Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

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.

golfyc Wed 08-May-13 22:09:21

Not much
Think its really difficult when you see other people getting lots help ie getting washing, housework etc done - would be fantastic luxury though!. - However you also see what you are expected to do in the way of a circus and performing kids when you parents and or in laws help out all the time.
I am from a very small family and basically its always been stand on your own two feet. It means I don't get day to day help but also means we don't have to spend every weekend somewhere I don't want to be.
My sons grandparents do get time with him and he does adore them but time is spent when we want to.
Think some grandparent think they've had their time and why should they start again?
Maybe look at getting a good network of friends that can help out and the kids can play together - winner all round

Jezabelle Wed 08-May-13 22:33:20

69 Bex, I'm sorry you've had such a tough time. I get no help with my DDs either. Dad lives 2.5 hours away and never has offered. PILs live 4 hours away. We don't see them much. When we do they dote on the DCs but don't give much practical help. DD1 just turned 7 and did not get a single present from family.

I think you've got a hard time from some of the posters here. It's not like you're complaining that your DCs GPs don't take them on holiday or help provide weekly childcare or something. You were low and needed some support. I don't think that's unreasonable and think that it is natural to feel hurt by the reaction you got.

My guess is that your dad did feel out of his depth and probably didn't feel he would be able to cope. He lied to you as he didn't know what else to say. What he said to your sis sounds like he was using attack as a form of defence.

I can't say whether or not you should maintain a relationship with him. Maybe leave things until you are feeling stronger and less angry and review the situation then.

What I do know is that, partly as a result of having no support, I feel so very close to my DDs. Didn't spend a whole day apart from them for the first 6 years. No one can say I did not bring them up. They are lovely people and I am proud of them.

Good luck getting through this tough period. Post in SN or behaviour forums for more advice about your DS.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Wed 08-May-13 22:38:54

Sorry you are having to put up with this. It's shite, isn't it.
My MiL wouldn't come and watch her 1 grandchild the day after we moved house and were all really ill. We were utterly desperate or DH wouldn't have asked. Her excuse? I've go a lot of ironing to do. A part of DH died that day. We haven't bothered with her much since then.

I will always be there for my kids. It's so hard with no support whatsoever.

thegreylady Wed 08-May-13 22:39:38

Different families different dynamics I guess. I have 9 grandchildren and would look after any of them whenever asked and for as long as needed. Last month I had three aged 15,13 and 9 for a couple of nights and next month I am having two aged 4 and 6 for a weekend. But you see I love doing it and if I didn't I would probably be less willing.

thezebrawearspurple Thu 09-May-13 00:21:57

Pil would move dd in with them if they could and have her a few times a week, my own take her for a few hours every couple of weeks, neither do it to help me out, they just want to spend time with her. They'd be running in the other direction if she was so difficult that even teachers and childminders found her hard to deal with tbh. Perhaps your father felt that he wouldn't be able to cope with him.

My mum will babysit when ever i ask, and stay overnight if needed and always has done.

My dad struggles to spend more than an hour with us cos he can't stand the noise lol, but he is always there if I really need him, and sometimes helps financially, like if my car is knackered etc.

Mimishimi Thu 09-May-13 00:32:52

My parents have had DD several times in school holidays. They live too far away (2 hours drive) to provide any other help. They've never offered to take our 6 year old special needs son overnight by himself either. I think it would be too much for my mum or she worries it would be. Last holidays was the first time he noticed it and I could see the hurt in his eyes as he asked why he couldn't go to Nanny and Poppy's too. I don't expect them to though and would never consider 'cutting them off' because they didn't want to. What would that achieve?

Oh my ex's parents don't see our kids btw. It's the only thing me and ex agree on.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now