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Summer childcare issues with mother

75 replies

Happyhappyveggie · 09/07/2017 19:17

I have a terrible relationship with my mother- almost no contact but I keep it civil for my children.
She has grudgingly offered to have them for a week at the start of summer (she's only seen them for 3 hours since last November) as long as they go to her- 300 miles away. DS 9 is fine with this but my DD 5 understandably doesn't want to go and be away from me & her dad for 5 days. I have asked mother to come here instead but she is making a massive issue out of it.
Now I am inclined to book them into summer club. Aibu?

*Am trying to make sure they have a relationship with her. I would add (and this is the source of the virtual no contact) that she has visited her husbands grandkids on multiple occasions in the last 6 months and is going on holiday with his family and grandkids for the second time in 6 months - both for 2 weeks. She has seen her own grandkids for 3 hours in 8 months.

OP posts:
seven201 · 09/07/2017 19:32

Definitely summer camp.

Happyhappyveggie · 09/07/2017 19:33

@longest it's a really long way to go to see her for a weekend. We recently suggested meeting halfway as she was an hour away visiting the other grandkids but she declined (controlling husband) and that was for my DDs birthday but she was at a party for the other grandkids birthday. It's all been very upsetting but it's hard to give the full toxic picture in a few lines.

OP posts:
Happyhappyveggie · 09/07/2017 19:34

And I think she offered the childcare out of possible guilt maybe. I don't know.

OP posts:
Aridane · 09/07/2017 19:36

Actually, I don't think it's fair on your mother (or your children)

SheepyFun · 09/07/2017 19:37

Please don't send your children. I have a better relationship with my parents, but they live a similar distance away, so they don't see DD very often. There is no way she'd be happy to stay there for a week without me/DH (not least because she needs us in the night), and I'd be surprised if your 5yo would be much happier with a relative stranger. I'd also be concerned about the dynamic between your DM and her husband; how would he expect the children to behave? How would he respond if they were distressed?

SnugglyBedSocks · 09/07/2017 19:37

I wouldn't send them. She doesn't know them and they don't know her. It's a long time to be in someone's company when you don't know them.

Also what's stopping her DH being an arse and her pulling out the day before. It'll be too late to sort cover, plus you'd have had all this build up to them going which sounds like is going to be stressful

Blossomdeary · 09/07/2017 19:40

She's seen them for 3 hours since last November. Do not even countenance leaving them with her. It is not an acceptable idea. In fact it is irresponsible madness. Those poor children.

Maxandrubyrubyandmax · 09/07/2017 19:46

No way on earth would I send my 5year old away for a week esp to someone who didn't really want to do it. Holiday club!

Theresnonamesleft · 09/07/2017 19:49

Forget this is your mum. If it was anyone else and they had only seen someone for 3 hours in the past several months, would you send them? No because they would be strangers. No difference here.

early30smum · 09/07/2017 19:49

Don't send them! Far too long and too far away to be with someone who doesn't seem to want to see them and has only seen them for a short time not that recently. Childcare and parents helping out is SUCH a loaded issue. Don't go there in your situation.

TheLiltingLies · 09/07/2017 19:51

Summer camp is by far the better idea. It's too far for too long for the five year old.

SendintheArdwolves · 09/07/2017 19:53

Don't send your kids to stay with your mother.

  1. they don't want to
  2. she doesn't want to ("grudgingly agreed" makes it sound like this was your idea and you had to persuade her pretty hard -- I wonder why you did that?)
  3. you think she's a narcissist

    If you really do want your children to have "some sort of relationship" with your mother, then forcing them to spend a week together is likely to make this worse, not better. Why not spend a series of afternoons together doing a fun outing instead? Build up gradually to a whole week (that would be a reasonably long time even with someone they liked and say regularly).

