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To wish I could rely on family more.

(65 Posts)
muminthemiddle Fri 19-Aug-11 17:55:38

I know that I am lucky. I have 3 dcs and a dh and we are very happy.
I just wish that myself and dh could go away for the weekend without being made to feel that we owe either grandparents a huge favour for them looking after our dcs (their grandkids).
I bumped into a friend in town and she mentioned that she was going away with her dh for the weekend. I asked if her 2 dds were going and she said oh no just the 2 of us. I admit whilst I am pleased for her and am not in the least bit jealous of couples who can get away, my immediate thought was how nice it would be to have parents and inlaws who will gladly look after our dcs without making you feel like you are either:

A complete bitch from hell for even thinking of leaving your dcs.
An ungrateful sod for wanting to spend time alone with dh.
Taking the complete piss out of others hospitality.

For the record my dcs are 14, 12 and 9 and well behaved(on the whole!) seriously though they are not problem kids for want of a better phrase.
It is just after 14 years it would be nice to be able to take up friends offers of a weekend away.
I am an only child so my mum doesn't have any other grandkids. I have spoken to her before about how she makes a song and dance if ever I ask her to babysit. I am not ungrateful for what she does do but like my inlaws she is always available whenever we are having a do and feeding everyone.
My fil makes no bones about the fact that he won't do anyone a favour and neither will he allow his wife to do so. I use that term deliberately as she is a battered wife and has to ask his permission to babysit.
Anyway due to something which happened we don't let the kids stay at fil.

Sorry for such a long post, both myself and dh have often spoken about how unfair it seems that we both have parents who are less than great at helping out. I don't want to sound selfish but we mean this as neither of us felt we had a great childhood either.

I know that IANBU and in time my dcs will be old enough to stay alone. I know that I have more than others but still can't help feeling that fate has dealt both myself and dh a crap hand.
Thanks for sticking this far.

phatcat Fri 19-Aug-11 18:11:40

I really sympathise with this. We are in the same boat, though in our case grandparents and suitable relatives don't actually exist and it is very hard indeed. I too am jealous of friends who get 'time off' and weekends away without kids. I'm also sad that the kids don't have these relatives to have a relationship with. I just hold onto the fact that we will have time again when they are eventually old enough to leave alone / grown up and it will probably feel really satisfying knowing that we did it all ourselves and survived to tell the tale. Hang on in there, you're not alone.

MrsRobertDuvall Fri 19-Aug-11 18:17:09

We have never had family to leave them with, and so tend to have breaks without each other ( which I have to say I enjoy)
It is logistically quite difficult to get them at a friend's for a couple of days- we managed for 1 night last year.
It would be nice to have that family network, but then again, reading the threads on here, maybe not!

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 19-Aug-11 19:39:47

YABU, it was your choice to have three children so surely you knew time or weekends alone would go out of the window for a while. You could always pay for a sitter.

You dont mention anything you do for them, just what they dont do for you.

Fuzzywuzzywozabear Fri 19-Aug-11 19:49:34

YANBU.....but.....I think you'll find that there are loads of us in the same boat. IN my case, MIL in her 90s - parents live abroad and don't trust them anyway. I know how you feel OP

muminthemiddle Fri 19-Aug-11 19:49:49

I know it was our choice to have 3 kids.
I don't expect anyone else to look after them as such, hence why I had to pack in work. It would just be nice to be like the vast majority of people I know who if they are invited away for the weekend can rely on their parents looking after the kids for 1 night.
Instead we have to decline invites or like MrsrobertDuvall, go seperately.
Hell we have even had to decline wedding invites with a no kids rule, not that I am moaning about that aspect.
Btw dh has already tackled mil as she has looked after sils kids overnight but that is because "she is my daughter".

muminthemiddle Fri 19-Aug-11 19:54:26

Btw grandparents live less than 9 miles away and are fit and healthy. Our dd is 14 and they have always been like this.
like I said neither myself or dh had what could be described as an idilic childhood. We have never had hand outs either. Sorry for moaning. We have both said we will offer to help if ever we are lucky enought to have grandkids.

Steeplearningcurve Fri 19-Aug-11 20:09:21

YANBU I am very lucky that my parents have been a massive help since dd was born 4 months ago and have had her overnight a few times so i can sleep. I can't imagine having to do it without family support and so you have my sympathy. No constructive advice I'm afraid but you shouldn't think you are asking too much, especially as your dcs are older.

imissbluesky Fri 19-Aug-11 20:15:21

Yanbu. I feel your pain. We too have no such options and whilst not complaining I can't help but feel envious of those who do.

inkyfingers Fri 19-Aug-11 20:16:40

Do you have friends who could have one or more of them? (send to 3 different friends?). If you had an all day Friday to Saturday, they could go home with school friend and you collect Saturday am, so it's not a big deal for friends. Sorry to suggest stuff that can't work for you, but YSWIM.

I've jumped at helping out friend who wanted to go away, so that I could call in the favour blush, though she did mention that at the time!

Neither our parents are keen on looking after them for very long.

saladsandwich Fri 19-Aug-11 20:21:35

yanbu, i am on my own with ds and i have family close by (same village) and not one of them helps me out not even in an emergency. i have had to take ds to hospital and drs appointments, had to take him to A and E with me before.

just wondering do you have any friends in a similar position who you could sort of watch their kids for a wekend and they could watch yours?

browneyesblue Fri 19-Aug-11 20:59:53

YANBU - We don't have any family close by, and I can't help being jealous of those that do have some help. It would be lovely to just be able to go out once in a blue moon, even if it was just for a couple of hours.

