26 answers

Wow, Just Wow. Help Please!!

Ok so my mother in law has recently told me about how she wants to take my daughter to her home in florida for a week when she starts walking (shes going to be 11 months old in a few days so shes getting close) problem number 1. i live in south carolina and the longest ive been away from her is 2 1/2 days, and at 8 hours away it scares me to be away for a week. problem number 2 and the biggest of them all.... my mother in law is severely bi polar, shes overdosed on medications 20+ times in the last 24 years... when she was living with us she did it yet again, this time so i would find her dead (thankfully i got home in time) i went to walmart for no longer then 30 mins and she had taken 200+ pills. when i returned home she couldnt talk, move or hold urine. I was TERRIFIED! I try my best to keep my daughter away from her, but as grandma i have to allow her to have some visits, limited to a few hours each (she has only seen her twice since she was born) she has offered to let me stay for the week also but I cant stand to be around her for longer then a few hours since im still angry about the fact that she did that so i would find her dead... A little side note: she takes morphine, anti depressants, sleeping pills and mood stabolizers everyday so her speech is very slurred and some days she just cant manage to get out of bed. So how do i tell her no without hurting her feelings? I know what it did to me emotionally and mentally, its gonna be with me for the rest of my life, i cant even imagine what it would do to my baby.... I know eventually i will have to answer her questions about why i dont allow her to go with grandma and why grandma is the way she is but i'd like to stay away from that subject for as long as possible. please help, i dont know what to do!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Just so everyone is clear, i REFUSE to EVER send my daughter there alone! I just need to find a way to say no without it back firing in my face. I'm nervous about whats going to happen if i do say no, she is bi-polar so it could get pretty nasty. (i'm also someone who's mouth will run and get me in trouble, trying to grow out of that because i have a baby now but im VERY short tempered) as for the comments of having daddy do it. yeah well, he doesnt see why i cant go, why i dont feel comfortable around his mom. He himself doesnt either and he has seen her OD several times so of course he isnt close to her at all. Basically its being left up to me, no matter what i say or do im going to look like the bad person and im trying to prevent an outburst of negativity around my daughter. I'd also hate for ANYONE to talk bad about me to my child later on in life due to me simply saying "no" thank you everyone for your responses. Its gonna be tough but i guess a simple no is all i can give her.

Featured Answers

where is daddy? i imagine with such a mother he has some issues of his own, but this is really his area. HE should be the one to handle this, or at least back you up. since you don't mention him i have to assume that's not an option sooo...i would blow off the subject as much as possible. if she pushes, maybe mention you feel you should wait until SHE is more healthy.

ps. HELL NO would this woman be alone with my child. EVER. you're not alone sister...

2 moms found this helpful

Easy just say no because I did not and do not let my 3 babies go to their grandmother without me being their.

More Answers

You want someone to tell you what to do, ok ~ I'll do it.

SAY " NO THANK YOU ".

Tell her that you are not ready for this yet and that you will let her know when you are.

Do not be so concerned with how she will feel about this. Always think and put your daughter 1st in everything.

My mother is really freaken crazy and bi-polar as well, and I don't care if she is one of the grandma's SHE IS NOT ALLOWED ANYWHERE NEAR MY FAMILY. And that's how crazy she is!

Be strong and firm and do not let her bully you into saying yes. Say no and stick to it.

I guess my worst fear would be my little one walking over to the night stand and putting pills in their mouth and dying from it.

That would never be worth her happiness.

God be with you.

6 moms found this helpful

Just tell her. "You are a liability to my daughter... from your experience with overdosing and having trouble functioning, I just don't feel it will ever be appropriate to allow you to be the sole caregiver of my child in these instances. I would be concerned that my child would get into your pills and overdose herself, and that with your mood swings and health issues, you just aren't able to cope with a young child without me there right now."

Really, you can beat around the bush and then have to give excuses every time she asks... which will hurt her feelings over the course of time, or you can be straight with her. She already knows she is a dangerous and crazy person, so telling her will hurt, but it will the the truth and she deserves to know it. When she freaks out, the good part is she lives several states away.