    If you just need childcare (which is what this is sounding more and more like) and you have the option of a kid's club, why on earth wouldn't you just use that??
Blossomdeary · 09/07/2017 19:54

I care for several of my GC every week while parents work; but I would still balk at having them to stay for a week. It is too much for them I think - and they know us very well indeed and have their own toys and rituals and fun here. But a week is too long. The idea of packing them off to someone you do not even like seems just plain crazy.

Jux · 09/07/2017 19:54

We were sent here there and everywhere when we were children, as my mum worked ft (unusual in the 60s). Sometimes we went to someone whose name we had heard a couple of times, but actually had no concept of who they were - once it was just "a friend of your grandmother's". We actually generally had a really good time - I don't remember having even one bad time - and did all sorts of things we would not have had the opportunity to do otherwise.

I realise that these days, it's bordering on neglect/abuse, but I don't look back with horror at all, on the contrary, I look back with pleasure and a touch of sadness that most children these days don't get that broad view of life's differences.

user1497480444 · 09/07/2017 19:55

of course don't send them. Totally unfair on your mother, and on your children. Terrible idea

Happyhappyveggie · 09/07/2017 19:56

@sendin it's not just about childcare - it's about a complete lack of interest/ relationship with her grandkids. I guess I'm upset and hurt because she is more interested in other people's grandkids than her own. But I can see that sending my kids to stay with them is not the answer to this.

OP posts:
Bunlicker · 09/07/2017 20:02

Husband is controlling and she has just gone along with it. She's also a narcissist and has never taken responsibility for anythjng

Why on earth would you inflict that on your children?

You're hurt and upset a person you don't like very much spends more time with other people? You need to work through your issues with your mother as your kids are getting nothing from this.

My mother is a loon and a shit mother but actually a reasonable grandmother so I put up her with on the odd occasion as it is amusing for my children. Your children get nothing from this.

Bunlicker · 09/07/2017 20:03

Are you low on family OP? Have you considered "adopting" a grandmother?

HurtleTheTurtle · 09/07/2017 20:03

I am a little confused as to why she is even on your radar for childcare if you have such a difficult relationship with her, particularly as you state she has a complete lack of interest and has not formed any relationship with your children.

Your can still encourage a relationship between her and your children without her providing childcare for them. I think it would be best to find alternative childcare for that week and invite her down for one or two days without the complications of having her be responsible for providing childcare.

paxillin · 09/07/2017 20:04

Summer club. They don't want to go, she doesn't want them to go, you'd be beside yourself worrying all the time and no relationship will come from a forced visit. She has no interest, so there won't be a meaningful relationship. Nothing you can do will change that.

waterrat · 09/07/2017 20:04

I think its really weird you would consider sending a year old for a week away with N adult she hasnt seen for several months. The fact that adult isnt keen on it makes it many times worse as an idea !

Allthebestnamesareused · 09/07/2017 20:04

The "other people's grandkids" are in fact her grandkids by virtue of the fact she is married to their grandad.

I get that you are upset that she isn't having the relationship you'd like her to have with your own but with blended families I think it is nice she thinks as the others as her grandkids too.

Perhaps call her and have a heart to heart with her. Tell her you'd like her to have a relationship with your kids. tell her your 5 year old is too little to go that far away and to not see you and that also by being around in the evening you will be able to give her the break in the evening etc. Try not to focus on what she does for others as that just muddies the water.

Happyhappyveggie · 09/07/2017 20:05

@bunlicker - no, my kids have other grandparents who they also don't see much but both of them do act like they care about the kids and don't just treat them like an occasional option!

OP posts:
waterrat · 09/07/2017 20:05

My in laws are really hands on with my kids but still would not want them for a whole week.

InvisibleKittenAttack · 09/07/2017 20:06

Book your DC into the summer club. She's a stranger to them, children that small shouldnt be sent off to stay with a stranger for a week when you have a considerably better option.

Accept your Mum doesn't want to have a relationship with your DCs. You can't make her behave like a loving Granny when she's not.

Invite her to you now and then, accept she's probably not going to come, but that's her choice and you don't have to try to make her into something she's not.

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