Lori - posted on 10/15/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )
I need some feedback. I was a stay at home parent of two children up until May this year. In March my husband lost his job and we decided to switch roles and I have returned to work when my son was 10.5 mths (now 16 mths). Also have a 3 year old daughter.
In the past, as I haven't worked other than sold Avon round the neighbourhood, I have never felt the need to leave my children with other people. When the need arose, I would leave them with my mum who I of course trust impeccably, and once left them with my MIL but was not happy with some decisions she made and have avoided this where possible since (plus don't trust her as she has often disagreed with my parenting choices and I feel would undermine me given the chance with my kids).
In terms of MIL, she has a few times become angry with me for different reasons - very minor reasons like being asked not to smoke before coming to see our newborn baby, and then asking her not to hold my child when she was really ill with the flu, and as a consequence, stayed away for weeks on end (at one time went for 8 weeks without seeing my daughter).
As far as I am concerned, my trust is earned and I don't feel she has put in enough effort to be given the privilege of caring for my children.
Anyway, in all cases where the kids have been left with mum it has been in my home. Suddenly my husband springs it on me that he wants to leave daughter with my mum in her home for an hour - imagine being at work and having this dumped on you in a phone conversation by a husband that refuses to talk to you when something is upsetting him and that has made comments to others about how hard it can be as a stay at home parent, but not been willing to share this with me, despite my attempts to make sure he is dealing with being okay at home with the kids - a particularly challenging scenario when you have also lost your job!
I was concerned that his need to leave daughter with my mum stemmed from his need for some space and we ended up having a huge fight over it, and in conclusion, because he wasn't prepared to listen to me saying that I feel strongly about it, I said do whatever the 'f' you want!
I was shocked to find out on Tuesday that he had left daughter with his mother for an hour or so. I was devastated that he would do this without letting me know first. Plus, I later found out that it wasn't just an hour - it was at least 3 hours!
Now I am sure a lot of people will think that this is no big deal, but as mentioned, MIL is a heavy smoker, and drinks like a fish. Her unit is not baby proofed and I have a very active daughter who is into everything. There is nothing there for her to do, and daughter told me that she basically watched TV with Nonna and went through her handbag - full of prescription meds, cigarettes, lighters, and scissors! MIL is not one that would go out of her way to find things for my daughter to do that would be interesting for her. It would literally have been just sitting in front of the TV! Also, there are some crucial opinions that I hold about parenting that I know she doesn't share - for example, I do not believe in smacking where I know she has no issue with that.
I know a lot of this stems from my insecurities, but I am really upset that I didn't get the chance to have any input into this before hubby did it.
I feel really betrayed and when I discussed this with him and tried to make him see that this is a big deal for me and that I feel that if the children are not going to be with him, I should know about it beforehand, he basically said that now that he is the stay at home parent, I get no say in the matter....... Grrrrrrrrrr.
Has this added to my insecurities? Yaha!!!!! Why do I lose the right to have some input just because I have helped us to stay afloat financially! I feel like I am being punished instead of being thanked for helping out and being prepared to switch roles.
I am so upset about this and despite him finally getting to the point where he has said he will discuss it with me first, I really think it is just lip service. I feel that he is just trying to make peace.
I just don't see the need for my babies to have to spend time alone with other people. I have been forced back to work, and I feel that this is now being forced on me as well - with a person that I don't trust and who I feel doesn't deserve to have this privilege!
Is there anyone else out there that just doesn't feel the need to leave their children? What is your reasoning? I am their parent and am fully prepared to do this full time. I have had to return to work to keep a roof over our head, and really upset that this is being forced on me as well. How do I learn to deal with this? I know ultimately there is nothing I can do about it, but how do I deal with the fact that my husband has betrayed my trust about something that he should know is really important to me? Why couldn't he have just talked with me about it to come to some common ground to help me to feel comfortable with it, rather than leaving me feeling like I have no choice and that he doesn't care about my feelings.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read my message!