AIBU to expect time to ourselves

(82 Posts)
Countdown1 Sat 21-Sep-13 23:19:03

Let me say at the start that I love having days with my family. I know, in turn, we are cherished by kids and grandkids alike. :D

I'd hoped that in our 60s, we could look forward to retirement and unplanned days with no ties.

Instead, we find ourselves repeating early married life eg pushing a pram, standing at school gates in the rain, dealing with toddler tantrums, etc.

Current climate means both parents work and grandparents do childcare from babyhood through to the end of secondary school.

AIBU to expect time for me? hmm

JumpingJackSprat Sat 21-Sep-13 23:19:50

say no then?

Ledkr Sat 21-Sep-13 23:23:30

Tell them no then!
I have worked the entire time I've had kids 30 it's to be precise and have never once asked myomere to do full time childcare.
People need to be paying for childcare and not imposing on their parents.

Preciousbane Sat 21-Sep-13 23:24:04

My dsis is like you and cannot say no, she is however hugely resentful. No one has ever helped me with free childcare ever. We didn't even have a person we could put as emergency contact as live hundreds of miles from family and actually thousands away from two siblings.

How much are you doing?

jessieagain Sat 21-Sep-13 23:37:03

Say no then. I don't understand why you would do it if you dont want to.

We have no family support (live far away from them) and we manage fine with using a nursery.

We don't use babysitters and I don't think we are missing out on time by ourselves (that is what early bedtimes and takeaways are for).

I certainly won't be making big sacrifices for my grandchildren, I think being responsible for ones own children for 18 years is more than enough.

Maybe start by cutting back on the support you are giving so your children can plan in advance. So maybe say you can only do childcare one or two days a week starting from Christmas and then by Easter you will no longer be able to do any regular childcare (only the occaisonal babysitting) this will mean you will be free to enjoy next summer and onwards.

Countdown1 Sun 22-Sep-13 00:15:05

It's not that I'm exactly complaining as love having small kids around.
They're such interesting little people.

Looked into nurseries at the start. Cost equivalent to private school. shock

jessieagain, cutting back is a good idea. Lay down some ground rules. smile

dubstarr73 Sun 22-Sep-13 00:16:25

Just say no,cant understand this.you reared your kids and this your time.If it was a real emergency no problem but they are just taking the piss

WilsonFrickett Sun 22-Sep-13 00:18:53

Did you just fall asleep one day and then wake up with regular child care duties?

FFS woman, say no!

Stravy Sun 22-Sep-13 00:27:14

End of secondary school! <faints>

Say no!

My dcs have 4 grandparents, not one of them has ever picked my dc up from school. They are all lovely and involved but two of them work FT and 2 of them are too busy enjoying themselves. Occasionally they'll babysit but usually I get a teenager in and pay because the gps just don't want to do it, or more accurately, can't because they have their own lives.

AveryJessup Sun 22-Sep-13 00:27:16

Your kids could pay for professional childcare you know. That's what the rest of us who have no parental support have to do.

DH and I live abroad and get no parental help. Even when we visit home we get no help. My parents are in their 70s and admit that they could not manage a toddler at their age. My PILs are younger and fitter but just flatly refuse anything other than an occasional couple of hours here and there. Their view is that they have already done their child-rearing and have no desire to revisit sleepless nights and toddler tantrums again.

It annoys me a little because almost everyone I know gets some family help and it hurts that they view DS as a chore rather than a chance to have fun but it is their prerogative.

Sounds to me like your DCs have it very easy so I hope they appreciate you!

steppemum Sun 22-Sep-13 00:34:30

my parents are great and babysit sometimes and do the odd day cover in holidays or school pick up.

But we have never asked them to do a regular slot, and are very aware of not over asking, so that they do it because the odd day with gc is fun, not because they have to. And they have 8 gc, over 3 families and they would like to see all of them, not just ours. And they have their own lives to live.

Say no. Your dcs have to make their own choices. If you saying no means they have to cut back, or live in a smaller house with fewer outgoings, or whatever, then so be it. You are not responsible for them any more!

Sunnysummer Sun 22-Sep-13 00:47:25

YABU if you haven't made your wishes really clear. YANBU if they are guilt-tripping you into this.

Plenty of us - of all financial walks of life- have no option for grandparent care and still manage. Childcare is expensive, yes, but your time is precious too - especially the time when you have enough time to finally do something for yourself, and the good health to enjoy it.

Setting boundaries sounds sensible.

weddingballs Sun 22-Sep-13 00:55:15

All of my friends with children pay for childcare.

