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Am i being treated like a mug.

(76 Posts)
Bopeep14 Fri 02-Aug-19 14:07:26

I am right to feel a little annoyed that i asked for help with childcare for grandchildren from other grandparents, and was told they cant get time off in the summer only to find out they are taking the same week off as the children's mum.
Could they not have take a different week then i would have only had four weeks out of the six is it too much to ask really?

Alexa Mon 05-Aug-19 11:49:24

Bopeep, you're a marvel to help your family as you do !

It would be reasonable to ask for exactly what help you need, which days , which hours, what sort of help.

It's possible the other grandparents cannot do their fair share of help if they don't get on with children, are in poor health, or something. So you may have to take that into consideration.

GabriellaG54 Mon 05-Aug-19 11:23:38

I live too far away for childcare to be feasible and I made clear at the outset that I too have a life and looked after my 5 with no help.
If parents want to work then don't have children if you're not prepared to organise paid childcare in the holidays without relying on relatives.
6 weeks childcare is a joke and I feel heartily sorry for GPs who get roped in and made to feel awkward as the childcare requests escalate.
Good luck to all GPs taking on the role of parents at this time of year. I know some of you feel put upon and worn out and give up so much to accommodate your AC.
I don't envy you.

moggie57 Mon 05-Aug-19 10:26:11

tell childrens mum that you find 6 weeks exhausting. there are summer camps even in the shoulednt have rto care all the time .let her find other arrangements.

justwokeup Sun 04-Aug-19 17:41:26

For my own DC, I had 2 weeks off to look after them, OH had a week off and we went on holiday for 1 or 2 weeks. So the other week/s the DC were booked into Kids' Club. It can be done without family help! We were lucky in that our employment closed for a week over Christmas but childcare is the parents' responsibility. Whether with help from family or not they need to step up and organise themselves. It's not the fault of the other GPs. I don't think you'll say anything though so I hope it has helped to have some sympathy from GNetters.

March Sun 04-Aug-19 10:24:47

DIL is looking after her children on the week off. Bopeep said that if her parents had a different week off to do childcare she would only be needed 4 out of 6 instead she's needed 5 out of 6.
The son has no holiday left.

You need to tell both sets of parents to book their holidays in the 6 weeks or atleast the majority of it.

JanaNana Sun 04-Aug-19 09:10:42

On re-reading all the posts I missed the bit were the daughter is actually off for a week as well. This is outrageous, to sit back and let you look after the children while she relaxes....I would see this as the final straw and insist she has her children for that week herself. They are treating you so badly it's unbelievable. Lots of working parents have to take separate week's holiday and cover the school holidays themselves in this way, with a little input from other sources as necessary. You are having the wool pulled over your eyes. Tell them one of them will either have to reduce their working hours to look after their own children or pay for a childminder as you are cutting back on the hours you are available.

beautybumble Sun 04-Aug-19 08:49:53

Oh no you poor thing. It sounds to me that you're such a kind and caring lady to your family and they're not really considering your feelings as well as their own. I'm sorry if I've got that wrong. I thought I did a lot for my family, but yours take the biscuit. I would TELL them all that you're hurt by their lack of consideration for you, and TELL them that you want some time to yourself. Then it's their problem, not yours. I know we as grandmothers never want to upset out children and we want to help out, but you have a life too. Sometimes I feel like saying to my children, 'yes dear, it's not as if I've got a life'. Haha, but I never do. Tell yourself you're just as important as they are and you have a life too. Good luck, and be prepared for the next school holidays. Have a plan ready and let them sort it out.

123kitty Sat 03-Aug-19 23:42:29

Not sure if I've understood: why are you looking after the children when their mum is taking a week off work for a holiday?

FarNorth Sat 03-Aug-19 22:50:14

Bopeep, it really doesn't matter what the other grandparents are doing.

You need to tell the parents what you are prepared to do, in term-time and in holidays, and that they'll need to make other arrangements for the rest of the time.

