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To Expect inlaws to be more willing and accommodating?

(58 Posts)
Galaxymum Mon 19-Aug-13 15:46:02

My mum died last summer, and my dad died before I had DD, I have no siblings and she is an only child. So basically I have no close family to babysit or take her out. DH works quite long hours and I work part time from home - works brilliantly during school term but I am very cautious on her going off to places as she has Aspergers and is quite anxious and needs security.

Anyway before the school hols my in laws said they would be happy to take her out a few times - so I was stupidly thinking this would accommodate me to work and also she would go out with them on a day we hadn't anything planned with friends. So she has been to their house (not out) twice and that will be it. First week I was told "We'll pick her up Monday or Tuesday" - and she had something booked those days so didn't go. Once the next week as I rearranged another activity to accommodate them.

And once last week - this week they rang and said that Tuesday was best for them. But we have a day out planned with her friends. Soooooo thinking they'd accommodate her as we go away Saturday and then she is back at school, I made suggestions. "Oh no we're busy" was basically the answer.

I feel very frustrated and angry that they are frankly too busy to see their grandchild. Not just that they don't ask if I NEED some babysitting time so I can work but seem like they are too busy to see my DD who is only 7.

Then yesterday we got a summons to tea on Friday - come at 4 o'clock as my DH's brother and family are coming down to visit for first time this year. So we all have to fit in - DH was basically expected to finish work early and be accommodating though we go away Saturday morning.

Tee2072 Mon 19-Aug-13 15:47:58

They are grandparents, not personal assistants or nannies.

If you need childcare, pay someone.

DropYourSword Mon 19-Aug-13 15:50:40

Do they work / volunteer or have other commitments in their lives which mean they have to plan when they can spend time with her?

fluckered Mon 19-Aug-13 15:51:12

like Tee said. you should be thankful to be honest. if you want your kids minded/entertained, pay or specifically ask. I don't have family where I live. you are going to hear a lot of these answers i'm afraid.

CaptainSweatPants Mon 19-Aug-13 15:54:17

Get Dh to tell them Friday is impossible as you're packing

curlew Mon 19-Aug-13 15:54:46

So by "willing and accommodating" you mean "fit in with what I want and change this plans accordingly"?

Yorkieaddict Mon 19-Aug-13 15:55:39

YABU to expect them to provide childcare when you need it, but I can see why you are frustrated. It would be nice if they were willing to try and help you out, especially as you don't have help from anywhere else. I feel for you!

Chottie Mon 19-Aug-13 15:56:48

I am a GM and I am so proud and thrilled when I am asked to look after my DDs PFB. I don't understand the OP PiLs, I would never, ever be too busy to see my GC.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 19-Aug-13 15:59:11

I think yabu sorry.

They're not unpaid child care. Your work arrangements are not their problem. Why should they have your dd except when it is convenient for them realistically speaking? If they are healthy enoigh to enjoy a busy social life, good for them frankly. They have done their child raising.

runningonwillpower Mon 19-Aug-13 16:00:36

I think that it's easy to forget that grandparents have no duty of care. They've done their bit the first time round.

Of course it's nice if they are involved but that doesn't always work out either - there are regular threads on MN about over-involved grandparents.

It's a hard one. It's nice if grandparents help but I don't think that you can expect them to always be available at your convenience. Their offer of help is just that - help when it fits in with their, entirely reasonable, plans for themselves and their own lifestyle.

In this case, it's not just the grandparents who are too busy to see their grandchild. Sometimes, she is too busy to see them.

Perhaps a bit of forward planning?

Thurlow Mon 19-Aug-13 16:00:42

I can see why this is frustrating. But have you actually explained to them that them looking after your DD at a certain time would be a massive help to you?

In the bigger picture, YABU. They are grandparents, not childcare.

Vivacia Mon 19-Aug-13 16:01:19

I don't think they are being unreasonable, they're just at a different stage of life to you. I think you and your partner should ask them if they could provide regular childcare.

chesterberry Mon 19-Aug-13 16:03:04

YABU. She has been to their house twice over the holidays and twice more they have offered to have your DD which you have declined because you already had other things planned. You are unwilling to cancel your plans so that DD can see them and yet you expect them to cancel their plans for the days they are too busy so that they can see her because you 'NEED some babysitting time.' If you need someone to babysit get a babysitter, whilst it is great if Grandparents do offer to babysit that is not their role and it's not your right to get free childcare from them or their responsibility to offer.

From their point of view it might seem like you could be more willing and accommodating and change some of your plans so that your DD can see them on the days they have told you suit them. When they said they would take your DD out they probably offered because they wanted to spend time with her, not because it would allow you to work (which seems to be why you think they offered?) and perhaps they assumed that they would be able to take her out on days when they didn't have anything else planned?

I'm sorry but you can't complain that they are only willing to see her on the days they are not busy and that they won't cancel their plans to suit you when by your own admission you only want them to see DD on days when she doesn't have other things planned and it suits you and don't seem to take into consideration whether it suits you. In fact to be honest it sounds like you are being quite entitled and have an expectation that they will provide childcare for your DD because it suits you. Perhaps they could be a little more accommodating but surely that works both ways and you need to be willing to be more flexible too. I also don't know why, if you keep finding that the days your DD is free they're busy and vice versa, you aren't trying to organise days to meet up more than a week in advance, before your diaries are filled up?

wowfudge Mon 19-Aug-13 16:03:19

Galaxymum - I think you need to communicate better what you would (ideally) like from them; sounds as though you are expecting something you have not conveyed to them and are expecting them to mind read. However frustrating it is for you, maybe you actually need to say "we have something planned on X day, would you be able to have DS on Y day so I can get some work done". That said, if they are not available, you need to take it on the chin and not get annoyed with them. If you want childcare, you may have to pay for it.

