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Grandparents

(52 Posts)
Mosschopz Mon 26-Nov-12 21:32:52

My parents look after DS (2) when I have to work. They take him for the full day, from 8ish until DH comes home (6pm). This happens about three times a year and the last time was last week.

Grandparents (my side) requested that rather than take him for the full day, I take him to nursery in the morning and they'd collect him after their lunch. This way they'd only have him for 4 hours rather than the usual 9-10.

I was ok with this, though DS LOVES their company and acted up a bit when I took him off to nursery. The problem really was DH, who felt that they should want to take him for a full day. As he saw it, they weren't doing anything with their free morning and they could have been having fun with DS. I see his point to some degree - GP's like to do crossword and a long leisurely breakfast in the morning and this way they could keep to their routine. DH thinks routine should go out of the window when their with us and DS, like ours does when we visit them.

He also pointed out that many of our friends have parents who care for their kids once a week or more, we only rely on them 3-4 times per year and it's a bit of quality time without us around.

Who's being unreasonable? My parents are early 60's and very fit and healthy.

I think it is reasonable to be a bit disappointed - who doesn't want grandparents who love spending time with their grandchildren and don't mind putting themselves out to support their adult DCs?

Ultimately though they are perfectly entitled to do as little or as much as they wish. Personally I only really find it difficult to forgive when you know that they had tonnes of help from their own parents but have conveniently forgotten about it now they want to enjoy their own retirement grin

SugarplumMary Wed 28-Nov-12 18:59:24

we only rely on them 3-4 times per year and it's a bit of quality time without us around.

I'm not sure anyone being unreasonable.

Your DH is basing it on what his parents want to do/or normally do -and the hope that his DC grandparents would love to spend time with your DC.

Having said that - it way more than I've ever got so I get the disappointment – but really isn’t much you can do but accept it and accept they don't feel that way.

WinterWinds Wed 28-Nov-12 18:45:19

Why shouldn't the grandparents take some time out for themselves?

I have a grandchild and although i love spending time with her but i do not wish to give up all my free time caring for her. I find it really hard work and if i am honest i reallly struggled when my youngest was a baby/toddler.
My youngest is at an age now where she doesn't need me so much and is gaining so much more independance. I can take a step back and have a little bit more time away from being mum.

And by the time they have all upped and left Dh and i can finally spend some quality time together doing stuff we want to do, without having to organise and arrange it round the DC's. (we have never had time together without Dc's...ever!!)
Why should we give that up to care for our grandchild/future granchildren (am sure there will be many!)......because it's expected???
I dont' bloody think so!!!!

I have explained to my eldest that i cannot cope with regular prolonged periods of babysitting but i dont mind doing it now and again to help out when it's really needed and she understands why. But regardless of whether anyone else thinks thats wrong or right, i will do what i can cope with.

If i had wanted to care full time/regularly for another baby/young child then i would have had another child myself, my grandchild is just that my grandchild. She is not mine.

It might seem selfish to some, but i dont give too shiny shits and whoever made that comment about the generation thing......bollocks to that, i am not yet 40, so what catagory does that put me in then?????

thegreylady Wed 28-Nov-12 17:42:54

I have looked after dgc for between two full days and two half days every week since they were 6 months old [now 6 and 3].
At the moment I do two half days [from 1pm to 5.30pm] and I am exhausted at the end of the afternoon.I love doing it and wouldn't want to stop but I do understand that as you get older your stamina decreases.I havent half the energy at 68 that I had at 62.
I used to act out Bear Hunt and the Gruffalo with dgs1 but I just read them to dgs2 and help him build caves so he can do the acting smile

naturalbaby Wed 28-Nov-12 17:41:32

The grandparents have had their own babies, raised them, and are enjoying their retirement/old age including grandchildren - it's their turn and their time to put themselves first and be picky about what they do and when they do it. If they don't want to spend the whole day with their grandchild then why should they?
It's not a competition - is your DH expecting them to prove their worth or something?!

<<there is a reason us women are not biologically able to have children at our age >> Yes, that reason, (the menopause) so I remember reading a while back, is so that women can help their dch bring up their dgch rather than having more dch themselves!

plutocrap Mon 26-Nov-12 23:34:20

Let them pace themselves! When DS stopped sleeping in the day, I really suffered from the lack of a break, and was definitely a worse carer as a result.

BackforGood Mon 26-Nov-12 22:51:41

Your dh (and Procastinating) is/are BU.

Basically ditto what Worra said.

OccamsRaiser Mon 26-Nov-12 22:45:57

Back it up a minute... Have they said "we don't want to look after DGS as we want to do crosswords" or have they said that they would rather a half day spent with him and you/DH have inferred that it's because they would rather be doing their crossword (rather than that they find 9-10 hours a bit challenging!)

I also wonder why DS was unsettled on the morning he was sent to nursery if, as far as he was concerned, it was just another day in his routine. Had you built up the 'afternoon with the GPs' to him so that he was excited at the prospect? If so, i'd consider leaving it as a surprise next time.