JanaNana Sat 03-Aug-19 21:30:26

Although you feel cross about the other grandparents it's up to them to decide when they take their holidays. In the same way it's up to you to be firm and let your AC know that you need to do less and have more time for yourself. Action speaks louder than words. I can see that financially it isn't easy for some working parents and many grandparents do all they can to help out but you have done more than enough. I feel they are taking advantage of you and not appreciating all you do but rather expecting it from you regardless of how tired you are. You will become more and more run down if you continue in this way, what would happen then if you couldn't mind the children. As fond as you are of your GC it is their parents responsibility to sort out the child care arrangements and not automatically expect that you will be the one to do the bulk of it. I would start by asking them to look into getting a childminder for the half term holidays in October as you need a well earned break, this might just make them realise all you do to help them and not take you so much for granted. If you don't make a stand then nothings going to change.

Esmerelda Sat 03-Aug-19 20:22:39

Dear Bopeep, I believe the best answer is for you to sit down with your children and tell them exactly what you have said on this forum. Make them understand how you feel and how you were particularly upset when, having asked if the other grandparents could help during the summer holidays and been told no, you found out that they ARE taking time off, but at the same time as the children's mother. They need to understand how upset and resentful this makes you feel and that they are taking you for granted. They need also to face the fact that you are subbing their children's food and providing all the free childcare that they should be paying for and that, by their thoughtless actions, they may very well lose your help and cooperation in future. The decision is in their hands and you are not responsible, so no need to feel any guilt.
Please do this, for your own sake ... you cannot go on like this and your children need to understand how exhausted and near the end of your tether you are. They are not mind readers so you must tell them!

Bopeep14 Sat 03-Aug-19 20:08:25

Merryweather Thank you for your lovely post.
I totally agree I was a stay at home mum until my youngest went to high school, but things are so different now, mums are expected to go back to work.
When I brought up putting the little one in nursery a couple of days a week I was told they couldn’t afford as they would get no help from universal credit,I really don’t understand why as they are both on minimum wage.
I have told them all I am retiring from looking after the children when the youngest qualifies for 30 hours nursery but it’s a while off yet.
My daughter is already preparing by going to college so she can get a job in the school system so she can be off with hers at holiday time.

Barmeyoldbat Sat 03-Aug-19 19:20:56

Boopeep, mine may have been a bit harsh but that was before I understand about the families financial situation and we all hate to see our children struggle and want to help. If they are school age and you have them school hols could you not maybe send them to some holiday scheme, I know that churches often have them.

If they are under school age, how about their 30 hours free nursery per week.

Also could you talk to your children and tell them how much you need this holiday and ask them if there is way, friends, other relatives who could help. Hope you get some help, you need it.

Hm999 Sat 03-Aug-19 18:58:42

I'm very tired after 1 day a week (admittedly I travel quite a long way to see her). I tip my hat to grandparents who do day after day.

Merryweather Sat 03-Aug-19 18:27:21

This is why I think both parents being forced financially into work is a terrible idea. Years ago mom stayed home to care for the children usually until high school age when they are slightly more responsible. Now it seems so many grandparents are helping with child care in their retirement years. Really, this is your fun time for travel, hobbies etc after all you’ve more than earned it.

Personally I think you’re a saint.

I get absolutely no help even though I’m disabled with a 5 and 7 year old. My mom may have the elder one for the odd Saturday night if I’m lucky it’s 6 a year! Not that I expect it. Even when they were first born I had no help. Trying to wheelchair around with a sickey new born. Husband was long gone.

I wish you were my mom. I wouldn’t dare ask as much as you’re doing. Please take care of yourself, little ones are very demanding and challenging. Trying to find positives for all they do is exhausting in itself!

I worry you’ll make yourself ill.
Is it 3 or 4 you care for all day? I remember from previous posts that you’ve mentioned some from your son and some from your daughter. Could they both pay for childcare for two days at least a week each. There’s working tax credits and a tax relief towards paying for it.

