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AIBU? Babysitting grandchild issues.

(47 Posts)
Js11 Tue 10-Jan-23 21:22:58

Hello all, smile

I'm a gran to a lovely 4 year old boy. I had him stay with us over Christmas and New Year for a few days to give my DS the chance to go out and relax. I love spending time with my grandson.

I live about an hour away by car from my DS, 26. I don't drive. I am single and live with my younger DS, 9 (There is 17 years between my children) My DS does drive but does not have a car at the moment. So any childcare has to be logistically organised via buses and trains. Which is very time consuming.

My DS asked me to look after my grandson this Sat as he and his wife have been invited out. However, I have plans on Sat. My youngest DS has his hobbies - football and then swimming. Then we are meeting his friend from school and the friends mum for lunch. Then we are going to the cinema at night.

I am a single parent. I have had zero child free days or nights since my DS was born 9 years ago. His father died. I have had very little support and struggled greatly at times. My DS, 26 has not bonded with his little brother and has not spent any 1 on 1 time with him.

I am looking forward to some child free time on Sat whilst my DS participates in his hobbies. Just reading the news, enjoying a coffee. That is all of the free time I get to myself every week as I work full time.

I am also looking forward to lunching with another adult and having adult conversation whilst my DS and his friend play.

I have just looked after my grandson for 5 days over Christmas and New Year. Which is really quite exhausting to do on my own with a 9 year old too. I live in a 4th floor flat. Taking a buggy up and down the stairs is not easy!

AIBU declining to look after my grandson this Sat? My DS has ignored me since I said I cant. He is not replying to my texts which is making me feel very guilty.

I don't know what to do. I don't want to fall out as it causes so much stress. What would you grans do?

Thanks in advance. smile

welbeck Wed 11-Jan-23 18:55:25

do not contact him.
you are being used.

Js11 Thu 12-Jan-23 10:22:19

Thank you everyone who took the time to comment. smile

I suggested that I can look after my DGS another Sat with a couple of weeks notice and then once a month overnight on a Sat to give them time to plan a day or night out.

I am still receiving the silent treatment ....

luluaugust Thu 12-Jan-23 10:28:53

As you are still receiving the silent treatment even though you have come up with a good compromise I would just let things rest for a short while. Is there not another gran around?

Fleurpepper Thu 12-Jan-23 10:30:56

This is awful. I hear of this kind of thing more and more. The expectations of ACs these days are totally out of order. But the worse is, the constant blackmail- THAT is really sick.

You don't want to do exactly what we want, then we will dump you! It is truly nasty and so unfair. My heart goes out to you and all who are treated that way.

What a terrible situation to be put in. hugs

Fleurpepper Thu 12-Jan-23 10:43:22

I should have said 'some ACs', not all ACs.

pascal30 Thu 12-Jan-23 10:44:08

You've been more than generous, and they are being really immature... let them reflect even if it takes sometime...

Yammy Thu 12-Jan-23 10:48:23

Keep up the No's why should you spoil your plans? I think you were very kind over Christmas what parents would not want to be with their children at that time? Where does his wife fit into all this? Does she not feel guilty and hasn't she got parents who could stand in for once?

Js11 Thu 12-Jan-23 10:49:41


All very good advice. The same as my thinking really, but when it's your own situation it's hard to see clearly sometimes!

DGS mother, her family live in another country. My now ex husband DGS grandad, well he prefers women and the bar!

So it all falls on me.

Js11 Thu 12-Jan-23 10:57:10

Oh and yes, still receiving the silent treatment even thought I have offered to lookmafter DGS another Sat overnight and one Sat every month overnight going forward. Texts are going un read... He usually always replies within an hour and calls every day. He's not called since I said no.

