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GRANDPARENTS - how much help do you get?

(58 Posts)
69bex69 Wed 08-May-13 10:50:16

Ok i have 4 children, 10, 7, 21mths and 5mths. I have a hard working hubby and live 20 miles from the nearest relative. I love being a sahm and all is dandy except for one thing; my 7yr old boy. He's very hard work not just for me but his teacher and when he used to go to a childminder.

One day i was at my wits end and we needed a break from each other so i called my dad and asked if he could just have him for one night. Never asked in 10yrs for any help. He said he couldnt as he was very unwell so i asked the other grandparent and he stayed there. Fair enough?

Then i get a call from my sis saying he lied coz he didnt want to, why the f**k should he!? Well i thought that was what family was for? I have my sisters kids now and again and its not a problem. Never ask anything in return. I do it because they are my family. Simple.

Have to say he hasnt bothered with them in the past, birthdays, christmas, school holidays so i guess it shouldnt of been much of a suprise but i dont think its normal. He had plenty of help when we were kids!

Think i may just cut him off.

JaquelineHyde Wed 08-May-13 13:18:05

I also have 4 children, aged 8, 7, 6 and 7 days old.

I have a wonderfully close large family, many of whom live within 10 mins.

However, my children never go to them, in fact in the last 8 years their Grandparents have had them over night 3 times.

Once was on our wedding night from 9pm and we collected them at 11am the next day.

Then last week for two nights whilst I was in hospital giving birth.

I think you sound very entitled, and whilst yes you do have the right to feel hurt that your Dad doesn't want to help his own daughter out, to suggest you just cut him off because of it is a bit pathetic.

JaquelineHyde Wed 08-May-13 13:25:09

And actually the person I would be bloody furious at would be your sister.

She is being a shit stirring bitch, you didn't need to know about a private conversation she had with your Dad and has told you knowing how much it would hurt.

Not the action of someone trying to help at all!

themaltesecat Wed 08-May-13 15:39:01

Our kid has grandparents, neither of whom I can leave her with for as much as twenty minutes (both too scatty and not physically fit enough). You just have to get on with it.

Nanny0gg Wed 08-May-13 17:41:28

I am very involved with my DGC, which I am happy about. I have had one overnight once. I would do it in an emergency, or if DC needed a break, but I'll be honest, I don't want to. I'm not that kind of Grandma and I don't enjoy overnighters.
If your dad has never been involved, what on earth makes you think he would be able to cope and in fact, that your DS would have been happy about it.
I think you need to explore other options, but I actually don't think it's your father's fault in this instance.

lordleofric Wed 08-May-13 17:45:15

We get no help. My DM is too busy looking after my DB's children.

AndTheBandPlayedOn Wed 08-May-13 18:18:36

No help here. Ilgp would have sil' s dc over for the entire summer, every summer. But I just had the feeling that wouldn't apply to me and my dc, and I was right.

Fragglewump Wed 08-May-13 18:23:44

Bugger all. Sometimes not even a birthday card. In fact my mum came to stay once and I had to pop to the corner shop for milk for her tea so asked her to keep an eye on kids for all of six minutes. The next time I saw her she gave me a bollocking for abandoning her with the children! Ho hum her loss. Sad though.

ivykaty44 Wed 08-May-13 18:28:41

with our family it is a two way street, I am there for my parent and them in return for me - which is lovely for both of us and it seems to work well. my dd also now looks out for her grandparent as she has had a lot of contact and the joy between them and there relationship is very good.

Op It will be interesting to know if your father will not be calling on you when he might be in need - is he very independent and self sufficient?

BabyHMummy Wed 08-May-13 18:57:09

I am sorry your df has made u feel that way and u really need to tell ur sister to get lost and stop stirring. I suggest asking why the fuck should you next time she wants u to have her kids.

You can't force your df to grow a.pair esp if he was a crappy dad i am afraid. Adjust your expectations and tell him to do one if he comes to u wanting help.

My dp's parents are Fab and will have my stepkids at the drop of a hat for us which os brilliant. They have offered to have dd when the is born too and to cover childcare if i go back to work. We have declined that as at 80+ i feel its unfair on them but i know if we needed it they would be there.

My parents both work but will be demanding childcare duties i am certain.

threesypeesy Wed 08-May-13 19:01:04

Reading this I find us to be very fortunate for our help we recieve from our families with our 3dds we have a large family and all grand parents on dh side both mil and his gps have them more twice a week overnight my parents have them all weekend once a month and take them on two holidays a year.

I am hoping not to sound smug as if I am honest we are very fortunate and I think I would be be very stressed and run down if I didnt recieve family help.

You sister sounded like she was trying to stir things op and I find it terrible that she never helps out even after you give her support, I would reconsider doing so in the future

stillenacht Wed 08-May-13 19:05:07

My mum and dad are my saviours. Without them I just couldn't keep going (and Dh too). Mum will take DS2 aged 9 who has severe autism if I can't cope. They have him when I have parents evenings or concerts. DS1 lives with them one week on and one off as he struggles to cope with DS2. They mean the world to us. I am v v v lucky.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Wed 08-May-13 19:06:13

YANBU. You've got your hands full. You asked him once in ten years. I think he could have been kinder, instead of being an arse. It's hardly taking the piss to ask once, for one child, in ten years.

You know not to ask him again. It's his loss. Grandchildren can be wonderful and life enhancing or they can be some kids you ignore and don't bother with.

I know which camp I hope to be in one day.

Smartieaddict Wed 08-May-13 19:09:44

These threads always make me sad. No, Grandparents don't have to look after their grandchildren, but surely most want to?

