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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.

Jovellanos Mon 19-Aug-13 17:27:09

I personally think where possible there is a moral obligation on grandparents to take an interest in their grandchildren.

'Taking an interest' is a long way from 'providing free, on demand childcare so the parents can work'.


Pachacuti Mon 19-Aug-13 17:34:17

When they said "they would be happy to take her out a few times" you should probably have said something like "Oh, that's very kind, DD will be so excited. Can we get a couple of dates that work for you pencilled in now?"

When I was still working MIL would have DCs sometimes over the summer holidays -- I put that in place first based on what worked for her (as she had other commitments and was doing me a favour, even if it was a favour she enjoyed) and then scheduled other activities/days out around that.

In this case by the time you all got round to discussing specifics your DD were busy on the days they were free and they were busy on the days she was free. It's just a useful reminder that you are all busy people and need to arrange things more in advance in future.

longjane Mon 19-Aug-13 17:40:35

These guys were offering free child care for SEN
Do you know how rare that is even you have a load of family?

This is what you should have which is sort out free child care 1st.
Then sort all other plan.
Free child care comes 1st!

Ah we'll you know for the next holiday.

Deemail Mon 19-Aug-13 17:43:11


WestieMamma Mon 19-Aug-13 17:44:02

YABU it sounds more like your daughter is too busy to see them. They offered several times but she had other plans. Funny how you expect them to change their plans to accommodate you but aren't prepared to change your plans to accommodate them.

RiffyWammal Mon 19-Aug-13 17:57:13

I don't understand all the 'YABU' replies at all. I would bend over backwards to help out with my granddaughter, and I consider it my moral responsibility to do so - even though I have 'had my kids' hmm and I'm disabled. My parents and MIL did very little to help out and if they did it was all on their terms, and I'm determined to be a better parent and grandparent than them.

MrsCakesPremonition Mon 19-Aug-13 18:03:59

My parents and MIL are great for taking the children, but the summer holidays have always been a pain in the past. Lots of clashing dates, rearranging of plans, everything a bit of a PITA.
This year I called them all in June, we went through our diaries and booked some dates that suited them and us and now we have all been able to plan around the dates in the diary. I felt like I was being a bit over-organised when I called, but it has worked brilliantly. My DCs have spent more time with their GPs than usual, the GPs have had time to plan and look forward to having them and I've been able to arrange other activities around the GPs (so the GPs know they have priority on certain dates).
, instead of feeling like they are getting the leavings).
I'd really recommend booking time earlier rather than later if possible - instead of making noises but it never quite coming together.

HorryIsUpduffed Mon 19-Aug-13 18:21:28

I'm surprised by how unaccommodating my ILs are, given that they are both retired, live four miles away, and gladly made use of 15-20 hours' childcare (including five meals) per week when DH and SIL were younger. But I have learned not to rely on them and consider any time they spend with DC as a treat for them, not a favour to us.

In the OP's case I think communication, not willingness, is what's lacking.

HorryIsUpduffed Mon 19-Aug-13 18:23:20

That is, GMIL did their wraparound care for years so they could both work, so it isn't an alien concept to them.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 19-Aug-13 18:48:06

I think Horry is right.

OP's pil quite obviously do want to see their granddaughter but I think it's unfair to expect them to change their plans for your convenience when it's already been admitted that OP won't change her plans.

I find this whole thing a bit baffling. My own parents will still all be working when I have children (next year or so hopefully) and will be for a good few years thereafter (well over 10).

Procrastinating Mon 19-Aug-13 18:55:33

YANBU but I know that goes against MN orthodoxy. Grandparents these days are mostly shit (except you Riffy).
I hope you said you were 'too busy' for tea on Friday.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 19-Aug-13 19:03:27

YANBU but neither are they.
We have exactly the same thing, my ils are the same. I know where you are coming from, its not the child care aspect but the fact they are your dds extended family. I lost my parents too and sometimes it is hurtful that they have time to visit and don't.
But they do have their own lives that will probably involve lots of health appointments unless they are young and in very good health.
I think with more comunication it would be better for your dd. It wasn't their fault that they only had tuesday free and you were already busy.

