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Old 04-10-2020, 02:15 PM
 
239 posts, read 572,968 times
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I have a situation that I’m grappling with right now.

My daughter and son in law had a baby this past Monday, but he is sick and being kept in the hospital with no discussion of a discharge date. His prognosis is good and all of his lab work has been 100% normal, no infections, no fever, not even an elevated white count. At first, they thought he might have a collapsed lung - but that was ruled out. His only symptom is breathing too rapidly, but he’s been steadily improving since Monday.

Long story short, I’m the only grandparent capable of watching the 2 older kids - but I’ve literally had no relief. My daughter was medically discharged Wednesday, but she and her husband have continuously stayed with the new baby and not been home at all.

I have a full time job, but was able to take 1 week of vacation time - but that’s all I have. My work needs me. But I can’t leave these kids unsupervised either. They’re 2 and 5.

No daycares are open, and my kids don’t have any friends or other family that they can or will ask. So I am REALLY stuck. My opinion is, their dad (my daughters husband) needs to come home, but he is refusing because he feels he needs to be there for moral support. And my daughter feels the same.

I tried calling the hospital to talk to a social worker, just to see if they could suggest anything. But instead, I was connected with a nurse who essentially told me off, and said “well wouldn’t I want to stay with my sick baby”? Yes, I get it. But they have 2 other kids who need them just as much, at hone.

Feel like I’m being taken advantage of.
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Old 04-10-2020, 03:27 PM
 
1,327 posts, read 2,002,499 times
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I agree. I feel for them, but, hey, you have to work. Have you told them you could only take a week off work? They should take shifts at the hospital and the other parent should watch the other kids.
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Old 04-10-2020, 03:35 PM
 
2,528 posts, read 1,694,106 times
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They should definitely be there in shifts. I had a baby who was hospitalized, and it's traumatic. But I agree they have two other children who also need them. Hopefully the baby comes home soon and this is all a moot point. If not, I'd reiterate that you won't be available for this care after this week.
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Old 04-10-2020, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
18,451 posts, read 19,206,858 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reebo View Post
I agree. I feel for them, but, hey, you have to work. Have you told them you could only take a week off work? They should take shifts at the hospital and the other parent should watch the other kids.
I agree. (I'm a grandmother, too)
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Old 04-10-2020, 04:59 PM
 
1,294 posts, read 1,637,880 times
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I'd text your daughter and tell her to send her husband to come get the kids. NOW. Don't wait. Don't give them any more time. They're going to milk this for every inch you give them.

If they refuse to come, I'd call the non-emergency number and ask dispatch what you do in the event that the parents are refusing to retake custody of their kids, explaining that you have to go to work. (I'd also text the parents at the same time you were doing this as I have a feeling they'll be at your house within half an hour.)
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Old 04-10-2020, 05:23 PM
 
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So you've got until Monday morning?

That might be enough time to change things. It's only Friday right now.

I never have understood parents who have ZERO resources for friends who can take care of their young children in an emergency. This is a wake-up call to them - they need to form friendships where they do favors for their friends, and their friends do favors for them. And they have a safety net.

I think I'd ask them what they would do if you fell and broke a hip? Then, they should do whatever that plan is.
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Old 04-10-2020, 05:34 PM
 
5,316 posts, read 4,653,043 times
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I will go with the idea that your daughter & son-in-law are under a lot of stress and not thinking straight. They have had a week to figure it out. You're going to have to tell your daughter that one of them needs come get the kids tonight. I agree not to give them any more time, or come Monday the kids will still be with you!

Due to the corona virus, it would be best if one stays at hospital & one at home with kids instead of the typical shifts parents do.
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Old 04-10-2020, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
26,211 posts, read 16,892,951 times
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You tell them that they must pick up the kids by noon on Sunday—or Saturday, if you want. Yes, they need to care for their kids in shifts or figure something else out. You have taken one week’s vacation to help them out, and now you need to go back to work.

But I imagine they will ask you to watch them after work hours. Decide now what you are willing to do.
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Old 04-10-2020, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
18,451 posts, read 19,206,858 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaraC View Post
So you've got until Monday morning?

That might be enough time to change things. It's only Friday right now.

I never have understood parents who have ZERO resources for friends who can take care of their young children in an emergency. This is a wake-up call to them - they need to form friendships where they do favors for their friends, and their friends do favors for them. And they have a safety net.

I think I'd ask them what they would do if you fell and broke a hip? Then, they should do whatever that plan is.
Excellent points.
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Old 04-10-2020, 06:41 PM
 
1,294 posts, read 1,637,880 times
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I would get the hand off of the kids done sooner rather than later (at the very latest by tomorrow at noon.) If you put it off, I worry Monday morning is going to roll around, you're going to still have two grandkids with you, your daughter and SIL will still be at the hospital and you will be no closer to having a plan than you are right now.

I would also be very wary about taking the kids again during the hours I am not at work for several reasons:

1) Parents are not showing much respect for your boundaries and seem to view you as free babysitting. They are surely operating on no sleep and high levels of worry, but you still need to set firm boundaries. I'd be worried something negligible would "happen" at the hospital, your daughter would decide she needed more handholding, and you would get stuck with another week of non-stop babysitting you didn't agree to.

2) With covid-19, it really isn't a good idea for your son in law to be going back and forth from the hospital, interacting with the kids, passing the kids off to you, going back to the hospital, etc. He's already been exposed to the hospital and will have to care for his children and those two things can't be changed, but it would be a bad idea to have anyone going back and forth to the hospital, and for you to be exposed (in addition to everyone you work with.)
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