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GRANDPARENTS - how much help do you get?

(58 Posts)
69bex69 Wed 08-May-13 10:50:16

Ok i have 4 children, 10, 7, 21mths and 5mths. I have a hard working hubby and live 20 miles from the nearest relative. I love being a sahm and all is dandy except for one thing; my 7yr old boy. He's very hard work not just for me but his teacher and when he used to go to a childminder.

One day i was at my wits end and we needed a break from each other so i called my dad and asked if he could just have him for one night. Never asked in 10yrs for any help. He said he couldnt as he was very unwell so i asked the other grandparent and he stayed there. Fair enough?

Then i get a call from my sis saying he lied coz he didnt want to, why the f**k should he!? Well i thought that was what family was for? I have my sisters kids now and again and its not a problem. Never ask anything in return. I do it because they are my family. Simple.

Have to say he hasnt bothered with them in the past, birthdays, christmas, school holidays so i guess it shouldnt of been much of a suprise but i dont think its normal. He had plenty of help when we were kids!

Think i may just cut him off.

Different families I guess. My parents and in laws would always have one or both of the girls if I asked (which I haven't...yet!) but then we're a close family and the grandparents are dotty about the children. I guess not everyone is like that. Given the lack of previous interest from your dad I'd be sad but not surprised by his response. I'd tell your sister to fuck the fuck off though.

Ra88 Wed 08-May-13 10:54:08

I think you have to accept people for how they are sometimes . at the end of the day , yes your kids are his family but he isn't the one who decided to have children, you are , when you had children I'm sure you did not think "it's ok cos ill get a break when df has him"
my mom helps with childcare if needed but my dps mom does not and that's her right IMO

Oh yes, you will get responses from the "you chose to have them" brigade...

And as if by magic...

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Wed 08-May-13 10:57:43

Your dad is perfectly within his rights not to look after his grandchildren if he doesn't want to - we sign up to raise one generation of children, not two.

Your sister sounds like a shit stirrer though. Why did she deem it necessary to ring you and tell you your dad was lying and ask you "why the fuck should he"? I mean really????? Is that the action of a loving supportive sister?

CoffeePleaseSir Wed 08-May-13 10:57:48

We get none.
It used to really upset me, not because I want them to always have my children, I didn't have children to palm them off, just that I would love my children to be able to have that close relationship with there grandparents like I did.

Walkacrossthesand Wed 08-May-13 10:59:45

Interesting dynamic going on there - the sis whose children you look after sometimes, criticising you swearily for asking DF to help you in the same way? What's that about? And why wasn't sis the one you approached for help as a 'favour called in'?

69bex69 Wed 08-May-13 11:02:14

Sorry i wasnt clear. My dad said to my sis why the f**k should he? Understand it was my choice and if it was a want rather than a need then fair play. If a friend asked you to stay the night because they had marriage problems, would you tell them to f**k off, you decided to be with that man? I guess you probably wouldnt.

If if doesn't want to look after them don't pressure him. But it's a two way street. I hope he doesn't expect you to help him when he has a problem.

turkeyboots Wed 08-May-13 11:05:06

We get none. Not a penny fiancically or a second of time in help. Which generally is fine.

But is annoying when we ask for help due to illnesses or massive unexpected bills and get told no - as they are supporting other siblings financially and with childcare. So we muddle through only to get slagged off by siblings for asking for help.

Disown the lot them is my advice. Certainly made my life easier to massively reduce contact and any expectation of help.

NotWilliamBoyd Wed 08-May-13 11:10:50

There's a difference surely between family helping out and the expectation that they should?

Plus if you needed a break from your DS because he was being difficult, perhaps your dad was anxious that he wouldn't be able to cope with him, as in effect you were saying that you couldn't?

Sorry if that sounds harsh, but you seem to feel that it is your right to have had his help.

69bex69 Wed 08-May-13 11:13:40

I cant ask my sister as she has a newborn. Understand "he done his time" but he also had a LOT of help from his mum, brother and sister. In fact, he didnt really bother as a father either. Grrr. Just see other families have these wonderful relationships and mine seem some what broken :-(

LtEveDallas Wed 08-May-13 11:21:23

We get none. My parents live over an hour from us, are in their 80's and whilst 'healthy-ish' I think they are too old to cope with DD. My PILs are in their 60's but both in very bad health and 6 hours away.

I am the youngest, have 2 sisters and 2 brothers all of whom have kids. When I was growing up I was expected to babysit for them, and did, happily. However the favour has not been returned.

I do have a neice who has been a star over the years and I know I can rely on, but unfortunately she is now in ill health so I don't feel right calling on her.

