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What support do you expect from your family?

(63 Posts)
unicorn Thu 31-Mar-05 20:46:44

I think this a universal question, so hope SN thread aren't upset that I have asked it again -
over here.

I did expect a lot more support from my family (esp siblings) once I had had my kids, and was evidently not coping (as they told me)... nontheless, got zilch.

I see many peole who have had hard times with their kids/relationships etc, and yet their own family just does bog all.....

I also see <what I believe to be> great eg's of family, where there are grandparents, aunts and uncles often in evidence- but in a supportive/non intrusive/trying to help alleviate the burden type way IYSWIM.

I hanker for the latter.

motherinferior Thu 31-Mar-05 21:08:38

Interesting one, this. I think there's a huge gulf between those of us with some sort of family back-up and those of us without. I suppose, VERY theoretically, that I could have asked my mother to come and stay with me when dd1 was tiny and I was having a rough time...but, you know, it never even occurred to me and when cousins in India emailed assuming she must be staying I was frankly amazed. Too much has gone on for me even to contemplate it.

Where it does get me is the inability to assume any sort of overnight/emergency cover. Or indeed just regular babysitting. It would be so very, unthinkably nice to go out with DP for an evening without planning it for months beforehand And lots of people do...

unicorn Thu 31-Mar-05 21:13:24

quite MI..
we asked my sister to look after my dd- for one night- when we were going through trauma...(relationship etc)
she said no...

total let down, she claimed that it would have been more upsetting for dd (CR*P!! )we desperately needed to get away from dd at that point.IYKWIM!..

It would appear, my sister has her own (you've laid your bed etc) agenda.

Katemum Thu 31-Mar-05 21:15:55

I think that I would get a lot of support from my family if they lived anywhere near me. Unfortunately before having kids i made the decision to move 300 miles away from them. Would love to have some babysitters occasionaly.

motherinferior Thu 31-Mar-05 21:16:45

One of DP's brothers will babysit, very happily but we wouldn't expect him to do anything like nappies so that rules out an overnighter and I do think the whole thing might be too much for him. Another brother lives in Asia. And the oldest one has his own Issues to do with Family and Expectations, and does now enjoy the company of his neices but we still haven't ever asked him - in four years - to do anything like be with them alone (he didn't see DD1 till she was several months old, btw, unlike his youngest brother who piled round as soon after the birth as he could).

unicorn Thu 31-Mar-05 21:19:22

there's also the emotional support...
I was horrified to find that when my db had his child, we had next to nothing in commmon...

His child had no faults you see, and he could see no stress in parenting (it's always my fault in my family!)...

so surprisingly, we no longer see each other!!

(sorry my family are an epic thread, on their own!! )

motherinferior Thu 31-Mar-05 21:22:25

Bloody hell, babe, that's awful. My sister may live several hundred miles away but she IS a tremendous emotional support, having produced a baby a year before I did.

jamiesam Thu 31-Mar-05 21:23:29

Don't really EXPECT any help from family as such. All live some distance away (nearest 40 miles) and also sadly, ds's don't have a grandma between them. Does make me feel that if I am ever a grandma, would want to provide the 'supportive/ non-intrusive/ trying to help alleviate the burden' type support that you refer to Unicorn. Hope I remember this!

unicorn Thu 31-Mar-05 21:26:45

well I really hope I will be supportive to my kids, in whatever capacity... physical prescence would be great.. but I will prob be very knackers yard material by then.

What I can give <i hope> is no end of love/support and encouragement to a new parent...
something, again, I am afraid I did not get.

Evesmama Thu 31-Mar-05 21:44:28

didnt expect anything, asked for help and was still turned down and now almost two years later, just about picking up the pieces!

Caligula Thu 31-Mar-05 21:50:45

Expect quite a lot probably. I think I get more because of being a single mother. Aunts give me money, my DB pays for DS's piano and swimming lessons instead of more endless toys and clothes for birthdays, and Mum comes and stays about once or twice a month for about three or four days and drives me up the wall. (As I don't have a MIL, she doubles up the role
nicely.)

I never buy clothes for my kids, they are practically all bought by my aunts, sister and brother.

