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Feeling resentful towards parents who never help out with babysittig

(40 Posts)
graceM Fri 30-Jan-15 17:31:02

Hi everyone, although I'm new I've been rowing the forum for some time now, so know how easily people are jumped on and misunderstood. Now before I explain the situation i'd just like to say yes, I chose to have children and yes, I know they are my responsibility and that I shouldn't juat automatically expect help but this isn't the case here.

Anyway from the beginning. I'm married, have three wonderful children, a boy age almost 12, a girl age almost 9 and a boy just turned 4. Me and my husband had our first child young ( well me anyway lol ) and from day one we have been independent, not relying on anyone for anything except for one night out a year for birthday/annicersary. I absolutely adore all my children as you'd expect but my eldest two were what you'd call "model children" ie they fed, slept, potty trained like a dream, they were both very easy going happy children. So as they were so "easy" to care for like I said we had occasional offers of help from my parents, as well as oh parents but they are a lot older than my parents do don't like to put on them to much.

Well it turns out my youngest Ds has autism/add, he has recently been diagnosed after two long long years where me and my Dh have struggled like you wouldn't believe. we have been and still are trying to see the positives in everything so not to make our children upset but it's so hard. We get absolutely no time together except maybe the odd hour hear and there of a night, well that's only if Ds goes down to sleep ok. We don't have proper nights out or go to the cinema occasionally or even out for a bit of tea, our whole lives are our children and although to a certain degree it should be, I'm now starting to feel resentment for not being able to enjoy even an evening once a month with my husband I love dearly, and unfortunately I know exactly where and to whom I'm feeling resentment towards, my parents!

Don't get me wrong they love our kids but there idea of showing them how much they love them is to spoil them with toys and sweets every week (well maybe not every week). They come once a week to see them but you can always tell they at itching to go by the end. I wouldn't say I'm extremely close to my parents so don't tell them absolutely everything but they know how much we and my Dh and out family as a whole have been struggling due to our sons behaviour, meltdowns etc yet they do nothing.

I don't expect them to babysit week or even every other week whilst me and my Dh go out on the town getting drunk but I feel sad and angry that they won't help out once in a while. I see all my friends get regularly and quite extensive help with their children off their parents and can't help feel envious. And the ironic thing is that when me and my sisters were little my parents went out almost every Friday and Saturday night and we were sent to either set of grandparents over night. Don't get me wrong this I loved as I adored my grandparents BUT my parents had help regulary. So why when me and my Dh are on our knees at the minute and have spent the last two years struggling to come to terms with how much our lives have and are going to change, ( and our sons ) will they not help us?

Quitelikely Fri 30-Jan-15 17:36:38

I understand where you are coming from, your choices are:

Talk to your parents, tell them how much you are struggling: ask if they can offer more practical support


Hire a baby sitter. is great.

I'm sorry that things are hard at the moment.

expatinscotland Fri 30-Jan-15 17:40:02

Sorry, but my son has ADHD and ASD and I really do not expect my parents to babysit for him, much less be resentful of them. He's a lot of work.

That's just how it is.

Hire a sitter.

soupmaker Fri 30-Jan-15 17:46:06

Have you asked them to babysit? Have you explained how you and your DH need some time?

We have no family support due to geography so I know how hard it is. I too have seen friends get loads of help and support, but often that comes with some downsides too.

graceM Fri 30-Jan-15 17:47:01

I won't hire a sitter, I will not allow a complete stranger to look after my child and you should know with having a special needs child yourself that children with these types of conditions rarely respond well to chnage or people they don't know. My son yes, is hard work but he also has good moments and will sit watching his favourite programmes, listening to his music etc and snuggle up to you, he is so loving and caring so why am I asking too much of my own parents to help out maybe once every couple of months? I sure as hell would do it for my own children when they're grown up and have children of their own, in a heartbeat regardless whether one of their children has additional needs or not!

graceM Fri 30-Jan-15 17:48:29

Hi, yes I've asked them to babysit many times before and all they do is mumble nervously and come up with an excuse.

