog can stay at your sister's house and just the two of them come over to see you in the hospital and at your house after the baby is born.
Maybe they can get a pet friendly hotel and bring the dog and leave it at your sister's house or in a carrier in the car when they come in the house to visit you. They can roll the windows down, make sure it has food and water. They can put it on a leash and take it for a walk down the street and put it back in the car. I have friends who come to my house and they bring their dogs but I don't allow them in my house. Absolutely no way. My kids aren't even little anymore. The dogs don't bite, but they jump on people, jump all over the furniture, run all over the place, get excited and pee all over the floor. And that's just what they do at home. So no way.
There are options if your parents are willing to compromise, and if they're not, then what can you say?
You would love nothing more than to trust your daughter at their house, but if you can't be sure about the dog, you don't need to worry about that on top of everything else. That's not really helping.

I don't even know that it's a matter of your parents choosing their dog over your daughter. I'll bet you they don't see it that way. They love the dog and they don't see it as being a problem so they probably don't understand why you are making a fuss.

You just have to do what you feel is right and hopefully your parents will understand and be willing to compromise. If they're not, they might be mad, but at least you won't be worried about your daughter. Minimizing your stress should be the whole point of all this.

I hope you get it worked out and just enjoy the blessings of your new baby.

7 moms found this helpful

My in-laws also have a dog (a beagle) but she is older and has gotten grouchy with our boys when they tried to play with her. It was not her fault when a toddler landed on her and she snarled. They have an entryway with their laundry area and just keep a pressure gate up so she can sleep on her bed undisturbed and is safe from the kids when we visit. Your request is not unreasonable. You are not asking them to get rid of their dog. I am honestly amazed you sound so calm being pregnant and at odds with your family. We had a lot of family drama (my parents, too) around our first child's birth and I finally just stopped talking to them for a while.

Is there any reason one parent could not have stayed at home with the dog while the other stayed in your home to take care of your daughter? Although at this point it sounds like that might not be a comfortable idea anyway. A dog that is unfriendly to children should not be around children. It sounds as though your daughter knows how to behave around a dog gently, but some dogs simply do not like children and will not be nice to them. It is too hard for children to be told they can be around a dog but not interact with it.

Do not listen to your sister right now. She is a new mom so probably easily upset (hormones-->nasty!!) and it is easy for her to be upset with you. She probably is hearing junk from your parents and doesn't like being in the middle when she wants to just relax with her new baby. Just like you would expect anyone watching your child to follow your directions (food allergies, sleep position for a baby, supervision requirements, etc.) your request is specific and easy to understand and they are making a clear decision that they are not willing to watch her on your terms. I hope venting on here helped you a bit. Try to relax for the next few weeks since you did find a friend to watch your daugher.

6 moms found this helpful

For some reason this season in our lives of birthing grand children into the family seems to bring out some odd things....I had a rough time with my own mom after my first. We had some awkward and stressful interactions, but I stood my ground. Things are great again, so don't think that this is the turning point of a relationship gone bad. These times just bring out very weird issues and it is stressful. You make total sense and should enjoy the rest of your time until your son arrives.....the rest will work itself out. They will come around, especially if the relationship was strong beforehand, it will be again. Try to call in a couple of days and see if your mom is up to talk. You don't have to rehash it but tell her it is okay that you all don't see eye to eye on this......things are covered and will work out just fine.

6 moms found this helpful

To Julieanne, that was so funny "luckily their dog died". I laughed out loud.
Sometimes when I am having a conversation with someone and we are making no progress I have to step back mentally and think of another way to say it so maybe the other person will understand a bit better. Since your dad kept saying over and over "I don't understand why you won't let us help..." he obviously wasn't understanding what you were saying to him. He may have been too upset or he may have just been unconsciously blocking what you were saying. Try sitting down with him later and just visit about it. What happened and what went wrong in the discussions. You don't want this hanging over your family for the rest of your parents lives. "I love you Daddy, I just don't love your new child because he bites"...LOL.
That said, I am a cat person, 3 guesses why....I was bit by our dog when I was just a toddler. In the face, across my nose between the eyes. We had given him a bath and were brushing him. I hit a tangle and wow, he bit me and hung on. Kids are human beings, dogs are pets. My In-Laws dog is a miniature Dachshund and is very screwed up in the head. But it's really not her fault, she is a product of her environment. She was kennel raised for breeding and then turned out when she got too old to have babies. The family that adopted her had small children and she had never been socialized to be around people, much less children, she started doing submissive peeing and they didn't handle it well, that poor dog. She still snips at my grand kids but I try and keep them away from her. When ever we go to dog sit and house sit it is her house and we let her have her routine. I just keep the kids in one area and the dog can go where ever else she wants. The dog is old and I want a good relationship with my FIL.

