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to say I can't manage two babies for the night?

(52 Posts)
gracesmum Sat 11-Feb-12 21:11:22

SIL will be 40 in March and DD and he have arranged a big party for "their" generation on Sat night followed by a family lunch on the Sunday. I was asked if we could have the boys (21 mths and 3 mths) on Saturday afternoon and night and then drive them to DD and SIL (1 1/2 hrs) on Sunday when we go for lunch. At first I said Yes, under the impression we would have one boy and the other GPs the other, but no, it was both.
As DH has poor health and is due to have a relatively minor op on the Wednesday before I said I wasn't sure about having them both as I couldn't be sure DH would be able to help much if e.g. both needed attention in the night.I felt awful about it as the other GPs who are older than us, but both incredibly energetic and fit, are quite happy to do it (athough like me, dreading the responsibility of the drive!!).That is not to say we would not like to have them both any other time, but I just couldn't face a possibly sleepless night followed by 2x 75 mile drives the next day (DH isn't driving at present) As it has turned out DH is in hospital with a heart infection and for all I know may be transferred to London next week so everything is up in the air. But I still feel a failure!! I KNOW I looked after our own 2 then 3 singlehanded lots of the time, I love looking after my grandsons, but I was younger then and GC are much more responsibility than your own! Am I just frustrated because I am not Supergran? Or am I just worrying aobut nothing?

Ariadne Sat 11-Feb-12 21:22:30

Frustrated because you feel you're not Supergran! I bet you know you're right to admit you can't do it, especially given Mr G's I'll health, but are having the inevitable mother type guilt because you can't do everything for everyone.

You have got your priorities absolutely right, and I'm sure those who know and love you will realise that. It's very hard for us to admit anything we perceive as weakness, isn't it?

And, as you say, it's all up in the air anyway because of Mr G's infection. So deep breaths, look after yourself and him first, and wait and see.

With love xxxxx

yogagran Sat 11-Feb-12 21:29:40

I don't think that you're being unreasonable at all. That's a huge request that's been made and although I'm sure that you would love to be able to help out, it sounds too much to take on with everything else going on in your life at the moment. Do you live anywhere near the other set of GP and could perhaps agree that the GC stayed at one place then the other set of GP did the drive next day?
Of course you feel guilty at having to refuse, we all would, but sometimes we have to put ourselves and our own partners first

NannaJeannie Sat 11-Feb-12 21:32:46

Gracesmum you have done the right thing, with Mr G being out of action at the moment. Single handedly minding 2 little ones is HARD when you are older. I am 61 and mind DGS (29months) and DGD (16months) one day a week at their house and I am wasted when I do it singelhanded. They are coming to stay at our house for a few days next week and I can only do it because DH is well and omnipresent, we have done it before and it is like a military operation.

It is more important that Mr G gets well and when he is fighting fit and they are a bit older perhaps you can have them overnight.

Carol Sat 11-Feb-12 21:36:42

As mum to twin daughters, who both have twins, I would say a categorical 'no!' Both adults looking after two babies need to be able to respond to their needs independently, in case both babies need attention during the night. It's hard enough when you are in your thirties and getting up in the night, or chasing toddlers round in the day. If you had another fit and energetic person staying with you, then maybe you could manage it, but this request isn't reasonable. Perhaps they can modify the request so you are in a position to help?

jeni Sat 11-Feb-12 21:37:23

Stop beating yourself up. It is tiring enough to have oh in hospital and keep visiting and keeping everything together. You are doing very well and to ask you to do more is not only unreasonable, but selfish as well.
There I've had my penny worth!
Best regards and wishes to husband.thanks

Jacey Sat 11-Feb-12 21:38:17

Stop beating yourself up gracesmum ...your priority has to be Mr.G need to be there for him...but ...don't forget yourself!! hugs thanks

Jacey Sat 11-Feb-12 21:42:57

Wow jeni ...'great minds' or 'fools never differ'? hmm

gracesmum Sat 11-Feb-12 21:46:12

Yogagran if we lived near each other it would be fine, but we live 75 miles south of DD and SIL and his parents live 75 miles east of them - it is almost a perfect triangle! I had GS1 for his first sleepover when he was 4months old and it was fine - but I barely slept just worrying if he was still breathing! We have since had him a couple of times more and he has been great, but it is hard work as he wakes up about 6 and has not yet perfected the art of playing in his cot for a bit, as I am sure ours did. Usually after he has been picked up I go off to bed for a serious nap!! DH even when well (?) needs his sleep, can't carry or lift and, between ourselves, never was much of a baby person even with our own! I think I could sense DD's disappointment as I suspect she would like me to be able to do anything her MIL can do. I am happier going up there to babysit when required and regularly go up to help out so feel I "do my share", but as I said with DH's health plus having to put the mutt into kennels as she can be quite excitable, having them both here was too daunting. To be honest, I wish DD hadn't asked!