JaniceJoplin Fri 30-Jan-15 17:52:56

Have they never helped out at all in 12 years ? I imagine it may be too late. Perhaps they are older than your GPs were ? Maybe they are just not up to it mentally, physically whatever. We get no help from anyone either. It makes life very difficult I know.

reallywittyname Fri 30-Jan-15 17:53:45

Did they ever babysit the older two? Perhaps they are nervous of being responsible for your younger DS and don't want to mention his additional needs because they think it shouldn't be an issue. Maybe if he is hard work you could broach the idea with them of you and your DH going out for, say, an hour, before they do a whole evening.

expatinscotland Fri 30-Jan-15 17:56:31

'I won't hire a sitter, I will not allow a complete stranger to look after my child and you should know with having a special needs child yourself that children with these types of conditions rarely respond well to chnage or people they don't know.'

Then establish a support network and take it in turns or swap out.

Yes, I know they don't respond well to change. My son is a nightmare during the school holidays especially, and I have a real battle on my hand to get his ADHD medicated.

His elder sister died of cancer. She was in hospital for months on end 2.5 hours from our home. Never once did the ILs offer to have the other two so my husband could help me care for our little girl.

That's life. I'd act differently if it were my kids, but they are not me.

Being resentful is a waste. It won't change anything.

You need to look at some alternatives.

graceM Fri 30-Jan-15 17:58:33

Hi. Yes they helped out occasionally with my older two children, like o said they are almost 12 and 9 and off the top of my head they have babysat them probably 5 or 6 times. And with my youngest my mum especially takes an active interest in him and phones all the time to see how he is or how he's benabed at school etc so they do care, there's no doubt about that but when it comes to actually helping out it's non existent. Oh and my parents are only 52 and 53 so still quite young really whereas dh's parents are 70 and 72.

reallywittyname Fri 30-Jan-15 18:02:23

Do they know how desperate you are for some proper time with your DH? You mentioned that you aren't that close... maybe they just don't get it?

expat flowers

Whereisegg Fri 30-Jan-15 18:02:53

Is your youngest at school or nursery?
Maybe approach his ta if he is, they may be happy for some extra income every now and again and your ds will already know them.

BoysRule Fri 30-Jan-15 18:03:02

What I find the most upsetting about this is that your parents don't want to help you. My parents love seeing the grandchildren but equally they love me as much as they did when I was a child and want me to be happy and have a nice life. They know that by looking after the grandchildren for a night or a weekend they are making our lives easier and our lives better.

As much as it is hard work looking after your children they do it for a short time and then walk away back to their own lives. That is what my parents always say - they might get little sleep for a night but then they get all they want again until the next time.

I would be resentful. I love my children and even when they are adults I can be selfless enough to work hard for a night or two to help them out. However, being resentful doesn't help but asking them directly whey they can't might. Perhaps they are scared that something will go wrong and they don't know what to do.

spanky2 Fri 30-Jan-15 18:03:40

I think people of their generation do not understand disorders like autism and add. They might not feel capable of looking after your DS. My best friend has a DS with autism so I can understand how difficult it is. I would be surprised if your DS could cope with a stranger looking after him. Your parents sound reasonable, talk to them. Maybe they would feel better babysitting in the day? I am just guessing as my friend's DS finds bedtime and sleeping very difficult.
There are support groups out there for parents of dcs with autism. I wonder if you are angry with the diagnosis of autism as it changes life expectations for your DS?

expatinscotland Fri 30-Jan-15 18:05:08

That's a great idea, Whereis. In our area, a local, informal group of ASD parents has started up. Hopefully once we get to know one another and children better, we can help one another with more support.

DS's nursery teacher does private sitting. We cannot afford a sitter just now, but it could be an option.

We do our own 'date nights' in house.

JaniceJoplin Fri 30-Jan-15 18:06:00

Your mum sounds a bit like mine. She loves the idea of GC, buys loads, talks about them a lot, shares photos with her friends, but not the reality of playing / looking after them. It does sound like you need alternatives. Maybe a mature CM could help on occasion? I was going to suggest an au pair if you have space, but they would likely not have the maturity you need for your youngest DS. There was a sure start centre near me who had a special autism unit, I bet they would have a list of local child minders or babysitters who could help. There must be demand for this. It was called Jigsaw, I am not sure if it is national.

graceM Fri 30-Jan-15 19:28:11

Thanks, there's some great suggestions there, I really appreciate it. Not sure how to quote posts or been if you can do it on here not to whoever asled if my son is in school, no not yet, he only turned 4 on Christmas day so he'll start this September.

