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Old 09-19-2015, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Middle America
36,494 posts, read 41,699,622 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura449 View Post
I guess everyone is different. My mother-in-law is an absolute angel and loves my children as if they were her own, and is always happy to mind them. She dotes on them. Then again she herself has no daughters, only sons.
And my mum, who has only daughters, kind of loves my children from a distance. Quite a long distance. That is, she never offers to look after them, but will do so if asked, but never seems very keen.
For real.

My MIL is ALREADY booking the time she gets to watch our kid, and he's not even born yet. She's thrilled at finally becoming a grandma at 71 (of her two kids, her daughter and her husband are childfree by choice, and her son and I didn't get married until he was 41 years old, so she thought the grandchild ship had sailed and is thrilled that it didn't). My FIL is the same. They have been divorced for decades, but are on good terms, and are already divvying up a schedule in which they get to watch the baby when he gets here.

My parents are the same, re: level of interest, but they live 500 miles away, so it's not logistically possible. The intent is there, though.

Some grandparents aren't AT ALL interested in spending time with grandkids, period, let alone doing any caretaking. Thankfully, my spouse and I don't come from those families.
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Old 09-21-2015, 11:23 AM
 
769 posts, read 623,845 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melovescookies View Post
That's pretty harsh. So if your stepdaughter had a child at 24 you wouldn't babysit once in awhile? I don't get how babysitting maybe one Friday night a month is taking enjoyment out of your life. Strangely enough some grandparents actually like being around their grandkids.

My oldest is only 20 and I'm in no way ready to be a grandmother but if my daughter were to have a baby tomorrow I would definitely babysit on occasion because I love my daughter and I would be happy to give her a break now and again. That doesn't mean that I would sacrifice my own life to be her on call babysitter seven days a week.

I thought we were talking about the OP "expecting" the grandparents to watch her kids all the time ... sure I will babysit once in a blue moon, but not once a week, and not 2-3 days a week
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:55 PM
 
Location: Sandpoint, Idaho
2,897 posts, read 5,265,612 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonimaloney View Post
I'm a SAHM now with a 2 1/2 year old, a 15 month old and I'm 7 months pregnant, my husband is incredibly supportive and we have a great relationship. My children are not ill behaved in any way, they are very well mannered (for being toddlers) and listen to what you tell them. The problem lies in our families.
My parents both drink way too much and we don't feel comfortable with them watching our kids. Also, neither of us have any close friends or relatives that are available to watch the children... We have thought about care.com, etc. but would hate to leave the kids with a stranger.
My sister in law has 5 kids who have no sense of discipline and refuse to listen to anyone. My husbands parents will watch her kids for 2-3 days at a time, with a moments notice. They always buy them clothes and shoes, bikes and toys (just randomly, not for bdays or anything).... When wesk them to watch my 2 kids (2 weeks in advance even) I always get a answer that eventually leads to a "no". They never think to buy our kids anything... etc. They obviously favor my sister-in-laws kids. The few times they have watched them, they call us at exactly two hours saying we need to pick them up. I am stressed out of my mind because I just want to be able to have a date night where we're not limited to 2 hours on the dot. Now, recently, with having the new baby due in a couple of months, we're worried about who we can leave the kids with while we're giving birth in the hospital. (They watched my first child when I had my second but and everything was okay....)
I need some serious advice but I don't know how to approach it with his parents and my husband doesn't feel like he can say anything either (I think he doesn't know how to go about it). We deserve to have some time together and I take it extremely personally that they won't watch our children. How do I handle this? Our kids LOVE my husbands parents and when we're all together everything is perfect so I don't know what the issue is...
It is all quid pro quo. While it is sad to observe kids who care less about parents and grandparents and vice versa, what is truly disheartening is when the love only goes one way.

Take the case when the grandparents really have little to no interest in the lives of their grandkids. An example is when they do not call them or inquire about them with via their children. The effect becomes clear over time. The spouse simply stops updating them and stops making the sacrifices that honor the grandparents. The grandkids themselves begin to lose interest as if the grandparents are now distant aunts and uncles. The detachment from the heart becomes obvious.

