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Mother in Law Babysitting Question

My mother in law watches my daughter for me 3 days a week at my house while I work and my sister watches her the other two days. I have no problems with my sister watching my daughter because she is wonderful with her all the time and I completely trust her. However, my sister absolutely refuses any money I offer her so I try to make it up by taking her kids once in a while and buying food for her family. On the other hand, we pay my MIL and she always takes the money. Okay, not a big deal but if she is going to view this as a "job" then she should kind of treat it like one, right? We give her $40 a day because that's what in-home day care providers get in my area BUT they watch 6 kids and provide snacks. We pay her that amount because we want to make it a point that our daughter means a lot to us and we want her to take the best care of her while we are at work. All I ask my MIL to do is watch my daughter. That's it. I don't have her do anything else for me. She doesn't do laundry or clean and I told her my daughter is what I want her to focus on. She has been doing this for us since she was 5 months old and I always completely trusted her and figured since she raised 3 kids of her own, I don't have to tell her what to do. She can probably teach me a thing or two! Now my daughter is 17 months old and the past few months my MIL has completely turned this into "her time" and has been neglecting my daughter more, or so I think so. A couple of times I have come home from work and my daughter has had a poopy diaper which she was sitting in for a while because her bottom was all red, her toys were all turned off because my MIL said they were "too noisy", she has the news on all day long on the TV, (no cartoons or kid programs) and she feeds her like a bird. I haven't said anything about her sitting in the poopy diapers but I have said that the doctor recommends she eats a certain amount of food every day. (I am too wimpy to speak up to her so I blame stuff on my daughter's pediatrician.) I ask my MIL to write down what she eats and how much so when I get home from work I have an idea of what I need to feed her. She scribbles little notes because I know this annoys her. However, that is the ONLY thing I ask her to do for me!!! My MIL has always been a very self centered person and she comes first no matter what the cost but we figured she is retired and could use the little extra income plus she will develop a relationship with her granddaughter. Well, I have realized over the course of a year (I know, shame on me) that she is not fully watching my daughter. She must leave her in her crib to cry herself to sleep because there are bite marks on the crib and her crib toys are thrown all over the room. My daughter hates being in the crib awake and will throw her toys all over the place. She won't do any of this when I am here because I never leave her in the crib for a long time. My MIL has turned this into "her" time by doing her list of things to do while at my house. She uses my treadmill, showers during the day when no one is watching my daughter (she used to shower at night so my daughter was not unattended), and she's on my laptop all day long. She uses her time at my house as her vacation time. I am really starting to wonder what the heck goes on here all day! I don't trust her like I used to and its really bothering me. Do you have any advice on what I should do? Please advise on what I should say to her. My husband semi-agrees with me but he doesn't stand up to her. My MIL is also very passive-aggressive so she comes off as this sweet, soft spoken person but yet she always has something up her sleeve. She is a manipulator and my husband only realizes this when I point it out. How awkward it is for me to be the bad guy and have to point out that his mother is all about herself and how dare she put a baby second! I don't know what to do. I am afraid to get rid of her and put my daughter in daycare. I would like to keep my MIL but how do I go about talking to her without sounding accusatory?? Thank you so much.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I agree 100% with Dawn. Get rid of MIL if you are so unhappy, and be done with it. Posting the same question under a different name will get you basically the same answers all over again.

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My son is in daycare and loves it. If talking to her does not work, I would consider it. Good Luck! :)

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C., this sounds so VERY much like another question from March 26th. You and "Samantha from Poughkeepsie" are the same person, aren't you~

http://www.mamapedia.com/questions/2783742562886877185

You had plenty of responses on the other thread as Samantha. Why are you asking again? You don't really offer anything extra except to say she feeds your daughter like a bird. You DO leave out that she eats your expensive food and asking about a nanny cam, which got you fussed at last time.

I don't understand why you are asking again. Do you really expect a totally different set of answers?

Just be done with your MIL already - you say you are afraid to get rid of her and put your daughter in daycare. Something is wrong with this picture, and though I can't figure out what it is, the fact that you'd pretend to be another person with the exact same problem on this site is just very strange.

D.

