Gransnet forums


You are all so tolerant

(45 Posts)
RosieLeah Thu 13-Jul-17 07:49:56

I'm new here and reading all your posts, I'm amazed at how tolerant you all are. My own children don't live near me and I have no grand-children (yet), so I don't get asked favours. It seems your children and grandchildren take it for granted that you are available and at their disposal. Helping out in time of need is vital of course, but so many of you are taken for granted. You're expected to care for kids, puppies and do favours as if you don't have a life of your own.
I'm not criticizing you, I admire you, it's just the attitude of people that surprises me.

Luckygirl Thu 13-Jul-17 07:53:28

No such problems here Rosie - child care is arranged at a level we can cope with and that fits round our lives. It is always appreciated and in return gutters get cleared, curtain poles and mirrors put up etc. And it is a joy!

Imperfect27 Thu 13-Jul-17 08:07:18

Rosie I have been reflecting on the deep division of attitudes towards grown up children and their expectations of us that were highlighted in the 'Ungrateful Son' post yesterday.

I belong to the 'Would do anything I reasonably could to help my children,' brigade where 'reasonable' has included changing my working hours to make myself available in support of GC. I thoroughly enjoy him - 'tolerance' doesn't come into it - and quality contact with him and knowing I can be of some help to my DD and SIL makes me happy. But that is my choice, freely made.

When my own children were little, my MIL evidently did not enjoy her grandchildren and did not want to be involved in their care beyond a weekly visit. I respected that as her choice, but I feel she missed out on what could have been a close and loving set of relationships.

Where our grandchildren are concerned, I think we get what we give - we can still form close bonds at some distance and children quickly work out who loves them and give so much back.

I think it must be really difficult when parents feel expected to do an unreasonable amount / don't want to be involved as much as their children had hoped they would be, but these thorny issues have never arisen for me. My mother was generous in spirit and deeply kind in her actions and I hope I can pass a little of that on to the next generation. To me that is not over-indulging, or allowing myself to be taken for granted - it is simply being supportive where there is need.

Rigby46 Thu 13-Jul-17 08:14:11

You get a skewed view on here because those of us with non problematic relationships with our dc don't usually post about that. My dd always knew that we would never offer regular child care ( we both still work part time and have lots s of other commitments). She knows we are there for emergencies and do sleepovers if they want a night out or just because we want to. Child care has been expensive for them but she knew that they would have to cut their cloth in the early years although it was worth it to keep her career going which is now paying off. They never take us for granted and wouldn't be so daft as to get a dog

BlueBelle Thu 13-Jul-17 08:16:39

I don't feel I m a martyr I have found it a complete privilege to help with my grandkids and my kids when they need me Now the youngest one is moving into a teen I feel a bit redundant to be honest please don't read anything into that statement as I have an interesting life outside grandkids with hobbies, voluntary work, running a couple of Internet groups and friends, but my time of nurturing is decreasing I don't see any great grand kids on the horizon so think there will be a few years where I m a bit childless or maybe this is the end of my Nanna days Of course I m still their Nanna but you know teens, Hi/bye and that's on a good day and as it should be
Now I m no saint and there's been lots of times where I ve thought 'oh no not again' or ' let me get home' but I still have found it to be fulfilling and a period I would have hated to miss

BlueBelle Thu 13-Jul-17 08:22:13

Oh I should add..... If only there was an edit button (sigh) As s single mum myself with three kids I moved to be nearer my mum and dad after my divorce and they were wonderful at helping me both financially but more importantly (although they worked) with their time and my Dad was the main role model for my son and what a good one he was

glammanana Thu 13-Jul-17 08:27:47

RosieLeah Tolerance does not even come into it I have such a good relationship with DCs that I know when I am needed to care for my DGCs and always have done,they are grown up now but I still have two younger ones who I pick up from school and make sure they get to their after school activities safely when their mum is working,my parents never had this involvement and missed out greaatly on my DCs growing up they where rather the type where they offered in emergency only they missed out on such a lot I think.

kittylester Thu 13-Jul-17 08:36:36

Quite glamma - we do what we can becauze they are our family. They would for us too.

Flossieturner Thu 13-Jul-17 08:39:20

My take on this is that, I like to be wanted and I like to feel useful.

I loved being a mum and running a home. I also enjoyed the time after they left,
when I was able to have a career of my own. Now in retirement, being a part of my children's' life is great. We have a very good balance. We all like and respect each other. We meet socially, we occassionally holiday together and we also meet when I am doing childcare,

Interestingly, now I find the tables turning and they and the grandchildren are doing things for me rather than the other way around.

Problems arise in families when one side feels entitled to receive help, or one side resents helping. Some families cannot discuss openly how they feel and this will always cause problems, I think.

whitewave Thu 13-Jul-17 08:48:27

Yes I think rigby is right. I suspect the vast majority of us on GN have no more problems than your average family.

My grandchildren are too old now to babysit, but we had a very workable relationship with our daughter that suited us all very well, day to day. But at the same time in emergencies like illness etc, we would never let her down if it meant extra duties on our part.

Give and take and lots of love??

Rigby46 Thu 13-Jul-17 08:51:26

Flossie that's an excellent post - your last paragraph sums it up perfectly.

Imperfect27 Thu 13-Jul-17 09:05:14

Yes Flossie, totally agree.