Pretty soon the child of these grandparents is on his/her own to keep any ties at all. But no-one else is willing to make more sacrifices towards the parents.

But that is not the tragedy. That occurs when the grandparents start to want to see their grand kids or great children. But the bond is then broken and the question of "what for?" starts to emerge.

Then the final blow comes when the grandparents become needy, when real help is required. As they say, when you make your bed, you have to lie in it. Those that could care less receive it right back, the 'ol quid pro quo.
Sadly, I have seen this happen a couple of times.

On the flip side, a neighbor has the kind of Mom who just lights up the room. So filled with that kind of mid-Western bred love. Grandma is everything to the little kids and the kids make her world.

Soon to be grandparents and those already in this role ought to think hard about what relationship they want. And if they want to be left alone, then say so and make the clean break. Save your children the torture and spare the grandkids the horrible feeling that they alone among their friends have grandparents who can care less. Free everyone.

I stop with this case because anecdotally I have yet to see loving grandparents treated horribly by their grandkids, though I am sure that happens. In those cases, the parents need to step in and right this outrage once and for all. But such cases usually involved a serious problem somewhere in the family, whereas the former is just outright not caring.

Finishing on a positive note. Those grandparents who do love their grandkids in words and deeds are just the most precious things in the world. I cannot say enough about them--this coming from one who never had such a grandparent.

S.
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:28 AM
 
12,888 posts, read 15,367,778 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonimaloney View Post
Now, recently, with having the new baby due in a couple of months, we're worried about who we can leave the kids with while we're giving birth in the hospital. (They watched my first child when I had my second but and everything was okay....)
I need some serious advice but I don't know how to approach it with his parents and my husband doesn't feel like he can say anything either (I think he doesn't know how to go about it). We deserve to have some time together and I take it extremely personally that they won't watch our children. How do I handle this? Our kids LOVE my husbands parents and when we're all together everything is perfect so I don't know what the issue is...
That's a real shame...that you take it personally.
You may "deserve to have some time together"....but realistically that's not something that's the grandparents responsibilty, and it's unfair that you feel angry at them.
You chose to have these children.
When we have kids we must be willing to make sacrifices.
The time you have together is when the children are sleeping...sorry, but that's it.
I'm always amazed that a mother who feels the need for some time off, or a night off, feels anger towards others because they won't or cant help.
Those days are gone as long as your little ones are under feet.....

We raised 4 children...no babysitters, no daycares...sure it would have been GREAT to step out once in awhile...but it is what it is.
It doesn't take too many years before the children are off to school, or old enough to have sleepovers etc....you just have to be patient.

Oh, and your husband isn't giving birth...so don't worry too much.....believe it or not HE could stay home with your other children....it IS POSSIBLE to have a baby without him there....just another sacrifice or compromise that's necessary when you're raising a bunch of kids.
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Old 12-02-2015, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Canada
5,709 posts, read 4,132,877 times
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For whatever reason his parents don't want to babysit, then I wouldn't push the issue. Not watching them is their loss, but they must not be comfortable with the idea.

Ask around your neighborhood who other parents ask for babysitters. Ask a teacher at a nearby school if she/he knows of a responsible girl who might be a good babysitter. Advertise in your local paper and ask for multiple references.

If you want nights out by yourselves, there IS a way, you just have to trust your judgement on finding a good sitter.
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:42 AM
 
3,279 posts, read 4,056,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melovescookies View Post
That's pretty harsh. So if your stepdaughter had a child at 24 you wouldn't babysit once in awhile? I don't get how babysitting maybe one Friday night a month is taking enjoyment out of your life. Strangely enough some grandparents actually like being around their grandkids.

My oldest is only 20 and I'm in no way ready to be a grandmother but if my daughter were to have a baby tomorrow I would definitely babysit on occasion because I love my daughter and I would be happy to give her a break now and again. That doesn't mean that I would sacrifice my own life to be her on call babysitter seven days a week.
Bingo. Good for you. You're not willing to be a doormat, but you're not blatantly all about yourself either. Major kudos.

