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Let down by parents - am I overreacting?

(93 Posts)
Dipdaprules Sat 23-Feb-13 22:29:07

Dh and I have two ds's, age 4 and 2. They are lively and can sometimes misbehave, but not more than other children this age I think; they can also be very charming.

Since they were born dh and I have not had a night away from them (together). This summer is our 15th anniversary. We were hoping to go away for a night or two and asked my parents - in their early 60s and in good health - if they would be able to have the boys for the weekend, either at their house (where they have converted a bedroom into a kids room) or ours (where I'd offered to have a nanny come in for a few hours each day).

They have said no. Dad said the boys are too raucous and he's not sure he could cope with them. I am really upset - as he knows, we have nobody else who could take them and so we won't be able to go away. I can't imagine saying no to my own kids in those circumstances when they grow up. Dh is furious and thinks they are being incredibly selfish.

I suppose this is a bit of an aibu

Startail Tue 26-Feb-13 08:38:26

YANBU to be cross, their choice, but still a bit mean.

My DSIS has no DCs and no experience of them, but she will come a considerable distance and mind my two overnight, once a year so we can go to DHs works do (lots of commuting and split sites so you get a good rate on a very nice hotel).

This is hugely appreciated as we have no one else to ask. PIL sadly deceased, DSIL 5hrs away and my parents not fit enough.

We all need a break sometimes.

ThatsNotAKnifeThatsASpoon Tue 26-Feb-13 08:28:45

Absolutely diddl.

OP I'm embarrassed on your behalf. Your poor mum.

diddl Tue 26-Feb-13 08:13:24

My goodness-you both need to get over yourselves.

Nobody ever has to look after anyone elses children for any reason at all!!

I adored all of my GPs-and never stayed with any of them.

You don't need to sleep over to have a relationship.

And your husband-oh I'm so relieved that he's happy with the way you handled ithmm

Afterall, it's all about him, isn't it?

Aren't you at all ashamed of him?

TBH if I was your mum I'd be ashamed of you.

cavaqueen Tue 26-Feb-13 05:59:55


Not unreasonable to be disappointed at not getting the chance to go away, but very unreasonable if you are disappointed with your parents for not wanting to mind your dc's.

What exactly is your dh 'furious' about anyway?

ThatsNotAKnifeThatsASpoon Tue 26-Feb-13 05:50:44

Worrying,not writing, and the, not their

ThatsNotAKnifeThatsASpoon Tue 26-Feb-13 05:49:34

If I were your mother I'd be appalled that even after hearing about your father's chest pain (very worrying for them both I imagine) my daughter still harped on about her weekend away & thought it appropriate to express disappointment we couldn't do it. Incredibly self centred.

OP are you really this childish or are you just doing what your husband wants you to do? Was he not embarrassed that you complained to your parents buy it was actually health concerns that are writing them? Did he enquire further after your dad or just express satisfaction that you twisted their knife in your conversation with your mum?

Your dad in his 60s has chest pains & all you can do is moan you've no childcare on tap. Astonishing.

echt Tue 26-Feb-13 05:34:34

I'd rather expected this thread to turn into what Dad's having done about his chest pains. They should never be ignored. A&E.

Oh, and under 2 hours means, I guess 1 hour 50 minutes. That's a long time in horrible traffic, or a long way right on the speed limit. No easy distance/time.

AThingInYourLife Tue 26-Feb-13 01:25:10

"am a bit sad that they are not keener to build relationships with the grandchildren (we live under 2 hours drive away but my mum keeps saying if only we lived closer they could help more - ?)"


My sister lives around the corner from my parents. I live 2 hours drive away.

Who, do you imagine, gets most help?

If you are nearby then you can pick the kids up from school, watch them for a hour, take them to the park etc without even noticing.

To do those things for someone who lives a 2 hour drive away involves travelling, possibly staying away, dropping responsibilities at home.

