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Grandparents helping with the grandkids?

(26 Posts)
Livjames1 Thu 30-Apr-15 17:41:51

Just wondering really would you/do you expect a bit of help with your kids from time to time ie babysitting whilst you have the occasional night out, picking up from school/nursery once in a while? And if your parents/Inlaws are forthcoming with help, how often do they?

It's just that I don't get any help from my parents at all with my three children, and whilst I realise that they are my children and therefore my responsibility, I also would love to have a night out with dh every once in a while and think that everyone deserves a little me time.

My kids are 13,9 and 4, the youngest, my dd is autistic and due to all the issues we have had with her me and dh haven't had any time alone since she was born, unless you count an hour when he came to a hospital appointment with me lol. Anyway I understand that my youngest can be a challenge but on the other hand she is such a loving little girl that it's hard just not to love and cuddle her. She is ok with people she knows but wouldn't be ok say if a hired a babysitter who she wasn't familiar with, it would be an absolute disaster.

My husband works a mixture of early morning and late shifts and as my eldest two do a lot of after school activities, rugby, football, swimming, Cubs etc etc when dh is on Lates I have to take dd with me, but as sown f these activities only finish at 8/8.30 she is abolition exhausted. Now I'd of thought my parents would have offered to come and watch my dd for an hour at my house every now and then in order for me to take the boys to their activities but no. Like tonight for instance, she's had meltdown after meltdown at nursery (she goes 2 hours a day) I pick her up and she's aggressive with me but then manages to calm down and I could see she was exhausted. My parents turned up at my house an hour again and dd ha fell asleep on the couch as she was exhausted (still asleep now) now they knew it was ds's swimming lesson tonight and they knew I'd struggle to rise dd and get her into the car and drive to swimming and then sit there for 45 mins, but still didn't offer. Now I know I could of asked but I feel really awkward and I know what the answer would of been anyway. But it's getting to the point now we're I feel a hit resentful towards them as they know how Much I struggle of an evening yet they can't give up an hour once a week to help me. Am I the only one who feels like this, I can't be surely?

MistletoeBUTNOwine Thu 30-Apr-15 17:47:30

My mum has my older dd(9) once a week to sleep over. She looked after her for 30 hrs per week when I was a LP and working...
She has had both dcs (15m ds) and dd a few times so dp and I can get jobs done, only been out once since ds born (still BF so bit difficult to leave on a night).
I'd have a frank conversation with them. You can't EXPECT them to help out, but I don't think you'd be unreasonable to ask for some help now and again, maybe they just don't realise what a struggle it is sometimes?
You should just ask...
They can only say no, and then you'd be no worse off than you are now!

geekymommy Thu 30-Apr-15 19:03:13

Have you tried asking them directly to do stuff that would help you, instead of waiting for them to offer?

Maybe the two older boys need to be in fewer activities, or find ways to get to these activities without your having to take them?

Livjames1 Thu 30-Apr-15 19:34:58

Hi yes I've asked them quite a few times over the last few years and they either say outright no, claiming to be busy etc or they drill me about exactly what time i'll be leaving exactly what time I'll be home and exactly why I'm going out in the first place! I find it exhausting and so don't bother asking anymore.

And as for my boys activities I really don't think it would be fair to cut back as they really enjoy what they're doing and it wouldn't be fair on them to miss out because of their sister. My eldest is high up in a football academy, and they train twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday and then play of a weekend. Where they train is quite far away in the middle of nowhere so I need to drive ds and as it's that far there really is no point in coming home then coming back out again so I stay in the car or sit in the clubhouse but it's 8pm by the time it's finished and dd is exhausted.

My 9 year olds swimming lessons have to be during the week as there literally are no spaces of a weekend and we were on the wait list for weekday lessons for six months and then his cubs and football are also during the week on Monday and wednesday and I do come home but then I have to drag dd out again at 7/8 o clock to pick ds up. I'd feel terrible if I were to stop them doing their activities as they love them and really are great kids and with the way things are at home with dd they deserve a bit of me time away from the house.

lexyloub Thu 30-Apr-15 20:14:20

My parents and in laws have my 3 all the time I wouldn't be able to do my job otherwise they're on hand for school runs after school weekends etc. It's sometimes easier if I split them up between grandparents so they're not dealing with all 3 at once. If me and dh want a night out or weekend away we ask sometimes they can babysit sometimes they're busy. If you don't ask you don't get imo.

ashtrayheart Thu 30-Apr-15 20:17:06

My parents have never babysat (my eldest is 18!) and dp's parents never offer either, I doubt they would unless we were desperate despite the fact dp's mum looks after my dn one day a week it doesn't bother me now because it is what it is and their loss. If my kids have kids I will help them out!

