MIL a bit of lush and useless in an emergency

(49 Posts)
jemstipp Mon 01-Jul-13 12:02:23

My MIL can't go a day without a drink and by drink I mean every evening a bottle if not more of wine. She can't weigh more than 8 stone so the effect this has is dramatic. She is also a bit of a flapper and in any kind of situation no matter how minor, she gets flustered and in utterly useless. My problem is that she keeps asking to have my 3 yo daughter to stay over. My SIL has allowed her kids stay and I have been talking to my MIL on these occasions on the phone and it has been obvious that she has been drinking even while minding the kids (slurred speech). I find this horrendous and would never drink when minding someone elses kids and certainly never drink to excess when my own kids are at home. I am running out of excuses and my other half is well aware of the situation but kind of shrugs it off and says let her stay and says he will tell MIL to lay off the juice but I don't think that is a good compromise.

WorraLiberty Mon 01-Jul-13 12:05:22

All he can do is ask her not to drink while babysitting

If she agrees and you trust her then there's no problem

I take it you don't trust her not to lie about it though?

LastTangoInDevonshire Mon 01-Jul-13 12:05:46

You need to ask? The answer is 'no' - and tell her why.

PrettyKitty1986 Mon 01-Jul-13 12:07:13

No way - my MIL was the same. Thought it was completely reasonable to have a couple of whiskys from 4pm because ir didn't make her 'drunk'. Also that it was ok to smoke like a chimney downstairs with all the windows and doors shut when ds had gone to bed.

Once he stayed there...and never again. Df fought it slightly...his pov was that we could TELL her not to drink or smoke when he was with her and she would stop.

My pov was that if she was so stupid she needed telling such a basic thing in the first place, I wouldn't trust her full stop.

Put your foot down.

purrpurr Mon 01-Jul-13 12:07:35

Why can't you just say no, and keep saying no?

You are the biggest advocate for your child. Your child can't say, no, and here's a reasoned argument why. You can. And if anyone wants to call you overprotective or anything else for that matter, so what. Protect your kid.

And for the Oh MILs Get Such A Hard Time brigade I'd do exactly the same regardless of who it was, the fact that it is your MIL instead of, say, your mum, or a good friend, is irrelevant. Your kid wouldn't be safe overnight in her care so say no and keep saying it. No is bulletproof. Don't entertain the whys.

mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 12:10:24

JUst say no as you know she likes a drink in the evenings and you are not comfortable with that , your dd doesn't need to stay over see if she would like her to visit during the day instead,

jemstipp Mon 01-Jul-13 12:12:07

I don't trust her no. She was confronted before about the wine and the quantity and said she only has a glass of an evening but the recycle box tells the truth and we know for a fact that it's only her drinking and going by the number of bottles in a week (10+), every week there's more than a bottle on the go. And as I said, the last time the cousin stayed there, (3 weeks ago) she was slurring on the phone to me that evening so was clearly partaking.

jemstipp Mon 01-Jul-13 12:13:58

We see her everyday anyway. Don't know why she wants her to stay over. She doesn't play with them anyway, just puts on "funnies" or horse racing if there is a big meet.

mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 12:15:09

can your husband not say something like look mum you are drinking far too much you are going to make yourself ill, she sounds like an alcoholic and just because it is wine and not cheap cider she probably sees it as respectable and just to unwind in the evening, does she live alone she is maybe lonely too?

FWIW my children rarely stayed over at my mums at the weekend my dad used to drink most weekends when they were younger and I didnt feel it was safe for them to be around him, he is a pain in the arse when drunk ,

mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 12:16:00

just keep saying no you like DD home in her own bed at night she will grumble and say you are over protecitve blah blah ignore her

BrokenBanana Mon 01-Jul-13 12:20:38

My mum is an alcoholic but keeps offering to have my ds. It's hard to say no at first but once you've said it for the first time it gets easier.

I'm just honest with mine, firm and to the point. "Thankyou for the offer of having DS for me, unfortunately I can't be sure that you won't get drunk so I'd really rather he stayed with me."

jemstipp Mon 01-Jul-13 12:21:53

Yes. Wine doesn't make the more sophisticated alcho. The other half has given up giving out to her about her drinking and the SIL doesn't give a shit either it would seem, spose she thinks if she can't see her doing it then she isn't. I, however, am so not comfortable with it. My own parents rarely drink but they do both smoke and they ALWAYS go outside to do it when my children are in their house.

