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For thinking my mum could be more supportive?

(29 Posts)
Lorenz Mon 27-Jun-11 07:23:57

I'm a single parent and my mum has always said "you know I'll have the kids if you got a job" etc.

So I finally get offered a place at uni on a course that is 50% placement doing shifts and all of a sudden its:

"oh it will be hard for you, with the kids. I mean I can't have them all the time, can I?"

Every 5 minutes its "so, what will you be doing with the kids when you start uni?"

so she's obviously panicking that I might ask her to help me out.

AIBU here?? I mean surely you should be supporting your daughter who, against the odds has managed to secure a place at university to finally train up for a professional career??

I've explained to her the placements are only 6 weeks at a time and I won't need babysitters for the sociable hours shifts as the kids are 13 and 11 and will be ok on their own for a few hours. This gets met with "hmmm" as if to say "yeah yeah, she'll be asking every 5 minutes".

She barely has the kids for me now so it's not as if I have a habit of leaning on her for it! In two weeks I have a certificate presentation to go to, she was even funny about having the kids for that and it's only 3 hours!!

Bare in mind, I havn't even ASKED her to have them whilst I'm at uni but I did kind of hope she would now and again. Now I'm starting to panick that I'll have no support network whilst at uni.


ddubsgirl Mon 27-Jun-11 07:54:45

just gone through this with mil & sil,sils partner walked out last year,so i look after her dd 3 days a week while she works,she wanted to do a college course so she can get a better paid job,not a prob with me but sadly she got turned down for the course so she tells her mum yesterday and when she was out the room mil strats going on about oh well im glad she isnt doing it,its unfair on dd blah blah blah,yes it would be tough and hard work but at the end she can get a better paid job and better hours,hows that unfair?
just cos mil & fil have done fuck all with thier lifes and spent the whole time on the dole etc they think everyone else should be too,why work when you can get paid for free! ghhrrrr

good luck op hope you can sort out childcare xxx

PrettyMeerkat Mon 27-Jun-11 08:10:04

Lorenz I sympathise. The only person I have to rely on is my MIL and she wouldn't have my child while I was in labour! or about a dozen other important events that I could go on about. So in effect we have no support at all. I need to work more but she just won't help, despite having her other GC ALL the time so their parents go play sports etc. It stinks.

kreecherlivesupstairs Mon 27-Jun-11 08:15:36

I suppose it depends on how old she is and how much of a social life she has.
My parents just wouldn't have the spare time. They are constantly on holiday, at U3A meetings or playing golf.
Was she aware that you might one day take her up on the offer? I've got into a lot of trouble in the past by making off the cuff remarks that come back to bit me on the arse.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 27-Jun-11 08:30:36

I suppose people's circumstances change, OP. Perhaps your Mum doesn't have the time that she did when she mentioned having the children.

Can you work out exactly the timeslots that you'd need childcare for? I'd say that it's not really childcare anyway, both your children are at secondary school now, you just need somebody to 'keep an eye' on them.

Have you worked out what your children need foodwise, activities, etc. for when thye're at home and you're not? Did you need them to go to your Mum's or be at your house?

This six week placement - can the Uni help with any childcare? There must be other students who need this? Do you have to actually be away for six weeks or will you come home in the evenings?

What I'm saying OP, is can you put it all down on paper so that your Mum can see what's needed - it may not be as much as she thinks. It wouldn't be unreasonable for you to remind her of her previous promise, not as a challenge, just a reminder. You're perfectly within your rights to ask her not to promise things that she can't stand by but to be honest, before I signed up for the course, I would have double-checked that the position hadn't changed here.

I'm sure that your Mum wants you to get on, every Mum wants that. Make it work, you don't have little kids now and there may well be a friend or neighbour who wouldn't mind 'keeping an eye'. What about the kids' father? Grandparents, aunts?

I hope you can get this sorted out, OP, if all else fails, ask Uni about other courses. There are always other ways of getting what you need in terms of qualifications. Good luck!

fedupofnamechanging Mon 27-Jun-11 08:50:41

YANBU to expect a little help from your own mother and if she wasn't prepared to offer it, then she shouldn't have made such a song and dance of offering.