Squitten Mon 19-Aug-13 16:05:20

Well you don't have to do anything so your DH can just tell them no. If he won't do that, your problem is with HIM.

As for childcare, they aren't obliged to do anything for you! It sounds like they are indeed busy. Why is it necessary for them to rearrange their lives to suit you but you don't feel obliged to cancel your friends to go and see them?

If you need childcare while working, then pay someone to do it!

Whereisegg Mon 19-Aug-13 16:08:24

It seems like they have tried though, but you have already made plans so I'm not sure what you want them to do really?

If it was made clear to them you needed help to be able to work, you should have been updating them as to days you needed help regularly, not expecting them to sit by the phone not making any other plans.

I really think you could have avoided this situation by ringing weekly and saying "dd is seeing friends on a/b/c, could she come to you on d/e this week please?"

LittleBearPad Mon 19-Aug-13 16:13:23

Sorry I think YABU.

If you wants them to spend time with DD in order to allow you to work perhaps you should have been more organised at the beginning of the holidays. They aren't childminders and equally I don't think you can moan that dd only went to their house, not out.

As for Friday, is it feasible or not with your travel plans - if not then don't go but tea won't take long.

Trills Mon 19-Aug-13 16:18:10

I would never, ever be too busy to see my GC.

Some people have other things in their lives than their grandchildren. Sometimes people have plans.

BrokenSunglasses Mon 19-Aug-13 16:21:21


You and your dd have been busy at times they have wanted to see her as well, they are not the only ones who don't want to drop plans to fit it in.

You say they have had her twice, so it's not like they haven't seen her at all, but they do have lives outside of being grandparents as well. Sadly for you, they can't be expected to take on the role of two sets of grandparents because of what has happened to your parents.

I don't think they are doing anything at all wrong by not asking if you need them to babysit. It's your job to ask for help when you need it. I also don't think they are doing anything wrong by expecting you to do whatever you can to see close family that are not in the area frequently. I have family spread out over the country. When any of them are are significantly closer than they usually are because they're visiting, I would expect to make the effort to see them.

ArtexMonkey Mon 19-Aug-13 16:39:02

You often get mners being all 'yabu, grandparents aren't free childcare' on threads like these, presumably because a lot of posters live a long way from their own families and never get free babysitting/child free time courtesy of grandparents, and so don't see why anyone else should either. Yes, gps have done their own bit, but they did their own bit back in a time when people tended to live nearer their extended families and there was an expectation that people in a family would put themselves out for one another from time to time.

You may gather that I have little time for this quite harsh 'suck it up' type attitude grin

No we shouldn't presume upon or take the piss out of ageing or infirm grandparents, but if they are hale and hearty and live in striking distance, no it is not this crazy outrageous presumption that families will do reasonable kind favours for one another, and I have never understood why that is the prevailing attitude here, and jealousy and being a bit of a dog in a manger is the only reason I can come up with.

That said, ywbu to not communicate clearly with your mil at the start of the holidays when this initially came up, if you had said 'it would be so kind of you if you could take dd a few times when I need cover to work, I would really appreciate it and it would make the holidays a lot easier for us, thank you' it would have made things a lot clearer, besides giving her the opportunity to address any misunderstanding of her offer on your part.

Nancy66 Mon 19-Aug-13 16:51:22

Gosh, I think you are a bit unreasonable with your expectations.

They have the right to make plans too. It sounds like you just haven't taken the time to organise and co-ordinate properly. If you're the one who needs the childcare then the onus for this falls to you - not them.

They sound like nice people, you just been to plan ahead more.

ChasedByBees Mon 19-Aug-13 16:57:36

They haven't given you a summons - if it's inconvienient, you can say no too. It is hard when you have no support - we don't have anyone geographically close and it's a slog, but your inlaws are not obligated to help (although it would be nice).

MrsOakenshield Mon 19-Aug-13 16:58:54

'so basically I have no close family to babysit or take her out'.

You do know that's not in the job description of close family, don't you? Great if they can, but YABU to expect it of them.

neunundneunzigluftballons Mon 19-Aug-13 17:08:20

I know the right thing on mumsnet to say on these threads is that you are being completely unreasonable expecting any help from grandparents but I am on the fence. Generally I am from the it takes a village to raise a child philosophy and I think it is sad that we are becoming so insular with our immediate family. I personally think where possible there is a moral obligation on grandparents to take an interest in their grandchildren. I cannot ever see a situation where I would not be able to help my children out with their children in the future (not fulltime as I work but babysitting). My mother and mother in law fall over themselves to see our children and as a result the children have wonderful relationships with all their grandparents. In your case with a child with additional needs I would see even more reason for them to be involved.

All that said from your op it is clear that they are trying to help out they just are not very flexible with their arrangements which is probably not their fault as they have other commitments. So I am sorry that you are not getting the help you need but maybe their is room for compromise on both sides.

Groovee Mon 19-Aug-13 17:24:13

I think what would have been better was for you to ask for one day a week on the same day, so that would mean they knew they were having her then and you could turn down invitations etc.

They aren't being unreasonable but you are expecting them to have her when YOU want them to have her instead of you communicating the actual needs.

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