If anyone else has a problem with it, then ask them how they would feel if your daughter was hurt or even died from an overdose or something else by this woman who is out of her mind. Legally, the child's parents could be held responsible if they knowingly left the child in the care of a person such as this. Just tell protesters that and maybe that will shut them up.

And ps, this is your mother in law, your husband should be the one putting the reigns on the woman. If he can't man up and deal with it, and expects you to cater to her, then he needs to put his big boy pants on and do the week alone visiting her himself.

4 moms found this helpful

I'm confused. Why did you post this again?

3 moms found this helpful

I would very politely say, "No, I'm sorry but I am not ready for her to be that far away for that length of time." If she pushes, then just continue to say no. If she continues, then her son (if he is in the picture - you didn't say) should back you up and politely say no (even if he is okay with it, you are not and should back you up).

I love my parents and my inlaws very much (and they have no issues like that) and I am uncomfortable with the idea of my 6 year old daughter being in another state with them for a week. So, I don't think it is unreasonable for you to not want your daughter in another state with anyone at a year old.

3 moms found this helpful

I agree with what most said here: just say "no". I am pretty sure your MIL knows what her deal is - she knows why you are saying no. If she really wants you to spell it out, then do so. Your priority is to your daughter, not your MIL's feelings.

3 moms found this helpful

where is daddy? i imagine with such a mother he has some issues of his own, but this is really his area. HE should be the one to handle this, or at least back you up. since you don't mention him i have to assume that's not an option sooo...i would blow off the subject as much as possible. if she pushes, maybe mention you feel you should wait until SHE is more healthy.

ps. HELL NO would this woman be alone with my child. EVER. you're not alone sister...

2 moms found this helpful

Wow, bipolar is really tough. My doctor thinks I might have a milder case of it, so I know how frustrating it can be "within the skin" as it were, at the mercy of one's emotions. It's a tough place for her [your MIL].

HOWEVER. You have a sacred obligation to provide for your child's well-being. If you are concerned about your child's safety around your mother, then do what your gut tells you is safest. If spending any length of time with your MIL is frightfully difficult for you, spend as little time as possible. You have to interact with her as she is, not as you think she should be. We all have idealized images of how families ought to behave, which is one of the reasons we all get bent out of shape during the holidays, because our families end up behaving like they always do, instead of like they "ought." And that's tough, too.

Perhaps you could read some books like "How to Hug a Porcupine" by John L. Lund (how to interact with toxic personalities) and "I Don't Have to Make Everything All Better" by Gary and Joy Lundberg. I've found them invaluable in changing how I interact with some difficult personalities in my own life. And good luck. It seems like you care very much about doing the right thing and not being hurtful, which is a credit to you for having such charity. Remember - forgiving someone does not mean we allow them back in to hurt us again. If your MIL has not made the changes that would make her safe to be around, then you are wise to keep your distance.

2 moms found this helpful

I only read the first two sentences of your post. Seriously, your daughter is your responsibilty! If you know that she will not be safe with you MIL then there is NO WAY you should send her there for a week, period!
You can go and visit with your daughter, but under no circumstances on God's green earth should you put your child in the care of your MIL. Sorry. You'll just have to be honest with her or just go with your baby girl.

2 moms found this helpful

I love my mom and she has non of the problems that your MIL does, she is awesome but I woud never leave my baby with her for a week. Not because of the care she would receive (which would be great) but because it is not healthy or okay for a baby that young to be separated for a week from their mother. Just tell her no. That there is no way you can be apart from your daughter like that and you don't want to travel either. This woman does not need to be around small children. I think that it is perfectly valid if she asks again in the future to tell her no because of her mental history. She is not capable of caring for herself who knows what she will do with your daughter. Would you give your precious child to a junkie on a street corner...because that's what it sounds like you are proposing. Be responsible.

2 moms found this helpful

Just Say No. Even if it leads to a confrontation, and it may the answer is still No. As for explaining to your daughter, she's not even 1 years old! You said she hasn't been away from you for very long, I doubt she's going to even form that question in her mind. If it does come up in the future, answer it in an age apropriate manner. If she asks when she's 2, Answer - "You're too young". If she asks when she's 22, Answer - "Your Grandmother had SEVERE mental issues and Overdosed on drugs so I didn't let you be alone with her often or long." Answers for ages in between have an explanation inbetween. If Grandma wants to use it against you and tells your daughter cut ALL ties immediately.