greenmossgiel Sat 11-Feb-12 21:49:41

gracesmum, you can't be everything to everyone, and you can't sort everything for everyone. Just now, you need to take stock a bit, perhaps? Your family will know how things are - if they're anything like mine, it may not have dawned on them that things might be a bit different just now for you and your husband, though! Slow down, be kind to yourself and see if the family can sort something out for you, instead of the other way round. thanks

Annobel Sat 11-Feb-12 22:02:27

green is right. Fall back on your family - they have fallen back on you so many times. They need to know that Mum is only human. Have they been able to take a turn at hospital visiting?

yogagran Sat 11-Feb-12 22:03:17

Sometimes our DC just don't think. They expect us to be just as active, capable and inexhaustable (is there such a word?) as we were when they themselves were young and they won't accept that as we get older we just can't take on the challenges that we once did without a second thought

glassortwo Sat 11-Feb-12 22:10:58

grace you have to look after yourself!! You are not being unreasonable!!!!!!!!!

Looking after GC is hard work, your family will know that with DH in hospital the plans are going to change. There is plenty of time when DH is back on his feet when you can have the GC overnight but now is not the time. DSil needs to have his parents stand in. thanks

whatisamashedupphrase Sat 11-Feb-12 22:26:40

You couldn't possibly do it! It's not you who's being unreasonable here.

And why do they make such a big thing about the 40th birthday these days? I don't get it. I don't think we did.

Congratulations on living for forty years?????!! confused

gracesmum Sat 11-Feb-12 22:58:47

I know - the BIG 30 and the BIG 40!! I kept quiet about those mostly, although I think I was too busy having babies to notice 30, but now it is a BIG DEAL!
Anybody making a fuss about 64- other than having the Beatles write a song in my honour?grin

Annika Sat 11-Feb-12 23:07:48

gracesmum I bet most of your life you have put others first before yourself (as mums do) now is the time to put your foot down. I don't think you are being unreasonable at all. Two young children are hard work, it was hard work when we mums then and now as grandparents its even harder.
We have all done it and I bet none of us would rush to do it again !

grannyactivist Sat 11-Feb-12 23:34:51

gracesmum it is hard isn't it, when your children expect more than is reasonable? Looking after grandchildren is not only physically tiring it's emotionally draining too and it would have been thoughtful of your daughter NOT to have put you in the position of needing to say no. You are not being unreasonable - especially as your husband is unwell and presumably your daughter knew that when she asked.
I do hope that your husband's health improves soon and that you forget you were ever asked to take care of the little ones. (((hugs)))

Learnergran Sun 12-Feb-12 00:30:53

I think our DDs genuinely do not realise how much harder it is for us now that it was when we were young ourselves and looking after them! They just assume that since we routinely cared for them and their siblings for years on end it should be a doddle for us to step in now to see to their offspring. But we know better, don't we, which is why you are getting so much support, gracesmum!!! Just concentrate on taking good care of your husband - it's his turn thanks

bagitha Sun 12-Feb-12 07:07:34

You're definitely not being unreasonable, gracesmum. I'm rather shocked that such a request was made at all.

nannym Sun 12-Feb-12 08:28:11

No of course you are not being unreasonable, your priority must be your DH, and like baggy I'm shocked that your DD has asked you, knowing that your DH is poorly at the moment. Throw away the guilt complex (easier said than done I know) and concentrate on you and DH. Love and hugs xx

gracesmum Sun 12-Feb-12 08:35:44

To be fair, she raised this weeks ago and I do try not to make a thing of DH's health unless it is a crisis, a) nobody likes to be reminded constantly that their father has poor health and b) it gets tedious. So I am sorry if I have made her sound callous - she's a deeply kind girl and I may have played down DH's health issues.
She also sets very high standards of achievement for herself and rightly or wrongly tends to project these onto others. I think she might be a changeling - sporty, competitive, endless energy - didn't get that from me smile

Faye Sun 12-Feb-12 08:51:19

Don't feel guilty gracesmum you can't do everything and a night with a three month old and a 21 month old and a husband who is unwell. Then the next day a long drive to take them home and then a long drive back home at the end of the day (three hours) is just too much. I think our children expect a lot from us!!! thanks

Carol Sun 12-Feb-12 08:51:26

It's a difficult situation gracesmum but I'm sure you can all solve it between you, once your daughter knows how your husband's health is at the moment. She will know herself what baby-sitting her two children entails and will realise it's impractical to ask you to do so much at present, without help from others.

digikidnan Sun 12-Feb-12 08:57:08

Oh Gracesmum, what a thoughtless request. You just can't look after 2 babies when you are worried about your husband's health. Nor can you drive safely to a family lunch with two young babies in the car after a sleepless night and early start.

My guess is that young people would be pretty tired/ hung over after the Saturday party anyway so this is not the right day for a family lunch.

Like you, I go back to bed after the 6 am grandchildren starts.

Suggest you put the ball in their court and offer to have kids if they are collected first thing Sunday morning
Decline the lunch offer- you will be too tired after looking after their babies

bagitha Sun 12-Feb-12 09:12:50

I think my maternal bond must have been very strong, as is my daughter's. Only serious illness (mine) or some other unthinkable emergency would have parted me from a three month old baby overnight.