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Seeing grandchild too often

(43 Posts)
BookwormNanny Fri 06-Dec-19 22:02:16

I have read many posts about nans who think they don't see enough of their grandchildren so I feel a bit guilty for saying this but here goes. I have 6 grown up children, 4 boys and 2 girls, all grown up and flown the nest. Or so I thought. The youngest of the grown up children (girl) has a 5 year old daughter (our only grandchild) I love them both dearly. My daughter split up with father of the child a year ago and things are not good between them but he has regular contact with his daughter at weekends. My daughter has a new boyfriend (early days), a good job, friends, a nice home, no issues with drugs/alcohol etc. but she clearly does not like being at home alone with her child in the evenings. Every night when I come home from a very stressful job she arrives with the granddaughter, asks what's for dinner and then the granddaughter puts on her favourite TV programme and gets all her toys out, and they stay for 2-3 hours, often until my bed time. Sometimes I want to read my book, watch TV, talk to my husband or just chill and not speak to anyone but this has become the routine now and I feel as if I don't have my own life anymore. I don't know if I should just put up with it and hope that once her life settles a bit she will not be here every night or what. When her ex has the child she never comes round to see us - she goes out with friends or the new bloke so I think we are being used a bit to entertain the grandchild. Sorry for the long post - anyone have any ideas on anything I can do?

Esther1 Fri 06-Dec-19 22:10:40

I know it must feel wearing - but just go along with it. It won’t be forever and how lovely that they can come to you like this.

MissAdventure Fri 06-Dec-19 22:15:12

I think I would say that next Tuesday you'll be going out, or something along those lines, and gradually increase the evenings you aren't available.

Or, you could just be brave and tell her it's all a bit much?

granzilla Fri 06-Dec-19 22:16:04

Nip this in the bud, now.
Sorry but don't know how but this would drive me crazy, much as I love DD and DGC's.
Best of luck flowers
You are certainly not being unreasonable.

NotTooOld Fri 06-Dec-19 22:18:28

I do sympathise. I think you should do something about this situation. Does your husband know how you feel? How does HE feel? Might he be the best person to tackle your daughter? One or both of you need to make it clear to her that she is overdoing the visiting and is taking you for granted. You could suggest she limits her visits to a couple of times a week or try telling her in advance that you will both be out on Monday/Tuesday/whatever next week but you will look forward to seeing them both on Wednesday/Thursday/Friday/whatever. Good luck!

tanith Fri 06-Dec-19 22:20:38

I’d get cheesed of with this too, can’t you and your husband go out for the evening or have friends round even if just for a walk. Tell your daughter you’ll be busy so no point coming round you have to break the cycle.

quizqueen Fri 06-Dec-19 22:23:05

Instead of coming home after work, turn up at her place and when she calls and asks where you are, you ask her what's for tea. If you have a key, go in and put your feet up and watch the tv until she returns to cook for you. Then you rummage through her bookshelves etc. until you feel like going home. Do this every day until she gets the message and then you can invite her over when YOU feel like it.

Hetty58 Fri 06-Dec-19 22:44:27

Firstly, be sure (and very careful) not to upset her and make her feel unwelcome. You really don't want this to permanently ruin your relationship.

Secondly, you need to change things to break the bad habit. Yes, try being otherwise occupied, out, 'ill', away or hosting other people. Ask her to bring food and cook sometimes. (Is she broke?) or get her involved in helping with chores. Are there after school clubs for your GD?

Perhaps the TV could be out of action for a few days 'awaiting repair'? (I did this with my own kids once - replaced the fuse with a blown one - peace and quiet.)

I'd advise against requiring her to ask (or make an appointment) to visit but you could get her to text when she's on her way. Sometimes, you should go to see her instead. She may just crave company at the moment but it's probably only a phase.