Your child should stay at home with you or go with then or a friend for a few hours, maybe go play at McDonalds, so you can rest occasionally. What I felt about it was, "Mom had a baby and I get sent away, what's wrong with me?". She hasn't ever been there without you and she is going to cry for you and her baby. She is going to want to be around her baby a lot. Unless she has a cold or something possibly contagious then let her stay home. They only live an hour away, they can make it a day trip, even come every other day or so if they wanted to.

Another thought, you could go there for a visit after the baby comes home. Your husband could take a day off work and the 4 of you just pick up and drive over and see them. I had a friend who had her baby one day, got out of the hospital the next, got in the motor home and laid down in the back seat with the baby, and the next day knocked on her parents door. They stayed a couple of days and then came back home.

5 moms found this helpful

Why do some people just not 'get it'?

I am so sorry that you're going through this and that your parents are dumping more stress on an already stressful event.

They're putting their dog's needs above your daughter's needs and expecting you to just bend to their whims. If I were in your shoes, I'd be doing exactly what you are already planning on doing.

Like others have said, I'm not sure if you can rectify this or not. Honestly, you may need to be at the point where you 'cut off' this topic as in, they've made their decision and you've made your decision and you just need to choose to be at peace with what you've decided. Try not to get sucked back into their dramatics, insensitivity, and lack of common sense - "I appreciate your offer, but we've made a decision. We are also going to move forward and have a positive birth experience, thus we have decided this issue requires no further discussion." It seems like you can't change their minds so instead of putting your energy into trying to appease your family, instead focus on your immediate family and do what you can to celebrate the new family member who is about to join you.

Best wishes and again, I'm so sorry you're going through all of this. Congratulations to your little girl on soon becoming a big sister!

5 moms found this helpful

Hi B.,

I have not read all of the responses, but just want to say... people and their damn dogs. My MIL is the same. She has a terrible little dog who is very protective of her, barks at everything and has cornered my daughter and nipped her on one occasion. After that visit I made it clear that if the dog was not in the kennel we would not go to her house. Given your Dad's response to your wishes I would not trust that the dog would be kept away from your daughter.

I hear that you want peace in your family, but you are the one who is being expected to do all the compromising and you don't need that right now. My advice is to do what you need to do to take care of your family and put your mind at ease now and deal with the craziness later.

Good luck with a peaceful and healthy birth of your son!!

5 moms found this helpful

What your parents have suggested is simply unreasonable. Your daughter should be there for her brother's entry into the world. I would imagine that being excluded for the event, all for the sake of ill-behaved dog, would be emotionally devestating to her. Not only that, but how can any mom with any with a good head on her shoulder, send her daughter away to a home that has a dog that is a known biter, even if it is your parents' home. If your parents choose to put their dog first, before family, then that is their perogative but they don't have to guilt you into doing the same.

I hope all goes well with the birth of your son and that you can somehow find a peaceful resolution of this issue with your parents. Blessings.

5 moms found this helpful

Oh, B.! I am so sorry you are dealing with this! Unfortunately, when people act as selfishly as your parents are, there is no way to rectify the situation until they a) Grow up....or b) Get their way.

You absolutely are doing the right thing for your family and your daughter so stand your ground!
I would feel the same way. Our son missed us terribly when my hubby and I were in the hospital with our daughter.

Your parents are putting their dog before your family. I am sure they are wonderful people and you love them very much, but putting a dog's comfort before your daughter's comfort is pretty disgusting to me.

Please feel at peace, knowing that you didn't do anything wrong. They will get over it.
Congratulations on your upcoming arrival!

5 moms found this helpful

I agree with the other two posts: YOU and your FAMILY come first, and you handled this wonderfully! So many other people would have just ended conversation about it and said no to sending the daughter with them if they were unwilling to compromise (I would have!), but you didn't. You kept communication open and tried to reason with them.
Unfortunately, parents (the "we raised you and you're fine" type) often don't see the need to change their habits or opinions/beliefs based upon their grown children's wishes.
SHE is your child, period.
Way to go for standing up for what you and your husband want (new baby/daughter) and for standing strong on your decision about the dog!