We are lucky in that Grandparents on both sides love having DS, and I can't wait until DS has children, if he chooses to, so I can do the same!

I don't think it is unreasonable to be sad if your parents won't have their grandchildren once in a while.

jasmineramsden Wed 08-May-13 20:10:18

I'm surprised that the majority on this thread seem to be saying well its tough if GP's don't help out and its their choice.
Well yes, it is their choice of course but in my opinion its bloody wrong, selfish and a bit cruel if healthy GPs who live near and have some free time don't help out at least occasionally. I personally have been very, very ill recently and unable to care for my baby which has been awful, I would have been lost without the support of my mother and my in laws, they are fantastic. We pull together and this goes both ways. I am very lucky, clearly. To me this is the way its meant to be. If I become a grandmother in the future I would also expect to help out if I was fit enough. Its really sad that this isn't the norm for some people.

Springforward Wed 08-May-13 20:27:17

My parents have both passed away sadly, but I do know that if they were still here and fit enough my DS would have had fabulous grandparents, as they were wonderful to all the grandchildren who came before. In fact although DM was perhaps not the, er, easiest mother, she was a lovely nanny.

The ILs? I have learned to expect very little, frankly, that way I am not disappointed.

DewDr0p Wed 08-May-13 20:38:39

My parents are great with the dcs but I have to say I don't think my Dad would feel confident about having them on his own overnight, even just one of them. Perhaps if he's never babysat before then immediately going to an overnight stay feels a big jump? Maybe a couple of hours one afternoon would be a gentler start?

Overall though we don't get much help from any family really.

louisianablue2000 Wed 08-May-13 20:39:20

None. MIL does offer to help sometimes but they live several hours away and FIL is in his 80s and in poor health so I don't really want her to leave him to help us out. She did help out BIL and SIL when their kids were little (they're >10 years older than our DC) and I do appreciate the offer.

Mum is far away so I'm not expecting her to be able to help out a lot but I've been disappointed this maternity leave. When the DDs were little my father was very ill and she always said 'If your DF wasn't ill I'd come down a lot to see you' which was fair enough (Dad needed her more than I did). But now she's a widow she still doesn't come to visit, she came when DS was born in September but hasn't been since and is not talking about coming to visit any time soon so I doubt I'll see her here before I return to work. I'm disappointed more than anything that she is missing out on my kids. She is such an active grandparent with my DB's kids, they live next door and she does the wrap around care for the eldest and has the youngest 1 day a week. Plus ad-hoc days. This weekend she had my niece and nephews for the whole weekend because SIL was at a henny night and DB is a farmer so was working. Mum said 'oh it was much easier to have them here' and of course DB got Mum to make all his meals... Not jealous at all.

Fleecyslippers Wed 08-May-13 20:40:13

On my side, a close, loving supportive family. As a single parent i rely on them a lot and it works both days - I do a lot of paperwork/online ordering/finding insurance etc for them.

My ex in laws are incredibly selfish and lack any sense of family. It will come round to bite them when they are old and perhaps need help. because they sure as hell won't get any from their son wink

looseleaf Wed 08-May-13 21:36:54

My parents do a huge amount to help me and DH eg have us to stay for literally weeks and are amazing. But they don't particularly want to look after their 2 grandchildren or talk to them apart my dad who'll read to them. my mum complains about how her sister ends up looking after her 5 and though they love our two v much it never occurs to her there might be joy in it. I think everyone is so different and it's lovely seeing they're enjoying their friends etc a lot and so busy.
At the same time, I'm very different/ have always loved children and would certainly be very hands on if that is welcome if/ when the time comes. Dd (6) has already said I can share her children!!

echt Wed 08-May-13 21:46:20

OP - your sister is the problem here, not your dad.

If he's not been involved for the last 10 years, then I'm surprised you thought he'd be up for it. If you and the school find your DS difficult, how would your dad cope? The help he had when you were children is not the point.

You don't seem to like him much so perhaps you should cut your losses.

mrscoleridge Wed 08-May-13 21:54:51

I cannot understand this not helping malarkey. In lots of European countries families help each other. This cuts both ways and means the older generation are also cared for.
obviously if health or distance is an issue then that's different. The attitude of only being responsible for one generation is why there are so many isolated lonely people in this country. It also partly explains our high divorce rate.
I used to live in Italy and their kindness and care to family was amazing

JustinBsMum Wed 08-May-13 22:00:05

Disappointing about GP but I would try to work out why DS is playing up.

My middle DD insists she is the ignored middle one whilst the others, by dint of being the first born and the baby of the family got more attention. This is probably true. Not deliberate of course.

Perhaps DS feels he is missing out with 2 littlies to compete with, doesn't matter if he is or not, it's whether he thinks he is that counts.

Perhaps there are some books that can give you advice. Perhaps DH could give him some one to one time? and don't include the 10 year old in this DH time.

WestieMamma Wed 08-May-13 22:01:56

My parents had my daughter to stay at least 1 night a week, more in school holidays, and always took her on holiday with them. Their lives revolve around their grandchildren.

Her paternal grandparents aren't really interested. They put in a token amount of effort to be involved at Christmas and birthdays. Now she's an adult she can't really be bothered with them either.

My son is only 2 weeks old and it's looks like his paternal grandparents came out of the same tin as my parents. In fact I think MIL may have moved in.

XBenedict Wed 08-May-13 22:04:16

A bit but all begrudgingly done sad, came home on promises of helping us out so I could go back to work etc

TheSecondComing Wed 08-May-13 22:06:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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