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To feel disappointed by my own parents?

(311 Posts)
soulpunk Fri 26-Dec-14 23:52:25

This is probably trivial compared to some posts on here and I probably just need someone to tell me to get over myself but...

My folks are retired and look after DS (their only grandchild) 2 or 3 days a week while I work (I go in alternate Saturdays so it's a 2-day week for them). They've done it since my mat leave ended when he was 10 months, he's almost 2 now. I found out today after a big post-christmas "heart to heart" that they've been finding the childcare difficult. But instead of talking to me about it they've been moaning to my sister and instead of her telling them they're talking to the wrong daughter, she's just been dropping passive aggressive hints over xmas about how she looks after mom and dad and someone's got to do it etc etc. They are both in their 60s but neither have any major medical conditions or anything - the odd "bad knee" etc.

When I managed to get it out of them they admitted "it is difficult because we can't always do what we want but we've got through the hardest part and the end is in sight" (more or less paraphrasing what they said). I was waiting for them to say "but we love having him and wouldn't want it any other way" or something but they didn't. After I got really upset at this confession, they still didn't reassure me that they were happy to have him. Instead proceeded to take this moment to tell me they won't be able to do the same with the next one (I am currently 4 months pregnant and will have to go back to work again as we can't afford for me to not work).

To add, I've taken 3 weeks off work for them to go on 3 separate holidays and they've been away at least 3 other times this year over long weekends where I've swapped my work days where necessary. He's with them approx 9am-4pm, occasionally an hour or two longer and occasionally half a day extra at the weekend if DH and I are doing DIY (moved house last yr). No evenings, no nights, but it is almost a regular job for them I suppose.

In addition, we went out for a (rare) family Sunday lunch a few weeks ago for my DH's 40th bday. DS doesn't particularly enjoy sitting in a highchair for long (what toddler does?!) but he wasn't especially badly behaved. But the meal was a bit rushed and he just wanted to play with nanny. My dad was obviously so utterly mortified by the looks we must have got (I didn't notice any) as DS was just being his fairly vocal self and wanting to run round etc, that he cancelled our NYE curry booking without even discussing it with me and said he won't ever do that again. I can't believe they weren't able to just shrug off any tuts by other diners.

So it feels to me that they want grandchildren but only on their terms. I feel really hurt by this for some reason. I assumed their only grandchild should be the apple of their eye and what else could possibly be as fulfilling than having a hand in helping him develop - am I completely naive and/or self centred? I don't really know what to do to get past this. They are still going to look after him but I feel a bit bitter about it.

LaurieFairyCake Fri 26-Dec-14 23:55:32

You couldn't be more in the wrong

They don't want to look after either of them, stop having children where you rely on them for childcare.

Immediately hire proper childcare so they can get back to being loving grandparents on their terms

LaurieFairyCake Fri 26-Dec-14 23:57:50

And if people are tutting at you in public it means your child isn't coping well and you take them out.

Most folk are reasonable and a whole load of people tutting means you're generally doing it wrong.

gobbynorthernbird Fri 26-Dec-14 23:57:54

Wow, you sound awfully selfish. You need to find alternative childcare ASAP.

bellabelly Fri 26-Dec-14 23:58:18

2-3 days a week is a hell of a lot of childcare. I certainly won't want to be doing that when I have dgcs, however much I might love them.

Do you pay them?

Blackout234 Fri 26-Dec-14 23:58:26

of course they only want ds on their terms. Theyre GRANDPARENTS not PARENTS.

sooperdooper Fri 26-Dec-14 23:58:58

I think it's bad they didn't talk to you up front but spoke to your sister instead but did you really think they'd be able to look after your new baby and your ds? I think it's time to look for new childcare arrangements

ilovesooty Fri 26-Dec-14 23:59:00


LaurieFairyCake Fri 26-Dec-14 23:59:03

And oh wow this must be a reverse

FishWithABicycle Sat 27-Dec-14 00:00:02

That's a huge amount of childcare to lay on your parents. I think you've taken them too much for granted. I hope you find a solution that works for everyone but sounds like that's not going to be freebies from here on. Sorry but YABU.

wannabestressfree Sat 27-Dec-14 00:00:06

Omg you are completely clueless. If you need/have to work your children should be in childcare. They aren't your parents responsibility.

