Gransnet forums


Must be a Bad Grandma

(108 Posts)
Mamie5 Mon 10-Aug-20 14:50:41

Is there anyone else like me, who God forbid, does not want to be the defacto babysitter?
I dread the out of town visits. They stress me beyond anything else, and I’ve been stressed.
My DIL seems to think everyone wants to spend all their time with her children. Maybe if they had manners and were even slightly well behaved. And I dare not reprimand because I know nothing, even though I raised four kids including the one she chose to marry, their way is the best way, and anything else is wrong. The kids are never called to task, and are never reprimanded for their behaviour. On the rare occasion they are, there is never follow through.
I hear my friends talk about how they live to spend time with their grandkids and I feel so ostracized. I’m scared to state how I feel for fear of being vilified.
Oh well, I’ve put it out there. Lord help me now. hmm

Septimia Mon 10-Aug-20 14:56:12

Difficult. But then we all do things differently. I would say that if babysitting in their home, it's their way of doing things but if the children are in your home, then your rules apply. If their parents don't like it then they know what to do.

If you raised 4 children then why should you be expected to want to babysit another generation? Just tell the parents that you'd rather not as, sorry, you wouldn't remember to do things the way they like.

Oopsadaisy3 Mon 10-Aug-20 14:58:58

I’m with Septimia on this one.

timetogo2016 Mon 10-Aug-20 15:08:17

Yes i agree too Septimia and Oopsadaisy3.

AGAA4 Mon 10-Aug-20 15:20:48

Not everyone wants to babysit their grandchildren and their wishes must be respected.
It is very hard too when their standards of behaviour for their children are different from your own.

Esspee Mon 10-Aug-20 15:26:04

I don’t blame you in the least OP. I see so many adults who fail to parent their children allowing them to go feral.

Callistemon Mon 10-Aug-20 15:56:24

Just say how much you love to see them (?) but that your babysitting/childminding days are over.

phoenix Mon 10-Aug-20 16:01:11

Well said Mamie5!grin

DiscoDancer1975 Mon 10-Aug-20 16:33:45

I understand you completely, especially with the lack of discipline problem. I had four children, and am happy to help as much as I can with my grandchildren, providing they behave, whether it’s my house or theirs. Discipline is very different now, involving more ‘ negotiating’ with the children. That’s fine as long as it doesn’t effect me or my husband. You are well within your rights to say no. You’ve done your bit. It’s our time to rest. Not all grandparents want to be with their grandchildren all the time.

lemongrove Mon 10-Aug-20 17:14:58

What everyone else says!
You will have to say ‘no’ sometimes and I don’t blame you.

V3ra Mon 10-Aug-20 17:23:07

Is your daughter-in-law aware of how badly behaved you think her children are?

My husband has two nephews who were similarly unpleasant company as children.
We called one Christmas to deliver presents and they stayed upstairs, pulling faces at us through the banisters.
Once we were back in the car my husband said that was the last time, send them a voucher through the post from now on. I didn't argue with him!

phoenix Mon 10-Aug-20 17:29:11

V3ra I don't think I would have even bothered to send vouchers, obnoxious little sods don't deserve anything!

sodapop Mon 10-Aug-20 17:40:15

You are not being unreasonable Mamie5 I agree with others too. Is there any way you could just have a short visit?
Would it be difficult to broach the subject of their behaviour with your son and daughter in law. It's a shame when you can't enjoy your grandchildren.

V3ra Mon 10-Aug-20 17:49:34

phoenix I think for my husband it was more a token to avoid any bad feeling with his sister and mum, but yes I quite agree!

welbeck Mon 10-Aug-20 18:32:48

you are under no obligation to do any babysitting/childcare at all.
it is hard work, even for younger people.
you've done your bit. just be vague and unavailable if it is suggested, or say something like, sorry, not me, no can do.

Beauregard Mon 10-Aug-20 21:19:09

I love to see my grandchildren but don't enjoy babysitting in the evenings - I don't like putting them to bed and then sitting there bored and uncomfortable (because I'm not in my own home) waiting for the parents to come home, then driving home in the dark. I do plenty of helping out during the daytime though, picking them up from school etc., so thankfully I am rarely called upon to babysit in the evenings.

absent Mon 10-Aug-20 21:29:07

I think some adult children still think of their parents – or parents-in-law – as existing solely for their convenience and not having any life outside the family or having personal needs and desires in the way they perceived their parents when they were children. That is understandable with children, if occasionally somewhat irritating, but it is not acceptable once they become adults. Grandparents are not a service industry and should not be treated as such.

grannyrebel7 Mon 10-Aug-20 21:32:58

I don't like babysitting mine either. I don't like the responsibility of it. I love to see them, but I want their parents there as well. I loved being mum, but I'm not so keen on being granny. You don't have the same status. Our elder two grandchildren (my son's kids) were terrible when they were little as well but as soon as they were left with DH and me I didn't put up with any messing about and I think kids actually like discipline. They behaved much better for us when their parents weren't around. They're 11 & 9 now and much more civilised thankfully smile

GagaJo Mon 10-Aug-20 21:45:52

I like anytime I can get with my grandson, but I think he's the only one I'm getting so I like to make the most of him.

MissAdventure Mon 10-Aug-20 22:07:52

I'm afraid I only used to babysit under sufference.
The 2 weeks I moved into hers to look after the kids, (not goats, in case of confusion or outrage) the mad dog and the cat were.. quite a challenge for me.

Chewbacca Mon 10-Aug-20 22:19:57

I'm not asked to babysit the GC in the evenings very often but I do have them 2 days a week anyway and I think that's enough! I'm fortunate that my GC are well behaved anyway but their parents have always made it clear that, "when in Granny's house, you do as she says". As good as they are normally, as soon as they start squabbling and falling out, I send them home!

Flossieturner Tue 11-Aug-20 08:37:41

@MissAdventure ? Mad dog currently looking very saintly. Just waiting for a cat, a bird, a leaf, a piece of litter or a fly to pass by the window before she lets loose.

MissAdventure Tue 11-Aug-20 08:40:30

Ah, thank you.
Glad she is still full of beans.

polnan Tue 11-Aug-20 09:47:02

I am the opposite here, I would have loved to have been more involved with my gks.. but my dil, a stay at mum, only asked me when it suited here, hence the gks rarely visited here unless with their parents,,, and rarely babysat at their home..

ho hum, such is life...

red1 Tue 11-Aug-20 09:55:42

No,not every grandparent wants to be a babysitter,you have already done it with 4! Grandchildren can be little heartbreakers for sure, there is the rub.
My family live overseas and ive been seeing them several times a year, until recently with the covid thing.
They are so hard work, tantrums and that's just the parents!
If they lived nearer, I would not be ready to drop everything for them,its not selfish, it's respecting that I haven't the stamina to handle 3 little ones and parents with their own dynamics, The waltons have a lot to answer for!