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RoseRed135

What if you DON'T want to babysit, raise or help raise your grandchildren?

28 posts in this topic

GPs, aren't built-in babysitters, IMO. Nor are they necessarily the automatic answer when parents can't/won't raise their kids or need help doing so. Sure, many GPs are only too happy to watch their GC or be their regular caregiver (like me). And some are very willing to raise or help raise them if need be. But, no doubt, there are also those who don't want to watch their grands as often as the parents would like or at all. And there are those GPs who just can't/don't want to raise or help raise their GC if that occasion arises.

Perhaps you're one of those GPs who would rather not do for your GC what you're being asked to do? If so, please feel free to tell us your situation and how you feel about it. Also to share any solutions you've found.

All members' thoughts on this are welcome, of course, as usual.

Edited by RoseRed135
punctuation

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*waving flag*

I don't see babysitting on the regular, nor do I have any interest/intention of helping raise gc.

It would have to be something very traumatic (death, abuse) to change that stance for me.

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Thanks for the reply, ImpishMom!

Though no one else has responded here (yet, anyway), it, apparently, is quite a hot-button issue for some families. Recently, in a conversation w/ some of my fellow-nanny granny friends, some of them began complaining about "the other GPs/GM" who "won't ever babysit/help out w/ the GC."  There was a lot of "It's not fair that I/DH and I do all the babysitting" and "Don't they want to spend time w/ their GC?"  Also, "You look forward to having GC. Why wouldn't you want to watch them?"

Then I did some googling and found this (on GP.com, in fact, LOL!). While the article is interesting, it was the replies (if you care to read them) that really got my attention - such strong feelings on all sides of this issue, w/ both parents and GPs calling each other "selfish!":

http://www.grandparents.com/family-and-relationships/caring-for-children/grandmother-not-babysitter-barbara-graham

Thoughts?

Edited by RoseRed135

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I'm not the go to grandmother- The other grandmother holds that position- And I understand why- :)  I think the world of her as well, she's a remarkable woman- She gives with a glad heart, has a descent sized home, financial resources, a big enough vehicle to carry the children in-

Have I ever been judged for not being more accommodating? Absolutely! But I will never be like the other grandmother- I do what is asked of me when I can and when I cannot I say so- The other grandmother rarely refuses requests- She lives for her adult children and her grandchildren as well-

My daughter isn't always comfortable asking something of her mother inlaw- She has concerns about her mother inlaws health, age, over-extending herself and truly feels at times that she has already done so much that she feels guilty asking for more- When those times arise her husband handles it because he has no reservations about asking his mother to do things lmao ..

My daughter has a friend whose parents are equally as accommodating if not more so- And she told me that sometimes she wishes she had those kinds of parents LMAO I don't take offense to such things said, especially not from her because we pretty much appreciate each others honesty and humor- My response to her was I bet you do wish for that! I want those parents too! We laughed-

It seems like it's a win win situation but maybe it ain't!?

Edited by Komorebi

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I have told all my children & CIL that if they put me in the position of having to raise their child/children, they'd better be dead....or I'm gonna kill 'em. Choosing to have a child means choosing the responsibilities that go with it. It was put very bluntly "I raised my children, now you raise yours". I'm on hand to advise if needed, do a little show & tell, but my main job is to be the grandma, not the mama.

 

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3 hours ago, Mame925 said:

I have told all my children & CIL that if they put me in the position of having to raise their child/children, they'd better be dead....or I'm gonna kill 'em. Choosing to have a child means choosing the responsibilities that go with it. It was put very bluntly "I raised my children, now you raise yours". I'm on hand to advise if needed, do a little show & tell, but my main job is to be the grandma, not the mama.

 

Kudos! You do some babysitting, sometimes, though, as I recall, yes? Even some dogsitting, LOL! And enjoy other kinds of one-on-one time w/ some of your grands, such as taking in a concert together...

