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grandmotherly duties

(32 Posts)
Sugarmag Sun 07-Aug-05 10:16:23

My mother has just flown 3000 miles to visit her 2 grandhildren for a week. How nice. [insert sarcastic emoticon here] i think if she were placing an ad in the paper it would go something like this:

Ad: 60-something lady available for grandmotherly duties. Will read stories, sing songs, play games and colour. But only between the hours of 10am and 4pm. Before 10am I must not be disturbed until I have completely finished sleeping late, exercising, showering, dressing and eating breakfast. After 4pm I may be tired and need a nap. Above activities (reading, singing etc) will also only take place if they do not interfere with much more interesting activities such as reading the Fringe Festival guide from cover to cover or having an unscheduled mid-day nap. Duties do not include feeding, dressing, changing nappies, toileting or bathing (especially bathing as the smell of certain soaps and shampoos may make me feel ill and dizzy). Can provide evening babysitting duties if children are already asleep and their is sufficient crap to watch on television - preferably court tv or some really, really bad science fiction like attack of the giant killer ladybirds from outer space.

colditz Sun 07-Aug-05 10:40:55

Still jealous of you. My mother considers it her grandmotherly duty to critasize my parenting, everything else is down to me.

charliecat Sun 07-Aug-05 10:42:09

LOL, My mum lives down the road but needs 3 weeks in advance to babysit for the once yearly time me and dp go out

WigWamBam Sun 07-Aug-05 10:44:38

I'm jealous too. What she's doing sounds reasonable to me - my MIL lives five minutes drive away and doesn't do any of the things with my dd that you describe your mother doing. My mother will do such things as bathing and taking to the toilet, and she used to change nappies, but really that was more than she needed to be doing - she's my dd's grandma, not her mother.

lemonice Sun 07-Aug-05 11:08:49

If she's only here for a week wasn't she a bit tired after her flight?

Surely you didn't expect her to take up the everyday care and supervision...exh just came back from Hong kong for a break and he only saw his 1 year old grandson a few times in three weeks and only looked after him one day.

Grandmas are supposed to be around for the nice bits

WigWamBam Sun 07-Aug-05 11:14:46

What do you think a grandma's "duties" should be then, Sugarmag? The word makes it sound like a job of work, and most grandparents paid their dues raising their own children.

Gobbledigook Sun 07-Aug-05 11:16:27

Tbh, kind of sounds reasonable to me if she's doing the nice interactive bits. Fair enough if she doesn't want to do the dirty bits. It's nice if they do help out with the hard work parts but I don't think they should feel they have to. Sounds like she's come a long way and really it's for a holiday not to become an au pair.


Twiglett Sun 07-Aug-05 11:20:43

they're your kids though .. she's already had and raised hers .. the job of being a grandmother involves being able to do what she wants to and give them back when she wants to .. that's why they reckon you should have your grandchildren first

(you sound a little like you anticipated having a holiday from your kids because your mum is coming and she will be their mum TBH)

suzywong Sun 07-Aug-05 11:22:34

when I had ds2, MIL came over to the UK from Australia, bless her. She did all the cooking - dinner at 5pm, thanks but that's not really the time adults eat, rearranged my fridge and kitchen, generally took over in a benign and non-assuming way, but it meant dh and I had no privacy ( tiny flat she had to sleep in the loung) and couldn't re-align our new expanded family unit properly.

So the other side of the coin can be very annoying too it really can.

(However, now that we live with her it is awfully nice to have her babysit while we were out til midnight yesterday and we are all sitting on our arses eating her freshly cooked fried rice and she's doing the washing up )

I 'm afraid I agree with the others, she thinks she's having a holiday and she didn't sign on to be an active caretaker - enjoy the good bits and forget about the annoying bits.


hercules Sun 07-Aug-05 11:23:02

I'm not keen on small children myself and tbh when i have grandkids I cant imagind I'd do much more than your mum is.

fostermum Sun 07-Aug-05 20:00:32

remember grandparents have done it all before and want to share the nice bits of grandkids not all the everyday grubby bits,i see mine often but i object to being expected to be a stand in for thier mum,i did my share with them now its there turn!

sallystrawberry Sun 07-Aug-05 20:07:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

spidermama Sun 07-Aug-05 20:13:00

My mum comes to visit and spends most of her time trying to avoid the kids and talking to me non stop about TV programmes she has seen.

It's the opposite of what I need.

I watch jealously as the other grandmas do school pick-ups (my mum hates the playground), babysit, take the kids out, bake cakes and cook meals.
Still, I expect the grass is always greener.

milward Sun 07-Aug-05 20:49:42

My mother doesn't talk to me anymore as she thinks I interfered in her medical care when I spoke to her doctor about her high blood preassure that she wouldn't see her gp about. She came to visit & wasn't herself so I took her to my gp her bp was 180/110. My gp wanted to start immediate treatment but my mother was going home the next day. My gp wrote a letter for my mothers gp. I asked her for 6 weeks to go to her gp but she wouldn't. I eventually called him up as I was very worried she would collapse as she lives by herself. My mother then told me to get lost!! She also told my sister that I had had said she'd never see her grandchildren again - a complete lie.
I often see other grandmothers with their grandkids & I think how nice it must be to have help with the kids. I have 3 & will soon have another. My pil are great & will come to help but my mother just does nothing.

weesaidie Sun 07-Aug-05 21:06:04

I am a single parent and luckily for me my parents are both very helpful and babysit regularly, etc. I think they want to help me and they love seeing dd. However they are young (49 and 53) and are very active, don't get tired etc. Also when I am around then they don't do the grubby bits, that is mummys job and I think that is fair enough.