GasLIghtShining Thu 30-Apr-15 20:24:47

My parents were always happy to babysit - as long as we drove the DC the 100 miles to their house!!!

ChablisTyrant Thu 30-Apr-15 20:30:09

My parents look after all of their 7 grandkids in rotation every week! They will drop anything to help us if we need them. They are our heroes. But my DM loves kids and has devoted her whole life to working and volunteering with children. It isn't everyone's idea of a nice retirement.

Smartiepants79 Thu 30-Apr-15 20:32:37

We are lucky my Mum and Dad look after our 2 an awful lot. My PIL would do the same if they lived nearby.
Many people will say you've no right to expect anything but I think it's awfully sad that family are so unhelpful and unsupportive. Have they always been like that? I hope that I can help out my DD as my parents help me.
My parents lives have been enriched by the time they spend with their grandchildren and they are the most important thing in their lives. I try hard not to take the piss and make sure it is a pleasure not a sacrifice to have the girls.
I am so grateful for the bond they have.

GlitzAndGigglesx Thu 30-Apr-15 20:42:11

My 4yo dd only has 1 go in her life (dp's mum) who has her overnight about once a month. She's picked her up from nursery a couple of times but as she runs her own business she doesn't have much free time herself. I always feel bad asking people to help out and it's only if we really need the help I don't think I've ever asked for the sake of a night out. But I'll have 3 soon so I'm sure I'll be begging for help grin

NickyEds Thu 30-Apr-15 20:50:26

We don't get any help really. My dad isn't really up to running around after a toddler (my Mum's no longer with us) and PIL live over an hour away. I obviously knew these things before we had ds (17 months). I have to admit I'm envious of friends who have support from their parents, (mainly because I know my mum would've been so excited) and, although I really try not to be I get a bit envy when I hear friends say "I desperately needed a couple of hours to myself so dropped dc off at my mums".

Livjames1 Thu 30-Apr-15 21:02:17

Ah well it's pretty much a mixed bag for everyone then. The thing with my parents is that they had me and my brothers very young and in a way I think they came to resent it. Don't get me wrong I know they love us and they love our children but they don't show it the right way.

For example they will spoil them bringing toys/gifts/sweets etc rather than choosing to spend proper time with them. They visit either Saturday's or Sunday's but it's never for more than half an hour or so and you can kind of tell by the end that they are twitching to leave! They also come out with comments like "children are for life, we've had our kids now it's our time, you have to get used to coming second" etc etc and it's infuriating at times. Dh actually turned round and said about a month ago it's like they don't want us to be happy, and I know that sounds ridiculous but I kind of get where he's coming from.

Anything good or bad that happens in our lives they always have an opinion and chose to voice it more than I'd like. Like for instance we managed to steal two hours away last Friday. Dh had finished work earlier than expected at 12.30, I'd just dropped dd of at nursery so we decided to go out for some lunch and have a few coffees and a bit of alone time. My parents turned up that evening and I told them that we'd had a couple of hours out and my dads reaction was to tell us that we are never in and we are always going out without the kids, but he said it in a jokey way, he always does this but he still means what's he's saying if you get me. And I was like no we haven't had any time alone outside of the house in literally years! I just don't get them to be honest, it's like they begrudge being us for a bit and enjoying anything other than our children.

lexyloub Thu 30-Apr-15 21:12:53

Did your grandparents have you a lot when you was a kid? I spent school holidays at my GPs and my grandad picked me up every day from school whilst my parents were at work, I suppose when I had my dcs I just assumed that my parents would do for me what their parents did for them. I do think you should ask them to babysit instead of expect them to offer, if you've never asked they may feel you don't want or need them to babysit. Ask them, what's the worst that could happen? You'll either get some husband wife time or things will stay exactly as they are, you've nothing to lose really.

Livjames1 Thu 30-Apr-15 21:20:29

Yeah they had me and my brothers all the time. I was very lucky to have six sets of grandparents/great grandparents (re-married etc), I loved spending time with all of them. My mum and dad went out either every Friday or every Saturday night and one week me and my brothers would go to our nan's house and the next we'd go to our grandma's. I really looked forward to it as I was very close to them and obviouslt they used to spoil me a fair bit lol. So to be fair my mum and dad got plenty of time on their own, they even went away without us every summer for a weekend, and like I said it didn't bother me, but looking back now they must of needed time to just be a couple, rather like me and my dh do right now, only they don't want to help us.

lexyloub Thu 30-Apr-15 21:28:58

What about your in laws or the children's aunties and uncle's ? Could they babysit for you?