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I agree 100% with Dawn. Get rid of MIL if you are so unhappy, and be done with it. Posting the same question under a different name will get you basically the same answers all over again.

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If you're already paying her what a daycare would charge, maybe you should try to find one. It's not really that scary, we have an amazing daycare lady who also watched my SIL's kids.

Let her know you've appreciated her help, but obviously she needs her time and you don't want to impose. I fired a daycare lady who left my daughter in dirty diapers, she ended up with a bleeding diaper rash and no kid should have to deal with that.

If you keep her, do you plan her meals/snacks during the day? Maybe have it all ready and labeled in the fridge or on the counter or whatever so she doesnt have to think about what she's going to feed her. Tell her she's welcome to shower when the kid is taking a nap but not while she's awake. And I would take my laptop to work, just so she cant use it, but I'm sort of bitchy.

Good luck! I hate dealing with MIL problems and am pretty lucky with mine. We only had one incident where she didn't follow my feeding/napping list and she learned her lesson with a vomiting, angry baby who wouldn't sleep.

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You don't have to point out anything to anybody. Tell her you want your daughter to have socialization with other kids and you're putting her in daycare. End of problem!

:)

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WEll, your daughter is old enough now to start socializing with other toddlers, maybe set up one day of daycare at a facility and see how she and you like it.
You could leave a "schedule" of what you want mil to do with your daughter during the day. If she isnt being nurtured and taught you are doing your daughter a great disservice while trying to keep the peace with mil.
Dont throw your kid under the bus in order to save hurt feelings.

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HMMM this posts is incredibly similar to a post on March 26th by "Samantha J." both of you are from NY......if you aren't one in the same you both should get together & talk about your MIL issues.

5 moms found this helpful

To be honest, I don't think your mother-in-law will change...... I would switch your daughter to a home daycare that you feel comfortable with.

Tell your mother-in-law that now that your daughter is getting older, you want to get her in to a preschool type program daycare. As simple as that!

A LICENSED daycare should provide meals for her. Most have curriculum programs in place. And there is at least SOME accountability with the food program and licensor dropping by to check in.

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Can I ask, why are you so afraid of daycare? A licensed daycare has to be accountable to you and the city or government licensing it. It sounds to me like your MIL is not doing a good job. Take your daughter elsewhere, especially if you are paying your MIL the going rate (or near that) for childcare. I have never had the privilege of living near either sets of grandparents, so we've always had to pay for care. There are wonderful daycares out there. Our kids have so much fun that they sometimes grumble when we pick them up to go home! Right now, I am lucky enough to be a SAHM and part-time student, so we only need occasional care. However, I used to work full-time, so I do understand the need to find good, safe, and affordable childcare. Also, it is so much easier to raise your concerns with someone who is unrelated to your child than it is to do it with your MIL. I couldn't imagine being in your shoes. Good luck in whatever it is you decide to do.

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I would look into another sitter or daycare for your daughter. With daycare, you can use the excuse that you want her to be around other kids her age. My MIL watched my oldest from 5 months to 9 months while I finished up the school year, then at a year I put him in daycare. I used the excuse above. Basically, my son was spending his day in the swing or exersaucer while my MIL was cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry (he was at her house). Also, she would feed him things that I wasn't ready for him to eat. It wasn't hurting him, but it was really putting a strain on my relationship with her. I was becoming very resentful, partly out of jealousy that I couldn't be home with him. Best decision we ever made...our relationship has never been better!

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didn't you just ask this question recently? If you're that worried, just get rid of her already and put your child in daycare. If you feel your child is being neglected, you shouldn't be hemming and hawwing over it. Take action, this is your child you're talking about.

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You should set up a nanny cam to record what she does while you are away. Your daughter's welfare is more important than anything else and the only way you will truly be sure is to tape it. If you do find neglect you wouldn't have to tell your MIL that you taped her-just tell her that you think your daughter needs more socilaization and that you are putting her in a group setting.

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I'm with sara b. You might as well switch her to a day care. If you WANT to give her a 'reason' you could say that you are switching her so she can have socialization with kids her age... So she can learn to be OK with other people taking care of her (or that you don't want her to get separation anxiety), something like that. I honestly don't think there is a way to talk to her about the way she is acting, without sounding like you are critisizing her. She probably has the mindset of 'I raised my kids, I know what I'm doing'. I think this mainly because of the way she acts when you asked her to write down what she's eating. It seems to me like she is going to listen to what you tell her, smile and nod, then do it her own way anyway. NOT acceptable from someone you are paying to take care of your child.