Nansnet Sat 07-Dec-19 02:08:52

I can understand how you must feel but if it were my daughter I'd be very reluctant to say anything to her about it being a bit much. The last think I would want to do would be to hurt her feelings. Is she managing OK in her own home, moneywise? Maybe she's just lonely? Does she have friends of her own? Does your GC ever have school friends over for tea/playdates? Perhaps you could encourage your daughter to arrange for the odd playdate for your GC, by saying she must get a bit bored just watching tv with her grandparents/mummy, she'd probably love to have a little friend over once or twice a week ...

Whatever you do, don't do/say anything that may upset your daughter ... you don't want to put a strain on your relationship with her. I'd much rather sit it out, and hope that if her relationship with her new boyfriend progresses, you need your company less ...

Tedber Sat 07-Dec-19 05:04:55

I can empathise with you bookwormnanny. You are not being unreasonable.

I think the problem is adult children don’t think that their parents want a life of their own too!! I am betting when SHE has other plans she won’t give a thought about you being alone or anything?

Also understand this monopoly over the tv/computer/iPad (got lot more Gc though)
Drives my other half bonkers sometimes! (Meanwhile mum is on her phone lol.).

But I am pretty straight forward and tell them what am thinking. If I need “my time” I just tell them. I think we just have that kind of relationship so I don’t worry, even if they take the huff, they will sulk for long. I don’t know what your daughter would do?

Whichever way you play it you do need to get the peace you crave. It’s all very well people saying it won’t last forever! It is “now” you want to have time to yourself as well as welcoming your family. Perfectly understandable. Good luck

NotSpaghetti Sat 07-Dec-19 05:49:52

Could you ask her to cook one night and try that. Say you are really stressed and would she cook whilst you have bath?
It might be enough to just make her think. You can praise her for helping out and suggest you alternate cooking - maybe that way she'll gradually realise you need a little more time to relax in future.
As others have said, something needs to happen as this has become the norm.

Yehbutnobut Sat 07-Dec-19 06:18:43

Oh dear. What a tricky situation. I don’t know a simple way out but do think you have to free up at least a couple of nights a week for yourselves.

mumofmadboys Sat 07-Dec-19 07:50:58

Could you come in , flop in the chair and say you are exhausted after a busy day at work and ask her if she will cook that evening? Could you and DH eat out once a week/ fortnight and just tell your DD please don't come tomorrow we are going out for a meal to celebrate whatever?

Sara65 Sat 07-Dec-19 08:48:16

I emphasise, I really do.

I love my youngest daughter, and her three children dearly, but her partner is completely useless, and I find myself doing lots of running around with the children, and they are usually here at the weekends.

I work full time, and my weekends are precious, but I know the children love being here, and I feel sorry for my daughter who also works full time , so I say nothing.

I moan about it to my husband a bit, but I’d never say anything to hurt her feelings.

MamaCaz Sat 07-Dec-19 09:09:53

I would hate that, but like you, be very unsure of how to end it without risking upsetting her in a way that might have long-term repercussions.

Your daughters visits have become so regular that it really needs gently pointing out that she can't expect to be treated
like a guest, with you and DH putting your own routines aside for her.

To avoid potential fallout, you perhaps need to do this gradually.

If they weren't there, what would you do after getting home? Put your feet up? Watch TV? Read?
If it's feasible, come in and do that thing (or anything, really, that will break the cycle), saying that you are really tired and really fancy doing whatever it is that you would do if they weren't there.

See how this goes down , then gradually try to add to it over coming visits.

I am not suggesting that you deliberately make visits unpleasant for your daughter, just that you slowly reshape her expectations.
I know that ideally, you would like her to stop coming as often, but you have to start somewhere ...

Good luck.

MamaCaz Sat 07-Dec-19 09:12:49

Sorry, pedants, for the missing apostrophe in there!

Sara65 Sat 07-Dec-19 09:29:37


Do you think the youngest child never really grows up? I think my youngest was spoilt not only by us, but by her older siblings, and they still treat her like the baby sister.

