59 Answers

How to handle relatives who don’t respect your wishes whilst caring for your child? – I’d love some feedback please. I called my mother this morning to see if she wouldn’t mind looking after my 11 month old son as I had a migraine, of course she said yes so my husband drove him over to her house on his way to work. And I said that I would pick him up later. I messaged her around midday to see how he was, she said he was fine he had a sleep and now was having lunch. I felt better so I drove over to pick him up at 2. When i got there the first thing she said was ‘tell mummy what nanna did today’ she then told me that she took my son to visit her parents which is a 25-30 min drive away. No one apart from my husband and i have driven him any where. I have told her many times that i don’t like the car seat she has in her car as it is front facing and we use a rear facing car seat as he is quite small for his age and i personally feel that it is safer at his age and weight. I didn’t really say much as i was upset that she taken him out with out my knowledge and that she had not respected my wishes about the car seat. I just cant stop thinking about it and I am getting more and more upset. Am I being over sensitive about this? What should I say to her? I don’t know if I should tell my husband, but I know if his parents had done that I would be furious. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by anon, 12/10/13

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  • Tell your husband, and then both of you talk to your parents. Maybe offer to buy a rear facing capsule that they can have in their car for when your son is with them.


  • Well I do understand what you are saying but at the same time I think you are extremely lucky.
    I am a fellow migraine sufferer and simply had to battle through with my daughters because all of my family members live overseas. You are so very, very lucky that you have someone that you can call at the last minute to look after your child.
    I think you should perhaps buy a car seat that suits your standards and give it to your parents.
    If you leave your child with someone then you cant expect them to suddenly change their plans for you. You are lucky enough that they are looking after your child at all. After all it is your child and your responsibility….they dont have to say yes to looking after your child but yet your Mother did.
    Be thankful and buy a new carrseat to give to your parents.


  • Have you considered the fact that you were stressed and had a migraine. If this really upsets you how about getting, even hiring a car seat for your Mum to use. You are very lucky to have a Mum who can look after your child at such short notice. Enjoy.


  • If the seat upsets you so much buy one she can take him in that you like! We are all protective of our children but the fact that at 11 months you and your husband haven’t let anyone else drive him anywhere to me makes you slightly over protective and it may leave him with major separation anxiety if you aren’t careful. I am sure she loves him as much as you and wouldn’t put him in any danger. Try and relax but if it is so stressful for you maybe hire a nanny.


  • It could well be a touchy subject depending on how you handle it, and depending on how sensitive your mother is. Being a youngish grandmother myself, dare I say “back in our day” when we were having our babies, we only initially had the Moses type baskets which were just literally plonked onto the back seats, and then the rear facing Capsules started coming in. Once our bubs had outgrown the capsules, we had no choice other than front-facing car seats… and dare I say “all our kids survived”. My so called “kids” are probably the same age as you are now. For myself, for when I get the chance of babysitting my 2 grandcherubs, I have in fact bought myself 2 different types of car seats so that I am set up for both front and rear facing, and from birth right up to when they no longer need car seats at all. Your mum may well have thought “something is better than nothing”, and/or “it’s only a fairly short trip”. Your mum is very lucky that you call on her, just as you are very lucky that you have your mum to call. Unfortunately for me, I do not have a daughter, and my daughter-in-law-to-be always naturally goes to her mum and I rarely get a look-in unless I keep asking over and over and so I often feel hurt and left out. A very close friend of mine’s mother died very young and so my girlfriend never had her mum to call for help and she would have given her left foot (so to speak) to be able to have had her mother alive and close by.

    Weighing everything up, I would tread very carefully, if you make a big issue of it, you may well upset your mum, I agree with the idea of perhaps purchasing a spare car seat which you can then “casually” suggest that your mum uses for times she wishes to take your little one/s out.


  • I think it is fair to tell your parents how you feel. Otherwise you will feel uncertain every time you allow them to babysit.


  • I would check out the safety recommendations for your car as well – before going in there with all guns blazing – sometimes it is better to check your facts first before getting yourself so worked up that you bring on anther migraine, which is stress related at the best of times.


  • I think you should speak to your Mum you need to feel as though your son is safe and you can trust her to follow your wishes. Having said that I would recommend you check with your health nurse if your son is still safe rear facing in his car seat. Check the manufacturer instructions for your car seat too. It’s possible he would actually be safer forward facing if not you have good evidence to support your view with your mum.


  • Yes definitely speak to your hubby and get one that you are happy with as a spare for when family members look after your babies.


  • I would tell your hubby and i know how hard it is when it comes to family looking after little ones, if you don’t like her carseat see about getting her one you are happy with, that’s what i did i have a spare for when family baby sits


  • I would tell the relatives straightaway. But sometimes if you need others to take care of your kids, you cna’t have them follow ur ways 100%. The only way is that YOU be the carer at all times.


  • I’d tell my husband – we tell each other everything. I’d have a chat with Mum after carefully considering what you’d like to say. I’d start off by saying how much I appreciate the extra help with babysitting. If the main concern is the car seat she has let her know that you’d much prefer one like what you have and that you’d rather know if she was taking him out next time.


  • I would not be happy at someone taking my daughter out without my knowing, but by the same token, be grateful ou have someone who can babysit for you – it is really hard when there is no one at all!


  • It is certainly a difficult subject to tackle. I probably would tell my husband, only because I tell him everything anyway and he often offers a different perspective. I think you should tell your husband and reach a decision together on how you’re going to handle it. Good luck!


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