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To hope that grandparent would look after DC1 on day of birth of DC2

(89 Posts)
AquaFaba Wed 11-Sep-19 11:38:32

Apols for what may be a hormonal and upset rant.

I will be having DC2 in 2 weeks time. Due to various complications, this will be (another) c section.

I’m currently arranging childcare so that DC1 has continuity of care while I’m not in a position to do nursery drop off and pick ups, not just for DH’s week of paternity leave, but for 6 weeks after.

I have that all arranged - DC1 attends nursery 3 mornings a week and I’ve now confirmed someone to do drop offs and pickups. So, that’s good.

My issue is what to do on the afternoon and early evening of the day of the birth of DC2.
I am expected at hospital at 7:30am that day and DH will be with me.

DC1 will be collected and taken to nursery in the morning and then collected and brought back home shortly after 1pm.
Who to do the looking after that afternoon and evening? Morning help can’t work that afternoon as she works for another family, and DH will be with me at hospital.

I don’t have a great relationship with my Mother. She’s retired, but has not really expressed any interest in DC1 beyond days out with us or photo opportunity situations.
No suggestions to babysit or ‘help out’.
I’ve never asked for help - just accepted this is the way it is.
It’s upsetting, particularly as she lives only an hour away.

I spoke with her this morning and we broached the issue of help that I had organised for DC1. I explained that I’d managed to confirm the help needed for drop offs and pick ups and that the only thing I needed to organise was help to look after DC1 for the afternoon/evening while DH and I were in hospital for birth of DC2.

I was really hoping that she might offer to do that handover help...but nothing was forthcoming.

The reality is I’m just going to have to get a second babysitter in - and fine, that’s ok.

But I’m sad that I have to resort to this, of all days.

lifecouldbeadream Wed 11-Sep-19 11:41:06

So did you actually ask her? If not, perhaps you should?

Raaaaaah Wed 11-Sep-19 11:42:12

Can you ask her directly?

kaytee87 Wed 11-Sep-19 11:43:04

You may need to ask her directly

TulipsTwoLips Wed 11-Sep-19 11:43:21

Have you asked her?

Nonmerci Wed 11-Sep-19 11:43:24

You didn’t really ask her, you just dropped hints and hoped she’d offer. Directly ask her.

PippaPug Wed 11-Sep-19 11:43:26

Can the person who picks DS1 up not ask the family she looks after in the afternoon as a one off could she also have your child?
Surely most families wouldn’t mind!

WhoKnewBeefStew Wed 11-Sep-19 11:43:29

I know it's hard OP and upsetting when parent don't offer to step up, but many simply don't. My dm said to me, right from the minute I told her I was pregnant with my first, that she wouldn't be doing any babysitting or helping out. As far as she was concerned she's done her time raising kids and it was her time now. Whilst I completely get this and had no problem with it. Somehow it hurt a lot, made me feel as though I was a burden to her (I know that it's daft). She never did baby sit ever. She offered once when I was in a really tight spot and then cancelled right at the last minute, nearly costing me a lot of money and causing no end if issues. I never asked again.

It can be made even harder when you see other friends parents being excited and really wanting to help and get involved.

So no real solution but just to let you know that you're not on your own

BarbariansMum Wed 11-Sep-19 11:43:55

YANBU to be sad, it is sad. But you may be happier long-term if you lowered your expectations from her (and if having your own children has thrown your relationship with her into sharp relief, that may be worth unpacking at some point).

flowers congratulations on your family

PicaK Wed 11-Sep-19 11:44:36

But you haven't asked her. Some people need asking. You're obviously a competent and organised person. My parents never offer. But they drop everything if I ask. Like you this used to upset me. But it's your response you need to change. Ask nicely (hold back your resentment). If she says no then you really know where you stand.

AquaFaba Wed 11-Sep-19 11:44:39

I left the conversation open enough for her to make the offer, if she wanted.

I didn’t ask her directly as I’ve been turned down in the past - and I feel quite sensitive at present.

alltummy Wed 11-Sep-19 11:45:31

It would have surely been the right thing for her to do to offer but unfortunately she hasn't. I would ask her and see her reaction. It's not a big ask in my opinion. Most people have no idea when/how long they'll be in labour/ hospital and grandparents more often than not are happy to cover that. Good luck with it all. If she doesn't happily help then I'd struggle to move past that to be honest.

regularbutpanickingabit Wed 11-Sep-19 11:46:42

Ask directly and see what she says. If she’s not volunteering help or visits under normal circumstances then it doesn’t sound like she’s the sort that would step in unprompted.

Does your dc actually know her that well and feel comfortable with her? Sounds like there isn’t much of a relationship there anyway. If you have any friends, nursery workers or other babysitters that your dc knows any better then I would just go with them.

It sucks when grandparents are crap but it sounds like she’s just pretty crap as a parent anyway, and is just letting you down again.

I’m sorry and good luck with the c section.

HolyMilkBoobiesBatman Wed 11-Sep-19 11:47:34

Ask her directly.
If it’s still a no that’s really shit, I know people say you shouldn’t expect it, but clearly you don’t ask her for much and you’re right, this of all days it would be nice if she’d help.