5 moms found this helpful

It sucks that your parents are being so unreasonable. My grandma has a dog that snaps and scratches, but we told her we wouldnt come over unless she kept the dog in her "room" (the utility room which has a doggy door so she can go in and out) and she finally agreed. I cant believe your parents are choosing their dog over their granddaughter. There is no reason to allow a dog around a child when that dog is a biter.

5 moms found this helpful

Give it time. Sometimes people do not realize that being willing to only help in the way THEY want is not helpful at all. Just focus on your newly growing family, and let your parents know that when they are ready to talk, you will always be there, but do not let them bully you into doing something with your child you are not comfortable with. I do not think keeping a snippy dog outside is too much to ask at all. I had non-family stay with our son when my 2nd was born, and it was fine. As soon as he could my husband left me to go get him so he could meet his new brother. That time was so special, others should understand why that is important to you as a family.

5 moms found this helpful

wellll..honestly i don't really feel you've done anything wrong, it seems you have handled this situation the best way you could. so i don't really feel like there's anything you can do to 'fix' it. try to relax and see that you did the best you could. they only live an HOUR away...! why couldn't they come up for a day or so, go home to sleep/take out the dog, then come back? why couldn't one of them run back to their house to deal with the dog, while they stay at your house? is it that big of a deal really? i don't think so. maybe they're just older and set in their ways? who knows. but just keep doing like you're doing, i'm sure it will blow over eventually. you're totally doing the right thing.

5 moms found this helpful

I'm siding with you, what I don't understand is why your parents insist of taking your daughter for a whole week when this would be the perfect time for your daughter to bond with her little brother! in my opinion in her little mind she will feel left out of this very special experience.
With my second baby my sister and mom took my oldest daughter to the hospital just about two hours after her little sister was born. it was such a great experience, and after we were released we all got to bond at home. what a beautiful experience that was, I can't imagine not having my daughter there.
By the way there are other ways to help that don't include taking your daughter for a whole week; they could just bring some food so you don't have to cook etc.
you really don't need the extra stress right now,
I hope everything resolves and have a happy and healthy delivery!

4 moms found this helpful

Hi B.,

I haven't read all the responses, but I think you are dong the right thing. You offered them options out the wazoo, and they are not taking them. Another thing to consider--you may want to just get used to being a new 4-person family, so it would be good for your daughter to be at her normal house. When my second was born, I couldn't have stood it for my 3.5 yo to be an hour away. Five days later, the baby had to go to a children's hospital 2.5 hours away. I stayed with him, but missed my older one A LOT. So I think keeping her close is the best way, good that you have a friend who can help.

I think it's your parents/sister's choice to be upset at you. You can't control their actions; you can only try to control how you react to them.

Good luck, enjoy your last weeks as a "mom of one", and get ready for your new little guy!

K. Z.

4 moms found this helpful

You are not going to win or change your parents but you can change, your mind that is. Tell them that you have thought this thru and what would really be helpful to you is if your mom comes and stays with you for a few weeks (you dad can come and go if he wishes, grandpas aren't the best at diaper changing, laundry and cooking dinner) but you need your mom's help not with just your daughter with the newborn as well. tell her that it is important to have your daughter adjust to being with the new baby and the routine changes that will come with that. having her "go away" and returning to a completely different set of parents (which is what you will be with the new addition) could cause some issues to her. It is important that sometimes when the baby cries and you are reading a story or something that you stay with her and have your mom tend to the baby for a few minutes so your daughter feels like she is just as important or more to you. Your mom will feel wanted and appreciated and she will explain it to your dad, as only she can if you let your mom believe that you need your mommy.
This way the dog is not the issue and your daughter not going to grama's is not the issue. the issue is that "You" need help, not with just your daughter but with the newborn as well and the only way to get it is in your home. you need to be catered to. and yes you are perfectly right about your issues with their dog but they will never understand it so you just have to change the subject (and just aviod the subject for as long as you can)