If you really want to try keeping her... I would find little ways to assert your control. Count how many diapers you have, and when you get home count again. You could say -'wow! She only went through 2 diapers today? Maybe we need to start pushing water a little bit more.' You could also prepare the food you want your DD to eat throughout the day. Dedicate a shelf in the fridge for food you want her to eat that day. You could look at that when you get home and politely ask why so much is left over. You could start calling to check in on your daughter every couple of hours. (claim that you miss her. lol) Take your laptop with you to work, and turn off the cable (OR you could disconnect it during the times she is home and just claim that you turned it off, if you prefer to keep it).. Leave only kid-friendly movies for her to choose from. You could even turn off the hot water for the day (hee hee hee.) (Or just turn it down so the water won't get hotter than lukewarm.) and claim that you don't know what's going on with it if she complains.

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It is really quite simple...if you are unhappy with the care that your child is getting from your MIL, then you have to make other care arrangements. That is why it is always sticky to have family watching your kids. You are paying her for a service...if the service is not up to your expectations, then you are free to use someone else for that service. If there is fall out from the change, then too damn bad. Your child should come first before anyone else's feelings.

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Are you afraid of MIL or afraid of daycare? To me it seems like you are afraid of MIL. You need to find better care for your child, she deserves so much better than this. You admitted it yourself .

Find another daycare source immediately. To prevent problems with MIL, simply tell her that you feel that your daughter is ready for a different type of environment.

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If she is passive aggressive, then this may be her way of saying she is done. Have your husband ask her -- It really should be him:

"Mom, it kind of seems like you are not enjoying caring for your granddaughter as much as you used to. Has it become too much work for you or are you missing the time away from your home or do you just want to spend your time doing something else? We have loved it that our daughter has had this time with you but she is old enough for child care and would probably enjoy it. So don't feel bad if you are ready for a change too."

Professional child care - IMO - Is not scary and from what you have said, child care would take better care of your daughter than your MIL is. Leaving her stuck in a crib, hungry and poopy sounds scary to me.

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Don't be afraid to stand up for your child. Don't look at it as standing up against your MIL, but your daughter's well being.

She's not doing the job you pay her for - so kindly let her know she'll be starting daycare in one week. Have a daycare lined up and take her there!! Most will be glad to do a full week, 2 days, or 3 days a week also!! This way she will also get the interaction of her peers and learn socialization skills.

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put her in daycare. your mil is lazy and your child deserves better. Plus wouldn't it be nice if your child socialized with other kiddos at her age? She will love it--- and you will have peace of mind too.GL!

You can still have your sister watch her you just switch the daycare days to when your mil watches her.
M

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Wow, you are in a tough position. I hate to say, though, that I don't think talking to her will do anything. You need to find some other arrangements. Maybe your sister? Or maybe someone you know knows someone trustworthy? You need to put your daughter's needs ahead of your MIL's feelings (you can come up with some sort of excuse why someone else is watching her to prevent hard feelings). She's also at an age where she's a whole lot more active, and isn't napping as much as when she was 5mo, and I wonder if your MIL would get irritated with having to chase her around or if she just doesn't pay attention to her, your daughter could get into something and your MIL would be oblivious.
Good luck :)

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Sorry but daughter is more important. Your hubby needs to man up for the sake of his child, or you'll have to accept being the bad guy. You need a caregiver that is CAREGIVING, not mooching.

If you want to be "diplomatic" about firing her, find a daycare situation you like and tell her that your daughter's at an age where you've decided she needs more interaction with other children and a more developmentally challenging atmosphere. She can't argue with that - and if she does, she doesn't have a leg to stand on considering her behaviour.

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Find a daycare for your child to attend and stop having your MIL do it. If your hubby won't stand up to his mother that is your best option.

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Your responsibility is to your daughter. If this childcare situation is not working for you, change it. You have a problem with your MIL babysitting but if you don't do something about it, the problem is with you, not your MIL.