Is there any possibility of booking extra time for DC1 At nursery that afternoon? Do the nursery have rules about babysitting? We are allowed to ask ours for babysitting help outside of nursery hours so just wondering if there’s any chance DC1 could do a full day at nursery and then a member of staff look after they until DH is able to collect?

KUGA Wed 11-Sep-19 11:48:40

You must ask her outright.
Then you will get an answer.
She may well be waiting for you to do just that if she does say no then sort something else before the baby is here.
Good luck and congratulations

AquaFaba Wed 11-Sep-19 11:52:20

I’ve really lowered my expectations of her. But this still hurts.
On one hand, I’m trying to keep the lines of communication open so that she has a relationship with her grandchildren. But on the other hand, I’m just p’d off that it’s ‘set piece’ days out or photo opportunities.

Anothernotherone Wed 11-Sep-19 11:56:02

3/4 of the problems on MN could be solved by people speaking directly to one another and actually saying what they mean clearly.

YANBU to think that if your child has grandparents she has a relationship with who live locally and are not working (or tbh with a planned section even if they are) they would offer this kind of very specific, one off child care, absolutely.

YABU not to ask directly. If she says no because she would rather go to lunch with Maureen and do a spot of shopping then YANBU to feel let down.

Why do you need 6 weeks of nursery drop offs and pick ups? Surely that's what paternity leave is for? Or is your DH not entitled to paternity leave?

I had planned sections with dc2 and 3 with relatively small age gap, you probably will want DH around when Dc1 isn't at nursery, but there's no reason he shouldn't do drop offs. Does dc1 know the babysitter you've arranged to take and fetch for 6 weeks?

Does your DC just have one grandparent? If the others are alive are they in no position to help?

Ask directly, people can't mind read, wait to feel let down if she actually says no.

caringcarer Wed 11-Sep-19 11:58:11

You have done brilliantly organising so much for your child. It is very very sad your own mother does not want to spend time with her own grandchild, nor wants to make life easier for you her child. Most grandparents would bite your hand off to spend good quality time with their grandchild while you had second child. Do you have a friend's Mum who might agree to help out? When my dd had second child her Dad (my ex) was staying so he could be with first gc when time to go into hospital. As it happened she had to have section. When he had his 2 days with gc he had to return to work so my turn. I travelled 2 1/2 hours to stay with my gc and cooked daughter lots of freezer meals too. When she came home from hospital I went home for a week whilst her dh was home but then went back for two weeks to give her time to recover. During this time I also looked after her friends child whist she went in to have her baby. I was happy to do so as her friends child played with my gc and I got a cuddle with her baby when she came home. Most parents would offer to help and your Mum must be very unfeeling not to want to share this special time with you. Just check with your friends if any have a Mum who could help out.

Millie2016 Wed 11-Sep-19 11:59:04

OP I sympathise. My in laws live a 10minute walk. The only time they have ever looked after either of my children was when I went into labour with DC2.
They didn’t offer. We asked directly. They wanted time to think about it. They then made a big issue out of the fact we couldn’t be precise about the date and stated numerous times that they wouldn’t cancel their Thursday night plans to do it.
Thankfully I didn’t have DC2 on a Thursday and my DH managed to drop DC1 off at theirs about 8pm, get her settled and then drove me to the hospital. DC2 was born that night and DH then went back to his parents house in the morning to drop DC1 at nursery.
Your comment about photo opportunities really struck a cord with me because they love to ‘show off’ the kids whenever their friends are around and make out they do so much for us, when the reality is they do nothing.
You should ask direct and then at least their is no confusion.
Do you have any friends that could help? I had a friend on stand by should labour commence on a Thursday. It wasn’t ideal but i know they would have taken care of DC1 well.

Dinosauratemydaffodils Wed 11-Sep-19 12:00:35

My mum didn't even want to know when my 2nd section was booked for until with days to go a friend managed to shame her into asking. She claims she can't cope with either dc on her own despite being the youngest of the surviving grandparents and absolutely idolized by dc1.

Ask direct. What about a friend? I've had the children of friends before whilst they've had electives.

Also do you have a plan in case you go into labour ahead of your elective? Not trying to alarm you in any way but that's what happened to me with dc2 and because it was 3am and we couldn't wake anyone up (and hadn't planned for it), we had to take dc1 to the maternity hospital with us. Do not be like me.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow1 Wed 11-Sep-19 12:03:34

Just ask her.

Booboostwo Wed 11-Sep-19 12:03:51

Ask the nursery if they can keep DD for a full day as it is a one off and exceptional circumstances.

AquaFaba Wed 11-Sep-19 12:05:04

DH has one week of paternity leave. Not able to do drop off as working hours require him to be at work before nursery opens.
In all other respects, he is v hands on. It’s just unfortunate practical reality of timing.

But I have all that side of things organised. It’s just the day of the birth I’m concerned with. Everything else we will middle through.

PonderingPanda Wed 11-Sep-19 12:12:44

Does the nursery shut in the afternoon? Would any of those staff have your child? Or could DC1 go in nursery for the whole day?

FaFoutis Wed 11-Sep-19 12:17:17

I understand why you wouldn't ask directly in this situation, it's devastating to be refused help by your own mother. If you ask and get a 'no', then you have to deal with the way that affects you.

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