Advanced search

To expect grandparents to spoil their grandchildren a little bit...

(77 Posts)
tori32 Sun 23-Sep-07 19:44:34

OK here goes. Parents come down to visit having not seen dd for 3 mths as they live up north and we live on the south coast. They set off so late on the Friday that they don't arrive until 10pm (missing seeing dd) whenmy father does not need to work so could have had the morning off (hence late departure). We go out on the saturday to a local farm where they don't need to pay for myself and dd because we have a season ticket. I pay for lunch. I also buy flowers for mum and half bottle gin for dad to say thanks because they were babysitting that night for our summer do. The following day having been to bed at 0430 from said ball they send dd into bedroom at 1030am to say we had to get up and they were going, left at 11am. Over the whole weekend they had not treated her to so much as a packet of smarties. AIBU to be hacked off with them?

MrsBadger Sun 23-Sep-07 19:47:58

maybe a little

they had a hellish drive, spent a nice day at the farm with dd, babysat so you could go out then had a hellish drive home...

grumpyfrumpy Sun 23-Sep-07 19:50:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

unknownrebelbang Sun 23-Sep-07 19:51:31


lulumama Sun 23-Sep-07 19:52:52

seems you are judging their contribution to their grandchildrens' lives in purely monetary terms

you say your dad does not need to work, and you sound cross that he does.. for some people, working is a massive part of their lives, regardless of how much money they have.

they drove a long way to come and babysit, and you sound ticked off

if they have always been like this, then YABU


DarthVader Sun 23-Sep-07 19:53:30

they did well to keep your dd out of your bedroom until 10.30am

Most parents would rather grandparents did not buy smarties for the kids

what is it that upsets you tori, is there more to this?

Califrau Sun 23-Sep-07 19:54:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

chocolateteapot Sun 23-Sep-07 19:55:42

I'm sorry but I think you are being utterly unreasonable about this and need to realise that actually you are really lucky to have parents who will come down and baby sit for you.

Greensleeves Sun 23-Sep-07 19:57:02

It sounds to me as though you are angry about what you see as their disinterest in you/your dd in terms of the time they commit and the fact that they seem not to prioritise seeing you/her over what you see as more prosaic commitments. You say on another thread (hope you don't mind me mentioning it) that they show much more interest in your brother and spend more time with him (you keep saying money, but I think you mean time/love/effort, really). I think you are displacing your sense of being the less preferred child - and the knock-on effect on your dd (you also said that if your brother had a child they would spoil it) - into little point-scoring resentments about money and gifts.

I do think that there is a different way of looking at some of it. I kow you say your father doesn't have to work, but does he really see it that way? Maybe he loves his job and isn't ready to relinquish that part of his identity. My father went through a period of depression when he retired (even though he hated his job!) because he felt he was then just waiting to die.

How is your relationship with your parents generally? Do you talk on the phone or email? Who does the running? What were the relationships like in the family when you were younger?

Perhaps they are put off making more effort if they feel that you are always discontented/disappointed and they are unsure of what more you want. Do they realise that you feel slighted in comparison with your brother? If you can only express these feelings in terms of digs about money and presents and 'treats', maybe they just don't understand where it's coming from.

I do sympathise though, it's horrible to feel less valued than a sibling and doubly horrible to feel it all over again on behalf of your child. sad But as long as you keep throwing up little specific grievances about money and treats rather than addressing the underlying issue, you probably won't get anywhere in tmers of changing it.

lomondgal Sun 23-Sep-07 20:01:30

YABU, sorry. I would love to have someone to babysit, even if it was only until 10.30am. My dad lives a couple of miles away and has only done it once (dd1 is nearly 4!) and that wasn't overnight. Did dd enjoy seeing them? That is the important thing surely?