You can't change your mother in law or control how she watches your child. You've already tried it so getting a nanny cam, or trying to micro manage your MIL is just prolonging the agony. Being upset at her and complaining to your husband is fruitless. It's time to take action and pay someone else to watch your child.

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Let's start with the diapers. I don't know why you are putting them on a low priority. That's a high priority. Even with my mother and I both watching over these kids, it happens sometimes. We try hard to make sure it never does. At your daughters age and sometimes a little before, the children stop crying over dirty diapers and we have to make a mental shift to look for them. Smelling for them doesn't always work. Some of us simply don't smell it everytime. I certainly don't and I've complaints from parents that their husbands don't.

Showering... This is unacceptable. Are you sure she's doing this? Have you asked her how she keeps her safe?

The crib-- I guess it depends on exactly how she's using the crib. If she's picking an hour in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon and calling that nap time then she's not doing anything wrong. If she's using the crib to keep from having to watch her then she may be pushing things towards neglect. HOWEVER... Sometimes the crib should be used to teach and train them about things. I put children in there when I repeatedly have to get them out of dangerous things or pull them down off of things. My climbers and kids that like to tear into things that they shouldn't are warned repeatedly, if you can't play with your toys and be good you are going back into the crib. BUT, I get them back out in another 20-30 minutes and give them another chance. Without knowing your daughter i can't know if this is an older woman simply unable to keep her safe without using the crib more than you like or if she truly is "on vacation" as you put it.

The TOYS... I think you are getting a little petty here. I love electronic learning toys and buy them and we use them. But there are days when I just shut them all off because I can't stand hearing them one more minute. Then again, we have so many and they go off all day 7 days per week! :)

It sounds to me like you need to get on the same page or find new care. I know it's hard. But this is the age I get so many kids placed in my care after being with grandma. It's pretty normal. :)

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You need to speak now because if you don't one day you are going to explote and things are going to get really ugly, besides going around the problem probably will not work if she is one of those passive aggressive people.
No all mom know how to be moms, most of us have a mother instint and love just grow the moment we know we are pregnant and sometimes before.
Other have no problem avandoning their kids on garbage or allowing bad things happen to their kids.
I am not saying your MIL is that bad, but just because she had 3 kids doesn't mean that she is good, it also could be that she has very different idea in parenting then you do, and try to change her idea is useless, after all her kids are all grown and alive, right?
If I was you I would take my kids to nice daycare and try to save whatever relationship you have with your MIL.
I would be worry even after talking with her about my concerns because how you are going to know if she change or not, and probably she will just be piss, specially if it is her son that is telling her she is not good enough or knows, or do enough.
I would say that my kid NEEDS interact with other kids and stay with that, the doctor told you that she needs interact with other kids so she can learn more fast that things that she is behind (walking, talking, what ever you can think).
This is your baby and if you think she is not being take care well, I would follow your instint

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If you are paying your mother in law the going rate for an in-home day care that even provides snacks, why don't you just get your daughter into a good daycare. I know you'd like your daughter to be able to stay at home, but it doesn't sound like that's actually the best thing for her. She would be much happier around other children and having interaction, structured meal times, etc.
I would start looking around for good day care places now and when you find a good one, all you have to do is blame the pediatrician again and say that they gave you a referral of someone they know and you're going to try it.
The truth of the matter is that your daughter is basically a year and a half old and she could greatly benefit from being around other kids and having some stimulation.
Working moms always feel guilty, I know...I've been there and done that. But, knowing that your child is cared for, happy and socializing can be a very comforting thing. I was very lucky and my son's daycare provider treated him like her own child. In fact, all these years later we are like family. We go on family vacations together, attend kid graduations together. My son never ever thought he was just being taken somewhere so I could be gone. They did crafts and activities and he had his little friends and it was really great for him. I was a single mom with no choice and I will be forever greatful for how well my son was loved.
My point is, if you're going to pay someone, pay someone who has their heart in it and takes it seriously. I know you don't want to start anything with your mother in law and you don't have to.
Find a good day care. In fact, ask your pediatrician's office for ideas. Many pediatricians are aware of daycare providers who are emergency contacts and have permission to seek medical care for children, etc.
The current situation isn't working out for anyone except your mother in law and that's not the intended goal. Your daughter needs to be cared for while you and your husband do what you have to do as adults.