It just means that I don't get a 'break' or to go out without DD, but you know what, it's not hardship. I'll take my time off when she's grown.

69bex69 Wed 08-May-13 11:22:12

Your right, first time in 10 yrs i kind of expected a bit of help once. As a pp said, its a two way street. Guess i dont have to see him on his death bed but that kinda would be expected of me!

mrsSOAK Wed 08-May-13 11:33:00

we get no help.
My father lives in the next village along (so a few miles away) he comes over every weekend to see us. He love DD and enjoys spending time with her. He has never offered us and help and we have never asked. He is a good grand dad but as far as I am concerned he would not focus his attention on her enough. Hed play with her and then start to watch tv or read his paper, she is 3 1/2 and needs to be watched or gets into all kinds of naughtiness!
My in-laws live abroad and have only met DD twice, so thats a definite no.
I'm not sure I understand the idea that if you do something for someone it automatically means you get the same in return. I do a favour for someone because I can and want to help out not because of what I can expect in return... perhaps I am wrong

Bogeyface Wed 08-May-13 11:37:49

So your issue isnt the lack of help but the fact that your father doesnt, and it seems never has, given a toss about you?

I think that perhaps you should look into counselling to deal with that, and tell your sister to stop shit stirring.

NotWilliamBoyd Wed 08-May-13 11:39:05

Yes you expected help with a child who you have said is difficult for you and other adults - maybe your dad panicked? If he has not been very involved with your son, whould your dad have been able to deal with him? You're clearly disappointed and upset, I do understand that and I'm sorry that things are hard for you right now but would you have wanted your dad to feel obliged to have your DS and maybe resent him and not be able to manage him well anyway?

I feel that your focus here is in the wrong place, resenting your family is not going to help with anything. Are you having support from anyone else around managing your son?

There is no mention of your partner, could he not support you more?

69bex69 Wed 08-May-13 12:20:08

My hubby works 7-7 but when he is here he is 100% . People are forgetting that its also my son that needs help too. Grandparents play an important role in a childs life. Guess im going to throw this right back at ya and as a pp said, i chose to have my kids. So when do you stop being a parent? 18? 21? Coz if thats your attitude, dont have kids. If you stop helping/being there for your children once your legal responsibilities and obligations run out, that says a lot about the kind of person you are.

I cant do a lot about my dad, but i can teach my children about better family values which is what i will now be focusing on.

NotWilliamBoyd Wed 08-May-13 12:38:03

Is that aimed at me? confused

Some grandparents play an important role in a child's life, of course. And some don't. There is no law saying that they have to.

Have you looked elsewhere for help for your son, have school been able to suggest anything?

69bex69 Wed 08-May-13 12:49:43

No another poster. I wonder if some people would have the same attitude towards a mother suffering from pnd? Would they ba all like well you chose to have a kid, deal with it.

Already been to docs and had an assessment but was less than helpfull. He gets over excited around other children but is fine with one on one. Before anyone suggests i give him more one on one, i already do!

elQuintoConyo Wed 08-May-13 12:49:56

Mine are in UK (I'm not) but we get no help financially or physically when they come to visit - both refuse to even push 17mo in his pram! Both are healthy and bend over backwards to accommodate/play with/gush over my niece and nephew.
DFil, on he other hand, is ten years older than my parents, in ill health and was much more hands-off as a father. Hiwever, he often elbows me out if the way to push the pushchair, hold DS's hand etc, it's delightful. He is in no position to uelp financially or by babysitting - DS is 'spirited' if that's the right word? DFil has 8 grandkids and loves them all at his house - with parents and my single DSil and DBil (huge family!) to help out.

Dahlen Wed 08-May-13 12:56:46

It's one of those situations where there's no right or wrong answer.

No GP should be expected to provide help, and no child should feel they are entitled to it. However, in my world, it is decidedly odd that in a happy, healthy, functional family the GPs wouldn't want to help out - certainly in an emergency/difficult situation if not more often.

Longdistance Wed 08-May-13 12:59:14

None. We live in Oz, and they're all in the Uk.

Smartiepants79 Wed 08-May-13 13:03:15

We are very lucky. We live 20 mins from my Mum and Dad and they do a LOT for us. DM has my children for 2 days so I can work and they stay at their GP about once a week. It is a huge favour for us but they enjoy every second of their grandaughters.
My husbands family live much further away but could always be depended on in an emergency. They would love to be able to have them more!
I always think it is so sad that so many people seem to get so little help and such rubbish relationships with GP.
Mine were such a huge part of my life.

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