4 moms found this helpful

First of all, let me tell you I am a big animal lover, dogs, cats, horses,, Love them all. I have always had at least 3 dogs at the time... So here it goes:
My (ex) mother -in-law had a rescue lab, she kept telling me the dog was fine. I could not stand that dog. Don't take me wrong, I love labs, have had them and she also had a female lab who was the sweetest dog ever!! But the rescue one was a nightmare.. Anyway, my 1.5 yo little girl (who is now 12) bumped into the dog my mistake, the dog turned around, grabbed her by the face and shook her in the air like a rag doll, the dog was put down 2 weeks later by vet recommendation. My little girls was fine, just scared to death. I still beat myself up for even entering that stupid house knowing the risk of putting my little one around such animal. BUT I DID NOT WANT TO UPSET MY (EX) HUBBY AND HIS PARENTS...
Many animal owners don't understand that their pets can be dangerous to little kids. How would your parents feel when you little girls has to have re-constructive surgery on her little hands or her little face (I see that in the ER EVERY DAY)? Are they gonna go through the pain, or your little girl will? Is that the lesson your mom wants the dog to teach her granddaughter? Also, having a new baby is stressful enough (including labor!!), you don't need to worry about your daughter's safety as well. They are being difficult and ignorant (and I make no apologies for my words). Looks like everyone is worried about their feelings and not yours or your kids... That's all there is to it. Little dogs are not for little kids!!!! I have a chihuahua and I know all about that! Trust me, if you leave your kid with your parents the dog WILL be around her, because your parents see nothing wrong with that! She is only 3!! She will learn to be scared of small animals for the rest of her life if that dog bites her. That's the only lesson she will learn. Stick to your guns. This is not the time to think of other people's feelings. this is YOUR moment, not theirs. YOU are the mom. If something happens to your 3 yo while under the care of your parents, the ramifications of what happens will impact your and your husband's relationship with your family from that point on. For every actions there is a reaction... Stick to your guns! Be strong. Just cuz they raised you, doesn't mean you owe them the safety of your daughter. Why don't they ask your 3 yo if she wants to be bitten by the dog?? (sorry, I'm fired up)

4 moms found this helpful

Wow! Sorry you are going through this! I think your parents are being unreasonable. Of course you want your daughter there to meet her new brother. My inlaws brought our son to the hospital a few hours after our daughter was born.
There is no way I could let my child go to any house for a week knowing that a very snippy dog had access to her! I'd be a nervous wreck. You just don't knowingly put your child in danger. We have 3 dogs...the 2 old lab/sheepdog mixes and the pup...a Chessie. We got her when our daughter was 2. Yes, a child should learn how to approach a strangers dog but there is no way anyone can say "oh maybe the dog will teach her a lesson about leaving it alone". OH MY!!!! That's crazy! There is probably little discipline shown towards the dog and I'm sure it rules the house. Your parents need to talk to a trainer as to how the dog should be acting if they expect to have the grandchildren around it. There is NO choice...you do what's in the best interest of the child! I'm sorry your sister is involved now too. Most likely she will rethink her statement in a few years when she realizes that her own child could be seriously hurt by this dog!

Stick with your position of having your friend watch your daughter and if keep her home with you if you don't think your parents will keep the dog outside.

Congratulations on you new addition!

4 moms found this helpful

I agree with (almost) everyone on here that you are 100% in the right, and that you handled the situation in a way that I would aspire to handle it myself if I was in your shoes. I don't know how you did it. And your parents are 100% in the wrong on this one, I can't even fathom their reasoning in all this. Maybe they have just forgotten what that protective instinct for our young children feels like. Or maybe the dog is their new baby and they project that old feeling onto the dog. I don't know, and there is really no point in trying to see their side because it is just flat-out wrong. I would not trust them to keep the dog away at all at this point.

You can't "rectify" this. And you shouldn't have to. You have done everything you should do. They have to decide to stop being unreasonable and get over it, until then they are just going to have to be upset. I like Dyreka's advice of calling (or you could email) and telling them what she said. Very maturely and calmly, just tell them you would be happy to see them whenever they decide to move past this and they want to come. Ignore your sister, I don't understand her stance either. (For the record, I have 2 dogs and 3 cats- not an animal hater here at all. But my son comes first.) And if you can, just put it aside for now. I'm sure they will come around. Easier said than done, I know. I am brooder and this would be hard for me. But none of this is your fault or your choice, it is on them to let go of it.

And everyone is right, your daughter should be close. That is important to you, so that is what should happen. If it was important to you that your husband dress like a clown during your delivery, that is what should happen. Granted, that would be ridiculous, but if that is what your family wanted, so be it. And in this case, having your daughter close to the family to bond with the new baby is NOT ridiculous.

