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Looking after the children

(21 Posts)
Aprilshowers48 Wed 15-Jan-14 15:45:26

Am I being feeble when I say looking after mt 4 year old and 18month old grandchildren for a week is too much? What do you do? I can cope easily with the 4 year old but the toddler just wears me out and I can't wait for bedtime! I'm only 65 but feel 75 by the end of the week! Of course this isn't ongoing - we had the boys after Christmas and are needed later in the year. What do I say?

dollie Wed 15-Jan-14 15:56:18

no not feeble at all its hard work looking after toddlers...tell the parents you are finding it too much and cant do it for lengthy periods...they should understand that its too much for you...

glammanana Wed 15-Jan-14 15:56:20

I do think if you have committed to later in the year there's no way around it without causing upset to plans,but between now and then have a look if there are any mums & tots groups by your home and make arrangements to go there a couple of times a week,whilst you will still be "on call" the little ones can get rid of any excess energy for a couple of hours,or enlist the help of a trusted friend for some walks in the afternoon followed by an afternoon nap for you all.Remember to get to bed early and catch up on any sleep thats the secret,the most I have had for a week is 4 DGSs and it was not as frightening as it sounds once you get over the shock hmm

Mishap Wed 15-Jan-14 15:58:35

Difficult one this - I too am 65 and could not see myself dealing easily with a week. I have done weekends/3 days with a similar aged duo, and been on my knees afterwards. And I have had individual older (house-trained and civilised) GC for a week in the summer - but I have other family around and they take him/her off my hands now and again and go out somewhere.

A lot depends on the children themselves - on their personalities and how familiar they are with being left.

One of my DGDs is as easy as pie - smiling, placid etc.; but I have one GS who wears you out just looking at him!!!

When I have two here I sometimes ask my friend to come round too and she lends a hand - she has no GC, and is unlikely ever to have any, so she enjoys it.

One of the things I find hard is that I don't like to say no, as they may stop asking - and I would hate that!!

Aka Wed 15-Jan-14 15:59:32

They must have a reason for asking. I'd say 'Yes' after all it's not every week and as you say, the 4-year old isn't a problem. But it's your decision and presumably they are not staying overnight?

Humbertbear Wed 15-Jan-14 15:59:49

It is too much to expect of you. I would only agree to this in case of an emergency. There is a reason why women of 60+ cannot have children. Like it or not, we get more tired than when we were 30. Can they make arrangements for someone else to help? We looked after all 3 of ours for three days but the other grandparents took them out for lunch one day and their aunt took the older two for a couple of hours. Does it have to be for a week? Could they be split up? If you must have them both for a week then try to think of ways to save your energy. Use pre-cooked food. It won't hurt if they watch more tv than usual.

Kiora Wed 15-Jan-14 16:01:40

No your definitely not being feeble. I have my 3+ & 22 month grandchild every Friday sometimes I have the 5 year old too, and it's just exhausting. I don't understand it really 10 years ago I often had an 8,7,4 and a three year old and it was fine. I used to have them for a week or so at a time with no problem. But 10 years on and it's a different story. If I was asked to look after them for a whole week I think I'd pass out. I'd have to get another adult to help me. It would easier in their own home. My husband also has trouble. 10 years ago he was funny and loved teasing them. Now he complains and can be grumpy. As a footnote I'd just like to say we still cope very well with the older 5 when they come to visit.

Aprilshowers48 Wed 15-Jan-14 16:05:53

Yes if they stop asking that would be awful. Also one at a time would be ok. The younger GS is really sweet but if you are not watching 24/7 oh dear!! Still he gets older every day and maybe now Christmas is over toddler group would be ok for him. I just wish he woke up later and wasn't so heavy

Mishap Wed 15-Jan-14 16:08:50

I guess I was assuming that this was all week 24 hours a day - maybe it is just daytimes. It is still a big ask.

Aprilshowers48 Wed 15-Jan-14 16:13:30

Such a lot of sound advice! I only joined grans net today and look what it's brought me. Thank you. I feel a lot better now and will have the older GS for the week and go there to look after them both for the other week when I will be able to take baby GS to nursery school for the days. Thanks all smile

Aka Wed 15-Jan-14 16:21:57

Then welcome April

Stansgran Wed 15-Jan-14 16:26:34

I agree with Kiora. Ten years ago I looked after my DD for several weeks as a baby and I have frequently looked after her and her brother. Now I feel drained after the summer holiday, half term comes very quickly ,next week the January stint. Each time I come home and get a hefty cold. I never indulged in antibiotics until the last few episodes. I used library sessions for mothers and toddlers,church groups,and asked the local nursery nurse training school for year we had an au pair from Latvia. Log onto your local Mumsnet and(in a whisper)netmums. They will give ideas of places to go with the toddler. Five years old is easy (,fingers crossed)but toddlers are a bit phew. I was advised ti change activities every fifteen minutes. I have a very large table and we keep moving on to new activities like the Mad hatter'sTeaparty. The library will also have CDs for loan. I made a list of possibilities and kept it at hand as when flummoxed I forget games or jigsaws we have.i know the feeling.