YABU.

Just say no.

NeedlesCuties Sun 22-Sep-13 07:56:12

Have a brew OP.

I have a few friends with primary-school aged kids. These parents work FT so the GPs look after the kids from 8am-6pm daily. Makes my mind boggle. The get breakfast there, taken to and from school and given dinner. One friend told me last week that when she gets to her mums house to collect the kids her mum will have plated up a dinner for her too, and will have done the ironing.

confused

Some people just do not know they are born. I might get flamed for saying that, but that's what I think.

You need to have a word with your DC, say you love spending time with the kids, but not all your time.

chanie44 Sun 22-Sep-13 08:43:49

We don't have parents who do childcare for us, as they work full time.

Dsil offered have ds for us and take him to the nursery she works at. OH and I politely declined as we felt it would be too much for her, as if she ever wanted time off, we would struggle with childcare.

If I'm lucky enough to have grandchildren, I'd limit my childcare to a few days a week.

ipswichwitch Sun 22-Sep-13 08:59:22

Thing is with paying for nursery is its not forever. When they turn 3, they get their 15 hours and by the time they start primary school you only pay for before/after school care.

I've had a number of people asking why I didn't quit work after having DS since a large chunk of my wage pays for nursery, and I point out that its only got a few years so we tighten our belts and live accordingly. Neither mine or DHs career is the sort you can drop out of for a few years then pick up again, so we suck up the cost. MIL has DS 1 day a week - entirely her choice - for which we are hugely grateful, and if she decides she can no longer do it then we make arrangements accordingly. There is no expectation on our part, and nor should there be. DH and I rarely get to go for nights out as weekends are her time but we accept an are happy with this. Like I say, it's not forever.

AaDB Sun 22-Sep-13 09:03:14

We also paid for nursery and now pay for before and after school club. We've never had any help for childcare, not a single sick/inset day/ or when one of us has been in hospital. I take an unMN view in that GPs should provide SOME help.

I don't think using GPs as a full time alternative childcare support is fair. My friend's DM looks after her dc 3 days a week. Friend gets frustrated that her parents won't babysit or have the DC over to stay (both DC don't sleep). I think she's expects way too much.
Another friend decided to have another baby when his oldest was 10. At almost 70, instead of getting their lives back, his parents started full time childcare for a baby again.

Decide what you want to do and tell your children to make alternative arrangements for after Christmas.

gintastic Sun 22-Sep-13 09:04:54

My MIL helps with childcare, but she will only have one of them and only for 2 days a week. This saves us money but also doesn't put too much pressure on her - has worked well for the last 5 years. Could you do something like this?

Preciousbane Sun 22-Sep-13 09:05:49

Needlescutie I have a colleague like this but is her MIL who does all her ironing. She is really not that grateful either!

jasminerose Sun 22-Sep-13 09:06:41

There are so many nurseries and school clubs now most parents just use them ime.

crescentmoon Sun 22-Sep-13 09:11:49

you are a lovely person OP, with my mum and i its reciprocal - id never ask her to care for my dc for free. when she'd take care of ds1 before or now as she takes them for the holidays its peace of mind in being able to leave my dc with someone who loves and cares for them as much - if not more - than me. but in return i usually pay for any activities they would do together, i pay for holidays for her and my dad abroad, her mobile phone bill, little things here and there and we've always done it that way. older helps younger younger helps older thats how iv always taken it as.

sarahtigh Sun 22-Sep-13 09:12:07

I would suggest you decide how many days how often you can look after GC ,then you tell them that from the New year you will look after them 1 day a week, and specify which day, tell them however that as you are pensioners you prefer your holidays outside school holidays so may occasionally be unavailable but unless ill would tell them as far in advance as possible,

generally speaking it needs to be same day each week in order to book nursery or set days, however any childcare is a bonus you are not obliged to do any though I do think none is a bit mean, though I also think not doing regular care but being available to baby sit occasionally and have GC for tea and some days out is great

I get from OP that you feel you are doing too much rather than you so not want to do any

I think it is grossly unfair to expect any grandparent to look after a child FT

Guitargirl Sun 22-Sep-13 09:12:17

My grandparents did all the childcare for my cousin and I when we were growing up. Every day before school, every day after school and every school holiday (for me - not for my cousin as his mum was a teacher).

My eldest is nearly 7 and my parents have babysat for us twice <not bitter>

MrsLouisTheroux Sun 22-Sep-13 09:20:55

Say no.

prudyklimovitsky Sun 22-Sep-13 09:31:05

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