And I wish I could send a dozen flowers to Julianne, that was hilarious. Her whole post was great advice too, not just the dead dog part. LOL!

4 moms found this helpful

I haven't read all the responses, and I don't really have any advice for you, but I just wanted to let you know...sometimes our parents are not always happy with the choices we make, but now that we are adults we have the right to raise our families or keep our families safe as we see fit. I had a cat that was my "BABY" and when I gave birth to my youngest, my cat was so jealous, once Alex started crawling my cat would bite Alex, as much as I LOVED my cat...well my Real Baby came first!!!! I did get my cat a great home with my MIL and FIL. Having said that I just can't imagine anyone putting an animal ahead of a child, and there is no way a 3 year old needs to learn a lesson from a naughty dog. Stick to your guns...they will get over it. Even small dogs can do great damage, leave your poor daughter traumatized or scarred for life, you are not being over-cautious.

4 moms found this helpful

I would keep my child with me and not let her go visit since they are putting the dog over the child.

I remember the first few weeks after my second was born. My oldest loved watching the baby. Now, 11 years later they are best of friends. Do what you know is right and don't let your family boss you around.

4 moms found this helpful

Please do not continue to let this upset you. You handled it the way you needed to handle it. God forbid something were to have happened with your daughter and the dog, you would not be able to get to her while in labor.

I think some people get older and live in a little bubble and forget to look at their lives and realize, it is not the only way to live. They probably sit around with other older people and talk about how "young parents today are over protective".

Your sister is welcome to take her child over there with the dog, let them be the example. She can use her child to prove that the dog is safe. She will have to live with the consequences.. Ask her "when is she going to let your parents take care of her baby over there with the dog allowed to be around her child.?"

3 moms found this helpful

I can't believe they don't want to be there for the birth of your son. I agree with just about everyone else. You have a great plan and your daughter should be a part of her new brother coming into the world. A dog is a dog. It doesn't matter how long it has been a part of the family it is still a dog. These are their GRANDCHILREN. I believe children come before family pets. Stick to your guns.

3 moms found this helpful

I hope things work out for you and your Parents.

3 moms found this helpful

I think you have very selfish parents. They need to get over it, it's not about them so I would tell them to pound sand.

3 moms found this helpful

No their dog does not need to teach your daughter a lesson they need to invest in some obedience lessons and teach that dog how to act properly around people other then them. This is absurd and good for you for sticking to your guns about this. I would in no way allow her to stay with them. They are not going to leave the dog in the garage for a week. And absolutely your daughter should be around when her little brother is born. She's going to probably feel left out or jealous at some point and she doesn't need to feel that mommy & daddy sent her away. Sorry you are having this stress and hope you can work it out.

3 moms found this helpful

I am so sorry that you are having to deal with this issue during what should be an exciting, joyful time for your family. First, I want you to know that I am a grandmother, and a dog owner, so you'll know my perspective. I encourage you to stand your ground where your daughter's safety is concerned. I, too, have a dog, (a very gentle golden retriever), but if I even for one second thought she would endanger my grandchildren while they visited, I would board her for the duration of their visit. Have you parents considered this option? Would you be able to contribute to this expense (although it is not your responsibility)? My advice would be to continue to try and keep the lines of communication open, and explain that, especially with the birth of a new baby, you can't handle the stress of worrying about your daughter around a dog that obviously isn't used to having little ones around. And yes, if they want to view it as making a choice between their granddaughter's safety and their dog, then that is their choice to make. But it is your job as her mom to make sure she is in a safe environment, and you can't put her in danger just to make them feel better. If they have hurt feelings, they will get past it. A dog bite to your daughter could be devastating, and they wouldn't ever get over that. Just want you to know that you are in the right here, and I hope your family will soon understand. (and your sister should really mind her own business; she will see the light once her baby starts crawling and is no longer safe around the dog) Good luck, and congratulations on your new little one!

