Sometimes, as moms, we don't trust ourselves when we are grieving, overwhelmed, or busy doing other things to watch our own children, so we will leave them in someone else's care. Now who this person is should be carefully observed for a period of time before dropping them off, and we must have some understanding when it comes to his or her mental history. You can find a bit about their background simply by interviewing others who have had their children watched by them. You can talk to the children being cared for by this person. You will also want to know your child's temperaments well, because he or she might be a challenge for some caretakers who may be use to obedient children.
Unstable relatives come in all shapes and sizes as we very well know. It doesn't matter how nice, beautiful, or good with children these people might have been in the past with them, how are they now? Is the potential caretaker easily upset by bad news, often appears nervous, extremely talkative, quick-tempered, moody, or has a history of suicide? We falsely assume that because someone hasn't exhibited any noticeable signs recently that he or she has mental issues, everything must be okay. Keep in mind, the world is filled with good actors and actresses. This is why when someone is murdered so many will say, "I would have never thought he/she was capable of killing an innocent baby...a small child." As long as there is evil in this world, anyone can potentially go crazy!
Don't trust that someone who has recently received bad news is going to be okay with your children. Never put one's selfish needs above the safety of your sons and daughters. When you know a caretaker is taking medication for anxiety, depression, nerves, and other things that affect one's mind or has any type of substance addiction, know that this person has some area of his or her brain that when pushed enough will push back. Think of a grandmother who doesn't make herself available to watch grandchildren. Why do you think she acts that way? Because she knows that she has little patience for them, so in the best interest of one's children, a discerning parent would not leave her children with nervous grandma even if she insists, "I'm alright...just be sure that you aren't gone away long...and make sure you bring something to entertain the kids...and oh by the way, I could use some cash...and another thing I might take the children out...and call if you are going to be late..." Grandma is coming up with a plan in her head to cope with grandchildren despite not wanting to be bothered with them. So the more she comes up with to control the situation, the more she is attempting to convince herself she can do it.
There are those mentally unstable people who believe they can take on any task and do anything, but they deceive themselves. After enough crying, yelling, and other child related issues, it won't be long before the confused mind is cursing and wishing the children to be gone by any means necessary. While some overwhelmed parents and relatives may cry out of frustration, yet keep on going; others will do unspeakable things to children as if they can achieve some personal relief by hurting them.
You can save your children as well as someone else's a lot of trouble, if you just avoid the temptation to drop children off with people that might look sane, but up underneath their act, they really are not.
Learn about recognizing mental disorders in people and never assume that because you grew up with someone, "They would never..." I'm sure that all those families who no longer have their children as a result of insane relatives who abused or killed them, never thought they were capable of wicked acts either.