Greyduster Thu 13-Jul-17 09:05:39

When my own children were small they saw their grandparents so seldom as we were rarely in the country, and by the time we finally came home, we had lost both sets of parents, so they never got to know them - in fact, don't really remember them. We wanted to be a constant in our only grandchild's life and to do what we could, but my daughter has never taken advantage of the relationship - has always been careful not to. We are galloping towards a time when there will be less and less need for us to be 'hands on' anyway. I have no problem with grandparents who do not want that sort of input in their grandchildrens' lives - GS's other grandmother seldom sees him and that is her choice.

Welshwife Thu 13-Jul-17 09:27:51

I absolutely loved being with my own children and my grandchildren and always helped out when I could. They still at times confide in me ( in their 20s) and I meet up with them for outings or meals etc. I can now stay with DGD but as yet DGS does not have space! So lovely to hear what they are doing but also their views of the world etc.
Much more difficult with the two boys living abroad but we do chat etc and get on well when we are together.

MissAdventure Thu 13-Jul-17 09:51:37

Not all.
I'm less tolerant, probably. grin

sarahellenwhitney Thu 13-Jul-17 10:52:57

They are our flesh and blood so its only naturel that we want to help and I would feel isolated to the point of superfluous if my kids could not or did not want to come to me for help. Tolerant is not a word I would use as how many of us would not bend over backwards to help our 'flesh and blood' as shown many times on gransnet.
There must be those who feel the job is done when their fledglings fly the nest. I am so glad not to be one of them.

MissAdventure Thu 13-Jul-17 10:55:25

I dont know anyone who thinks that its all done and dusted when the children move out. That's when things are just getting started, in my opinion. Its all so much more complicated.

Luckygirl Thu 13-Jul-17 11:05:41

Just doing our bit again today! - little one is unwell, so we have her here while parents work. She is snuggled up on a sunlounger on the decking with a fluffy dog and the birds and the sunshine to make her better. She normally goes to nursery today, but the loving touch of family is what is needed.

Greenfinch Thu 13-Jul-17 11:17:45

Exactly what Flossie says.Does the OP really admire us ?
That's not the feeling that comes through.

gillybob Thu 13-Jul-17 11:18:00

Imperfect27 I couldn't agree more with your post of 08.07. You put is so much better than I ever could.

My grandparents always said how much joy they got from us (my sister, cousins and I) when we were children. Sadly something my parents missed out on with my own children (by choice).

palliser65 Thu 13-Jul-17 11:19:38

What complicates things is adoring your children and grandchildren. Very hard to deny them anything. Along with everyone else I just want them to be happy. I do take your point about there being some taking for granted. I'm afraid it's a downside of being in a family.

pollyperkins Thu 13-Jul-17 11:21:27

Well I agree with most - we are asked to babysit occasionally and try to do this if we possibly can as we like to have a good relationship with our DC and see as much of the DGC as possible. But they all know that we have our own life and always say things like 'if you're not busy' and show their gratitude when we can oblige.
I did look after my daughter's little one one day a month between the ages of one and three - 9after that she was at nursery which I know costs a fortune0 but my DD bent over backwards to make sure it was convenient for me - swapped dates etc when I couldn't make it.
I would be very unhappy if my children had laid down ultimatums etc like some we hear about on this site - but luckily mine are all very reasonable as I think most are. Only the people with problems tend to post which gives a skewed impression!
I love to see the grandchildren as much as we can manage and have never been asked to do anything unreasonable!

lionpops Thu 13-Jul-17 11:21:40

I agree with you. There is a lovely tolerant bunch on here. It is sad so many children take such advantage of the good will of grand parents. My GC ( 14) are grown up and while they were I was in a full time job. When we retired we used to look after them for a week while children enjoyed a holiday. We were happy to do this and we really got to know the GCs and now have a lovely relationship. We now have Great Grand children and see a lot of them but don't get involved in any duties. Down to their parents now. we are not all in the same situation and there is always the fear that we may be denied access to them. I just think we are entitled to a life and while it's fine to help out one day a week with child duties, we are retired and some are not in great health. Also I think it's quite scary as I worried more about the GCs in my charge than I ever did about my own.
I think you need a plan so drip feed how you could help/ not do well in advance of a child's arrival. Be very clear, do not succumb to bullying and even if they do deny you access for a while they will soon see sense. Especially if you own a property!

Lewlew Thu 13-Jul-17 11:42:59

Age is a big factor. Our oldest is 46 and our DGD is now just 2. Grampa is 75 this year. We do all we can without running ourselves into the ground health-wise. DGD's parents understand that. What is the point of looking after DGD if we are exhausted...she would not get the quality time we enjoy giving her. Otherwise, she might as well be in nursery for the day.

Willow500 Thu 13-Jul-17 11:57:31

I think we have been lucky in the respect that our granddaughters were nearby when they were little and we would look after them if and when necessary but as their mum didn't work we were not childminders. We had/still have a close relationship with them but as they moved away when the eldest was 12 (they're now 19 & 15) we have not been that closely involved in their lives apart from an odd couple of days staying here over the years. Our little grandsons were born in NZ so we've had no part in their childcare. I admire all grandparents who take on the responsibility of daily childcare from an early age - I'm not sure I could have done it although I guess if it had been necessary we would have. We will get a taste of it at Christmas though when said grandsons will be here with us for 6 weeks - I might need a long lie down in February grin