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Dreading arrival of second grandchild AIBU

(101 Posts)
Ellypat Sun 06-Dec-20 19:09:42

My DD has medical issues that prevent her driving. We live in the same housing complex, and her husband works long hours, so I am responsible for driving my DGS to and from daycare. This takes up a couple of hours of my day. DGS is very high energy and stubborn. My DD and SIL find him exhausting, and often ask me to take him for a couple of hours on weekends. I love DGS, but I find him exhausting too. Now my daughter is expecting a second child, and I’m dreading what will undoubtedly be increased demands on my time. I’m nearing 70, with health issues of my own. DD’s father is dead, and SIL’s parents have a poor relationship with my DD and have never helped with DGS. I know my help is vital to DD and SIL, but I feel tired, resentful, and trapped. I don’t think there’s any solution to my situation, but I am so depressed. Anyone else is a similar situation?

EllanVannin Sun 06-Dec-20 19:23:24

You should speak up now and make your feelings clear.
AC seem to forget how old their parents are and unless they're told they'll just continue to carry on regardless.
It's unacceptable to expect you to keep going when your health is suffering.

lemongrove Sun 06-Dec-20 19:28:22

Not now ( but when I was a bit younger) and I totally understand your depression, and exhaustion.
It’s something that has to be done but is so wearing.You will have to be honest with your DD and set boundaries if possible. An hour instead of two hours if that’s all you can manage at a time. Your DD sees you as she always have ( our adult children do) and need reminding about age and health issues. Am sure others will have some practical ideas for you.

lemongrove Sun 06-Dec-20 19:28:49

X posts EV 😃

EllanVannin Sun 06-Dec-20 19:31:29

S'alright lemongrove---great minds and all that smile

Smileless2012 Sun 06-Dec-20 19:52:58

I have no personal experience Ellypat that said, your D and s.i.l. have decided to have another child despite the fact that they appear to be struggling with the one they already have.

You need to let them know what you can and cannot do so they can make additional arrangements to accommodate what they need, that you can't provide.

I don't have personal experience of spending time or helping out with looking after with GC ,but I've always understood that one of the benefits of being a GP is you can hand them back.

Your GC are to enjoy, not to make you feel "tired, resentful and trapped".

Decide what you are happy to do and let them know that that's what you'll be doing. Good luck.

Urmstongran Sun 06-Dec-20 20:49:12

Speak up. They are assuming you are prepared to double your assistance. For how long? School days? Beyond? It’s a huge ask. Which actually they haven’t. If you don’t say what’s on your mind you’re not living your life they way you’d like. Be brave - while they still have time to make any necessary arrangements. Or, say you’ll do it but want to review and discuss in 3 or 6 months. If continuing, keep reviewing. Circumstances, health & energy levels can change.

Good luck. x

OceanMama Sun 06-Dec-20 21:00:32

You aren't being unreasonable. You've done your time raising children, didn't choose to take on these ones and have your own health issues to consider. You said you are becoming resentful, so something has to change before that grows and causes ongoing bad feeling in some direction or directions. Resentment means you feel taken advantage of.

Your DD might be under the impression you enjoy helping with the grandchildren. You have an easy out here. Just explain to her that due to your own health issues, you can't do what you've been doing. If she is upset with you about that, she's not reasonable. Having her own challenges, she should understand.

Your DD does have other options. She can hire someone or ask another parent at the daycare to transport her child for her. Of she can put her children into a centre in walking distance. She can hire a home helper to do that sort of thing. You tell her how often you can keep your grandchildren. Maybe you'd be happy to do the two hours in the weekend. If not, and they need help, they can get a babysitter or home help to come to their home in the weekend. What would they do if you weren't there? They should do that.

You are important too.

Hithere Sun 06-Dec-20 21:35:58


Your dd should look for other options - nanny, mother's helper, her husband makes an arrangement at work so he can drop off or/and pick up

Iam64 Sun 06-Dec-20 21:40:28

Can you talk with your daughter about how you're feeling? Our adult children don't really understand that our energy levels aren't endless. Perhaps she also needs reminding she isn't the only one dealing with health problems. Can she and her husband afford to pay for child care (if not they would have been well advised to stop at one child). Are you in a position to offer to pay for a day/half a days child care? You need to reduce how much you do, rather than increase it

TrendyNannie6 Sun 06-Dec-20 22:04:55

I think you should be honest and tell your DD how you are feeling! I presume she knows you have health issues, your DD and SIL find him exhausting and often ask you to take him for a couple hours at weekends you say! So with them finding him hard work surely they must realise that it’s very hard for you too, I think it’s a huge ask of you, I find it really sad reading that you feeling tired resentful and trapped, you have brought up your children, I think they should look for other ways for childcare,

Callistemon Sun 06-Dec-20 22:08:37

Your DGS can't be very old so why does he go to a day care an hour away from home? He must be very tired too so perhaps that is why he is difficult. Poor little boy.
Can they find somewhere nearer?