Just my opinion and I wish you the best.

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I would tell your MIL that you and your husband have decided that you feel it is time for your daughter to start going to a home daycare so she can learn to play with other children. Tell you how much you appreciate her watching your daughter while she was a baby, but not that she is a toddler you feel she needs more stimulation. This way your MIL feelings will not be hurt and your daughter will be in a more stimulating environment.

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It seems like you posted this question under a different name a while back and have added more of MIL's misdeeds. There are way too many things to remedy here--as a family provider I would feel awful if I didn't offer a child enough food, left her to sit in a BM diaper long enough to let a rash happen frequently, if I had the T.V. drone all day long on any channel, or if I used the laptop, treadmill or shower while I should have been attending to them. I wouldn't act this way as a mom, so I would definitely expect more out of a caregiver, especially a paid one. Tell her you want to have your daughter in a more social environment and that you have found an in-home daycare (recommend this over center care--but a low kid to teacher ratio quality center would be better than MIL).

Take the lap top to work or pretend it is broken. Or tell hubby you are letting a friend borrow it for school or something. Get it out of there. Tell her that your daughters bottom is getting red and to change her more frequently before she gets a rash. Start coming home on lunch breaks once in awhile without her knowing.

I didn't read the other answers, I just thought that you should have some nanny cameras put in around the house one particularly watching your daughters crib and see how long she is in the crib. Then I would show your husband the video and let him make the decision of what to do next. I think that seeing is believing and that might help him stand up to his mother. Good luck.

It sounds like maybe your MIL doesn't know how to tell you that watching your daughter to your standards and your daughter's needs is too much for her. If she were working in a daycare center you would have filed a complaint already and either she would have been fired or you would have pulled your daughter out.

If your goal is keeping your daughter out of the daycare facility environment then I think you need to look into in-home day cares. If your goal is to keep her with family at all costs, then you're going to have to look at other family members or widen your scope and think about other day care options.

I would approach your MIL in a way that makes it sound like you're concerned about her and how difficult child care is, and you've chosen such-and-such to watch your daughter so that she can have her free time back. "And not only that, MIL, but you get to just enjoy your visits with Grandchild and not ever have to worry about taking care of her! How awesome will that be?" Short, simple, and no accusations so that you can preserve the relationship. But wait until you've lined up other day care.

Hey there,

just an idea and I know it is a huge breach of trust but why not put in a little camera to see what actually happens during the day when you are not there. At least that way you will know for sure whether you are just being paranoid or not and it will put your mind at ease. At 17 - 18 months children get more fussy about what they eat and they are always on the go so maybe it is just because she is moving into this phase and your MIL is finding it more challenging to look after her? Either way you should do what ever you need to inorder to feel relaxed about leaving your child throughout the day

ha, sounds just like mine, but i luckly knew that and never let her watch her in the first place! Since it sounds like you would like to keep the peace and avoid telling her that truth, but you still need this solved. I would find a way/reason that she needs to go to a daycare or be watched by someone else. Reasons can include that she just needs to be around other children bc you read or your dr said blah blah. you can be so sad that she cant watch her but you just feel that this is what she needs? I dont know if that helps at all and I wish you luck, this is a tricky situation. xo
oh and sorry but i do know that you said you are afraid to put her in daycare and want to keep your MIL, but w/ what is going on i dont know that you can keep your MIL. I am not sure that she would change what she is doing if you asked. if she would and you feel confident that she would you can just be honest and direct. come up w/ a daily schedule and some events that she can take her to, or sign her up for a local story time ect...so that you MIL has somewhere to take her and can have her interact w/ other children (you can say that is the goal). in your schedule I woudl outline shows she can watch, how long for, some cool stories/songs/art projects that they can do together. you can just say: now that she is getting older I feel this is important so I would really like to see some of these activites done, her dr said that at her age blah balh is very important and this program looked like it would fit that idea so I signed her up and you can take her......IDK. I personally would be nice, honest, direct and outline the day so she know what to do and what you expect. xo best of luck

