to be Well Jealous of those with lots of family support ie Babysitting??(153 Posts)
my friend is jetting off to new york with her dh this morning and her 2 dcs are being looked after for the week by grandparents
this will never happen for me and dh. even though our dparents are relatively young (under 60) as MIL is a selfish arse who rarely babysits and then only for DD, as DS is not her proper grandchild (he is from my previous relationship, therefore she is not interested ) yet she constantly babysits her DP's GC who is not her bio GC (this whole MIL story, in itself, is a long story) and my parents both work full time and are not that keen on babysitting for more than a few hours at a time or at a push if we are desperate, overnight. but my mum has a knack of making me feel guilty about it and like a child again when i have to ask her.
we are having DC3 in april and babysitting will become even more scarce as who will want to look after 3 dcs?
aibu to be
massively jealous a bit envious of the lucky lucky jammy bastards parents who have loads of babysitting options?
i wouldnt change having my dcs for anything but sometimes i would love a break
Ds1 is 5 and a bit. Since he was born me and dp have been out together 7 times. We have no family support at all. It's shit. You'll get loads of people on here saying that it isn't your parents responsibility to help and you should expect nothing. I think these posts are written by people who don't have to arrange complicated child care to attend hospital appointments, parents evenings, to manage to do essential maintenance jobs round the house etc never mind go out for a few hours. Mine and dps relationship is all but finished, I'm sure the above has not helped.
Yanbu to be jealous.
Otoh, I have lots of help from my parents, they take my dcs overnight, for weekends, sometimes on holiday with them for a week at a time. I know I am very lucky. BUT I would have loved to have had a third - we just don't have the space or the money. I am really really sad that I will most likely never hold a newborn of my own in my arms again. So you can be jealous of me if I can be jealous of you, how's that?
My parents were far too old to babysit and lived 250 miles away. DH Dad moved abroad just as DS was born and MIL still works and lives 200 miles away.
I feel that pain, though MIL has had DS for about 4 weekends. To go out we had babysitting swaps with two lots of friends and I did have the DD of a Friend babysit. She went off to uni last year though.
I certainly think it is rude to expect regular weekly childcare but I hope I can babysit if I have GC for the odd weekend and evening out and also be back up if any GC were ill. I think that is a healthy approach to GP helping.
I feel your pain as well...we're to far from DH's parents and my parents would happily have her overnight but my Mum is terminally ill and needs a lot of care from my Dad so it's just not possible. However I've recently found a couple of friends with DD's who are the same age as mine so we've all helped each other out for a bit. One of them has even had DD overnight a couple of times. Funnily enough I met her through a parenting forum, maybe you could give it a go
I'm not saying just leave your child with just anyone, I got to know her well before we did anything like that! It must be hard with more than one as well, I can't imagine.
Feel for you op as in similar boat know lots people who get help take for granted and loads at school do cheap/free child care allowing both parents to work and therefore have more money.
Hard to not feel down about it.
Agree with above kids are parents resposability.
Different now families live further apart.
but growing up both nans and 3aunts reguarly had me and sis for mum work, go out, parents splt so dad had us mum had so much social lfe and freedom.
fast foward to now we 50miles apart shes hour away.
she thinks grandparents who have kids all time are mugs.
raly sees kids babysits 2-3times a year if that and only has 2 last year went away for night took the youngest.
we did ask next year being 10year wedding anniversary would she have all 3weekend she said no then week later said she been chatting and she would dont know why its odd.
my dad would never have them
mil is 3mles away crazy and only sees 1 child at time for no longer than an hour.
we have couple frends who dont have kids who occasionally babysit in evening.
but most of time i go parents evening alone.
next week have to take 2 kids to gps with me.
had to take youngest to assemblys and church.
its hard hubby works lots hours.
then have freinds who have silly amount of support either whinging or bragging.
my biggest worry was labour last 2 were home births as dident know could get hospital in time luckly hubby was home both tmes but childcare posed a real worry.
I dont know anyone at eldests school would ask pick her up if weather bad , or younger ones were really ill, or I was late.
some days feel very tired and alone.
People underestimate couple time its vital just to have decent conversation and nice meal without kids is a rarity not that we can afford to go out even with babysitter last 2weedig anniversays been very cheap places.
YANBU to feel envious. Yabu if you actually resented others having what you haven't. Not saying you feel like that though.
Good idea about reciprocal babysitting. My mil used to belong to a babysitting circle. That was quite common years ago. Can you set up something like that?
I have to practically beg my mother (young, fit 60year old) to watch my ds for an hour so me and my partner can go to counselling once a week
Rubbish isn't it.
I wouldnt get orwant a week off buti know how utterly fortunate I am to have my parents look after dc 3 days a week for work. saves me a fortune as otherwise we would be in deep dodo
I would love a babysitting circle what a good idea
I am a bit concerned at the expectation of some posters that grandparents will babysit. At all. Ever.
Actually, why should they? Not their kids, they've done their bit of child-raising.
And yes, they may want to help and babysit; equally they many not want to. Which is their prerogative.
notyo my parents belonged to a babysitting circle when we were children, it was great for them! OK, it meant we had random people babysitting for us, but we weren't bothered. Do you know enough people to set one up yourself? It's based on a like for like basis - Mum was given a small number of tokens to start with, and then 'earnef' more when she babysit for somebody. But I'm sure if you look on the internet, it will give you more modern ideas for running one!
We're lucky in that although my parents live 100 miles away, they happily look after them for a long weekend most years. Whenever we visit, they babysit while we go out for dinner etc. It really helps DH's and my relationship (grammar?!) to spend this time alone, out of the house, and I sympathise that your parents aren't as obliging.
I'd be annoyed if I was in your position. No, grandparents are not there to provide free childcare whenever they're wanted, but I can't imagine not helping my DCs out when/if they have their own children.
I don't think anyone on this thread has said they had an expectation that gp would babysit
they said thatthey feel envious of the ones who will and are able to
which is a fair enough statement. I can't imagine not relishing being able to help with future gc if I can/ am able/ allowed to
some people's idea of hell shrug
er no not really.
me and dh choose to have 4 kids. our choice.
it was lovely for my parents and inlaws to babysit sometimes but I certainly didn't ask often and didn't expect.
they had 5 and 3 kids in their time and quite frankly had busy lives.
I will help my kids out with gc when the time comes but duck the idea of me and dh being some sort of regular childminding service. we has our kids young and our youngest is 13 now so we have lots if plans for OUR future.
as for the going away on holiday without the kids, it was never on our agenda to be honest, couldn't afford it and not interested.
to add I would avoid babysitting circles like the plague!!
if going for a night out means leaving your kids with a strange adult you would be barking bloody mad.
YANBU, but as someone up thread said, I would have loved another DC, but wasn't lucky enough to have one. I am however very lucky with family who love to help out. There is good and bad in every situation. I certainly plan on paying it forward if I am lucky enough to become a grandparent in the future!
I would have said calling someone a "selfish arse" because she doesn't want to babysit has a certain expectation to it?
I feel your pain, it is rubbish especially when people don't appreciate or realise how lucky they are.
On here a lot I see 'well get a baby sitter'. Genuinely for some there is no one
I used to be curled up in a ball with envy at people with GP who babysat My auntie had her GC all the time it seemed and my mum hardly ever
my late MIL was great but she had conditions to babysitting which was fair enough we didnt go out that often anyway,
but I had to learn to let it go
reluctantly and realise my mum was still young still working fulltime and her time off was precious but it would be nice if she offered to take them for the dinner after school or something, she never did though,
saying all that I will not be a built in babysitter for my children but will take them now and again I saw my aunt exhausted with her grandkids I can't see constantly having grandchildren is much fun. there must be a balance just my mum tipped the other way
I am envious of people who have involved grandparents. The type of grandparents who take the kids out for treat days, who bake with the grandchildren, who have the grandchildren sleepover.
I do get out with my OH but we pay for an agency babysitter (same one every time). So It isn't the not getting out with OH that bothers me, just the fact that my kids don't get to have much fun with the grandparents.
I think in the long term it is good for the children to have an extended family of people who care about them, and good for the parents to get a bit of a break. YANBU to want that.
I hate it when family make a big thing of 'babysitting' as if they are doing you a massive favour, and never offer to spend time with the kids or try to get to know them. Its seems a shame - I want my nephews in my life forever and I love doing stuff with them that maybe are not their parents favourite thing or they don't have time for.
My mum was too far away for babysitting but the kids used to spend a week there in the summer and they loved it - meant I could get on with other stuff.
