Gransnet forums


got to get to know granddaughter before i can babysit

(64 Posts)
NannyRodders Thu 24-Oct-13 10:56:30

i have a gorgeous 8 month old granddaughter but have been told by her parents that i have to get to know her more before I'm allowed to babysit or have her over night. i have only had her twice once when she was a few weeks old and once over night when there was probably no one else to have her so I felt like the last option..but ever since Ive not had her I have offered a few times ((I do live a bit further away than her other Nanny but then its only 30 miles and I am governed by when I got use of family car but I make myself available at every opportunity I can)) but i get it chucked at me come and see her get to know her better then you can have her. I even lent them money to buy a different pushchair got money back with in a few days but I also added to them that it would be nice to have a ''LEND'' of my granddaughter but to no avail. I'm at wits end I dont want to say to much to parents as I fear I may offend them and reduce my chances even more of seeing her. by the way her other Nanny gets to see her loads and also has her to give parents a mid week break . I'm just gutted

annodomini Thu 24-Oct-13 11:12:15

At 8 months she has probably reached the stage of being attached to her parents and a bit wary of strangers and, by the sound of it, if you don't see her very often, she might perceive you as a stranger. Could you ask them to come and visit you sometimes so that she could get used to your house? It you take her to stay overnight in a strange environment, she might be quite disturbed.

LizG Thu 24-Oct-13 11:22:22

Is your GGD your son's baby rather than your daughter's? I feel so lucky having daughters because it is easier for girls to ask their mums to do things. Occasionally I have to remind one of my daughters that there is a Nanny too because I genuinely think she forgets, I am just the easier option.

30 miles is quite a distance if you don't have easy transport, I suppose there are no buses you can use and maybe get someone to collect you at the other end. Or perhaps you could ask your offspring if they could collect you from your home. Sometimes these youngsters get so wrapped up in their own lives they just don't think.

I hope you soon find a happy solution flowers

glammanana Thu 24-Oct-13 11:59:06

Oh so right LizG if this is a DIL rather than a DD you tend to find they gravitate towards their own mum's rather than MIL.
My own DD has always come to me for childcare when I have been available and had to be reminded about other GPs she did not do it intentionally just used me as a first port of call without thinking,I will have to get used to the change in role if DS2 and his new wife have children as I am sure she will use her family for childminding purposes with me running up at the rear for emergencies.

Elegran Thu 24-Oct-13 12:28:00

She doesn't seem to see the catch 22, NannyRodders, that you can't get to know her if you hardly ever see her, and you can't see her until you get to know her. Could you ask her and your son to help you to break that cycle and build some bonds?

Mishap Thu 24-Oct-13 12:29:38

This all sounds entirely reasonable to me. At the age of 8 months, babies are just entering the period of separation anxiety.
Hop over there - you have been invited - at every available opportunity when you have use of the car and really get to know this little lass; then things might change.

It would be traumatic to have her overnight if she is not used to you - I would not have let an 8 month old of mine do that.

I had my then 19 month old GS here in the summer while his Mum was away working and he was fine during the day but distressed at night when he wanted his Mum - and he knows us very well.

Don't be gutted - these parents are just trying to do the best for their child. Do what they ask and go and see her a lot.

Above all, avoid the "other nanny jealousy syndrome" - gets you nowhere believe me. If she lives nearer she is bound to see more of the child - simple logic and noting to take offense at. My dear GSs see more of their other nanny because she lives nearer - that's fine by me and makes sense.

I am wondering in there is more going on than you are saying as you sound a bit disgruntled about making them a loan, which they then paid back - is there a problem with that?

Go and see her and ENJOY her when you can!!

NannyRodders Thu 24-Oct-13 13:23:00

Granddaughter is my sons Shouldn't really make a difference but I know it does but then my granddaughter goes and gets looked after by her mothers mum sisters her dad and step mum and others so her being attached to mummy n daddy not such a big deal she is a happy baby who will go to most people. I have offered to pick her up and drop her off when I have use of my car but i keep being knocked back...

I have no problems lending money if I got it I will lend it thats not an issue I just thought that i would ask them if I could have baby as a little extra thank you my son couldn't thank me enough for lending the money.

I don't have ''other nanny jealousy syndrome'' I think its great that other nanny gets to see her lots...I've offered to have her every 4-6 weeks which would be a lot more than I'm currently getting which is nothing at the moment. Even when they come to visit I dont seem to get much time with her as she is either being fed changed or sleeping there is never an offer for me to feed her or changer her and when i do get to hold her she is taken off me to be fed changed etc...

