33 answers

Grandma Really Wants to Babysit: We're Not Ready

Hi Mom's;
I have a wonderful 7 1/2 mo. old that has never had a babysitter. She gets a lot of socialization we take her out to activities and to see people, play groups, etc. and she plays with others or will go to other people while we are still there with out any problems. We like it this way, we have talked a lot about when we will introduce babysitters and when we will be ready to leave her with someone other than us and decided it will be after she is a year old and has good verbal skills. We get plenty of alone, couple time when she is sleeping during naps or at night, so we are not in need of time without her.
So here is my dilemma my mother in law really really wants to babysit, and mentions it every time we talk to her. We've explained that we have no need for a babysitter at this time, that we are happy with the way things are right now, and when we are ready we will let her know. We've assured her it is not that we don't trust her and that we don't think she would do anything wrong we just don't use babysitters at this time. She gets very defensive and snidely comments that we are not letting her be a grandma and we are somehow damaging her relationship with her Grandaughter. By the way my husband is an only child so this is her first Grandbaby. We encourage them to come and see her, to come play with her, we take her to their house to play but somehow they think that we are keeping her from them because we won't let her babysit.
How do we get it across to her that we just flat out do not use babysitters and that it won't change just because she wants it to.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you everyone for you responses, we won't be letting her take the baby completely by herself; for a multitude of reasons. Not the least being her intense pestering to get rid of us which makes me worry. We will continue to let her play with our little girl at our house or their house while I get things done. We've been doing that where I will go clean the house while they play in the living room or I will get some scrapbooking done while they play. I just am not comfortable leaving her yet, I like the reassurance that if something were to happen to her I am here. After reading some of the posts I realize that we probably don't trust her, she doesn't agree with a lot of our parenting choices, and would probably undermine them if given a chance. They are really pushing solids and don't understand why we are introducing foods on a schedule (The 4 day wait rule the doctor recommends). I will continue to have my husband tell his mom No that she will be the top of our list when we are ready but it's just not at this time. And when she asks me I will be sure to acknowledge that Grandma is different then a babysitter and she is able to come and play with our daughter while I work around the house, every once in a while.

Featured Answers

It sounds like you know exactly how and what you want to say. But do understand that it is abnormal, and you are keeping them from bonding/forming a relationship. My mom waited 20 years from 1st grandchild to mine, and she and he have such a close bond. It is not like the bond with the parents, but so important in forming relationships. It doesn't mean that she gets the baby over night, but you should consider why it is you won't let her babysit, it goes beyond the need for one.

More Answers

It is a personal choice when you will be comfortable. And no it's not mandatory to get time away. Those are decisions you must make. For years we didn't have regular time away. Now we are able to get out more (our youngest is over a year). There are seasons for relationships and if you and your hubby are happy with the decision that's fine! Just keep saying that she will be the 'first person' to watch the baby when you are ready to go out, what a bleesing it is to have such a great grandma, etc. Also, maybe you could ask her to come help with the baby while you do a project around the house for and hour or so. Even if you don't really need her:)

2 moms found this helpful

Hi P.,
I am going to be the "Other" side of the topic, becuase it appears everyone differs in their opinion. I think if you and your husband are okay in your relationship(alone or adult time comes in many forms/times) and have open discussion about how you are raising and caring for your child then your MIL will just have to wait!
There are plenty of people in the world who don't have sitters (becuase of whatever reason) and their children are just fine and so is their marriage! You are giving your MIL time with the Grandchild so they are forming a relationship. You don't have to be without your parents to play with your grandparents. You daughter is learning that her parents are there for her and will, when the time is right, learn others can care for her too, when she is older and can understand better!
Just becuase your MIL thinks you aren't being fair doesn't mean you should change your ways. Stick to your guns! Enjoy your family in a way that makes your child, your husband and yourself happy and comfortable. When you are happy and comfortable at home, everything else is easier!
Best Wishes to you all!