Dh and I pay for every moment ds isn't with us. I wish that someone in our family would help (dh and I babysat lots for his brothers children when they were little, had them to stay for the weekend etc). But they don't, the PIL aren't interested (ds is 12 years younger than the youngest of their 5 other gc), and my parents aren't capable in the least - in fact they have to have carers themselves.
But thats life I'm afraid
Both DHs parents sadly died before DD2 was born and my parents aren't fit enough to baby sit. In any case both live/lived too far away to help. Both our DSIS remain near our parents so they can't really help either.
My DSIS had come and done over night babysitting a few times so we can do DHs works Christmas ball, but that's about it.
It's the price you pay for a beautiful rural childhood and a hi tec profession. You can never go home
* So It isn't the not getting out with OH that bothers me, just the fact that my kids don't get to have much fun with the grandparents.*
^ ^ is what upset me I was more upset on the childrens behalf IYSwim, dd1 is useful to her nan now they she takes her shopping I do try and not let it bother me but sometimes that seething feeling rises again, It is what it is though my mum isn't a cruel person or doesn't like the dds just likes her own life and doing her own thing as I said before it would have been nice if she was a bit more involved
We live in a different country to all four parents, who are elderly, in any case, and wouldn't be able for our lively toddler. We haven't been out together at night since he was born.
Living so far from them, we never expected any family babysitting help, so have never resented its absence - though moving to a house across from a family where FOUR grandparents show up at intervals every single day to mow the lawn, walk the dog, drop the children to and from school and after-school activities, do laundry, put out the bins etc etc has been a bit of an eye-opener.
Having said that, Mn has been an education in the fact that family help can sometimes have a very high price tag in terms of interference, different child-rearing ideas etc etc.
YANBU I can't help thinking how different life would be if we had someone to babysit. But that's the way it is and it's fine. We have adjusted things job wise so that we can cope, because we had to. We rarely go out as a couple, let alone go away for a weekend. In fact I can't remember the last time.
I have tried to get a babysitter from adverts etc, but both times they let me down by not turning up on the night. Also, I feel quite worried about having someone the dc don't know at all.
I do have a good friend though who is in the same position and we occasionally do favours for each other. I think that helps, find someone in the same boat.
I dont have any expectations that grandparents SHOULD do it, but when its done every week for other siblings children, it begins to grate a bit. Instead of being able to ask for specific things, ie, so we can leave the house for a bit together, we get the pickings, ie, one child can go. Great.... That leaves us with the other two! If it was a universal policy i would have no issue, but its very hard when DH and i are practically on our knees, and sibling is off for yet another weekend away.
It is hard without family support - not babysitting or childcare so much, but as a safety net for when things get tough. Like last winter, I had pneumonia, and DH had to take annual leave to take care of DS. If I'd had a mother or a MIL to come over for a couple of hours for a few days, I could have just about managed the meals and care needed.
Not having back up for emergencies does make us think we won't have any further children. DH works away for part of the week, and when he's a few hundred miles away, I pretty much have no-one I could turn to; the idea of a baby along with DS in that situation is quite daunting.
And no, we don't go out together. In four years, we have been to the pub twice, once for 45 mins and the other for 90 mins. It's a bit rubbish.
My parents live 400 miles away.
wouldn't leave the DC with them if they were the last people on earth anyway
MIL doesn't bother with the DC at all even though she lives one road away from us. She has only seen our youngest twice.
GPIL are in their 70's can only cope with one DC at a time, for a couple of hours max. It's a shame they are so old as they absolutely adore the DC and would love to have them more.
Op I really sympathis, what about friends? I have always lived far away from grandparents and have a few really good friends who also have children, we now sit for each other.
I know that might not be doable until your youngest s a little older, but the children all love it.
Next weekend I am having 6 yr old twins on the friday night and three children from 6-3 yrs on the Saturday night.
It will be busy and noisy I am sure but I am delighted my friends will have a night off.
Of course it has to be good friends with children that get on to work.
It depends...the occasional baby sitting or spending quality time yanbu however if you're wishing for regular child care so you can work etc then yabu that'd not what gp are for.
I'm always bemused by all the "I haven't family to help so I haven't been out in years <sad face>" posts you get on these threads. Haven't you heard of paid babysitters?
Lots of us don't have family that can or will help out, so we pay sitters. And the can't afford it line doesn't work, if you can afford to go out you can afford a sitter, you just go out a bit less.
YANBU - DH & I are in same situation.
Both out DF's have passed, his mother is elderly & my DM has severe MS, blind & needs 24 hr care. There's no-one to watch DD (2) & we've NEVER been out since having her. We don't mind that, our relationship is strong & we have our "alone" time once she's in bed - would be nice to have a meal out though without cutting up a dinner/chasing a toddler round/colouring in etc
Agree with Bragodocia about the logistics of illnesses. This year I've had a very poor health year - on & off I've spent a couple of months in hospital. Each stay DH has never been able to visit (even after serious surgery!) as children under 12 aren't allowed on wards & there is no-one to look after DD. That's when we need help!
V hard. We'll never have a child free holiday again until kids are grown up. DD1 is 6 and we've had a total of 3 x a night away. My parents are both dead, MIL is 70 and its a big ask. Although my SIL and BIL have managed a few nights away with MIL in charge of their kids, I just feel uncomfortable asking as DH doesnt see the need (SIL had an event to attend) and she's not my mum. Also about to have dc3 so probably not even any evenings out for the next year, as my first two didnt sleep through reliably til then and needed breastfeeding in the evenings, it is a bloody hard slog! Thinking of moving 3 hours away near Dh's siblings jut so we could share babysitting.
I do sympathise OP, it is nice to have GP's around to help even if it's just being available now and then rather than a regular thing.
We are extremely lucky to have very involved GP's (my IL's) relatively nearby. They have had both the boys 1 day a week up until school and have babysat occasionally, although we don't call on them very often since they do 1 day a week. DH and I went away for 1 night for the first time in 5 years the other week and they had the boys then. It's also nice to have them around for school things we can't get to due to work commitments.
I suppose it's just the situation you find yourself in, geographically or the age of your parents, or even their interest. It is difficult to feel you never get a break though.
some really interesting replies, was expecting a pasting tbh
i would like to think when i have GC (god willing) i will want to spend lots of time with them. not only because i will enjoy it, but to help keep my DCs relationships healthy because i know how precious and, IMO, important it is to occasionally have some adult time just with the other parent
it doesn't help as well that DS's dad is not that interested in spending time with him he does the bare minimum, if he helped out with his own son more it would take the strain off a bit but again thats a whole other story <sigh>
YANBU. DH and I haven't had a night away together from the kids ever, and DS1 is 7.
Babysitting by friends (other school mums) gets us out occasionally, but it's awkward to ask as mostly they ask their parents to do their babysitting and we rarely get to return favours.
yanbu to feel jealous. We've not had a night out let alone a night away in 21 years! My inlaws are fit and healthy but arent interested and now the youngest is sick and will never leave home it will never happen.
The odd takeaway does us.
But yeah, I get jealous because I just want a break.
We have no grandparents (dcs are teenagers now) but either paid a babysitter or used friends when they were very mall.
When they got to about 9 they would go on a sleepover with friends.
We don't have time away together but have lots of breaks on our own which i prefer.
I am not planning to offer much in the way of babysitting as a gp...I will be too busy
Pil will babysit now and again but live 7 hours away. I have no family. It's complicated at the moment anyway, cos youngest two need lots of time to get off to sleep. Plus eldest dc is
awkward at the funny per-teen stage.
I'm hoping things get easier when dd1 old enough to babysit.
I'm planning to babysit for my gc but not all the time. <stamps foot> needs to get a life.
YANBU to be envious.
I have no family support (all dead). I'm also a single parent, whose X doesn't have anything to do with the DC. For the first 3 years of being a single parent I went out once (for the evening, not overnight). I hated it.
As time has gone on, my professional childcare costs have gone down as DC have started school, meaning I've been able to use some of the money I'm saving
to eat to build a social life as well as follow other opportunities. I have even managed a weekend away. It has saved my sanity. But I pay for it in the main. Even with good friends, there is only so much babysitting you can ask for if you're not in a position to repay the favour as regularly as you require it.
One thing that really helped me was having friends in the same boat. We established a social scene where we would stay at each other's houses and let our children have fun and a late night, which we would then follow by drinking copious amount of wine and having a laugh ourselves. This only works if you are the informal type who is happy to let children top and tail and yourself sleep on the floor, etc. It was easier in my circle because most of us were single parents.