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I do watch kids from time to time...and I do enjoy it, I think my GK are great...but I'm not kid oriented by nature, so the relationships with the kids are because they are MY kids...The grandpup is easier for sure....#2GB and I have a date coming up...his favorite TV stars are doing a live show...so I bought us VIP tickets (meet & greet and a photo op)

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As I have shared before, my MIL (the meanest woman to ever live) told hubby and I before the kids were ever born that she wouldn't be available to babysit for date nights etc so don't bother to ask.  Now work was another matter.  Farming together there were many opportunities for me to need to leave the kids for a few hours.   If FIL wanted someone to go with him to a livestock or farm sale, she'd much rather stay home under the AC, so she 'offered' to keep the kids and let me spend the day with FIL.  Since we had a great relationship, I'd gladly go with him and the kids did love to stay with grandma when younger.

Several years after FIL passed, hubby, both kids and I just happened to stop at the 'sale barn' café one weekend for lunch.  The kids chose the booth FIL and I always set in and DS even ordered the same meal, the tears started to roll down my face and the kids didn't have a clue why.  Hubby shared the store of FILs and my trips when they were little.

Purpose of my story...just because a GP chooses not to be the regular go to sitter, doesn't mean they will never keep the kids.

Edited by SueSTx
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I'll be honest, I don't really understand the concept of looking forward to grandchildren.

If my kids choose to become parents, great! If they don't, great! I just don't see it as a milestone for *my* life, b/c it's someone else's event.

If my kids need an occasional babysitter, I'm willing. I'm just not interested in a regular gig. I want FREEDOM. I was a single Mom when Wolf and I met, so I'm really looking forward to alone time with him one day, and the freedom to do as we please, not dependant on anyone else's schedule, b/c we've never had that.

I adore my Minions...I just don't want to raise any more, or have responsibility for any once mine are grown and flown.

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2 hours ago, ImpishMom said:

If my kids need an occasional babysitter, I'm willing. I'm just not interested in a regular gig. I want FREEDOM. I was a single Mom when Wolf and I met, so I'm really looking forward to alone time with him one day, and the freedom to do as we please, not dependant on anyone else's schedule, b/c we've never had that.

DH & I were married 17 years before the last kid moved out...he was 20. The first thing I did was put white carpet in the living room.

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Oh I can totally understand GP's that don't want to spend their time and energy taking care of another baby or young child, it is a lot of work! They are messy, demanding and not always loving. I am not a real "kid" person either. I was happy to send my kids on their way when adult hood came but then my marriage was abusive and it was not what I wanted it to be, so raising children for me was very difficult. I wish it was different but it wasn't But when my first grand daughter came into this world, I fell in love. Surprised me too! Of my 4 grand children none have another grandparent that really spends much time with them, so I feel happy that I don't have to share them with any other grandparents. My blessing is from my viewpoint but I have never looked down on the other grandparents. I totally understand that everyone gives what they can and have other ideas of what they want to do with their lives. I have to admit that I have my moments of dreaming about  just living on a boat in the South Sea somewhere with the man of my dreams and no kids but hey, I'm human LOL!

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On 7/18/2017 at 9:31 PM, Mame925 said:

DH & I were married 17 years before the last kid moved out...he was 20. The first thing I did was put white carpet in the living room.

LOL. We recovered the furniture in yellow and ivory white. We live about 3 hours from DS and his family so regular baby-sitting isn't really an option. That said, I was surprised when DGS was born last month what a rush it was to see and hold him, hadn't expected it! And to see DS so happy in his role as new Dad. 

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On 7/17/2017 at 6:32 PM, ImpishMom said:

I'll be honest, I don't really understand the concept of looking forward to grandchildren.

If my kids choose to become parents, great! If they don't, great! I just don't see it as a milestone for *my* life, b/c it's someone else's event.