I don't like to ask friends as they all have family living close by that are very involved, so I would never be able to return the favour.

I think if it were an emergency they wouldn't mind helping out (and I wouldn't mind asking), so I'm lucky to have that.

squeakytoy Fri 19-Aug-11 21:19:09

If you were an only child, I suspect your parents might feel a bit daunted by the thought of coping with three children that are not their own.

I dont think you are being unreasonable, but my own parents never went away together overnight while I was young. The first time they did, I was 17 and capable of fending for myself.

yellowsubmarine41 Fri 19-Aug-11 21:26:15

YANBU. I've got a friend who has both sets of grandparents living nearby. Her and her husband have regular weekends away or just go out without the children which seems to do them all the world of good.

The bit I'm most jealous of is having someone to call on when you're ill or the children are a bit ill but not contagious or in desperate need of their mum and you'd rather not have to take more time off work.

TryLikingClarity Fri 19-Aug-11 21:39:05


I have a few friends for whom leaving their kids with their parents or other relations is just part and parcel of being in a family. I know they were shocked when I said that it isn't that way for me or for many others.

My own grandparents weren't much help to my parents - they didn't help mind the older siblings when the young ones were being born etc.

Now I have my own DS I find myself very upset at times with MIL who does sweet balls all with my 18 month old, who is my PFB, yet has all the time in the world for her nephew who is a similar age. (a whole other rant and one started a thread about a month ago!)

You and your DH just need to rely on each other and teach your kids the best way for the future; although I know it's painful not being able to turn to others, esp those with whom you share blood bonds.

EuphemiaMcGonagall Fri 19-Aug-11 21:46:24

YANBU - we're in a similar situation.

We live quite far from the GPs and in an area where families seem very close, and help each other out a lot. Neither set of GPs has ever been very interested. sad

My parents took DD for one or two nights for quite a while, but my dad's not in great health now so they haven't looked after her for about a year.

MIL is a lazy cow who won't walk the length of herself. She had DD for a few sleepovers but it turned into such a bloody fandango for me that I was quite glad when it stopped, nearly four years ago.

We've just been through six weeks of school holidays without a night to ourselves; it was our 10th wedding anniversary earlier in the year and there was no chance of a weekend or even a night away together.

It's hard, even though we chose to be parents, it's just sad when GPs aren't interested. My parents have always been self-centred, but DD is the only grandchild they are ever going to have. sad

NorthernChinchilla Fri 19-Aug-11 21:51:46

Not BU at all. Many of us are in the same boat with our parents not being able to help out, but it's made worse in your case I'd guess by the fact that they physically could, but won't.
Throw into the mix what's obviously a bit of a toxic issue with your PILs, which all sounds deeply unpleasant and I wouldn't want any children round any person, relative or no, who was violent, and I'm not surprised you're a bit down about it.

Getting time to yourself as an adult, and with your partner as a couple is very necessary, and doing without it is tough.

I hope it gives you a little comfort that you're at least providing for your children what it sounds like your parents didn't for you.

sunshineandbooks Fri 19-Aug-11 21:56:19

YANBU. I am a single parent of two. My parents are dead. My one sibling lives on a different continent. I have wonderful friends but they all have their own DC/responsibilites and as they help out when professional childcare falls through (quite often) and also work themselves, I don't like to put on them further for social nights out (besides which, if they were babysitting I couldn't go out with them).

I haven't had an overnight off for 5 years.

I don't actually mind so much other people having such help from their families. In fact when my DC are grown with children of their own, I hope I can do for them what I haven't been able to have because I know how hard it is and how much I would have appreciated it if I had it. It's not jealousy of others, it's more wistfulness. I'm sure that's what you feel too.

The biggest sadness for me is more the lack of family to love and care for my DC other than me. If something happens to me they really are on their own. sad

fifitrixibellesmith Fri 19-Aug-11 22:02:42

lots of people dont have anyone to farm their kids out to, i didnt and my OH worked away a lot

you just get on with it

Tigerstripes Fri 19-Aug-11 22:10:29

This is one of the things that scares me slightly about having children (just married,none yet). I have useless parents that I haven't seen it spoken to in years and DH's parents live hundreds of miles away. I admire parents like you who can do it with no support but I'm not sure if I'll be able to. So no advice but YANBU and I sympathise.

ssd Fri 19-Aug-11 22:23:33


I totally get it

we have had 1 night away in 14 yrs and haven't beem out together this yr-yet!!!

have tried and tried to swap with friends/find someone to pay, but it hasn't happened, sleepovers happen but not both away at the same time!

my mum is very elderly and dh's parents are dead, siblings far away or totally and utterly useless

it is very very hard, but you aren't alone

BimboNo5 Fri 19-Aug-11 22:23:35

Wow Fifi, your martyr medal is on its way via first class post hmm this will be yet another 'you are lucky to have kids, I know someone whos three kids were abducted by aliens, she'd do anything to never have a weekend apart from them' type thread wont it...

ssd Fri 19-Aug-11 22:27:12

send a medal to happymumofone whilst your at it, she's another ray of sunshine

honeymom Fri 19-Aug-11 22:28:17

Yanba to wish you had the opportunity. I don't get this they are your kids you choose to have them. Doesn't mean you always want to be with them 24 hours a day 7 days a week. 52 weeks a year for 18 years. It's ok to desire a break. Your kids def sound old enough for summer camp though. ;-).

cat64 Fri 19-Aug-11 22:39:42

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