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Looking after grandchildren whilst ill

(63 Posts)
Blueant Mon 08-Nov-21 12:13:42

Hi all. I really could do with some advice. Our daughter and her husband asked us to look after their two-and-a-half year old son and one-and-a-half year old daughter for five nights while they attended a weekend house party with their army friends. Our granddaughter was vomiting the morning they left, and I expressed some concerns about whether they should leave her if she wasn’t well. I was outvoted however-by both my daughter and her husband AND my husband. Two days into their trip my husband fell ill with a stomach bug. I took the little ones out for the day and he spent the day in bed. The next day our grandson also caught the bug-he vomited eleven times during the night between about nine p.m. and six. I spent the entire night changing sheets and comforting him as he cried for his mummy. The following day I fell ill as well and have now been confined to bed, vomiting and doubled up with stomach cramps for the past 48 hours. My husband is feeling slightly better today, but it’s been brutal. I messaged my daughter and her husband after their son had spent the night puking and asked them to come back early as he was so poorly and we weren’t coping at all, but once again I was outvoted-my husband told them not to cut short their trip, even though neither of us was fit to take proper care of a couple of toddlers, and they said they didn’t think it was worth coming up a day early as it would be bed-time by the time they got here. I pointed out that it would save us an extra day of struggling, but I was ignored. Our grandson got himself up this morning while we both lay ill in bed and tried to make his own bottle up, bless him. We didn’t even know he was awake! The kitchen was a quagmire of milk by the time he’d finished.
Our daughter and her husband are due back to collect the kids this evening. They’ll be staying the night before returning home (they live four hours’ drive away). I don’t want to see them-I’m staggered that they would be so selfish as to leave us all in this mess. I know that speaking out risks adding fuel to the situation and potentially causing a rift between us, and there’s a good chance that I’ll be held responsible for that rift by not going along with their choice-especially as my husband has been so non-confrontational with them.
Advice, please?

rosie1959 Mon 08-Nov-21 12:29:16

I would take to my bed and leave husband who didn't think it was a problem to look after the children.
Your daughter and son in law are quite frankly taking the micky.
I had a particularly nasty bug a couple of weeks ago although I think it might have been food poisening as nobody else got it. I look after my grandaughter fir just one day a week and although this was nearly a week after I came down with it I still wasn't physically fit my daughter did not even suggest me having her and booked her into nursery
They should have come back much earlier once they realised it was contagious

MamaCaz Mon 08-Nov-21 12:32:35

That's awful!
I'm gobsmacked that both they and your DH could think it was OK to ignore your plees for them to come back early,

I hope your DH doesn't try to play down how awful it's been when the parents arrive, because they need to know, so that they might not be so selfish and u caring in the future.

Once they do arrive, I certainly would not lift another finger, even if I started feeling slightly better. Let them take over and be responsible for all of you - not just their children - until they leave in the morning.

I hope you soon start feeling better flowers

LilyJ Mon 08-Nov-21 12:39:33

As well as you being very heavily “put upon” with the added risk of catching the bug - which sadly was proven. Surely, most parents would want to be with their little ones when they are so poorly? I really feel for you, what a situation to have been dumped in. I would definitely take to my bed just before they arrive and leave your accommodating husband to cater to their needs.

Riverwalk Mon 08-Nov-21 12:41:12

I'm sorry that you've all been so ill.

Setting aside the sickness and their refusal to return early I think it a bit of a cheek in the first place to expect you to have two toddlers whilst they went off on a five-night jolly shock

I think it perfectly reasonable to let them know that it's been very difficult for you both. And don't agree to such an arrangement again, would be my advice for the future!

eazybee Mon 08-Nov-21 12:43:51

Well, it happened and you all survived, well done you, so there is not much point in speaking now to the extremely selfish parents who left a clearly ill one and a half year old to go away for five days, and wouldn't even return one day early, despite their son crying for his mummy.