2 moms found this helpful

I think you're being very rigid. You say you flat out don't use babysitters. I don't consider a grandma a babysitter really. A grandma is a grandma -- someone who loves your child almost as much as you do! What a blessing that you have a grandparent who wants to care for your little one and be involved in her life! I would take her up on the offer for yourselves, and for her. I don't know how you feel about her and if there are issues, but if there aren't, what's the harm in letting her have a little time with her granddaughter? I am not a grandma yet -- I have a 21-year-old and 11-year-old -- but my older daughter's friend had a baby recently. Although she's not my granddaughter, I am close to her family and would love to care for her for a little while just because I love babies, and adore her! I really don't see the harm in getting out once in awhile and giving grandma some bonding time. It sounds like a win-win situation to me. Do it while you can -- and let your baby get to know her grandma. When she's a year old, if you haven't let her spend any time with anyone else alone, you will have a very difficult time detatching her from you. The more people who love her the better!

1 mom found this helpful

This is kind of a different response to your post, just bear with me. When I read your post, you & your husband's decision on no babysitters until your baby is one, is exactly the way I used to think as well. I have a 20 mos. old & unfortunately she was never able to spend time with my MIL, my MIL died suddenly 2 mos. before my daughter was born. It was very unforseen & tragic. From day one when my daughter was born, my FIL also wanted to babysit my daughter all the time. I felt really bad about not letting him, my husband & I were just not ready to let someone else watch her, even though he was quite capable. We too decided to wait until she was one. She turned 1 in Oct. 08, and my FIL was diagnosed in the final stages of cancer not long after her birthday. He passed away in April of this year. He was too sick to be able to spend much time with his grand-daughter. My point in telling you all this, life is short. If you have a loving MIL that wants to spend time with your baby, in her home & just shower your baby with love & attention a Grandma can give, I say let her. I wish I would have let my FIL babysit when he was able too, and I can never change that. Good luck in your decision, and cherish those Grandma's & Grandpa's, you are so very lucky to have them.

1 mom found this helpful

How 'bout this....invite her over, and then run one or two (quick) errands. That way, she is babysitting and you don't have to worry about her messing up feeding/napping/bath times (and you're getting an errand out of the way). When you are thru w/your errands, you come back home and "visit" w/her a bit.

1 mom found this helpful

Hah! My SIL was like this (we do not get along, btw...yeah right like I'm going to let someone I don't trust watch my kid).

Don't give in if you're not ready. It really is your call. And, like Courtney said she really isn't behaving appropriately for a 50-60-70-whatever year old by guilting and badgering you! Let her sulk and pout; it's not your problem. It's hers.

We don't mind having grandma come and babysit but one time she brought her daughter (my SIL) who, even after we told her no, totally went against our wishes and fed our 15 month old McDonalds and then proudly proclaimed, upon our return, how she felt the need to ignore our instructions and "treat him to the real world". My husband, God love him, took care of the whole situation followed by "And that's why even though you ask us all the time to babysit we never have called you."

Not all family members are like this, but unfortunately there are a ton of grandparents and extended family members who are just DYING to get their turn alone with the baby and give them treats, let them stay up later than their bedtime, and do things you wouldn't allow. I'm not saying this is how your MIL is, but if you're not ready, stand firm and wait until you are - it's your child, your choice!

1 mom found this helpful

You may never get it across to her because she wants to babysit so badly that she is not really hearing what you are saying. We never used a sitter til our son was quite old because we took him every where with us too. We enjoyed having him with us.
She is your child and you can do what ever you feel is best but have you ever thought of just doing a date night where you and your husband go see a movie or even and afternoon outing just so her Grandmother can babysit just the one time. It is totally different for a Grandmother to babysit, then to just coming over and playing with their Granddaughter while you sit there and watch. I think she wants some alone time with her. But if you are not ready than maybe your husband needs to just tell his mother that this is bothering you to be asked all the time. That the 2 of you are not ready to leave your daughter with a sitter yet and when you are ready she will be the first one called.

1 mom found this helpful

I really do see both sides of this, you are the parent and this is your call but at the same time I don't see what the big deal is. Not that it's taking away from her being a grandparent but I'm sure she had this vision of becoming a grandma and babysitting, just like you had visions of what you wanted to do when you became a mother. It sounds like a trust thing to me (although it may not be, you may just be very protective of your daughter) which is why your mother in law is probably getting so defensive and using guilt, which is not very nice of her.

This is the thought that keeps running through my head. What if something happened to where you HAVE to leave your daughter with someone else. God forbid it does, but it is possible, if someone got hurt or something. If she's never had a babysitter she may not react well to one, especially in a stressful situation like that.

I'm not sure what your true reasons are, but I would weigh every possibly thing out and then decide. If you are still set on this decision then keep firm.

1 mom found this helpful

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