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QUESTION: My Mom Offered to Watch My Son for a Week, But for a Variety of Reasons, I Don’t Want Him to Stay in Her House: Advice?
“Both of my parents are wonderful people who would never hurt my child or me. They love us so much and put so much love in our lives when with us. I am having another baby soon, and my mom has volunteered to watch my 2-yo while I follow through with my scheduled C-section (super kind of her to do so).
Their house is generally dirty. They smoke cigarettes in the house (not while my son is there) & the well water is unclean. It’s an uncovered hole in the ground, and they do not drink it; I wouldn’t suggest bathing in it, and they only have a stand-up shower. Meaning no baths for my son while he’s there for almost a week.
They live in an old farmhouse (my childhood home), and I loved it growing up, but it’s not what it once was. My mom also just ripped all these rugs out upstairs…. an old glued carpet with all sorts of old carpet glue dust floating around, and she suggested him sleeping on the floor in a new sleeping bag she got him… which I’m also not okay with.
I’d much rather her watch him in my home, with his own bed, own toys, own bathroom, etc. My question is, is it wrong for me to feel like I don’t want my son spending nearly a week there? It’s also 3 hours away, so if anything happened, I’d be in the hospital, and my son wouldn’t be close. Or am I being overly dramatic? I have a lot of guilt because my parents genuinely mean well, but I don’t fully trust the situation.”
The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.
“I would just generally ask, ‘Hey mom I would feel comfortable for (his name) to be at my house where he has all his things and his own bed. I really appreciate you watching him but if he could stay here and closer to me that would be really helpful’ — or something along those lines.”
“His whole little life is about to be flipped upside down with a new sibling coming into the world. I would ask her if she could possibly keep that little bit of normalcy for him in his own home for that last week.”
“Just tell her given the situation with covid and everything else you are going through you feel it’s best he’s close to home and that enough change will be happening for him. No need to make them feel bad just state that you feel close to home is better and that you would love to have them stay at your house that way if they need anything it’s all there and they will be even closer to meet the new baby.”
“Just tell her straight up, ‘mom, thanks so much for offering to do this and I would rather have you than anyone I know take care if my child. But I want him to be able to stay at home and have all the familiar and comforting to him as much as possible during this as well as nearer to us. I hope you can understand and can come here but I understand if you can’t and we need to get someone else. Leave it to her to decide.”
“I personally wouldn’t tell her those things because I’d be afraid it would hurt her feelings. She obviously doesn’t see a problem with it or she wouldn’t have suggested it. I just see it as the beginning of an argument. I’d tell her I want both my babies close to me and ask if she come help you out at the house. Leave it at that.”
“It’s a no from me based on those conditions. There’s a polite way to go about accepting the help under certain conditions. Always always always let them know how grateful you are for their generous offering but kindly and respectfully explain why those aren’t conditions for a 3-year-old to be in.”
“Okay so not to be rude but these comments of you survived so your child will be fine is ridiculous. I would never make my child be somewhere I do not find safe. You didn’t have a choice as a child but you as a mother are responsible to make sure you feel like your child is safe. Him being 2 yrs old he’s gonna get into everything and if you feel it’s not baby-safe anymore, then no. It’s not wrong. No one said you had to parent like your parents. Just tell her you’d feel more comfortable with him being in your own home…
… And do NOT feel bad for setting boundaries for your child so you feel more at ease and not stressed. If your mother loves you she will understand and be okay with it. I’d feel the exact same if it was my daughter and have been through the same thing. Do what you feel is best and don’t worry how it may make others feel but be nice when asking.”
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