Gransnet forums


Did you get this help ?

(26 Posts)
NanKate Sat 19-Oct-19 09:10:33

I’m struck by how many of us help with our grandchildren and give their parents time to have a weekend away or a night without the kids.

In the 1970s my parents only occasionally babysat (they didn’t live nearby) but I know they would never have given us a weekend away. They were wonderful grandparents but thought that our son was our responsibility not theirs. How times have changed.

What is your experience ?

SalsaQueen Sat 19-Oct-19 09:15:29

My sons are 38 and 3, and we never once had a babysitter or childminder, nor did I go to work when they were growing up. In fact, our first weekend away was when the eldest son was 19.

GrannyGravy13 Sat 19-Oct-19 09:20:49

We had to have a paid "Nanny" and then when the elder ones where all at school an au-pair. My Mother and step father were abroad with my sister, my Father and step mother were 21/2 hours away and never ever babysat.

Mum, step father and my sister returned to the UK just as I found out I was pregnant with our youngest (total surprise after 8 years) and as they were only a 10 minute walk away volunteered for babysitting duties and several weekends away each year. I think they just enjoyed being able to see GC as and when as opposed to school holiday visits 4 or 5 times a year.

Humbertbear Sat 19-Oct-19 09:21:03

My mother was my ‘childminder’ for my daughter for 18 months until I stopped work to have another baby when my daughter was 3. My mum loved doing this. She was only 52 and suffering from empty nest syndrome. However I paid for all the food my daughter ate. 45 years later there is still a very strong bond between them. Later, My mother travelled by bus once a week to collect my son from nursery so I could take a City and Guilds course. My parents rarely babysat would have the children to stay for a weekend.
I have done more school pickups in the last 14 years for our three grand children than I ever did for my own children. This looks set to continue once a week for another 10 years! I’m happy to spend time with my GC but wish my son and his wife would think about feeding us when we go to babysit!

MawB Sat 19-Oct-19 09:22:59

A very valid comment and I often feel that way Nankate ! But then I also realise that my parents did not have as close a relationship with their grandchildren.
Swings and roundabouts!

Humbertbear Sat 19-Oct-19 09:24:19

I do wonder who is going to look after the next generation of GC if our children have to work till they are 70

EllanVannin Sat 19-Oct-19 09:25:30

My parents had the children quite regularly when I think back. School holidays during the late 60's, or if I went on holiday in the 70's. Even after my dad died, mum would enjoy having the company of the growing girls until they had their own friends when everyone saw less of them anyway.

I did a lot of looking after GC when the time came and was only too glad to " take charge " when times arose, step GC too who've all grown into adulthood and call me nan the same as my own do. I think it's important for GC to grow up knowing who their forebears are.

crazyH Sat 19-Oct-19 09:34:01

Between her parents-in-law and me, we practcally brought up my daughter's 2 children. They are teenagers now, and we still do the school runs between us. I don't mind at all. That's one way of getting to see them . Their weekends are filled with shopping , meeting friends etc. though I am quite often invited to their house for Sunday lunch.

tanith Sat 19-Oct-19 09:35:19

My own parents were happy to have the children or come to sit in our house and my lovely Mum came to stay for the odd weekend so we could go away. My MIL never had the children once, never babysat ever. She had a very lonely and sad old age whereas my Mum was loved to bits.

MawB Sat 19-Oct-19 09:36:57

Us I expect Humberbear - fighting fit into our nineties! grin

Katyj Sat 19-Oct-19 09:37:55

How times have changed.My mum and dad looked after the dc whilst I worked part time, mostly evening work, until dh came home from work.They Flatley refused to babysit, not even special occasions, as they always went out four times a week and wouldn't miss it no matter what, still annoys me to this day. Never had children overnight either, but did take them on a few holidays, when they were older.When I tell mum now my dgc are staying over, she doesn't understand why they need to, and says children are better off at home in their own beds.

crazyH Sat 19-Oct-19 09:39:06

To answer to your question, whether I got this help from my parents - they did help when my children were born, but I left to go abroad, when my children were 2 and 4. I can still see my mother's sad face at the airport.

NotSpaghetti Sat 19-Oct-19 09:43:54

No. We had no help from anyone.
Didn't want any. We lived on a tiny income (both part-time for years) so that we could always have one of us with the family.