3 moms found this helpful

Wow, are they being stubborn! There shouldnt be a choice between your daughter and a dog! Thats ridiculous. I would stand your ground, and just repeat the fact that you'd love their help, and for them to be involved. But it will not be at your daughters expense! How would they feel if that dog bit your daughters face, and left her scarred? Or forever fearful of dogs? If your sister wants to get in the middle, maybe SHE can watch their lovely little animal so they come to your home!? They are putting you in a bad spot. YOU are pregnant, YOU need help and they are making it an issue over a dog that snaps at kids?? You know you're right, so don't get bullied. If they don't want to compromise, it's their loss. Focus on the umpcoming birth of your little baby, and blending your family, If people don't want to support you, shame on them!

3 moms found this helpful

So sorry that you are experiencing this while you are pregnant. Shame on your parents for reacting the way that they are, and for putting their dog first! They should want to come to you with under your conditions - no questions asked. So happy you have a great friend to help out. Try not to worry about this conflict....Know that your thoughts are right and enjoy the last few weeks of your pregnancy and the birth of your new child!

3 moms found this helpful

Oh good grief. You are right and your parents (and sister) are wrong. I'd never be able to let my son when he was 3 yrs old spend a night away from me let alone a few weeks. People treat their animals like children, but why can't they find a pet sitter for a few days to look after their little beastie to come watch your daughter for a few days the way you'd like? Or your Dad can stay home with the dog and your Mom can come look after your daughter. Their attitude that the dog should teach your daughter a lesson is shameful! Don't feel hurt and you are not helpless. They are pulling this nonsense on you now and you're the one that's pregnant. If anyone gets to pitch a fit it should be you. You have your plans in place. They are good plans and you should stick with them. If anyone brings it up again, just tell them their opinion has been noted and rejected. If they try again, tell them the topic is closed for discussion and hang up. You are going to be fine!

3 moms found this helpful

Dear B.:

You have done everything right. Don't bother discussing it with your parents anymore, just politely stick to your guns. You have an excellent birth plan and you are right about your parents' dog. My parents used to have a dog like that, but luckily they were aware of it and put the dog out when grandchildren were around.

Don't feel bad about your decisions or allow your sister to wade in and make you feel bad. You and your husband are handling your family plans quite well. You're making a wonderful team.

L. F., mom of a 14-year-old, married for 23 yeard

3 moms found this helpful

What a difficult situation at an already stress filled time. Your parents are upset for whatever reason, I am sure they see things differently then you do. You have handled this situation superbly and are 100% in the right as it is your family and you have been nothing but accommodating to their wants. They have not reciprocated.

As difficult as it may be, I stew over everything, let things go for a few days. Try to talk to them again in a few days and after their emotional reaction calms down. Perhaps you can re-iterate what it appears you did so clearly. In the mean time concentrate on your tiny new miracle just waiting to meet you!

May you have a smooth delivery and post baby experience.

3 moms found this helpful

Oh my, the communication gap! It sounds like you did/said exactly what you needed to, B., and I agree with you completely.

If the subject comes up again (you might choose to write a letter if your mom won't talk to you by phone), you could tell them how sad and confused you feel when you tell them specifically what you need and they respond as if you have said something else. I would want to ask, "Dad, when I tell you yes, you can keep your granddaughter at your house for a week IF you promise to keep the dog entirely away from her, will you tell me exactly what it is you think I have said?"

If you can get your father to paraphrase your main points, he may actually be able to see where the misunderstanding arises. It sounds like he is thinking in "whole scenarios" right now and isn't considering the details.

If people are mad at you for their own misunderstanding, that is difficult for you to address. I think it may help them hear you if you can acknowledge and affirm that their little dog is an essential part of their family now. They may ascribe childlike feelings to her, and be truly worried about having to push her into a sort of exile.

But it's not a contest. Your daughter is only three, and can not be reasonably expected to know how to treat an adult dog with its own perculiarities. The dog, on the other hand, knows exactly how to treat your daughter if it becomes annoyed, and that is the possibility that rightfully concerns you. Children can be quickly and severely injured by dogs, and it's possible your parents are blind to their pooch's potential for bad behavior, just as many parents are blind to the fact that their precious kids aren't always on best behavior.

