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Had 3 children but exhaustingly anxious when have sole care of grandson

(50 Posts)
palliser65 Sun 19-Jan-14 13:03:59

Thank you for the Sunday Times mentioning Gransnet and those grannies who admit to being scared when in charge of grandchildren. (granny Wars, New Review) I love spending the day with my daughter and grandson but dread the day each week when I care for the boy from 9 am to 7 pm alone. My grandson is charming and obedient, funny and healthy and perfectly normal but I am exhausted with worry by 7.30 pm. What is wrong with me? I had 3 children of my own and remember days of chaos and tiredness, frustration and laughter but never this level of worry. I am a very fit married retired 60 year old. My husband is still working. My daughter and husband work very hard and i happy to support them so what's the problem???

tanith Sun 19-Jan-14 13:31:47

Could it just be that the responsibility of this precious child is somehow more overwhelming when it's your child's child rather than your own children. I felt it when left alone for a very short time with my newest grandson I also wondered where it came from. I'm sure our grans will have good advice here for you

grannyactivist Sun 19-Jan-14 13:34:43

It's the responsibility I think and the constant awareness of how awful it would be if something happened on our watch. I'm not a great worrier, but every time I care for my daughter's children I am much more aware of, and attentive to, potential safety issues than I was with my own children. I know in part it's because my daughter was widowed at a young age and it's left me very aware of how a life can be lost or changed in an instant. I do fight it though and allow my grandchildren to take reasonable risks, but I am relieved each time I hand them back to their mother.

KatyK Sun 19-Jan-14 13:39:24

With my own, I just 'got on with it'. With my granddaughter, every minute of looking after her was a worry (and obviously an absolute pleasure) - will this happen, will that happen? When we had her overnight when she was a baby, I lay awake listening to her breathing for the whole of the night. Then when she was a toddler if we had her here and she hadn't woken up by a certain time, I would go in and check on her (which would then wake her up!). I would follow her round the garden in case she picked up something harmful. If she coughed I would panic, if she felt sick, I would panic, If she fell and grazed her knees, I would panic. Even now when she comes to stay (she is nearly 14) if she's not up by a certain time - yes you guessed it, I panic! Love every minute of it though smile

palliser65 Sun 19-Jan-14 13:45:04

Thank you so much everyone. Only joined Gransnet and hour ago but feel better already.

JessM Sun 19-Jan-14 14:01:41

Welcome palliser65 - I think if you were doing any busy job for just one day a week you would find it tiring because you would not be in the routine of it. You don't say how old your GS is but I assume pre-school?

Grannyknot Sun 19-Jan-14 14:02:01

palliser [smile} and welcome. x

I don't have any grandchildren yet (first one is on the way) but I'm already aware that I've "lost my nerve" around toddlers e.g. when they teeter near the edge of a step or similar and the mother is as relaxed as can be, I am restraining myself from grabbing their clothes to pull them back!

Grannyknot Sun 19-Jan-14 14:02:24

Oops that should be smile and welcome!

kittylester Sun 19-Jan-14 14:35:19

Welcome palliser. Welcome to the club. I am like Grannyknotbutsoontoknotbeknot and can see pitfalls everywhere.

But, despite that, DGS2 tipped DH's tea over himself a few months ago because I forgot to tell DH to put it out of reach and, last week DGD3 did the same - this time my excuse her mother was in the room and should have been more aware!!

Seriously, it does get easier and - children generally bounce! grin

Stansgran Sun 19-Jan-14 15:25:49

You don't say how old the DGS is but under fives are quite exhausting. I'm off to look after 10 and 8 years olds for a week and they can play or watch a DVD . Also they have homework . But I'm still in bed soon after them. Welcome to the most helpful place on the net for grandparents.

glammanana Sun 19-Jan-14 15:46:22

pallister welcome to GN,I don't tend to worry about mine now but I did when the two eldest where tiny there is 11mths between them and then suddenly one day they both went in different directions at the same time but we got over that quickly enough,now I don't worry too much but am always aware of H&S such as stairs/roads/etc but they have never come to serious harm as yet !! always have a supply of plasters & germoline in the drawer though (just in case)

Mishap Sun 19-Jan-14 15:47:14

I do think that it is harder with your GC. The sense of responsibility we feel when it is other people's children is a little different than with our own - we knew them so well that we could be several steps ahead of them, knowing what to expect; and however well you know your DGS it is not quite the same, so there is a lot more energy expended.

I do find that sometimes it is the dear OH that is the problem - when I have our GD I fear leaving the room as OH seems to be slightly switched off when it comes to being one step ahead in the safety stakes.