I would however have plenty to say to your husband for his interventions, and I would flatly refuse to have the children to stay while their parents go away. If they ask why, that will be the time to tell them.

glammanana Mon 08-Nov-21 12:45:21

How selfish they both are ? totally unbelievable I would have expected them back straight away to care for their children & you and your OH.

Smileless2012 Mon 08-Nov-21 12:47:47

What a nightmareshock. I agree with rosie stay tucked up in bed and leave your husband to it as he seemed to think it was a good idea for the children to left with you in the first place Blueant.

Don't play down the difficult time you've had and how ill you've been, they need to know so the next time they want to have a jaunt and leave their poorly children with you, it should come as no surprise when you say no.

As for your H, make it plain that if this were to ever happen again and he goes against your wishes, he'll be left quite literally 'holding the baby'.

Feel better soonflowers.

Shelflife Mon 08-Nov-21 12:55:13

I am speechless ! Firstly I feel your husband should always back you up. But more importantly the parents should never have gone in the first place after the child had been vomiting. Five nights is a VERY TALL ORDER at the best of times. As for not coming back as you requested , unbelievable!!!
You must be drained physically and emotionally and I would be tempted to have the childrens bags packed and coats at the ready when they arrive this evening - explain that you are still not feeling well and that they leave for home asap! Easier said than done I know that , but you have more than done your bit . As you say they left you in a mess. A four hour drive home - tough !!!!! They should have come home immediately you asked them to , GP s both ill and two very small children in their care is a recipe for disaster. Had an accident happened it would not have been been your fault. If my daughter did this I would be furious.

Hithere Mon 08-Nov-21 13:07:02

Let your dh take care of the kids and you retreat to recover - let's see how well he can manage by himself.

If I was the parents of the kids, my kid would have been cancelled the minute my kids vomited

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 08-Nov-21 13:11:56

How selfish and uncaring. How can any decent parent refuse to come home to their sick child and just carry on enjoying themselves? As for your husband, words fail me. I agree with eazybee. Also I would leave the sheets etc in their bedroom for them to make the bed up themselves and ask them to strip it for you in the morning and also the children’s beds. If they want breakfast leave them to get themselves some toast and to feed the children. Say you still feel too ill to face food. And let your husband look after himself as he failed so badly to look after you. I hope you soon feel better.

notgran Mon 08-Nov-21 13:13:33


Visgir1 Mon 08-Nov-21 13:18:54

Outrageous behaviour from the parents.
And your DH.. Well? Don't let him get away with this tell him to support you not sit on the fence.
Never do it again, I'm staggered they asked in the first place and tell them, never again.
Agree bags packed ready by door.
Hope you are feeling better soon.

janeainsworth Mon 08-Nov-21 13:21:44

I agree with Riverwalk, 5 nights is far too long for two toddlers to be left with grandparents, regardless of any sickness.
Blueant in future, make sure it’s you who sets the boundaries, not your daughter or husband. You don’t have to refuse to have the children, but don’t be afraid to spell out what you can and can’t do.

Hithere Mon 08-Nov-21 13:33:01

I would not offer to take the kids for an extended period of time again - they need to parent their own kids and get their priorities right

Sapphire24 Mon 08-Nov-21 13:46:15

Wow staggered! Firstly that they'd leave children so young for so long, and that they didn't come back when you contacted them. In my experience it's tiring enough looking after children when you're fit and well, let alone when you're ill...sending you big hugs. I really can't imagine what you'll say. I know how I'd feel ....completely used and let down. Please let us know how you get on. Xx

SachaMac Mon 08-Nov-21 13:53:55

What a terrible situation, hope you’re feeling better. It’s really thoughtless and selfish of them to have dropped you in it like that. Such hard work too with all the stripping of beds etc. Children usually want their parents when they’re ill, I couldn’t have left mine like that. I’d definitely have words with them about it and tell them in no uncertain terms you won’t ever be put in that position again. It’s a big ask expecting you to have them for all those nights anyway, even if the children were well. Much as we all love our grandchildren there are limits!!

