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to be Well Jealous of those with lots of family support ie Babysitting??

(153 Posts)
mistyshouse Thu 10-Oct-13 09:17:38

my friend is jetting off to new york with her dh this morning and her 2 dcs are being looked after for the week by grandparents

this will never happen for me and dh. even though our dparents are relatively young (under 60) as MIL is a selfish arse who rarely babysits and then only for DD, as DS is not her proper grandchild (he is from my previous relationship, therefore she is not interested sad ) yet she constantly babysits her DP's GC who is not her bio GC (this whole MIL story, in itself, is a long story) and my parents both work full time and are not that keen on babysitting for more than a few hours at a time or at a push if we are desperate, overnight. but my mum has a knack of making me feel guilty about it and like a child again when i have to ask her.

we are having DC3 in april and babysitting will become even more scarce as who will want to look after 3 dcs?

aibu to be massively jealous a bit envious of the lucky lucky jammy bastards parents who have loads of babysitting options?

i wouldnt change having my dcs for anything but sometimes i would love a break

havatry Thu 10-Oct-13 10:17:56

YANBU I can't help thinking how different life would be if we had someone to babysit. But that's the way it is and it's fine. We have adjusted things job wise so that we can cope, because we had to. We rarely go out as a couple, let alone go away for a weekend. In fact I can't remember the last time.

I have tried to get a babysitter from adverts etc, but both times they let me down by not turning up on the night. Also, I feel quite worried about having someone the dc don't know at all.

I do have a good friend though who is in the same position and we occasionally do favours for each other. I think that helps, find someone in the same boat.

OhBabyLilyMunster Thu 10-Oct-13 10:26:50

I dont have any expectations that grandparents SHOULD do it, but when its done every week for other siblings children, it begins to grate a bit. Instead of being able to ask for specific things, ie, so we can leave the house for a bit together, we get the pickings, ie, one child can go. Great.... That leaves us with the other two! If it was a universal policy i would have no issue, but its very hard when DH and i are practically on our knees, and sibling is off for yet another weekend away.

Bragadocia Thu 10-Oct-13 10:28:15

It is hard without family support - not babysitting or childcare so much, but as a safety net for when things get tough. Like last winter, I had pneumonia, and DH had to take annual leave to take care of DS. If I'd had a mother or a MIL to come over for a couple of hours for a few days, I could have just about managed the meals and care needed.
Not having back up for emergencies does make us think we won't have any further children. DH works away for part of the week, and when he's a few hundred miles away, I pretty much have no-one I could turn to; the idea of a baby along with DS in that situation is quite daunting.

And no, we don't go out together. In four years, we have been to the pub twice, once for 45 mins and the other for 90 mins. It's a bit rubbish.

MoneyMug Thu 10-Oct-13 10:34:10


My parents live 400 miles away. wouldn't leave the DC with them if they were the last people on earth anyway

MIL doesn't bother with the DC at all even though she lives one road away from us. She has only seen our youngest twice.

GPIL are in their 70's can only cope with one DC at a time, for a couple of hours max. It's a shame they are so old as they absolutely adore the DC and would love to have them more.

Norem Thu 10-Oct-13 10:39:55

Op I really sympathis, what about friends? I have always lived far away from grandparents and have a few really good friends who also have children, we now sit for each other.
I know that might not be doable until your youngest s a little older, but the children all love it.
Next weekend I am having 6 yr old twins on the friday night and three children from 6-3 yrs on the Saturday night.
It will be busy and noisy I am sure but I am delighted my friends will have a night off.
Of course it has to be good friends with children that get on to work.
Good luck smile

pinkr Thu 10-Oct-13 10:40:10

It depends...the occasional baby sitting or spending quality time yanbu however if you're wishing for regular child care so you can work etc then yabu that'd not what gp are for.

PeppiNephrine Thu 10-Oct-13 10:40:16

I'm always bemused by all the "I haven't family to help so I haven't been out in years <sad face>" posts you get on these threads. Haven't you heard of paid babysitters?
Lots of us don't have family that can or will help out, so we pay sitters. And the can't afford it line doesn't work, if you can afford to go out you can afford a sitter, you just go out a bit less.
Try it.

Norem Thu 10-Oct-13 10:40:17


icklemssunshine1 Thu 10-Oct-13 10:40:41

YANBU - DH & I are in same situation.