The hardest thing for me was not the absence of a break, but the crushing knowledge that I was on my own with my DC. That if anything happened to me they would have no loving GPs to step into the breach. If my DPs were still alive they'd have been fabulous GPs and it is a real source of sadness to me that my DC will never experience that. When you see some people who get the support and the extended relationships network that comes with a good family, it is hard not to feel envious of that and hard not to feel resentment if you feel that some are not just taking it for granted but actually have a massive sense of entitlement about. Fortunately, IME most don't.
Other people's set-ups will not influence yours, so all you can do is concentrate on building your own support network, either by paying for it or by cultivating similarly situated/like-minded friends. Good luck.
I agree. The grandparents live 300+ miles away, my mother refuses to travel to see us and the other way round is a nightmare of cost and logistics. Although we have visits from the in-laws, 3 DC (with DC4 on the way) is possibly too much for them to handle on their own now especially as MIL is not in the best health. They babysit around once a year.
We make judicious use of nursery basically. So if we want a meal out it usually means DH takes a day's holiday, and we go out for lunch. The investment is worth it for our sanity.
It is our choice to have so many DC, but that doesn't mean I don't feel envious of those with parents nearby who are willing to help. At every school birthday party recently there was always the mother/in-law there helping the parents organise things. There's no way I could face doing a whole class party on my own with no support. And it's things like that I feel particularly sad about.
I would say I'm sad for what my children will miss out on, more than envious...
We had our children late due to numerous years of fertility treatment, my sisters all had their children young, so their children had lots of fun times with my parents.
By the time my two came along, DH's parents live abroad, my mum had sadly passed away and dad is now in his early 80's, and whilst he is in very good health, he is certainly not up to spending too much time with two lively 5 year olds.
I remember lots of fun Christmas's and holidays spent with my family (my siblings and their respective children). It hurts to know my children will never have this relationship with grandparents, although they never have, so don't know any different.
I feel your pain. I have friends who have babysitting circles with their social groups so they can share care and still go out. ALL the friends I have here have parents nearby so no need to share childcare.
DH and I used to go out when my mum was alive as she would come and stay specifically to babysit. ILs are not close but never ever offer when they come to stay. So hands off with the kids I would be worried about asking them TBH.
I am incredibly envious of people who have lots of nearby family support. Though my husband's family pitches in, they are an hour away, and my MIL is too nervous to take DS alone for one night (he's a toddler, sleeps like a dream, so I'm not sure why). Hence my son is 2.2 and we've never had a night away from him.
My parents live in the UK and are fantastic, selfless babysitters when they come to see me in America.
I have a friend who had the most amazing support after the birth of her first. She alternated having her MIL and mother stay for two months at a time, for the entire first year, which no doubt would drive some crazy, but my friend always appeared well-rested etc. Another friend's mother flew out from Hungary to America every two weeks, for four days at a time, for the first six months of her grandson's life.
she had her mil and her mother alternately stay with her for the babies first YEAR!!!
unless there's an underlying mental Heath/ physical disability problem that's fucking ridiculous.
there's a world of difference between babysitting every now and again and helping out when there's a crisis ( my parents and pil)
and being fucking entitled and EXPECTING to off load the kids for days in end for free childminding and a weeks holiday.
stuff that. my 4 will cope with their own kids and responsibilities/life choices And if course we will always be there for them but their kids are for them to bring up, we've done our bit.
YANBU at all.
When dh was little, MIL had a mother and a sister who moved countries (twice!!) in order to furnish her with high-quality childcare.
I would never expect that, it goes without saying. Whatever the dynamic was there, it's none of my business and it is completely up to MIL to do what she wants, which is to drop in for twenty minutes once every couple of months and occasionally bung ds a fiver.
I just can't help feeling sad that she talks with such relish about the memories of the seventies and eighties - parties, travel, great friendships - and doesn't really get the link. At the same time she is always suggesting we do x or y, and we cannot, for obvious reasons. I think she is oblivious to how much it can hurt, to have a grandparent not want to spend time with your child. There's a long list of reasons why I will never get along with her and this bit of unintended cruelty - revelling in what she had but not understanding it was made easy by those around her - is one of them.
^ ^ my point exactly. your mil is a spoilt princess
thebody my friend is the sweetest, most considerate person you could wish to meet. You'd have to meet her family to understand how they operate. My friend is one of six kids, and they are the strictest Catholics I've ever come across, and making enormous sacrifices for children and grandchildren is what her family considers the most important aspect of life. My friend's baby was born with a health condition, although second child is due in December, and the same routine shall be implemented.
I have to confess that, within reason, and if my children so desired, I'd move to help out with any future grandchildren. I suppose it depends on how you were raised. My grandparents and many aunts looked after me when my mum returned to work when I was four months, and I saw them most weekends, so that's what I'm used to, and I miss having that family support around me.
Paid babysitting is great, and we love our sitter, but it's not the same as when Grandma visits to look after my toddler, and his little face lights up.
My parents live a 9 hour flight away, and MIL is a lunatic who I wouldn't trust with a goldfish (dh convinced me to leave her in the house with sleeping kids while we went to the pub about 6 months ago - when we came back she was so drunk she could barely speak. Never again). We have never had a night away from the children together (oldest is 7), but that doesn't bother me so much. I don't remember my own parents ever leaving us for the night until we were old enough to be left by ourselves, so it doesn't seem a normal part of parenthood to me.
We have a baby-sitting circle with good friends which works brilliantly. The dc are looked after by people they know well and we get a free sitter! Plus I actively enjoy sitting for my friends' children, I've known most of them since birth and now they are all at school we don't see that much of each other with dc in tow.
Life does seem a lot easier when you have helpful grandparents on tap though - things like child-free weddings, parents' evenings and work trips abroad have caused us problems in the past, without even thinking about before/after school childcare!
I live with my parents, who will look after DD whenever I please (though if I want to 'go out' I arrange it so I can put her to bed first) but what I would give to be in an appartment of our own, just me & DD!
YANBU - we live a fair few hours from one set of GPs and the others aren't that into the babysitting but we do have the option every now and again and can swap kids with my SIL too. Without that support my relatioship with DH would have to work that bit harder.
My SIL uses both sets of grandparents for childcare whilst she works and then complains when they go on holiday. This really annoys me but I do remind her that they are free and nursery is not as I can't bite my tongue!
Yanbu to be jealous, we all have the green eyed monster at times.
Going on holiday without my dc for a whole week though, i wouldn't be jealous of that in the slightest as i would miss my dc way too much!
I think this is more about the fact your ils disregard your dc & i completely symphasise with you on that score!
Although i'm glad my ils never wanted mine overnight before nc as they turned out to be the toxicist people you could ever meet!
We lived too far away from both sets of parents to get babysitting although my parents would come up to look after the first two if we went away for a weekend (they were too elderly when DC3 was born). We used paid babysitters, I had a trainee nursery nurse on placement and then used her plus an agency where I got to know a few of the sitters.
I did use friends but hated doing reciprocal sitting as their children were never in bed. Mine always were so babysitting was an easy job.
Once they were a little older 5-10 years old I got to know a 16 year old from church who lived round the corner so used her until DD was old enough to look after her younger siblings.
Used to go out a couple of times a month.
YANBU to be jealous. I am too.
stopgap, I did say that if there are health issues then of course families support each other however it's needed.
on the issue of how one is brought up! We are bringing up my children to be strong independent confident adults.
oldest 2 are now grown up and youngest are teens.
I would be mortified if I had so failed my kids that thry needed me to move in with them to help them take care if their kids for a year!!!
sorry that's not normal behaviour.
doesn't her mother have a job/ life apart from her dd and grandchildren. that's sad.
I can totally relate to you. I have 3 children the youngest of which is a year old. The boys' grandmother lives a ten minute walk from the school yet has never volunteered to pick them up- not once! I don't expect her to have all three but one would be nice. More than wanting her as a babysitter, I want her to have a relationship with my boys. She, however, is not interested in being a grandmother unless I am there. Instead she fills her time with breathing courses (I kid you not!) and lots of faffing. Completely her choice but surely she could manage one hour once a week for one child?
I also don't understand why she doesn't pop over one night a week to help out. My husband is out 630am-800pm so the afternoons are a whirl of after school clubs, playdates, violin practice, reading homework, literacy homework, meal making, baby juggling, etc. I would love for the boys' grandmother to come over and help eg snuggle on the couch and read a story for maybe half an hour or play connect 4 with one of the boys whilst I get on with all of the stuff that needs to be done.
What we have done is to get a babysitter- not sure what your finances are like- and down the line we plan to use her so that we can go away for a Friday night. Otherwise it will be another 17 years until we can do so (plus it's already been 8 years since we've been away alone).