NannyRodders Thu 24-Oct-13 13:27:08

that's why I offer to have her to get to know her more , seeing her when they visit me or me go and see them isnt the same as having her on my own as when I'm with them I dont seem to get much of a look in with my graddaughter x

Nelliemoser Thu 24-Oct-13 13:39:44

I have been seeing DGS about every two weeks in general. I properly baby sat him two months ago when he was 11 months. I agree that 8 months is when separation anxiety is at its worst I noticed these changes even with my regular visits to DGS. He was less anxious at 6months.
I did proper baby sitting when DD was at work and SIL had to abroad for about 2 weeks.
I was needed to pick DGS up from nursery a couple of times do a Sunday afternoon and put him to bed when DD was on a late shift and the following morning get him up and look after him during the day until mum got home.
l visited the day before so he could get used to me. He was obviously anxious at times and looking for mummy but not too distressed and easily reasured. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, particularly bath time which he really enjoyed.
Do get to know her first it is very important. I also think looking after her in her own home is better as she knows where she is, a strange house and another carer would be very upsetting. My DGS other gran lives very near and he sees her several times a week but she has really bad back problems and could not manage him overnight. I am quite jealous of how often she sees him but not of her health problems. Don't let this situation with the nearer granny get to you. Good luck with this.

Granny23 Thu 24-Oct-13 13:40:39

Wise words indeed from Mishap. As all 3 of our DGC were exclusively breast fed there was no way we could have them for o'night visits. We did do some babysitting in their own homes which had been made ultra safe and where all their familiar things were to hand but never managed to settle them with a bottle of expressed BM, just had to keep walking the floor until Mummy returned. Once DDs returned to work we did a lot of the day to day childminding while the other set of DGPs, like you living some 30 miles away while we are just 10mins down the road, undertook to cover 1 full day per week. They have continued with that for 6 years, now doing school/nursery drop offs and pick ups and taking the DGC to their swimming lessons.

I do not remember any occasions, except for our Birthdays, when the DGC were brought to us for a visit for our pleasure only, but have no problem with that as we see plenty of them and are useful at the same time. Times have changed since our own children were small and we were expected to dress them in best bib and tucker and take them to visit each Grandma at least once a week.

gracesmum Thu 24-Oct-13 16:10:28

I realise how hard it is to invite yourself over especially if you feel the other granny has more time with DGD than you but you are going to have to switch off any over- sensitivity, invite yourself, take them both out for lunch/coffee/tea and perhaps offer to babysit during DGD's nap so that Mum has a break or pops out to the shops- what ever it takes! Babies do start to recognise people round about this age so it is best to tread gently - but if you have to, just explain that it is precisely because you would like to get to know DGD better and offer to help in any way you can. Good luck - it is a Catch 22 situation! If your Dil has any sense she will see how useful you can be and you will all be winners.
PS I wouldn;t rush to have her over night - we had DGS at 3 months (still BF, so DD left bottles of expressed milk) and I didn't get a wink of sleep worrying if he was still alive!!!

Mishap Thu 24-Oct-13 16:40:08

NannyRodder I am going to be blunt here - you don't know me, so may be it easier for me to say it.

You sound as if you think that time for you with your GD is a right - it is not, it is a privilege, a gift that it is not for you to demand.

The idea that you lend them money and that this might encourage them to give you time with the babe as a thank you is not a good mindset.

If you will forgive me saying so, this is all about YOU - your idea of helping them is to satisfy your needs and not theirs.

Grandmothers are in a funny situation - we love our GC as if we had borne them ourselves and we have to grit our teeth and stay back and involve ourselves on someone else's terms - it is very hard and is the first and most difficult lesson of grandparenthood.

I may sound hard-hearted, but believe me I do feel for you and do not want to see this situation continue.

You have to play it by their rules - you have no rights. Make sure that every approach you make is truly for their benefit. Be cheerful and supportive, take what comes your way with a smile; and take the knocks with a smile too - or you will alienate them and the situation will get worse, which is the last thing you want.

You cannot have a "lend" of your DGD - she is not a commodity to be traded with financial loans. Their request that you come over and get to know her well is a generous and reasonable one. Grab it with both hands and go and see her with love, not resentment, in your heart.

