Hi everyone, I was wondering what is your opinion about who should be taking the kids out in first outings like going to the zoo. My daughter is nearly 2. We live near my in laws and they look after her once a week. They have been suggesting about going to the zoo for a little while now, they have even became members at the local zoo for a year. I think it should be the parents who take the kids out and do certain things with them for the first time but they want to come with us, well initially they wanted to go on their own but we said no and that we wanted to do it for the first time but although they have asked a few times and every time we have said no they think "we" means parents and grandparents. They never asked about becoming members and now they are rushing to go because it is free for under 2 and the yearly membership is running out, they have it since February...

Today, my partner and I had 2 texts each and phone calls asking about the zoo so we said to go to the park instead as it will be busy in the zoo being Easter but after they mention again about going on the weekend and I said no and that we wanted to go the 3 of us first. They weren't very happy about it.

Also, my partner will not tell them, it was me who had to say it. They are his parents but he doesn't want to upset them. He has some history of depression based in part in being over controlled by his parents even being an adult so he is a bit scare about saying things that they won't like. So I have to end up being the "bad" person who doesn't want to do things with them...

Thanks for reading :-)

18 Replies

  • Mmm I've read and re-read your post feeling torn on my thoughts on this but here are my views. Whilst I can understand the desire ad parents to do all the 'fun' things with your daughter first I really can't help but think whilst you effectively 'squabble' over who is going to take her it's almost a good month on and despite having loving parents and grandparents she still hasn't been which seems a real shame. Stop arguing already and someone take her to the zoo!!!

    I do agree in that perhaps the grandparents seem a little over enthusiastic with the texts and calls but what a lucky girl your daughter is to have such caring grandparents.

    Whilst the 'first' time for such events will be special they won't be the only ones your daughter remembers so perhaps focus on all the special outings in the days and years to come and don't put too much pressure on who does the initial trip.

    Hope she enjoys the zoo whoever she shares it with xx

  • Thank you for replying.

    You are right and she won't probably remember the first time she went to the zoo but I will. I have a picture of the first time I went to the zoo with my parents and although I don't remember being there, and I was older than my daughter is, I find it very special.

    Probably if it looks like I am giving too much importance to the zoo but it is not just that. We have already had some arguments about the fact that they want to do the things their way as I have already said they are very controlling, I consider myself to be very easy going and before having my daughter I was happy with whatever but since she was born I am not and I want to do things my way, unfortunately my partner doesn't have much opinion (sometimes I don't know if it is because he doesn't really care one way or the other or because he doesn't want to position himself against his parents or against me), so everything is arguments between them and me.

    I know they love her very much but I did have to ask them to see her more often as until no long ago there were only seeing her on the day they look after her and sometimes on the weekend but then when there is people in front they always take over her.

    My parents don't live in the same country but when she was born they were here staying with us and my in laws were complaining that they couldn't enjoy their granddaughter properly as there was lot of people around....

    Anyway, thanks again for replying and I will keep you posted with the zoo visit xx

  • Hi Vic29. It seems there are underlying issues with your in laws here other than what is in your original post.

    I don't really feel I can comment on your relationship with your in laws however, in my opinion grandparents should be treasured with childs relationship with them at the forefront not your own.

    Prescribing the amount of time that should be spent with a grandchild will vary between families but it should agreeable to all parties primarily with the child's interests at heart.

  • Your probably not going to like this but unless you have a specific reason for not allowing them to take your child I'm scratching my head at what your issue is. You have engaged in laws who are falling over themselves to have time with your child. Also giving you and your partner some much needed time together alone! If it hadn't been for my in laws I would have had to be at home full time and my career would have been finished. Why not set some ground rules and let them. They obviously love your child very much and want to share an experience with their grandchild. 


  • I have to re - echo what others have said. As much as you'd love to be the first one to take her (and so far you haven't) I'd urge you to let her grandparents take her asap or go with if you can.

    She will most likely enjoy seeing the animals and all, but depriving her of this experience just because you want to be the first or only one is a bit unfair.

    So long as the grandparents are nice and you can trust your daughter with them, don't let her miss out for no reason.


  • I am in a sort of similar situation. My daughter is nearly 10 months old and is trying to walk. I work 3 1/2 days a week so I know it may be that I don't see those first independant steps. But I'm ok with that. 

    My boyfriend and I both agree that as much as the firsts are important it is the firsts with us that matter. Yes going somewhere with her grandparents rather than you for the first time feels like they want to 'steal' that moment. I get that, but it won't be with you, So in my opinion it won't be as good. 

    I remember my grandparents taking me allsorts of places as a child but it's the memories of days out with my parents I treasure. My grandad taught me how to bake a cake, but making a cake for my dad's birthday when i was 4 was more special, it didn't look amazing mind. Haha.

    Also, at two she probably won't remember much anyway. Relax and let them help. If you feel that they are consistently overstepping the mark, sit them down, with your husband there if possible, and explain to them. 

    Hope that helps a bit.