And of course I chose to have children, of course I'm grateful to have them but when you are surrounded by friends who have very, very helpful grandparents, it can really affect you.
Wishing you lots of luck and just wanted you to know I can completely relate to you.
I've found it is really hard to communicate that I want my PILs to have a good relationship with DC. I say "I want" but what I mean is "it would be so so lovely and I cannot see the obstacle."
What I'm hearing over and over is that MIL worries about being taken for granted. We have twice asked for help, the last time 7 years ago. We've accepted if offered and always been grateful.
Once we needed help because dh and I were both coincidentally having surgery within days of each other: his major abdominal, mine minor but with recovery time. We had a toddler and just needed help. My parents both worked, MIL didn't at the time. She did come to stay but it was disastrous. (I was doing that British thing of downplaying the pain and needless to say I did not get the bed rest I should have had.) Anyone with half a brain could have assessed the situation and said: this couple need a bit of help, but no. It just never occurred to us that she would not want to
And since then we've both always felt that she thinks we would take her for granted if given half a chance. We wouldn't, we are just not like that. I don't know how to have a decent conversation with her about seeing dc. I don't know how to arrange things with her - even at her suggestion - because I'm on eggshells. So I let her blather on and offer without dates/times and usually nothing happens because she's like that.
I'm well jealous of people who get babysitting from GP's too. I worry that my and DH's relationship is going to suffer from the relentlessness of it all, like DickCrack describes.
I was in a babysitting circle and it was great. Re the point about not leaving your children with strangers - we had monthly meetings which we took it in turn to host so we got to meet all the other parents. At various points during the year we had family trips - picnics, pantomime etc. it. A lifesaver.
We had very little local family support so I used it if I was stuck at work or in traffic- quick phone call and another mother my kids knew would pick them up from school and take them to play with her kids.
Bonus is that I forged really good friendships over that time and still socialise with some of the families even though my children are now in their 20s.
GM here to three children - my DD and SiL have two (2.8 and .5), and my DS and DiL a 16 month old). I just can't imagine not helping with them. We have the 2.5 year old one day a week and will have the baby on the same day when my DD goes back to work. DiL is a SAHM but we have had my GD for her, just not very often, and her parents tend to babysit for them in the evening.
When we had our children we had no family anywhere near and had to use a baby sitting circle, but not until our DC were older. My DF and his lady friend did take my DS away for a week in a caravan when he was about four - how he enjoyed it.
We hope that we will be able to take our DGS away with us occasionally; we do have him for an odd overnight. It makes it all worthwhile when he says to us, as he did when we dropped him home the other evening, "can you come and stay with us, grandma?" I am sure he enjoys the two-to-one attention my DH and I can give him; we have a lot more fun with him than I can remember having with my two. My DH just loves it as he was away such a lot when our two were small so there are all sorts of things he can do that he didn't have the opportunity to do with ours.
Op, you're not BU to be jealous - I know how I used to feel all those years ago when we couldn't have a little bit of time to ourselves most of the time. GPs who aren't close to their GC really don't know what they are missing.
YABU to call your MIL selfish for not babysitting, she has raised her children. You can be a grandparent without providing childcare and grandparents have no say in becoming one or to how many.
Whilst you may feel envious, i actually feel sorry for many grandparents. They are expected to babysit and are seen as selfish if they dont. DIL's appear to give lists on how to care or what to feed seemingly forgetting the PIL have raised children before. Some i see on the school playground look worn out from the constant demands from their adult children.
I love babysitting my dgc and do a couple of after school sessions every week.I also babysit when asked including overnight BUT I don't think we could manage a week unless it was an emergency.Two nights has been my maximum and that seems about right to me while the dc are young [mine are 4 and 7 now].
YANBU to be envious. My DM offers to babysit "anytime, anytime" but when I ask, I get "we'll see" and it never happens. I don't expect her to be at my beck and call but I kind of thought she'd quite like to spend some time with my dc but nope. I've stopped asking now though because its just a bit weird that she offers but doesn't.
I feel your pain OP. DM is nearly 300 miles away, PILs are 200 miles away. The DC are 5 and 2. Since DS was born 5 years ago, DH and I have been out together 5 times.
It makes me sad that my DC don't have the same depth of relationship with their GPs as many of their friends with local GPs.
I resent that I spend a lot of my annual leave visiting GPs. I hate the 6ish hour drive to my DM's with to DC and have still not worked out the best time of day to do it. And that much fuel is not cheap!
I hate having to sleep on an air mattress on the floor if DM or PIL come to visit us.
I hate that there is no respite for DH and I apart from what we can arrange and pay for. We don't have any emergency back up, other than friends who may or may not be free. I appreciate that this may well be the case with GPs too though.
And I really hate the childcare bill!
My parents had a wonderful relationship with my DC's despite living 50 miles away. They visited as often as possible and I visited them, more and more when Df became less keen on the drive and they had them to stay when they were capable.
I find it hard to read that people think GP's can't have a good relationship unless they're on tap to babysit all the time. I just wish my parents were around to enjoy the DC's achievements as they head into adulthood.
YABU to call your MIL selfish for not babysitting,
happymummy read the rest of it re my MIL and you will see why i think she is a selfish twat
in fact actually, just go away, as you only ever post twatty things
wish there was a hide poster button
I did read it but still cant work out why she is selfish as she doenst want to babysit. Also forgot you can only post if you agree with the op, silly me
TBH, if thats your attitude then i'm not surprised people wont put themselves out for you. You chose to have children, its your responsibility to care for them not others. If you want help, then pay for it.
My parents will have the children for the odd night and love to take them out a few times a year to the theatre or for dinner. They also love to pop over for a couple of hours some weekends or we spend a few hours at their house but they don't babysit at night - ever. Why should they? They both work, they have their own social lives and I would not expect them to give that up, they deserve it. When we want to go out we use a paid babysitter, just as my parents did when we were young. I am frankly quite surprised by how many people don't go out because they don't have family to babysit. There are plenty of reputable babysitting agencies which aren't too expensive and TA's / teachers / nursery nurses are often very happy to do evening babysitting if you ask them and that way your DC know them and you can be assured that they're competent.
SIL and DB were both very fit at 65 when the DD had another baby and had to return to full-time work. SIL and DB loved it. Even had the child so DD and DH could have a weekend break. The baby is now 8 years-old and they have been looking after her during school holidays . SIL insisted she pick her up to take home for good cooked lunch- no school dinners for her and take her back in the car.
DB and SIL are still as fit as a fiddle and full of energy.
We're really lucky to have good support from our families when it comes to DD, and as one of those lucky sods I can 100% say YADNBU. If I were in your position I'd be way worse an envious, I'd be bitchy and snidey about it. You're not saying you think they should have to babysit your DC, you're saying you're envious of people whose parents do babysit. Nothing wrong with a bit of envy. Anyone that says otherwise is just being unrealistic.
Actually, I think grandparents who live nearby and are fit and healthy are selfish arses if they never ever babysit for their grandchildren. I'm not talking about major regular commitments - no-one can expect that - but the odd evening or hour here and there, every couple of months? No question.
Your responsibility to your children should not end when they turn 18; that's just bizarre beyond belief as a concept. You raise them to 18 then never spare a thought for them ever again?! Families help each other out where they can, because that's what families are for! If you refuse ever to help your adult children out in time of need, as far as I'm concerned, you're effectively opting out of being their parents, which is a pretty miserable thing to do to your children at whatever age.
My parents and PIL live a good 8 hours drive away.
My parents will take my DC out if they come to me or I go to them.
When they were babies/toddlers it was lovely when they took the baby out so that I could have some 1:1 time with my older child.
My PIL otoh ...
they have been to mine maybe 3 times (only once since I've had DC).
They constantly go on about "not seeing them" but it only happens if I Make the 8 hour journey (I drive, DH doesn't) to them.
They look after their other GC regularly and minded my DNephews while my SIL was at work. Then taking them to school. on a weekend they'd stay over.
But that was mainly because they were nearby.
When I was pg and DS was 2yo, we went up there.
The DNephews were there. Older one was staying with FIL , younger DN was going out.
I asked FIL if he could watch DS for a couple of hours while DH and I went to the shops.FIL was in doing things .
He was "too busy" .
Thanks and No Fu**ing Thanks I thought.
I never asked him or MIL to babysit again.
I seriously don't understand the 'you chose to have them, you look after them' argument. Nobody on this thread has said they expect their parents to equally share the care of their grandchildren - just help them out occasionally. Maybe my family are a bit too Walton-esque, but we help each other out sometimes, and to me, that is normal.