Aprilshowers48 Wed 15-Jan-14 16:34:02

Oh, Kiora grumpy men. Please don't get me started on that one. That really would be one to follow wink

Aprilshowers48 Wed 15-Jan-14 16:48:42

Thank you Stansgran. Lots of ideas there too. My latest game for travelling in the car with my local GC is to play "the next one to speak is a.." Could be a slimy slug, a wiggly worm or silly spider. It really works and gives peace and quiet - for a while at least

Nelliemoser Wed 15-Jan-14 16:50:28

Aprilshowers I am the same vintage as you. Yes just watching my toddler DGs is fun but exhausting. I was 29 and 31 when I had mine. Don't try to be superwoman offer to help but on your terms.

numberplease Wed 15-Jan-14 17:07:46

I was 65 when I started to have my youngest grandchild 5 days a week, usually for between 6 and 8 hours at a time. I had him until he started school aged 4 and a half, and loved every minute of it, but after all the problems I`ve had with my knees in the last year or so, I know I couldn`t ever do it again, especially as I`m nearly 71 now.

Aprilshowers48 Wed 15-Jan-14 17:11:04

That's a lot of caring numberplease and so glad you enjoyed it. One at a time must be the answer

Beamish Mon 03-Feb-14 20:49:43

Sometimes I really feel like saying NO to having 3 year old DGD overnight but then think that Hey I'm only 60, I'm still a young pup smile & surely I should be able to cope with getting up before cbeebies is on! but no I cant do it, come afternoon and Mum & Dad have retrived the DGD I have a nice glass of wine & take to my bed for 2 hours. So basically Nanny can't hack it anymore but cant stop loving every minute of it smile

Soutra Mon 03-Feb-14 22:46:49

I think it is totally unreasonable to expect grandparents to do as much. I adore my DGSs (now nearly 4 and 2 and a bit) but the longest we have looked after them was for a long weekend when DD and SIL went to New York (!) and the boys were 2 1/2 and 1, and I got help from another DD and her BF, partly as DH is not a well man , can't lift, walks with sticks and between you and me, is not and never has been a lot of use with tinies, but that is not the point. I have also had them here for 4 days (DD and SIL in Florence - they know how to live) and my Sis-in law came to stay to be my extra pair of hands. When DD (obviously fishing) once asked me how old she and her younger sister were the first time they stayed with Granny and Grandpa I could reply with total honesty - 6 and 4 - and being girls they were easier to look after than 2 little boys who are apparently fitted with Duracell batteries like the bunny!
If you didn't mean overnight and they are at nursery/preschool then it might be different, but it is so hard when one is asked to do more than you are comfortable with, as a "No" sounds as if you don't want to, not that you can't quite manage.

Aka Mon 03-Feb-14 22:55:21

I've got the two GDs overnight tonight. There are two apnea monitors flashing, and they usually go off at least a few times during the night. Added to that the 4-year old takes after me and sings in her sleep and the 2-year old wakes before dawn.

Give me the GSs any night. Yes, they run on Duracell batteries I agree but when they go to sleep they don't stir, wake up or sing in their sleep and have to be forcibly extracted from their cosy nests with a shoehorn.

janthea Tue 04-Feb-14 10:09:12

I spent the weekend with DD2 as her husband was on a 'work' ski weekend. She has a 4yr DGD, a 2yr DGS1 and a 10week DGS2. After three days and nights I felt as though I had been hit by a bus.

GGD never stops talking, DGS1 is refusing his afternoon nap and by 3pm, he doesn't know what to do with himself. DGS2 just seems to want to be carried and picked up when not feeding.

Nighttime - DGS1, after being a good sleeper from 6.30pm to 7.30am, has started waking in the night and climbed out of his cot a week ago. He is now in a big bed and wakes a couple of times and needs settling again. DGD is waking and also needs settling and of course, the baby wants feeding. Friday night we were ALL awake in 3am!!

I love them dearly and miss them when I don't see them, but I was grateful for my own bed on Sunday night and back to work on Monday. The peace and quiet of work is bliss. Anyone who says that stay-at-home mothers have it easy, don't know what they are talking about. Work is a walk in the park compared to young childcare.