A private babysitter should be paid more than you'd pay a group daycare provider. There's nothing wrong with paying her and it being a job rather than a favor. However, if she is not taking appropriate care of your daughter, then switch. If MIL is watching tv, showering and using your computer all day, she isn't really doing what you want and doesn't sound like she is a good babysitter. Sure, anyone could miss a dirty diaper but if it's a repeated problem, I'd make the switch. If you don't want to hurt her feelings, then let her know that your daughter is of an age where you want to start exposing her to other kids her age. I would do this rather than talking to her about not properly taking care of your daughter. It sounds like she doesn't really want to do the babysitting, but is tempted by the money and still getting to do whatever she wants during the day - it's a good deal for her.
Why do you want to keep her if she is not charging you any less than daycare and isn't attentive to your daughter, and is neglecting some of her basic needs?

While I have no issue w/ turning the toys off (they are loud and unnecessary) I do have an issue w/ the news being on all day. I still don't want the news w/ kid around and she's 5.

Kids chew on cribs. I don't find anything wrong w/ that.

How do you know she feeds her like a bird? She may be feeding her, but she chooses not to eat. My cousin's kid is like that.

Having said all that, if you're just not happy w/ her watching her, put her in daycare. If you truly feel that she is being mistreated, put her in daycare. But you never know what you are going to get there either. You could get wonderful caring providers. Or you could get some that are just there for the paycheck. Daycare is hard. Even if you fall inlove w/ one and their teachers, the teachers leave or your kids change classrooms.

Get a nanny cam. You can find them at Radio Shack for about $50. They are not called nanny cams, just small security cameras, but they work the same. I used one and I did find out my kid was being neglected.

I can only imagine how hard this is for you. Luckily my MIL still works =) I love my MIL but I don't agree with many of her "strategies" and would never be able to have her watch my daughter without micromanaging her time with her. For the safety of your child you need to have a talk with her. Without knowing your husbands relationship with her I would still guess that it's best for the both of you to have this talk. Is it possible that she is doing these things because she does not want to be taking care of her? I know you don't want to put her in daycare but maybe it would be the best thing. I don't like having my baby in daycare but I don't mind having my toddler there. I think it's great for her to socialize and have the structured learning environment. It amazes me everyday the things she is learning. At 17 months your daughter should be old enough to tell you in some way if something is wrong (if that is one of your worries about daycare). If it were me, I would sit down with my MIL and say something along the lines of:
"We cannot express how thankful that you have taken care of ______ for all this time. ____ has really enjoyed getting to know her grandma. We think that it's really important for her at this age to be with other kids and to have a structured day. We've been looking at daycares and we found one we really like. We still want her to be able to spend that quality time with you so we thought that maybe she could spend 1 day a week with you, 1 day with her aunt and 3 days in daycare. What do you think about that?"

I would be afraid that taking away all of their time together would alienate your MIL but I would be more afraid of my daughters safety and to me that is more important. Your daughter could get so upset that she climbs out of her crib and breaks something. Or what if she gets tired of being in a poopy diaper for hours and takes it off herself and wipes it everywhere. What is grandma going to think then?

You could always be sneaky and put a password protector on your laptop if you're really afraid to confront her but that probably wouldn't go over well. I wish you the best of luck. I think you really need to find a way to talk to her.

I may be saying something that another mom has already said so please forgive me if this is duplicate info.

I had a similar situation with my oldest daughter's sitter. She had my daughter from 6wks to 18mos and she ran a home daycare. I think at some point, the sitters get a bit relaxed and lazy the longer they have the child. At that point, your expectations are no longer met and anything you say is taken as you're over reacting.

What I had to do was move my daughter into a commercial daycare center. I told the sitter who had her since she was 6wks old that since my child good in certain areas of learning, I wanted to place in a place with professional teachers to advance her learning. For your MIL, I would simply say that your daughter needs to be around other kids to perhaps develop her social skills or something so that she could see why your justification from moving your daughter out of her care and into the care of someone else. Even if it's home daycare, as long as there are other kids, you can justify it w/o hurting her feelings or causing an offense.

why don't you look into a good daycare program 3 days a week? or some other option. People like that don't really change. She may shape up for a month or so, but she'll probably go back to the same ol thing. Good Daycare is worth the money, start asking for references. Daycares can be great. Kids get to socialize and play and learn. My kids don't do daycare but my sister's does and he loves it and thrives in it.