I just can't imagine at a particular stage I'll say to my DCs "right, we've done our bit, you're on your own now". Of course I will bring them up to be independent and not constantly need our help, but if I can help them with the odd bit of babysitting, why on earth wouldn't I?
To those who say, just get a babysitter, where do you find them? There are no agencies here that I know of. I've seen two adverts in 7 years. I tried them both - one cancelled a few days before, the other didn't turn up on the night. I don't have any friends with teenage dc. Most of my neighbours are over eighty (we live in a bungalow). We have been invited to a party for the first time in ages and again, it will be one of us going on our own.
I don't think you're unreasonable. My parents both died long before my dcs were born. No one on DHs side has ever babysat for us. I did ask once but was called a selfish bitch. Never asked again. Even in an emergency they wouldn't help. I spent some time in hospital a while back, no children allowed on the ward so dh could only visit when they were in school. I worry what would happen if something put us both out of action. Foster care probably.
I'd love my dc to havethe great relationship I had with my grandma but its not going to happen. Her loss.
MIL is a selfish arse who rarely babysits and then only for DD, as DS is not her proper grandchild (he is from my previous relationship, therefore she is not interested
Happymummy, if she didnt babysit at all I would not call her selfish..but that ^ is just really shitty.
I never got much help from babysitters.My mother worked full time and on the odd occaision we asked her to babysit we always got an excuse.My father was an alchoholic so he was obviously out of the question,My MIL lived near to us and would only babysit for a couple of hours when she felt like it, then would always have a moan about it afterwards.
I am now a grandmother of five and am trying to be not like my parents regarding childcare.Three of my grandchildren live with me along with DS and his second wife.I have always helped out with all of my grandchildren since they were tiny babies.I am not a martyr I do have a grumble especially over DIL's parents who have never given any help at all with the two youngest who are also their grandchildren.They live nearby and one of the excuses is her dad hates driving in heavy traffic!.Her mother is constantly boasting about her grandchildren on FB but gives no help at all.
Recommendations from friends, for babysitters. Ours is crb checked, first aider, childcare certs all of it, and has references. You just ask around. Or you can advertise on local parenting/neighbourhood sites and check refs.
OP I think you need to change the way you are looking at this and focus what you can do to ease the pressure of having no family support.
We always knew we would have to do things for ourselves with zero family support.
We personally are not happy to use babysitters until our dc are school age, so we knew there would be at least 5 years where we would never have a date night. As there was no expectation we really don't miss them!
We get takeaway, wine and watch a movie or play a board game. Ds is in nursery part time and I'm only temping at the moment, so we have had a chance to have a couple of unexpected lunch dates when I've not been working!
We spoil each other with small gifts and treats. (I used to get very envious of friends who would get countless gifts and treats for themselves and their dc from their parents and inlaws)
We are saving for cruises/ family holidays when dc are older where they can go to kids club during the day and the evening and we can have time to ourselves.
We know that in the grand scheme of things, spending 5-7 years of without date nights/time off without dc is not a huge sacrifice to make.
The only part I'm sad about is that we are ttc and if we get lucky I know there is a good chance I will have to go through labour and the birth by myself without dp as we will have no one to watch him. And I doubt I will manage to time my labour+birth to his 2 days of nursery
thebody my friend's mother does have her own life, but a great deal of it is about her kids and six (soon-to-be eight) grandchildren. If you've ever been around religious people, you'll know that family is the greatest focus of all, and this family happens to be very religious. It works both ways, and I can imagine her six kids will be dedicated to her care when the time comes that's she infirm.
YANBU. No family help here, we have some family but no DPS or GDPs. Few friends offer either. When I was single, I used to ring my friends with DCs and if I was free a weekend night, offer to babysit, even if they hadn't asked, just to be a good friend. They loved it!
Now my friends expect we can get babysitters and peeved if we can't!!
I'd love a third child too but too old/ no space/ money so I am envious of you for that too!
My mum babysat my DCs. When my DCs have children, I'll babysit theres. Me & siblings took turns babysitting each other's children. Even when we fell out at times as siblings do, we managed that. I find 'separatism' (where there isnt a family riff, family trauma etc) quite sad "its not grandparents responsibility". Grandchildren are a 'responsibility?'. Isnt it supposed to be a joy? & if that includes babysitting then so be it, its quality time - DCs being with extended family. But with so many people busy being busy as if its a badge of honour nowadays I guess thats the way of it
jessieagain, If I'm near I'll do it!!
My mum couldn't wait to look after my boy. Unfortunately she passed away suddenly and unexpected when he was 4 weeks old.
I wish some people would appreciate the support more but you can't really until your there. I'm sure I would be moaning like anything at what she'd been doing or saying
No, YANBU, but there's probably nothing you can do to change it. We are lucky, DPs mother and sisters live nearby and will babysit with decent notice, and when things go pearshaped, e.g. Dd1 in hospital earlier in the year, dd2 needed looking after. We are same sex couple with involved donor dad, and grandparents. This has been very hard in lots of ways, boundaries, what everyone wants etc, but we are now moving to stage where dds can spend the day with them and we get to do other things. But we have put huge energy and effort into this. My point being that sometimes this kind of support isn't there, sometimes you have to work at it, and sometimes it is given freely. You can't really change it.
When your DCs are grown up and you are FREEEEEeeeeee to go on lovely holidays childless and your aged DPs or DILs are needing their incontinence pads changed you will be able to swan off guilt free as you don't owe them like other family members
Yes it's frustrating isn't it OP? DP's parents both dead and mine in N America so had no support.
I found it particularly hard when living in Glasgow as lots of tight knit extended families with people living next door to mum and around the corner from aunties and cousins. The support I saw others get was unbelievable.
Where it became a problem was at work when the assumption was that you couldn't possibly have childcare problems as there must be a relative around to care for Your DC. Um no.. I'm a foreigner! Almost every person I knew at work saved bundles on childcare by having their DC looked after part time or full time by grandparents. It was hard not to be jealous (even if spending that much time with relatives would drive me batty!)
I don't know what kind of budget you're on but last year we discovered a fantastic 4* hotel near us that offers 6 hours free childcare for every day that you stay. We have no family near us at all and I get so jealous of my friends who do have that support, so we booked a two night stay and it was amazing! They even have baby sitters for tiny babies who will sit in your room with the baby while you go for a posh meal. They also have self catering lodges where you still get the free childcare but do it all on a smaller budget We'll be doing this every year now, it was so great to get a proper break. Maybe there's something like that near you?
Where was this chocolateporridge?
Jealousy is a horrible feeling to have. I feel incredibly jealous when I hear about all the things MIL does for her other sons' DCs, and it was hurtful to see her treating our children as third best, so we gradually withdrew from her and now only see her 3-4 times a year although she lives 5 mins away. We are cordial but that's it. When she's old and needs help herself, I will find great satisfaction in telling her she can start reaping what she's sown.
We used to ask for her help, and she would agree in principle but then never actually follow through; when we needed her she would come up with endless excuses not to, she was busy with her other grandkids, she was doing adult BILs washing, and most memorably 'I do have my own life to lead'. I was due out of hospital after a painful gall bladder op and asked her to mind our kids while DH collected me; she was 'going shopping' so couldn't. Most importantly, she never attempted to form any relationship with our DCs or get to know them, never took them anywhere although she drives, never baked with them or read them a story. But I know she did all of this with her other grandchildren (who are all girls, when ours are boys - part of the favouritism reason I feel). I occasionally hear about how she is involved with them and it is hurtful. She picks her youngest granddaughter up from school and takes her to her house until her parents are back from work - we used to have to pay for after-school club. She visits her other DGD's in their uni accommodation miles away while she never once went to see our DS's flat which is ten mins from her house.
It is hard not to obsess about it all but ultimately it's self-destructive and pointless. I console myself by imagining the day when her actions will come down on her head as she will need us and we won't do it, or by having an imaginary rant at her in my head where I point out all the things she hasn't done! One day the rant might actually happen, as I have felt myself very close to erupting on the last few times she's visited full of tales of her other grandkids and how she's involved with them.
Oops sorry for the rant, that feels better actually!
I have a colleague whose parents moved across the world to care for her children. But you see, I wouldn't want that. We do have support, but it's not routine. It's the occasional night of babysitting, help in a real crisis, but no family members routinely care for our children.
Be careful what you wish for! I am certainly not jealous of people whose parents live in their pockets and have an opinion on every tiny thing about the way they bring up their children. Doing it yourself at least means doing it your way...
I would love it and to a certain extent we do benefit from lovely MIL who travels from Cornwall to London to help out where she can in holidays etc but due to expense and distance it only happens a couple of times a year We are lucky though and have lovely friends who babysit for us and us them so we can get out a bit more.
