Gransnet forums


You are all so tolerant

(46 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.

Starlady Fri 14-Jul-17 05:25:26

I love watching my dgc. I'm very open to doing as much as I'm able. There will come a day when they don't need minding, etc. So I cherish every moment I get now.

But, then again, dd doesn't take my help for granted. Asks in advance, accepts if I have to say no, for some reason, etc. Perhaps I would be resentful otherwise, idk.

Also, I must admit, when I hear about gps who have been cut out of their gc's lives, including many on this site, it makes me feel lucky that I get to see and babysit mine.

Rosie, it seems to me, there are two extremes - gps whose ac/cil constantly expect and demand babysitting vs, gos who have been wholly co. Most of us gps are somewhere in the middle.

Nonna22 Fri 14-Jul-17 02:52:39

I had a magical relationship with my maternal grandparents and despite being one of 20+ grandchildren I always felt treasured. My own children never got the chance for a close relationship like that as my mum died when I was pregnant with my eldest and 2 months before he was born we moved to Germany as my OH was in the army. We lived there for over 20 years and had 4 more children but my kids never had the chance to get as close as we only saw the 3 remaining grandparents for about 4 weeks a year. When my elder daughter became pregnant I was determined that the baby would feel as treasured as I did as a child. We shared care as my daughter worked evenings and we worked days so there was continuous involvement. As I'm writing this I am in the labour ward with my middle daughter who is expecting her 5th baby. She will be our 13th grandchild and we have another due in October. 7 of my grandchildren belong to my 2 eldest daughters and live within 20 miles of me,1 lives 50 miles away another 120 miles, 3 at the other end of the country and 1 in Germany. I obviously see more of the local ones, especially the eldest who is now 18 as we have always been very close. My son's who live 50 and 120 miles away are always complaining that I do too much running around after my daughter's and that I never help them or visit, in fact they criticise everything I do. I am disabled and find the drive down there exhausting and painful. They never ring but when I ring them they're always busy. They say they're not coming to visit because I never visit them. I've been down twice to theirs since they last came here. It's breaking my heart. They have both blocked me on Facebook so I can't see what they and our gorgeous grandchildren are doing. I can't physically do any more as I still work. I get home from work and fall asleep on the settee but apparently that's my own fault for "running after the girls", but I don't, they just assume that's what happens. I adore all my kids, stepson and grandkids and would love to be able to see them more often. Why are my sons being so horrible? They're 40 and 36 so not angsty teenagers, or maybe they are?? Sorry. I've gone off on a rant here but my brain isn't capable of correcting this legibly at this time of the morning!

Synonymous Fri 14-Jul-17 00:24:30

Sadly we don't live near enough to be of any practical help but we still have a very close relationship with our DGC. It is vitally important to the young and the old to be able to relate well to each other and the family is the best place for that to be learned and practiced so that it spreads out to the wider community.

DH and I are looking forward to seeing our DGC next month for the first time this year and the anticipation is building for all of us. smile

Deedaa Thu 13-Jul-17 21:02:48

I hadn't intended to have much to do with GS1 - but that was before I met him. By the time he was six months old I'd decided to look after him when DS went back to work and it was such fun! Like having my own, but I could go back home to bed grin Now there are three GSs and because of DH's illness I don't do a lot with them, but I am always available for emergencies.

Juggernaut Thu 13-Jul-17 19:24:32

I never knew my paternal GPs, my maternal GM didnt look after me much, but I had a wonderful relationship with my maternal GF, I loved the very bones of him!
When our DS was born, my in-laws didn't want anything to do with him (their loss), but my parents adored him. Sadly my DF died when DS was just 18 months old, but my DM and DS had an amazing relationship. To be honest I think he gave her a reason to live after my DF died.
They were very, very close, and remained that way until DM died when DS was 22 years old.
We volunteered our services as childminders for three days per week as soon as DDiL announced her pregnancy. We love every second of being with DGS, and although we get tired looking after him for 10 hour days, both DH and I have said we wouldn't swap it for the world!
It's an honour and a pleasure to be such a big part of his life!

jefm Thu 13-Jul-17 18:40:25

Hi I don't think its about tolerance its about circumstances, the way you want to live your life and the way your children live theirs. Some are taken for granted, some aren't. Some would like more contact others wouldn't or indeed would love it but cant have it. Some have way too much involvement in their children and grand children's lives and dependency sets in. Others are very isolated. if you stick with the site you will see all sorts of dilemmas. Some sad some happy. we all make choices or have choices made for us. Its not an easy world is it. What is happiness for some is a real chore for others. !! good luck with your world when the grandkids hit and good luck with the circumstances surrounding them! Its a great site to have a debate or seek help- you would be surprised at how INtolerant some are when their views are so totally different to others! Welcome!

M0nica Thu 13-Jul-17 17:14:39

GrammaH, I am in total agreement with your attitudes in your post. Your actions are what mine would be were I fortunate enough to live close to my DGC. The 'other Grandma', who does live close by, acts as you do. We remain a close and loving family.

There seems to be a competition or pecking order between grandparents to 'prove' their love and devotion for their grandchildren by the extent to which they will martyr themselves and give up everything, jobs, security, a life of their own, to devote their lives to their grandchildren.

