Tough situation with MIL

Jennifer - posted on 04/25/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My MIL is absolutely wonderful. I'm actually closer to her than I am to my own mom. I have often told my husband that I don't know what we would ever do without her, but I fear that day is fast approaching. She is getting closer to 70 and her health is fading. She had a heart attack about 4 years ago, and ever since then, has been slowly going down hill. She can't stand for long periods of time, can hardly climb stairs, and is starting to get unsteady on her feet. She loves her grandkids, and loves it when we ask her to babysit, but I'm starting to get nervous about her watching our youngest, because of her being so unsteady. With our older 3, it's kind of nice, because they can bring her a drink or things, so she doesn't have to get up so often, but our youngest is just 6 months. I am absolutely terrified that she is going to trip and fall while carrying my daughter, or fall while trying to pick her up from the pack-n-play. Thankfully she hasn't had her alone yet, because my daughter suffers from stranger anxiety really bad, and only wants me (sometimes daddy isn't good enough), but lately, that has started getting better. I don't mind, once my daughter starts walking, that my MIL watches her, because she is incredibly observant and very cautious, but what do I do until then? I know she is going to ask to watch her, and I desperately want her to be able to, because she is such an awesome grandma, but I can't get these images of her falling out of my head. I've tried talking to my husband about it, and sometimes he agrees with me, but most of the time he is in denile. He and his mom have always been close, and his father passed away about 7 years ago, so she is his only parent left. Do I just put my fears aside and let her watch our little one? Do I tell her, that about my fears, and probably totally crush her feelings? What do I do?

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Medic - posted on 04/25/2011

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I would tell her the truth. Tell her how much you love her and appreciate all the help. Talk to her about her health and how you worry about her and how you feel like the older ones get to help her out and how she does an amazing job watching them and tell her all of the good points. Tell her you want her to be able to watch the baby but you don't want her to over exert herself lifting a baby so it will be better to wait until the baby can walk. Maybe until then you can have her over to watch the kids while you get stuff done at home.

Erica - posted on 04/25/2011

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I totally feel you in this situation. My husband's father passed in 1998 and his mom is 68 but she is in total good health. We are incredibly close but I constantly worry that if something ever happened to her how would we handle that b/c we rely on her soo much! But if you respect your MIL and want to show her the respect she deserves then be honest. Tell her you'd like to wait until your daughter is steady on her feet before leaving her. That she has been such a wonderful help with your older children and you do not want to take adavantage of her right now while she is still recovering from her medical issues. I think it would crush her more to know that you lied to her if you came up with excuses than it would if you were just completely honest and made sure she realized how loved she still is!

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Jane - posted on 04/25/2011

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tough one. why don't you approach it as a special time w/your older children? it can be their time w/her. and don't spend too much time on it w/her. just more of an, "oh, i can just put the baby in the stroller and take the baby w/me, the baby's easy. the older kids are a handful for me. the kids enjoy their time w/you and need a break from all of the baby stuff." foucs on the things your older kids love doing w/her and that you don't want her to have to take away from that. or you want time alone w/the baby b/c you don't get one on one time w/the baby as much as you'd like.

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