If my kids need an occasional babysitter, I'm willing. I'm just not interested in a regular gig. I want FREEDOM. I was a single Mom when Wolf and I met, so I'm really looking forward to alone time with him one day, and the freedom to do as we please, not dependant on anyone else's schedule, b/c we've never had that.

I adore my Minions...I just don't want to raise any more, or have responsibility for any once mine are grown and flown.

I could have written this from my own heart.  Yet, I am asked again and again to babysit.  As a matter of fact, I have to send out today's text that I am NOT available tonight to babysit.  LOL.  Pre-emptive strike ;)

Anonymous poster hash: d2b5b...b02

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36 minutes ago, INCOGNITO said:

I could have written this from my own heart.  Yet, I am asked again and again to babysit.  As a matter of fact, I have to send out today's text that I am NOT available tonight to babysit.  LOL.  Pre-emptive strike ;)

Anonymous poster hash: d2b5b...b02

LOL!

Perhaps you could take another "pre-emptive strike" and let the parents know exactly when and how long you would generally be available to babysit? Say, maybe, Saturday night, once a month, from 8-midnight or Wednesday afternoons from 3-5 or whatever would work for you?

Be that as it may, glad you decided to join us! Welcome! :)

Edited by RoseRed135

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And again, if it's 'last minute'...you have every right to say NO as you do if they ask ahead....Their poor planning is not your emergency. So no guilt trips allowed....my AC are very respectful of my time. That's where the problem may be...just a thought.

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8 minutes ago, Mame925 said:

And again, if it's 'last minute'...you have every right to say NO as you do if they ask ahead....Their poor planning is not your emergency. So no guilt trips allowed....my AC are very respectful of my time. That's where the problem may be...just a thought.

Funny thing is, a last minute *emergency* would be my exception to the general rule. I don't mind babysitting once in a blue moon, b/c I know that getting away from Minions helps keep a marriage healthy, and I'll drop and run for pretty much anyone in case of an emergency.

I just don't want a regular, standing obligation to babysit.

I won't be a regular full time sitter.

I won't have monthly babysitting obligations (seriously, w/as many kids as I have, it would mean every freaking weekend if they all had kids and wanted us to babysit!)

Babysitting, if and when it happens, will be done solely as a favour to my kids, not as a treat for me. I've done my diaper duty for LIFE.

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Since my stroke, I have no intension to babysit any longer...BUT...if my AC had any kind of a family emergency and I could help out, I'd get there as fast as possible with bells on...until someone else could be found to take over.

 

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1 hour ago, ImpishMom said:

Funny thing is, a last minute *emergency* would be my exception to the general rule. I don't mind babysitting once in a blue moon, b/c I know that getting away from Minions helps keep a marriage healthy, and I'll drop and run for pretty much anyone in case of an emergency.

I just don't want a regular, standing obligation to babysit.

I won't be a regular full time sitter.

I won't have monthly babysitting obligations (seriously, w/as many kids as I have, it would mean every freaking weekend if they all had kids and wanted us to babysit!)

Babysitting, if and when it happens, will be done solely as a favour to my kids, not as a treat for me. I've done my diaper duty for LIFE.

I'm talking about a "poor planning" emergency, not an emergent issue requiring immediate attention. Their poor planning is deciding to go out at the last minute, ask for babysitting then being ticked off that the answer is no. Or not calling ahead when the plans have been in the works yet not asked for babysitting before the last minute....that's not respecting Grandma's time. 

It took me a long time to decide for myself whether or not to have kids...I can't criticize or comment on whether or not my kids (or anyone!) decided on kids...they all decided on kids...I took one look into each smushy little face and fell in love all over again. There is plenty of love to go around. I'm not raising them, I rarely changed anyone's diaper...When I watch them it's because I want to. I don't do regular sitting...no obligations.

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57 minutes ago, SueSTx said:

.....if my AC had any kind of a family emergency and I could help out, I'd get there as fast as possible with bells on...until someone else could be found to take over.