The MIL/DIL relationship is a tricky one and you must play it carefully if you are going to get the chance to enjoy your DGD and she is to get the chance to know you and experience all you can offer.

You have already had her overnight once, and instead of reacting to this with joy, you see yourself as a last resort - so starting with that resentful frame of mind will not help.

None of my DGC stayed with me till they were 18 months or more - so you are a very lucky nanny!!

Deedaa Thu 24-Oct-13 20:43:06

Although I was pretty much a second mother for my 1st GS circumstances have meant that I haven't seen anything like as much of his brother who is now 10 months old. While he is happy to come and see me for an hour or two and play with some different toys I think he would be appalled if he was expected to spend a whole night with me and a traumatic time would be had by all.

Tegan Thu 24-Oct-13 20:56:58

I have stayed overnight at my daughters a couple of times; when she was having her second baby and when she stayed overnight at a wedding. But the children have never slept here. I feel that they are happier/safer in their own home. It's so easy to forget just which things are dangerous to young children when you're no longer in that zone. If and when my son has children I don't expect to have anyhwere near the close relationship that I have with my daughters children.

absent Thu 24-Oct-13 21:09:10

Surely the thread title is back to front. Your granddaughter needs to get to know you – and that doesn't all happen at once.

Flowerofthewest Thu 24-Oct-13 22:41:05

Hi NannyRodders, I was at my DGS.s birth and because my DD had a bad time with post natal depression I have been a constant in his life. I was also recovering from cancer when he was just a baby so she was at my house with him most day, to keep my spirits up I suppose. What I am trying to say is that although I have seen the little man several times a week for the past three years he only started staying overnight when he was about 18 months old. We all felt that it was best for him even though this is almost his second home. I agree with others that 8 months is when separation anxiety is at its peak. The babies realise that they are a separate person from their mother and become very stressed when mummy is not there. My little man is asleep in the room with me now. He sleeps on a sofa bed and I am on the other sofa. He still asked to go home to mummy even though he is quite happy here.

I do feel for you and do understand how much you want to see your DGD but I think you should travel to them and take their offer up of getting to know the little one. There is plenty of time - she will look forward to your visits and you will soon become an important part of her life. Just give it time.

I have two daughters and they both have me as babysitter it's normal for the maternal grandmother to be the 'chosen' one. That is not said in a malicious way at all. My son's both have children but, luckily we all live quite close to each other. I hope you do get to know the little one. flowers

annodomini Thu 24-Oct-13 23:56:43

My first GD lived close by so I saw a great deal of her and her half brother. But I never had her to stay until she was over 2 and out of nappies.grin We are, nevertheless, still very close - she is now 21. I helped her mother out in many ways - the relationship with DS had broken down - but contact with GD was never in any way a reward or thanks for this assistance. Count yourself lucky to live only 30 miles from your family. My younger GC live a three hour train journey away and I don't see as much of them as I would like. And even I am so much more fortunate than those grans whose families live on the other side of the planet.

rockgran Fri 25-Oct-13 03:10:06

I guess I was very lucky that my son and wife chose to live near us and not the other grandparents. We have been the chosen ones for the past five years (convenience of course) but I have always felt privileged to be involved. (The other grandparents have another daughter nearby so it seemed fair.) They are now off to live 8000 miles away and the wrench will be all the more severe but I am very grateful for what we have had. It is always necessary to do things on their terms or chance losing out altogether. Walking on eggshells would be easy in comparison. Try to visit if you are invited - little and often could be the key to building up the relationship.

dorsetpennt Fri 25-Oct-13 09:14:19

I go up every other month to spend time with my two lovely GDs aged four and a half and two. My son works from home so I go up to give him a break and also more time to devote to his work. I have done quite a bit of babysitting in the evenings and the four your old spent part of her spring half term with me and her other GM. I'm about to embark on a marathon sit for 3 weeks. My son is off to Sweden to host and compere an event and has asked for my help. He will be home for a few days in the middle of the marathon but I will basically be on my own from 7.30am to 6.30 pm approx. This will include the school run for the 4 year old and a playgroup for the 2 year old. I have been lectured not to do my usual running around washing cleaning and bits of gardening as they don't want me to wear myself out. Just look after the children. So come week after next off I go - watch this space!!!

BetterNotBitter Fri 25-Oct-13 11:50:48

Writing with a DILs point of view here & cannot agree more with mishap

I very rarely respond to posts & considered letting this one go but felt compelled to reply hoping that the more people that point out you are being rather unreasonable will help you to understand.