Both out DF's have passed, his mother is elderly & my DM has severe MS, blind & needs 24 hr care. There's no-one to watch DD (2) & we've NEVER been out since having her. We don't mind that, our relationship is strong & we have our "alone" time once she's in bed - would be nice to have a meal out though without cutting up a dinner/chasing a toddler round/colouring in etc

Agree with Bragodocia about the logistics of illnesses. This year I've had a very poor health year - on & off I've spent a couple of months in hospital. Each stay DH has never been able to visit (even after serious surgery!) as children under 12 aren't allowed on wards & there is no-one to look after DD. That's when we need help!

fuckwittery Thu 10-Oct-13 10:41:45

V hard. We'll never have a child free holiday again until kids are grown up. DD1 is 6 and we've had a total of 3 x a night away. My parents are both dead, MIL is 70 and its a big ask. Although my SIL and BIL have managed a few nights away with MIL in charge of their kids, I just feel uncomfortable asking as DH doesnt see the need (SIL had an event to attend) and she's not my mum. Also about to have dc3 so probably not even any evenings out for the next year, as my first two didnt sleep through reliably til then and needed breastfeeding in the evenings, it is a bloody hard slog! Thinking of moving 3 hours away near Dh's siblings jut so we could share babysitting.

Tailtwister Thu 10-Oct-13 10:49:05

I do sympathise OP, it is nice to have GP's around to help even if it's just being available now and then rather than a regular thing.

We are extremely lucky to have very involved GP's (my IL's) relatively nearby. They have had both the boys 1 day a week up until school and have babysat occasionally, although we don't call on them very often since they do 1 day a week. DH and I went away for 1 night for the first time in 5 years the other week and they had the boys then. It's also nice to have them around for school things we can't get to due to work commitments.

I suppose it's just the situation you find yourself in, geographically or the age of your parents, or even their interest. It is difficult to feel you never get a break though.

mistyshouse Thu 10-Oct-13 10:55:40

some really interesting replies, was expecting a pasting tbh grin

i would like to think when i have GC (god willing) i will want to spend lots of time with them. not only because i will enjoy it, but to help keep my DCs relationships healthy because i know how precious and, IMO, important it is to occasionally have some adult time just with the other parent

it doesn't help as well that DS's dad is not that interested in spending time with him sad he does the bare minimum, if he helped out with his own son more it would take the strain off a bit but again thats a whole other story <sigh>

OddSockMonster Thu 10-Oct-13 11:00:07

YANBU. DH and I haven't had a night away together from the kids ever, and DS1 is 7.

Babysitting by friends (other school mums) gets us out occasionally, but it's awkward to ask as mostly they ask their parents to do their babysitting and we rarely get to return favours.

DiamondMask Thu 10-Oct-13 11:04:29

yanbu to feel jealous. We've not had a night out let alone a night away in 21 years! My inlaws are fit and healthy but arent interested and now the youngest is sick and will never leave home it will never happen.
The odd takeaway does us.
But yeah, I get jealous because I just want a break.

MrsDavidBowie Thu 10-Oct-13 11:05:39

We have no grandparents (dcs are teenagers now) but either paid a babysitter or used friends when they were very mall.
When they got to about 9 they would go on a sleepover with friends.

We don't have time away together but have lots of breaks on our own which i prefer.

I am not planning to offer much in the way of babysitting as a gp...I will be too busy grin

comewinewithmoi Thu 10-Oct-13 11:12:07

Pil will babysit now and again but live 7 hours away. I have no family. It's complicated at the moment anyway, cos youngest two need lots of time to get off to sleep. Plus eldest dc is awkward at the funny per-teen stage.

I'm hoping things get easier when dd1 old enough to babysit.

comewinewithmoi Thu 10-Oct-13 11:14:01

I'm planning to babysit for my gc but not all the time. <stamps foot> needs to get a life.

Dahlen Thu 10-Oct-13 11:14:22

YANBU to be envious.

I have no family support (all dead). I'm also a single parent, whose X doesn't have anything to do with the DC. For the first 3 years of being a single parent I went out once (for the evening, not overnight). I hated it.

As time has gone on, my professional childcare costs have gone down as DC have started school, meaning I've been able to use some of the money I'm saving to eat to build a social life as well as follow other opportunities. I have even managed a weekend away. It has saved my sanity. But I pay for it in the main. Even with good friends, there is only so much babysitting you can ask for if you're not in a position to repay the favour as regularly as you require it.

One thing that really helped me was having friends in the same boat. We established a social scene where we would stay at each other's houses and let our children have fun and a late night, which we would then follow by drinking copious amount of wine and having a laugh ourselves. This only works if you are the informal type who is happy to let children top and tail and yourself sleep on the floor, etc. It was easier in my circle because most of us were single parents.

