Re: Seperation and baby sitters
For your sister:
Is the separation permanent? Be honest with the children. Tell them that Mommy and Daddy still love them. Avoid making the other parent sound bad to the children. Both parents obviously love them, right? Getting along with the other parent is very important. I think that the ages of the children are along the same as my sisters and I when our parents divorced. I was two, and I remember nothing. I have no recollection of ever living with my dad.
You have every right to keep your children safe. If you do not like how the children in your family behave, then you do not have to let your children be like that. Talk with your family, tell them of your concerns. Of course, don't mention that you think their children are undisciplined. That never, ever solves anything. It is okay to let your family visit. You don't have to let them babysit. About your mom. It is okay for Grandparents to spoil their Grandchildren. Let your mother-in-law know that you don't want them bribed with food. And if she does, you don't have to let her babysit a lot anyway. I would of course, discuss this with your husband. Tell him your concerns, but don't make him feel he has to defend his family. Make sure that you let him be part of the process of raising your child, because obviously he wants to if he is still around.
I get lots of offers from people who want to babysit. I have only allowed maybe two or three people to watch her, and none of them have been her father's family. It is because I have a certain way that I want my daughter treated and raised, and most people don't agree with this, or don't care. So I don't let them watch her. Also, if I don't like how they conduct themselves in public, don't like the language they use, or if they argue with me about how I should be raising her in front of her, I tend to not bring her around these people. It is okay to stand up for what you believe is best for your child.