The attitudes you hear promoted sometimes are really eye-opening selfish, and I'm not necessarily talking about the young parents either. To me, to a proper and healthy degree, if the grandparents are close by and capable, they most certainly are morally obligated to pitch in and help once in a while. To think that people are only obligated to do whatever they want 100% and not ever help out somebody else once in a while, especially their own family, that's just wrong.

Further, it's the most natural thing in the world upon becoming a parent that you still want to have some time for doing your own thing and especially bonding with your spouse. The healthiest marriages and families I've seen over the years--invariably, that's how it goes. The parents will go grab a breakfast just the two of them while the kids are in school, or they'll have a friend or family etc watch their children for awhile while they go do such things to keep their marriage fresh. They also still dress themselves nicely vs doting on their kids with name-brand everything while themselves wearing Goodwill, they still go to the gym or jogging etc, and still participate in their own hobbies. They don't allow everything to be all about the children--but that's probably a topic for another post of its own.

At home, the children, if they're old enough (and it sounds like they are), can entertain themselves once in awhile. Heck I was kicking my kids outdoors for sometimes 1-2 hour stretches of playing outside when they were 2 and 4. The children can go in their room and not come out for awhile while the parents watch a romantic movie etc or, how should I say it, "wrestle" in their own room. If they need a night out once in awhile, to me a half-decent grandparent would stop thinking about how "it's my golden years and I've raised you kids already and my job is done, you're on your own, deal with it" and get out of that blatantly selfish zone and help out family on occasion for such needed breaks. Besides, I can almost for sure promise you that when those grandparents were young parents, somebody did such for them.

Now, granted, there needs to be balance. You do hear of people who go too far with this, and the grandparents end up being more the parents to the children than the actual (young) parents, and that is absolutely not right either; in fact, I'd consider it even more of a wrong. To the degree that the grandparents don't want it to turn into something like that, I don't blame them. Again, it's about balance, not going to either extreme (grandparents refusing to ever help vs the grandparents being more the parents than the actual parents).
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Old 02-12-2016, 12:50 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
10,231 posts, read 4,796,929 times
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My mother's friend is 88 years old and watching her great grandchildren while her granddaughter works. I hope when I'm that old I have more important things to do with myself than be a Mon-Fri babysitter.
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Old 02-13-2016, 08:51 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,922 posts, read 17,221,806 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiluvr1228 View Post
My mother's friend is 88 years old and watching her great grandchildren while her granddaughter works. I hope when I'm that old I have more important things to do with myself than be a Mon-Fri babysitter.

Frankly, I am amazed that an 88 year old is able to work fulltime caring for young children. I know many grandparents in their 60s/early 70s who have difficulty handling more than a day or two a week of babysitting.
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:37 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
10,231 posts, read 4,796,929 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
Frankly, I am amazed that an 88 year old is able to work fulltime caring for young children. I know many grandparents in their 60s/early 70s who have difficulty handling more than a day or two a week of babysitting.


It's not the 88 year old works it is her granddaughter.
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Old 02-18-2016, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,922 posts, read 17,221,806 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiluvr1228 View Post
My mother's friend is 88 years old and watching her great grandchildren while her granddaughter works. I hope when I'm that old I have more important things to do with myself than be a Mon-Fri babysitter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
Frankly, I am amazed that an 88 year old is able to work fulltime caring for young children. I know many grandparents in their 60s/early 70s who have difficulty handling more than a day or two a week of babysitting.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiluvr1228 View Post
It's not the 88 year old works it is her granddaughter.

Do you think that caring for young children is not "work"? What would you call making meals & snacks, cleaning up after meals & snacks, changing diapers, supervising children, reading stories, playing games, etc. etc. many hours a day for five days a week if it is not work? Maybe, grandma does not get paid to do it but she is still doing hard work as a fulltime child care provider.


Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
I know many grandparents in their 60s/early 70s who have difficulty handling more than a day or two a week of babysitting.

I stand by my statement.

Last edited by germaine2626; 02-18-2016 at 05:05 PM..
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