I hope that you can relax a bit and enjoy having him with you.

dorsetpennt Sun 19-Jan-14 17:37:59

How refreshing to hear that other grannies have the same concerns. I was a fairly laid back mother and brought my two up alone from when they were 5 and 8 without any mishaps. Yet I am far more of a hovering granny especially when I take my grandaughters out on my own. The local playground holds nothing but horrors for me. I see bashed in heads and broken limbs everywhere. I often look after them [they are 2 and 4 ], last November I looked after them for three weeks whilst Mummy was at work and Daddy had gone abroad for that time. [He is a stay-at-home dad]. It appeared to be a success, no complaints from anyone the kids survived. I just feel that if either of them are injured on my watch I'll never be able to look after them or have any unsupervised time with them.I know this wouldn't happen, my DS and DIL are very reasonable people.

TriciaF Sun 19-Jan-14 18:07:47

Brings back memories of my first grandson - they live in Kuwait, and asked me to come over and care for him when they went back to work, when the baby was 6 weeks old.
They had/ still have a sweet Indian lady who almost lives in, but had to go home for an emergency.
I found that I'd forgotten most of the routines, but soon got into the swing of it and he was a dear little baby.
They went off to work at 6.30am and was I glad to see them back at 2pm!
Somehow more a feeling of responsibility than when they're you own (though that was bad enough with the first.)

Tegan Sun 19-Jan-14 18:16:12

There's nothing that makes you realise how old and tired you're getting than looking after a small child. 10 hours is a long stretch as well. I had both of mine for 2 weeks a couple of years ago and could only do it with help.

petra Sun 19-Jan-14 18:31:01

You should have seen me yesterday. I looked after the two DGC, 4 & 7.
They wanted to play in DGS bedroom. They didn't want me in there so I sat at the bottom of the stairs so I could hear what they were doing!!

Nonu Sun 19-Jan-14 18:31:25

There are no two ways about it , childcare is a young woman's game !!
Like it or not !!

Mishap Sun 19-Jan-14 18:55:29

Definitely Nonu! We have our 11 month-old one day a week and it is a joy because she is even-tempered and placid - indeed very jolly. But a day is enough!

Leticia Sun 19-Jan-14 19:06:57

I think that it is just that they are not yours. I take a 2 year old to a playground and I get so worried and yet I let mine go up slides and climbing frames at that age-I was so much more relaxed, which is better for the child-and yet I can't help it.

Grannyknot Sun 19-Jan-14 19:11:32

dorset LOL your description of the playground sounds like an episode of Silent Witness.

Dragonfly1 Sun 19-Jan-14 19:34:46

I have my sixteen month old DGS a day a week. I see danger and disaster everywhere when he's here. I'm sure I wasn't like that with my DDs when they were little - or even with my 5 yr old GS when he was a toddler. Must be my age.

whenim64 Sun 19-Jan-14 19:48:05

I know what you mean, especially after yesterday when, in my tender care, one of my grandsons (5) tripped over his own feet and hit the TV unit with a smack. Blood poured from his nose and he was holding his wrist as I mopped up the splashes on his arms, face and legs, trying to reassure him he was going to be ok and thinking I might be needing an ambulance. A couple of phone calls to mum, lots of cuddles and some 'magic cream' on the offending parts (routine when he is sobbing with the shock of falling over) whilst I checked his teeth were intact, he could squeeze my hand and he could see straight, and we eventually decided he was ok, thank goodness. As everyone else says, it's different when you're not dealing with bumps and falls on a regular basis and they are not usually your responsibility.

Nelliemoser Sun 19-Jan-14 19:49:51

Leticia I also think that it's really that they are not "yours."

I was very quite worried when I first had hands on with DGS at his house when he was 10/11 months and SIL went abroad. I had to do nursery pick up, put him to bed and get him up one morning when DD did an early shift.

I was worried he would not like me picking him up and scream his head off. I did go along to his nursery with DD to drop him off in the morning. He was fine with me when I picked him up. Obviously a little bit anxious at times and looking about the house for his mum, but bless him he was a good little boy.

The real joy was bathing him the second night he was by then very relaxed with me and we both had great fun. I did get more confident and I would like another go.

Deedaa Sun 19-Jan-14 20:55:06

It is much more worrying looking after grandchildren. You are haunted by the question "What would I tell his mother?" Still GS1 survived my care 5 days a week from the age of 6 months until he started school. GS2 doesn't know me as well as he had one or other parent at home till he was a year old. In deference to the fact that I am 7 years older than I was with the first one DD is working from home 2 mornings a week and SiL is getting home by 3.30 on a couple of days. Fortunately, like most second babies, GS2 is being a bit more flexible and long suffering than his brother was so we are getting on quite well.

grannyactivist Sun 19-Jan-14 22:25:36

When my oldest granddaughter was born nearly sixteen years ago I still had children aged six and eight years old at home. I don't remember feeling the weight of responsibility then, with either her or her younger brother, that I do now.