I am quite happy to be at the bottom of the pecking order. Like my parents in retirement before me, I have a very busy life; involvement in voluntary work, a large garden, holiday home in France and other interests which I will certainly abandon in an emergency or special circumstances, but, only in the most exceptional circumstances, on a continuing basis.

WilmaKnickersfit Thu 13-Jul-17 16:25:37

I think the nub of the matter is nobody likes being taken for granted.

paddyann the comment you received was out of order. You clearly don't feel your family take advantage of you or take your support for granted. That's what works for you and your family. Everybody is different and unless they ask our opinions we should respect their choices.

Rosieleah I am constantly impressed with the advice given on GN and have learned a lot in my time on here. I've changed my opinion on things too, after reading other points of view.

KatyK Thu 13-Jul-17 15:52:12

I loved every minute of it whenever we were asked to look after our DGD. She is a teenager now and we see much less of her and we miss her. I wouldn't have had it any other way. I have a friend who devotes her life and time to her grandchildren, which she is happy to do, but it's such a lot for her to cope with. She is in her 60s and looks after a baby and a toddler while one of her DD's works. Sometimes her daughters treat her in a less than respectful way.

GrannieAnnie2 Thu 13-Jul-17 15:27:50

I think that if I ever felt I was being 'taken for granted' things would change. My mum didn't live close enough to help out when mine were little and I know how I missed her being in my children's lives so much. They loved their Grandma and always wanted to stay longer when we visited. I feel privileged that my DD chose to stay local to us and to share her children with us. I help out around the house and get her laundry sorted etc so that they can enjoy more family time at the weekends. It's my choice and I love it. We have a very close, loving relationship with the boys and have made some super memories with them.

Anya Thu 13-Jul-17 13:57:59

hmm I'm glad GrammaH that you acknowledge you're an outsider. I expect your 'widowed relation' might see it from an entirely different standpoint.

GrammaH Thu 13-Jul-17 13:35:37

We are lucky to live very close to DS , his wife & our 4yr old DGS & we look after him on a regular basis one day a week plus babysitting duties & "emergency callouts". However, it's always understood that it's at our convenience & if we're away, it's not a problem & alternative arrangements are made. A widowed relation of DH' s has both married daughters & their families living close by &, to an outside observer, she is a slave to both girls who play her off one against the other, vying for her time. The poor woman hasn't got time for a life of her own as she is either child minding, doing the school run, ferrying kids to after school activities, babysitting etc , we do feel she's made a rod for her own back though.

M0nica Thu 13-Jul-17 13:26:56

More like ships, ploughing their way through the seas in all weathers. Well-founded and well skippered they should be able to steer their way through most perils, but if disaster does strike, we will try to launch the life boat

Imperfect27 Thu 13-Jul-17 13:24:30

I quote the philosophy of Khalil Gibran a lot - this is my favourite piece of his on childhood - could just as easily have been called 'On parenthood' - take from it what you will xx

On Children
Kahlil Gibran
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

RosieLeah Thu 13-Jul-17 13:20:06

Thanks for your responses. It's been an eye-opener, reading them. I like lionpops attitude. She will be all the more appreciated because of it.

MissAdventure Thu 13-Jul-17 13:18:20

I like that. Launching your children.. wink makes them sound like rockets.

M0nica Thu 13-Jul-17 13:02:29

We live too far away to be of any assistance to our DS & DDiL in looking after our grandchildren. We will make the 4 hour drive in an emergency, and have done, and the other grandma does live close and does help, but she is in her 80s and they have always been aware that, despite being healthy, they should not overload her.

As much as I love my grandchildren I do feel that they are the responsibility of their parents. I had no help looking after mine because neither set of in-laws lived near us and, like many modern mothers, I worked for most of my children's childhoods.

Of course circumstances vary and if my DGC lived nearer I might well have found that there were circumstances where I would commit myself to some regular care, but having brought our children up and launched them successfully into the world, I expect them to be self-sufficient.

Craftycat Thu 13-Jul-17 12:21:00

I look after my DGC willingly because I adore them & feel very lucky to be close enough to do it. Nothing to do with being tolerant. They are young for so short a time I want to appreciate having them & build memories for them to remember when I am gone.
I love having them even if I do have to collapse when they go home!We have such fun together. Eldest has just turned 13 so I know it is only a matter of time before he doesn't really want to come to Grandma's any more- sad but I accept it- we will still be close as we have built that bond.
Enjoy every moment while you can.

MissAdventure Thu 13-Jul-17 12:02:31

I don't think grandparents who help are mugs, any more than I think those who dont want to wear themselves into the ground doing it are the type who would let their children sink or swim. Its all about balance, and that's different for each and every one of us, dependent too on other circumstances.

paddyann Thu 13-Jul-17 11:57:50

I really objected to being called a "mug" on a thread yesterday ,simply because I do a lot of childcare for my grandchildren.I do a lot of things for a lot of people ,its my nature ,I LIKE helping/caring for people always have .I wont change who I am because some folk think you should leave adult children to sink or swim,its not my way .Thankfully my OH is exactly the same and would help anyone who needs it,Family is the strongest of bonds to me though I have put up total strangers in my home because the friends they were visiting didn't have enough spare beds,one lovely man said he'd stayed in 5 star hotels and not been treated as I will continue to do my best for anyone who comes my way who needs a wee helping hand

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

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.

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!

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!

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.