2 moms found this helpful

Um. No brainer. Not even worth worrying about. The answer is: absolutely no way your daughter (at that young age, or any age, really, considering your MIL's instability) can stay even one night, let alone an entire week, with grandma. Don't worry about hurting her feelings...she should be ashamed to have even asked you in the first place. It's too bad what she's going through, but really, I would rather risk MIL's hurt feelings than my own baby girl's well-being (and, possibly, life). Just say "no, I'm sorry, that's not going to happen" and leave it at that, don't even discuss it.

1 mom found this helpful

You need to find a way to say no as tactfully as you can. If she is bipolar and it isn't very well controlled there may be drama. You still have to stand your ground for your child's safety and well being. I would not allow any unsupervised visits. Also, I would not leave my toddler with family out of state for a week. My kids are 4.5 and almost 2 and I would not leave them for a week with either set of grandparents (who are all responsible and capable people). My older child enjoys weekends with the grandparents that live an hour away. I'd consider him staying with the farther out of state grandparents for a week or so when he is school age (at least 6 or 7, maybe older). That is with responsible family members. A person with an uncontrolled or poorly controlled mental illness should not be in a position to care for a child unsupervised.

BTW, when your daughter is a bit older like 4 or so you can explain to her the chemicals that make her brain work are a little off balance and it makes it hard for her to do some things. I have done some counseling with children who have a mentally ill parent and this type of explanation or something similar is pretty good for ages 4 to 9 or so. But it is pretty hard for a younger child (under 9 or 10) to be around someone who is emotionally unpredictable. The child usually gets confused or upset. By 10 to 12 some kids have enough coping skills to understand about mental illness and the person's behavior.

1 mom found this helpful

I can't believe this is a serious question, but here's my 2-cents' worth....UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you EVER allow your child to be alone with this woman. I really wouldn't worry about "hurting her feelings" - was SHE thinking of YOUR feelings when she tried to OD??

1 mom found this helpful

Yeah, wow! Given the circumstances of your mother in law, I wouldn't leave my child with her for a minute. Just explain to her that your're not interested in having your child away from you. When you take your daughter to see her or she visits you need to be there. Also, talk with your husband about it first. Clearly he has to know this isn't a good idea even if it's his mom. Best Wishes........

1 mom found this helpful

There is no way I would allow anyone who had those type of medical issues to be around my child for unsupervised visits, much less a visit out of state. Your MIL has serious health issues and lots of medication that could be fatal to a child. I know she wants to see her granddaughter and you sound very mad at your MIL, but maybe you could take your daughter to visit for a few days. Stay in a motel so you have some space with your daughter, but visit a few times during the day or arrange an outing together. Example: Go to the park in the morning and then separate for a few hours and then maybe meet for dinner. All you need to do is to tell her that Grandma is sick and has a lot of medical problems and has to take a lot of medicine so she is not always available to play or to see her. Tell her that Grandma loves her but she is not well enough for your daughter to stay over.

1 mom found this helpful

Why do you not know what to do? My child would NOT go period. If she wants to visit....fine but make it a short visit. I would not send my baby anywhere! I just read your "What happen". NOPE I would not go either. Tell hubby he can call her. Period. Its not your job its his.

Easy just say no because I did not and do not let my 3 babies go to their grandmother without me being their.