The hardest thing for me was not the absence of a break, but the crushing knowledge that I was on my own with my DC. That if anything happened to me they would have no loving GPs to step into the breach. If my DPs were still alive they'd have been fabulous GPs and it is a real source of sadness to me that my DC will never experience that. When you see some people who get the support and the extended relationships network that comes with a good family, it is hard not to feel envious of that and hard not to feel resentment if you feel that some are not just taking it for granted but actually have a massive sense of entitlement about. Fortunately, IME most don't.

Other people's set-ups will not influence yours, so all you can do is concentrate on building your own support network, either by paying for it or by cultivating similarly situated/like-minded friends. Good luck.

CrispyFB Thu 10-Oct-13 11:14:30

I agree. The grandparents live 300+ miles away, my mother refuses to travel to see us and the other way round is a nightmare of cost and logistics. Although we have visits from the in-laws, 3 DC (with DC4 on the way) is possibly too much for them to handle on their own now especially as MIL is not in the best health. They babysit around once a year.

We make judicious use of nursery basically. So if we want a meal out it usually means DH takes a day's holiday, and we go out for lunch. The investment is worth it for our sanity.

It is our choice to have so many DC, but that doesn't mean I don't feel envious of those with parents nearby who are willing to help. At every school birthday party recently there was always the mother/in-law there helping the parents organise things. There's no way I could face doing a whole class party on my own with no support. And it's things like that I feel particularly sad about.

Awomansworth Thu 10-Oct-13 11:28:14

I would say I'm sad for what my children will miss out on, more than envious...

We had our children late due to numerous years of fertility treatment, my sisters all had their children young, so their children had lots of fun times with my parents.

By the time my two came along, DH's parents live abroad, my mum had sadly passed away and dad is now in his early 80's, and whilst he is in very good health, he is certainly not up to spending too much time with two lively 5 year olds.

I remember lots of fun Christmas's and holidays spent with my family (my siblings and their respective children). It hurts to know my children will never have this relationship with grandparents, although they never have, so don't know any different.

EssexGurl Thu 10-Oct-13 12:01:41

I feel your pain. I have friends who have babysitting circles with their social groups so they can share care and still go out. ALL the friends I have here have parents nearby so no need to share childcare.

DH and I used to go out when my mum was alive as she would come and stay specifically to babysit. ILs are not close but never ever offer when they come to stay. So hands off with the kids I would be worried about asking them TBH.

stopgap Thu 10-Oct-13 12:10:47

I am incredibly envious of people who have lots of nearby family support. Though my husband's family pitches in, they are an hour away, and my MIL is too nervous to take DS alone for one night (he's a toddler, sleeps like a dream, so I'm not sure why). Hence my son is 2.2 and we've never had a night away from him.

My parents live in the UK and are fantastic, selfless babysitters when they come to see me in America.

I have a friend who had the most amazing support after the birth of her first. She alternated having her MIL and mother stay for two months at a time, for the entire first year, which no doubt would drive some crazy, but my friend always appeared well-rested etc. Another friend's mother flew out from Hungary to America every two weeks, for four days at a time, for the first six months of her grandson's life.

thebody Thu 10-Oct-13 12:21:31

she had her mil and her mother alternately stay with her for the babies first YEAR!!!

unless there's an underlying mental Heath/ physical disability problem that's fucking ridiculous.

there's a world of difference between babysitting every now and again and helping out when there's a crisis ( my parents and pil)

and being fucking entitled and EXPECTING to off load the kids for days in end for free childminding and a weeks holiday.

stuff that. my 4 will cope with their own kids and responsibilities/life choices And if course we will always be there for them but their kids are for them to bring up, we've done our bit.

PepperGrinder Thu 10-Oct-13 12:27:49

YANBU at all.
When dh was little, MIL had a mother and a sister who moved countries (twice!!) in order to furnish her with high-quality childcare.

I would never expect that, it goes without saying. Whatever the dynamic was there, it's none of my business and it is completely up to MIL to do what she wants, which is to drop in for twenty minutes once every couple of months and occasionally bung ds a fiver.

I just can't help feeling sad that she talks with such relish about the memories of the seventies and eighties - parties, travel, great friendships - and doesn't really get the link. At the same time she is always suggesting we do x or y, and we cannot, for obvious reasons. I think she is oblivious to how much it can hurt, to have a grandparent not want to spend time with your child. There's a long list of reasons why I will never get along with her and this bit of unintended cruelty - revelling in what she had but not understanding it was made easy by those around her - is one of them.

thebody Thu 10-Oct-13 12:35:55

^ ^ my point exactly. your mil is a spoilt princess

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