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Why do they need so much help?

(58 Posts)
lane70 Tue 28-Jun-11 18:03:38

My son and daughter-in-law have two young boys, age 5 and 2, lovely children. Son works fulltime, daughter-in-law works 3 days a week. Older boy in school, younger one in nursery. Comfortable house, two cars, adequate income. Why do they need so much help?

I had a similar schedule when I was raising my two. My husband worked full time and I worked part time. I didn't have a car, didn't even have a washing machine until the eldest was 12, never had a drier. Never crossed my mind to expect my 70-year-old mother-in-law to come and lend a hand with household chores.

Never mind. She loves the children and is a great mum. That's the main thing. I'm glad I'm not married to her. smile

lane70 Tue 05-Jul-11 19:43:24

baggythecrust - That's very true about what's possible. I know I couldn't have devoted as much attention to my children as my son and daughter-in-law give to theirs. Nursery activities don't come naturally to me. I wouldn't mind if I never saw another lump of Playdoh for the rest of my life. Whereas my daughter-in-law really enjoys it, and will spend hours playing with them. I see how much the children get from that, and if I'm honest I suspect my children would also have gained if I'd been more interested in Playdoh and less interested in my newspaper. But that's the way the cookie crumbles. Times were different.

Also, I do think there might have been some compensations for my offspring, in growing up in a more adult-centred, less cloying environment. They both developed an excellent sense of humour. smile

lane70 Tue 05-Jul-11 19:44:59

I remember when her son died, a few years ago. So terrible.

Elegran Tue 05-Jul-11 19:59:17

crimson - Katherine Whitehorn writes regularly in the Oldie (one of the reasons I buy it)

crimson Tue 05-Jul-11 20:24:42

I didn't know about her son. She once spoke of the 'wool woozies' that live under the bed....I thought it was so funny [and so relevant in my Miss Havisham house] but it gave my kids nightmares confused.

baggythecrust! Tue 05-Jul-11 21:13:48

lane70, what I aimed at, and sometimes achieved I'm sure (I bet you did too wink) was a place where I had some me time and made dough or whatever with the kids so all of us got all the benefits! It's interesting to watch DD1's approach with her son. It looks to me very similar to my approach. She was nearly 20 when DD3 was born so she saw my methods. Do you know, now that I've written this down it has just struck me what an indirect compliment she's paying me! smile

lane70 Tue 05-Jul-11 22:33:23

It was Libby Purves whose son died.

maxgran Thu 07-Jul-11 14:59:21

Parents seem to worry too much and feel guilty about not playing with their children enough. I played with mine when I had time and I tried to make time - but for my own sanity I had to have 'me' time - so my evenings were precious to me - The children knew bedtime was bedtime and I never ever had any problems over it because I think if you are determined about something and set your mind to how you want it to be - the children accept it.
I cannot remember my mother ever playing with us much apart from teaching us how to bake !