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Minding GC for four days

(93 Posts)
angela998 Tue 10-Oct-23 13:50:58

My S and DIL want to go on a break overseas for 4 days and have asked me if I would look after the GC aged 1 and 3 in their own home. I would love to help out but, as I would have nobody else staying with me or nearby, I feel the GCs safety could be jeopardised if something happened to me. Perhaps I am being over cautious but four friends have had heart attacks/strokes, one fatal, over the last 18 months. If this was to happen to me, my two GC would be helpless. I think my S and DiL feel I am just using this anxiety as an excuse not to help. I would welcome any advicethoughts.

Ilovecheese Tue 10-Oct-23 13:54:41

I think you are being sensible. The children are very young and the overseas break is nothing that can't be put off until the children are at least old enough to know what to do in an emergency.
That said, have you any other adult children who could join you?

rosie1959 Tue 10-Oct-23 13:56:16

Is there any reason to think you may become seriously ill over these 4 days. You don’t mention your age in your post.
If you would like to look after the children I am sure your son & dil have friends nearby that you could contact in an emergency or just to check in with you over the 4 days.

vegansrock Tue 10-Oct-23 14:04:48

1 and 3 for 4 days - a lot could go wrong! They will be missing their mum and dad, may wake through the night and will certainly be up at the crack of dawn. And want feeding and entertaining all day. I wouldn’t do this on my own to be honest.

Theexwife Tue 10-Oct-23 14:37:20

I understand the thoughts of the parents as they will not think about anything bad that could happen to you.

If that is your only concern then you could have someone contact you at various times during your time there to make sure you are okay. Do they have neighbours close by that would be aware if something had gone wrong?

It is not something I would want to do as I do not like having the responsibility of caring for young children. I would be in a state of anxiety for the whole time, it worries me when I have to dog sit for relatives.

lemsip Tue 10-Oct-23 14:42:00

I would decline, I love my grandchildren but would not do what you have been asked to do. I think it is a cheek of them to even ask you for that matter!

at their ages they will cry for mummy/daddy when awake in the night.

pascal30 Tue 10-Oct-23 14:45:30

How far is your Son's house from your home? Do you have a friend who could stay with you and help.. or do they have close friends you could call on, or their babysitter maybe. I think it could be doable if you have enough help but it will be completely exhausting even with help..

Katyj Tue 10-Oct-23 15:09:32

No I definitely wouldn’t do it, I think their far too young.As vegansrock said a lot can go wrong. I would tell them to put it off until the children were at school all day, much easier.

Lovetopaint037 Tue 10-Oct-23 15:25:05

Between one and three! Well I have been a very hands on gran but to have full responsibility on your own for 4 days (4 long days) is too much. Tell them it is too much. Would cause you too much worry. They are babies and no matter how caring you are they are not your full responsibility. Say no.

Dempie55 Tue 10-Oct-23 15:33:28

My daughter and her husband leave my grandson for a night or two now and then, but they get my SiL's parents to come and look after the toddler in his own home. They have never asked me - I'm a widow and I think they realise I would be very anxious having sole charge. I think it's much easier if there are two pairs of adult hands available. So, with TWO children for FOUR days, I would just say it's too much for you by yourself. What about the DiL's family, can't they help?

Hithere Tue 10-Oct-23 15:50:51

4 days and that young is a lot

If you do not feel comfortable, the parents should respect your decision and make other arrangements

Aldom Tue 10-Oct-23 16:14:52

Many years ago a friend used to look after her baby grandson in her home, while her daughter was working.
One day the mother arrived at her mother's house to collect her baby.
Baby was safe in his play pen.
Grandma, aged only late 40's lay dead on the sofa. She was perfectly well earlier in the day.
So, no, you are not being unreasonable. It's too much responsibility without back up of some sort.

dogsmother Tue 10-Oct-23 16:23:40

I would be thrilled, I have no reason to expect any sudden fatal events in my life.
Seriously if you are young and fit enough to cope with them then don’t worry. If they trust you you are quite honoured.
It is not good for you to live your life anticipating imminent doom.

