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Advice when a family member nannies for free...

  • poll: What should I do?
    Don't say anything, just be thankful to have a caring grandma and free childcare : (35 votes)
    43 %
    Initiate a scary conversation where both of us lay out our needs/expectations : (41 votes)
    51 %
    Another option you haven't thought of yet : (5 votes)
    6 %
  1. daniellemybelle

    cantaloupe / 6669 posts

    I'm another one that agrees with Mr. Bee here. I would gently talk to her about the naps but forgive everything else.

    As far as the ingredients for dinner, I don't feel like that is a hard one? Do you usually know what you are going to make for dinner? I would just tell her in the morning, "Oh, we are going to do XYZ for dinner, so please help yourself to anything but that!"

    With naps, your LO is young enough that you can say, "Now is a good age for us to get her on more of a routine so we are going to put her down for naps at 9, 12 & 3 every day (or whenever). Can you let me know how it goes for you today?" Write out the schedule and put it on the fridge. If she still resists you may have to be a little more forceful but hopefully she will get the picture.

  2. HabesBabe

    grapefruit / 4400 posts

    @NorCalWayfarer: I agree, when it comes to things like baby's overall health and wellbeing, I'd say something. Like if my family caregiver was putting baby down to sleep on his/her tummy, or feeding age-inappropriate food, or starting bad habits, like regularly holding baby for naps. I wouldn't say anything if my mom dressed LO weird (which she does all the time-- but as long as she's warm/comfy, that's all that I care about), let her watch more TV than I'm comfortable with, etc.

    The other stuff is annoying, but just an inconvenience. Stuff like that affects the baby's sleep (and in reality, is making your baby uncomfortable, overtired, and fussy) I would speak up about. Of course, you have to approach it gently, but I wouldn't let it go.

  3. MrsH

    honeydew / 7667 posts

    @daniellemybelle: well said!

  4. cait

    apricot / 268 posts

    I would say something about the naps. Sleep is important and it will also set a precedent that you can talk to her about expectations since there will be more parenting decisions that you'll need her to respect in the older your LO gets. Plus, I would worry that biting your tongue might only lead to bitter feelings and you wouldn't want what started as a generous offer to end up hurting your relationship!

  5. Modern Daisy

    grapefruit / 4187 posts

    I'm surprised most of you would say something about naps. For free reliable care i would keep my mouth shut about all of these things!

    If anything i would make a habit of leaving her a note each day with info like what food not to eat, if lo was super fussy last night, etc. then hope and pray she takes it upon herself to make improvements!

  6. birdofafeather

    pineapple / 12053 posts

    Since you said your mom was messy usually, I might mention something off handedly, not passive aggressive but a gentle request and then forget about it after that, just account for it in the free childcare.

    I have a good relationship with my mom, so I would mention the food thing too but ask what kinda of things she likes and keep them stocked!

    I like @daniellemybelle: 's idea of a schedule. Keep it posted might keep her more likely to follow it!

  7. HabesBabe

    grapefruit / 4400 posts

    @Modern Daisy: I'd say something (and have, with my free Grandmacare) about naps because it fucks shit up on my end and makes LO miserable! I held my tongue for the first few weeks, since everything is a little crazy and all over the place.

    Once LO was on an obvious schedule and slept well in the crib, I let it go for another week. Then, on the weekend, things "magically" fell into place since he was napping well, on his 2-hour awake time schedule. Once the week started again, and his schedule was all out of whack, he became a mini-tyrant again.

  8. Sapphiresun

    nectarine / 2220 posts

    I didn't read the comments yet since I didn't want to cloud my answer...

    But I'd put up with a fair bit for free childcare. I'd probably let the messiness go for now. When I was adjusting to being home with the baby, I was pretty messy sometimes as well. It can be pretty all consuming sometimes just keeping up with baby's needs.

    I'd probably chat about the napping situation, like maybe "we really want to keep baby to a schedule, since we find she sleeps better at night when she naps well" kind of thing.

    As for the food, I'd probably re-instate my college fridge arrangements and maybe keep all the things you don't want her to eat on a particular shelf. Or I'd ask her specifically if there's anything you can pick up for her when you're shopping and put notes on the things that you need for dinner.

  9. ValentineMommy

    pomelo / 5791 posts

    Perhaps it has to do with our relationship, but I would talk to her about anything that's bothering you.

    My mom retired to watch DS every day (for free) and does things all the time that bothers me. And I tell her every single one. That being said, we have a very open and honest relationship and her feelings aren't easily hurt. She would much rather know if I was annoyed at something than not.

    So, my short answer is...it depends on your relationship.

  10. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    @ValentineMommy: yep, agreed. But it is also my personality, I am very honest, what you see is what you get, so I would be fine to tell my parents or inlaws the truth.

  11. ValentineMommy

    pomelo / 5791 posts

    @looch: right on!


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