DontmindifIdo Mon 19-Aug-13 19:07:17

See, I don't think YABU to expect retired people who are living close by who have offered to have you dd to help out, however, you are massively U to just assume they have no other plans or commitments at short notice.

For next holiday, don't go with a vague "help out some days", what about "could you have dd every other Tuesday over the summer so I can commit to work?" and ask this way back at Easter so it's in everyone's diaries. If they say no or offer a different day, then you can plan around it and will be far easier.

Childcare IME is much easier when it's clearly set out and regimented, as you've found this summer, ad hock arrangements are a working mother's head ache.

mrsravelstein Mon 19-Aug-13 19:08:11

dh's parents are both dead. my parents live locally and will help out with an hour here or an hour there once a week, but that's it. it's not really a case of being reasonable or unreasonable, you have to take what's offered. i am envious of friends who have very actively involved grandparents who take kids overnight/while parents work etc etc, but ho hum.

DontmindifIdo Mon 19-Aug-13 19:13:35

Oh and did mil work outside the home when your dh was at school? Also IME grandparents that had a SAHM don't automatically get it with holiday childcare, esp if you normally work school hours so don't need paid childcare in term time. If they stopped to think about it they might realise you need care of some sort, but if not, then they might need it pointing out- you don't want them just to spend time with dd for dd's sake, you need childcare, and for those days to be a firm commitment (or enough warning to arrange alternative care).

SueDoku Mon 19-Aug-13 19:38:02

What ArtexMonkey said. Next holiday, sit down with them as soon as they show any desire to take DD out, and get some dates in your (and their) diary... That way, neither of you is disappointed.

SantanaLopez Mon 19-Aug-13 19:41:31


You both need to be a little more flexible.

Also, it's mid-August and this is your BIL's first time home this year? I'd expect your DH to be there.

mrsjay Mon 19-Aug-13 19:44:35

surely her grandparents are more important than friends no ? they said when it was ok for them to have her you cant dictate when it suits you if you want them to have her while you work then ask them, but you are not breaking any other arrangements so she can see her grandparents are you it is give and take imo

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Mon 19-Aug-13 19:53:25

YANBU though as Procrastinating says, that isn't the party line on these threads. It would be nice if retired people could be a little more flexible but the lesson from this, as other posts have now said, is to book in specific days with them - that way you know work is covered and they know about keeping those days free. Santana also makes a good point - what share of the summer holiday is being covered by your DH? He also ought to pitch in.

LittleBearPad Mon 19-Aug-13 20:47:42

It would be nice if retired people could be a little more flexible

Why? Aren't they allowed to organise their own lives like we all do?

chocoluvva Mon 19-Aug-13 20:49:59

That's a shame OP and you have my sympathy. It will get easier for you as your DD gets older. smile

cjel Mon 19-Aug-13 21:15:19

Hope SNazzy was joking? retired people are the busiest I know!!!!

maddening Mon 19-Aug-13 22:38:35

Why shouldn't they be able to try and work it so it's more mutually beneficial for both gp and parents though? Fair enough it's free child care but at the same time gps get time that they say they want and the parents get to do something they need time for - surely the gps can get their diaries out and find dates that suit everyone?

My mum at one point offered to do a day a week now she is semi retured but I took voluntary redundancy and we spent lots of days all together - was lovely. Now am back full time and mum said straight out that she didn't want to commit to a day every week so now she helps out in school hols (pre school) which helps us loads and mum picks and chooses which days ahe wants - every one wins and mum and ds have had a fab time.

Mintyy Mon 19-Aug-13 22:41:31

I am sick and tired of seeing all these countless threads on Mumsnet where people "expect" other people, usually grandparents, to look after their children.

emsyj Mon 19-Aug-13 23:02:34

YANBU to feel sad that your ILs seem to you to be unwilling to make time for your DD, however I do agree with a previous poster that you perhaps would be best off trying to fix dates with them well in advance - some people work a diary system and are quite rigid once something is in the diary, perhaps they are like this and it's not a case of your DD being unimportant but rather that some thought and organisation needs to go into it from both sides to make sure that your respective schedules don't clash.

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