Answers like this really piss me off:
You don't have any right to expect this.
I can't believe all you people who want free childcare.
I would just like my in laws to want to spend a bit of time with my child. I don't mind being there while it happens but I have really fond memories of weekends at my granny's and I'm sad dc won't have that. Spending time with family (so not as 'a guest') but without your parents is fun and different and through it you grow up with more people who have an impact on you in hopefully a positive way.
I wish people would stop seeing it as an entitlement to free childcare: you are very simplistic and dare I say a bit stupid and defensive.
YANBU. I have 3 and my parents are brilliant and have them when we are invited out or are at work. They took them away on holiday this year for a couple of days and the days me and DH spent together were good for us just being a couple and not Mum and Dad. They enjoy spending time with them and my Mum also says that she likes helping us out. She does the same with my sister too.
We pay it back, helping them out when they need it and me and my sister help each other out too. We are a family and are there for each other.
PIL are good at helping us out too and we help them out.
I don't expect this help. I ask and if they can do it, great. If they have other plans or just don't want to then this is fine too.
YANBU to want this but there might be lots of other things in your life that I may be envious about.
I agree with PepperGrinder. I don't understand those responses either or who the people are who make them - are you uninterested grandparents yourselves or parents who don't need/want help for whatever reason?
I too have lovely memories of time spent at my grandparents. They were endlessly patient and wise, teaching me to read and passing on their knowledge, taking me on day trips to the seaside and other favourite places. Also, they provided a link to an earlier time; the memories they recounted to me, funny turns of speech and sayings, their attitudes that came from a different generation - all priceless. I just feel sad that my children haven't benefitted from the same grandparent experience.
YANBU. Dmum used to take ds1 loads when he was younger. Ds2, due to health reasons, she is unable to. Whilst i ds2 still goes to visit her with me, even my dmum agrees that she doesn't have the same special close relationship with ds2 that she does with ds1. Unfortunately this is due to her failing health. If it was because she 'chose' this because she couldn't be arsed or wouldn't make the time for it, I would think she was a selfish arse! However dmil looks after ds2 whilst im at work mon - fri so ds2 is especially close to her. But then I come from a close knit family, everyone lives within 10 mins of each other (including brothers and sisters) and can always find a babysitter usually if needs be. I hope when im a gran id be able to help my dc out in the same way.
RiffyWammal you put it well: who are these people whose response is to assume it's people looking for a freebie and indignant that they can't have it? It's a horrible way to see people.
And you are so right about the link to an earlier time. It's a link to people, too, stories about their mums and dads and brothers and sisters. I can't pass on a character sketch of my MIL as a young girl in a different country: but she could if she wanted to. I really mourn the loss of the link (on dc's behalf).
Plus, it always hurts when someone, anyone, dislikes your child enough to forget to ask about them...never mind never wanting to spend the time, just a little 'How is dc getting along?' might be nice.
Its not that the in-laws are not around for mine that hurts as much as seeing how much time/effort etc is bestowed on their other grandchildren. I feel sad for my children.
ohbaby its a large hotel in Scotland, Crieff Hydro, would totally recommend it.
Wow, haven't read all the thread bit from what I've seen, I am in the minority.
I am thankful we live 100's of miles from either set of GP's.
When I used to take my lo's to play areas I always felt extremely sorry for the GP's who looked worn out and quite frankly bored. I used to meet up with one couple and 'mind' their GD whilst they sat and had a brew and a chat. The GM said she was between a rock and a hard place, loved her GD but didn't love having her everyday. Daren't say anything to her daughter in case she took the hump.
Jetting off on holiday without the kids is a whole different thing, it wouldn't be for me. I didn't have kids to exclude them from fun times, thankfully DH is of the same mind
If I'm lucky enough to be fit and well with GC (in about 25 years or so, please, DD!) I will expect to look after them, and be glad to do so.
Apologies as I haven't read the whole thread but I think a distinction needs to be drawn between what is actually being asked of gp - childcare/babysitting or input into gc lives. It is disingenuous to accuse gp of not being involved with gc because they won't babysit or facilitate weekends away (which in my experience is pretty rare).
I have a great relationship with my mum - she sees the gc all thee time, but it is on her terms and I am nearly always there - she loves seeing me parenting my kids and that dynamic is v special in my eyes. I get companionship and to share her brilliant relationship with my kids - a huge help in itself - and she doesn't have the stress of looking after 3 ds on her own. Nobody feels resentful. Yes I haven't had a weekend away without kids for 7 years ( and ds 3 had to sit on my lap for a tooth extraction on wed) as she won't do that kind of childcare, but her input is still enormously valuable.
In summary (after that incoherent ramble) I think it is v unfair to judge gp worth on how much they will take your kids off your hands.
I think the bit that posters like happymummyofone seem to miss, is that its the fact our children are missing the emotional bond of having loving grandparents in their lives that hurt the most. Of course, practical help would be great and a night off now and then would be amazing, but its the relationships our kids are missing that's the real killer.
All this "your kids your responsibility" is a load of bitter crap.
YANBU. When I was in hospital having DS4 I was on a ward where partners could stay all day and other people could come for 5 hours a day. Everyone else's partners were there all day and they seemed to have hordes of people there at visiting time. DH could only come for a few minutes a day because he had to look after the other dc's so I was on my own most of the time post section with my baby at the other end of the maternity unit in NICU. DS4 is 4 months old and my parents have seen him once, my sisters never have.
op, you are better off than some. my parents are/were too old to have the children. pils are not set up for them either, even their dad does not get them unsupervised. thank god they go to scshool otherwise I would be 24/7. all those adults were still able to build a good relationship with them, though they needed me there. I am lucky in that respect.
you live your live to the circumstances dealt and enjoy other things. I am also lucky to have been born an introvert and live in the age of mumsnet. i get enough interaction on the school run and with one or to close friends.
it only feels bad, like the op, when someone overtly talks about all the help they get. I then try to remember people who get even less help!
the children go everywhere with me when they are not at school. you sort of get used to talking to gp's/shopping/checkouts/church/parents evenings while there is a small boy under one arm screaming shouting and flailing about!
Everyone I've met where I live has family support so no-one is interested in baby-sitting circles.
I think this contributes to HCP assuming that everyone has this and if they apply enough pressure of course you'll find it.
I haven't found reliable babysitters to pay.
* people who don't have to arrange complicated child care to attend hospital appointments, parents evenings, to manage to do essential maintenance jobs round the house etc never mind go out for a few hours.*
I've not looked to go out - well the exception being when it's to see one DC in something and the other's aren't allowed. Even medical emergencies we are often on our own. To make matters worse DH is frequently away with work so I dread anything going wrong or anything out of ordinary.
I'm another that doesn't have any sort. Both sets of GPs had a sahm and tonnes of help with babysitting for marvellous social lives when we were small. They also help with some GC but not others. I'm deeply hurt and angry but their lack of support. I'm mostly deeply sad that they show no interest in my kind, funny ds, except in an abstract picture on the mantelpiece kind of way.
I've spent at least £40k for childcare so far and I am an exhausted mess. I couldn't care less if they find it hard to look after my dsis children full time, its not me they need to talk to. I have nothing financially physically or emotionally left over for them. Our siblings with all the help can repay them by looking after them in their old age. They have shown me how not to be a gp.
for all those that think you have a child, you bring them up without any support from parents (practical and / or emotional). A few hours a year is not it too much to expect.
for my ds`s GPs for not taking any interest in their GC.
I really feel for you, AaDB. Not that it helps.
for my employer for not understanding we don't have ANY support despite trying. How fantastic that your ILs stay over two nights a week, so they can look after your girls whilst your DW works. How lovely they they took them home with them for three weeks when they had chicken pox. Your girls must have a lovely relationship with their GPs. When ds had
I don't do the school run, child minders are full and we both work full time an hour away from home. If I had time to cultivate a support network, I wouldn't need one.
something. Ds was supposed to have packed lunch yesterday, (he usually has school dinners). I totally forgot and sent him to school without lunch. I was out from 7:20am until 6:50pm. I feel that I forgot and at that I only realised this morning when he asked for extra dinner money.
Nothing is more important than my ds but I'm finding juggling it all hard. We are watching Cartoon Network and are planning a lovely afternoon. I've overcompensated by making him bacon on toast instead of cereal for breakfast. It's all good now but a small about of practical support would make a massive difference.