The reason I think it's so important that you're very careful with the way you handle this situation is because my MIL sadly shared your opinion that she had a god given right to our new daughter (although admittedly, there were lots more issues on top of this). And this ultimately led to my husband deciding he no longer wanted his parents involved in any of our lives.

After a brief period of estrangement last year, I pressured my husband to reconsider and 'give her one more chance' hoping that she'd change her overbearing, demanding ways but sadly she didn't and eventually again my husband told them that we didn't want to have anymore contact with them. I do agree with him this time, although I still feel sad that my daughter is missing out on having the maximum number of people to love her in her life. My husband doesn't share my sadness and I very much doubt he will ever back down.

I tell you all this to try to help you see that this could easily all end badly if you don't tread very carefully, my mother in law I'm sure would never have believed her son would have gone through with 'cutting them out' but she pushed him too far for too long, so please do be careful.

As others have said, you are very lucky that you have been offered the opportunity to visit and spend quality time with your granddaughter.

You will alienate your son and his wife if all you ever do is try and get the baby 'to yourself' even if you find a way to pretend its for their benefit. There is something in you that kicks in if a person persistently tries to get your baby away from you all the time and you naturally go against that. You will make the parents feel like a means to an end. You do not need to get the baby alone to bond with her, you can do that easily in the company of her parents. If during this time you constantly try to monopolise her and complain or sulk when she is 'taken off you' etc you will find you stop getting invited round.

The overwhelming feeling my husband and I could never get over was why on earth my mother in law wanted to put our baby through the ordeal of separating her from us when she knew that the baby wasn't familiar with her. It is purely selfish and it does not show that you have the child's best interest at heart, only your own.

I could go into the whole daughters mother vs sons mother thing, but I think I've probably said enough for now, like mishap I do not mean to sound harsh.

I hope you can find a way to be happy with your son and his wife's wishes, and develop a good relationship with your granddaughter, grandparents are so important in a child's life.

Lona Fri 25-Oct-13 12:04:27

Great post Better

Deedaa Sat 26-Oct-13 20:54:43

I ran this question past my daughter and she said she wouldn't try and leave her 10month old with her husband (who looks after him during the day) for a night,never mind leaving him with me! I didn't have his brother overnight until he was six and that was quite early enough for both of us.

whenim64 Sat 26-Oct-13 21:39:32

What an honest and helpful post, Better. There's something about relatives or friends thinking they can pull a child in their direction because that happened with their own children. Why do they want to do that? We grandparents are there to support and promote the parents' relationship with their children and to be as selfless as we can. There's a fabulous reward for doing that, but our bond with our grandchildren is secondary.

I remember my ex's parents descending on my firstborn when I took him to visit so they could mind him for an hour. They didn't even look at me when I was leaving their house, nor acknowledge my 'goodbye.' I was hurt and angry with them, because I felt excluded at a time when I felt I should have felt closer to them. It was quite a while before they minded him again, and then it was at my house, where I felt I could assert myself and prevent them 'grabbing' him off me.

As a grandmother, I get just as much satisfaction from watching my little grandchildren walking hand in hand with their other nana and knowing how loved they are, as I do when they home in on me. It's their happiness and security that is paramount.

NannyRodders get to know your granddaughter in her own surroundings. Get on a bus or plan your diary around when you definitely can have the car, then book in those dates with the parents so they can rely on you visiting for a few hours. Before long, they'll be leaving you with her for an hour or so whist they are busy with other things.

None of my 6 grandchildren came to stay over when they were tiny. By the time they get to four, they're asking to stay over for themselves.

No-one likes to be pressured over their tiny children. Be generous (I don't mean financially - with your support for the good job they're doing), and it will bring you more time with your grandaughter, which you can have just as easily in her parents' company.

Tegan Sat 26-Oct-13 21:43:57

Can only agree with what Lona has said about Better[whose MIL is a very silly lady who obviously doesn't appreciate what a fantastic DIL she has].

rockgran Sun 27-Oct-13 02:12:28

My grandson started staying for a sleepover at six months old about once a month. My son had always enjoyed staying with his grandma and it felt right for everyone. When the second one came along we waited till we all felt comfortable and then had both of them. (Quite hard work but worth it.). They are now off overseas and I'm so glad we had all that time with them. However I think it has to come from them and you have to be accommodating and gain the trust of the parents and the children.