Scentia Sat 19-Oct-19 09:47:26

I am desperate for my DD and SiL to go away or even out for the day without their son. I would love to help them and have my DGS all to myself for a bit. He is only 5 months so I know that day/weekend will come, just not yet!

Teetime Sat 19-Oct-19 09:50:34

No I didn't get any help. My mother insisted I have my first baby adopted (I was only 16 - she has since found me and we get on juts fine. When I then exonerated myself in part by getting married (to the wrong person) and having another baby only wanted me to take the baby to see her when she chose and only occasionally and only on her invite would have her for a few hours but never babysitting. M MIL was too busy bringing up my brother in laws 3 children to help me so DH and I juts got on with it. I worked shifts and weekends and I am afraid she became a latch key child at 10.

KatyK Sat 19-Oct-19 09:51:46

We didn't have much choice. My husband's parents died in their 50s within a year of each other when our daughter was a baby. My mother died when DD was three. I was 23. It was difficult. We couldn't pay our bills so I had to get a part time job and put her in a nursery. I felt terrible about it but we really didn't have much option. I know many people use nurseries now, but it wasn't really the case in the '70s. If we had a night out, my sisters used to babysit.

WishIwasyounger Sat 19-Oct-19 09:54:34

No we had no help from our parents as both sets lived far away. I do remembr being in baby sitting circles for a night out and thats about it. We did take the children lots of places with us though.

Witzend Sat 19-Oct-19 09:55:47

No, but we were living oversea when dds were small. Not that I'd have asked my parents anyway - my mother had done her bit with 4 and not much money. The only time I ever asked her for help - she didn't live nearby - was to dog-sit for a whole day when I accompanied a dd to a university Open Day a long distance away.

OTOH I don't begrudge helping dd with childcare, or having Gdcs for a night or two to give them a break - Gds is not a good sleeper so they rarely get an unbroken night's sleep. Housing is relatively so much more expensive now, so they both need to work to pay the mortgage - and childcare costs are ruinous.
I had no need of such help when dds were small anyway.

grannysyb Sat 19-Oct-19 09:57:27

My ex mother in law was a huge help, she was a teacher and despite living 200 miles away she would come and collect my two and take them home so we could have a break. When my DGs were small I would stay in their house while DD and DSil had time away. I first looked after DGS when he was seven months old.Don't need to now as they can cope without Granny!

Luckygirl Sat 19-Oct-19 10:00:33

We did not go away at all without the children when they were small. It did not occur to us to mind about this.

Nonnie Sat 19-Oct-19 10:03:52

We had no family help, my parents didn't live near and I don't think would have been interested. Mil was dead and fil really wasn't up to it. We did have a great babysitting circle and wonderful friends so we managed but never went away without the children. When I was ill my friends just took over so I never had a moment's worry.

sodapop Sat 19-Oct-19 10:05:33

My father died when I was 16 and my mother was older than most parents so she didn't help at all. We mostly lived too far away in any case for it to be practical. My mother in law helped with baby sitting for short periods only. We didn't really expect that sort of help from our parents.

MiniMoon Sat 19-Oct-19 10:09:31

We never once asked my parents to stay with our children so that we could stay away.
My mother in law stayed with them for one night when DH and I went to view a shop and house we considered buying.
The children were our responsibility.

My DD asked me to look after her house and children for two nights while she and her husband went to the Lake District to celebrate their wedding anniversary.

Next month I'm doing it again as they are going to a tree house for DS-i-L's 40th birthday.

Witzend Sat 19-Oct-19 10:18:25

The first time we went away without dds was for a wedding in Sweden when they were maybe 16 and 13. I well remember sitting on the plane with dh before takeoff and saying it felt as if we were off for a dirty weekend!
Nobody ever talks of 'dirty weekends' now, do they?

We did have little Gdcs for a few nights this summer when dd and Sil attended a no-kids wedding in France. It wasn't as tiring as we'd imagined and I was happy for them to have a break - mainly for plenty of sleep! But to be fair, they would normally want and expect to take the wee ones with them.

Sara65 Sat 19-Oct-19 10:31:21

My in-laws were pretty good, we all worked in the family business, so everyone helped out when necessary, as we do now with our grandchildren.

My parents made a song and dance about everything, they never had them overnight, and if they had them on the odd day in the holidays, I’d come home to total chaos, then I’d be yelling at them about the mess, and they know perfectly well they’re not to do this, that or the other, when I really wanted to be yelling at my mother!