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To think DS should have consulted me about his baby-making plans before making me a grandparent?

(284 Posts)
SparkleSoiree Sun 31-Jan-16 23:37:47

Ok, his life, his baby.

BUT I've been a grandparent for nearly 2 years now and I just cannot get my head around the fact I'm a grandparent in my early 40s! DS and DDil have myself and DDil's mum provide all their free childcare and any evening babysitting services but I still have 2 children of my own at home (one under 10) and I've not finished raising them yet. We always receive thanks when DGD is picked up. DS and DSil have certain expectations of DH and I as grandparents (obviously) but we never planned to be allocating any of our time to childcare for grandchildren at this stage in our lives when both still working towards our own goals before retirement.

I love my son and his wife and we have always been there for them financially and emotionally but we are at a stage in our lives where we wanted to enjoy more time for ourselves travelling, socialising etc, especially as our youngest is getting a bit older. Now it's filled with regular childcare and the expectation that we should be settling down with pipe and slippers! I was looking forward to my life beginning again! We choose to help out with childcare because they cannot afford to both work otherwise and I know it's a choice we have made but they are thinking of having another one soon and the expectation is that the same arrangements will exist for both grandchildren together from around 3 months after baby's arrival. Goodness knows how that is going to play out because other nanny has already said she won't be able to cope with a newborn and a toddler..

AIBU in feeling too young to be a grandparent and that DS shouldn't expect DH and I to abandon our life goals and start winding down our lives because 'that's what grandparents do" when grandkids come along? I haven't met any other women in my circle who are grandparents at the same age as myself so don't know if IABU.

I am, aren't i?

VimFuego101 Sun 31-Jan-16 23:40:32

You have every right to say 'no' to doing their childcare if you want to. It's not something they're entitled to. Perhaps you and the other grandmother could talk to them together about it if she's struggling too.

ImperialBlether Sun 31-Jan-16 23:41:10

How old are you now? I am in my fifties and have no gc yet. I'm really glad about that. I agree with you - there's a time in your life when your children are grown and you have a bit of time to yourself. Maybe you will just have to take that time and explain to them that you're actually not the childminder, you're not the babysitter, you're still young enough to want to do things in life and you are damn well going to do them!

GiddyOnZackHunt Sun 31-Jan-16 23:42:19

No yanbu. Why are they having another dc if they aren't in a position to cope with the costs of the first?

NeedsAsockamnesty Sun 31-Jan-16 23:44:55

They can get paid for childcare. If they are that skint the gov will pay a means tested % of it.

They are choosing not to prioritise this expense,a luxury most working parents do not have. You do not have to go along with this

StrawberryDelight Sun 31-Jan-16 23:46:04

they are thinking of having another one soon and the expectation is that the same arrangements will exist for both grandchildren together

YANBU at all.

Speak to them now, before she's pregnant again. Tell them that you don't mind helping out with one dc but you can't commit to regular childcare for two and that there may come a time when you need to scale back the care of the first.

They're being fucking selfish and irresponsible op. You, are not.

MrsJayy Sun 31-Jan-16 23:46:28

My mum was a gran at 40 she worked and had kids at home too she didn't have time to have my DD say no or arrange days you want you don't have to have the baby you are busy

Epilepsyhelp Sun 31-Jan-16 23:46:41

Goog God no YANBU, get in now and tell them you can't carry on with such regularity as it is stifling.

Anomaly Sun 31-Jan-16 23:47:21

YANBU and you do not have to provide childcare. Part of being a parent is managing childcare and work. They're not entitled to it and given the circumstances I would refuse. I have no intention of offering my services as childminder to my kids and I would expect them to manage as DH and I have done without relying on their parents. They certainly shouldn't be planning a second relying on you. I would talk to them because it will be harder once there is another on the way.

shutupandshop Sun 31-Jan-16 23:47:43

The problem isnt the lack of consultation that would be weird but your inability to say no.

LadyStark Sun 31-Jan-16 23:48:01

My Mum was 46 when she became a grandmother but I never had any expectation of childcare. She has her own very successful career! If I couldn't have afforded childcare to go to work I wouldn't have had a child.