natation Mon 26-Nov-12 22:44:09

It's a definite difference in parents and grandparents' expectations of each other. It is a great pity when grandparents prefer not to see so much of their grandchildren. Our children's grandparents (ok really only grandmother) has been great when she has had contact with her grandchildren, but for many years I've wanted her to spend more time with them. Instead, she chooses to spend time with her brother and sister-in-law and gives her grandchildren attention a few hours in the week she is staying near them and staying at her brother's and sister-in-law's. Our children have got to the point where they are simply not interested in this woman who comes and goes fleetingly - she recently sent them 2 postcards from her holidays and the children just refused to look at them at all. Then in a few months, she'll finally phone up, tell us she's in the country again, can she see the grandchildren for the afternoon and we have to cancel what we have planned, then she'll phone and say it's too cold or too far or she has suddenly been invited out to lunch, then she'll ring up again and again we'll cancel what we've planned, she'll eventually come, spend 90 minutes with the children, then again make excuses she is tired, demand she be driven back to her sister-in-laws (she once did this at 10.30pm at night meaning 4 children had to be dumped on the pavement for an hour 3 miles from home with no buses still running, as we couldn't fit in the car too and she demanded she be taken back before her grandchildren which would have take 10 minutes wait on her behalf, husband not wanting to argue with his mother obliges and our children's needs are completely ignored). Sorry I've really waffled. What I'm trying to say is I've lost enough energy chasing grandparents to take interest in their grandchildren, our children have got sick of their grandparents and feel very rejected. Don't allow yourself to end up like our family. Make the most of any time offered, don't dwell on the fact that the grandparents are not living up to expectations of the ideal doting grandparents. Live life for your family, not the family you wish you had.

ImagineJL Mon 26-Nov-12 22:42:04

I can see your DH's point of view. I'm not saying your parents should feel obliged to do the whole day, but I'm surprised they wouldn't want to. After all, it's pretty rare, only a few times a year.

waltermittymistletoe Mon 26-Nov-12 22:40:31

Wow procrastinating how amazing that you've met every grandparent in the world. How long did that take you?

tazzle22 Mon 26-Nov-12 22:36:24

procrastinating you are labelling a whole generation with an uncaring attitude towards their DGC which is unfair...... as it would be unfair to lable the current young mums generation as " the want it all, expect perfection from everyone but self and give nothing generation ". Yes there are some younger people that are like that ........ but its hardly typical is it ????????

OP does not say they have not said its a lovely thing for them ..... just that 10 hours is a long time for whatever reason.

WorraLiberty England Mon 26-Nov-12 22:15:31

It should not be a favour, it should be a lovely thing for the grandparents

Who are you to decide what should/shouldn't be a lovely thing for a couple you've never met?

The OP hasn't said the GPs only ever see the child 3 times a year.

Just that they're expected to do a 10hr babysitting stint 3 times a year.

If the child's at full time nursery anyway, what's the point in martyring themselves if they can't cope?

LiegeAndLief Mon 26-Nov-12 22:13:10

Oh, and he was/is a completely normal child, not some kind of devil incarnate.

MagicHouse Mon 26-Nov-12 22:12:53

I think your dh is being unreasonable. I agree 10 hours is a very long time to be looking after a 2 year old if you're not used to it. In your situation, I would have suggested a morning at nursery anyway and half a day with them, before they did.

I don't think it's fair of your dh to be criticising your parents to you - what does he expect you to say "yes, they are crap grandparents and obviously inferior to your own parents" ??? Not nice. I would just say, "they're really looking forward to the afternoon and planning to do some lovely things with him" and leave it at that. Or if it bothers you, simply ask him not to criticise your parents as you love them and it's upsetting.

Procrastinating Mon 26-Nov-12 22:12:10

It should not be a favour, it should be a lovely thing for the grandparents.

LiegeAndLief Mon 26-Nov-12 22:11:21

10 hours with a 2yo is a looooooong time if you're not used to it (and quite often even if you are). They might feel differently if you were really relying on them to go to work, but as I understand it ds would normally be at nursery anyway? I can fully understand how they might feel the whole day is utterly knackering.

My mum has looked after ds for the whole day once, when he was 3 and I was in hospital having dd. I would never ask her to do it again unless I was absolutely desperate. Definitely not if I had a nursery place going. And she is also fit and healthy and in her early 60s. In fact, she wasn't even 60 when she had ds all day and it completely wiped her out. I genuinely think she was tireder than me after a 15 hour labour!

Procrastinating Mon 26-Nov-12 22:11:05

tazzle you are not typical.

tazzle22 Mon 26-Nov-12 22:09:22

"Sadly typical of that generation. "

Gggggrrrrrrrrrr

hardly

los of us do "free" childcare after we have retired from up to 50 years of working and parenting

sorry Moss......... dont think either of you are being "unreasonable".... personallly I would have DGC all day if it was not 5 days a week.... but yes, it is more tiring as one gets older, there is a reason us women are not biologically able to have children at our age grin.

I can see your DH point that it might be considered "quality time" for GP ... but its still tiring with a 2 year old..... maybe when he is older it would be less tiring ... and also if its in their home they would have to be extra vigilant / attentive as it might not be as childproof/ friendly as yours ????? I know mine is not as set up for my DGC as their own homes.

ChaoticismyLife Mon 26-Nov-12 22:07:50

What's wrong with it being on their terms? They're doing the OP and her DH a favour.

Procrastinating Mon 26-Nov-12 22:07:32

3 times a year.

waltermittymistletoe Mon 26-Nov-12 22:05:40

Sadly typical of that generation

Yes. How dare they want to live their own lives and not drop everything when their grown up child wants free babysitting ALL DAY.

Procrastinating Mon 26-Nov-12 22:02:09

They want to spend a limited amount of time with their grandchild, on their terms. So they can do their crosswords.

WorraLiberty England Mon 26-Nov-12 21:58:44

I see your DH's side. They should want to spend time with their grandchild. Their routines come before their grandson? Sadly typical of that generation

They do want to spend time with their grandchild and I don't know what your 'Sadly typical of that generation' comment is supposed to mean hmm

There's a big difference between wanting to spend time with your grand child and being forced to babysit for 10hrs if you'd like to spend time in shorter bursts.

I think some people confuse 'spending time' with slave labour...

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