AgentZigzag Sat 27-Dec-14 00:00:09

This is going to sound harsh, but of course they should only have their GC on their own terms.

There's no easy way to say to you that they're finding it difficult, and they were right to be worried about how you'd react.

Not only are they looking after your DS while you work, but at the weekends sometimes too?? You're talking about taking time off work so they can go on holiday as if you're doing them a favour!

I'm surprised you can't see it from their point of view tbh, it doesn't mean your DS isn't the apple of their eye, just that you're maybe taking the piss asking too much of them and they don't know how to cut it back.

feelingunsupported Sat 27-Dec-14 00:00:33

They raised their children. Grandchildren are to be enjoyed - they shouldn't be a part time job.

AgentZigzag Sat 27-Dec-14 00:01:55

You're right Laurie, OP's the sister isn't she?

TheRealMaryMillington Sat 27-Dec-14 00:02:25

You are being wildly unreasonable.

And you must know it.

ilovesooty Sat 27-Dec-14 00:02:42

And judging by your comments about your son's behaviour in the restaurant you sound completely self absorbed.

TheRealMaryMillington Sat 27-Dec-14 00:04:15

I suspect a reverse AIBU too.

DontWorryBaby Sat 27-Dec-14 00:05:32

This must be a wind up. grin

MrsMcTavish Sat 27-Dec-14 00:05:35

Sorry but I think you're being very entitled.

You really need to find alternative childcare.

Only1scoop Sat 27-Dec-14 00:05:53


They aren't having your ds for pleasure....treats ....when it suits them etc.

They are having him because they feel obliged and it's a huge difference. I have never asked my parents for regular childcare for this very reason.

I agree though they should have approached you not just moaned to your sister.

As for ds behaviour at recent meal....they perhaps have different expectations to yourself.

I'd look at alternatives for new year and get prepared for childcare for two.

WhirlyTwirlySnowflakes Sat 27-Dec-14 00:06:03

Yes, I'm afraid you are self centred. One set of GPs do some child care for us and we are incredibly grateful. I regularly check that they are still happy to have the children and do my best not to inconvenience them.

Of course your child care shouldn't impact their ability to take holidays.

Arrange alternative child care ASAP if they can't manage it. Dealing with small child is very hard work even for a young person, they might just find it too much.

The dinner issue - it is never acceptable for a small child to be running round a restaurant making noise. It is your job as a parent to make sure they don't or take them out.

All the other diners paid good money for a pleasant evening, not to watch your child misbehave. If they can't manage in a restaurant yet, have a takeaway at home.

Spadequeen Sat 27-Dec-14 00:06:12

The only thing your parents have done wrong is discussing it with your sister instead of you.

They should have told you sooner that they didn't want to care for the children but what were you going to do if one of them got ill?

They've had their children and made any sacrifices they had to make, these are your children and your responsibility.

And as for the dinner, no, toddlers don't like to be stuck in high chairs for long, others diners and the wait staff Sony tend to like them running around either. You need to take things with you to occupy your child or don't go out for dinner until they can sit for longer periods if time without disrupting other people.

HolyTerror Sat 27-Dec-14 00:06:48

Dear god, OP, your post is spectacularly blinkered. Of course they only need to have their grandchild on terms they are happy with - they're doing you a favour in looking after him! Yes, they should have spoken directly to you about how difficult they were finding Tim but from the fact that when they did you didn't seem to get their pov at all, maybe it's more understandable! God forbid they should go on holidays!

LoisHatesChristmas Sat 27-Dec-14 00:07:38

Op please tell us you at least pay them? Sorry but yabvvvu. Read your post over again. Its very self focused sounding. Sorry to be so harsh but thats how it comes across.

haphazardbystarlight Sat 27-Dec-14 00:08:03


I don't think the OP is upset about her parents not wanting to provide childcare but it's by the back door sort of stuff. I would far rather someone said directly to me 'it's too much' than dropped hints about it.l

The meal thing doesn't sound too bad to me, toddlers are noisy and the dad may well be over reacting.

Its strange, I know grandparents where they are fighting amongst themselves to be a part of the grand child's life, and it IS a shame when this isn't the case.

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