Teacheranne Mon 08-Nov-21 13:54:47

Reading this post has made me feel very selfish of the times I left my children with my parents while my husband and me went on a weeks skiing holiday! My parents were fairly young, in their fifties, but dad was at work all day leaving mum with two children, initially one aged 3 and the other 5 months. The following year I had another baby so our eldest came on holiday with us and my parents had one aged 18 months and one aged 5 months.

It must have been really hard work and I don’t think I would agree to do it but at the time I didn’t think about that - very selfish I know.

Had my children been ill and I was going on a reunion in this country, I know I would not have left them but whether I could have come home early from abroad, I’m not sure. You seem to have just about coped and I suggest you have a good rest now, maybe take longer to recover than necessary so your husband realises how his lack of support affected you.

Maybe tell your daughter something about the extra washing you had to do or the lack of sleep but I would hesitate to say enough to cause a permanent rift between you. You obviously love your grandchildren and don’t want to risk not seeing them. Stay in bed while your daughter is with you, don’t go shopping for food or sort out beds for them, they can do that for themselves.

Wheniwasyourage Mon 08-Nov-21 13:56:54

Lots of good advice here, Blueant. I hope you feel better soon and can let us know how you get on tonight. Don't let yourself be talked round by your family who are being so selfish and uncaring. I hope your little DGS is better soon too. flowers

sodapop Mon 08-Nov-21 14:29:52

I agree with Teacheranne stay in bed when your daughter arrives and let her sort everything out. Make sure your husband takes care of you during your extended recovery period as well.
I'm sure once you are all well again it won't seem like such a trauma.. Hope you feel better soon Blueant

Shelflife Mon 08-Nov-21 14:34:29

When your daughter arrives explain as calmly as possible what has happened , tell her and your SIL how difficult but has been and that you would prefer them to go straight home because you are exhausted. The more I think about this the more difficult it is to believe that parents expect you to have the children for 5 nights - They are so young! They have been very selfish and if you don't let them know that they may try again - please be warned and don't allow this to happen again .

Peasblossom Mon 08-Nov-21 14:56:09

I wouldn’t make them drive home. I guess they’ve already done a fair amount of travelling. I’d be too worried they’d have an accident.

I would say ‘Thank goodness you’re back’ and go straight up to bed though. No prepared meal for them (not a good idea with a tummy bug if they ask) and just leave sheets etc for them to make their own bed.

I’d just say goodbye normally in the morning.

But if there’s a repeat request I’d just say ‘No. We know now it’s too much. We really didn’t manage last time.”

Confrontation will only sour things. They’re not entirely to blame. After all your husband kept telling them it was alright and they believed him.

MercuryQueen Mon 08-Nov-21 16:25:44

What a terrible thing to do to the children!

When my kids were little and sick, they wanted Mom. I couldn't move without a toddler glued to me, and spent many hours with a sick wee one sleeping in my lap. Even now, they want me when they're sick (teens to 9 yo at home). I can't imagine dropping them off with anyone in that state.

I also can't imagine doing that to anyone minding my kids, but my first thought was for the kids in this mess.

Heck, even my adult daughter will call up and whine when she's sick. "Why can't you come take care of meeeeeee... Can Dad come get me?" LOL!

SueDonim Mon 08-Nov-21 16:30:41

That’s pretty shocking behaviour by your daughter and son-in-law. You’ve been taken for a ride. They need to face up to their responsibilities- when you have children you can’t always live the life you desire.

I’d take to my bed from now on and leave your husband to deal with the rest. Also suggest that your dd & family stay in an hotel and now with you. They’re likely to get the bug anyway if they’re in your house and stay even longer! 😫

SueDonim Mon 08-Nov-21 16:31:13

not with you.