I would NOT worry so much about hurting her feelings as Being 100 % Concerned about my child's well being ! I have to say there is No Way i would let her go Alone! I understand shes your MIL and she wants to spend time w/ her grand daughter and thats all well and fine - BUT when your there w/ her is the Best way !!!! Since she's only met her twice - your daughter probly woundn't be comfortable alone w/ this woman, to her that's what she is just a 'woman' not a loving safe Grandma she's known and seen Many times! IMHO
~~~NO WAY !!!! THIS WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN ! for you and your daughter - please don't agree to this

My MIL would say comments that also didn't make sense. It would bug me I am a literally person. I don't say comments I don't mean. Anyhow she barely leaves her house the whole time I have known her. I met her in 1991. Now she has brain cancer so her memory is failing ..very sad. What she said previously was " I will take one or two of the kids for a weekend" this is the women that leaves huge steak knives all over her kitchen and pill containers in her bedroom.
For years she would tell me to call first before I would visit and I would and she could cancel the visit. She would say I will make a huge meal so let me know your coming I would call her and she would cancel again. She is probably just talking knowing she is not capable of watching the grandchild at her house.

As far as telling your daughter, just tell her Grandma can't handle it on her own but doesn't realize it. This will of course be when she is much older. Right now, all she needs is you anyway!

Tell your mom the same thing: that your daughter needs her mommy and you are just not ready. Period. (Next time she asks, tell her the same thing - you are not ready to be that far away from her.) Make it about YOU.

No no no no no to grandma. I have a brother who is the sweetest guy on the earth and FANTASTIC with kids, but he suffers from bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia. I do not even leave my kids alone with him in the same room because WHO KNOWS what could set him off? As much as it hurts me that my brother cannot have a "normal" relationship with my kids, I just cannot risk their safety and well-being.

There really is not a good way to say it to your mother without her feelings being hurt. You might have to just make excuses each and every time she wants for such a visit to occur. This time it could be: money's tight, my job won't let me off work right now beause we're short-staffed, I don't feel up to traveling right now, etc. I normally do not advocate white-lies, but when you are dealing with someone who may be irrational, I have found that it is often the best approach.

not a problem unless it has to be.. simply go to Florida with your daughter and ONLY stay for a couple of days.... this way you aren't around her for too long and yet, your daughter gets to visit grandma and vice versa...
Many people with Bipolar do function and do it quite well. However, sounds like your grandma doesn't. In which case, compromise... Also, IF I were you, knowing she is bipolar, perhaps you can read up on the topic to help give you a better understanding of the disease. This understanding from a more objective point, might help you cope with her as well. Mental illness is no fun, I know this because my mother was also bipolar... However, you don't have to let it control your life. As mentioned, compromise.. go for 2 days and simply say.. It's what YOU feel comfortable with. Personally, even if she wasn't bipolar, I wouldn't let anyone take my child for that long. Like you, I'd miss him way too much..... BUT I do make it a point that my son see his family. again, it's all in the compromise..
best of luck

When your daughter "starts walking" would mean to me when she's a STABLE walker, which will really take about another year.... so dont panic just yet. I doubt I would ever let her spend an entire night with Grandma alone, due to her disability, until she's in the double digit age and could handle an emergency situation if Grandma needed a 911 call.
In the meantime, visit on occasion, stay as long as you can tolerate for the sake of the relationship. It will be fine.
I think Grandma is saying she wants the visit just so you know she cares and probably thinks it would be good for you to have a break from your daughter.... Lots of moms leave their kids with Grandma more than Grandma even wants.
Anyway, don't stress..... like I said earlier you arent going to take the baby there when she just starts walking, Grandma wont really be able to handle her until she's a confident walker and you have at least a year for that date to roll around. Do a short visit while you can, even if Grandma is a tad crazy, your daughter needs to have that relationship... and it will probably do Grandma some good as well. Kids bring out the best in us, seriously.
Good luck on your decision.

I have MIL issues but nothing like this. My husband and I don't allow our kids to stay with her because we're not comfortable with it. Period. She used to ask and we would say no, now she doesn't ask anymore because she knows the answer. My kids have never asked why they can't go with grandma and we don't allow her around them enough for them to wonder "why she is the way she is".

Step up. You're a mom now , do what you have to do, do what you know is right and don't feel bad about it.

Bless your heart! Sorry your hubby isn't being more supportive and understanding. Just follow your gut instinct. As your daughter gets older you can tell her that grandma has a sickness that makes her say things that aren't nice,untrue, etc. Hopefully that will head off any bad things your MIL might say about you.
Good luck!

I'd limit my visits to family trips with hubby included staying in an affordable hotel nearby, with visits to gramma's house a couple hours at time. As for why YOU don't wanna stay at her house: just because you don't. Period. She knows full well what's happening, and you don't have to explain yourself. Otherwise, let him tell her why it's not safe for the child to be alone with her. You can explain to your daughter when she's old enough to understand. More than likely, she'll have gotten a clue long before then.

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