Actually that looks like quite a lot compared to some people.

unicorn Thu 31-Mar-05 21:55:08

maybe that's it Caligula... people do not think you need ANY help when you are a 'couple'!

Thing is .. sometimes you need more help - to help you survive as a couple IYSWIM.

Caligula Thu 31-Mar-05 21:58:26

I think it's true Unicorn. One of the most direct results of splitting with useless xp, is that I immediately got offers of shelves being put up (he could never do anything practical like that and neither can I), garden being done, house being fixed etc. Also, kids go to my Aunt's for a week every summer for their holiday and to give me a break - I'm sure if I were still with xp, this level of help wouldn't be forthcoming.

Caligula Thu 31-Mar-05 22:00:00

And agree that you need help to survive as a couple. That duty of other family members to help shore up a relationship used to be a given - not any more, judging by some of the MIL threads on here!

unicorn Thu 31-Mar-05 22:00:35

Am not really being flippant...as I understand the extra hard work etc... (but you make it almost tempting! )

Caligula Thu 31-Mar-05 22:01:39



I must admit I prefer it!

unicorn Thu 31-Mar-05 22:42:16

I guess we shouldn't 'expect' anything from family.

Perhaps I just hope that when circumstances dictate, family, actually means something.

But what is 'family' anyway?- Again I think we all have different ideas (me and dh definately do)

moondog Thu 31-Mar-05 22:53:42

I am amazed by the amount of women I know who assume that their mothers and PILs will look after their kids for nothing or peanuts and bloody hell, they're right!!
(Rural north Wales btw)
The mother of one woman I know actually gave up her job as a dinner lady 9which she liked very much0 to look after her grandchild.
Hey, maybe I'm the fool though!! Having my family mostly thousands of miles away, this is out for me. Maybe these people are just lucky to live in what is still a fairly closely knit community.

My dh is away at the moment and I am on my own with two. Find that getting some help (not even to do anything exciting like go out of an evening, more likely to be so that I can attend to some unspeakably boring admin of some sort that is incompatible with small kids and arranging it is nearly as exhausting as staying in!
Had someone yesterday for three hours-changed baby's nappy, heated up his food ready for her, and when I got in, she was feet up on the sofa watching tv. hadn't even bothered to wipe down the high chair or put the bowl in the sink.Baby was sleeping and dd was upstairs in her bedroom. Very nice way to earn £24 (three hours at £6 and £3 for coming/going from my house-a little out of town)

moondog Thu 31-Mar-05 22:54:29

Sorry...£21 Have Maths 'o' level (doesn't that date me?!)..honest!!

Caligula Thu 31-Mar-05 23:00:06

TBH, I do expect stuff from family.

But I also expect to have to do stuff for them as well.

Otherwise we're all just atomised individuals in the big bad world.

unicorn Thu 31-Mar-05 23:00:10

I'd get someone else Moondog... sounds like a ripoff!..
No pals to help in emergency?

Demented Thu 31-Mar-05 23:03:20

I haven't read all the replies but all I expect from my family is to show an interest in my DSs. My parents live about 30 miles away and come to visit often, my Mum occasionally stays over and babysits while we go out, although more often she just comes to stay for a few days (my Dad doesn't like staying over). My Mum did like to buy shoes for my DSs (she is a shoe type person) but now that they are on the pension she doesn't do it so much and I have never expected her to do it, nor have I ever asked her to pay for them it has always been her suggestion and we have been very grateful to her for doing it.

DH's family live about 30 miles in the other direction and have not seen our DSs for at least 18 months (they can't find the time apparently), their loss.

moondog Thu 31-Mar-05 23:04:35

Well, she's a nice girl and I do trust her, and that is more important than her being a whizz with the dishcloth I feel. I never ask friends..one of those people who doesn't like to rely on others I suppose.. Prefer family or a financial transaction.

moondog Thu 31-Mar-05 23:05:41

Demented... at your dh's family!

Demented Thu 31-Mar-05 23:07:49

DH had a big argument with them about it and we haven't heard from them since. All they could say when confronted was how busy they were with XYZ?!?!?!?!

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