tori32 Sun 23-Sep-07 20:15:14

Thanks Greensleeves for your take on this, a lot of what you say is correct. It has been rocky over the years, mum didn't speak to me for a while when my first marriage ended when I most needed her. Its always been me who drove up to see them. I can honestly say that since I have lived away from home (for 14 years) on average they visit twice a year. I always drove over for xmas etc. I usually do the vast majority of the ringing. My mum is retired and could easily email but doesn't. I spent 2.5 years living abroad in Cyprus (RAF) and again it was always me calling them, because they said it was too expensive to phone me!(as I pointed out on a previous thread they are not penniless) My brother stayed at home until he was 25 and paid £25 per week board, which is peanuts, got his washing, ironing, meals cooked etc, so I see him as being spoilt. The fact is that both DB and SIL get treated to meals out, when we can't come up and wouldn't have a babysitter even if we could, so I feel that this should be balanced out in some other way. I don't expect extravagance, just a small toy/ book/ £2 for money box when they visit or to at least make the effort to spend a long weekend and see more of dd, in the last month we have been to them twice.

About the babysitting, it remains to be seen how often she babysits for my brothers baby.

tori32 Sun 23-Sep-07 20:16:51

lomondgal- thats another thing that grates they make no effort to play with her. Just stand and watch as I do all the interacting.

tori32 Sun 23-Sep-07 20:18:20

Thats even when I have stood back and encouraged them to take part. It lasts about 5 minutes and then back to her being left. Shes 20mths BTW.

lomondgal Sun 23-Sep-07 20:27:12

That isn't fair of them, they should make the time they do spend with her mean something, make it fun. A 20month old can't be left, it's out of order that they spend more time with your brothers children.
Have you tried talking with them about how you feel about it all? Maybe they don't realise that it hurts/annoys you? Just be honest with them...

lomondgal Sun 23-Sep-07 20:31:09

Oh sorry, he doesn't have a child yet. It does seem that you need to talk to them about how you are feeling. Wouldn't mention the gift/money side though as there are more important issues than that.

lulumama Sun 23-Sep-07 20:34:07

maybe they are just not that good with small children? just because they are parents \ grandparents, does not mean they know what to do , or what you want them to do

Tortington Sun 23-Sep-07 20:35:01

i think its a shock that people dont vocalise

grandparents don't automatically like your children - just by virtue of you having them

i think its an unsaid thing.

and its a shock when it happens to you.

they did babysit - they did travel a long way - and wafer doing that myself at the tender age of 35 - i can assure you that its no mean feat and can leave you functional - but exhausted.

so i'm inclined to say - give them a break

but recognise that GP's dont ave to like your kids.

sazzybee Sun 23-Sep-07 20:38:38

Do you think they're a bit narked with you for going off and living so far away (and moving abroad too)? That they take that as that you don't need them whereas your brother still lives in the same village?

FrannyandZooey Sun 23-Sep-07 20:39:21

Greeny what a sweetheart you are
kisses to you

tori32 Sun 23-Sep-07 20:42:18

Yes I suppose its everything. Like we went on holiday with them and being forces we don't go out that much because we don't often get a babysitter. They said before we went that we would get a few nights out as a couple and they would have dd for us. We got 1 night in 10 days. The rest of the time we were having to takes dd with us and stayed out. She doesn't sleep in a pram so got more and more tired. By the time they got up at 10am she had to go back for a nap, so they would bugger of out for the day and only see us at 5ish by which time dd was not her best. On the occasions she was up and they were around we would ask mum to keep an eye on her, as the villa had three staircases (didn't know on booking), I went for a shower only to meet dd half way up a spiral staircase with tiled floor at the bottom.

Greensleeves Sun 23-Sep-07 20:42:42

I luv you too Franny (((grin)))

FrannyandZooey Sun 23-Sep-07 20:44:56

Is that a fucking loofah there Greeny?

tori32 Sun 23-Sep-07 20:45:02

We invited them on holiday to try to get to know dd but they just didn't seem interested. Yet she plays the proud grandma to anyone who will listen.

tori32 Sun 23-Sep-07 20:45:57

I don't know about the moving away thing. sad

lulumama Sun 23-Sep-07 20:47:08

there seems to be a massive gulf between what you expect, and what they give

you cannot force them to do or give more

what is it you want from them ?

because until you know, how can they know

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now