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Looking after DGS for 2 weeks

(81 Posts)
Unasmum Tue 24-Oct-23 08:53:16

My DS and DiL want to go on a 2 week, long haul holiday and leave their 5 year old DS with me and my DH who is recovering from a heart attack.
AIBU to refuse?

Ali23 Tue 24-Oct-23 08:57:16

You are not being unreasonable. 2 weeks is far too long for a 5 year old to be left, merely for a ‘want’. IMHO

sodapop Tue 24-Oct-23 08:59:29

Seems a bit unreasonable of your son to make a long distance trip while your husband is recuperating Unasmum they would not be able to return quickly should your husband become ill again. Could they not have a shorter break somewhere more local at this point.

Grammaretto Tue 24-Oct-23 09:11:36

I don't think young people have any idea of what it feels like to be old and unwell. I certainly didn't.

I used to babysit about once a week for a family of 5 DC when I was a teenager. The baby was under a year and the parents decided to go to Italy for 2 weeks leaving me plus another girl in charge.

The night before they were due to leave, the baby contracted meningitis. The holiday was cancelled and baby recovered but was I glad it hadn't happened on my watch!

Redhead56 Tue 24-Oct-23 09:14:54

They are being unreasonable your husband needs looking after and you will be tired and stressed. Having children is a big responsibility even more so at this present time for you both.

Septimia Tue 24-Oct-23 09:22:00

What's wrong with them taking the 5 year old with them? We went on extended holidays (4 - 5 weeks) through Scandinavia with a child younger than that.

dogsmother Tue 24-Oct-23 09:22:59

Don’t think you are being unreasonable at all. To be Honest I really can’t get my head around parents in this day and age who have children and then don’t want to have family life with them but feel the need to go off and escape them.

Curlywhirly Tue 24-Oct-23 09:40:52

You are definitely not being unreasonable- 2 weeks is far too long, your DGS will miss his parents after a couple of days! And as sodapop says should your husband become ill again your son would be very far away. A long weekend away is the most they should be expecting of you.

ginny Tue 24-Oct-23 09:50:11

Definitely too long . It would be even if your Husband was in good health.
If you don’t feel up to it say so .
Maybe suggest a few days when your DH is feeling stronger.

Katyj Tue 24-Oct-23 09:50:43

Far too long for a five year old. We looked after our five year old grandson for four days, he was upset on the last day fortunately. I Would refuse this time, and see how your husband feels, then maybe offer a long weekend at some point.

Chestnut Tue 24-Oct-23 09:50:56

No matter how much he loves you the little chap will probably be bawling his eyes out after a day or two, and how do you explain that mummy and daddy won't be back for 'a very long time'? They seem to have little understanding of other people's feelings, both their son's and yours, bearing in mind your age and husband's health issues. So tell them absolutely not.

LOUISA1523 Tue 24-Oct-23 09:53:25

That will be hard work....I'm in my 50s and me and DP are well...I'm having 2 of my GD in November for 5 nights ( age 5 and 8) ....thats my limit DD will be turning 30 so her DP is taking her away

RosiesMaw Tue 24-Oct-23 10:00:42

A rule of thumb for me was “no more nights than years” and even then, max two or three nights even for a 5 year old.
Is this holiday set in stone?
I’d put my foot down very firmly.

Shelflife Tue 24-Oct-23 10:12:03

Don't do it! Your DS and DIL are expecting far too much ( heart attack or not!!!) GS is too young to be left for two weeks - sorry to be harsh but what on earth are his parents thinking of? I would never have dreamt of this for a host of reasons. Their child their responsibility, why do parents today expect so much from GP s and have so little knowledge about the needs of their children. It beggers belief!

Patsy70 Tue 24-Oct-23 10:14:24

You are most definitely not being unreasonable. How on earth can your son feel justified in leaving their 5 year old son with his Mum, who is obviously caring for his Dad, whilst he is recuperating from a heart attack. Unbelievable! Is he normally that selfish?

welbeck Tue 24-Oct-23 10:16:10

just. say. no.

you could add maybe that you were hoping one of them would come to stay for a couple of nights to help you support your husband in his recovery.

Dickens Tue 24-Oct-23 10:17:13


You are not being unreasonable. 2 weeks is far too long for a 5 year old to be left, merely for a ‘want’. IMHO

I agree.

When you commit to having children, you really do have to put your own needs and wants on hold for a few years.

An occasional weekend 'break' is one thing but a 2-week long-haul holiday is too much.

YANBU. I think it is unreasonable of them to ask you, given the circumstances. Your focus needs to be on your DH.

Glorianny Tue 24-Oct-23 10:23:31

You aren't being unreasonable at all, but if you are worried about how they will respond to a refusal, you could soften the reply. Tell them 2 weeks is too long, especially with your DHs health problems, and it needs to be properly planned. So you will do a weekend as a break for them, and a trial run for the GS, as soon as you feel your DH is up to it. If all goes well you will increase the number of nights and they may eventually get their long haul fortnight. But it will only be when you decide it's OK

Georgesgran Tue 24-Oct-23 10:33:44

Like others, I think there are 2 issues here. Most importantly is how a 5 year old will cope with separation. Two weeks, could seem as if he’d been abandoned in his little mind. I’ve had DGS1 for numerous single sleepovers, but when I had him for 4 days when DD1 was ill, he was in floods of tears on his last afternoon, begging to go home, as his Mummy would be missing him. (He was 4). It was heartbreaking and I gave in and took him to visit. Luckily with her DH’s shift pattern, I could leave him there.
The other issue is your DH’s health and in this instance, I feel should come first over your DS’s ‘want’ for a long haul holiday. DGS2 is 2 and has been with his parents to New York on holiday twice, so I think your DS (and DinL) should really get their brains into think mode!
I know it will be difficult to refuse, so get your DH up to speed and ready for a potential fallout - your son does sound a little unreasonable. This is a child, not a pet to be left.

Sago Tue 24-Oct-23 12:14:12

We have looked after our grandchildren at 8 and 2 for 2 weeks, it was hard work but rewarding, we formed deeper bonds with both of them.
We are however currently both very fit and active.
If you are not confident don’t do it.

Theexwife Tue 24-Oct-23 12:27:53

It does seem quite common now for parents to want to leave their children and go on holiday alone, some seem to see it as a right.

In this case, I would just say no I can’t do it.

Is there another set of grandparents that would do it? Not that it is your responsibility to find alternatives.

Luckygirl3 Tue 24-Oct-23 12:35:11

I would never have left mine for so long as 5 years olds. Why would anyone want to?

I would do it instantly if there were a family crisis/illness, but to do this just so they can go on holiday is frankly selfish.

Your son should not have asked this knowing how unwell your OH has been.

Just say NO!

2020convert Tue 24-Oct-23 12:53:17

How sad
For them to want to holiday without their child
For them to put such an extra burden on you when your husband is not at full health
For them to be putting themselves first

Hithere Tue 24-Oct-23 13:08:05


It is a request that may or not work for you.

Just curious, what is the timeline of the vacation?

Iam64 Tue 24-Oct-23 13:38:07

Two weeks is too long for a 5 year old. Two weeks is too much given your husband’s health, combined with your ages.
I expect you feel hurt that this request was made.
You know your relationships best, work out the best/least worst way to say NO