YANBU. Dh's parents would definitely help but they live half a world away. Mine live about an hour and a half away. They would help in an emergency but have only ever offered to babysit twice - both times were to take our 8+ daughter for a week during the school holidays. They've never offered to mind our youngest who gets very excited when he sees them and who has a severe speech problem. I don't agree with grandparents unwillingly being coerced into fulltime, or near fulltime care, of their preschool grandchildren but I do find it lovely when extended families live close and help each other out with irregular care.
Our childcare is nursery two days a week, that's it. Our parents live 100+ miles away. They do visit regularly and we see them and they are more then happy for us to go out whilst they are here, they adore DS.
However in the times they aren't here we just have to get on with it ourselves. If DS is ill, or we have hospital/GP appointments etc, DS comes too unless one of us has to take time off work. We just juggle it ourselves, it's not easy.
I am a bit envious of people that have child care at the drop of a hat, and am rather incredulous at anyone who has regular childcare from GP and then moans about it.
OP- I have been lucky enough to have grandparent support (staying over, regular care) when my two were little, however, I think even my very involved parents would balk at three, one a little baby. In fact, they didn't look after babies on their own. So, I totally get that it's a shame not to have some help of any description, but having more than one can be too much for some grandparents, and as mine get older, having all of them for longer periods is just not feasible.
There's definitely an expectation from others that you do have family support. I had to cancel a medical appoint due to dd2 being sick. No one to take her so had to cancel as I couldn't take a puking child with me. I was grilled for 10 minutes by an incredulous receptionist on my lack of will
My lack of willing family. Also employers can expect you to work late as "can't your mum or mil get the kids"?
Drives me potty
I hear you Raven. One of ds`s teachers once told me it was a good idea to have one of the other mums available in case they needed a close emergency contact. I agreed it was sensible and asked her which one? Teachers seem to have extremely inflexible work places so I'm surprised she couldn't understand the idea that working parents may never do the school run and that some people have NO help. I'm not an over protective mum that won't allow my pfb to be looked after by others.
I asked for flexible working once, at work. My 2 bosses sat in front of me and actually laughed, they both said" why don't you just get your mum to help out, my mum babysits all the time"!
they obviously couldn't contemplate anything else
I had to give birth to DC4 alone (a rather nerve racking VBAC of a large baby after a previous neonatal death) as DH had to stay at home with the other DCs because we had no one to look after them. He asked one SIL (unmarried, no DC) but she was 'too busy'.
I was not aware that my mother and stepfather had started travelling to us (5 hour trip), or were going to, when DH told them I was in hospital. They actually arrived at a local hotel long before I gave birth with no word at all. They came round the next after I was out of hospital and stayed for 15 minutes without so much as having a cup of tea or holding DC4 before going off to visit my sister and her DC who they have practically brought up and financially supported for years (also cleared all Dsis's debts).
I can count on one hand how many times they've had my DC and the oldest is 16! My siblings have never babysat despite me constantly babysitting my sister's DCs when I was a teen. One sister used to whine at my mum to 'make me' if I said I had something else on and she did .
They don't see my DCs at all now.
DH's parents are abroad and will not babysit even for an hour while we visit for once a year as they're 'too old' and SILs won't let them. SILs have never babysat either despite us having their DCs for weeks at a time when they were younger. I won't have them now.
Damn right I am fucking jealous and YDNBU!
I do it on my own..no grandparents, single parent, ( Dad doesn't see DS)...I work as a childminder so I am not reliant on childcare, Very rare I ever get to go out so spend most evenings on my own so yes I do feel envious of people that have family support...
It isn't the expectation it would be nice to just be able to even nip for an exercise class rather than DVD at home on my own..
I don't have a desire to leave DS in someones care while I go on holiday..It isn't the cost of paying a babysitter ..it is having someone who can do it regulary and know DS is growing a bond with would be lovely
YANBU. I don't have in laws and my parents live about 150 miles away. I live in an area where most people have family support and they really have no idea how much easier their lives are because of it. I wish I lived in an area where everyone else was in the same boat as at least we could organise a babysitting circle and the local school would stop having so many day time events for parents (they assume that if parents can't go a grandparent can attend).
I don't particularly want anyone to babysit so we can go out but it would be great to be able to call on someone in an emergency.
raven, I've had the same from a receptionist for a medical appointment. She couldn't seem to grasp that I had no one, absolutely no one, who could watch dd for this appointment. She was adamant that children couldn't be present either. She was a bit stumped when I pointed out that I'd never be able to come then so what should I do about getting treatment. In the end though she finally clicked that when I said no one I meant no one and let me bring dd. I've never felt so much rage about being treated differently for being a single parent before.
Oh and by treated differently I mean not being able to access healthcare I really needed. Obviously they treated me differently by letting me take dd in the end too so I suppose its horses for courses, thinking about it.
someone once said to me, when I said we couldn't go to watch the dc's at a tournament, "don't you have any friends you could leave your other children with??", it made me feel really lonely...then when I asked this person who they were leaving their other kids with they said "well , my mum and dad are picking x up from ballet, then my SIL is dropping her off, then MIL is having them overnight, then my cousin in keeping them till we come home"..I just stared at her open mouthed"..bitch!
In nearly 4 years, my parents have sat with DS for one hour (when DH was in hospital) and an hour when I went to a funeral. And PIL's have never spent any time alone with him.
My sister, whose children I looked after very regularly from being 6 weeks old (including lots of over nights and weekends), has only met DS about 8 times. Never spent any time alone with him, and I should think never will.
I see that as her loss though, I wouldn't swap the fab relationship I have with her children for anything. And I only have that because I put the effort in.
I don't 'expect' anyone to look after DS, at all. It does annoy me though when both my DSis and DSIL complain about my parents and PILS respectively, when I know that they both get huge amounts of support from them. DBIL and DSIL haven't had to pay for a single day of childcare in 15 years because my lovely MIL helps so much.
whereas I had to give up work when DH was in and out of hospital so much we couldn't sort out childcare that fit round my work. But I'm not bitter.
If I didn't see the support given to DSis and DSIL, I don't think I'd care at all that we don't get any.
I am surprised at some of the mean spirited replies on here. Op of course YANBU to be envious of those who have lots of family support. My parents still pretty much both work full time so child care during the day is not really an option, ds goes to a childminder. However when it comes to free time my parents are smitten with ds and are always asking when we are next going out or away so they can have him! Ds is just as emitted back and absolutely loves seeing them. We are incredibly lucky and it's lovely.
Having said all that I have always said that if my parents were retired then I wouldn't ask my mum to have him for more than one day of the week as its not fair on her to commit to that sort of level. However again we have the luxury of being able to afford childcare so again are very lucky in that respect.
I do really feel for you guys who have very little or no family support, it must be crap and all these 'oh you can't just expect help from grandparents' replies are a bit mean - it doesn't mean to say you can't be sad if you don't get that support.
"I think the bit that posters like happymummyofone seem to miss, is that its the fact our children are missing the emotional bond of having loving grandparents in their lives that hurt the most. Of course, practical help would be great and a night off now and then would be amazing, but its the relationships our kids are missing"
Actually the OP was moaning about having no babysitters.
Children can form great bonds without childcare being provided.
I dont "miss the fact" either, my mum died when i was a child so i am well aware of missing relationships. Thankfully DS has other close adults in his life but i dont expect them to provide childcare as why should they? I chose to have a child not them.
My ds is now 15 but I have no parents, only child and only an estranged mil who hasn't seen ds since he was 3.
Split with ex husband when ds was 4. Am now with dp but I was living on my own with him for 8 years. Not a penny in maintenance, living in an area which had virtually no childcare. The town is full of several generations of the same families. Nobody else seemed to need childcare!
The only childcare I have ever had was paid for. Occasionally friends and acquaintances would help out but I always seemed to end up paying back several times over. If someone had ds for a few hours after school, I'd end up looking after their two or three kids all day to pay back.
I just feel so sad that ds has had no one else to be there for him. No one else to love him.
When he was 6 he woke me up after having a nightmare. He told me that he urgently needed me to teach him how to drive our car. I asked why and he said because if I died, he needed to be able to drive the car to asda to get food for himself. he had no concept that anyone else would look after him, why would he?
I remember the school getting very sniffy with me. I had a job which was flexible (essential with the lack of childcare in my area), however, the office was an hours drive away. So when ds was sick in school and I told them I would come and pick ds up but I was an hour away, they told me I must nominate a member if my family within 30 minutes away and it was standard policy or something to do so, I explained I had nobody else to help. She was incredulous and I think thought i must be lying.
I got incredibly upset last year when my dp parents couldn't be bothered to come and see ds on his birthday. Dp has 4 kids, who have each other, two parents fighting over them, two sets of grandparents, an aunt and uncle, cousins. I know they're not ds family but I was so upset for him that day. I think I have more issues about it than he does though! He just wants to be gaming all day now he's a grumpy teen.