Precisely. We have grandchildren who have not ever spent the night away from home, we've never been in their home. No problem with any of that, in my opinion. But if we were truly needed we'd go get them and bring them here, until (hopefully soon) someone qualified could take care of the 4 of them..

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I'm so happy that I found this thread.. I couldn't help but smile as I read what others have posted. I had 3 kids all spread about different ages. I still have a 17 year old at home and an 11 year old with special needs. My oldest is 26 and married and just had her 3rd baby yesterday. Don't get me wrong here, I love all of the kids, but I'm a single Mom ( have been for 10 years) and she is CONSTANTLY asking me at least once a week to take one of the kids. I work a full time job and well, I'm 46 years old and have No interest in laying on the floor playing Candy Land or changing diapers. Her middle child is 3 and has severe aggression issues and hits, bites, pulls hair. I love him, but I keep telling her that I just can't handle him, and that she needs to get a "back up" plan for when he can't go to daycare, but she won't and every week I get the dreaded call that I have to keep him. Now she just had another baby and I know, as bad as this sounds, that it's going to mean more phone calls and work for me.

I feel awful sometimes for feeling this way.. but maybe I'm missing the grandparent gene? I love them, but I love them more when she comes with them to take care of them.

Her husband just works odd jobs here and there ( She's a nurse) and if he doesn't want to take care of them, it falls on me, which makes me angry.. is that wrong? His mother helps them a lot and that doesn't help me feel better.. but I'm tired honestly.. Is it possible because I'm still raising my own kids and have been doing it for 26 years, that's why I just don't want to do it anymore? Also, I'm not allowed to have the kids just for fun. I'm not allowed to take them anywhere, nothing.  But when they need me, then it's ok.. That I don't get, which kind of makes me not want to help at all sometimes. I think, why am I only good enough when you need me?

thought anyone?

 

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She should be getting her husband to take care of their children, not you.

You have the right to say, "No, that doesn't work for me." Their children, their daycare issues, theirs to sort out, not throw them on you.

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On 11/15/2017 at 1:42 PM, TennesseeMimi said:

I'm so happy that I found this thread.. I couldn't help but smile as I read what others have posted. I had 3 kids all spread about different ages. I still have a 17 year old at home and an 11 year old with special needs. My oldest is 26 and married and just had her 3rd baby yesterday. Don't get me wrong here, I love all of the kids, but I'm a single Mom ( have been for 10 years) and she is CONSTANTLY asking me at least once a week to take one of the kids. I work a full time job and well, I'm 46 years old and have No interest in laying on the floor playing Candy Land or changing diapers. Her middle child is 3 and has severe aggression issues and hits, bites, pulls hair. I love him, but I keep telling her that I just can't handle him, and that she needs to get a "back up" plan for when he can't go to daycare, but she won't and every week I get the dreaded call that I have to keep him. Now she just had another baby and I know, as bad as this sounds, that it's going to mean more phone calls and work for me.

I feel awful sometimes for feeling this way.. but maybe I'm missing the grandparent gene? I love them, but I love them more when she comes with them to take care of them.

Her husband just works odd jobs here and there ( She's a nurse) and if he doesn't want to take care of them, it falls on me, which makes me angry.. is that wrong? His mother helps them a lot and that doesn't help me feel better.. but I'm tired honestly.. Is it possible because I'm still raising my own kids and have been doing it for 26 years, that's why I just don't want to do it anymore? Also, I'm not allowed to have the kids just for fun. I'm not allowed to take them anywhere, nothing.  But when they need me, then it's ok.. That I don't get, which kind of makes me not want to help at all sometimes. I think, why am I only good enough when you need me?

thought anyone?

 

Welcome, TenneseeMimi! Don't know how I didn't see this sooner!