I went on holiday recently with my mum and her boyfriend and kids and I was obviously main carer of dd (altho they did help) but my mum spent a lot of time arguing with my teenage brother and sister so she probably had it far harder than me!

Sugarmag Mon 08-Aug-05 06:34:29

Ok, fair enough not expecting her to do the grubby bits - I'll change the nappies. But yesterday dd was begging her to play and she was too busy reading the bloody fringe festival guide. DD is going "grandma please play with me, I want to show you how to play snap". And grandma is going "in just a minute, I'm just looking at this." After 15 minutes of this I said "mum why don't you read that tonight when she's in bed." "Ok", she says "just one more minute". Another twenty five minutes later she's still reading and I'm feeding ds with one hand and playing snap with dd with the other!

Maybe I'm just spoiled by my dad (who does the grubby bits) and my mil who's not mad keen on the grubby bits but is happy to sit on the floor and play trains/snap/jigsaws whatever with them for ages, who has tea parties with them in the garden etc. In other words who really seems to love spending time with them instead of just tolerating them for 10 minutes at a time.

mumtosomeone Mon 08-Aug-05 06:38:25

I feel for you!!
I always fall out with my mum when she comes to stay!!
And dh's mum never call round and lives less than a mile away, but moans if we dont go there! when we go she comments on the noise and mess we make!!!

Sugarmag Mon 08-Aug-05 07:39:38

Hi again, have had a chance to read through the posts in a bit more detail now. While I am certainly not expecting her to be an au pair gobbledigook what is wrong with wanting just a little tiny bit of a holiday for myself (twiglet)? I'm not talking about all day every day. But just ONE offer to the effect of "I'll feed the kids if you want to have a rest since you've been awake since 5:30 and I slept until 8" or "I'll watch them for an hour if you want to pop out and have a little time to yourself". Would just once be too much to ask?

And Sallystrawberry - she has the energy to exercise for an hour every morning and shop for hours until her credit card has reached it's limit!

It's not that she doesn't like seeing them, it's just that once she's here she can't really be bothered. Whereas mil who lives down the road can't wait to spend time with them if she hasn't seen them for even a few days. The only positive thing I can say is she doesn't critisize my parenting skills. We had a few big rows when dd was first born but she pretty much keeps her mouth shut now.

ds screaming now - better go! (maybe he'll wake her

luckylady Tue 09-Aug-05 07:39:07

sugarmug- Luckily when my mam comes out to visit she takes DD (who is nearly 9) to the hotels with her for howeverlong she is out for. Obviously if DD wants to come home she does. She will take DS for a couple of days for me andone night. But as he is only 14months I don't blame her not doing it longer as you can't exactley relax around the pool when you have got him.

to be honset dh and I do expect when family come out to visit that they will have the children, even if just for a couple of hours one day then maybe babysit for us one night,(within 1-2weeks holiday) as we have no family living near us to give us a break, where we can go the pool for a few hours and relax, and go out for a nice meal just the two of us. Luckily for us they all tell us they are having the children to give DH and I a break and time for just us. We are very lucky really.

luckylady Tue 09-Aug-05 07:41:03

Even dd real dad offers to take the baby for a day out !!!!!, I do decline saying that his time is quality time with Nicole, but atleast he offers and it is nice for dd that he takes an interest in her brother.

luckylady Tue 09-Aug-05 07:41:08

Even dd real dad offers to take the baby for a day out !!!!!, I do decline saying that his time is quality time with Nicole, but atleast he offers and it is nice for dd that he takes an interest in her brother.

MaloryTowers Tue 09-Aug-05 07:46:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nailpolish Tue 09-Aug-05 07:51:58

sugarmag, i think your mother has it in her head she has come for a holiday, and you are the one that should be treating her! ie she will get all meals cooked for her, entertained and rested. i think you and her have got crossed wires - are expecting different things from the holiday

what i think you should do is just carry on as you are, dont expect anything of her and if she babysits/cooks a meal/takes children off your hands for a bit, or whatever, think of it as a bonus.

if i was you, too, i would be glad of some company while doing all these menial tasks (ie youve got someone to chat to while you change nappies/cook/clean.


Sugarmag Tue 09-Aug-05 08:00:25

Ha nailpolish - that would be fine if I liked to discuss Stargate Atlantis all day every day. We'd be ok if I'd finished the new Harry Potter yet which she's dying to talk about but don't have enough free time to read !

OldieMum Tue 09-Aug-05 08:03:58

Sugarmag - I think you may find that you, too, need 'unscheduled naps' when you are in your 60s and recovering from jetlag

My mother is much older (82), granted, but I would never expect her to do housework and she lives only 5 minutes away. What I very much appreciate is the way she reads, plays and sings with DD while I get on with cooking etc. She needs a lot of rest and I would be concerned if she missed out on it from thinking that she had to help out with housework.

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