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Sleepovers

(96 Posts)
Woodstock Thu 29-Mar-18 11:02:34

I'm constantly being asked when my grandchildren can come to my home for a sleepover. I have a very small one bedroomed flat, and live alone (except for the dog). I find I have to keep making excuses as to why this can't happen - but, in reality, I don't want them to stay over! My home is my sanctuary, and I treasure my peace.
All six of my grandchildren live in very nice spacious homes, and if there was an emergency, then I could go to them. A lot of friends with grandchildren say it is part and parcel of being a Grandma, and their grandchildren expect to have sleepovers - even though the grandparents find it an exhausting experience.
I help in other ways - babysitting, school run, and so on. Surely this is enough?

gummybears Thu 29-Mar-18 11:12:58

If the children are being primed to ask you, then this is a particularly manipulative way of asking you for overnight babysitting.

You set the boundaries of your relationships with other people, including your children and grandchildren. Nothing is part and parcel of an extended family relationship unless all parties to the relationship want it to be.

It is totally disrespectful if your family are not taking a clearly expressed 'no' for an answer.

You don't need to justify yourself, either. You do not need to do something you don't want to do simply because other people want you to do it.

Stay firm in your refusal.

Greyduster Thu 29-Mar-18 11:14:53

Is it your GC who are pressing you or the parents? If you are concerned about the lack of space and you don’t want the upheaval simply say no, and keep saying no.

Nonnie Thu 29-Mar-18 11:35:02

Perhaps they get to sleepover at someone else's home or their friends tell them about their sleepovers. They must enjoy your company or they wouldn't be asking.

Obviously I don't know your circumstances but I wish it was me who was being asked. I should be so lucky.sad

Situpstraight Thu 29-Mar-18 12:04:15

Personally I love having the GC to stay, but I don’t live in a one bedroomed house.

I imagine if you said yes you would have to have all 6 of them to stay, (although probably not all at once.) and that would be rather daunting.

As they say, you can’t put the Genie back into the bottle, So Stick to your guns.

PamelaJ1 Thu 29-Mar-18 12:31:15

I don’t know how old your GC are but I know I love having mine to stay. I only have one. We have 2 spare bedrooms but he sleeps on a chair/bed thing by our bed.
If you feel too pressurised perhaps you could limit it to 1 at a time and make it really special.
Having said that then I must also say that you have a right to do as you like.

MissAdventure Thu 29-Mar-18 12:36:08

Maybe ask if you can go to theirs for a sleepover?
You and the dog!

OldMeg Thu 29-Mar-18 12:59:30

Of course you can’t have sleep overs if you’ve one one bedroom.

I’d dispute they are exhausting, depending on the age of the child. By the time they’re 3+ it’s much easier.

Nannarose Thu 29-Mar-18 14:50:04

It does depend on the age. I think older ones think it fun to bringing their sleeping bags, and bed down on your living room floor, watching films, eating snacks.
Sure, you won't get a peaceful evening, and will need to do a good hoover next day, but you can dragoon them into helping.

My cousin and I were talking about 'staying over' at our grandmother's the other day. Of course, we didn't watch films, and didn't call it a 'sleepover'. But we played lots of card games, played with her lipstick, tried on her scarves & jewellery, she told us old stories and sayings, and we thought ourselves the bee's knees!
She became too ill by the time my sister was of an age to stay over, so my cousin & I count ourselves as blessed.

I say this, not to persuade you to do something you can't cope with (I think that wrong) but just to share an experience.

BlueBelle Thu 29-Mar-18 15:37:54

Oh what a shame to miss out I love having my grandkids for sleepovers or stay overs but then we are all different I ve had keys cut for them ( which they never seem to use ) so they can come and go any time
I remember how I loved staying over at my Nans
However if this is not for you then it’s not and you ll just have to say that to them, excuses arent working as it leaves the option open for another time so you ll have to be open and say it’s not something you’re up for and your children and grandchildren will need to acknowledge that and hopefully understand
Do you feel one night here or there would really upset you, you might even enjoy it it’s a hair breath before they re up and away and gone without a backward glance
Just be honest

sodapop Thu 29-Mar-18 15:50:37

I'm a bit in two minds about this Woodstock I understand you value your space and I am much the same but grandchildren soon grow and move on so this stage will not last.
I would try Nanarose's suggestion of an air bed and sleeping bag in the living room for an overnight stay only for one or two children at a time.
If you really find it all too difficult then you are right to say no.

Maggiemaybe Thu 29-Mar-18 17:06:52

Some of my best memories are of staying over at my Grandma's, sinking into her feather bed (there's a song in there somewhere grin), and I love having DGS1 and DGS2 over for sleepovers together. They're the same age (cousins), and get on so well - that's the main draw for them, rather than just being at our house, though we always have a few fun things lined up for when they come (a bit of baking, a movie night with popcorn, etc). I wouldn't deny that it's tiring, though, and I don't know how I'll get on when the sleepover's for three of them, or all four. I'd give it a go if you can bear it, Woodstock, just with a couple of them. You might find it easier than you imagine, and you might enjoy it too. And if you don't, you can make it the last one!