So op yanbu!
I worked with someone whose DMIL watched the DCs for her whenever she worked, but she would roll her eyes when the said DMIL was mentioned, meanwhile I had travelling DH and a childminder who, as is the norm I think, didn't have DCs when they were ill. I sneaked DD into work once and hid her downstairs .
Another lone parent here, with very little family support. I know having a dp doesn't mean your life is perfect or that you're not desperate for a break, but try walking a mile in my shoes. Your child/children are exactly that......yours, and no one else should be expected to look after them. If they do then it's a massive bonus.
I feel sorriest for the people whose parents on in-laws won't spend time with their children, but will happily do hours and hours of what should be paid childcare for their other grandchildren.
We don't have that scenario because nobody lives close enough, but already it gives me a lump in my throat when I see my PILs travelling five hours to see our niece for a week, and balking at visiting us (an hour away) for any longer than the time it takes to drink a cup of tea.
I suppose it is down to their relationship with the parents of their grandchildren; however how do you explain that to an inquisitive child who begins to notice these things?
It's not unwillingness of behalf of our parents/inlaws, but distance. I've noticed that other mothers of young dcs at work seem to be able to come in for extra meetings, training days that I cannot - I assume family mind their dcs at those times. Makes me look bad for not being able to do the same - before children I would not have understood how hard it is to find adhoc childcare (even if offering payment) so I doubt my boss does either.
it is frustrating and sad and lonely
but I don't see any way round it, other than try to find people in your situation who will swap childcare with you, although I've tried to find that for years and its impossible when everyone around you has extended family on their doorstep
and as redhen says, its your children you feel sorry for the most, but I suppose if they've never had it they might not miss it?? hopefully...
Villandra that is the circumstance we are in. GPs are too tired to visit at the weekend because both sides are busy with our siblings children. It breaks my heart that they all have favourites and my ds gets left out in the cold. He was talking about them yesterday, saying what great GPs he has.
I know he will start to notice that he is neglected compared to the time and money lavished on his cousins. He hasn't seen my DPS this year. They never ask after him or call him up but love him to bits. He used to ask for his gps to pick him up and to go for sleepovers. We all get to a point when actions speak louder than words. If I'm lucky enough to have GC, they will feel loved.
YANBU. I think what irks me most are the moans along the lines of "DPs took five DCs on holiday for a fortnight and gave them a great time, but I am so annoyed they let them ruin their clothes". I would love non toxic GPs who would lovingly ruin my DCs' clothing.
My PIL and parents were available constantly for childcare when DC were little. It was great. DH and I could swan off whenever we wanted to. The GPs used to take them on holiday for a few weeks every year too.
The upshot is that now the teenagers are very close to their GPs, are in and out of their houses every week and love them dearly. They choose to spend time with them.
When our GC come along, DH and I will be exactly the same. I already look after my toddler God Daughter to give her parents a break and I love it. I also host the DC friends every weekend which is fun.
I appreciate that this has been an ideal set up for our family and I do feel for those who get no support
AAdB yes mine absolutely adores his GPs and talks often about how wonderful they are. I can't really describe how deeply I feel this. I am so sad for the realisation that is sure to come. I only hope that he remains completely oblivious, that would be the best thing! To that end I say absolutely nothing, which just adds anger to the mix because I do actually resent it and I hate lying anyway, even if it's just 'Oh yes dear they are fabulous.^
Your child/children are exactly that......yours, and no one else should be expected to look after them. If they do then it's a massive bonus.
Yes I agree - but I've been unable to do some medical appointments for me because DH couldn't get time off or was away and the HCP have been completely inflexible which hasn't been in anyone's interest.
I've also been told off for taking then for routine MW appointments even after saying it was that of not go - DH couldn't get time off as his leave had been used up attending his unexpected health appointments. I was lucky I could avoid hospital births else I'd have been by myself.
It's was also complete nightmare when my DH was in hospital very upset and worried but I wasn't allowed to take DC into ward or leave outside so couldn't get to see him and believe me I tried getting round that.
In these cases it's not so much lack of family or any support - it's professionals making that situation matter.
I have to say my DC school tries hard but even they have put us in situations where i can't attend meetings as DC aren't allowed or only one is - sometime when DH is around that fine other times I can't go then I feel I'm letting the DC down.
I get it would be harder if I didn't have DH even with his frequent work absences and yes Single parents do have it hard. However having said that my DSis who is a single parent has both sets of GP, several uncles and their DP, DN father and his new DP who all look after DN often at a drop of a hat and they are willing to do it for her social life as well.
Your child/children are exactly that......yours, and no one else should be expected to look after them. If they do then it's a massive bonus.
I, and most posters here, don't expect anyone to look after our children, but it would be lovely if they wanted to
even better would be to be able to share our lovely, well behaved, mannerly and very loving children with grandparents who adored them as much as us, that for me would be a dream come true (my parents have died)...that's what I'd love. for my kids more than for me.
My MIL has been caught out lying about saying she would look after ds for the night. I don't trust her at all now. Half term apparently will be a great catch-up time for her and ds. Yeah yeah, right. Sad that they won't have a good relationship, livid that she lies and makes promises and won't follow through. I don't factor her into our lives now, to be honest.
It's not about the time she would take ds off my hands, not one bit. Just that he will grow up with someone who falsely fawns over him pretending she's fabulous and adores him, when actually she can't be arsed.
Is this all a reflection of the mobility of people "these days"? As in, DH moved from Scotland for uni and stayed down south, I moved an hour from home and stayed, so neither of us has family immediately nearby, whereas in prcious generwtions people tended to "stay put" more? Just an idle thught.
Anyway, we have very little family support, my dad is mildly disabled and not confident with the dds (2 and nearly 5) while the ILs are in scotland, my mum is dead. ILs are both in early 70s and do two days/one night a week childcare for SIL and her DH, this involves them driving 50 miles and staying away from home once a week (he works shifts so isn't consistently available) They like seeing the GCs, but are now completely tied down to when SIL and family want to go away - they are coming down to look after our two for a weekend (our first child free time since DD1 was born) and had to get her to agree first so she could arrange alternative childcare. They're starting to realise that her expectations are going too far, and that what began as helping out has become in effect a new job, when they're bth getting older and want a bit of a rest!
My own parents moved away from home so we never had the 'grandparents round the corner' thing either, and they also died when I was very young. We've just come to terms with the fact that there won't be that inbuilt network of support and the same strong relationships for the girls as they grow up, so we're trying to build them elsewhere via godparents and our own friends.
Previous generations, that should say
My parents and parents in law rarely babysit - my parents live abroad and my mum has a chronic health condition. I however always look after my nieces / nephews and even friends kids and so my sisters and sister in laws etc reciprocate. And now than dd is 10 and ds1 is 7 their school friends parents happy to look after them. So don't be jealous and instead start making new networks - by helping others with their kids...
jumpjockey, I suppose it depends where you live. Near me there are loads of extended families where they all seem to help out each other all the time. Its hard when you see this all around you but can never have it yourself. And making friends with others in similar circumstances is near impossible, there is no one else in similar circumstances to me here!
YANBU. My mum doesn't speak to us and DH family are abroad. We have 5DC so would never expect anyone to look after them all ~ they are mine and my responsibility and I don't wish them to be looked after so I can go out etc. but it would be lovely to have a GP to turn to in an emergency or just for some extra support. It would also be lovely for DC to have a special relationship with a GP.
When I had DC 5 it was a planned section. DH is self~employed and can't afford to take much time off. I had section on the Thursday and DH had to stay at home looking after DC. I came out of hospital on the Sunday and did the school run on the Monday cos DH had to get back to work ~ it's at times like this it would be wonderful to have some family help.
Those who have parents / family involved in their lives are very lucky......
So don't be jealous and instead start making new networks - by helping others with their kids...
Good advice if you don't live in an area where everyone else has family support - then people aren't interested in your help or giving you some and don't get the problems.
Though to be fair it's not just GP here it's sisters, brothers, IL -bro/sis, cousins even older DC who provide the family support I see all around us.
I think it would grate less on me if there were more people in my position and definitely if people didn't moan about the support they get given.
I agree HexU.
I also have found, its people like us that have no support who would offer to help you out if they can, people with mum/sister/aunty/MIL round helping out all the time never imagine what its like and would never offer you any support, its the last thing they'd do. But finding someone in almost the same position as you is invaluable...until your kids get to the age they don't want to go to x's house as they don't like them/ they've got different hobbies or friends and they don't want to mix etc etc
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