First of all, you say that your MIL is "passive aggressive" and "a manipulator." Then you go on to say, "I'd like to keep her." Why? Think about it, you don't want that influence on your daughter, let alone the "neglect" (I know that's too harsh a word - just can't think of another one). Just think about it that way... You really don't love this woman's personality - it's not worth having her to save face.

Second, it's NOT YOUR JOB to stand up to her if you do decide to keep her. It's 100% your husband's job. Good luck!

I would raise hell, personally. I'm not afraid of rocking the boat, though.

It sounds like it's time to get a replacement for your MIL. The first 5 years of life help set the foundation for who your daughter will become. If she's with someone who is barely meeting her needs and leaving her to fend for herself in her crib, this could lead to some other issues later in life.
It sounds to me like your MIL just needs to stay at home and take care of herself there.

I take care of 2 girls aside from my own, and I give them just as much love and attention as I give my girls. I couldn't imagine leaving my girls
with a relative, much less my MIL, only to have them given less care than I provide them. In the past when my MIL has done things I found questionable, I took away the privilege of time with my daughters.

I figure it this way: if anyone is going to screw up my kids- it'll be me. No one else has the right. Since my goal is the opposite for my girls- everyone is held to the standard of care I provide them- anyone falling short of that standard (which is realistic) simply doesn't get much of an opportunity to screw it all up.

That's just me. I know the MIL situation can be sticky/tricky. Follow your gut, though. That is YOUR little girl.

Good luck-

PS
Put a password on your laptop.
Come home for unexpected visits (like Jenno7 said)
Maybe set aside all the food you want your girl to eat during the day
Buy a spiral notebook for MIL to journal things
Turn off the power to the room the treadmill is in
Set up a nanny cam in your daughters bedroom

good luck-

Can you put her in daycare 2days and at your sisters 3 days? Your MIL sounds like a piece of work. I find it odd she takes your money. I would definatly put her in daycare,its not as bad as you think as long as its a good one. Your daughter might even like being around kids more than being stuck in her crib or sitting in poop!

My mother babysitts for me and I pay her $50 a day and she always gripes it's not enough and I put up with a lot more. But the thing is I don't mind if my mother gets her things done during the day because sometimes that's the only time u have to get things done. And I know no matter how bad it may be with family sometimes a daycare is much worse and much more expensive plus the babys pick up all sorts of germs they wouldn't pick up comfortably in their own home with their own toys and their own bed. Just suggest that the baby seems hungry at night and the doctor said she should eat more throughout the day. Maybe label food prepared for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Maybe now that the weather is getting better suggest she go out for walks to the park or join a mothers group or activity at the library. Staying at home you can get stuck in a rut especially with the weather we've Bern having and toddlers aren't easy to care for your child maybe having tantrums during the day or fighting naps. She may treat your mil different them you. Good luck and stick with it soon the baby will be old enough for pre- school and that will help break up her day a bit.

I don't understand, if you are going to offer the money to her in the first place, then why are you upset that she's taking it?! If you figure she's retired and can use the extra $ then don't complain when she takes what YOU have offered!

If you are this upset over her, then maybe you should send your kid to a daycare where they watch 6 kids and provide snacks. I'm sure you will have plenty of legit things to really complain about if you do this.

Well, the "professional care center" charges $40, so perhaps you should consider getting your daughter in an atmosphere that is conducive to her needs, social, developmental, emotional, physical, etc. Being home with MIL or anyone else I think is great for a SHORT time, but not long term. Your daughter needs to be around her peers, she's old enough and since you're not home and working, I don't see the harm in finding a quality facility with guidelines and structure. MIL may have raised her children, but it doesn't mean she has the same interest, energy, and drive to care for someone else's even if it is her granddaughter.

The easier solution is probably finding new childcare.
If you want to try talking to your MIL try a calm, polite but firm tone. Tell her a few positive things that you like then explain toddler can sometimes be more work than a baby. Write down what schedule you have with your daughter for naps, diaper changes and food. Leave prepared meals and snacks in a specific spot. Consider signing you daughter up for a story hour/playgroup/mommy and me class and ask that your MIL take her.