I'd say no and tell her why. She needs the truth.

I have got drunk when my own dcs are at home but I think it's different if you're the parents rather than you've been left in charge by the parents.

It must be annoying because if she didn't have this problem she could be a big source of childcare for you.

I'd try to help her sort it out, it normally takes a good few attempts for people to confront their issues.

BrokenBanana Mon 01-Jul-13 12:23:07

Btw if she is an alcoholic then please don't keep going on about how much she might be drinking, or be constantly on her case about it. Tell her you're aware of how much she drinks, advise her to seek help and then leave her to it. No matter how much you think you can help, she won't change just cos you want her to.

Funghoul Mon 01-Jul-13 12:24:09

Say no, and tell her why. My dd is almost 7 weeks old and mil couldn't be better with her, but she has a drink problem (she doesn't think she does) and until I'm confident that she will not be drinking when caring for my child she will not be seeing dd without me or dp present.
When I was 34 weeks pg there was a massive argument at a family get together where I was told to fuck off out her house, that I was turning her precious son against her, that I was the reason he never saw family, you get the drift. I walked out the house and waited on car whilst she accused her own son of punching her. We didn't speak for a week, in which time we took all baby things stored at her house away. It was a big wake up call for her, as she couldn't remember saying any of these things due to the sheer quantity of alcohol she had poured down her neck. She was told in no uncertain terms that if we carried on the way she was going then she would never see the baby. Not supr

Funghoul Mon 01-Jul-13 12:25:10

Posted too soon!
Not surprisingly she changed her ways but I'm still not 100% about it all yet.
Tell the truth, be honest, and d

Funghoul Mon 01-Jul-13 12:26:11

Fucking phone!
Don't be vague tell her straight this is the only thing me mil responded too after years of telling her she has a drink problem.

jemstipp Mon 01-Jul-13 12:29:06

My MIL is in pure denial, has and will always maintain that it's "only a glass" and so I guess unless the other half does something about it I will just put my foot down then. She always tries to get me on my own to ask though so unless he has another talk with his sister and they both talk to her I will keep saying no. I just don't want to end up in the situation of it's me or her.

thebody Mon 01-Jul-13 12:30:25

My mil and fil were models of decorum as are my dm and df.

Drink far less than we do but never ever felt the need to dump my kids on them overnight.

Why would you? Just visit or ask them to visit but why the need for overnight?

Just say no you would miss him or he would miss you and don't bother to mention the booze. If she ' needs a bottle a night she won't be able to resist when your ds is asleep.

Funghoul Mon 01-Jul-13 12:34:23

Just say you'll discuss it with dp, that's what I do. Mil doesn't like it but I say we make decisions together so I couldn't possibly say without speaking to him. She always try's to talk me round, I think she thinks I'm weak and will cave. Mil is quite forward and outspoken and often tries to bully people into agreeing with her but I often try to think of excuses before hand so I don't feel caught out and end up caving into what she wants.

thebody Mon 01-Jul-13 12:36:09

Op your parents smoking outside makes absolutely no difference to the toxic smoke hanging on their clothes and hair. They may as well not bother look at the research.

I would be just as concerned about their faggin it as your mil getting pissed actually although of course the being drunk makes her incapable of Being responsible.

jemstipp Mon 01-Jul-13 12:36:14

My excuse for the next year or so could be that her sister would miss her. (She is only 16months and they sleep in the same room). She would never dream of asking for the 2 together as she maintains she can't handle 2 at once .................. However, that is only postponing the inevitable so himself can start telling her why as she is his mother and I am not going to play the villain in this piece.

BrokenBanana Mon 01-Jul-13 12:37:59

Just tell her the truth!

lottiegarbanzo Mon 01-Jul-13 12:39:20

Just no. Your DH knows about the bottles doesn't he? So he's not in any doubt about the scale of the problem. He can't deny it to you then.

BrawToken Mon 01-Jul-13 12:41:31

In my (very wide) experience, people are not alcoholics because they want to be. She needs help, and no I wouldn't leave my kids with her either.

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