Need some help - How do I respond to this? (Long)

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Vstarr's picture
Joined: 04/08/08
Posts: 895
Need some help - How do I respond to this? (Long)

I received the following message on Facebook today. It's from the mom of the other little boy that my babysitter takes care of right now.

Hey Veronica,

I just wanted to ask you a question or talk to you just between us. Do Mrs. C and Mr. C ever make you feel like a bad mother? Or is it just me? I get the feeling they don't like B. They were giving each other "looks" today when I was talking to them and telling them that the reason he doesn't like stuff on his hands and why he does weird things sometimes is because he has some sensory issues. They were looking at each other like I was lying. And everyday they tell B to be good when I get there, and when he is excited to see me, they tell me how he's only "bad" when I'm around. I mean, he's a two year old Mama's boy. What do they expect? And he IS spoiled, but that is none of their business you know? And Mr. C says ugly things to me about my spoiling and "petting him to death".

I know I'm rambling,but I just wanted to know if it was just me and B, or if they say stuff to you too. It just upset me so bad today that I left crying. I know that I'm a great mother, even if my kid is a little weird. He's a freaking two year old.

Just let me know if I'm overreacting or whatever. Thanks Smile

I'm not really sure how to respond to this. Just to give you a little info about my sitter, she is an older lady (maybe 70? not sure b/c it would be rude to ask Lol that has never had any children. I got the impression that for some reason she was unable to have children, though again something that I'm not going to ask her about. She loves children and has been taking care of them for so long that the kids she used to watch now have kids of their own. She is really good with my kids, and in my opinion with all the ones I have seen her interact with. And I completely trust her with them. Her husband is also around the kids a lot b/c he works at an Elementary school, so is home in the afternoons and on holidays/school breaks. My kids really like both of them. My sitter is EXTREMELY country, which is pretty common around here, and very gossipy. She knows or at least knows of everyone in her town (which is a small town next to Athens where I live) and knows everything that goes on there. She talks ALOT!! (i.e. I literally have to cut her off in mid conversation to leave or I would never make it to work, lol).

Anyways, I have never had her make me feel like a bad mother, or constantly tell me bad things about my children. Sure, she will tell me on occasion if she had a particular problem with one of them, which I fully expect her to do, but it is a pretty rare occurance that she has to tell me something like that. Most of the time I ask if they were good and she says yes, will tell me if they ate well or not and if they nappped well or not, and that is the end of it. Or she will tell me funny things that Lily has said or a new word/skill that Lucas has come up with. Sometimes I'll hear that one or the other was cranky/whiney, but she has never made me feel like a bad mom b/c my kids are occasionally, well, kids.

She does often though tell me about the other little boy and how she thinks he is spoiled (though she hasn't said that in so many words, but I can tell what she is thinking) and how he is always good for her, but the minute his mom comes in he turns into a terror and won't listen to her. I never really know how to respond to this, so I usually just listen w/o commenting. She also will tell me things like she thinks he should be talking more and she thinks there might be something wrong b/c he barely talks. Previously, there was another girl she watched a year older than Lily, and she was constantly telling me that she wouldn't listen to her, and about bad things that she was doing, (i.e. she would hit Lily, or try to get Lily to hit other kids that were there, etc.). And that she thought she was potty trained too early b/c she was constantly having accidents, and it sounded like some of them purposely. These things kind of bother me b/c it makes me wonder what she might say about my 2 when I'm not there. But I do feel like if she was really concerned about something with them she would talk to me about it.

Sorry I'm going on so long here. Basically, I want to answer this girl, but I also don't want to uspet her by telling her that she hardly ever says bad things to me about my 2, or has ever made me feel like a bad mom. I also don't think I want to tell her some of the things that the sitter says to me about her little boy. I'm just not sure I want to go there, or have my sitter find out that I repeated those things back to her. So how should I respond to her?

laurensmitty1982's picture
Joined: 07/30/06
Posts: 1117

Sounds like maybe the daycare lady does have issues with her little boy and seems to complain about him. If she feels like he is being mistreated or treated differently then either she can talk to the daycare lady, let it go, or try to find someone else. I mean really she probably could cut the comments by really straight forward one day.. SAY yeah well he is TWO! So sorry!

abacaxi's picture
Joined: 02/27/10
Posts: 363

I wonder if some of the comments the other mother receives are because the babysitters are a bit old fashioned. I know that some people have the idea that you shouldn't coddle boys because you'll make them 'soft' and they won't grow up to be a 'real man.' So if Mr. C has said that she spoils the boy or pets him to death, it could be because of that, especially if the boy has sensory issues, which would, of course, not be boyish or manly.

But in responding to her, you should absolutely not tell her what Mrs. C has said. You don't want to get caught up in a circle of gossip, because you don't want to risk losing your childcare if the babysitters get mad at you.

You could always just do the "gosh, I haven't noticed them acting that way about me. I'll keep an eye out now that you've mentioned it," and leave it at that.

AnnaRO's picture
Joined: 07/06/08
Posts: 7033

I don't think you should take sides on this at all. I hate that she's bringing you into the issue, though I can understand why she would contact you to ask if you are having similar issues. I think I would choose to be as noncommital and neutral as possible. Perhaps advise her to talk to her pediatrician and ask them how to approach a childcare provider about caring for a child with sensory issues. Maybe reassure her that the lady has no ill intentions and you don't think she intended to hurt her feelings (and I'm sure she didn't mean to hurt her feelings). You could also tell her that the DCP sounds like she's just concerned about her child and just wants the best for him and is perhaps not communicating that very well.

I, personally, find that older people really are set in their ways of thinking and don't believe that children should be spoiled at all, ever. So it seems that you DCP has an issue with the child being spoiled and perhaps resents the mother for it, but that's not an issue you want to tackle or get in the middle of. I agree that you should respond to her, but stay neutral in a way that maybe subtly lets her know that you don't want to be in the middle of any issue she's having with the lady. If her son does have senory issues, maybe she could get medical documentation from the peditrician for the day care lady.

AnnaRO's picture
Joined: 07/06/08
Posts: 7033

"Vstarr" wrote:

She does often though tell me about the other little boy and how she thinks he is spoiled (though she hasn't said that in so many words, but I can tell what she is thinking) and how he is always good for her, but the minute his mom comes in he turns into a terror and won't listen to her.

This line makes me thing the DCP believes that the boy is lacking in discipline at home and she's talking around it and trying to make the mother see it in a round-about-way.