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Feeling guilty about my daughter

(11 Posts)
AGAA4 Sat 11-Jan-20 14:45:34

I am feeling guilty about my younger daughter. Her sister who is much older has had 12 years of childcare from me. I stopped looking after her 2 when my grandson turned 16 and his sister 14 and they were able to get to school themselves. My younger daughter has recently had her first baby and I realise that I will be unable to help as much. Both daughters live over 60 miles away. I have just finished 5 years treatment for breast cancer and am well over 70 so not as sprightly as I was when I looked after the older ones.
My younger daughter has said she is not expecting me to do regular childcare but I still feel bad!

Ilovecheese Sat 11-Jan-20 14:51:29

Same hereAGAA4
We had a big age difference between the children of two sisters. (the two of our children who live fairly locally) After regular childcare for the older children until they went to school I just didn't feel up to doing it again ten years later. Like yours, my daughter understands, but I too feel guilty!

AGAA4 Sat 11-Jan-20 15:10:07

Thank you Ilovecheese. I am glad to know someone else feels guilty. I think as mums and grandparents guilt is never far away

Grammaretto Sat 11-Jan-20 15:15:09

It's hard not to feel bad. Do they have other DGP who could help out?
It's rather the opposite with us. When our eldest were born, we were both still working and very busy and DDiL was keen to look after them herself.
Next ones were too far away and/or had other DGP.
Now DD needs help and we will do what we can but DDiL is saying no-one helped her! Aagh. You can't win.

I daresay there will be some help you can give even if it's not the same. Moral support and company occasionally even if you feel beyond full time childcare or helping out when they are off nursery or in holiday time.

AGAA4 Sat 11-Jan-20 15:38:38

Thanks Grammaretto. The other DGPs are in their 70s and 80s so not able to help much. I will visit as much as I can but feel sad I will be unable to take my littlest DGS to school as I have the older ones. I will be nearly 90 by the time he is 16!

Jomarie Sat 11-Jan-20 16:56:27

What a lovely girl your youngest daughter seems to be - she's not expecting the same commitment from you that her older sister had - she has obviously taken into account the fact that you are much older now and thus not able to do the same for her child/ren.
Saying this I would, in your position, tell her how relieved you are that she is so understanding as you feel guilty at not being able to give her and her little ones the same attention but that you will be as brilliant a "granny/nanny/nana" as you possibly can be as opposed to being a deputy/second mummy cum granny etc. as you were to her older sister,
Without going "over the top" let her know how much you are looking forward to having a more relaxed relationship with her baby/children and that you will value those odd occasions when you are able to take them (or meet them) to/from school in the future - it's a different role and one to enjoy from the start not feel guilty about.
If handled sensitively (bearing in mind the older daughter's feelings) then you could well have the very best of both worlds as a grandparent. Be positive and upbeat with a good dash of realism. grin

GagaJo Sat 11-Jan-20 17:47:48

My mum had a similar issue, but both times it was with my SiL.

When my brothers twins were born, my mum was 60. She helped A LOT, understanding 2 babies were seriously hard work. The next birth, a single baby was 10 years later. Mum was 70 by this point. SiL expected the same help. Mum just couldn't do it and SiLs nose was out of joint.

Just the way it is. We're capable of less as we become more elderly.

Ellianne Sat 11-Jan-20 17:51:46

I'm sure your daughter will understand AGAA4 especially if you find other ways to support her and her family. It's just a different time in life and you will enjoy it in a slightly different way. I agree with Grammaretto it is tricky. When our children were young the in laws were too busy going on cruises and leading their own showy lives to help us or show any interest, but 12 years later mil was there cooking, cleaning, ironing, shopping for DH's sister all the time when she had hers.

Newquay Sat 11-Jan-20 20:08:48

We have a similar problem; local DD1 had 2 DGD 20 years ago-easy peasy. They say they’re like the queen; had a 10 year gap then 2 more. As local still easy (enough) but now DD2 has a 6 year old and 2 year old and lives 3 hours away-blooming hard work now!

AGAA4 Sun 12-Jan-20 15:18:34

Thank you to all who have posted. Your advice and understanding is much appreciated thanks

endlessstrife Mon 13-Jan-20 16:53:43

It’s understandable. You can’t help getting older, and less able. Six years ago, I looked after my oldest son’s daughter from 8 months old to 3 years, three days a week. Then I hit menopause, and that has changed everything. I still look after GC, but to a lesser extent. I’ve got more babysitting duties coming up, and I know I’ll be fine, but I’m not as relaxed as I was six years ago.