3 moms found this helpful

I am so sorry that you are having to deal with this! And, wow! This is exactly what we went through with my family. This is about your immediate family and your daughter. I agree with you that you should stand firm on your oldest being at home throughout you coming home and even after that. You could offer to pay for the boarding at a kennel that is close where they could go to visit the dog if they needed to. The last thing you need to worry about is the dog biting your children at your house or at theirs. And, it isn't remotely funny because of the danger it poses. It is a dog after all! My family ended up backing out of "helping" because they couldn't do it their way. Seriously, if it is that stressful, it isn't really "help". Get some friends or church family to bring you some meals and hire a night nurse if you need some help to save your sanity! As far as their feelings, just honor them the best you can and pray for open hearts when you tell them. Helping someone is about serving them where they need help..not insisting on your own way. My sister and mom were livid that I did not let them control how bringing home the baby would work out. But, they got over it and I did what was best for me and my family. Love is patient, love is kind....You can control how you talk to them, but you cannot control how they respond. And, CONGRATULATIONS!

2 moms found this helpful

This is the last thing you need to deal with. Let them be stubborn, but don't give in. You are going to be coming home from the hospital & you don't need your daughter going into the hospital because she was bitten by Cujo (old movie). Remind your parents that YOU are the parent & they wouldn't have liked anyone telling them what to do when they raised you & your sis. If things don't get better then have your husband step in & say "with no disrespect this is our decision & we have given you options so let us know how you want to proceed."

Try to enjoy your pregnancy, they will eventually get over it :)

2 moms found this helpful

You can't compromise your daughters safety for your parents feelings. What happens if you daughter goes there and gets a horrible dog bite, you will never forgive yourself. They will just have to get over it. These posters that are saying you need to calm down are just crazy. Say again to them you love them very much and want them to be a part everything. They are basically saying their dog is more important than their grandchildren. Stand your ground in a loving matter. If it works that your friend takes care of her then so be it. They can come down and visit since they are only an hour away and then return the same day if they need. Hang in there.

2 moms found this helpful

I'm glad you've decided to keep your daughter at home, and not just because of the dog thing. You didn't mention her age, but your instincts are correct that it is best for her to be a part of the process. When my second child was born, I thought it would be best for my firstborn, who was 4, to spend time with her grandparents because I wasn't going to be able to do much with her (not so much because of the demands of a newborn but because I had a c-section). Boy was I wrong. Her usual routine was preschool part-time in the mornings, then afternoons at my in-laws (since I worked full-time). So I just decided to keep her routine the same, even though I was home with the baby. Well, the very first day she calls me in the afternoon and says why can't she be home with me and why did the baby get to stay home with me -- boy did it break my heart! I thought I was doing something good for her since she would have her grandparents undivided attention. I explained that if she wanted to be home with me that I wasn't going to be able to do much. She said that was OK. And she was true to her word (so mature!).

My MIL wasn't hurt or offended by my decision since she saw how sad my little girl was. I understand you don't want to hurt your parents' feelings, but in the end this isn't about them. Of course, I would have been so lucky if my parents had taken that kind of interest -- they never bothered showing up to the hospital or even visiting until several weeks after my children's births, even though they did so for the births of my siblings' children. Thank goodness for my in-laws!

2 moms found this helpful

Wow. You've gotten lots of responses. No real advice here, but I wanted to commiserate. My parents have two dogs that they couldn't possibly leave at home so they could visit. (Their dogs don't nip/bite, but they don't get along with my dogs, and I don't want to spend a whole visit separating dogs, and kicking theirs off my furniture.) Luckily, they have an RV and can bring it up to a park and go back and forth. Just stand firm, and do what's best for your children. It's hard going up against your parents, isn't it?

2 moms found this helpful

I think you are doing the right thing. You are being compassionate and kind with your parents, but you are protecting the things that are most important - your children, your family, their experience in your new baby's upcoming birth, and your daughter's safety. I think you are exactly right on in how you are handling it. It is very unfortunate that your parents can't see some of those things and that they are putting their dog ahead of your family, but that is their choice, and you're taking the right steps in light of their decision.
Best of luck with everything and take care.

2 moms found this helpful

It is unfortunate that friends and family agree to things and then back out. I have had it done quite a bit lately and it is quite disappointing. It is their choice and you can only give in to them or find another means. I usually prefer to work around people that can't keep their word.

Really, she should have been upfront with you to begin with instead of roping you in.

I would just tell your parents you don't want them in that position and it is much easier to have someone else do it because you feel very strongly about her being part of the birth...and it's not dumb =]

2 moms found this helpful

There is nothing more precious than introducing a sibling to a new brother or sister...I'd keep her at home for the first couple of weeks and love the older one right along side the new baby. A 2 year old can feel terribly shoved aside and needs as much time with the small family unit as possible. If your husband can take off time, that would be the best. Stick to your original feelings about this and stand firm. If your gut says keep her home. Do it. You will manage and it will be amazing (though tiring) for all of you.
My oldest son taught me how precious this time is for the whole family. When his younger brother was born for weeks after, he'd check in before going out to play..."Don't worry mom, I'll be back soon to spend time with you and the baby" I hadn't thought about how this would change his life and he'd learn how to love his brother during this transition.