I think this will work out okay though as your children are not little and can be left on their own for a while. Also your placements are in 6 week chunks so maybe you'll be able to organise after school activities to fill up some of the time.

It's really hard training and studying when you are on your own with DC, so well done for being motivated enough to try it. Perhaps an older teenager would sit with them some evenings for pocket money?

Lorenz Mon 27-Jun-11 11:24:16

The thing is, she has NO social life! she doesn't do anything at all. She doesn't work, she's only in her 50s so not really old - it just pisses me off that everytime I try and do something to better myself, nobody wants to help. This isn't the first time this has happened. I feel fine leaving the kids upto around 9pm as long as it was only every now and again (which it will be). The only time I'll need a proper babysitter is when I'm doing night shifts which hopefully won't be until the 2nd year anyway. I WILL get there!! they may try - but they won't succeed in stopping me!

PrettyMeerkat Mon 27-Jun-11 11:58:56

I am guessing you are training to be a nurse?

Lorenz Mon 27-Jun-11 12:41:45

Yes PrettyMeerkat. Funnily enough she seems to have had a bit of a u-turn afterthought on the whole thing and has reinstated the offer of having the kids now and again whilst I'm at uni - as long as it's not all the time.

I've just found out that my shifts will be 13 hours long (jeez louise pappacheese!!) over 3 days and then 4 days off so childcare might be easier than I thought!

DorisIsAPinkDragon Mon 27-Jun-11 13:00:28

lorenz nurse training might have changed abit since i was there (eons ago now!) but we used to have the shift pattern of whatever ward we were allocated to, (made things difficult for transport with mates if on different wards). We also tended end up doing the shift pattern of one or the other of our mentors.

Well done on getting a place whilst it will be hard, your children will be more and more independent as you progress too.

Joolsy Mon 27-Jun-11 13:56:04

Unless I've missed something, you haven't actually asked her if she'll have the kids though have you? You have nothing to go on at the moment until you actually ask her directly.

PrettyMeerkat Mon 27-Jun-11 14:15:21

Lorenz Just make sure she doesn't mess you about. I think she should either help or not, I know it's not that easy because you will need help erratically, just don't be at the mercy of her whims.

Make sure that she isn't going to begrudge it. If she is it might be easier to sort something else out from the start.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 27-Jun-11 15:08:21

Your Mum's not trying to stop you, OP. I was with you up until your second post. Perhaps your Mum would like to have a social life, would like to do something? Does she tell you all her plans? Would you even be interested in them?

I'm all for people bettering themselves, improving their prospects and so on but if they don't have people falling over themselves to help them, then so be it, they're not entitled to that and will have to stand on their own two feet as other people do without thinking about it.

redwineformethanks Mon 27-Jun-11 15:30:44

I don't think I would expect my parents to look after my children - I wouldn't feel it was their responsibility

Having said that, I don't think she should have offered to help and then withdrawn the offer

cjel Mon 27-Jun-11 15:44:30

Being a grandmothr of 4dcs and 51 years old, I would be horrified if my dd 'expected' me to take over her childcare. There is a differnce between helping and being taken for granted. I have my dcs loads weekends sleepovers and days in the holidays , so I am not saying we grannies shouildn't help at all but your attitude stinks. She isn't stopping you they are yours not hers and it really his harder to look after children when you get older - even 50. If she does 'nothing' in your mind its her life she's done her childrearing, YABU.xx

biryani Mon 27-Jun-11 16:46:14

I think you are being a bit U, to be honest, even if she did offer. It may have been made in the heat of the moment, and regretted once your course became a reality! Your DCs are not tiny, though, and although she could perhaps be a support in an emergency, sorting out childcare is your responsibility, not hers.

halcyondays Mon 27-Jun-11 16:55:38

I can understand that if she had offered to look after them if you got a job, it's a bit disappointing if she's changed her mind, but they are your responsibility, not hers. YABU to expect her to do childcare on a regular basis. Some grandparents are willing to help out in an emergency, but not to do frequent childcare. It does sound as if you are taking her for granted a bit, most grandparents are willing to help out sometimes, but they should not be expected to do it all the time.

diddl Mon 27-Jun-11 16:56:24

TBH, it sounds to me as if she would like to know what´s going on.