She is very dependent on us, and I can’t see anything changing.

timetogo2016 Sat 07-Dec-19 09:43:08

I think you should either tell her straight or tell her your working hours are changing and you won`t know how the new schedule will effect her turning up every night.
It`s going to be difficult either way.
She is being a little selfish/childish tbh.

Septimia Sat 07-Dec-19 09:45:46

Being at home alone with a small child can be very lonely. You have to entertain them before they go to bed and then you're on your own for the rest of the evening. Not everybody, no matter how much they love the child, is good at spending long periods of time with them unalleviated.

Perhaps your daughter is just lonely and you're the obvious solution.

Maybe you could sometimes suggest that she leaves your GD with you and goes to have coffee with a friend, joins an exercise or evening class, or you go round to her occasionally. Just try to vary the arrangements and this might help to wean her off her dependence on you.

I think, in time, she will pick up the threads of her life and you will no longer be needed so much - at which point you'll probably find that you miss the two of them!!

love0c Sat 07-Dec-19 09:55:05

Oh dear! I would be very careful if you do not want to upset your DD or cause a rift between you. You do not know the real reason as to why she comes to you whenever she has nothing else on? Could it be she has the need to fill every moment with company? Maybe she is not feeling too good and is trying to cover it up? Or is it the case she genuinely wants/likes to be in your company whenever she can? While I do sympathise with you but please be careful. There are so many GP on here that would give their right arm to be in your position. It would be terrible if you joined them.

Sara65 Sat 07-Dec-19 09:59:31

I agree with those who advise you not to rock the boat. I have a lot of sympathy for you, but I think you would feel worse if you upset your daughter or granddaughter.

Calendargirl Sat 07-Dec-19 10:18:54

Hmm, difficult. I tried to think what I would do if it were me. Others have said is it a money issue, but you say she has a good job, nice home and obviously can afford to go out with friends on a free night. Plus you are still working in a stressful job, and I don’t think it at all unreasonable for you to want a bit of ‘me’ time.
I think I would say you are feeling a bit weary and stressed with work etc., and suggest perhaps coming round just say three evenings a week or suchlike. Also if they stay until nearly your bedtime, unless you go to bed really early, would have thought a five year old should be in bed earlier on school nights.
If your daughter’s new relationship goes well, you will probably see less of them, but I think at the moment you are being made use of really. If she’s been split up with partner for a year, it’s not like it’s a recent event.

Callistemon Sat 07-Dec-19 10:52:38

What time does this child go to bed if they stay until your bed-time?

Surely she will not be getting enough sleep and will be tired all the next day at school? The teachers will be able to tell if she is sleep-deprived.

Fiachna50 Sat 07-Dec-19 11:18:49

I would say nothing. As other posters have said , there may be a reason or she may just feel a bit lonely. It won't be like this forever. I wouldn't say anything. If you do have plans to go out one night fair enough. You just say Im going out with so and so or whatever. It can be lonely bringing up children on your own, she maybe just likes adult company for a wee while.

Hetty58 Sat 07-Dec-19 11:56:08

I never had a good relationship with my mother. She was mentally unwell (although Dad was great). When I left home, at 17, she'd phone me at work every Tuesday, without fail, to invite me round.

Usually, I would go, wanting to catch up with Dad and my younger brother. I always helped with the dinner, was polite, didn't stay too late and took some treats with me. We all chatted happily.

Dad would often pop round to see me at the weekend too. I knew, even then, that he would be behind the Tuesday 'invitations'.

After about a year of this, my brother was visibly upset one day. I asked what was wrong and, reluctantly, he told me.
Apparently, Mum had been ranting on at them both, for ages, every Tuesday, saying 'Why does she have to keep coming home - she doesn't even live here?' (Yet still, she invited me.)

I cried so much that evening, then never went again, except on special occasions. It's very painful to be rejected by a mother, even a completely useless one!