You have allowed this situation to arise by agreeing to it. My parents have always been clear that they wouldn't do childcare for us, even when they do retire which is quite soon. They adore my children and do lots of babysitting but if they wanted to be tied down by a regular commitment that prevented travel and spontaneity they would stay working!

alltouchedout Sun 31-Jan-16 23:49:36

No, they aren't being fair. They cannot expect this of you. Why do they? Did they both get a massive amount of grand parent care as children and just think it's the done thing? Are they monumentally self centred?

DrSeussRevived Sun 31-Jan-16 23:52:24

Say no now. Other gran has set a precedent - state that it got you thinking and actually...

Finola1step Sun 31-Jan-16 23:53:50

I opened this thread all ready to say "Good lord woman, give yourself a shake". But I won't because YANBU.

What you have done though is helped to create this situation by allowing them to use you as unpaid childcare. Be blunt. Talk to your ds and tell him that there is no way you could look after a baby and toddler.

What happens when they start school? Are you doing all the pick ups, tea times, homework, reading, playdates? Because if you carry on without saying something, then it will happen.

IoraRua Sun 31-Jan-16 23:54:04

You need to knock this expectation of theirs on the head. Childcare is fine if you want to provide it but not if it is stifling your life. Their baby, their responsibility - not yours.

zzzzz Sun 31-Jan-16 23:55:15

Do they babysit for you?

I think it's time to start resetting expectations. My parents never did any regular childcare and my ILs none at all so perhaps we are the other end of the spectrum but I do think you should refuse to do 2 and suggest a nursery if for you GC as they are now a toddler.

suzannecaravaggio Sun 31-Jan-16 23:55:25

I dont think the problem is that you are too young to be a grandparent, the problem is that you are being taken for granted.

My parents were young grandparents but I wouldnt have dreamed of expecting them to look after the children that I chose to have so so that I could go to work

DrSeussRevived Sun 31-Jan-16 23:56:13

It's also a bit unfair to your existing younger kids - assume they need support with homework, scout trips or whatever they do?

When is this childcare happening if you are working?

SparkleSoiree Sun 31-Jan-16 23:58:06

Wow, thank you for the support! Thinking I'm going to have to sit down with DS and put our feelings and position across to him so that they can consider things too for the future.

ImperialBlether I am 43. I had DS very young and he is in his 20's, doesn't want to be an old dad on his words!

GiddyOnZackHunt They can afford to have another if the current arrangement exists. They don't qualify for any childcare benefits, they have checked.

itsbetterthanabox Sun 31-Jan-16 23:59:08

If you have kids really young you can't really be surprised when you become a grandparent young!
You don't have to provide childcare. Reduce it if you don't want to do it.

NeedsAsockamnesty Mon 01-Feb-16 00:02:24

If they do not qualify for a means tested benefit this means the government believes them to have enough money to pay for it fully themselves. Not doing so is a choice

Misty9 Mon 01-Feb-16 00:04:21

My husbands mother remarried and now has a second family with children still living at home, the upshot of which is I realise she isn't really in a place to be 'nanny' as she's still actively 'mum'. It's a shame for her, but I certainly don't expect much in the way of childcare or an active role as a grandparent. You are being taken for granted way too much. Nip this in the bud before the next baby!

Woodenmouse Mon 01-Feb-16 00:05:07

My mum used to have my ds once a week while I worked as it was a day she didn't work. She hated the job she was in and applied for a job she really wanted and was offered it, she nearly turned it down as it meant she couldn't have ds any more. As soon as I found out I told her I was not willing for her to miss out on something she really wanted just to look after my son. She loves her new job now and I'm so glad she didnt give up on it for me!
YANBU they should ask rather than assume you would be able to take care of two.

suzannecaravaggio Mon 01-Feb-16 00:08:01

it could be tricky because you've already shouldered the burden and they are used to feeling that you have a duty to sacrifice your free time to help them stay afloat

SparkleSoiree Mon 01-Feb-16 00:08:17

shutupandshop consultation was tongue in cheek. wink Inability to say no? Could just be that...

Ladystark I agree with you.

alltouchedout Interesting question.... and there may be something in that in relation to an older grandparent in the family.

Finola1step That hadn't occurred to me about future events...

zzzzz Never, ever. We manage our own childcare.

DrSeussRevived Indeed, looking after two others at home comes with exactly the same responsibilities and commitments as other parents have with their children from waking up to going to bed. Childcare is a total of 4 days spread over 6 days split between two grandparents.

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