Plus surely you can be supportive without it meaning free childcare??!!

boysrock Mon 27-Jun-11 17:03:53

No i dont think its unreasonable to ask your dm to help out with occasional child care so that you can work and improve things for your family. Dear god this attitude of everyone being a little self sufficient island stinks.

I would talk to uni if you experience/anticipate any problems with shifts, i'd also let your mentor know. They may be able to accomodate your childcare needs. It is give and take though, you dont sound like you'd dictate terms however[ wink]

anyway just remember what comes around goes around and if your Dm doesn't want to help out her own daughter occasionally to make life easier that's fine. No guilt when she needs support and she's older then.

halcyondays Mon 27-Jun-11 17:26:20

It isn't just occasional though, is it? If OP is going to train to be a nurse, then presumably she would be asking her mum to do quite a lot of childcare at night, plus weekends, etc. Maybe her mum was thinking more along the lines of helping out for a couple of hours after school, if OP had got a job with more regular hours. she has said she would help out, just not all the time.

I imagine it would be quite difficult to hold down a job with unsociable hours long term unless you have at least one person who is willing and able to be very flexible to help you with childcare.

boysrock Mon 27-Jun-11 17:30:46

Not necessarily halcyon, maybe one or two lates a week on a ward, lots of community placements now so 9-4 mon-fri for them. Some weekends but not every weekend as student nurses are not in the numbers any more.

Nights for students are nowhere near as frequent as they used to be. In face I have never put a student on for nights and infrequent weekends as they are not in the numbers and do not get paid for it.

cjel Mon 27-Jun-11 20:15:41

boysrock I don't think its unreasonable to be supported by parents either, I regularly have dgs while thier parents work and had dgd living with us when her mum was single parent. What goes around comes around -? doesn't bringing up your own count? how much has OP done for her mum over the last 13 years?? support doesn't have to mean she is sole childcare.Help is help not taking on OP children. Good relationships would mean that she could organise childcare and then her DM could get bonus pleasure time with dgs everyone happy. Her mum doesn't seem to have said I will raise your children for you. Expectations are far too high on GPs today, parents do take the mick' where does it say that her mother has to make all the sacrifices so that in a few years time, probably when her kids have left home she will be earning money?xx

boysrock Mon 27-Jun-11 20:56:42

Cjel have you read the op? nowhere does op mention her dm taking on the kids full time. Just help now and again.

I suspect you may be projecting somewhat given that you appear to have been lent on heavily. In answer to your question my dc did not ask for me to have them so I dont think they are indebted to me for my care in old age and god forbid my40's and 50's i wpuld need them to help me.

As far as i can see its bloody hard trying to keep a job going and a family. Support from family is really helpful to get going anf have a quality of life. I am fully prepared to help out with dgc childcare because I know how hard it is otherwise. However I woild swap that for support in old age.

boysrock Mon 27-Jun-11 20:57:53

Im on the phone hence the spelling is dodgy.

cjel Mon 27-Jun-11 23:04:24

I am def. not projecting just saying she is being unreasonable the amount of help she is expecting, which is going to be more than help now and again. weird that you would think help is something to swap. It should be unconditional. OP mum did not ask for her dgc to be born either. I know how hard it is to run a life , I am at college and company secretary to our business. MinL has dementia and help my kids unconditionally when I can and they want me to. OP was asking if she was unreasonable to expect her mum to look after her children while she trains. I still think her mum would have been expected to by OPs sataement that they are trying to stop her and that her mum has no life of her own. When you get to my age you have earned the right to do stuff all with your free time if you like and not have to have grandchildren because dd will sulk that you are not being fair and letting her down if you don't.

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