If the talking doesn't work you could be passive-aggressive too (though I don't recommend it). You can take the laptop out of the house and turn off the cable. My digital cable box has to be plugged in to work (my kids haven't figured out this trick yet). Or you could "misplace" the remote.

BTW the shower thing is kind of a judgment call. I let my 2 year old watch Sesame Street or another kids show for the 10-15 minutes I'm in the shower. When she was smaller I would leave her in the crib with a bottle/sippy cup of milk while I showered. I couldn't do that when my son was that age--he got into a lot more.

Sounds like your MIL is a lousy babysitter. You'd be better off sending your daughter to another in home daycare center where there would be other kids for her to play with and someone who can better take care of her. If I was in your situation I'd be upfront w/ your MIL and tell her exactly why you don't want her watching your child, you've listed several reasons already in your post so if it hurts her feelings too bad...it's YOUR child!! It's your responsibility to make sure she's in a good place! You're already paying her so it's not a money issue. Get on the phone today and start calling around for new childcare arrangements today, do it for your daughter's sake!

Been there, done that... It will ONLY get better if you stand up for yourself... Easier said than done, I know! I had to do it one day (the straw that broke the camels back) and it was awkward, but afterwards it has been SO NICE. You will feel the weight of EVERYTHING lifted and you will both be able to communicate. Communication is so important when it comes to your children and their caregivers. Express your concerns and have her express any she may have as well, so that way you both see where eachother are coming from. This will only happen when you are ready...it took 2 1/2 years before I got up enough courage. I wish you all the luck in the world!

My son is in daycare and loves it. If talking to her does not work, I would consider it. Good Luck! :)

"Do you have any advice on what I should do? " Get rid of MIL as a "caregiver". She is worthless and I have never heard of a grandmother accepting money to watch her flesh and blood grandchild. The "bad guy" would be the one who let her stay on as the sitter.Just tell her you want her to come over and focus on being a grandmother and that you are hiring a professional caregiver that will come in and address your daughter's cognitive skills, etc. in order to augment her development.

Since that is the same cost as an inhome day care I would think about finding one. Just tell mil you decided she could use the extra social interaction.

C.,
This makes me a little sick to my stomach. Investigate other childcare options and let your MIL know that you very much appreciate the time she's watched your daughter and you're ready to put her in daycare so she can have other interactions. You don't have to delve into the details of why you no longer want her to watch her. Your baby is not getting what she needs. These early years are so critical and there are things about children being in poor care situations that shape them in ways that we don't realize and/or can't easily reverse.
From what you're describing I can't see a conversation that would result in much of a positive change. I'd end the care relationship and do your best to maintain the family relationship.
Best of luck to you~

Well, I too once when she was alive had a MIL that was an awful sitter. I paid her and she paid me back by not watching my child and leaving him in poopy diapers.

You only have two choices either tell her what you want from her and correct the problems in a professional kind voices manner or get someone else.

She'll either change her ways if you are able to put in a non accusatory way or she will be mad at you because she's wrong and most people blame the person pointing out what they did wrong rather then take it as it's meant and correct themselves.

If you move on to someone else you just might find that your child can be safe with another person, get references and check them out and have a little faith.

I suspect you already know that you need to find a new, responsible, caring sitter or day-care program for your precious girl. She will only have one toddlerhood, and deserved a good one. So much of a child's social attitude and learning is happening during these months.

I'd start looking right now for a replacement, and when you find one, tell your MIL that you're hiring a professional. IF she asks questions about why not her, then make very clear and unemotional observations about the diapers, the thrown toys, the long computer use, and tell her you simply want more for your daughter. You don't ever have to say anything like "How dare you put my baby second?" Just observe what is actual fact.

I suggest maybe moving her to a daycare center. I have thought that 18 months was a perfect time because the could really and learn from other kids. Maybe let your sister continue to watch her, and spend your money someplace else. I am sure she will be taken care of to your standards, and if she isn't they are much more willing to listen to your concerns and react appropriately. It would probably be healthy for your daughter to experience a daycare environment. It will help build her immune system and help with her social development as well.

Best of luck!

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