My DD and SIL find him exhausting, and often ask me to take him for a couple of hours on weekends
So the pair of them can't cope but expect you, at nearly 70 and with health issues, to be able to do so? hmm
You have to say how you feel, that you are glad to help out sometimes but that you feel that you cannot be what appears to be a primary carer for your grandchildren.

Callistemon Sun 06-Dec-20 22:18:00

Your post is so sad, Ellypat - the arrival of a new grandchild should be a time for joy, not dread.
You really need to talk and find a practical and good way forward for all of you.

Chewbacca Sun 06-Dec-20 22:25:44

Callistemon @ 22.08 has hit the nail on the head; boundaries being put in place let everyone know where they stand.

Remember Ellypat, the word "No" is a complete sentence.

crazyH Sun 06-Dec-20 22:41:36

Yes, you must speak up. I was in a similar situation about 2 years ago when my youngest had his little boy and they were working long hours. They asked me whether I would drop the little one off at the Nursery and pick him up in the evening. At that time I was committed to helping out with my divorced daughter's children, who were older, but still needed pickups etc. So I told my son and daughter- in-law that I just couldn't offer any help other than the odd babysitting. I didn't feel too bad or guilty because d.i.l.s parents and my exhusband were also available . I had to think of myself and my well-being. They were probably disappointed with me at the time, but all is well now.
It's surprising what honest, straight talking can do.
Don't be resentful.....just enjoy the baby. I hope it will all work out for you and your DD. flowers

Ellypat Sun 06-Dec-20 22:59:31

I agree I should be open with my DD, but her mental health is fragile, and she self-harms when stressed. Childcare is very difficult to find here, which is why we have to travel so far. They are financially stressed, and really shouldn’t be having this second child. I am retired and can’t help financially. It’s all such a mess and I can’t see any way out.

Hithere Sun 06-Dec-20 23:30:57


Is your dd receiving medical care for her stress and self harm?

This is not a "wait and see" situation, it will become a long term problem if not addressed.

You have your limits - what will your dd do when you cannot continue?

LadyBella Sun 06-Dec-20 23:39:28

This isn't the same but when my children were small I worked on a Saturday. I employed a 6th form girl who was hoping to go into childcare to keep my 2 amused. She was great and full of energy and enthusiasm and she didn't charge much as she wanted some experience of looking after children. Maybe your DD could find a girl like that?

Summerlove Sun 06-Dec-20 23:42:56

OP, you need to tell your daughter you are stepping back for your health and well being.

They choose to have children, so therefore it’s their job to take care of them. You are not an unpaid childminder.

Please speak up sooner rather than later.

Your needs and wants are just as valid as theirs.

OceanMama Mon 07-Dec-20 00:47:38

I can understand why you would be hesitant to step back with your daughter's mental health issues. Her being pregnant is a perfect time to get the maternal health team to make sure she gets good maternal mental health treatment. They will have people with this focus. They should be able to help her get in home support or whatever resources they have available. If your daughter knows that you can't provide this help, it might lead her to ask for the help. Maybe you could offer to help support her with putting this in place by supporting her to talk to whoever she has doing her prenatal care? This is the best time to get onto this.

Iam64 Mon 07-Dec-20 08:44:13

Are you in the UK or US Ellypat? I think OceanMama is US so her advice sounds good.
If your'e in the UK it sounds as though your daughter is probably known to her GP as a patient with mental health difficulties. The GP will liaise with midwives and health visitors . Would your daughter be willing to meet with her doctor and/or midwife to talk about protecting her m.h. during what will be a busy and stressful time. You could contact the midwives who work with your doctor's surgery. They would respect your confidentiality.

NanKate Mon 07-Dec-20 08:55:36

Have you taken your grandson to a soft play centre? We took our two DGSs and I sat and watched whilst they chased round. We also set up an assault course in the sitting room and beyond then we timed the boys chasing around jumping over pillows etc. If you go to a park you can say ‘how quickly can you run to that tree and back’ time it and then say ‘try again and see if you can go faster’.

Best of luck.

Toadinthehole Mon 07-Dec-20 08:55:52

I think you may have enabled them..although that doesn’t help you now, I appreciate that. You need to speak now, hard as it may be, because once the new baby has been born, it’s obviously going to be harder, and more stress on you. If you were to collapse, what would happen? Is there anyone else at all, who could be called upon? Your SIL’s parents would probably love to be more involved, they’re just not given a chance because your daughter doesn’t get on with them? She needs to. Be firm, and all the best to you all.

OceanMama Mon 07-Dec-20 08:56:34

I'm not in the UK or I'd have been more specific about services, but would imagine the UK would have very good services around maternal health.

Gingster Mon 07-Dec-20 09:06:00

Horrible to feel trapped. 15years ago my DD was expecting g twins. She already had a dDD nearly 4. I knew her relationship wasn’t going to last and she did become a single mum. She didn’t drive either and money was very tight. I felt trapped and resentful because I had to help out so much. Financially, emotionally and physically. The father disappeared. I was much younger then and coped but I know I couldn’t do it now (70). You have to make a stand. Very difficult as you will worry about them all.