Why do you equate building relationships with grandchildren with providing free childcare?

What efforts are you making to foster the relationship between your children and your parents?

And come on - your Dad is having worrying chest pains and you're sulking about how he expressed his reluctance to incur those pains so you could have a weekend away? Really?

Absolutelylost Tue 26-Feb-13 00:14:14

My parents in their early 70's, quite fit and young at heart, have just had my three nieces 8, 5 and 9 months for 4 days whilst my brother and his wife went away. It was hard work, particularly for my mum, I think gsvjnv the baby was asking a lot but they enjoyed spending more time with her, as they don't live locally, and they were happy for their parents to have a break. Not that my sister in law seemed particularly appreciative.... But that's just her.

Dipdaprules Tue 26-Feb-13 00:06:31

Wow lots of replies since I last checked.

Things have calmed down. I spoke to my mum, she explained they didn't feel confident taking the kids all weekend, adding that my dad has recently been getting chest pains when under stress (I had no idea - had never been mentioned - poor communication in my family but that's another story). I said I was disappointed, she said maybe next year they could manage. Dh was reassured that I hadn't just said 'ok fine', but had been honest with my mum about how I felt, so he has also calmed down, and I've told him I don't want him making a hard situation worse.

The issues are not totally resolved, I still feel a bit hurt at the way my dad expressed himself and am a bit sad that they are not keener to build relationships with the grandchildren (we live under 2 hours drive away but my mum keeps saying if only we lived closer they could help more - ?) but I at least understand better their decision on this occasion.

Mollydoggerson Mon 25-Feb-13 23:09:38

My parents were the same. Just too exhausting for them to look after the kids for 48 hours, same with dh's side. We get a few hours babysitting from time to time but that's it (2 or 3 times a year).

I just accept it now, it's their perogative to not babysit. Maybe they are just not up to it.

Toddlers and preschoolers are very hard work when they are excited (as we all know!!).

I think yabu if you hold a grudge, just let it go. Could you hire a babysitter/aupair?

emess Mon 25-Feb-13 23:02:05

Disappointing but you can't do a lot on this occasion. However, do they see a lot of them at other times? If they become familiar with all the paraphernalia a 2yo has,how it works (whether toys or equipment), his routines, his likes and dislikes, and they learn more of his ways, then it might be less scary for them. Bear in mind also that small children change very quickly and what calmed / entertained / amused / excited him 3 months ago probably won't work now and will be different again in 3 months time. GPs can find this difficult to keep up with, especially if they don't spend a lot of time with them, just doing "everyday" things.

My ILs didn't look after mine much, so I can sympathise. But if that's the way they are, it's the way they are.

kerala Mon 25-Feb-13 22:35:27

It is a shame. We had similar with ILs (early 60s retired time on hands) asked them to have our 2 very easy girls for the weekend to go to my sisters childfree wedding. My family would normally have helped but all at wedding. Ils agreed then pulled out for really lame made up reason. It was the first and only time we had asked anything of them they made it very clear how low we were on their list of priorities. An already shakey relationship never really recovered from that.

EuphemiaLennox Mon 25-Feb-13 21:52:18

2 is just a baby.

Babies are just scary or dull or tedious or complicated or hard work to some people.

Mine are 12 yrs and 9yrs and Im with the poster above: I wouldn't want to look after a 2yr old. I couldn't be arsed.

Maybe your parents will enjoy them more once they're over 5yrs.

Once there are no nappies, potties, bottles, cots, tippy cups, pushchairs, routines, broken nights, early mornings, messy mealtimes etc.

Once they can go out on trips, chat and plan, share interests, relax in restaurants, be left unsupervised for a bit while grandad reads the paper etc.

Maybe they're just looking forward to those nice bits of grandparenthood and don't want the hard work??

Disappointing for you, but there could still be a lovely relationship to come with the GPs and your children, maybe they just don't want to do the baby stuff?