Grannybags Thu 29-Mar-18 18:02:04

I have our granddaughter for a sleepovers in the holidays but mainly because it's easier for us not to have to pick her up early two mornings running. The younger one goes to nursery so I don't volunteer to have her too!

BlueBelle Thu 29-Mar-18 18:20:27

Two grandkids live too far away overseas,but my other five meet up twice a year and sometimes all five have been at mine I have a big old (very old) house and they used to love playing hide and seek it all got very messy and noisy but all I think is when they re all adults I want them to remember back to these fun days and if they say ‘ remember when we used to play round Nans and hide under the bed or in the attic’ then it ll all be worth it. they re teenagers now so it doesn’t happen the same any more and I miss it, now when they meet up they sit on their phones or go shopping no fun at all 😂

Luckygirl Thu 29-Mar-18 19:01:28

I feel sad that we no longer do this, as my DC do not ask because they know my OH would now find it too stressful.

A GC will happily sleep on the floor in a sleeping bag - that's half the fun! - so having one bedroom should not preclude them staying.

BUT - your home, your decision.

harrigran Thu 29-Mar-18 19:08:27

Sleepovers with Grandma and sleepovers with friends is the thing now, ours are always having them.
We are flattered that ours care enough to want to come and they have their own rooms here.

coast35 Thu 29-Mar-18 20:55:35

I have my 7 year old grandson tonight. He is upstairs in his bed now reading till lights out at 9. I am what a friend of mine calls “joyously exhausted”. He is and will be our only grandchild and I love having him to stay. My husband had to go out tonight so I was on my own. He is great fun. We decorated hard boiled eggs for rolling down a local hill on Sunday. Daddy can take him up the hill!!!

lemongrove Thu 29-Mar-18 21:09:56

I don’t see how it can be done with just one bedroom.
How old are the children? My DGS sleeps here sometimes and the younger ones are already looking forward to it happening.I have mixed feelings about it tbh.
Grandparents come in all ages and we are at the older end.
We find we are tired after having them for a few hours with non stop activities and value a bit of peace and quiet in the evening.
I wouldn't do it at all in a one bedroomed flat, but would
offer to do it at their houses if the parents want a night away.

tassiegran Thu 29-Mar-18 23:01:03

We don't have sleepovers. I only retired from a physically demanding job last year and could not manage young children staying over. It was worrying enough when I had them after school when I had been at work from 6am - I would be afraid I would fall asleep which did happen (not when they were here but it often happened other days) as I was exhausted. I am now heading towards 70 and do not feel up to minding them overnight, we do enough during the day which is not what I planned for my retirement anyway.

cornergran Thu 29-Mar-18 23:11:49

I wish ours could, they used to but family circumstances changed and it now doesn’t happen. Having said that if it’s not something you feel able to offer then you mustn’t be pressurised. If the parents want a night away maybe try a sleepover at their home as lemongrove described, we’ve done that too and it is easier as everything you or they need is to hand. You must do what you are comfortable with, grandparents aren’t tins of baked beans, we are all different and can offer different things.

Deedaa Thu 29-Mar-18 23:33:45

GS1 stayed with us one night when he was 6 and DD was in hospital having his brother. He's never shown any interest in staying again and, as they only live 10 minutes away there's not really any reason to.

paddyann Thu 29-Mar-18 23:57:07

I have one GD half the week and have had for almost 7 years ,theother GD'slove to come to stay and they tend to all sleep in one double bed although we have 3 spare rooms.Its lovely hearing them all chatting and giggling together.When GS comes he has his own room away from them so he can use his laptop in peace.I cant imagine not having them around and I'll miss them when they are older and dont want to be here as often..if at all

Apricity Fri 30-Mar-18 00:00:11

Sleepovers are a lovely part of being a Gran but they certainly aren't compulsory. Being someone who values your own space and having a one bedroom flat it's absolutely fine to say no - and to not feel guilty about saying no. Your adult children need to respect your right to say no and not feel pressured into doing something you don't want to do. There are many, many ways to show our grandchildren that we love them. 💐

Do you ever sleepover at your grandchildren's houses? That may be a good compromise offer if you are comfortable with that. It also enables the parents to go out together for a "date night" and maybe stay overnight somewhere.

labazs Fri 30-Mar-18 09:08:58

If you can cope with them ok go to theirs give the parents a chance to go away for a romantic night in a hotel then you can enjoy the kids they will have all their things to hand and when you have made a mess etc you can go home to your sanctuary!

cwasin Fri 30-Mar-18 09:18:37

MissAdventure and Apricity have both said what I would suggest. Offer to do an overnighter at their house so their parents can stay out late or maybe go to a hotel. There are drawbacks though; the children are on their own territory and they know the house rules. They may well play up. If they are at yours, sleeping on the sofa or the floor, then you are the queen in your own country and what you say goes. When DGDs stays with Grampa and me, that’s part of the fun, it’s not the same as home but it’s not anarchy either. It’s just different. We have our own little routines and rituals that make the experience special for all of us. It’s lovely.