  • We did all the firsts as a family of 3 (albeit alot younger than 2) and my parents have since come with us, which our daughter loved. My parents wouldn't dream of doing anything on thier own and I would love them to make that sort of effort. At the end of the day you are the parents and it is your choice, do what is right for you x

  • I am going to be completely honest and say let them come with you! They want to experience things with your little one and there is no should or any rule about it. I cannot wait for my baby to be born so that we can do things with both sets of grandparents and be a lovely family. 

    I understand there might be things you want to do in your own, so please don't take this the wrong way. It's just my opinion. I think lots of people would kill to have grandparents interested and wanting to spend time with their grandchildren, or to even have them there in the first place. 

    Maybe you could try the zoo and see how it goes. You might be glad of the help!


  • If the first time is such a big deal just go to the zoo over Easter. Who cares if there are lots of people! And you're lucky you have in laws that are keen to take her out and have fun with her. In the end if these are the things you "worry" about and get annoyed that's good ... It means you don't have real problems in life. 

  • She is your daughter and u are entitled to take her for her  firsts if u want!  Being a grandparent is a privilege not a given right and they shudnt be effectively bullying u to do this and that with your child!  Tho if they are so controlling why did u encourage them to spend extra time with her than just  the one day?  U have ob given them the idea that they have more rights over her than u wud like!  And your oh needs to man up and remember he made vows to keep u happy not his mother!  

  • Oh surely it's also a privilege for th family when they babysit for you so you don't have to get child care... It works both ways... Give and take

  • totally agree, my Mom had my daughter for me whilst i worked, because of that she was put on such a high pedestal by me, she was also battling cancer at the time and never once complained about the help she gave. Being a grandparent who is loving deserves so much more credit than it gets.

  • Do it all together, but at a time that suits you and your partner, not because there's a special discount! It will be nice for the grandparents to spend time with you guys as a family and learn about what's important to you as it sounds like they're not getting the point that you'd like to do firsts with your children. Also, tell your partner to stand up to his parents for what's important to you and your family, you guys are the ones doing the hard work and so deserve to share treasured moments with them. 

  • I've only skin read the last messages but I'm with you on that one. I also have very enthusiastic grandparents (inlaws) that are keen on doing everything with our 2 year old and 8 month old. It's great, they love them and they are also a great help!

    And yet, there are things that should be a parent's first, not grandparents'. With me it was the handmade advent calendar last year. I put in so much effort, and then the grandparents brought one as well. It did upset me as it was my son's first one and I really had put in a LOT of effort! My husband spoke to them and they understood. 

    I say, if you want something to be a first then you should have the right to do that! They are your children! Of course, if the grandparents are looking after your little one all week, and you haven't got the time, then that's different. But somehow it sounds like there is a desperate NEED for this little one to go to the zoo NOW. Also in other comments on here, as if it were a rush? Why the rush? Do it when you have the time and if you want it to be just you, your husband and the little one, then do that. There are hundreds of other days that the grandparents can go back! I'm sentimental when it comes to 'firsts' and unless it is necessary for a child to do something at a certain age and you can't do it there and then, I can't see why you should let others do these firsts instead of you. Yes, the child probably won't remember but you will and that's enough reason. 

    But you might need to talk to your husband as he should support you in this and talk to his parents about it!

  • *skim read

  • Thanks everybody for the replies!

    As I said in my second post there are more issues than just the zoo. They always want to do the things their way and even things that we said we wanted or not wanted them to do sometimes they have ignored them.

    They do look after her once a week, but to be honest I will prefer to pay an extra day in childcare as that day I don't know what is happening so I am in tension. No because they won't look after her but because I don't know what they are doing, if she is eating well, ... I have of course asked them but I have already catch them in some lies so I can't completely believe what they tell me. I repeat that I am know they take good care of her but it is a feeling of not knowing about her all day.

    If I asked them to see her more often is because I want her to have a good relationship with them and do things with them, that we do, and no just to have a memory of seeing them only on the day they have to.

    Going back to the zoo, I am not in a hurry to take her, they are the only ones rushing because they decided to buy yearly membership a couple of months ago, without saying anything to us, and they are worry that it is running out without using it, that and that it is free before 2.

    Thanks again for reading and your replies :-)

  • This is going to sound awful and I don't mean it too, but shouldn't you treasure the fact your child has Grandparents who treasure her so much and WANT to do fun things with her. When my daughter was 2 I worked in a very demanding job in Law and my Mom took care of my little one, she would do things with her for the first time, I never minded because I knew at 2 she wouldn't remember and I would do them with her myself anyway. My Mom has her own photos for memories, I have mine. What's important is your child is happy, loved and getting the chance to have so much fun, with her parents and grandparents, surely?

  • I don't think the zoo is the issue at all here. What it comes down to is that you love your little one so much and want her to be cared for by people who you know will ultimately accept you as the boss. And you don't feel that's the case. If you felt you could be assertive with them then I don't think you'd truly mind about the zoo. I say this because I had a very similar issue myself. It will get better over time as your relationship and roles establish. But do try to be assertive but also just remember they are doing all this out of love for their grandchild

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