Which option would you choose?
I have recently found myself in the middle of some potential drama between my family’s wishes and my own. Currently my grandparents watch my 2 year old son while I work during the week and it has been very helpful to have their support. However, several issues have come up and I am now leaning towards enrolling my son in daycare for 2 of the 4 days that I work.
One concern is that he hasn’t had any interactions with kids yet and his curiosity is very apparent when we are out at parks or even stores. He wants to interact with kids and I think it is important he get that socialization.
I do have other concerns aside from him getting socialization. My grandmother is a smoker, and although she doesn’t light up in the same room as my son, she does smoke in the same house/area. This is a huge issue for me. When I drop him off, I can tell that she was chain smoking prior to us arriving. I step foot in the front door and the smell hits me like a brick wall. This can’t be healthy for the little one to be inhaling. A few months ago he developed a nighttime cough that never turned into a cold. I worry this is the start of asthma. I have talked to her about this but she’s too set in her ways to change her smoking habits now, even for her great grandchild’s health.
My other concern is the lack of structure at their house. I am trying (and failing) to potty train him and when he visits them, the potty training isn’t being enforced. Not only that, but no other rules are in place. He’s allowed candy all day which spoils his meals, he throws fits and isn’t placed in time out, he simply isn’t made to listen. This makes it very frustrating when I bring him home and he’s acting like a completely different child.
Lastly, his safety is a major concern. They allow him to play in their front yard (instead of the fenced in back yard), which leads to chasing him and yelling “stop!” before he runs into the street. I have insisted on playing in the back yard where it’s safe from the dangers of the road but they refuse. They claim he doesn’t like it back there. So time and time again I have come to pick him up after work and witnessed my grandparents trying to catch him in time before he runs into the road. They’re elderly. They aren’t able to run quickly. This is huge worry for me! I am anxious all day at work thinking terrible thoughts of what could happen. I even bought a toddler backpack with a “leash” so they could hold onto that while playing but as expected, they made an excuse for him not wanting to wear it. He wears it with me when we go for walks and never puts up a fight. Strange.
Now the dilemma. Sure, the choice seems obvious. Send him to daycare! But it’s not that easy. As soon as I dropped the “daycare” bomb on them, they immediately started to give me a hard time. “He’ll be sick all the time, it’s not safe at daycares, they don’t pay attention to the kids, it’s a waste of money, we love him, we want him here, why would you take him away from us.” Guilt trip city! Do I stand my ground and stay firm on my choice to put him in daycare a couple days a week? Or do I cave under the pressure of my grandparents? I don’t want to disrespect their wishes because they have done so much for my son and he absolutely adores them but I also can’t keep putting him in this bad environment. I can start him as early as Thursday at the daycare and I’ve never been more confused about the choices I face.
This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.