Mum upset her parents-in-law are “obsessed with having alone time” with baby

Grandparents and baby

A distressed mum says her little boy’s grandparents are throwing tantrums and crying – because they can’t have the ‘alone time’ they demand with their toddler grandson.

‘Alone time’ obsessed

The mum turned to Mumsnet for advice, asking if it was unreasonable to refuse her parents-in-law unsupervised time. She said they’re citing grandparental rights and have been upsettingly demonstrative when she and her husband have politely said ‘no thank you’ to their babysitting offers.

She writes that since her son was “born over a year ago” her parents-in-law “have been obsessed with having ‘alone’ time with him.”

“It started from when [her son] was a newborn, [mother-in-law was] constantly walking off with him in her arms, or shooing me off to go have a sleep or a haircut even when I said I was not tired etc,” the mum explained.


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Throwing tantrums

This urging has become more over-the-top as the months have rolled on and is indeed reaching fever hysterical pitch.

“As he has gotten older they have gotten more demanding about their ‘alone time’, and are now throwing an enormous tantrum (literally screaming and crying and my FIL even dropped himself onto the floor in anguish twice. I wish I was exaggerating) because we won’t allow them to babysit all day while we are at work. Apparently we are denying them their ‘rights’ as grandparents.”

This behaviour has become a real pattern and this mum sounds pretty overwhelmed.

“They are not at all embarrassed at their outbursts, they have continued for almost 3 months to ring us up crying and shouting and demanding to babysit,” she continued in a comment. 

“They honestly believe that they are in the right and see nothing wrong with their behaviour which they have described as their natural ‘outpouring of raw emotion, grief and hurt.’ … over us hiring a babysitter.”

Baby and granny

“What are they planning to do?”

She’s at her wit’s end and wonders “why do they need to be alone with a baby? What are they planning to do that they don’t want to do in front of us?”

Gosh. People on Mumsnet were mostly as alarmed as this mother was. They deemed her parents-in-law unstable and argued that they didn’t really sound responsible enough to look after their toddler grandson.

“I totally understand grandparents wanting time alone with their lovely grandbaby away from the nervous watch of new parents but it isn’t a right,” one commenter wrote.

“Clearly what they’re doing here is not normal or healthy,” another parent posted, “but I’ve always been keen for my kids to have time with both sets of grandparents without me there. It’s an important relationship for them both, and one I can only see benefits for my children.”

grandparent and preschooler at beach

Same, same but different

Others said they’d experience similar behaviour with their own relatives.

“My MIL always wanted to have my baby overnight,” one mum wrote. “I was breastfeeding and had no reason to leave my baby so it didn’t happen but if we ever went for dinner and the baby fell asleep, she would get all funny about us not leaving her when we went home.”
 
But others still thought this mum was simply stirring up trouble.
 
“Wanting alone time with your grandchildren is entirely normal. It helps build a different relationship. The same is true of children with any other relationship. Think of it this way, do you enjoy your job as much if your boss is hovering about? Don’t pick on this one thing because you hate your [parents-in-law].”

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