Don't worry about the extended family...form your own unit and make it strong.

1 mom found this helpful

I am so sorry for you and the stress this is causing.

Given that your parents see their dog as their child, they will not put that dog in the garage for the entire duration of your daughter's stay. Do you really want that stress during such a memorable time??? You will be worried about your daughter and that dog the entire time.

You've told them how you feel. Just say that you wish to have your daughter home to allow her to bond with her brother and you can take a family trip to stay with them later in the year. (But reiterate that they are welcome to come for the birth.)

YOUR family comes first...Good luck and God bless!

1 mom found this helpful

Be thankful that you have family that wants to help so badly--most are not so lucky! It sounds like your parents love your daughter very much and would not dream of letting anything happen to her while she is in their care. Bringing a 2nd baby home is an adjustment, and it would probably be great for you & your daughter for you to be able to adjust to the new baby while she has fun with her grandparents!

1 mom found this helpful

Sorry if this sounds harsh but you have more to worry about than somebody's feelings getting hurt. You have to put the best interest of your family before anything or anyone else. My FIL was supposed to bring our son home from spending Christmas with them when the second son came along and they made the decision that they thought it best to keep him with them until after the baby was born. Needless to say we had to take our 2 week old son on a 8 hour car ride to go get our oldest son because they refused to bring him to us. Long story short, it caused a lot of problems with the older son. He thought we were dumping him because we had a new baby. The oldest is not mine biologically and he was 5 at the time. I would stick to your plans to have your daughter their and be thankful you have a good friend who is willing to do this for you. You have to take care of you and your family. Good Luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful

I know I'm coming into the discussion late, and honestly I haven't read all the replies. Just wanted to say please hold your ground and continue to be firm but polite like it sounds like you have been. Having lived through something similar I think it is less about the dog and more about control, although they probably don't realize it or would admit to it. It sounds like they want to do things THEIR way, and by continuing to misunderstand you (by what your dad kept saying) it makes it easy for them to put it back on you. I hope I'm wrong, just wanted to throw that perspective out there. I'm sure they love you and want good things for you, just be cautious that you don't allow them to talk you into anything you aren't comfortable with for the sake of "peace" or "making amends". Do what you feel is right as a parent and the way others react is on them, not you! Good luck and congrats on your impending arrival :-)

1 mom found this helpful

From my experience, I would try to get someone who could stay at your house. My son was 19 months old when #2 was born and had only stayed away from home overnight at his grandparents for 2 or 3 nights. I thought we had planned for my mother in law to stay at our house for the first week, but somehow things changed and she took my son home with her (2 hours away) for almost a week. It was really hard for me to bond with the new baby while worrying about my oldest. I got really depressed & cried a lot more than I did after the first baby. After my oldest came home, I felt a lot better. Your parents should understand that you need to take care of your own wellbeing & health of your children first. If they end up with hurt feelings from the situation, they will probably eventually come around. We've had some things with both of our families and we've worked them out. They still love you and your kids. Once they see the new baby, they will probably calm down & move on. Congratulations. Enjoy your new one & seeing you baby girl become a big sister.

1 mom found this helpful

Wow lots of responses! You have lots of moms backing you up and I agree that you should stand firm. My MIL came to take care of my son when I had my little girl. I made sure that they knew to bring him to the hospital. My son was thrilled to be one of the first to see his baby sister and they "exchanged gifts" (that was precious)! The thing about the dogs, my M&FIL have a farm, but they would always put their grandchildren first! Stand firm in your decision, but reterate that you still love them and appreciate the offer. Things will cool down after you have your baby. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Honey,your hormones are on overdrive right now and it makes it difficult to see things clearly. Take a step back and a deep breath. You have already done everything you can. Stick to your decision. Your daughter's welfare is more impotant than any hurt feelings.As parents themselves,your parents should understand that. Your parents should put her safety above the dog's comfort.you should not feel bad at all for making this decision and it doesn't really matter who is mad. They will get over it.

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