Take care of you xx

SuzyWoo1957 Sat 03-Aug-19 17:27:26

I think you need to have a heart to heart with the children’s parents and explain that you too have a life, that you like caring for your grandchildren but 6 days a week is too much. You’ll need to give notice as to when you intend to reduce your hours so they can make alternative arrangements and then stick to your guns.

EthelJ Sat 03-Aug-19 17:07:12

I know it is hard these days for young couples with children and all circumstances are different but when my children were young my husband and I used to take seperate holiday from work so we could cover the school holidays. Then one week together so we could all go on holiday together . Maybe not ideal but it meant we managed to cover the holidays ourselves. Only once did I ask family to help. Couldn't your family do something similar? It does seem a lot for you and the parents don't seem to be spending much time with their children.

Sara65 Sat 03-Aug-19 16:44:16


I think you’re spot on, our children never really see us as getting any older, the other thing is, I have three children, well spaced out, but six grandchildren, they all get on really well, and the oldest one is pretty independent now, but looking after five children of varying ages, can be very tiring

Sr69 Sat 03-Aug-19 16:27:20

Start as you mean to go on that's my "motto".
I've looked after my 10month old grandson since he was 3months old out of choice. I look forward to having him but it's only for one day a week and it's a real joy!!
I think your family are very selfish and don't give much thought about how you feel.
I feel exhausted just reading your situation and just because we are grandparents we do have other interests in our lives.
Good luck and I hope it all works out for you.

Nonnie Sat 03-Aug-19 16:24:34

Bopeep yes, some a bit harsh but I think you appreciate the honesty, even if it might not be what you wanted to hear. Good for you. On another thread I have been shouted at for saying what the poster didn't want to hear! grin

grandtanteJE65 Sat 03-Aug-19 16:18:39

Why are you looking after your grandchildren six days a week?

Did you volunteer for this, or step in and it has just become what you do?

Tell the parents of these children that come 1st November you will only be able to have the children on two days. If they ask why, say you have done your stint, raising your own children and now looking after their children, that you need and want to enjoy your retirement.

Three months should be ample time for them to make other arrangements. Book a holiday starting on November 2nd and go away, so they can't just ignore your reasonable request.

luluaugust Sat 03-Aug-19 16:17:41

What our AC don't always take into account is that time moves on. Maybe a few years ago you were happy to do all this childminding but age does catch up with us. I don't see you can do much for this years holidays but when they are over you must sit them down and talk it all over. If the mother is your DIL you are certainly in an unusual position as most grans complain/remark the mother's side of the family have the children more often. Not sure how old they all are but don't schools run holiday clubs now which they could go to some days?

Bopeep14 Sat 03-Aug-19 16:08:19

Thank you all for your replies, some quite harsh but hey ho that’s life.

Sara65 Sat 03-Aug-19 16:04:04

Well I don’t know your circumstances, but I’m pretty sure you’re doing way too much, and are not appreciated for it

I have one day a week off, and on that day, I have whichever grandchildren need childcare, obviously more in holidays. I love having them, but I also find it tiring, I feel that the house is always a mess , which I hate! and it’s always expensive, whatever we do.

I enjoy my time with them, and am happy to help my hard working daughters when I can , but there’s no way in the world I could do what you’re doing

Yes, you are being made a mug of

minniemouse Sat 03-Aug-19 15:51:33

Yep. They expect too much of you ! 6 days a week and all summer ! Ripping the proverbial. Not the other Grandparents problem. It is up to the GC'parents to arrange childcare. When our two were young, my parents did before and after school and if the child was poorly, if I couldn't get time off. My husband and I split our holidays, one week each for October, Christmas, Easter and he managed 3 weeks off in the summer. We had one week together A YEAR to have a family holiday. I had 2 weeks in the summer. The most my parents had was 2 days for 2 weeks. Then My employer Civil Service, brought in Part year working. Time off without pay for the summer break, but my wage averaged out over the year. It was a godsend ! We paid for childcare when the children were preschool. Far too much for elderly parents. Today's generation, not all, seem to expect free childcare. Get a break booked now !. Good luck