I think as well the fact that I'm a full time sahm with a husband who works a mixture of day/afternoon and night shifts makes it that bit harder. My son craves routine but he doesn't always have it because husbands shifts are all over the place and my eldest two have so many after school activities that no one day is the same which just upsets my son even more. With my eldest two children I worked full time but chose to give up my job so that I could be a full time mum to my son. We knew this would be put last child so we wanted either myself or my husband to be around 24/7 and to be honest I knew I wanted it to be me, but I've no shame in admitting that I'm struggling, and to be honest I thought my own parents would care, so it's just hard relapse in that they do but not enough to offer help once in a while x

GingerDoodle Fri 30-Jan-15 20:23:07

We don't have local family so sitting is a 1 - 2 hour trip each way for us or them so for us we put the effort in to finding, and establishing a bond with a local sitter.

Its ok to be resentful but tbh its their life. I have issues with my fil over how he treats my dh / us - and specifically our dd but untimatley its his life and his decision so I suck it up and think its his loss in the long run!

RonaldMcFartNuggets Fri 30-Jan-15 20:48:43


People always get ripped to shreds on this subject confused maybe projecting ?

Your parents should help. If my children were you I would offer in a heartbeat but not all people offer so you need to just ask. Tell them how it is and be blunt. Remind them how they went out a lot and I'm sure it helped their relationship.

If they say no, then maybe looking into a sitter with sn experience and get them to come over a couple of times before you actually go out so your ds gets used to them?

My sister has a lovely sitter with her v disabled son who is amazing! There's some great people out there, good luck!

Fairylea Fri 30-Jan-15 20:54:02

I don't have any great words of wisdom but I am in a very similar situation and we have no family help whatsoever. Ever. It's bloody difficult. I just wanted to give you some flowers and say if I were you I'd feel exactly the same.

TheFriar Fri 30-Jan-15 21:01:47

The thing with ASD is that it can frighten people as they have no idea how to react when the child goes into meltdown.
Seeing that even with your older two who were easy children, they weren't keen anyway, I'm not surprised they don't want to do it now.

More than an issue with your parents ( after all you didn't have an issue when they didn't help with the first ones), your issue is the fact you have no respite from caring for a child with SN.
This is an issue that isn't going to get easier with time sad and you do need some strategies in place.
Expat is right re having a support network around you. It will help you both to get some respite. But a network of people with children with ASD would also to be able to relate to people who have similar issues than you. Have you tried Daisy Chain etc?

OddFodd Fri 30-Jan-15 21:32:04

There is no should about it. It would be lovely if parents did help but many of them don't (or can't).

OP - I'm a single parent so I totally get how relentless it is. I've been out 3 times in the evening in the past year. I pay a student who used to provide DS 1:1 at school to babysit.

TBH though, I think your issues are less to do with your parents and more to do with you being on your knees looking after your youngest. Are you going to support groups? You might be able to find a recommended sitter through there. Or just be able to talk to people face to face who get it.

Cherryjellybean Fri 30-Jan-15 22:58:10

It sounds really hard. I hope you find some help, as everyone needs a break from time to time.

whereismagic Fri 30-Jan-15 23:07:50

People I know have been using au pairs extensively and one of their children is on autistic spectrum and can be quite challenging. That gives them peace of mind in the morning and they have evenings out quite regularly, I think. I would find somebody you can pay rather than keep feeling resentful about parents.

BackforGood Fri 30-Jan-15 23:21:39

Nobody is expecting you to find some random person and just go out for your ds to find them there unexpectedly. What an odd thing to say. hmm

As Ginger and Ronald have said - people who pay a sitter will generally go to the trouble of finding someone they trust, and introducing them to the family, so they are not strangers and they are part of the routine.

Yes, it would be nice if your parents were keener to come and sit for you once a month, but, as they aren't - as Expat said - there's no point in fretting over it, you need to think what else you can do.

Apart from developing a relationship with someone who would sit for you, what about having a "date" with your husband every now and then while his shifts allow, while your ds is at Nursery?

Re the 'different every day' upsetting him, - have you thought about how you might be able to lower his levels of anxiety, with visual timetables and warnings of what is happening after school, in advance, for example ?

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