Flossiechops Mon 25-Feb-13 21:22:35

Bollox! my parents are in their 60s my dad has severe arthritis in his spine and walks with aids,my mum still works nights and they have their 5 grandchildren several times a week. Some grandparents just can't be arsed its a simple as that!!!

morethanpotatoprints Mon 25-Feb-13 09:56:47

We also didn't have anyone to mind our dc overnight when they were little. It is a shame but there's not a lot you can do about it.
It certainly is not a reason for your dh to be so upset, and it is not fair to expect your parents to do this. Fine if they feel confident to do it, but they obviously aren't.
Maybe go somewhere that has a crèche, baby sitters etc, or hire a nanny.

oldwomaninashoe Mon 25-Feb-13 09:54:40

Well I'm ancient, I am 61, work full time, and am in fairly good health. DH is 4 years younger, and I have 3 grown up sons living at home....

BUT, we have had my 23 month old nephew staying with us as his Mum has been in hospital. He is a lively gorgeous little chap, but me and DH would be totally exhausted if it were not for the help of our sons who do "physical" type play with him.
I honestly think that people in their 20's,30's, and 40's do not realise the extent that your energy levels diminish when you hit your late 50's early 60's.
I think your DH is being unreasonable, I also think when yours are older it will be a different story and they will probably look after them overnight.

nailak Mon 25-Feb-13 09:47:49

My mum is in her fifties although she is capable of looking afte thirty five year olds five days a week, she doesn't feel confident in being able to look after a two year old overnight. That is fine. they are very different things.

ThatsNotAKnifeThatsASpoon Mon 25-Feb-13 09:39:52

Some 60 somethings are in great health. Some are not. Others might be just starting to feel the effects of getting older.

Nobody said they were ancient but minding two very active small children for a weekend would easily take it out of most people, never mind two retirees.

diddl Mon 25-Feb-13 09:37:30

They haven´t really let do down though, have they?

You just can´t do something that you would have liked.

I think that two young kids for a weekend is a big ask tbh anyway.

I´m only 50 but think I'd find it hard-I´m used to teenagers & have forgotten the young years!

I can´t believe that your husband thinks that they are selfish.

Maybe they think that you two are selfish for even thinking of a weekend away?

diddl Mon 25-Feb-13 09:14:21

It sounds as if it would be easier to accept if your husband wasn´t so up in arms tbh.

So you've put that your mum can't cope.

And your Dad says he can't-but you don't seem to believe him??!!

Of course YANBU to be disappointed, but that's just life for a lot of folks.

Weekends away as a couple don't happen when you have young children.

Abra1d Mon 25-Feb-13 08:45:49

I am roaring with laughter at how people are claiming 60- somethings are so ancient!

But seriously, OP, how do your children behave? I am asking this gently. I know what two-year olds are sometimes like. Have other people commented on their behaviour?

Branleuse Mon 25-Feb-13 08:28:40

they sound useless and id be upset too. i had a great relationship with my grandparents and so did dp, spending entire holidays with them. They're missing out on having a close relationship if they won't take them for breaks and i think its one of the things when you have children, you get grandchildren too and my mum takes mine and dps mum would in a shot too, and i expect to do the same for my gc later on down the line. Even if they're raucous, its only a night or two.

echt Mon 25-Feb-13 08:23:36

Nah, swallowed can't see the refs to GPs' parents' help at all, nor to anything specific about GP s not being keen, at least not before the hint about being less forthcoming herself, which came first.

echt Mon 25-Feb-13 08:19:47

I've read the OP's posts and yes, she went straight from the first post where the GPs are not so enthusiastic to OP proposing winding back on suggesting visits based on ......nothing else, just a vague lack of interest. So yes, it does sound like passive-aggressive punishment for not coming up with the goods.

Has the OP been "chasing them"?

Also, children described as "lively" can appear quite differently to others. (I do not imply they are hell on wheels).

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy is spot on about the difference between emergencies and planning.

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