Madgran77 Thu 12-Jan-23 16:19:10

As you have offered something that will work for you and they are ignoring you then I really do think you just wait!! The ball is in their court! If and when he contacts you I suggest that you ask if he has read your suggestions and do they want to go ahead with that arrangement or not? . However please dont get guilt tripped into doing more than you can manage. I still think there should be some mutual support here ...why cant they look after your younger son, his brother? flowers

M0nica Thu 12-Jan-23 16:25:47

Js11, Be careful, you are starting to negotiate, by offering concession after concession. Your son knows he has got you over a barrel and he is holding out until you entirely capitulate.

Go straight back to your starting position, if DS wants baby sitting, it must be arranged well in advance and it should include car transport there and back, unless you are staying overnight.

It is clear that you are one of those loving mothers who have over indulged their adult children, from the best of motives. Now you need to roll back.

There is another thread running on sibling rivalry. How do you think your younger son will react as he grow older, knowing that he always came in second behind his older brother. You may not intend to treat your older son as your favourite, but that is how it will look to the younger one.

And as we have seen in the RF, recently, hell has no fury like a younger son who thinks he has been spurned.

crazyH Thu 12-Jan-23 16:48:37

I hate fallouts with anyone, especially family, and believe me, I have had my fair share. However, I am always the one to make the first move to patch things.
However, when it came to stretching myself, I drew the line. I had to politely decline school runs for my younger grandchildren, because I was already committed to school runs for the older ones, and I was working part-time as well.
You will have to do the same - don’t stretch yourself. You have a 9 year old, who you have a duty to. Look after your health and welfare first flowers

Oldnproud Thu 12-Jan-23 17:05:32

You are a single (and working) parent to a child.
As you pointed out, "I have had zero child free days or nights since my DS was born 9 years ago."

Your DS is part of a couple and needs to grow up and realize that your situation is actually harder than his!

Hithere Thu 12-Jan-23 17:07:36

Don't negotiate, don't offer more than you could normally do

Do not chase him

MercuryQueen Mon 16-Jan-23 05:00:40

You’re still parenting a young child, and that has to come first. Your older son can get over himself and hire a sitter if the night out is so important.

Lauren59 Mon 16-Jan-23 05:10:36

Let him sulk. Having to give up your plans, your responsibility as the mum of your younger son and travel by bus or train so he can have an evening out is beyond ridiculous. Let him hire a local sitter. He asked, you said “no” and that’s the end of it.

NotSpaghetti Mon 16-Jan-23 08:23:06

He can't be bothered to communicate on this. He has already had the answer "No" and may not be "deliberately" giving you silence.

I think you should be confident that you have answered the request and in fact you have gone further by offering another date.

Don't feel guilty.
He may actually have not answered because he can't find anything to say as there is no reason to discuss it.

When I say no to my younger son he sometimes "sounds" like he's gone cold on me but actually he's organised something else!
I phoned him once as my situation changed and I said, "yes I can actually do this after all" and he said something like, "no worries mum it's all sorted now - have a nice day off" and was perfectly merry!

I had been fretting over it. No longer.

Franbern Mon 16-Jan-23 15:43:29

Totally agree with what others have posted.
My best friend (long time now deceased) would always cancel ANY arrangements she had made if one of her AC asked her to look after their kids. She did this so often, that people stopped trying to make any arrangements with her. She found herself virtually friendless and lonely. Her AC had little respect for her as she was such a doormat for them. E

Your older son, is a parent and needs to find people nearer to where he lives for babysitting. Also, perhaps he couldpay back sometimes by having his younger brother to stay or babysitting him, to give you some time to yourself.

AGAA4 Mon 16-Jan-23 16:12:11

Don't be guilt tripped Js11. Your son is being unreasonable. Enjoy your own plans for the day. The silent treatment is to make you relent but I find this very disrespectful. Don't fall for it.

Nezumi65 Mon 16-Jan-23 16:52:11

Gosh you are not being unreasonable at all.

And don’t offer too much re the overnights - they don’t sound very grateful for it. Perhaps they could have your 9 year occasionally in return?

biglouis Tue 17-Jan-23 11:34:47

Why can your DS not pay for a baby sitterjust for once?