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.
Read more stories about grandparents:
- How parents can negotiate healthy boundaries with grandparents
- “Have another ice block, my love!” 7 ways our mums are even nicer as grannies
- Grandparents doing nudie runs while babysitting … Yay or nay?
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.”
“What are they planning to do?”
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.”
Same, same but different
Others said they’d experience similar behaviour with their own relatives.