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To be a bit smug that grandparents couldn't cope!

(18 Posts)
GooseyLoosey Mon 24-Aug-09 09:33:26

For years my parents have always offered "advice" on how I should parent. Whilst they have never overtly criticised what I do, they have suggested on numerous occasions that I am not strict enough and that if they were in charge things were different.

Well they have just been in charge for 5 days and things were different - they were complete chaos! They rang me the first night and said how well things were going and that it was just a question of establishing clear rules. We'll see I thought. By day 2 they were sounding a little more fraught and by the time I arrived to collect the dcs there was a palpable sense of relief in the air from both grandparents and the dcs.

Apparently, the dcs were well behaved but the grandparents could not cope with the noise and the bickering (I am an only child so they have no experience with it).

So, AIBU to be a little smug that they now realise parenting 2 children is very different to parenting one and it isn't all as easy as they sometimes think?

To be clear, I am profoundly grateful for their help and the dcs and I love them very much and appreciate them a great deal and they are in general awesome!

curiositykilled Mon 24-Aug-09 09:38:24


Katisha Mon 24-Aug-09 09:41:03

But won't it end up still being your fault for not bringing them up not to bicker?

Goblinchild Mon 24-Aug-09 09:42:24

Gave a close but rather smug friend of mine (mother of girls) my Aspie son for the day when he was 5.
The friendship survived, but it was less of a learning curve for her and more of a 3G vertical takeoff. grin

HecatesTwopenceworth Mon 24-Aug-09 09:42:28

Oh yes, I agree with Katisha! give it a few days and it will be (in their minds) kids out of control because of lax parenting up to now. grin

MrsBadger Mon 24-Aug-09 09:42:46


are you all appreciating each other a bit more now?

bigchris Mon 24-Aug-09 09:44:28

my inlaws have just had my ds for a few days
next year they say it will be fine yo have dd as well
hmmmmm..... I'm not so sure, having one is VERY different to two and they only had my dh too so no experience of sibling quarrels

GooseyLoosey Mon 24-Aug-09 10:02:09

Oh God - I hadn't considered that I might all be my fault anyway. You are right - at least it won't come as a surprise now when they say it.

I knew that they would find it really hard. One of the things I do that they hate is I will ask the dcs to do something - they will ignore me - I will then count loudly to 3. If I get past 3, they are in deep trouble. They have often told me that if they were in charge there would be "none of this counting to 3 nonsense". So - there wasn't. Result? Asked once - ignored, shouted twice - sometimes ignored, screamed the third time and everyone was unhappy and the dcs were in trouble.

I think they firmly believe that all other children always do what they are asked, immediately and without any fuss and that it is down to my lax parenting that the dcs may need a little prod (perhaps it is).

LaDiDaDi Mon 24-Aug-09 10:07:24


My parents look after dd a lot, and we too are grateful, but I do think that it took them a while to realise that her personality is completely different to mine at her age and that her willfulness is not simply down to poor parenting from dp and me.

Will be interested to see how mine find looking after two (I was an only), though I'm rather nervous myself, lol.

sabire Mon 24-Aug-09 10:14:48


My sister is a primary school teacher who has no kids of her own. She often used to tell me what I was doing wrong with my three - the usual stuff: not being firm enough, not setting clear boundaries.

Recently she moved in two doors down, and my children are spending a lot more time with her than they used to, especially my 4 year old ds, who is obsessed with her.

I've noticed that she's been saying less about my lack of parenting skills recently.........

GooseyLoosey Mon 24-Aug-09 14:07:25

It is good to know that it is not just me who has to cope with these feelings of smugness grin.

katiestar Mon 24-Aug-09 14:18:40

Eh ? You are smug because she couldn't cope with your childrem's behaviour.How does that work then ?

belgo Mon 24-Aug-09 14:21:19

You know it will still end up being your fault that the grandparents found their behaviour difficult.

GooseyLoosey Mon 24-Aug-09 14:22:18

No, no, the smugness is derived from the fact that they have always thought they had all of the parenting answers and could do so much better than me in any given circumstance. It seems that this is not necessarily true and I do feel a little smug about that. My children are not badly behaved - they do not break things, scream abuse at my parents or refuse to do what they are told. They are however loud, bicker at times and sometimes need to be asked to do things more than once.

GooseyLoosey Mon 24-Aug-09 14:24:07

Belgo - I am beginning to be afraid that is the case! But surely most sets of 6 and 4 year old siblings make noise and play games which involve running and shouting?

Flibbertyjibbet Mon 24-Aug-09 14:24:44

Mil and I both have 16m between 2 lively boys. BIL and gf were always watching my two wrestling etc while I just ignored it. Bilsgf just had another boy and bil has been telling us all

'its hard work with two'

mil and I have been pmsl grin

OP you are right to feel smug, I left my 2 well behaved, well mannered but normal lively 4 and 3 yo ds's with a friend the other day, I was getting a half day 'swap' in exchange for me looking after her ONE 4 yo boy for a full day last week.

God I was pleased to see her house when I picked them up. I pulled the same horrified face that she always pulls when she comes to mine! Smug just doesn't begin to describe how I felt grin

KERALA1 Mon 24-Aug-09 14:28:56

I had this abit from my lovely mother when dd1 would not sleep as a tiny baby. She came to stay with a "right I will sort this out" manner as her own 3 children had all been good sleepers. Ha after 3 nights of walking round the flat with a screaming colicky baby she admitted that there was nothing she or I could do to fix it.

The ones that make me laugh are friends with MILs/mothers who lived in colonial type places where they had legions of staff (maids/nannies/cooks etc) to help with small children and the house and really can't understand why their DILs/daughters are making such a fuss about the whole business.

GooseyLoosey Mon 24-Aug-09 14:47:16

My parents have said that next time (if there is one), grandma will take one child out and grandpa the other so they can cope better. This would clearly be easier as they are angelic on a one to one basis but I wonder what the dcs would think of it. Not sure I am too keen on the idea.

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