Please don't beat yourself up about the way you feel. You're not "missing the grandparent gene" or anything like that. As you can see in this thread, that are other people who don't want to watch their GC and/or don't feel GPs should automatically "have to." As Imp says (above), "you have the right to say, 'No, that doesn't work for me.'"

No doubt, your reluctance has something to do w/ the fact that you're still raising your own kids. You have your hands full between that and your job. Not to mention that you haven't gotten that "break" from childcare that most of us get between raising our own kids and babysitting our GC (if we do). No wonder you're not exactly enthusiastic about taking on more childcare!

Especially not if one of her children has "severe aggression issues." In fact, IDK why she continues to ask you to babysit him when you've told her you "just can't handle him." if anyone told me they "(couldn't) handle" one of my kids (back when I was a young mom), I wouldn't want them to watch that child.

Chances are,  you're not the only one in this scenario who is "tired" though. Most likely, DD (dear daughter) is stressed out to, what w/ having a new baby and one child who's very difficult. She may be feeling desperate and not really thinking clearly about this situation. You might have to sit down w/ her - when she's not pressed for a babysitter - and make it clear that this is really too much for you and that you're going to have to stop or set some boundaries. Then perhaps let her know if and when/how often you're willing to babysit and for how long (if at all) - and stick to that except in the case of a dire emergency (as discussed earlier in this thread). Depending on how the conversation goes, maybe you can point out that it would be more beneficial to the middle child to be w/ someone who can cope w/ his behavior.  But maybe not - you know DD and how she reacts; obviously, I don't.

If she needs help paying for a "backup" person, could you see your way clear to helping her? Would that solve the problem? Also, I'm wondering, what you mean by times "when he can't go to daycare?" Are you saying that, sometimes, DD needs a sitter when daycare isn't open? Or does he sometimes refuse to go?

Anyhow, I also understand your frustration that she calls on you for babysitting but won't let you "have the kids just for fun." Could that be, though, b/c of the middle one's poor behavior? I get, too, that you feel as if it means you're "only good enough" when she needs you. Maybe, though, she sees it the opposite way - that you "only" want the kids for fun and "don't want' to help her out? (I'm not saying that's true, just that this might be the way she sees it.) In fact, you might be giving her mixed messages - saying it's hard for you to babysit but, at the same time, wanting to take the kids on outings, etc. IMO (in my opinion), it might be better to let the idea of the fun outings go for now and focus on cutting down on/cutting out the childcare and enjoying family visits.

Meanwhile, congratulations on the new GB! :give_rose: I know you're worried that baby's arrival is going to mean "more phone calls and extra work" for you. But, maybe not, if you can set firm limits now..... Just a thought...

Whatever you do, please remember, too, that soon enough your middle GC will be in fulltime school - and the baby will, eventually, as well.

And please feel free to keep reaching out to us! :)

 

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I have a friend whose daughter expects her to drop her older kids at school and babysit the baby since she retired and "doesn't have anything else she has to do". While I would love to babysit occasionally, I would hate to be taken for granted like that. On the other hand, this friend feels free to say whatever she thinks to her daughter. After all who else would do all this for free?

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18 hours ago, missmm said:

I have a friend whose daughter expects her to drop her older kids at school and babysit the baby since she retired and "doesn't have anything else she has to do". While I would love to babysit occasionally, I would hate to be taken for granted like that. On the other hand, this friend feels free to say whatever she thinks to her daughter. After all who else would do all this for free?

I would still be cautious about saying "whatever she thinks" if I were she, if it's about how DD lives her life or raises her kids, etc. DD might accept it for now, but it could damage their relationship, overall.

Then again, I would speak up if I felt "taken for granted" (and have on occasion when I did).

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I don't think this friend feels her daughter is doing anything wrong with her kids, she just is feeling a bit used right now. But she doesn't have any of the feelings of not saying anything that could be taken the wrong way or if she did say something she regrets, that she can apologize and talk out a disagreement with her daughter without fear of being CO.

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