how do i tell my mom she can't babysit my son anymore?

[deleted account] ( 16 moms have responded )

my husband and i were talking and we realized that almost every time my mom watches my son he is sick for a few days after with diarrhea or throwing up. it has happened the past 4 times she has watched him. she lets him put his own diaper rash cream on and says that she washes his hands but i'm not so sure about that. my mother has mental health issues so i know if i tell her she will get all depressed and upset and insulted but at the same time if she's not caring for him properly i can't leave him with her. if anyone has any suggestions as to a nice-ish way to tell her that it would be appreciated. thanks in advance


Tammy - posted on 11/22/2011




Set up a hidden camera. Puts your mind at ease and your mother doesn't have to know. Then you know everything for sure....I know it seems extreme but nothing is too much when it comes to your kids....

Claudia - posted on 11/27/2011




My mom is bypolar and I totaly undestand you! Bottom line is, your son's health comes first! tell her what is happening, and if she does not stop, she will not be able to have him over anymore. Just that. Set your boundaries. I have 2 boys, and 4 sisters with ate least 2 children each, we all set our boundaries about our babies with our mom. You can not keep your mom from her fealings, but you can protect you child. People with mental problems, like depression, or mania, or whatever it is can not control certain behaviors. It took me and my sisters over 20+ years to learn.

Jennifer - posted on 11/23/2011




As far as "his own intestinal bacteria" not making him sick... it absolutely CAN!! It does not matter that its his own. People get sick all the time from ingesting their own feces after not washing their hands properly. And if u already have a pattern of the last 4xweek she's kept him then I would NOT subject him to another few weeks of it. It needs to stop NOW! I do agree that you should check into any snacks/food/drink she is giving him that may explain but, If possible, I would also do as Tammy suggested & setup a hidden camera. Other than that... tell her your schedule has changed & you just don't need a sitter anymore at the moment. Just remember, your son's health & saftety has to come before your mom's feelings.

Laurie - posted on 11/22/2011




You might want to check with a doctor but I wouldn't think diaper rash cream would give a child diarrhea even if ingested in relatively large quantities. If you are concerned about him having germy hands afterward - I doubt that is the problem either as they would be his own intestinal bacteria and would not make him sick. I suspect there is more going on here than her allowing him to put on his own diaper cream - which does strike me as odd/messy.

One solution might be to tell her you have noticed that he is getting sick after she babysits and you wonder (not accusing at this point) if it might have anything to do with the diaper cream etc. Ask her if she will try applying the cream herself for a few times to see if that clears up the diarrhea/vomiting. I am sure she doesn't want your son to be sick either and approach it from the angle that something she is doing is causing it but that what ever it is probably is something that she would not have thought could possibly be a problem. It might be something as simple as it actually being the diaper cream being somewhat toxic but she used to do it with you - not realizing that the current cream is toxic whereas the stuff she used on you decades ago was not. It could well be something else entirely such as he is picking up stuff at day care and it just happens that the symptoms tend to line up with the days he is with your mother. you might try keeping a written journal for a few weeks of everything that he eats/does and the severity of the symptoms and see if you notice any patterns or if it just after your Mother has been babysitting. If nothing else - having a written record to take to the doctor might help figure out what is causing it.

You might also ask what she feeds him. It is possible that she has different snacks at her house than you do and he is sensitive/allergic to it but since he doesn't get the new snack at home or day care he only presents with symptoms after being at her house.


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Gretchen - posted on 12/01/2011




I'm sorry you're in this tough spot. Its amazing what we tolerate for ourselves, but are willing to draw the line for the sake of our kids. I had to set limits with a family member (in-law) who had been watching out son. It was VERY difficult emotionally, for myself and the other person but well worth it in the end. The limits HAD to be set. Stay strong. Especially if your mom has mental health issues, perhaps this was inevitable and she should not have ever watched them on her own. Hang in there with doing the right thing.

Liz - posted on 11/29/2011




E-coli bacteria from the intestine can cause infections and illnesses that can even be fatal, especially in young children, the elderly and anyone with a compromised immune system. Given the pattern of sickness following visits with his grandmom and given the concerns you have voiced, I would definitely try and raise it sensitively with your mom.

You know her best, though. Do you think that if you asked her not to let him apply his own cream etc, that she would follow that? If you suspect that she might not comply, then it would seem difficult to keep letting her sit your son.

It's certainly a tricky situation for you and I sympathise.

[deleted account]

no no treally. my husband's family are mostly in jamaica and the ones that live in canada are kind of far. my family also lives far away (a couple hours drive) so we don't really have any other options. i try and get my brother to come along but he is in college so he can't all the time

Joy - posted on 11/28/2011




My mom also has mental health issues. My sister & I are wrestling with a similar issue with our little ones (with ours its more of a discipline issue than health.) We don't have our mom watch our children unless our dad's also present. Is there another relative close to your mom (it doesn't have to be dad) that can watch your son with her?

Heather - posted on 11/21/2011




You just tell her that someone else will be watching him, or tell her that you already have a sitter. Tell her that she can come over and spend time with him when you and your hubby are home!

Medic - posted on 11/20/2011




Just tell her that you have some concerns and until you get those worked out you will not be needing her Thursday nights. Why does she let him put his own cream on anyways?

[deleted account]

@katherine-thanks, it might help put her off for at least a while until he's a bit older.

@shae-he's a little over 2, but i can't tell her i don't trust anyone because he goes to daycare full-time and she watches him for an hour every Thursday night until i get back from school. and the last part did make sense :)

User - posted on 11/20/2011




sorry the last part didnt make much sence haha other people say i palm him off onto you all the time

User - posted on 11/20/2011




my son is one and a half and i dont let ANYONE BABY SIT. and wont for a long time.. no day cares no family excpecially not my mum she always has a different boyfriend drives terribly i just dont want him around that. im really upfront everyone knows i dont like it and i dont care telling them hes my son and im his mum. i do understand though that you dont want to hurt your mums feeling though. how old is your son ??? maybe u can say he is going through a ruff patch and he needs to be at home for a while ... whilst you help him through it. or you heard a really scary story on the internet or tv and now your to paranoid to let him out of your site. or you watch him to mum i have been judge other people who say i palm him off onto you and other people all the time and now you feel like a crappy mum and your not going to do it anymore because of your insecurities of being a bad mum. sorry if this wasnt much help im just use to flat out saying no lol :P good luck remember your baby comes first always u would never forgive yourself if something happend trust your instincts there always right

Katherine - posted on 11/20/2011




Just tell her you found someone else and that it will take the stress off of her hands.

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