Livjames1 Thu 30-Apr-15 21:33:28

No not really. They have their hands full with my SiL's five children, she leaves her kids with them practically every single day, and with them being older in their 70's they just wouldn't be able to cope with our three as well, especially with our daughter who's autistic. As for aunties and uncles, both my brothers live in London so I only see them every couple of months, and dh's other sister has severe learning difficulties so wouldn't manage.

AGirlCalledBoB Thu 30-Apr-15 21:41:35

Well my dad is no longer here but my mum will always say yes to having ds if she is free. It's not regular but if I need to go uni, want to do date night, have a appointment etc she will have him. I am very lucky really, she made a lot of mistakes with us growing up so she is now a lot closer to her grandson. He adores his nan-nan. She just had him today 12-8 so I could attend a funeral.

Looseleaf Thu 30-Apr-15 21:45:47

If you were to ask, could you broach it by saying i have fond memories of being looked after by our grandparents while you got a regular break which we all need - and would you consider it - would that be worth a go, all said in a light way?

I've never asked my parents for much help except to let me go an occasional school trip but they already do so much just by loving the DC and being 100% available and interested. in our case I feel they'd volunteer if wanted so have done their turn, and are busy. We see each other a lot just to spend time rather than help which does work for us and I'm never resentful as they'd 100% be there if asked or in any emergency

tobysmum77 Fri 01-May-15 07:31:21

Op is/ was dd in nursery? Could you get one of the girls from there to babysit?

Jackieharris Fri 01-May-15 07:49:38

I honestly think you have to stop dragging your asd dd out all those evenings.

That constantly changing routine will be very difficult for her to cope with.

A 13yo should be able to get themselves to and from football. Does he not have a friend he could get a lift with? Or cycle?

Would gps be more willing to take the older ones to activities than stay in with dd? I know this was the case with my gps.

If the 9yo can already swim then I'd cut the evening lessons. Just go as a family when you can.

I think you're trying to do too much and not realising the restrictions that come with a shift working dp, 3 dcs of different ages and an asd dc. It isn't sustainable without causing problems.

Livjames1 Fri 01-May-15 16:23:47

Hi yes we've thought of all this to be fair. My 13 yo can obviously get himself to and from places no problem but not to football training. It's in the middle of nowhere 8 miles away so I couldn't reasonably ask him to cycle there and back, and as for getting a lift with friends, most of the lads on his team get a lift off their grandparents during the week as their parents work, and I'm not all that familiar with them yet.

As for ds's swimming, he still goes at this age as he's not at all confident in the water, we sent him for lessons when he was 4 and he screamed the place down every lesson as he was feared, so we stopped him going which i know probably wasn't the best thing to do. I know what you're saying though about dragging dd about with me but I really think it would be unfair to stop them doing their activities. If my parents could take them to say one activity or babysit once every now and again so I could take them without dd then even that would help a little but they're not interested.

Jackieharris Fri 01-May-15 18:18:46

Send the 13yo in a taxi.

It's not all the time if dp works shifts.

Can he change jobs/ask for different shifts that don't clash?

I'd imagine gps will be happier to run dcs to and fro lessons than sit in with dd (do they find her difficult?) while you go.

With swimming I'd leave it til the summer holidays then go at more convenient times.

madreloco Fri 01-May-15 18:24:56

PILs babysit a handful of times a year. The rest of the time we pay for babysitters for the odd night out. Activities, well the others have to come along to whoevers activity it is, tough luck.

Lucy90 Sat 02-May-15 15:41:59

My mum lives 200 miles away, when we go to stay there she always has my 16wk old dd in her room for one night so me and dp can go for a meal or meet friends or just have a decent sleep! MIL lives 5 mins away and has dd three afternoons a week for me to go to the gym/do shopping etc. when im back at work she will be having dd 3 and a half days a week. She also pops round and plays with her so i can have a long bath/a lie down/do ironing etc. shes bloody fab i love her

Midorichan Sat 02-May-15 19:50:10

I have no one to look after my kids as no one lives near, lol. When my mum comes to visit (when she has time off work) which is about once every couple of months she'll watch them for maybe a couple of hours if we fancy going out for lunch together (my husband and i), or if I go stay with her when my husband is abroad she helps with feeding them/entertaining but otherwise we just look after them ourselves or mum just hangs out with us. We don;t trust my inlaws with them, so they just tend to stay with us. My dad passed away when I was a teenager so we really don't have anyone. It's hard - everyone else seems to have soooo much help with their kids, but my son is super high needs so it's not like I expect any one to be able to cope with him, hence not asking for more help.

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