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 10-Oct-23 16:26:16

I was exhausted after looking after our 2 GCs when they were tiny and I had MrOops to help. On the 4th day he had to take the day off and I stayed in bed.
You need back up, what if you get Covid?

When in doubt, don’t.

Witzend Tue 10-Oct-23 16:31:59

Far too much to ask, IMO.
I’d be worried, too, about ‘anything happening’ to me.

We’re having the Gdcs for 3 nights, 4 days over half term, but they’re 3 3/4, 7 and 8, relatively easy now. Dh will be here to help but TBH I will still be knackered at the end of it.
(We are 74 and 76.)

Skydancer Tue 10-Oct-23 16:35:54

What you perhaps could do is ask a friend to come along with you. You could say it is because you lack the confidence to look after the children alone. Alternatively ask for contact details of any friends or neighbours that you could ring in case you need to. This might give you the reassurance you seek.

62Granny Tue 10-Oct-23 16:51:13

My husband was a fit and healthy 62 year old when he had a stroke, he was walking home after have had his eyes tested. Sudden illness can occur out of the blue anytime. Being anxious and probably tired can won't help the situation. I would say no unless you have some back up.

NotSpaghetti Tue 10-Oct-23 16:57:02

If you want to do this you will need to have someone "check in" with you a few times a day if you feel anxious.

I wouldn't want to do it alone and I know I'd be too tired by day 2 or 3 to be any use.

Good luck if you do.

Katyj Tue 10-Oct-23 17:03:57

We had our Dgs for four days aged 3 this was a long time ago, I was late 40s then. I hurt my back on the first day could hardly move, never done it before, or since , good job dh was there to help.It’s too much in my opinion.

Whitewavemark2 Tue 10-Oct-23 17:23:16

We always had the grandchildren for a week every year and took them away on holiday from the age of 3 I think. But there were two of us and both pulled together to make it work. This lasted until they grew out of going on holiday with gran and grandpa.

It was exhausting, but I enjoyed every second of it. But ….. I would never have done it on my own. I was in my 60s then but still felt tired at the end of the week of cycling, surfing, walking barbecuing, fishing etc etc. there was no let up for 7 days.

Whiff Tue 10-Oct-23 17:34:19

I think you are being sensible. My grandson's are 5.5 and nearly 3. But know I couldn't look after them overnight let alone for 4 days as I am on my own. When my daughter and son in law go out until late at night or away for 2 days my son in laws parents look after them at their house.

It's easier to look after children over night if their are 2 of you.

I have looked after both boys for 3 hours during the day . And looked after the oldest from before 9am until 5pm at my bungalow and even took him out on the bus but only local .

I know my limits also I am disabled but mobile but do get tired easily. I am 65 and been widowed since I was 45.

Callistemon21 Tue 10-Oct-23 17:44:57

It's a big responsibility on your own, they could both get upset if their parents aren't there however well you know them.
The parents would be abroad, not even in this country where they might be able to drive back so no, I wouldn't want to do this.

Can they not wait until the children are older?
Or just an overnight break in this country and you could ask a friend to help you?

SueDonim Tue 10-Oct-23 18:09:38

I wouldn’t do it. Four days is too long imo for a baby to be away from its primary carers.

I understand your concern about being taken ill, too. It’s most unlikely but it could still happen. I was talking and laughing with a younger friend one evening last week. Twelve hours later, she’d had a stroke and was in hospital. Fortunately, she’s on the mend but it came out of the blue, she was as fit and healthy as the next person.

Chardy Tue 10-Oct-23 18:24:40

With two children (one gets up early, the other stays up late?) you could be doing 18 or 20 hour days! DGD was so easy to have stay for one night, and I was shattered at the end of it!
How about the couple go for an overnight somewhere near (date night, dinner, trip to theatre/cinema) first?

Greenfinch Tue 10-Oct-23 18:24:47

I completely understand your anxiety. We had sole responsibility for our twin grandchildren from when they were born. I was 60 and DH was still working full time and so I was on my own all day long. I frequently wondered what would happen if I had a heart attack or fell when carrying them downstairs. Don’t do it unless there is another adult to help .